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A compendium of articles, reports, essays and investigations into the effects of militarism on the environment and human society. Send additional documents to editor@envirosagainstwar.org.


Children of War: American Weapons Have Poisoned a Generation.
(Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative )

In 2010, seven years after the brutal US attack on Fallujah, "congenital malformations" were observed in 15 percent of all births. Heart defects were the most common, followed by neural tube defects, which cause irreversible and often fatal deformities such as anencephaly, in which the infant is born with parts of the brain and skull missing.

Murder as Messaging: Under Trump, US Foreign Policy Hits Violent New Lows
(Derek Royden / Nation of Change)

In a 14-page response to the White House's assessment of the gas attack in Syria, Prof. Theodore A. Postol takes apart the government's case piece by piece. The main evidence offered involve commercial satellite images of a crater on a road north of the town that Postol was able to locate, "using Google Earth." In the process he discovered, "there is absolutely no evidence that the crater was created by a munition designed to disperse sarin after it is dropped from an aircraft."

US Airstrike Kills 8 Members of Fleeing Family in Syria; US Drone Kills 3 Civilians in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Philip Issa / Associated Press & Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters)

Reports from multiple local groups in Syria say that the family of eight, including five children aged 15 or under, were in a vehicle fleeing the town, and that the US attacked and destroyed the vehicle, killing all within. The Pentagon has yet to comment on the killings. Meanwhile, three Yemeni civilians were killed when a US drone attacked four suspected al Qaeda militants traveling in a vehicle. The attack was part of the Trump administration's escalating war against an al Qaeda branch in Yemen.

Donald Trump's War on the Environment
(Carolyn Lochhead / The San Francisco Chronicle)

Analysis: Nearly 100 days into a presidency remarkably thin on legislative success, one area where the Trump administration and Republican-led Congress have notched indisputable gains is on the environment. Overshadowed by the implosion on health care and standstill on tax reform, the GOP drive to dismantle, defang and defund environmental laws, rules and science is yielding many of President Trump's most significant victories to date.

Author and Conservationist Kuki Gallmann Shot in Kenya
(Tom Odula / Associated Press)

The Italian-born author and conservationist Kuki Gallmann was shot at her Kenyan ranch and airlifted for treatment after herders invaded in search of pasture to save their animals from drought, officials said Sunday. The 73-year-old Gallmann had been with rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service, assessing damage done to her property Saturday by arsonists who burned down buildings at one of Laikipia Nature Conservancy's tourism lodges.

On Earth Day, Stand Up to Trump's War on the Environment
(Jeff Tittel / Star-Ledger & Former Gov. James J. Florio / Star-Ledger )

This year's Earth Day is the most critical since the first one in 1970. Donald Trump is trying to roll back 47 years of protections. Before the first Earth Day, rivers caught fire, smog and air pollution clogged major cities and people wore masks. Some of our rivers were nothing better than open sewers. After 20 million people across the country came together and marched for the Earth, a law was passed to create the Environmental Protection Agency and people began to talk about the dangers of climate change.

ACTION ALERT: What an Earth Day! Now Let's Get Ready for the Climate March on April 29!
(League of Conservation Voters & The Democratic Legislative Campaign )

What an Earth Day! To change everything, we need everyone, and today was a true show of force! But now, we have less than a week to make the Peoples Climate March on 4/29 the biggest environmental protest in history. Here's what you can do to participate and help out.

The National Security State Was One Big Mistake
(Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)

America's federal governmental structure was converted from a limited-government republic to a national-security state after World War II. US officials said that the conversion was necessary in order to protect America from the Soviet Union, Red China, and communism. As soon as the Cold War was over and communism was defeated, US officials said, the American people could have their limited-government republic back. There never was a "Peace Dividend." Instead, we were given the unending "War on Terror."

The F-35 and the Incinerating Ski Slope
(David Swanson's Earth Day Address / World Beyond War)

Commentary: A cost estimate for F-35 program (a plane that incinerates human beings when it works and itself when it doesn't) is $1.4 trillion.I have yet to hear anyone suggest that Trump is bombing various countries because he has some sort of intelligent plan to solve some problem. The closest I've heard to that has been the Nixonian theory that it's good to make the world's governments believe you are a nuclear-armed lunatic. But exactly how that is good has not been explained to my satisfaction.

US Killing More Civilians Under Trump: 200 Killed in a Single US Attack on Mosul
(Molly Hennessy-Fiske, W.J. Hennigan / The Los Angeles Times)

The number of civilian casualties has risen in recent months as the US-lead coalition has undertaken the heaviest bombing since the war began, targeting densely populated west Mosul. On March 17, a US-led coalition was responsible for an airstrike in the west Mosul neighborhood of Aghawat Jadidah that local civil defense officials said killed more than 270 -- the highest civilian death toll from an airstrike, among the deadliest incidents in modern warfare. Most civilian deaths are never investigated by the US military.

America's Misadventures in the Middle East
(Chas Freeman / The American Conservative)

About 4 million Muslims have perished since 1990 as a direct or indirect result of US policies and interventions. Since the turn of the century, the death toll among the Muslims of the Middle East from the US "Global War on Terror" is at least 1.3 million and perhaps as many as 2 million people, the vast majority of them civilians. Terrorists, whether home-grown or imported, are "over here" because Americans are "over there" killing, wounding, and humiliating their kin, their loved ones, and others of their faith.

Pentagon Releases Video of ISIS Moving Civilians as Human Shields
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Luis Martinez / ABC News)

Continuing to try to shift the narrative on some US airstrikes that led to particularly large civilian death tolls, the Pentagon today released a video captured by a drone which they say shows ISIS was moving civilians around within the densely populated western half of Mosul to use as "human shields."

New Revelations Challenge Trump's Claims on Chemical Attack in Syria
(Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com)

The Trump administration is pushing the accusation that the Assad regime was the force that carried out the highly lethal chemical attack on April 4 but a leading analyst on military technology has concluded that the alleged device for a sarin attack could not have been delivered from the air but only from the ground, meaning that the chemical attack may not have been the result of the Syrian airstrike. A military intelligence officer has stated that the Pentagon allegedly knew in advance that the strike was coming.

ACTION ALERT: Ground the Drones: Close Creech AFB April 23-29
(Codepink, Veterans For Peace, Nevada Desert Experience, et al.)

Now more than ever, we must resist US assassinations by drones! Within the very first days in the White House, Donald Trump signed off on several drone attacks in Yemen. Last weekend, more than 40 US airstrikes rained down on Yemen, many fired from drones. Trump has clearly embraced Obama's racist policies of extra-judicial killing on suspicion alone with innocent lives lost in the crossfire. Trump's Navy Seals Debacle in January killed 10 children, 6 women and others. Another reason WE MUST RESIST!

Street Turned to Rubble Shows Cost of Fight for Iraq's Mosul
(Mstyslav Chernov and Felipe Dana / Associated Press)

Two houses are all that remain standing on the street with no name in western Mosul, just blocks from the front lines of the battle to retake Iraq's second-largest city from the Islamic State group. The once-bustling neighborhood has been reduced to rubble, its sidewalks piled high with a jumble of concrete, bricks and metal.

Investigation: US Guilty of Civilian Deaths in Air Strike on Syrian Mosque
(Al Jazeera)

Investigators have determined that US forces failed to take necessary precautions before launching a lethal drone strike in northern Syria that hit a mosque full of worshipers in western Aleppo. The series of US attacks on March 16, killed at least 38 people and injured dozens of others. In July 2016, a US coalition air strike on the Syrian city of Manjib killed more than 140 civilians, mostly women and children. In February 2017, US strikes in neighboring Iraq killed as many as 200 civilians in one day.

UN Reports Mosul Operation Has Displaced Nearly Half a Million
(Agence France-Presse)

Nearly half a million people have fled their homes since Iraqi forces launched an operation to wrest Mosul back from jihadists exactly six months ago, the United Nations reports. Iraqi forces began the country's biggest military operation in years on October 17 last year and recaptured the east side of the city in January. But an assault launched the following month on the part of Mosul that lies west of the Tigris River has seen a sharp rise in displacement. "The sheer volume of civilians still fleeing Mosul city is staggering."

Trump Authorizes Chemical War on California Children

The administration's rejection of the science on chlorpyrifos, widely used in California's Central Valley, means its use will continue -- and Latino residents are worried their children's health issues will worsen along with it.

In Africa, 20 Million People Face Starvation because of War
(Max Bearak and Laris Karklis / The Washington Post<)

This year, as South Sudan slipped into famine, desperate populations in Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen were each on the verge of their own famine. Starvation now threatens 20 million people -- more than at any time since World War II. As defined by the United Nations, famine occurs when a region's daily hunger-related death rate exceeds 2 per 10,000 people. The persistence of such severe hunger, even in inhospitable climates, would be almost unthinkable without war.

Doubts over Syria Gas Attack; Press Cheers While Trump Kills 'Beautiful Babies' in Four Countries
(Chris Ernesto / AntiWar.com & Jon Soltz / VoteVets)

Donald Trump sounded sincere when he lamented the deaths of "beautiful little babies" allegedly killed by a Syrian government chemical weapons attack. But what about the beautiful little babies killed by Trump's bombs in Yemen, Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq? Military and intelligence personnel familiar with the Syrian chemical weapons intelligence believe Trump's claims are a "sham" and are considering going public due to their concerns over escalating violence in Syria. Protest US media for cheerleading war.

Trump, Russia, and NATO: Why Tiny Montenegro's Not Tiny Now
(Ted Snider / AntiWar.com)

Donald Trump has just approved Montenegro's accession into NATO. Montenegro is a tiny nation, and its inclusion doesn't significantly change the abilities of NATO, but it's inclusion is huge, and its meaning is significant and clear to Russia.

As Trump Strikes Syria, We Should Revisit the History Lessons of US Intervention in Central America
(Daniel Alvarenga / Remezcla)

Dismissing the perils of Trump's election by suggesting that "We survived Reagan" overlooks the fact that hundreds of thousands of people didn't survive Reagan's interventions and proxy wars. If we want more people to survive this new administration, we need to study the ramifications and unintended consequences that our military interventions of the US's involvement in Central America that are still relevant in our current political context -- invasions, coups, drones, the arms trade and death squads.

Survivors Describe US Terror Attack on Mosul's Civilians: Russia Condemns US
(Jane Arraf / National Public Radio & Matt Rehbein and Julia Jones / CNN)

The Pentagon claims it did not know that thousands of civilians were taking shelter in their homes and apartments in Mosul the day US planes unleashed a deadly rain of bombs and rockets. It is believed that nearly 300 Iraqi civilians were killed in the March 17 attack -- many of them were children. Some of the survivors describe the terror of the horrific attack and the human consequences. Meanwhile, Russia has called the Pentagon's excuses for the civilian casualties in Mosul "absurd."

US Attack on Syria an "International Crime" but Trump Suggests More Attacks to Come
(Deutsche Welle & Jeff Mason / Reuters)

The US has called its attack on an airbase in Syria "a strong signal" for the Assad regime. Legal experts, however, criticized the action. In a recent interview, international law expert Stefan Talmon explains why. Undeterred by critics or international law, Donald Trump insists he is open to authorizing additional strikes on Syria if its government uses chemical weapons or barrel bombs.

It's Not Just Syria. Trump Is Ratcheting Up Wars across the World
(Trevor Timm / The Guardian & Jason Le Miere / Newsweek)

Donald Trump's missile strikes on Syria have attracted worldwide attention (and disgraceful plaudits) in recent days. But much less airtime is being given to his administration's risky and increasingly barbaric military escalations on several other fronts across the world. In March, Trump ordered a drone strike every 1.8 days, compared to every 5.4 days under Obama. US-led coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria may have already killed 1,484 civilians in just Iraq and Syria this month alone.

The Spoils of War: Trump Lavished With Media and Bipartisan Praise For Bombing Syria
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

All wars -- even the most malicious and aggressive -- are wrapped in humanitarian packaging. If humanitarianism really were the motive, there are many things the US could do besides bombing Syria and killing civilians, such as giving refuge and humanitarian aid. But the idea that a war can be justified by appealing to the vague imperative that we must "do something" is incredibly irrational and immoral.

ACTION ALERT: End Washington's Perpetual Wars; Stop Trump's Anti-Immigrant Agenda
(Nation of Change & Amnesty International)

For the last 15 years the US has been engaged in perpetual war. Washington tells us to be afraid of terrorist groups but America has played the largest role in the growth of terrorist groups with our constant aggressive military policies. It is time to end this state of perpetual war and bring our troops home. This week, Donald Trump launched missile strikes on Syria, saying he was "concerned" for the lives of Syrians. If Trump really wants to help the victims of war, he needs to stop turning his back on refugees.

The Debacle of Mosul and Beyond
(Robert Logan / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

What can we learn from the battle of Mosul, now projected at over seven months? That the USA (other than endless war) has no idea what it is doing, what it is up against, and what victory would even look like against ISIS. ISIS took the Mosul region in six days with a force of 1500 lightly armed men. The region was defended by 30,000 Iraqi troops and another 30,000 police, not to mention the 2 million inhabitants themselves, many of them armed. That alone should have given analysts a clue.

Trump's US Missile Attack on Syria Killed Nine Civilians, Including Four Children
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters & Jerusalem Post)

On April 6, the United States launched some 59 Tomahawk missiles at a Syrian airbase in the Homs Province, doing considerable damage and leading Syrian officials, and their allies, to condemn the action as aggression against a sovereign country. The missiles badly damaged several homes in the villages surrounding the airbase, and that at least nine civilians had been killed in the course of the US attacks -- including four children.

US Airstrikes Kill 21 Civilians in Syria -- Including Children
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)

While US "outrage" at civilian casualties from Syrian airstrikes is being used as a pretext for military intervention against the Syrian government, US forces own airstrikes near Raqqa, in northeastern Syria, are killing an increasing number of civilians. Activist groups report that a US-led coalition airstrike hit a boat carrying civilians fleeing across the Euphrates River, killing a woman and her six children. Another US airstrike on an Internet cafe in the village of Hanida killed 14 people inside, including four children.

Lawmakers Say Proof Lacking Before Trump Bombed Syria
(Steven Nelson / US News and World Report)

Donald Trump ordered the bombing of a Syrian military base less than three days after civilians died nearby from apparent exposure to chemical gas. But some congressional lawmakers have expressed concern about the factual basis for the attack. Syrian officials said the poison gas actually was disseminated after military planes dropped conventional bombs on the arms depot of a group formerly considered al-Qaida's affiliate in the country. US claims about a 2013 gas attack in Syria turned out to be false.

Don't Jump to Conclusions about the Gas Attack in Syria
(Vijay Prashad / AlterNet)

The US, Britain and France placed a resolution before the Security Council condemning the Syrian gas attack and asking for an investigation. There is no call for armed action because the Council was divided on who perpetuated the act. Meanwhile, the Americans recently admitted to a major atrocity in Mosul, where 200 civilians were killed. That attack did not seize the Security Council or bring forth fulminations from the Western press. Hypocrisy is central to the morals at the UN Security Council.

Trump Condemns Syria Chemical Attack: McCain Blames Trump
(BBC World News & Barbara Plett Usher / BBC World News)

Donald Trump has condemned the killing of dozens of civilians in northern Syria in an apparent chemical weapons attack by Syria's air force, calling it an "affront to humanity." Meanwhile, hawkish Republican Senator John McCain argues that the Trump administration's "hands-off" approach to Bashar al-Assad emboldened the Syrian President to carry out atrocities like the chemical attack for which he's being blamed.

How Trump Killed 9 Babies and Children in Yemen
(Al Jazeera & Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters)

Residents of Yakla, an impoverished Yemeni town that was targeted last month in the first US military raid in the country authorized by President Donald Trump, have said more than a dozen civilians were killed in the botched operation -- including women and nine children under the age of 12. One of those killed was Nora al-Awlaki, an eight-year-old American girl. Two weeks later, US-backed Saudi planes attacked a funeral near Yemen's capital, killing nine women and one child and injuring dozens.

What Life Is Like for ISIS's 400,000 'Human Shields' in West Mosul
(Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & The Unz Review<)

Isolated in their houses and short of food and water, people besieged in the ISIS-held Old City of Mosul say it is like being held in an underground prison with little idea of the ebb and flow of the battle being fought around them. Nobody knows how long the battle for Mosul will go on for now, with many Iraqi soldiers saying that it will be at least a month and possibly much longer. With each passing week, more and more of west Mosul is being destroyed

Does It Matter Who Pulls the Trigger in the Drone Wars?
(Peter Van Buren / WeMeantWell & AntiWar.com)

Commentary: "We're allowing a mindset of "anything Trump does is wrong" coupled with lightening-speed historical revisionism for the Obama era to sustain the same mistakes in the war on terror that have fueled Islamic terrorism for the past 15 years. However, there may be a window of opportunity to turn the anti-Trump rhetoric into a review of the failed policies of the last decade and a half."

Native American and Environmental Groups Sue Over Trump's Keystone XL Pipeline Permit
(Dan Bacher / Daily Kos)

The Indigenous Environmental Network and North Coast Rivers Alliance filed suit on March 27, challenging the Presidential Permit issued by President Trump allowing construction and operation of the Keystone XL Pipeline. "For too long, the US Government has pushed around Indigenous peoples and undervalued our inherent rights, sovereignty, culture, and our responsibilities as guardians of Mother Earth and all life while fueling catastrophic extreme weather and climate change with an addiction to fossil fuels."

ACTION ALERT: Seeking Justice for Darren Rainey: Scalded to Death in Florida Prison
(Roots Action)

On June 23, 2012, Darren Rainey, a mentally ill black man serving a two-year prison sentence for drug possession, was killed by four prison guards at Dade Correctional Institution in Florida. The Florida guards kept Darren Rainey locked in a shower for two hours with the water turned up to a scalding 160 degrees or higher. Prosecutors concluded that Rainey's death was an "accident." After a five-year legal dispute, no charges will be filed against the four prison guards who allegedly tortured and killed Darren Rainey.

Global Trade Is a Major Cause of Death; City Living Promotes Early Dying
(Nikhil Swaminathan / Grist & Seth Borenstein / Associated Press & Qiang Zhang, et al. / Nature & Florence Williams / The Guardian)

Air quality and mortality are affected by local air pollution that can be fed by atmospheric transport of pollutants from distant sources. Some of the pollution in one region is due to the production of consumer goods in another. Nearly 500,000 people succumb to smog-related illness each year on the Asian continent. Meanwhile, more people than ever live in urban environments, where dirty air, noise and stress pose a deadly risk. Heart disease, lung cancer, and strokes are caused by breathing filthy air.

Israel's Next War Is Always 'Inevitable'
(Larry Derfner / Opinion: The New York Times)

Commentary: Israelis have learned to accept that one war follows another, every two or three years. "An Inevitable Conflict in Gaza," ran a newspaper headline earlier this month. What hardly any Israelis will consider (and virtually no influential voices in the West will publicly suggest) is that Israel -- not Hezbollah in Lebanon, nor Hamas in Gaza, nor the government of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria -- is provoking the next war. Israel, not its militant Islamist or brutal Syrian enemies, is the aggressor in these border wars.

The 'Nature Fix' in a 'Post-Nature' Society
(Brian Calvert / High Country News & Peter Friederici / High Country News)

Immersion in nature has the power to heal, even the ability to affect mental health. As proof, the author of "The Nature Fix" cites the experience of group of combat veterans during an Idaho river trip. But what are we supposed to do with our knowledge that we live at "the end of nature" -- that a major driver of the Earth's powerful cycles has become the human species itslef?

How the US Media Covers Up for the Pentagon's Terrorist Acts
(Ben Norton / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)

If you read the headlines of major corporate media outlets, you'd think hundreds of Iraqi civilians coincidentally died when they just happened to be hit by a US airstrike. A March 17 US attack in the city of Mosul resulted in a massacre of civilians. It is estimated that between 130 and 230 Iraqis were killed in the incident. The attack was "potentially one of the worst US-led civilian bombings in 25 years" but, in the US, leading news networks went out of their way to craft some of the most euphemistic headlines imaginable.

The Standoff Between Trump and Green Groups Just Boiled Into War
(Darryl Fears and Juliet Eilperin / The Washington Post)

The first shots have been fired in what's likely to be a long, bitter war over the environment between conservationists and President Trump. It started Wednesday when a broad coalition of groups sued the Trump administration in federal court, barely 24 hours after the president signed an executive order that lifted a moratorium on new coal leases on federal land. Earthjustice, the Sierra Club, WildEarth Guardians, Defenders of Wildlife, Montana's Northern Cheyenne Tribe and others call the directive illegal.

Drought and War Heighten Threat of Not Just One Famine, but Four
(Jeffrey Gettleman / The New York Times)

Another famine is about to tighten its grip on Somalia. And it's not the only crisis that aid agencies are scrambling to address. For the first time, there is a very real possibility of four famines -- in Somalia, South Sudan, Nigeria and Yemen -- breaking out at once, endangering more than 20 million lives. It's the biggest humanitarian disaster since World War II. One powerful lesson from the last famine in Somalia was that famines were not simply about food. They are about something even more elemental: water.

Mosul Battle Shows Attacking Militants in Urban Area Puts Civilians at Risk
(Dan Perry and Susannah George / Associated Press)

As the fight for the Iraqi city of Mosul drags on, many might ask: Why has it taken the combined militaries of the United States and Iraq backed by an international coalition more than two years to dislodge a relatively small force of militants lacking heavy weaponry? Now the growing controversy over the high number of civilian casualties believed caused by recent US airstrikes has touched on a major part of the answer: The militants are mingled among tens of thousands of civilians in Mosul.

Civilian Casualties in Iraq, Syria, Undercut US Victories
(Susannah Geoerge and Zena Karam / Associated Press)

Islamic State group and al-Qaida-linked militants are quickly moving to drum up outrage over a sharp spike in civilian casualties said to have been caused by US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, posting photos online of a destroyed medical center and homes reduced to rubble. "This is how Trump liberates Mosul, by killing its inhabitants," the caption reads.

Trump Makes It Easier for the Pentagon to Kill Civilians in Somalia
(Charlie Savage and Eric Schmitt / The New York Times)

President Trump has relaxed some of the rules for preventing civilian casualties when the American military carries out counterterrorism strikes in Somalia, laying the groundwork for an escalating campaign against Islamist militants in the Horn of Africa. That sets the stage for an intensified pace of combat there, while increasing the risk that American forces could kill even more innocent civilians.

A US-born American Jihadist Explains What Drove Him to Extremism
(Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept)

"I remember in my youth watching a documentary about the civil war in Lebanon, and the topic that day was the massacre at Sabra and Shatila. I was traumatized that day." "These young people are not all loners who felt like they didn't belong in their communities. If you want to fight jihadism, it is necessary to see these people as human beings who are driven by normal human motivations. . . . The way terrorism has been approached by the government and society has also helped the jihadists in their strategy."

Republicans Unite to Wage War on Internet Privacy -- And How to Fight Back
(Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge & T.C. Sottek / The Verge & The Raw Story & The Common Call )

The House of Representatives passed a resolution today overturning an Obama-era FCC rule that required Internet providers to get customers' permission before sharing their browsing history with other companies. The rules also required Internet providers to protect that data from hackers and inform customers of any breaches. Internet providers now just need a signature from President Trump before they're free to take, share, and even sell your web browsing history without your permission.

Russia Warns US Military Threats Risk Provoking Nuclear War
(Reveal News & The Daily Star & TASS & The Wall Street Journal)

Pentagon missiles in Europe and warships patrolling Russia's borders could lead to nuclear war, Vladimir Putin's military bosses have warned. America's anti-ballistic missile system (ABM) is provoking a "new arms race" that threatens to challenge Russia's ability to defend itself from a nuclear strike. Russia's military leaders warn the introduction of American ABMs along its border "lowers the threshold for use of nuclear weapons" and increases the risk of "sudden nuclear attack."

World Leaders Decry Trump's Attack on Clean Energy and Climate
(Alissa Scheller, Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post & Mollie Reilly / The Huffington Post)

Donald Trump has signed a sweeping executive order aimed at reversing former President Barack Obama's efforts to shrink the US' carbon footprint. By undoing the Clean Power Plan, the Trump administration is putting carbon emissions back on an upward trajectory, thereby abandoning any hope of meeting the US emissions reduction targets set out in 2015 in the 195-country Paris Agreement -- the first global climate pact to include China and the US, the world's top polluters.

Trump's Troops Accused of Mass Civilian Slaughters in Iraq, Syria
(Loveday Morris and Liz Sly / The Washington Post)

A sharp rise in the number of civilians reported killed in US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is spreading panic, deepening mistrust and triggering accusations that the United States and its partners may be acting without sufficient regard for lives of noncombatants. The increase comes as local ground forces backed by air support from a US-led coalition close in on the Islamic State's two main urban bastions -- Raqqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

'Human Shield' Excuse Does Not Apply in Mosul Massacre: US-backed Coalition Told Civilians Not to Flee
(Guardian Staff and Agencies)

The Pentagon has opened investigations into reports that more than 150 civilians died in US-led bombings to retake Iraqi city from ISIS. The Pentagon was reviewing more than 700 video feeds of coalition airstrikes amid rising concern over a jump in civilian casualties. In previous battles, the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi were emptied of their civilian populations before Iraqi forces battled ISIS. In Mosul, the Iraqi government asked civilians to remain in their homes before the air assault began.

Trump to Repeal Obama's Environmental Legacy: "Nightmare Budget" Would Destroy America As We Know It
(The League of Conservation Voters & Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post & Michael Roberts / OpEd News)

The White House plans to scrap rules on power plant emissions, eviscerate the Clean Power Plan and kneecap US participation in the historic Paris Climate Accord. Trump's OMB Director dismisses funding to address climate change "a waste of money." A review of the programs targeted under Trump's "Nightmare Budget" is both astonishing and appalling.

The Rise of Trump and Warring Kleptocrats Are Destroying America
(Chris Hedges / TruthDig & Earthbound)

Commentary: "The Trump kleptocrats are political arsonists. They are carting cans of gasoline into government agencies and Congress to burn down any structure or program that promotes the common good and impedes corporate profit. They ineptly have set themselves on fire over Obamacare, but this misstep will do little to halt the drive to, as Stephen Bannon promises, carry out the deconstruction of the administrative state'."

The Horrors of the Sudan War Haunt Ugandan Refugee Camps
(Peter Lykke Lind / Al Jazeera)

In the Bidibidi settlement in northern Uganda -- one of the largest refugee settlements in the world -- the adult victims of Sudan's ongoing war are surrounded by clay huts, filled latrines and naked children. The settlement is home to 272,000 South Sudanese; some of the 800,000 who, according to the United Nations, have escaped to Uganda. Here are some of their stories, as told to Al Jazeera.

FBI Says US 'Military Presence' Responsible for Rise in Terror Attacks; War on Terror Is 'Biggest Motivation' for Homegrown Terrorists
(Waqas Mirza / MuckRock.com & Murtaza Hussain and Cora Currier / The Intercept)

The White House and Pentagon claim that America's military is "keeping the US safe from terrorism" when, according to the FBI, the opposite is true. An Intelligence Assessment of terrorist plots against the US and US interests between 2001 and 2010 concluded: "a broadening US military presence overseas" was behind an 11 percent increase in plotted attacks since 2006. The role of US foreign policy in fomenting anti-US "blowback" remains largely unaddressed in the nation's counterterrorism programs.

Iraq Suspends Mosul Offensive after US Airstrike Atrocity
(Martin Chulov and Emma Graham-Harrison / The Guardian)

The Iraqi government has ordered the US to halt air operations over Mosul. The move comes as international outrage continues to grow over US airstrikes that killed at least 150 people in Mosul's Jadida neighborhood -- one of the deadliest bombing raids for civilians since the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Bombs released by US-led coalition forces buried more than a hundred people in the ruins of three houses and raised fresh questions about US rules of engagement.

Airstrike Monitors Overwhelmed by US-Caused Civilian Casualties
(Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)

In the last week, three mass casualty incidents attributed to US-led forces in Iraq and Syria have killed hundreds of civilians, prompting the watchdog group Airways to issue a statement that read: "Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March -- a record claim. These reported casualty levels are comparable with some of the worst periods of Russian activity in Syria."

Climate and Washington Are Both Taking a Turn for the Worse
(Bill McKibben / The Boston Globe & Vinnie Wishrad / League of Conservation Voters)

Arctic ice has set a new record winter low and a record Midwest drought has triggered the worst wildfires in US history -- two million acres burned. Climate change demands action but, instead, Donald Trump's appointees spent the last week dismantling 40 years' worth of hard-fought environmental laws and regulations. Meanwhile US governors and big city mayors are demanding Washington address climate change and on April 29, a People's Climate March will challenge America's Polluter-in-Chief.

Sick Vets Blame Exposure to Agent Orange, But VA Won't Pay
(Anna Douglas / McClatchy News)

In 2011, the National Academy of Medicine concluded that US sailors were likely exposed to Agent Orange in their ships' drinking water or from winds blowing the chemical out to sea. The so-called "blue water" controversy is hampered because the military didn't track Agent Orange's drift and presence during the war. The Department of Veterans Affairs wants more evidence before it will award the sailors benefits. Under pressure from vets, the VA has made some exceptions for sailors with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

ACTION ALERT: Racial Violence Under Trump Prompts Sites to Report Hate Crimes
(The Color of Change & The Huffington Post and ProPublica)

Racist attacks carried out by white supremacists happen often and have been occurring at a much higher rate since Trump, and his team of white supremacists, have taken over the White House. Because the Federal government has failed to act decisively in response to this growing threat, several civil organizations have joined forces to create an online resource that allows anyone to immediately report incidents of hate that they experience or witness in their communities.

Children of Unending War, the Rise of Trump and the Explosion of Hate Groups
(Greg Grandin / The Nation & Michelle Chen / The Nation)

To be "twenty-something" in the US today, means being part of a generation whose county has always been at war. America is becoming a more hateful place and there is growing evidence that our current administration might have something to do with it. The number of anti-Muslim groups has nearly tripled since 2015 and there has also been a spike in reported incidents of "hate" violence. The president's rhetoric is familiar to anyone who lived through the 1990s paramilitary-style "Patriot" movements.

UN Warns: The 'Worst Is Yet to Come' in Mosul
(AntiWar.com & Stephanie Nebehay and Patrick Markey / Reuters & Angus MacSwan and Patrick Markey / Reuters)

Early in the Iraqi government's invasion of Mosul, a decision was made to tell the civilian population not to flee. At the time, this was meant to allow them to target those fleeing as ISIS fighters, and to make up for the lack of preparation to absorb civilians for the long period of time such a fight was going to take. Iraq is rethinking that decision now, after five months of fighting and a growing humanitarian crisis. UN officials are now warning, with some 400,000 trapped in western Mosul, the worst is yet to come.

Child Victims of Mosul Overwhelm Emergency Hospital
(FRANCE 24 English & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Angus MacSwan / Reuters)

There have been thousands of civilian casualties in Mosul during a campaign to drive Islamic State fighters from what was once their main stronghold. The large numbers of the civilian casualties in the battle for Mosul are the result of US and coalition airstrikes, with locals claiming some 3,500 killed in airstrikes over the five-month-long battle. A US attack just last night killed around 230 civilians in just three buildings. As these strikes continue to escalate, so too are the number of victims flocking to the field hospitals.

Keystone Pipeline Approved for Construction -- with Russian Steel?
(The Huffington Post & Snopes.com)

Donald Trump's administration has greenlighted the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump previously promised the pipeline would be constructed with domestic steel but abandoned that pledge and granted TransCanada an exemption to use foreign steel during construction. The DeSmogBlog reports that 40 percent of the steel was manufactured by a Canadian subsidiary of Evraz, a company 31-percent owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, who is a close ally of Putin and a Trump family friend.

War Crime: Trump's Airstrikes Kill 230 Civilians in a Single Night -- Mostly Women and Children
(AntiWar.com & The Independent )

As the US airstrikes in the Iraqi city of Mosul are increasingly concentrated around densely populated neighborhoods in the city's west, the death toll from those airstrikes in spiraling rapidly out of control, with the most recent figures out of the area suggesting around 230 civilians were killed overnight in US and coalition strikes in just a single neighborhood. The US Central Command says it is researching reports of extensive loss of civilian life in the third such alleged incident in recent weeks.

Two US Bombings in Syria Kill 'At Least 116 Civilians, Including 18 Children and 23 Women'
(CBS News & BBC World News)

An activist monitoring group has reported a US airstrike on school sheltering as many as 50 displaced families has killed at least 33 civilians. A previous US attack on the village of al-Jineh destroyed a mosque and killed between 49 and 75 civilians. In the past two weeks, suspected coalition air strikes have killed at least 116 Syrian civilians, including 18 children and 23 women.

800 US Families Sue Saudi Arabia Over 9/11 Attacks
(Carey Wedler / AntiMedia )

Eight-hundred families of 9/11 victims and 1,500 first responders, along with others who suffered as a result of the attacks, reportedly have filed a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia over its alleged complicity in the 2001 terror attacks. Until late last year, families of 9/11 victims were unable to sue foreign countries over their potential involvement in the attacks. The lawsuit charges that officials from Saudi embassies supported two of the hijackers -- Salem al-Hazmi and Khalid Al-Mihdhar -- 18 months before the 9/11 attacks.

US Navy Admits to Having Released Chemicals Known to Injure Infants' Brains
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)

For decades, the US Navy, by its own admission, has been conducting war game exercises in US waters using bombs, missiles, sonobuoys (sonar buoys), high explosives, bullets and other materials that contain toxic chemicals -- including lead and mercury -- that are harmful to both humans and wildlife.

War on Health; How Trumpcare Benefits Corporations and the Rich

t may become more expensive for people with lower incomes to buy health insurance, but a House Republican plan to replace the Affordable Care Act would make going to a tanning salon cheaper and cut taxes for insurance companies and wealthy investors. In all, the bill unveiled Monday night would cut taxes by nearly $600 billion over the coming decade, according to estimates by the Joint Committee on Taxation.

How Much Is an Afghan Life Worth? That Depends
(Idrees Ali / Reuters )

In March 2014, the US military paid an Afghan man just over $1,000 to compensate for killing his civilian son in an operation near the border with Iran. Six months later, another Afghan father was given $10,000 by the US military after his child, also a civilian, was killed in a US-led military operation in the same province. And Haji Allah Dad lost 20 relatives, including his brother and sister-in-law, in a US-Afghan special forces operation. He received no money from the US no standardized process for paying restitution.

George W. Bush Gave Us Donald Trump. Now He Wants To Be Forgiven.
(Ryan Grim and Alexander Zaitchik / The Huffngton Post)

Commentary: The media is promoting a general public softening toward George W. Bush, once widely scorned as a historic failure; a blood-spattered buffoon and war criminal who belonged in a cell. Normalizing Bush weakens our already weak grip on history, making it harder to see how today's political harvest was cultivated by Bill Clinton (who created NAFTA and unleashed Wall Street) and Barack Obama, who continued the Wall Street bailouts and allowed 90 percent of wealth creation to accrue to the top 1 percent.

Presence of US Military Base in Okinawa Means Jail Without Trial for Protestors
(Anna Field / The Washington Post)

After five months in detention without trial, one of the leaders of Okinawa's movement against the expansion of US military bases in the southern Japanese island prefecture has been released. Hiroji Yamashiro, a 64-year-old who leads the Okinawa Peace Action Center, is one of the most vocal opponents of the construction of new Marine Corps facilities in Okinawa. The overwhelming majority of Okinawans oppose the base.

Trump's Syria Plan Looks a Lot Like 'Mission Creep'
(Military Times Editorial & Al Jazeera)

The US military has sent nearly 100 Army Rangers into the Syrian city of Manbij. But there is something highly unusual about this particular deployment. The elite soldiers, who typically operate in the shadows, arrived in armored vehicles festooned in brightly colored American flags, a gesture designed to make their presence abundantly obvious. And unlike the other 15,000 US troops on the ground in active war zones, the Americans in Manbij are not conducting "counter terror" or "advise and assist" operations.

Trump Budget Would Make America Dirty and Sick Again
(David Lewis / Save the Bay & The San Francisco Chronicle)

Trump's budget proposal is a direct assault on our health and safety. The enormous cuts he is proposing to the US Environmental Protection Agency and other departments will hurt people and the planet by gutting enforcement of laws that protect the water we drink, the air we breathe and the environment that sustains us.

Trump's Budget: America First; Americans and the Environment Last
(Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)

Donald Trump's first budget makes his antipathy to the environment -- and his love for fossil fuels and nuclear power -- clear. In addition to slashing funds to the EPA, he wants massive rollbacks in auto fuel efficiency standards and billions in new investments in nuclear weapons. These cuts hand $54 billion to the Pentagon while crippling air and water protections by ending restrictions on industrial emissions. Adding insult to injury, Trump would add $120 million to the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.

Somalia Blames Saudi Coalition for Mass Murder of Refugees
(Abdi Guled / Associated Press)

A helicopter gunship attacked a boat packed with Somali migrants off the coast of Yemen overnight Thursday, killing at least 31 people, according to a UN agency, Yemeni officials and a survivor who witnessed the attack. The "horrific" nighttime gunship attack killed at least 42 Somali refugees -- including many women and children -- off the coast of war-torn Yemen. Somalia Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire called the attack "atrocious" and "appalling."

ACTION ALERT: Resist Trump's Budget Handout to War Profiteers
(CREDO Action & Alex Morash and Craig Harrington / MediaMatters.org)

Half of the federal budget already goes to weapons of war and the military-industrial complex -- and now, Trump wants to increase spending on war profiteers by a full 10 percent. Trump's plan to beef up the defense budget by an additional $54 billion at the expense of civilian domestic spending has been derided by economists and experts for being "wholly unrealistic."

Bill Gates Warns Terrorists Could Kill 30 Million within a Year using Bioweapons
(Harry Walker / The Express & James Rush / The Daily Mail)

Bill Gates has warned the Munich Security Conference that: "The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus, or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu." Meanwhile, China accuses US of a secret biological attack using a new strain of bird flu. The US has dismissed claims, saying there is 'absolutely no truth' to them.

Fierce, Critical Reactions to Trump's 'Cruel, Stupid Budget'
(Public Citizen & The Democratic National Committee & Seth Moulton for Congress & Kamala Harris / US Senate & The Washington Post)

Trump's appalling budget would destroy America to empower military, surveillance, incarceration, and pollution interests. It slashes $4.7 billion from the Agriculture Department -- hurting rural communities; cuts job-creating funding for infrastructure repair; guts spending to protect clean air and drinking water; defunds the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; and suspends the Manufacturing Extension Partnership -- a program that helped create and retain more than 86,602 jobs last year.

Six Years On, the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Ove
(Yuko Yoneda / Greenpeace Japan & EcoWatch)

Six years ago, more than 15,000 people perished and tens of thousands of people's lives changed forever. Northeastern Japan was hit by a massive earthquake, followed by an enormous tsunami that wiped out coastal towns one after another. In the days that followed came the horrifying news: the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactors went into meltdown. The disaster is still with us.

Trump Cuts Domestic Spending to Fund Pentagon's Bombing of Civilians in Syrian Mosque
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Johnson and Courtney Kube / NBC News)

Donald Trump is set to formally deliver a budget for fiscal year 2018 that includes massive cuts across several departments, centering on domestic spending, as a way to pay for his planned military spending increases. New evidence is emerging on yesterday's bombing of a mosque in the Northwest Syrian village of al-Jineh, in the Aleppo Province, with reports of rising death tolls and recovered pieces of the bomb showing that it was -- despite the Pentagon's official denials -- a US airstrike.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand Calls Marine Leaders on the Carpet for Sexual Abuses
(Gellibrand for Senate)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has been a champion in the fight against military sexual assault -- but the recent Marines United scandal is a stark reminder of why this work to bring reform and accountability to the military justice system is so important. In response to Gellibrand's stinging criticisms, General Robert Neller replied, "I'm not going to duck this" as he avoided citing any specific mistakes or actions that were or would be made. "I know that's lame answer," the Marine commander stated.

Veterans Administration Paying Victims of Contaminated Lejeune Water

On March 4, the Veterans Administration began providing disability benefits to Veterans, Reservists, and National Guard members affected by the toxic chemical contaminants in the water supply at Camp Lejeune, NC. The offer only applies to victims who were residents from August 1, 1953 through December 31, 1987 and who are now sick and dying from a short list of eight diseases, including leukemia, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, liver cancer, and Parkinson's disease.

UNICEF: Nearly 50 Million Children Are Refugees or Migrants
(Euan McKirdy / CNN)

Nearly 50 million children worldwide have been uprooted from their homes due to violence, poverty and other factors out of their control, according to a new report released by the UN children's agency. Of that total, 28 million are child refugees who fled conflict, states the UNICEF report, "Uprooted: The growing crisis for refugee and migrant children." Nearly half of child refugees are from Syria and Afghanistan. An additional 20 million are child migrants who left their homes in search of better lives.

Trump Lunches With Saudi War Criminal: Tillerson Threatens to Ditch 'Human Rights'
(Medea Benjamin / AntiWar.com & Michael Wilner / The Jerusalem Post)

While President Trump sat down for a sumptuous meal at the White House on Tuesday, March 14 with Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, millions of Yemenis are going hungry thanks to Trump's lunch guest. Meanwhile, the Trump administration's new Secretary of State is reviewing continued US membership in the UN Human Rights Council and may demand "considerable reform" within the organization before the US would agree to remaining in the long-established organization.

US Military Aid and the Death of Honduran Environmental Activits Berta Caceres
(Janine Jackson and Beverly Bell / CounterSpin)

March 2 marked a year since the killing of Honduran indigenous rights and environmental activist Berta Caceres. The private and state actors believed responsible for her murder saw Caceres and her group, the Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras -- as a threat to the ability of extractive industries to steal land and water from indigenous lands with state sanction. Such thefts and the resulting violence have been exacerbated by the 2009 coup in Honduras -- a coup the US openly supported.

GOP Cheers Destruction of EPA
(Oliver Milman / The Guardian)

The Trump administration's zeal for deregulation is seen by environmentalists as a recipe for fossil fuel cronyism, runaway climate change, and a toxic water crises. In 2009 the EPA determined that CO2 emissions "endanger both the public health and the public welfare of current and future generations." Now Trump's EPA pick -- ignoring a preponderance of scientific evidence -- is claiming that carbon dioxide isn't the primary catalyst of global warming.

UN: World Facing 'Greatest Humanitarian Crisis Since 1945'
(BBC World News & Alastair Leithead / BBC News)

The world is facing its largest humanitarian crisis since 1945, according to Stephen O'Brien, the United Nation's humanitarian chief. More than 20 million people face the threat of starvation and famine in Yemen, Somalia, South Sudan and Nigeria. Without coordinated global efforts, more than 20 million people face starvation and famine. UNICEF has warned 1.4 million children could starve to death this year. $4.4 billion is needed by July to avert disaster.

Stop Targeting Humanitarian Workers
(Dominik Stillhart / Al Jazeera)

Names you've never heard. Places you've never been. Murders that probably passed you by. Six bodies, riddled with bullets, stuffed in a Land Cruiser, abandoned in a barren valley in northern Afghanistan. They were staff members of the International Committee of the Red Cross delivering winter food for the goats and sheep owned by local people. We don't know who did it, nor why. Humanitarian workers have to balance the risks they are facing with the life-saving impact of their humanitarian work.

Starving Mosul Civilians Tell of Battle's Horrors; Reporter Shifa Gardi Killed
(Josie Ensor / The Independent & Rudaw)

The battle for Mosul's Old City is expected to be the toughest yet. , Troops will have to abandon their Humvees for house-to-house fighting along Its narrow, densely populated streets. Some 50,000 civilians have fled since the offensive on western Mosul began but more than half a million are thought to still be trapped in the 25 percent of the city still in ISIL hands. Meanwhile, Shifa Gardi a reporter with the Kurdish TV channel Rudaw was killed Saturday afternoon in a bomb attack while covering clashes in Mosul.

US Drone Strikes Have Gone Up 432% Under Trump
(Carey Wedler / Activist Post & Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com)

Former President Barack Obama earned the ire of anti-war activists for his expansion of George W. Bush's drone wars. The Nobel Peace Prize-winner ordered ten times more drone strikes than Bush. Estimates indicate that 49 out of 50 victims were civilians. In 2015, up to 90% of drone casualties were not the intended targets. Donald Trump, who campaigned on a pledge of "nonintervention," has approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days -- one every 1.25 days. An increase of 432 percent.

The Head of the EPA's Environmental Justice Program Has Just Resigned
(Grist & Inside Climate News & Mustafa Santiago Ali)

After 24 years, Mustafa Ali has resigned from his work as the EPA's chief environmental justice enforcer to protest the new administrator's plans to impose deep and damaging cuts for programs designed to protect the poor and minority communities. As a senior adviser and assistant associate administrator, Ali has served under both Democratic and Republican presidents -- but not under Donald Trump.

US-backed Saudi Air Strike on Market Kills 26 in Yemen

An air strike by a Saudi-led Arab coalition on a market in Yemen killed 20 civilians and six rebels on Friday, medical and military sources said. The aircraft tried to target rebels at a roadblock on the southern outskirts of the Red Sea port of Khokha, but the fighters fled to a market where they were attacked, the sources said.

Israeli Education Minister Says Next Lebanon War 'Must Target Civilians'
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Amos Harel / Haaretz)

The 2006 Israeli invasion of Lebanon was popular with the far-right, but Israel was roundly criticized for the civilian toll of the invasion. Today, many are warning that the next war will involve even more deliberate targeting of Lebanese civilians. Israel's Education Minister Naftali Bennett and Lebanese president agree: There's no line between Hezbollah and Lebanese state. Another war with Israel means Lebanon will be sent back to Middle Ages.

The CIA's Bloody Legacy in South America: Plots, Coups and Civil Wars
(teleSURtv )

TeleSUR's exclusive investigation shows how the CIA has tried to topple Ecuador's government by infiltrating the state, civil society, and the media. According to declassified documents and testimonies of previous agency officials, the CIA had a permanent operation to intervene in political and social decisions of Ecuador. Starting from the 60s, the CIA infiltrated governments, police, civilian groups, and NGOs to advance US interests in the country, and continues to fight for its power and influence in the region.

US Marines Shame Women Soldiers While Marxist Rebel Army Treats Women Fighters with Respect
(Barbara Starr / CNN & Anastasia Moloney / Thomson Reuters Foundation & Associated Press)

While a US Marine Corp sex scandal involving nude photos of female Marines has put the Pentagon into a defensive posture of "damage-control," female soldiers in Colombia's Marxist rebel force insist they are treated equally and with dignity by their male compatriots. But with a peace agreement now in place, the demobilised women guerrillas may face a new struggle as they return to the cities and encounter a society known for its patriarchal and macho culture.

ACTION ALERT: Stand Up to Trump's $58 Billion Military Buildup
(David Swanson / World Beyond War)

World Beyond War writes: "President Trump has proposed to move another $54 billion from 'everything else' to 'military spending,' pushing the military budget up to above 60% of discretionary spending for the first time since the (previous) Cold War. The money would be taken from human and environmental spending at home and abroad. We've drafted a sample resolution that you can ask your city, town, county, or state to pass, calling for the US to support human rights at home instead of endless wars abroad."

Trump's "Racist" Environmental Protection Cuts

Donald Trump's proposal to destroy the Environmental Protection Agency has been criticized as an attack on the environment that will have a racist impact among the poor and communities of color. The proposal would remove EPA's environmental justice office, a division tasked with bridging gap in pollution that afflicts black, Hispanic and low-income areas much more than areas occupied by wealthier and white residents.

ACTION ALERT: Investigate Trump's Botched Yemen Raid
(Daily Kos Petition & Mark Sumner / The Daily Kos)

On January 29, 2017, newly inaugurated Donald Trump signed off on a raid into Yemen. The raid ended with the deaths of a US Navy SEAL and an unknown number of civilians, including an 8-year-old American girl. Trump was reportedly not even in the situation room during the raid. Evidence of the raid's "success" turned out to be 10 years old. Sen. Al Franken is leading a movement to investigate the raid but House, Oversight Committee chair Jason Chaffetz (who led 7 investigations into Benghazi) has refused to investigate.

Public Citizen Is Suing Donald Trump for Endangering the Environment
(Robert Weissman / Public Citizen)

A new lawsuit, Public Citizen v. Donald J. Trump, takes direct aim at Trump's most brazen gift to Big Business yet. Via a unilateral directive issued on his second week in office, Trump decreed that for any new regulation enacted, two or more existing public protections would have to be eliminated. Trump's executive order mandated the elimination of existing rules for the purpose of offsetting the costs of new rules -- while ignoring the benefits -- even if the existing rules are entirely unrelated.

Stealing Yemen's Oil as Millions Starve
(Matthew Allen / Russia Insider & Sputnik News)

Why does Saudi Arabia continue to bomb Yemen back into the Stone Age? The crux of the matter is that Yemen has oil reserves, while Riyadh is steadily running out of the commodity. The Saudis and French are illegally siphoning 63% of Yemen's oil as millions of Yemenis suffer from food shortages as Washington wages yet another US-backed "war for democracy and Western values."

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Budget Would Leave Millions to Face Starvation
(MoveOn.org & The Washington Post & Win Without War & Sen. Chris Murphy / The Huffington Post & The Hill)

Donald Trump has proposed large cuts in foreign aid to offset a $54 billion increase for the Pentagon. Cutting funds for diplomacy, crisis prevention, and humanitarian relief by nearly a third would leave the US less secure. Yemen, Nigeria, South Sudan and Somalia are approaching historic famines that will leave 20 million facing death from starvation. As our current Secretary of Defense said in 2013: if you cut funds for the State Department, you're just going to need to buy more bullets for the Defense Department.

Contamination at Largest US Air Force Base in Asia: Kadena, Okinawa
(Jon Mitchell / The Asia-Pacific Journal (Vol. 14, Issue 9, Number 1))

Located in the center of Okinawa Island, Kadena Air Base is the largest United States Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with two 3.7-kilometer runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base sprawls across 46 square kilometers of Okinawa's main island. Now, newly revealed documents have exposed a massive cover-up of accidents and neglect that have polluted local land and water with hazardous legacies of arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and dioxin.

Trump State Dept Walks Away from Human Rights
(Yeganeh Torbati / Reuters)

The State Department released its annual report on human rights around the world on Friday but the release was overshadowed by criticism that the Secretary of State gave the report little of the traditional attention or fanfare. Rex Tillerson declined to unveil the report in person, breaking with stablished Democratic and Republican precedent. A senior US official would only answer reporters' questions by phone on condition of anonymity rather than appearing on camera -- also a break with precedent.

Trump Plots to Destroy the Environmental Protection Agency
(John Flesher, Matthew Daly and Catherine Lucey / Associated Press & Democracy Now!)

The Trump administration plans to slash programs aimed at slowing climate change and improving water safety and air quality, while eliminating thousands of jobs, according to a draft of the Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal obtained by The Associated Press. Under the tentative plan from the Office of Management and Budget, the agency's funding would be reduced by roughly 25 percent and about 3,000 jobs would be cut -- about 19 percent of the agency's staff.

Annual Massive US-South Korea War Exercise Risks Provoking Response from North Korea
(Al Jazeera)

North Korea has warned of a "merciless" response if its territorial boundaries are violated during large-scale military drills involving US and South Korean forces. Pyongyang on Thursday reacted to the start of the annual war games with its typical fiery rhetoric, but recent missile and nuclear tests by the North give the usual threats an added weight.

ACTION ALERT: Stop the Senate's Methane Pollution Bill
(Kristin Brown / League of Conservation Voters)

This usurpation of public trust is breathtaking. Literally. To imagine that elected leaders would abandon our communities and side with polluters is not a new story. But the fact that they are willing to sacrifice the health of our children to a legacy of polluted water and particulate-filled air is a scandal beyond measure. It is the equivalent of a "war crime" in peacetime. Sign the petition: Tell the Senate to vote NO on H.J. Res 36 and protect our climate and health.

2013 Cover-up Report: A Million Vets Were Injured In Iraq and Afghanistan Wars
(Rebecca Ruiz / Forbes & Jamie Reno / International Business Times)

According to a 2013 investigation by the International Business Times, the Department of Veterans Affairs had stopped releasing the number of non-fatal casualties of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, thus concealing what the paper called a "grim milestone" -- the unreported fact that these two wars had left 1 million soldiers suffering from serious combat-related injuries. The DVA claimed it stopped releasing the horrific figures because of unspecified "security" reasons.

Trump Exploits Widow's Anguish to Mask His Disastrous Yemen Raid
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Ken Dilanian / NBC News)

The Trump Administration's decision to continue hyping a failed Yemeni raid, despite all evidence to the contrary, as having netted a trove of intelligence continues to blow up in their face tonight, as Pentagon officials once again affirmed that the information gathered was minimal, and things they already knew about. Questions continue to swirl around an operation in which the Navy SEALs lost the element of surprise and quickly found themselves in a major firefight and wound up killing women and 9 children.

ACTION ALERT: Investigate the Failed Yemen Raid: "Trump's Benghazi'
(Will Fischer / VoteVets.org & Linda Sarsour / MoveOn.org)

The most solemn obligation for any president is when to send the men and women who wear our uniform into harm's way. President Trump did that when he sent Navy SEALs into Yemen for a raid that left Chief Petty Officer Ryan Owens and as many as dozens of civilians dead, including an eight-year-old American girl. Last night, President Trump used Ryan Owens' death as a shameful piece of propaganda. He called Owens a "hero" and even suggested he was smiling down from above.

Major Rise in Genital Wounds in War
(Bill Berkowitz / The Smirking Chimp)

American veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq are facing struggles that will never be depicted in any military-themed video game, or military recruiting advertisement. Between 2001 and 2013, more than 1,300 men serving in the United States military in Iraq and Afghanistan suffered injuries to the penis, testicles or urinary system, according to a new report published in The Journal or Urology.

Trump Blames Obama and the Pentagon for His Botched Yemen Raid
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Phillip Carter / Vox.com )

Commentary: After authorizing a nighttime raid in Yemen that killed a Navy SEAL, left a village in ruins and numerous civilians dead (including a young American girl), Donald Trump lied about the mission's "success." It was, in fact, a disaster. Now Trump has blamed others for the debacle. The military, in Trump's mind, is to blame for the tragic loss of one of their own. Trump is blameless. His denials of responsibility and evasion fit a broader pattern of weakness for the man who inhabits the world's most powerful office.

Trump's Military Spending Plan Would Put Americans Last
(Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute )

Commentary: "President Trump correctly pointed out that the last 15 years of US military action in the Middle East has been an almost incomprehensible waste of money -- six trillion dollars, he said -- and that after all that US war and meddling the region was actually in worse shape than before we started. But then minutes later in the same speech he seemed to forget what he just said about wasting money on militarism." He announced plans to cut social programs to pay for a $54 billion Pentagon build-up.

Study Finds Populist Leaders -- Like Donald Trump -- Tend To Be More Corrupt
(Ruby Mellen / Foreign Policy Magazine & Damien Stroka / Agence France-Presse & Nathan Giannini / Yahoo Finance)

Transparency International's 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index pays special attention to the global rise of populism in the West. It argues that populism is caused by social inequality, which is then exploited by politicians. Taking aim at US President Donald Trump by name, Transparency International notes that, while populist leaders and movements are on the rise in part in response to corruption, they will likely only exacerbate widespread corruption as it continues to seep into democratic institutions.

Government Snipers: Useless, at Best; Dangerous, at Worst?
(BBC World News & The Straight Dope & Team Fortress.com)

Do Secret Service snipers really offer protection for public officials? With scores of snipers on every rooftop, how does a "good" sniper identify a "bad" sniper? A well-trained sniper would take care not to be seen. The sniper's presence would not be known until after the first shots were fired. It would be hard to detect the source of fire in an urban setting. It would be hard for a "good" sniper to be able to detect a "bad" sniper once the target has fled, let alone catch an escaping shooter in his crosshairs.

Great World War for Water' Looming, Pope Francis Warns
(RT News & The National Geographic & The Huffington Post & Bread for the World)

Water scarcity may cause conflict and the whole globe may be on its way to a great world war over water. Underground water is being pumped so aggressively around the globe that land is sinking, civil wars are being waged, and agriculture is being transformed. About two-thirds of the world's population faces water scarcity for at least one month during the year. The United Nations predicts a global shortfall in water by 2030.

Trump Seeks Massive 9% Military Spending Hike: GOP Hawks Slam Plan as Insufficient
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

President Trump today unveiled some new details on his budget priorities, seeking a 9% increase, or about $54 billion, in increased military spending for next year, with a series of plans to reduce domestic spending to try to cover the different. The State Department and the EPA are both said to also be marked for substantial cuts in the range of tens of billions of dollars.

ACTION ALERT: Stand against Trump's Anti-environment Agenda
(The Natural Resources Defense Council & Kristen Brown / League of Conservation Voters)

Donald Trump has promised to expand oil and gas drilling, kill the Clean Power Plan and roll back some of our most fundamental environmental protections. It's up to us to show President Trump that we are ready to act -- in and out of court -- against any attempts to derail the progress we've made and force us down a path toward climate chaos. Urge Trump not to threaten our wildlife and wild places or reverse our progress in fighting climate change.

Standing Rock Is Burning -- but Our Resistance Isn't Over
(Julian Brave NoiseCat / The Guardian & Michael Sainato / The Observer)

Just north of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, water protectors set their makeshift and traditional structures ablaze in a final act of prayer and defiance against Energy Transfer Partner's Dakota Access Pipeline, sending columns of black smoke billowing into the winter sky above the Oceti Sakowin protest camp. The majority of the few hundred remaining protesters marched out, arm in arm.

EPA Head Scott Pruitt Says Destruction of the EPA Is "Justified"
(Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post & Rebecca Leber / Mother Jones)

Donald Trump's new head of the Environmental Protection Agency, climate-change-denier Scott Pruitt, recently told a gathering of conservatives that those who want to eliminate the EPA are "justified" in their beliefs, adding: "I think people across this county look at the EPA much as they look at the IRS." Pruitt's statement was seen as a signal of the White House's intent to roll out a series of executive actions gutting the EPA, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and a host of Clean Energy programs.

Donald Trump's Big League Gun Hypocrisy
(The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence)

The election of Donald Trump has emboldened the corporate gun lobby, a multibillion-dollar gun industry, and lapdog politicians who do their bidding. A politician's 10-second "thoughts and prayers" tweet . . . is not an adequate response to a mass shooting. In a recent legal victory, a federal appeals court struck down an NRA-backed Florida law that attempted to restrict doctors from talking to their patients about the dangers of guns.

Scott Pruitt and the the 4 Pols Behind Koch Plan to Kill the EPA
(Alex Kotch / DeSmogBlog & Ken Kimmell / Union of Concerned Scientists)

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz turned heads when he introduced a bill on Feb. 3 to "completely abolish" the US Environmental Protection Agency. Rep. Gaetz's bill (H.R. 861) came the day after a Senate committee voted to confirm Scott Pruitt -- a fossil fuel-friendly climate-change denier who has sued the EPA 14 times -- to head the agency. Gaetz and his three fellow sponsors have all benefited from campaign donations from the Koch brothers, oil, gas and coal companies and large electric utilities.

Private Prisons-for-Profit Need Prisoners: Trump Considers Nationwide Pot Arrests
(Marisa Schultz / The New York Post & Marisa Schultz / The New York Post)

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has signaled his strong support for the federal government's continued use of private prisons -- despite the finding that private facilities have more safety and security problems than government-run prisons. Another problem: private prisons are not needed owing to declines in the overall federal prison population. Team Trump may have come up with a solution to that last problem. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has warned states and localities to expect “greater enforcement” of anti-pot laws under the Trump administration.

Report: US Secretly Used Nuclear Weapons in Syria
(Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Foreign Policy Magazine & Doug Weir / The Ecologist)

The recent confirmation that the US used radioactive ammunition in two attacks in Syria in 2015 raises a number of troubling questions: Why was DU used; will it be used again; what will be done to address the health and environmental risks posed by radioactive contamination? DU is known to cause cancers and birth defects. Despite vowing not to use DU weapons in Syria, the US has now admitted that it has fired thousands of deadly rounds during airstrikes on oil trucks in Islamic State-controlled areas.

Troubling Questions Posed by US Use of Depleted Uranium in Syria
(Doug Weir / The Ecologist & the International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

News that the US had used radioactive depleted uranium weapons to attack targets inside Syria first broke last October. But it was not clear at the time where the weapons had been used or what the US was shooting at. The news emerged shortly before the UN voted on a sixth DU resolution to control the use of these deadly weapons. The US was one of only four countries to vote against the text. On November 16 and 22, 1,490 DU rounds and 3,775 rounds, respectively, were used to destroy 399 fuel tankers

Lowest Rainfall in Over 50 Years Is Latest Threat to Children in Syria and Region
(The United Nations International Children's Fund)

Parts of Syria are suffering their lowest levels of rainfall in more than half a century, placing more than 4 million children in the war-torn country at even greater risk. In 2014, a UNICEF report warned that "water scarcity in Syria is now so acute that it may soon drive more civilians to leave their homes, adding to the 6.5 million people already displaced by the conflict."

Trump's Shift On Yemen Risks Plunging The Country Into Famine
(Jessica Schulberg and Ryan Grim / The Huffington Post)

Donald Trump may be on the brink of sparking a full-blown famine in Yemen -- all because of a subtle shift in messaging that risks effectively cutting off humanitarian relief to the war-torn nation. Former President Barack Obama's administration urged a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates not to attack the critical port of Hodeida which receives the bulk of humanitarian supplies entering Yemen. Critics warn that any disruptions to the port would be "sufficient to tip the country into famine."

Trump Prepares to Destroy the EPA
(Rebecca Leber / Grist & Amy Davidson / The New Yorker)

Scott Pruitt, Trump's choice to run the Environmental Protection Agency, was expected to sail through Senate -- possibly as soon as Friday -- despite Democrats' protests that he is unfit to lead an agency that he has repeatedly sued. Meanwhile a cache of documents that might show whether Pruitt was too compromised to deserve the job was due to be released in a few days. So why did Senate Republicans insist on rushing the confirmation vote before the requested document could be released to the public?

Five Things Scott Pruitt Can Do to Cripple the EPA
(Annie Snider / Politico & Wenonah Hauter / EcoWatch)

Donald Trump vowed to gut the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Senate has just confirmed his man to do it -- climate denier Scott Pruitt. The new administrator and President Donald Trump are expected to move quickly to begin unraveling the agency's rules on water and climate change. Meanwhile, the White House completed its pipeline trifecta Thursday by rubber-stamping the Enbridge-Spectra merger after approving the Dakota Access Pipeline and reversing the blocked Keystone XL pipeline.

The 4 Koch-funded Pols Behind the Plan to Kill the EPA -- and What to Expect from Scott Pruitt
(lex Kotch / DeSmogBlog and EcoWatch & Ken Kimmell / Union of Concerned Scientists)

Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz turned heads when he introduced a bill on February 3, 2017 to "completely abolish" the US Environmental Protection Agency. Gaetz's bill came the day after a Senate committee voted to confirm Scott Pruitt (a fossil fuel-friendly attorney general who has sued the EPA 14 times) to head the agency. Meet the four GOP reps who have raked in cash from some of the biggest corporations peddling fossil fuels, including Koch Industries, Duke Energy, Chevron and ExxonMobil.

Another Indigenous Environmental Activist Assassinated in Honduras
(teleSUR English & Nina Lakhani / The Guardian)

Indigenous environmental leader and teacher, Jose de Los Santos Sevilla, was attacked and killed in his home early Friday morning by five heavily armed men according to Honduran media. According to an ex-soldier who now fears for his life, it was a unit trained by US Special Forces that was ordered to kill environmental activist and Goldman Environmental Prizewinner Berta Caceras who was slain in March 2016. Honduran soldier claims US Special Ops have circulated a hit-list targeting local activists.

Greenwashing Wars and the US Military
(Ann Wright / Consortium News)

In September 2016, a congress of major conservation groups soft-pedaled criticism of the US military and other war-makers despite the massive damage they inflict on humans, animals, plants, cultural sites and the environment. Retired Col. Ann Wright asks: "How can you conserve nature when you are bombing nature in wars of choice around the world, practicing military operations in areas that have endangered species . . . and bombing islands into wastelands?"

Green Groups File Sweeping Lawsuit AccusingTrump of Usurping Congress's Powers on Regulations
(Chris Mooney / The Washington Post & Donald J. Trump / The White House & William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Three advocacy groups -- Public Citizen, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Communications Workers of America -- have filed a sweeping federal lawsuit challenging Donald Trump's executive order requiring two federal regulations to be "identified for elimination" for every new one added -- arguing that the order fundamentally takes over Congress's powers to enact laws to protect public health, safety, and the environment.

US Complicit in Saudi Arabia's Killing of Civilians in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Oriana Pawlyk / Military.com & Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters)

The US doesn't necessarily like to brag about their involvement in the Saudi invasion of Yemen, given the massive civilian death toll of the Saudi airstrikes and the growing international disquiet about the humanitarian crisis the war has led to. Still, US involvement is increasing, not decreasing.

Trump Treatens Courts, the Separation of Powers, and Democracy Itself
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Donald Trump's screaming tweet, complete with all caps in the original, captures the essence of this president's bald move to take total power over the United States. When he says "the security of our nation is at stake," he refers demagogically to the imaginary threat of terrorists from seven countries.

UN Confirms: US Terror Strike Kills 'At Least 18' Afghan Civilians
(Sune Engel Rasmussen / The Guardian & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Philip Walter Wellman / Stars and Stripes)

Following in Barack Obama's footsteps, Donald Trump has ordered a cowardly 2am terrorist attack on a home in Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of "at least 18" civilians, nearly all women and children. "What the Americans are doing in Helmand is not right," one survivor said. "They target the locals instead of [the] Taliban. We would prefer if the Americans would just leave us alone." The US insistence that there was "no evidence" of any civilians killed in Friday's attacks was disproven by the facts.

Trump Is Our Imperial Vulture Come Home to Roost -- We Must Repent
(Bob Fitrakis and Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: The US has removed, disappeared and/or killed any number of duly elected leaders to make way for authoritarian pro-corporate regimes that unleashed more deaths, the denial of democratic rights, and massive suffering to innocent people who stood in the way of America's imperial agenda. . . . The horrors these coups have imposed on innocent people throughout the planet comprise a terrible karmic debt our nation owes the rest of humankind. And now, it seems, Donald Trump is our "payback."

ACTION ALERT: Trump Wages War on Bumblebees; Protect the EPA
(Oliver Milman / The Guardian)

Donald Trump has been accused of targeting Muslims, media outlets and even department stores in his first month in the White House. Now, the US president may have doomed a threatened bumblebee. According to environmental groups, an executive order freezing new regulations for 60 days could push the rusty-patched bumblebee towards extinction. Pollinators are small but mighty parts of the natural mechanism that sustains us and our world.

Trump's Disastrous Yemen Raid Killed Nine Children: What Went Wrong
(Jack Moore / Newsweek & Reuters)

A new investigation into the Trump administration's Special Forces raid targeting Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen has found the operation went "dreadfully wrong," killing nine children under the age of 13, with the youngest victim a three-month-old baby. Our allies in Yemen and the Middle East warn that such attacks only create new enemies for the US. Meanwhile, Donald Trump insists that criticizing his raid "only emboldens the enemy."

Report: First Atom Bomb Test Caused Generations of Cancer
(Russell Contreras / The Associated Press)

The world's first atomic bomb test caused generations of southern New Mexico families to suffer from cancer and economic hardship, according to surveys gathered by an advocacy group seeking compensation for descendants from the Tularosa area. The surveys released Friday detailed residents' stories from areas around the 1945 Trinity Test and argue that many Hispanic families later struggled to keep up with cancer-related illnesses.

ACTION ALERT: Stop US from Arming Terrorists
(Tima Kurdi and Sen. Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives)

"I am the aunt of Alan Kurdi, the Syrian boy who tragically drowned September 2, 2015. The devastating image of my 2-year old nephew's lifeless body, lying face-down on the beach in Turkey, was all over the news across the world. . . . Regime change policy has destroyed my country and forced my people to flee. Tulsi's message was exactly what I have been trying to say for years, but no one wants to listen."

Trump's Pipeline and America's Shame
(Bill McKibben / The New Yorker)

Commentary: The Trump Administration is breaking with tradition on so many fronts that it seems noteworthy when it exhibits some continuity with American custom. And so let us focus for a moment on the news that construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline will resume -- a development that fits in perfectly with a national cultural tradition going back to the days of Plymouth Rock: repressing Native Americans.

Leaked Memo: Trump Plans to Free US Firms to Trade with Warlords
(Lee Fang / The Intercept)

The leaked draft of a presidential memorandum Donald Trump is expected to sign within days suspends a 2010 rule that discouraged American companies from funding conflict and human rights abuses in the Democratic Republic of Congo through their purchase of rare "conflict minerals" -- tantalum, gold, tin, and tungsten. Critics claim suspending the rule would be "a gift to predatory armed groups seeking to profit from Congo's minerals."

Trump's Botched Yemen Raid a Disaster: Civilians Killed; Terror Target Taunts Trump
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Cynthia McFadden, William M. Arkin and Tracy Connor / NBC Nightly News)

The embarrassing aftermath of the January 29 US raid in Yemen continues, with details on a raid which was initially presented as targeting "al-Qaeda headquarters" in Yemen. The US has claimed 14 AQAP fighters were killed, many of them "female combatants." Among the 40-plus civilians slain was an eight-year-old American girl. Qassim al-Rimi, the alleged target of the attack, was not killed, as the White House boasted. He survived and issued an audio recording that taunted Trump as the "fool in the White House."

More than 900 Afghan Children Killed in 2016
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press & Alastair Jamieson / NBC News)

More than 900 children were killed in Afghanistan In 2016, according to United Nations. The nearly 25 percent increase in child deaths from the previous year was largely caused by mines and munitions left over from decades of conflict. "Conflict-related violence exacted a heavy toll on Afghanistan in 2016, with an overall deterioration in civilian protection and the highest-total civilian casualties recorded since 2009," the UN reported.

Left-Behind Explosives Taking Deadlier Toll on Afghan Children, UN Says
(Mujib Mashal / The New York Times)

On Monday, the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan reported that 2016 had been another year of record civilian casualties in the country, and it expressed particular concern about a 65 percent jump in the number of children killed or wounded by explosive remnants as fighting has spread to heavily populated civilian areas. In 2016, 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 others wounded -- a rise of 3 percent over the previous year, the UN report said.

Report: Pentagon's Figures on Airstrikes Badly Flawed
(Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow / Military Times)

The American military has failed to publicly disclose potentially thousands of lethal airstrikes conducted over several years in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, a Military Times investigation has revealed. The enormous data gap raises serious doubts about transparency in reported progress against the Islamic State, al-Qaida and the Taliban, and calls into question the accuracy of other Defense Department disclosures documenting everything from costs to casualty counts.

More US Bombs On Yemen?
(Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & The Ron Paul Liberty Report)

Why is President Trump continuing the failed Middle East policy of President Obama? Last weekend's drone strike on Yemen was supposedly aimed at al-Qaeda operatives, but it also killed a significant number of innocent women and children.

About That Intel 'Treasure Trove' From Trump's Botched Yemen Raid
(Daniel McAdams / AntiWar.com & Idrees Ali / Reuters)

The initial triumphalist reporting Donald Trump's Yemen raid gave way to a darker reality: US military cover had been blown before the attack, the mission was poorly planned, an American was killed, at least a dozen innocent women and children were killed, millions of dollars in US military equipment destroyed, and the great "treasure trove" of intelligence seized at the compound turn out to be "old news.

Torture Is a Monster and a Terrorist Lover
(John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: "Do torture techniques like waterboarding work? Raping prisoners' wives works. We don't do that. Beating and torturing their children in front of them works. We don't do that either. Raping and sodomizing prisoners "works." We don't do that. (At least we're not supposed to. This and other horrors were carried out by military officers and enlisted personnel at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq in the last decade.)"

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen; Trump Just Killed His 8-Year-Old Sister
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate a US citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with any crime. The CIA carried out that order a year later with a September 2011 drone strike. Two weeks later, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed al-Awlaki 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman. Now Donald Trump's actions have killed Abdulrahman's eight-year-old sister, Nawar, who bled to death over a two-hour period after being shot in the neck.

SEAL Team 6 Outgunned and Pinned Down by 'Female Combatants' During US Terrorist Strike in Yemen

The Pentagon is hard at work shifting their narrative after media reports of that US soldiers were responsible for a large massacre of women and children in a botched hour-long raid in Yemen. In an attempt to justify the deadly raid, Pentagon officials claimed they netted a "treasure trove of valuable intelligence" including an incriminating video. The Pentagon quickly withdrew the video when reporters pointed out that it was originally released in 2007.

Yemen Accuses US of "Extrajudicial Killings" as Trump's Botched Attack Destroys Village and Kills Civilians, Including an American Child
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

The weekend raid by SEAL Team 6 against the home of a suspected al-Qaeda collaborator in Yemen is facing mounting criticism both domestically and internationally, as even the Pentagon concedes that there were civilians deaths in the attack, which ended up destroying nearly an entire village. Meanwhile, the White House shrugged off questions, insisting that the raid was a "success by all standards."

Pentagon Officials: Trump's Disastrous Yemen Raid OKed 'Without Sufficient Intelligence'
(Eric Schmitt and David E. Sanger / The New York Times & Ayesha Rascoe / Reuters)

Almost everything that could go wrong did. The death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens came after a chain of mishaps and misjudgments that plunged the elite commandos into a ferocious 50-minute firefight that also left three others wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed. The Pentagon has acknowledged that the mission also killed several civilians, including some children.

In Deadly Yemen Raid, A Lesson for Trump's National Security Team
(Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Missy Ryan / The Washington Post)

The mission facing the Navy SEALs as they approached a remote desert compound was a formidable one: detain Yemeni tribal leaders collaborating with al-Qaeda and gather intelligence that could plug a critical gap in US understanding of one of the world's most dangerous militant groups. Instead, a massive firefight ensued.

Deadly US Raid May Bolster Yemen's al Qaeda - Crisis Group
(Reuters & Agence France-Press & Al-Monitor & International Crisis Center)

A commando raid approved by new US President Donald Trump this week may have given al Qaeda in Yemen a propaganda boost in killing civilians, the International Crisis Group (ICG) said in a report on Thursday. Local medics said 30 people including 10 women and children were killed in the helicopter-born Navy SEAL attack on a cluster of houses in Yemen's southern al-Bayda province. Apache helicopters also reportedly hit a school, a mosque and a medical facility.

Eight-year-old American Girl 'Killed in Yemen Raid Approved by Trump'
(Spencer Ackerman, Jason Burke and Julian Borger / The Guardian)

An American girl, Nawar al-Awlaki, was fatally shot in a US intelligence operation on al-Qaida in Yemen that left at least 14 people, including a US commando, dead. An initial inquiry into the raid by the elite Joint Special Operations Command confirmed that civilians were "likely killed" in the raid and that "casualties may include children." The Pentagon is continuing to look into whether there "were any still-undetected civilian casualties."

Honduras Elites Blamed for Violence against Environmental Activists
(Nina Lakhani / The Guardian)

An investigation by the anti-corruption group Global Witness accuses high-ranking Honduran politicians and business tycoons of orchestrating a wave of violence targeting environmental activists. Since the 2009 coup, at least 123 environmental activists -- including Goldman Prizewinner Berta Cameras -- have been murdered on orders from the country's elites who have terrorized communities with impunity. Most victims are members of indigenous communities opposing mega-projects on their land.

Quebec Murders Initially Blamed on Islamic Terror: Killer Turns Out to Be a White, Rightwing, Trump Supporter
(Glenn Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & TeleSur)

After a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque that left six people dead, right-wing nationalist tabloids instantly linked the violence to Islamic terrorism. Fox News falsely claimed that "at least one gunman shouted 'Allahu akbar!'" In fact, the solitary shooter turned out to be a 27-year-old white French Canadian described as a rabid anti-immigrant nationalist, a far-rightwing "troll," and an outspoken supporter of Donald Trump.

This Is an Outrage: Even by Neoconservative Standards, This Is an Outrage
(NBC Evening News & Julie Pace and Eric Tucker / The Associated Press & GrabYourWallet.com)

Thousands of protesters flooded into airports in many US cities to protest the president's order, and to support the detainees and their families, who are waiting anxiously to see what happens next. Iraqi translator who risked their lives for the US, now find themselves stranded by Trump's Travel Ban. Overnight, Trump's ill-considered iimmigration vetting order has dashed the hopes and dreams of desperate families from around the world who were hoping to build a better life for themselves in the United States.

SEAL Team Chopper Crashes During Midnight Raid in Yemen. More than 40 Civilians Killed, Including Women and Children
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Associated Press & Eric Schmitt / The New York Times)

In the first counterterrorism operation authorized by Donald Trump since he took office, one US soldier was killed and several others were injured when a V-22 Osprey crashed during a pre-dawn SEAL team raid inside Yemen. The US attach killed roughly 57 people – mostly civilians, including women and children. The Cairo AP office reported receiving photographs showing the bodies of several young children who were shot multiple times during the raid.

How Donald Trump's Muslim Ban Would Enrich the Prisons-for-Profit Industry
(Keegan Hamilton / Vice News)

Private prison companies just hit the jackpot. Donald Trump has effectively given the Department of Homeland Security carte blanche to expand immigrant detention. His executive order authorizes the department to "allocate all legally available resources" to "establish contracts to construct, operate, or control facilities to detain aliens at or near the land border with Mexico." That means paying private prison companies like CoreCivic and the GEO Group big money to open new facilities in the US.

Trump Orders 'Great Rebuilding' of Pentagon
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

During his first post-inauguration visit to the Pentagon, Donald Trump today signed an executive order for what he described as the start of a "great rebuilding of the Armed Forces," seeking to increase the size of the US military -- which already spends roughly as much as the eight next largest militaries in the world -- with new warplanes, new ships, new resources, and in increase in the number of special forces.

Chiquita Made a Killing From Colombia's Civil War. Will Their Victims Finally See Justice?
(Matt Kennard and Nick MacWilliam / In These Times)

On Dec. 6, 1928, Chiquita -- then the United Fruit Company -- got the Colombian police and army to massacre hundreds of banana workers striking for better conditions. Colombians still refer to the "masacre de las banners." UFC is infamous throughout the region for lobbying Washington to lead a CIA-instigated military coup in Guatemala in 1954, that overthrew a democratically elected president, installed a military dictatorship, and unleashed a civil war that took the lives of a quarter-million poor Colombians.

Trump Is Now a War Criminal: Joins Bush and Obama in Ordering Drone Assassinations
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Now Donald Trump is a war criminal just like his predecessors. Over the inaugural weekend -- while the president was obsessing about the size of his crowd -- his government let loose two drone strikes against defenseless Yemen, reportedly killing an estimated 10 people. Three of these people were on a motorcycle hit by one drone, the other seven were in a vehicle hit by the other drone. The US is not formally at war with Yemen but strikes the country with drones whenever it feels like it.

Why Did the Army Blow Up Grandma? How the Pentagon Secretly Used Donated Bodies for Weapons Tests
(John Shiffman / Reuters)

After she died, her family hoped 74-year-old Doris Stauffer's body would be used to study Alzheimer's disease. Instead, Stauffer's body was blown up by Pentagon researches studying the impact of roadside bombs. The story of how Doris Stauffer became the subject of a Pentagon experiment casts a spotlight on a growing and unregulated industry: human body brokers.

Trump's Talk Helps Move Doomsday Clock 30 Seconds Closer To Midnight
(Matt Ferner / The Huffington Post)

On January 26, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that it had moved the Doomsday Clock's minute hand 30 seconds closer to midnight -- the hour symbolizing global catastrophe. Humankind is now just 2-and-a-half minutes from doomsday. The compounding factors prompting this grave adjustment (the closest the clock has been to midnight in a generation) include climate change, nuclear spending, political attacks on science and provocative statements from the new US administration.

Earth to Pruitt: At a Confirmation Hearing, Denialism Stands while Temperatures Rise
(Elizabeth Kolbert / The New Yorker)

Either it was a cleverly engineered plan or some kind of cosmic joke: just as the confirmation hearing for Scott Pruitt, the climate denier who is Donald Trump's nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency, was getting under way Wednesday, on Capitol Hill, two federal agencies -- the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration -- announced that 2016 was the warmest year since modern record-keeping began, in 1880.

Syrians Ask Visiting Congresswoman Why US Is Supporting Terrorist Forces
(Rep. Tulsi Gabbard / AntiWar.com )

As much of Washington prepared for the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard spent a week on a fact-finding mission in Aleppo, Damascus, and Beirut. After hearing directly from the Syrian people she warns: "This regime change war does not serve America's interest, and it certainly isn't in the interest of the Syrian people. The US must stop supporting terrorists who are destroying Syria and her people. We must allow the Syrian people to try to recover from this terrible war."

ACTION ALERT: Trump Cuts Put Vets Lives at Risk
(Vote for Vets & Donovan Slack / USA TODAY)

Veterans make up about 31% of the federal workforce. Roughly 623,000 vets depend on Federal jobs. Donald Trump's hiring freeze hits veterans harder than almost any other group. According to VoteVets: "It would be the ultimate insult to our men and women who serve to deny them the additional doctors, nurses, therapists, and administrators that are sorely needed at the VA. If his Executive Order leads to preventable deaths, that will be on Trump's hands, and we will hold him personally accountable."

Turkish Bombs Have Killed 350 Syrians: At Least 2,500 Others Wounded
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & SyriaHR)

In late August, Turkey invaded the Syrian border city of Jarabulus, an ISIS-held city along the Euphrates River. Turkey has made much of "liberating" large amounts of territory from ISIS, and "neutralizing" large numbers of ISIS fighters but, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey's invasion has left at least 352 civilians dead across northern Syria, and at least 2,500 others wounded.

US Drone Killing Machine Now on Autopilot
(Laurie Calhoun / AntiWar.com)

Much of the mess in the Middle East is due to the accelerated use of lethal drones in "signature strikes" to kill thousands of military-age men in seven different lands. Adding fuel to the fire, Obama oversaw the largest exportation of homicidal weapons to the Middle East ever undertaken by a single US president. Donald J. Trump became the new US president on January 21, 2017. On that same day, two drone strikes in Yemen killed a slew of people, three of whom were said to be "suspected Al Qaeda leaders".

Charlie Liteky, a Vet Who Renounced his Medal of Honor to Become an Anti-war Activist
(Veterans for Peace & Charlie Liteky / News Review & San Francisco Chronicle)

Charlie Liteky passed away on January 20, 2017. Charlie, an Army chaplain in Vietnam, won the Medal of Honor for rescuing more than 20 wounded men but later returned the medal in protest and became a life-long peace activist. Charlie was a huge hero to many who knew him. Not only did he return his Medal of Honor, he also fasted for over 40 days with S. Brian Wilson, Duncan Murphy and George Mizo in 1986 on the steps of The Capitol Building in Washington to protest US policy in Central America.

Obama Report Covered Up Civilian Drone Deaths
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gregory Korte / USA TODAY)

The Obama Administration made a habit of dramatically underreporting civilian deaths in its assorted military operations around the world, but the Obama White House took things to a whole new level in its last such document, claiming that only one civilian had been killed in US drone strikes "worldwide" in all of 2016.

The American Left Will Be Reborn under President Trump
(Owen Jones / The Guardian & Robert Reich / Robert Reich's Blog)

Analysis: Clintonian-centrism was defeated in November, but attempts to repeal Obamacare show the Republicans are weak and divided. Now is the time for the left to craft a populist alternative. The ongoing contest between the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders wings of the Democratic Party continues to divide Democrats. It's urgent Democrats stop squabbling and recognize seven basic truths.

Botched Nigerian Air Strike May Have Killed 236 Civilians
(Agence France-Presse)

As many as 236 people may have been killed in the botched Nigerian air strike against Boko Haram that hit a camp for civilians displaced by the unrest, a local official told AFP on Saturday. Doctors Without Borders said the death toll from Tuesday's strike on the town of Rann in the far northeast had risen to 90, although it claimed that could climb as high as 170. The bombed camp had been set up to help people fleeing Boko Haram Islamists in Borno State.

Will President Obama Give Leonard Peltier an 11th Hour Reprieve? It's a Moral Duty
(Jane Ayers / Reader Supported News)

For more than 40 years, Leonard Peltier has been on Amnesty International's list of "Prisoners of Conscience." AI states that Peltier received "an unfair trial" and is a political prisoner. Peltier was forced to serve six years in solitary confinement. He suffers from diabetes and has an aortic aneurism needing immediate surgery. With three days left before Obama steps down, supporters worldwide have been jamming the White House phone lines to plead for Leonard Peltier's freedom.

At Paris Meeting, Major Powers Warn Trump Over Middle East Peace While Israel Bombs Gaza
(Reuters & teleSURtv & The International Middle East Media Center / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

Some 70 countries reaffirmed on Sunday that only a two-state solution could resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and warned against any unilateral steps by either side that could prejudge negotiations. At the same time that diplomats from many countries issued an implicit warning to Donald Trump about moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, Israeli tanks hit targets inside occupied Gaza.

North Dakota Republicans Propose Law to Legalize Killing Anti-pipeline Protesters

Pro-pipeline state lawmakers are proposing a rash of bills that will criminalize protests and put protesters lives in danger. Water protectors in North Dakota may need to be more careful when crossing the street if a proposed bill to exempt drivers who "unintentionally" hit or kill pedestrians who are blocking traffic is passed.

Mike Has Five Moore, Last-minute Requests for President Obama
(Michael Moore / Michael Moore's Facebook Page)

Commentary: "Sir, you have one week left as our President. There are no words to express the my profound sadness in typing such words. Thank you for giving us eight years of your life. With so little time left, I hope you don't mind if I ask you for a favor or two. Well, actually, five. I can guarantee you I am not alone in these requests; in fact, I'm guessing millions of our fellow Americans share in these sincere final asks of you."

The Crimes of SEAL Team 6
(Matthew Cole / The Intercept)

Officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, SEAL Team 6 is today the most celebrated of the US military's special mission units. But hidden behind the heroic narratives is a darker, more troubling story of "revenge ops," unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities -- a pattern of criminal violence that emerged soon after the Afghan war began and was tolerated and covered up by the command's leadership.

Vo Quy, Father of Environmental Conservation in Vietnam
(Mike Ives / The New York Times)

Over a half-century career, Dr. Vo Quy was known for his pioneering studies on Vietnam's wildlife and his efforts to restore tropical habitats that had been destroyed by defoliants during the Vietnam War. He often used his stature as one of Vietnam's leading naturalists to advocate policies, including the country's first biodiversity action plan, that sought to balance economic development with environmental protection.

America Dropped 26,171 Bombs in 2016. What a Bloody End to Obama's Reign
(Medea Benjamin / The Guardian)

Most Americans would probably be astounded to realize that the president who has been painted by Washington pundits as a reluctant warrior has actually been a hawk. While candidate Obama came to office pledging to end George W Bush's wars, he leaves office having been at war longer than any president in US history. He is also the only president to serve two complete terms with the nation at war. In 2016 alone, the Obama administration dropped at least 26,171 bombs. That's three bombs per hour, 24/7.

A Victim of Obama's First Drone Strike Calls Obama a 'Tyrant'
(Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)

Obama, now in the twilight of his presidency, wants to be remembered as a peacemaker, the man who denuclearized Iran peacefully, who opened Cuba and ended the last vestige of the Cold War, who replaced the "dumb wars" he campaigned against with the prudent, precise counter-terrorism of drone strikes. All Raheem Qureshi knows about Obama, he declared from Islamabad, "is what he has done to me and the people in Waziristan, and that is an act of tyranny."

Israeli Witness in Gaza: No Water, No Electricity and Children Dying Unnecessarily
(Ayelett Shani / Haaretz)

Salah Haj Yahya, 50, who lives in Taibeh, runs a mobile clinic on behalf of Physicians for Human Rights and leads medical teams going to Gaza. We met at a Tel Aviv cafe, on a Thursday morning. "We're the only ones going there from Israel, with the approval of the IDF and security services," he says. ""Gaza is cloaked in desperation. You feel it the minute you cross the border. It's like traveling to another world. You see thousands of destroyed houses, factories in ruin, sewage flowing through the streets."

Airport Shooter a US Vet: Internal "War Blowback" Not Foreign Terrorism
(Jason Dearden / The Associated Press)

The man police say opened fire with a gun from his checked baggage at a Florida airport was a US Army vet with a history of mental health issues -- some of which followed his military service in Iraq.

WARSCAM: US Taxpayers Pay Millions to US Companies that Make Bombs that Make Millions of New US Enemies
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Paul Sonne / The Wall Street Journal & Seeking Alpha)

Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein has bragged that the US is "hitting more targets than we've ever hit in a long time in Iraq, Syria, and in Afghanistan." That's bad news for the people in those countries the bombs are falling on, and bad news for the taxpayers, but it's great news for a handful of key US arms makers, who are seeing their sales soar on the orders that the military has placed to replace the dropped bombs and fired missiles.

The GOP's Plan to Cripple Government
(Ian Millhiser /ThinkProgress)

The incoming House majority plans to schedule a vote on the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act (REINS Act) soon after new members are sworn in. A top priority of the US Chamber of Commerce, the leading lobby group for big business, REINS would fundamentally alter the federal government in ways that could hobble federal agencies during periods when the same party controls Congress and the White House -- and absolutely cripple those agencies during periods of divided government.

Syria's War Has Caused a Drinking Water in Damascus
(Ben Hubbard / The New York Times)

For millions of Damascus residents, long-term concerns about the direction of the war in Syria have been replaced by worries about where to get enough water to do the dishes, wash clothes or take a shower. For nearly two weeks, the Syrian capital and its vicinity have been afflicted by a water crisis that has left taps dry, caused long lines at wells and forced people to stretch whatever thin resources they can find.

No 'Spolis of War' in Aleppo: A Once Great City Has Been Reduced to a Frozen Hell of Rubble
(Lisa Barrington / Reuters)

Thousands of people are starting to return to formerly rebel-held east Aleppo despite freezing weather and destruction "beyond imagination", a top UN official told Reuters from the Syrian city. People returning face appalling conditions. "It is extremely, bitterly cold here," said Malik. "The houses people are going back to have no windows or doors, no cooking facilities."

The Toll of Washington's "Endless Wars": Suicide Kills More US Troops than ISIL in Middle East
(Tom Vanden Brook / USA TODAY )

Suicide -- not combat -- is the leading killer of US troops deployed to the Middle East to fight Islamic State militants, according to newly released Pentagon statistics. Of the 31 troops who have died as of Dec. 27 in Operation Inherent Resolve, 11 took their own lives. The reasons suicide is the main cause of troop deaths likely include pre-existing mental illnesses, post-traumatic stress, multiple combat deployments, and the heightened anxiety from serving in a military that has been at war for 16 years.

A Special Kind of War Crime: In a Desperate Bid for Power, Richard Nixon Plotted to Thwart LBJ's Vietnam Peace Talks and Continue the War's Murderous Toll on Soldiers and Civilians
(Peter Baker / The New York Times)

According to a forthcoming book, in a telephone conversation during his 1968 campaign to seize the White House, Richard M. Nixon told his aide, H. R. Halderman, that they needed to secretly "monkey wrench" President Johnson's peace talks in Vietnam for fear that ending the war would hurt Nixon's chances to become president. We now know the horrible truth: a presidential candidate was willing to promote the murder of untold civilians and soldiers simply to pursue his desire for personal glory.

Previewing America in the Era of Trump
(Chris Hedges / TruthDig)

Karl Marx predicted, the last stage of capitalism would be marked by global capital being unable to expand and generate profits. Capitalists would begin to consume the government along with its physical and social structures. Democracy, social welfare, electoral participation, the common good, investment in public infrastructure, education, ecosystem protection and health care would be sacrificed to feed the mania for short-term profit. This is the stage of late capitalism that Donald Trump represents.

144 Children Dying Daily in US-backed War on Yemen

At least 1,219 children have died as a direct result of the war in Yemen, but a desperate lack of medical supplies, bombed-out hospitals, and missing or dead medical staff are likely to cause an additional 10,000 preventable deaths each year according to a report from Save the Children International. 50 percent of hospitals and other medical facilities have been rendered inoperable by the war. There's also a critical shortage of medical staff and medicine.

World War Three, By Mistake
(Eric Schlosser / The New Yorker)

George W. Bush, while running for President in 2000, criticized the US Nuclear Aresnal's launch-on-warning option. Barack Obama, while running for President in 2008, promised to take Minuteman missiles off alert. Launch-on-warning has also been opposed by former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, former Secretary of State George Shultz, and former Senator Sam Nunn. And yet the Minuteman III missiles still sit in their silos today, armed with warheads, ready to destroy the planet in a matter of minutes.

3,000 Years Ago, Nimrud Ruled the Mideast. Now Blown to Pieces
(Lori Hinnant / Associated Press)

The chilly December wind whipped rain across the strewn wreckage of a city that, nearly 3,000 years ago, ruled almost the entire Middle East. Rivulets of water ran through the dirt, washing away chunks of ancient stone. The city of Nimrud in northern Iraq is in pieces, victim of the Islamic State group's fervor to erase history.

Trump Inexplicably Calls for a New Nuclear Weapons Arms Race
(Dan Rather / Facebook & Madeline Conway / Politico)

Commentary: Nuclear weapons are not a game. They are not a toy for the petulant and ill-informed to boast about on off-handed tweets. Yet, in a series of impromptu statements about nuclear weapons, Donald Trump is threatening to upend longstanding US nonproliferation policy, even as his advisers contradict him and muddy his intentions.

Silent Night: The Christmas Truce of WWI
(Gar Smith / Environmentalist Against War & John McCutcheon)

Following tradition, EAW is honoring the holidays by posting the lyrics to John McCuthcheon's "Christmas in the Trenches." Gar Smith's Common Ground article describes the events that gave rise to the song. In the middle of one of history's bloodiest wars, soldiers on both sides disobeyed orders, laid down their arms, sang carols and exchanged gifts on the frozen battlefields in one miraculous "Silent Night" that brought an end to war. Regular postings resume in January.

Once Syria's Crown Jewel, Aleppo Now a City in Ruins
(Bill Neely / NBC Nightly News)

Commentary: For more than four years, Western governments and the United Nations stood by, watching, as Assad and his backers ostentatiously ignored the laws of war, and residents of eastern Aleppo live-streamed their own extermination. Now, along with tens of thousands of civilians, the credibility of the powerful countries and institutions that could have helped them, but didn't, lies in Aleppo's rubble and blood.

Environmental Catastrophe: Iraqi Oil Fires Still Burning after 4 Months
(Gareth Davies / The Daily Mail)

The battle to liberate the Iraqi city is leaving a lasting legacy of environmental damage and health risks. ISIS set fire to the oil wells in the Qayyarah area in a last-ditch attempt to confuse coalition soldiers in August. Four months later and the flames are still spewing plumes of thick, black smoke into the air near Mosul. It has caused havoc with farmers who are not able to sell sheep because the animals have turned black.

UN Security Council Condemns Israeli Settlements, US Abstains
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Zaid Jilani / The Intercept)

For the first time in 36 years, the United Nations Security Council has passed a resolution criticizing the Israeli settlements in the occupied territories, calling them an obstacle to the two-state solution, and calling on Israel to reverse the expansions of the settlements. The vote was unanimous, 14-0, with only the United States abstaining.

Marine Corps Withheld Suicide Investigation on Drug Use among Marines
(Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

The results of an investigation into the suicide of a Marine that suggested his unit might have a "drug problem" and highlighted a hostile work environment were withheld from the Marine's family for an "unacceptably long time" spanning months. The investigation was initially completed in January, but its release was "unnecessarily delayed."

War's Smallest Victims: The Children of Aleppo
(Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters & Ece Toksabay / Reuters & Michelle Nichols / Reuters)

The UN Security Council unanimously called for UN officials and others to observe the evacuation of people from the last rebel-held enclave in Aleppo and monitor the safety of civilians who remain in the Syrian city. Half of Syria's 22 million people have been uprooted and more than 400,000 killed.

Civilians in Mosul Are Dying from Serious Shortage of Medicine
(Margaret Griffis / AntiWar.com & Mira Rojkan / BasNews & Missy Ryan and Mustafa Salim / The Washington Post)

At least 12 civilians, some of them children, have died in the past few days due to a lack of medicine in Mosul hospitals, a local medical source told Anadolu Agency on Monday. "Within the last 10 days, six elderly people who have been suffering from leukemia -- in addition to six newborn babies -- died in different Mosul hospitals," the source anonymously said. "They died mainly due to a lack of medicine and health supplies in the city’s hospitals," he added.

The New Exterminatory Warfare
(Edward Hunt / AntiWar.com)

During its final years in office, the Obama administration has devised a new form of warfare with major implications for how the US government confronts its enemies. Over the past two years, US officials have worked with coalition forces to launch more than 15,000 airstrikes against IS. "We estimate that over the past 11 months we've killed about 25,000 enemy fighters," MacFarland stated. "When you add that to the 20,000 estimated killed prior to our arrival, that's 45,000 enemy taken off the battlefield."

Heartstrings and Aleppo
(Paul R. Pillar / The National Interest)

Commentarty: By all means sympathize with the people of Aleppo. We should feel anguish over their suffering. But don't confuse anguish with policy analysis. There is little or nothing in the history of this war, the state of Syrian political culture, or previous efforts to recruit and train opposition forces to suggest that the mirage of a "moderate" element strong and cohesive enough to topple Assad and form the basis of a stable follow-on regime was ever anything but a mirage.

Congress Mandates Report On How Much US Wars Have Cost Taxpayers
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Leo Shane III / Military Times)

How much has the US spent on war since 9/11 has been a matter of debate, with no real official figures on the matter. Estimates vary wildly from reports on the cost of the literal deployments to much larger all-in figures covering the war and aftermath. Now, we're going to finally get an official figure as the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a provision requiring the Pentagon and the IRS to both figure out the overall cost of the wars and make that figure available to the public.

Saudis Admit Using Banned UK Cluster Bombs in Yemen, Promise to Stop
(Rowena Mason and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian)

British Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon was forced to tell the Commons that internationally banned British-made cluster bombs had been dropped by Saudi Arabia in Yemen, prompting MPs and charities to say that the UK should stop supporting the Gulf state's military action. The UK is one of 120 countries to have signed the 2008 Ottawa convention on cluster munitions, banning their use or assistance with their use. Saudi Arabia is not a signatory to the treaty.

Washington's Commandos Without Borders
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)

When Donald Trump enters the Oval Office, he will not only take possession of his own private air assassination corps (those CIA drones that take out terror suspects globally from a White House "kill list"), but also 70,000 "special ops" Green Berets, his own private, secret military. The firepower now available to a president to wage global assassination campaigns and make war just about anywhere on Earth, personally and privately, will now be inherited by a man to whom such powers are likely to have real appeal.

Should the 9/11 Lawsuits Proceed? Saudi's DC Lobbyists Say 'No'
(Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative & Agence France-Presse & Al Monitor)

Surviving 9/11 victims, as well as the families and loved ones of those who died that day, say they have reams of evidence linking the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the al-Qaeda hijackers -- and they want their day in court, which may result in billions of dollars in damages. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister has been lobbying US legislators to change a law allowing victims of the September 11, 2001 attacks to sue the kingdom.

On the Schizophrenia of Celebrating and Mourning Aleppo
(Riham Alkousaa / Al Jazeera)

Commentary: "Since I left in 2014, I stopped asking myself why the people ... are doing nothing to stop the tragedies in Syria. I know the fear, the frustration and the survival mode you get into. When I was there, I was thinking about the blackouts, about how much the chicken will cost tomorrow and, most of all, about how to get out of there. Our story, I am afraid, would be that one day we were so different that we killed each other, and we celebrated this killing with chocolates and gaudy Christmas trees."

How Media Did and Did Not Report on Standing Rock
(Tristan Ahtone / Al Jazeera)

Native American issues are only media sexy when natives with painted faces and horses are around. It's been entertaining to watch the press crowd come out to Indian Country. They didn't want to, of course, but after a few months of US security forces using tear gas, rubber bullets, mace, water cannon and concussion grenades on indigenous protesters intent on stopping an oil pipeline, they had to. When the mainstream media finally showed up en masse, the scene played out like a revisionist western movie.

The Fall of Aleppo: How Obama Made Syria's Civil War Much, Much Worse
(Michael Brendan Dougherty / The Week)

Commentary: Aleppo has fallen. And much of the West is awash in guilt over the Syrian city's fate. The Eiffel Tower was dark yesterday in honor of the victims of Bashar al-Assad's regime in Aleppo. In Britain's House of Commons, ministers grandly accused themselves of their own inaction. The horror in Aleppo is easy to mourn, because the West is now so thoroughly not in a position to do anything to halt it. US interventionists should not learn the wrong lesson from Aleppo's fall.

Samantha Power Grandstands on Human Rights at UN, but Forgets to Mention All the Massacres Done in America's Name
(Robert Fisk / The Independent)

Commentary: When Samantha talked about 'barbarism against civilians' in Aleppo, I remembered climbing over the dead Palestinian civilians massacred at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982, slaughtered by Israel's Lebanese militia friends while the Israeli army -- Washington's most powerful ally in the Middle East -- watched.

Donald Trump's Israel Ambassador Is Hardline Pro-settler Lawyer
(Judy Maltz / Haaretz & Peter Beaumont and Julian Borger / The Guardian)

Donald Trump has named as his ambassador to Israel a pro-settler lawyer who has described some US Jews as worse than concentration camp prisoner-guards. David Friedman opposes two-state solution, backs undivided Jerusalem as capital and has acted for Trump's failing hotels.

NDAA Would Allow US to Send Anti-Aircraft Weapons to Syrian Rebels
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ben Norton / AlterNet:)

It wasn't widely reported during the debate of the 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), nor indeed was it mentioned in either the House or Senate versions of the bill, but the NDAA has a provision within it that would allow the US to send shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles to rebel factions in Syria. Provisions slipped into the latest defense bill could give anti-aircraft missiles to extremist groups.

Shocking Revelation: UN Armed Sudan Rebels who Massacred Civilians
(Jason Patinkin / The Washington Post)

The UN mission in South Sudan gave weapons to a top rebel general just weeks after civil war began three years ago, and his forces went on to carry out one of the war's worst atrocities, according to a Small Arms Survey Sudan report. in December 2013 UN officials in the town of Bentiu in northern Unity state handed dozens of weapons, as well as ammunition, to rebel general James Koang. Four months later, Koang's troops killed hundreds of civilians sheltering in a mosque and a hospital.

US Drone Airstrike Kills Family of Nine in Mosul, Iraq
(The Peninsular Quatar & Al Araby & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Daily Star & The Associated Press)

Nine members of the same family were killed in a US-led coalition airstrike in Mosul amid a major offensive to recapture the northern Iraqi city from Islamic State terrorist group. Meanwhile, at least 40 civilians have been killed including women and children and dozens of others injured in air raids and artillery fire in the east of the Islamic State group [IS] bastion of Mosul, local and medical sources have said.

A New Establishment Study Urges More US Interventions
(Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)

The Atlantic Council's "Middle East Strategy Task Force" report, released on November 30, promises a new "Compact for the Middle East" and asserts that "isolationism is a dangerous delusion." The report may be regarded as a quintessential document laying out the Establishment position on what should be done in the region. It is ostensibly the product Madeleine Albright and Stephen Hadley, both US interventionists collectively responsible for the deaths of more than a half-million children.

US Cuts Saudi Arms Sales Over Killing of Yemen's Civilians
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & BBC News)

The US has said it will limit arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid concerns over civilian casualties linked to air strikes in Yemen. Precision-guided weapons will no longer be delivered, a Pentagon official said. In October, more than 140 people were killed in a strike on a funeral in the country.

War Against the Press: Number of Jailed Journalists Hits Record High Worldwide
(Al Jazeera & Elana Beiser / Committee to Protect Journalists)

At least 81 journalists are imprisoned in Turkey, all of them facing anti-state charges, in the wake of an unprecedented crackdown that has included the shuttering of more than 100 news outlets. The 259 journalists in jail worldwide is the highest number recorded since 1990. Mass arrests in various countries have pushed number to 259 so far, says annual census of imprisoned journalists by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

US Losing the War on Terror in Afghanistan -- Unless It Legalizes the Opium Trade
(Abigail Hall-Blanco / Quartz)

According to a recently released report by the Afghan Ministry of Counter Narcotics and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), opium production in Afghanistan has risen by 43% in the last year. The country's drug trade employs some 2.9 million people -- 12% of the Afghan population -- and generates approximately $68 billion in revenue a year. This increase comes despite the fact that drug eradication policies have been a cornerstone of US policy in Afghanistan since the invasion in 2001.

Report Faults Lack of US Transparency in Anti-ISIS Airstrikes
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Daily Star (Lebanon))

A report released by Airwars, a London-based project aimed at tracking the US-led coalition's airstrikes targeting ISIS, criticized the coalition's lack of transparency when assessing civilian casualties. While US officials have acknowledged that 173 civilians have died in coalition airstrikes since the launch of the campaign against Daesh in the summer of 2014, the Airwars group says the number of civilian casualties is much greater: at least 1,500.

Peace Prize Winner Questions the 'War on Drugs'
(BBC World News & Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey / Associated Press)

The President of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, has used his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech to call for the world to "rethink" the war on drugs. He said the zero-tolerance policy might be "even more harmful" than all the other wars being fought worldwide. Mr Santos's government and the country's biggest rebel group, the FARC, signed a peace deal last month.

Avoiding the Unthinkable in India and Pakistan: Nuclear War
(Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy In Focus & AntiWar.com)

India and Pakistan have fought three wars over the disputed province of Kashmir in the past six decades and came within a hair's breadth of a nuclear exchange in 1999. Both countries now are on a crash program to produce more nuclear weapons. Between them they have enough explosive power to kill more than 20 million of their own people and throw the Northern Hemisphere into a nuclear winter, which would trigger a catastrophic collapse of agriculture worldwide.

Iraq's US-armed and Trained Air Force 'Massacres Innocent Civilians'
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ahmed Rasheed / Reuters)

On December 7, Iraqi warplanes attacked a crowded marketplace in the town of al-Qaim, killing at least 55 civilians along with eight ISIS militants, according to sources at the local hospital. Qaim is the last town in Anbar Province that remains under ISIS control. The hospital reported that there were three airstrikes against the market, and that the 55 civilians slain included at least 12 women and 19 children. Officials at the hospital, along with local MPs, described the attack as a "massacre against innocent civilians."

Guess Who's Bombing Libya
(Arnaud Delalande / War Is Boring<)

Twice in November 2016, the Benghazi Revolutionaries Shura Council, or BRSC  --  a group with ties to Al Qaeda  --  published photos of United Arab Emirates Air Force AT-802 and Reaper-style drones in the sky over the Ganfouda area of Benghazi in eastern Libya. Evidence is mounting that the UAE is indiscriminately bombing militant strongholds in Libya. And civilians are caught in the crossfire.

More Americans Are Expressing Support for Torture and War Crimes
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Vincent Haiges / Deutsche Welle & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)

Most people polled in 16 countries rejected war crimes. Yet, in the US, UK, Russia, China and France, the number of people who view torture and bombing civilians as legitimate has grown since the last 'People on War' poll was taken in 1999. Roughly half of the Americans polled seeing torture as an acceptable way to gather information. No other permanent UN Security Council members were anywhere near this. The only other countries with comparable pro-torture figures are Nigeria and Israel.

Foreign Military Bases and the Global Campaign to Close Them
(Wilbert van der Zeijden / The Transnational Institute)

There are more than a thousand foreign military bases worldwide which have become the infrastructure for imperial wars and have severe social and environmental impacts locally that have prompted growing resistance. Foreign military bases are found in more than 100 countries and territories. All these facilities undermine international peace and security while causing social and environmental problems at a local level. There are 450 No-Bases Network campaigns working to close foreign military bases.

Obama Calls for Rerouting Dakota Oil Pipeline; GOP Vows to Retaliate
(NBC News & Caroline Kenny and Gregory Krieg / CNN )

Celebrations, tears of joy, chanting and drumming rang out among thousands of protesters at the Standing Rock site after the Army Corp of Engineers announced it will look for an alternate route for the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under Lake Oahe in North Dakota.

Lawsuit Aims to Hold Two CIA Contractors Accountable for Torture
(Sheri Fink and James Resen / The New York Times)

Nearly 15 years after the United States adopted a program to interrogate terrorism suspects using techniques now widely considered to be torture, no one involved in helping craft it has been held legally accountable. Even as President Obama acknowledged that the United States "tortured some folks," his administration declined to prosecute any government officials. But now, one lawsuit has gone further than any other in American courts to fix blame.

The Military Annihilation of Aleppo
(Al Jazeera)

Residents of Syria's Aleppo are at risk of extermination and the clock is ticking on the besieged city as winter sets in, a top UN envoy told the Security Council. UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs Stephen O'Brien has urged access to residents of eastern Aleppo as at least 45 civilians died while attempting to flee the fighting.

ISIS Oil Fires Trigger Environmental Catastrophe in Iraq
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & CNN & Daily News & Andrea DiCenzo / Al Jazeera)

In the months leading up to the telegraphed Iraqi invasion of the major ISIS city of Mosul, ISIS had ample time to set up myriad defenses. Among these was setting fire to oil wells, aiming to provide a cloud of smoke that would hinder US airstrikes. 19 wells were set on fire and, after 100 days, only three have been sealed. Extinguishing the rest could take months and cost millions. Meanwhile, the smoke is complicating the air war, and also sickening people on the ground.

The Destruction of Mosul and its People
(Zaid al-Ali / Al Jazeera & Zena Tahhan & Salam Khoder / Al Jazeera & Caroline Malone / Al Jazeera)

With its vastly superior numbers, armaments, funding and international support, the military will push ISIL out of its last redoubts within Iraq's territory, possibly before the end of this year. It is inevitable that Mosul will suffer significant physical damage in the coming weeks and months. And Mosul's residents at at risk from Iraq's notorious Popular Mobilization Units, who have unnecessarily damaged property and infrastructure and committed horrific abuses against ordinary citizens.

ACTION ALERT: 2,000 US Vets to Dakota. Declare Standing Rock a National Monument
(Charley Lanyon / New York Magazine & CREDO Action & The Ring of Fire Network)

More than 2,000 US veterans are headed for North Dakota this weekend to form a human shield around besieged oil-pipeline protesters. More than 7,000 people are camped out in support of the Standing Rock Sioux in opposition to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens tribal lands. President Obama can end this standoff now -- before Donald Trump closes in on the White House -- by declaring Standing Rock a national monument, forever protecting its cultural sites.

Barack Obama's Surprising Toxic Legacy of Carbon Pollution
(Asaf Shalev, Michael Phillis, Elah Feder and Susanne Rust / The Guardian)

President Barack Obama has staked his environmental legacy on his administration's reputation as the most progressive on climate change in US history. However, an obscure US agency has spoiled his record by promoting overseas fossil fuel emissions -- effectively erasing gains expected from Obama's Clean Power Plan and fuel efficiency standards. The US Export-Import Bank has poured more than $33 billion into fossil fuel projects that will lead to a massive increase in global carbon emissions.

ACTION ALERT: Demilitarize Teachers' Pension Funds
(World Beyond War)

While governments buy weapons, market weapons to other governments, donate weapons to other governments, and bestow tax breaks on weapons dealers, there is another less-visible way in which public money sustains weapons dealing. Public pension and retirement funds are invested, directly and indirectly, in weapons companies. Teachers and other public servants whose interests ought to lie with promoting human needs have their retirement security tied up with maintaining or enlarging the war industry.

UN Warns of Food and Water Shortages in Mosul as Iraq Cuts Supplies
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Isabel Coles and Saif Hameed / Reuters )

Six weeks into the Iraqi invasion of Mosul, only a portion of the city's east has actually fallen. The battle is expected to continue for months more, with Iraqi officials saying the overall battle could last six months. It's only now that the humanitarian ramifications of this protracted offensive are being considered.

In Yemen's War, Trapped Families Ask: Which Child Should We Save?
(Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post)

The family of Osama Hassan faced a wrenching choice as his tiny body wasted away. Should they use the little money they had, in a time of war, to take the 2-year-old to a hospital? Or should they buy food to feed their other children? His family chose food.

US Clusterbombs Used in Yemen Feed Anger against America
(Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post)

American-made cluster bombs -- banned by scores of countries but not the United States or Saudi Arabia – have killed and wounded thousands of innocent civilians in Yemen. So it comes as no surprise that the streets of this war-battered capital and decorated with anti-American murals and giant billboards proclaiming: "America is killing the Yemeni people. They are feeding on our blood."

How Many Countries is the US Currently Bombing
(Fusion & Peter Phillips & Test Tube News / Seeker Daily)

Over the past two decades, the United States has performed military operations in more than a dozen foreign countries. So which countries has the US invaded since the Cold War and how many countries is the US actively bombing today?

Standing Rock Is Our Civil Rights Event
(Bill McKibben / The Guardian & Josh Fox / Democracy Now!)

We're seeing a scene as explosive as the Freedom Rides or the bus boycotts play out in real time on the high plains of the Dakotas. In the 1960s, the US government sent helpers to protect integration efforts. Why not do more to protect the Dakota Pipeline protesters today?

US Admits It Has Used Radioactive Weapons in Syria
(International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons & Samuel Oakford / IRIN News)

The US has admits that it fired radioactive Depleted Uranium weapons on two occasions in Syria in November 2015, contrary to earlier claims. The Pentagon's justification for use was unclear after target analysis triggering calls for full disclosure and demands to extend harm-reduction measures. Russia took advantage of the news to distract attention from its own conduct in the conflict.

What Would a Trump EPA Look Like? Environmental Leaders on Hope And Progress in the Age of Trump
(Grist Staff)

Donald Trump, a climate denier who has promised to gut the Paris accord, scrap the Clean Power Plan, bring back coal, and roll back pollution restrictions is our next president, and the civil and human rights of so many in this country are threatened. Hateful, violent acts committed in his name continue to populate the news. As we've done before in similar times, we've turned to politicians and other green leaders to ask how we keep working toward climate action, sustainability, and social justice? And what gives them hope, inspiration, or determination in such a trying time?

Fidel Castro's Green Revolution
(Robert Bradley Jr. / Master Resource.org & Rachel Cernansky / TreeHugger.com)

Fidel Castro (1926-[2016]), one the great wealth destroyers and wealth averters of the last fifty years. Fidel Castro combined Marxism-Leninism with environmentalism. He railed against industrialization on environmental grounds, most recently criticizing Canadian oil-sands development. Cuba gets a lot of attention for sustainable practices it has adopted over the last few decades. Cuba is home to the Caribbean's largest and best-preserved wetland area and is a model for urban sustainability.

How Many Police Are Needed to Subdue a Peaceful Protest?
(Thomas Dresslar / ACLU & Steve Horn / DeSmog Blog & The Huffington Post)

Almost exactly 20 years ago, President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill -- the Emergency Management Assistance Compact -- creating an interstate agreement for emergency management. That law has opened the door for the current flood of out-of-state law enforcement agents repressing the continuing protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline in North Dakota. As of November 7, the assault against the Native protests had engaged law enforcement personnel from from 24 counties, 16 cities and 9 states.

UN Investigates Human Rights Abuses at Dakota Access Pipeline Protests

A United Nations group is investigating allegations of human rights abuses by North Dakota law enforcement against Native American protesters, with indigenous leaders testifying about "acts of war" they observed during mass arrests at an oil pipeline protest. Protesters who have raised concerns about excessive force, unlawful arrests and mistreatment in jail where some activists have been held in cages.

The Standing Rock Protests Are a Taste of Things to Come
(Kate Aronoff / The Guardian)

On Sunday night, police turned tear gas and rubber bullets on hundreds of unarmed "water protectors" protesting the Dakota Oil Pipeline. Water cannon were used in sub-freezing temperatures. More than 160 people were injured and many were hospitalized. One woman could lose her arm. These strong-arm tactics are reminiscent of the police brutality experienced by America's civil rights movement. As Donald Trump prepares to enter the White House, this escalation of violence could be a view of the future.

300 Injured; Young Woman Has Arm Blown Off as Media Ignore Standing Rock Protests
(Democracy Now! & Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News & Prolific The Rapper)

Sunday's attack at Standing Rock included police firing rubber bullets, mace canisters and water cannons in subfreezing temperatures. As many as 300 people were injured in the attack. 21-year-old activist Sophia Wilansky is in critical condition and has been undergoing a series of surgeries, after reportedly being hit by a concussion grenade during the police attack against water protectors fighting the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline in North Dakota Sunday night.

2012 Report Confirmed: Attack on the Benghazi Embassy Was an 'Inside Job'
(Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com & Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley / Fox News)

New documents have bolstered a report from 4 years ago that guards hired to protect the US Embassy in Benghazi were actually part of the Ansar al-Sharia and Al Qaeda groups operating in the area. The State Department hired the Blue Mountain Group -- a security company with no experience or personnel -- to take charge of Embassy protection. Blue Mountain hired unvetted local Libyans. During the deadly attack, it was these guards who enabled the assault and turned their guns on the Americans.

Thousands Around the World Rally Against Dakota Pipeline
(Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)

On November 15, more than 200 actions took place around the world in solidarity with water protectors at Standing Rock. The actions were called by Native American leaders around the country. Standing Rock activist Fred Lemere fears that one of Trump's first acts will be to send troops to rough up Indian people at Standing Rock and clear them away from the path of the pipeline. He said the protest will need 50,000 not 5.000 people to go to Standing Rock and defend the land.

The US Remains Deeply Complicit in the War on Yemen's Civilians
(Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & Ben Hubbard / The New York Times)

The atrocious US-backed war on Yemen hasn't ended. US weapons sold to the Saudi-led coalition have been used to attack critical infrastructure and purely civilian targets. The Saudi-led coalition is hitting civilian targets, like factories, bridges and power stations, that critics say have no clear link to the rebels. In the rubble, the remains of American munitions have been found. Graffiti on walls across Sana reads: "America is killing the Yemeni people."

Donald Trump and the Future of the Paris Climate Accord
(Bill McKibben / The Guardian & Robinson Meyer / The Atlantic)

Commentary: "It seems likely that the Paris climate accords will offer one of the first real tests of just how nuts Donald Trump actually is. The Paris agreement was assembled over 25 years by many of the world's leading lights. It has now been handed, as a gift, to the new child-emperor, and everyone is waiting to see what he'll do. If the president-elect sabotages last year's agreement, he will own every disaster -- every hurricane a Hurricane Donald, every drought a moment for mockery."

Spiral: Trapped in the Forever War
(Conn Hallinan / Dispatches from the Edge)

The fundamental contradiction at the heart of the Bush/Obama "war on terror" is this: the means used to fight it have proven to be the most effective recruiting device for Al Qaeda, the Taliban, the Shabab, and ISIS. Targeted assassinations by drones, the use of torture, extra-legal renditions, and the invasions of Muslim countries, has been an unmitigated disaster, serving only to destabilize foreign nations, killing hundreds of thousands, generating millions of refugees, and stoking hatred of the US.

A Preview of Trump's World: Torture, Drones, and John Bolton
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Gina Doggett / Agence France-Presse & Gareth Porter / Middle East Eye)

President-elect Donald Trump made a lot of promises on the campaign trail, trying to out-hawk rivals during the Republican primaries. Human Rights Watch has expressed alarm that President-elect Trump has promised to revive the torture of detainees and has called for killing the families of suspected terrorists. Among the candidates for Trump's Secretary of State is John Bolton, a bellicose loose-cannon who has called for "regime change" in Iran -- essentially a unilateral declaration of war.

National Bird: America's Symbol Is No Longer the Eagle
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet & Heather Linebaugh / The Guardian)

In her new film, director Sonia Kennebeck introduces us to three of the people behind the violence. Heather is an unlikely military vet who decided to escape her small-town fate by joining the Air Force. She now suffers from PTSD for her role in "helping to kill people by remote control." Lisa has traveled to Afghanistan to do humanitarian work in hopes of regaining her "humanity." Daniel's home was raided by 40 FBI and heavily armed federal police. He is now facing imprisonment for violating the1917 Espionage Act.

ACTON ALERT: Trump, the Dakota Pipeline, and Native Rights
(Bill McKibben / EcoWatch & Our Revolution & Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. / Waterkeeper Alliance & Josh Fox / EcoWatch)

The ugly side of the American psyche that's propelled Donald Trump to the presidency is nothing new to Indigenous people. It's nothing new to people of color, to immigrants, to the vulnerable and the marginalized. This is a time for drawing together the many threads of our resistance -- to fossil fuels, yes, but also and just as importantly to widespread hatred. But President Obama could take dramatic and decisive action to safeguard native lands and the publics water -- by declaring Standing Rock a National Park.

Chemical Dangers Mount in the Battle for Mosul
(Hamish de Bretton-Gordon / Al-Jazeera)

With ISIL's Iraq strongholds gone, so is most of the caliphate, no doubt with a final battle in Raqqa -- but the war hinges on Mosul. In this forthcoming apocalypse ISIL will fight with every means available, and this will include the use of their extensive chemical weapons capability. Built up over the past two years, ISIL has been making mustard agent and fashioning toxic industrial chemicals into improvised weapons.

Will Colombia's Peace Process Have an Environmental Dark Side?
(Andrew W. Miller / Amazon Watch)

Colombia's 50+ year armed conflict with the FARC, the country's largest and oldest left-wing insurgent group, may be coming to a close. Though the armed conflict may officially wind down, social movements fear the repression will continue. In recent years, government crackdowns on protests have been lead by the notorious Mobile Anti-Riot Squad, which has caused many deaths and injuries. Protest movements and civil society voices have argued this Colombian National Police unit should disband.

Vice President Pence: The Most Powerful Christian Supremacist in US History
(Jeremy Scahill/ The Intercept)

Commentary: While Donald Trump has flip-flopped on a variety of issues, from abortion to immigration to war and health care, his running-mate, Mike Pence, has been a reliable stalwart throughout his public life in the cause of Christian jihad -- never wavering in his commitment to America-First militarism, the criminalizing of abortion, and utter hatred for gay people (unless they go into conversion therapy "to change their sexual behavior," which Pence has suggested the government pay for).

New Film Raises Alarming Concerns about Military Drones
(Alex Needham / The Guardian & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)

Using the testimony of three courageous whistleblowers who worked on the US drone programme, a new documentary called "National Bird" uncovers some disturbing truths about modern American warfare.

Obama's Drone War Has Been a 'Recruitment Tool' for ISIS
(Alice Ross / The Guardian & Ed Pilkington and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian)

Drones -- the Pentagon's controversial unmanned aerial weapon system -- came of age under Barack Obama. Civilians have been killed (nearly 90 percent of people killed in US drone strikes are innocent civilians) and UN officials have warned the prolific use of drones to assassinate designated "targets" it will "weaken the rule of law." Butt the outgoing president's actions -- and the incoming president's lack of comment -- indicate that drone warfare won't be going away anytime soon.

ICC Prosecutors: US Likely Committed War Crimes in Afghanistan
(AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)

US armed forces and the CIA may have committed war crimes by subjecting "at least 61 detained persons to torture, cruel treatment, [and] outrages upon personal dignity" in Afghanistan, the International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said in a report Monday, raising the possibility that American citizens could be indicted, even though Washington has not joined the global court.

Trump's Victory Followed by Wave of Hate Crimes
(Lizzie Dearden / The Independent)

Police are investigating a wave of alleged hate crimes against Muslims, Hispanic Americans, black people, ethnic minorities and the LGBT community in the wake of the US election. Attackers professing support for Donald Trump have been accused of numerous attacks in the 24 hours following his shock victory, including death threats, physical assaults and racist graffiti.

Pentagon Finally Admits It Killed Allies, Not al-Shabaab, in Somalia
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Warren Strobel / Reuters)

More than six weeks after the US mounted a deadly airstrike in Somalia's semi-autonomous Galmudug Province, the Pentagon has confessed that the victims were not al-Shabaab militants but ten members of the provincial government the US was supposed to be assisting. The Pentagon attributed the deaths to a case of mistaken identity in a "self-defense" operation.

US Airstrikes Continue to Kill Civilians in Syria While US Allies Murder Civilians in Iraq
(Deutsche Welle & AntiWar.com & BBC News)

A human rights monitor said Wednesday that an American airstrike has killed at least 20 civilians in Al-Heisha. The attack hit near Raqqa, the de facto capital of the so-called "Islamic State." Meanwhile, Amnesty International reports that a number of Iraqi civilians were rounded up by Iraqi federal police while fleeing the area around Mosul and that at least six men and a teenager were tortured and killed by the police.

The Standing Rock Protests Are About the Constitution; Snipers Kill 11-year-old Girl
(John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News)

The numbers of activists protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota continue to swell. The mainstream media continue to ignore it. National politicians continue to pretend that nothing is happening. And the local police continue to douse protestors in pepper spray, beat them, arrest them, and charge them with felonies for exercising their Constitutional right to freedom of speech.

Another US Massacre of Civilians in Afghanistan
(Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)

In a war that has now gone on for 16 years, US forces just killed at least 32 more civilians, many of whom were children. Another 25 people were wounded. Of course, this is on top of all the wedding parties, hospitals, and other victims of US bombing attacks that have brought the death toll from US interventionism in Afghanistan to more than 200,000, not to mention the wounded, maimed, homeless, and refugees.

US-Backed War Is Pushing Yemen to the Brink of Famine
(TIME Magazine)

Drowned by the noise of the US presidential election and overshadowed by the conflict in Syria and Iraq, war and hunger have quietly ravaged Yemen. Yemen's 18-month civil war has killed about 10,000 people, and now it is pushing the country to the brink of famine. More than 21 million Yemenis -- 80% of the population -- are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

Hillary Clinton's Dangerous Thoughts on War and US Imperial 'Exceptionalism'
(Philip Giraldi / The UNZ Review)

Hillary Clinton and her advisors, who believe strongly in Washington's leadership role globally and embrace their own definition of American exceptionalism, have been explicit in terms of what they would do to employ our military power. She would be an extremely proactive president in foreign policy, with a particular animus directed against Russia.

Doomsday Nuke War Looming between US and Russia: 'The End of Life as We Know It'
(Henry Holloway / The Daily Star & Harry Kemble / The Daily Star)

Russia pushes back as NATO troops and weapons encroach on Russia's borders. Putin says US strategy to overwhelm Russia's nuclear deterrent creates a global imbalance that would allow a US "first-strike." Putin's response: a new missile that can't be stopped by US missiles. As tensions rise, a top British general warns a nuclear war between NATO and Russia would spell "the end of life as we know it." Russian missiles could decimate the US eastern seaboard in one fell swoop if World War 3 breaks out.

US Admits to Slaughter of 30-plus Afghan Men, Women and Children
(AntiWar.com & The Washington Post & Reuters & The Guardian)

Pentagon officials have confirmed that the US was behind airstrikes against the north Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari, which they conceded "likely resulted in civilian casualties." The attack was initially reported to have killed at least 30 civilians, with subsequent reports from locals saying they'd buried 36 killed in the attack. The villagers insist that there were no Taliban in the village at the time, pointing out that no Taliban were hit in the airstrikes. The Pentagon has promised an investigation.

US Airstrikes Kill Hundreds of Innocent Civilians in Syria
(Alice Ross / The Guardian & Max Bearak / The Washington Post )

A US-led air strike in October in Kobani, Syria, during fighting between Syrian Kurds and Islamic State. More than 5,700 air strikes have been launched in the year-long US campaign. Chris Woods, of Airwars, said: 'You can't have an air war of this intensity without civilians getting killed or injured.' According to an Airways report, the US bombing campaign against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has killed more than 450 civilians.

A Small Unreported Victory at Standing Rock
(Desiree Kane / YES! Magazine & William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

On October 27, a colonial force of 250 armed with military weapons prepared to attack the campsite of oil pipeline protesters. The soldier-police faced off on a bridge against 40-50 veterans armed with only prayer. And the Natives won. Meanwhile, in Washington, the president equivocates. "We're monitoring this closely," Barack Obama says. "We're going to let it play out for several more weeks...."

Afghan Anger over US Killing of Civilians as Number of Anti-US Fighters in Afghanistan Soars to 45,000
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Voice of America News & & Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press & ABC News)

Hundreds of angry mourners gathered today in the north Afghan village of Bouz Kandahari to bury an estimated 30 civilian victims of a US airstrike the previous day. The locals noted that many of the civilians being buried were infants and small children. UN-NATO coalition airstrikes also killed two US soldiers and four Afghan soldiers. As civilian deaths soar, so does anti-US recruiting. The UN estimates there now are about 45,000 opposition fighters in Afghanistan and 20-25 percent are foreigners.

US Hypocrisy: Bombing of Aleppo Is No Worse Than What Happened in Gaza and Iraq
(Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com)

The Russian-Syrian bombing campaign in eastern Aleppo, which has ended at least for the time being, has been described in press reports and op-eds as though it were unique in modern military history in its indiscriminateness. In fact, many of the Syrian and Russian airstrikes are not all that dissimilar from the major US bombing campaign waged in Iraq in 2003 or the indiscriminate air campaigns that have characterized Israel's recent assaults on densely populated cities in Gaza and the Occupied Territories.

NATO Needs US as 'World's Policeman'; NATO Kills US Troops in Afghanistan
(AntiWar.com & Sky News & The Associated Press)

Former NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen tells Sky News "the world is on fire," and more American interventionism is needed to restore law and order. It was the old narrative of America as the "world's policeman." Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, a joint US-Afghan raid involving NATO airstrikes killed 26 civilians (including several children), three Afghan troops and two US soldiers.

War Against Native Americans in the US: Hundreds Arrested, Scores Injured, One Horse Shot to Death
(Tracy Loeffelholz Dunn / YES! Magazine & teleSURtv)

To clear the way for a controversial oil pipeline project, North Dakota invoked a measure reserved for state emergencies like natural disasters to mobilize an army of police from seven different states and hired outside security firms. The founder of one of the security firms responsible for the brutal attacks on nonviolent native protesters, is a Delta Force veteran who once served as lead advisor to the CIA in the invasion of Afghanistan.

Self-inflicted Chemical Warfare: 92% of Earth's Population Forced to Breath Toxic Air
(Merrit Kennedy / National Public Radio)

Some 300 million children around the world are breathing highly toxic air. 92 percent of the world's population breathes air containing pollutants exceeding WHO limits. In 2012, one out of every nine deaths was the result of air pollution-related conditions. The number of deaths attributable to indoor and outdoor air pollution totaled approximately 6.5 million worldwide, of which 3 million deaths were blamed on outdoor air pollution.

Do Red Lives Matter? The Difference between Oregon and North Dakota
(Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine)

Commentary: "There is a cruel, stupid irony about living in a country when, on the same day, a bunch of gun-toting rubes . . . get acquitted after an armed takeover of federal property in Oregon while, half a country away, peaceful protesters doing nothing but praying on land to which they have a right guaranteed by treaty get rousted, roughed up, and hauled away by a militarized police force acting largely at the behest of a private company."

Son of Honduran Human Rights Activist Murdered

In post-coup Honduras, a coup which Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supported, the corpses continue to pile up. Human rights organizations are raising alarm after yet another assassination in Honduras, this time of the son of a prominent human rights defender. The United States -- which helped secure the 2009 coup -- is complicit in the ongoing crisis in Honduras.

Dakota Pipeline Is the New Keystone -- With Police Dogs and Donald Trump
(Bill McKibben / The New York Times & Sam Levin / The Guardian & Oliver Milman / The Guardian)

The Native Americans who have spent months in peaceful protest against an oil pipeline along the banks of the Missouri are standing up for tribal rights, clean water, environmental justice and a working climate. And it's time that everyone else joined in. Meanwhile, Donald Trump's close financial ties to Energy Transfer Partners, the operators of the controversial pipeline, have been laid bare: Trump has invested in ETP and has received more than $100,000 in campaign contributions from its chief executive.

An All-American Slaughter: US Kids with Guns
(Tom Englehardt / Tom Dispatch & Gary Younge / Tom Dispatch)

Every day, on average, seven kids and teens are shot dead in America. Election 2016 will undoubtedly prove consequential in many ways, but lowering that death count won't be one of them. To grapple with fatalities on that scale -- 2,500 dead children annually -- a candidate would need a thoroughgoing plan for dealing with America's gun culture that goes well beyond background checks.

Girl Soldiers: Forgotten Casualties of War
(Pat Hynes / AntiWar.com)

As secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was visibly shaken by sexual crimes against women and girls when she visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in 2009. Sexual crimes in this central African country, known as the "rape capital of the world," include the sexual exploitation of tens of thousands of girls abducted and trapped as child soldiers. Nonetheless, since 2010, President Obama has waived a congressionally mandated ban on military aid to countries known to exploit child soldiers, among them the DRC.

Putin Rejects Russian Army's Calls to Resume Aleppo Airstrikes
(AntiWar.com & The Telegraph)

The British head of the UN's humanitarian office has launched a searing attack on Russia and Syria for the continued bombardment of Aleppo, telling the Security Council he was "incandescent with rage" about the diplomatic stalemate. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin has officially rejected a Defense Ministry request to permit a resumption of Russian airstrikes against the Syrian city of Aleppo -- after 10 straight days of no Russian airstrikes being conducted.

Attacks on Syrian Schools Constitute War Crime -- UNICEF
(Sky News & Al Jazeera & Journeyman Pictures & R&U Vid)

Airstrikes on a Syrian school that killed scores of children could be a "war crime", says the head of the UN children's agency. The strike in rebel-held Idlib province on Wednesday may have been the deadliest attack on a school since the beginning of the war five years ago. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the attack on a school in Syria's Idlib, denied Russian complicity and has called for an investigation into the bombing.

Letter from Aleppo: 'My City Is Not Just a Death Toll'
(Beebers Mishal as told to Samya Kullab / Al Jazeera)

A Syrian Civil Defense member and resident of Aleppo reflects on the worst onslaught the city witnessed since 2011. Syrian civilians trapped in the besieged city of Aleppo have made desperate pleas for help, as warplanes pummeled rebel-held areas and deteriorating security conditions left two million people without access to safe drinking water.

Who Was really Responsible for Breaking the Syria Ceasefire?
(David Morrison / Open Democracy)

Commentary and Analysis: Rely on the mainstream UK or US media for your information about Syria, and you probably think all the bombings and civilian deaths in the beleaguered country were the result of actions by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and Russia aircraft. Here is what goes unreported.

Do Not Resist: How America's Police Have Become an Occupying Military Force
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet)

"Do Not Resist," a powerful new documentary, presents a powerful warning about the growing reality of an US Police State. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the Pentagon and the War Lobby found a new way to increase their powers and wealth -- by arming our domestic police with full-scale combat weaponry including assault rifles, drones, and armored personnel carriers. But here's the problem: When you adopt these weapons, you also adopt the killer mentality they are designed to serve.

The Stand-off at Standing Rock: Native Defenders Stand against Oil Pipeline
(Jim Hightower / Salon)

In 2014, ETP, a Texas oil behemoth, went public with its scheme to build a massive oil pipeline from the fracking wells of the Bakken oil fields in northwestern North Dakota. If the $3.8 billion line is completed, it would carry 570,000 barrels of oil a day through hundreds of farms and ranches and make 200 river crossings. Kelcy Warren, Energy Transfer Partners' well-heeled chief, appears to have met his match in North Dakota with the steadfast resolve of the Lakota Sioux.

Police Viciously Attack Peaceful Protesters at Dakota Access Pipeline
(Jihan Hafiz / The Intercept)

On October 22, just before dawn, hundreds of people gathered to march toward the Dakota Access pipeline construction site near Standing Rock, North Dakota. Native American organizers lit sage and prayed for protection from police brutality before setting off on the 8-mile trek. Dozens of officers, backed by military trucks, police vans, machine guns, and nonlethal weapons, violently approached the group without warning. “Don’t move, everyone is under arrest,” boomed the loudspeaker of the military vehicle.

Nonviolent Native Protestors Arrested at Standing Rock: Dakota Access Pipeline Wants War. Native Drones Shot Down!
(Navajo / The Daily Kos)

On October 22, 2016, Dallas Goldtooth reported, via Facebook Live about the 83 arrests that happened near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation where American Indian Nations are resisting the construction of a four-state oil pipeline being constructed under the Missouri River, the water source for 17 million people. DAPL wants war. Unfortunately for that goal, the activists are being peaceful and representing their concerns with prayer.

FBI's Warning: Homegrown Terrorism Is Rooted in US Aggression, Not Islam
(CJ Werleman / Middle East Eye)

A 2012 FBI report into homegrown extremism found that grievances over US military action far outrank any other factor -- including religious ideology. While news headlines drive public discourse, it is public discourse that drives policy, and policy is where we win, lose or die.

The US and Canada Have Blood on their Hands over Honduras Violence

The international community needs to be held to account for propping up and subsidizing the murderous regime in Honduras. Honduran military and police forces, backed by the international community and in particular millions of US dollars, once again brutally attacked peaceful protesters in a week that saw more social movement blood spilt.

Amnesty International: US Coalition Has Killed at Least 300 Civilians in Syria
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Emma Graham-Harrison /The Guardian)

Amnesty International has issued a new statement warning that the US needs to do more to prevent civilian casualties in its coalition airstrikes in both Iraq and Syria, and cautioned the US has dramatically under-reported the number of civilians killed in their air war. AI says more must be done to prevent fatalities and calls for independent investigations into possible violations of international law.

Major Court Rules Torture Illegal: US Presidents and Officials Guilty
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

In a robust ruling in favor of Abu Ghraib detainees, an appellate court ruled Friday that torture is such a clear violation of the law that it is "beyond the power of even the president to declare such conduct lawful." The ruling from a unanimous panel of judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals reinstates a lawsuit against CACI Premier Technologies, a military contractor that played a key role in the torture of four men at the notorious prison in Iraq.

Pentagon Denies Accusations that US Jets Killed Iraqi Civilians during a Funeral Procession
(AntiWar.com & Baku-APA & Muslim News)

Russia's Defense Ministry has accused the US-led coalition of launching strikes on a funeral procession killing dozens of Iraqi civilians. The incident in Daquq, took place on Friday reportedly leaving some 20 people dead and 45 injured. "Weddings, funerals, hospitals, police departments, humanitarian convoys and even Syrian troops, fighting against Daesh terrorists near Deir ez-Zor, become targets for coalition airstrikes," a Russian official stated. The Pentagon denies involvement.

Why Are We in Somalia? A Military Intervention with No Purpose for US
(By the Editorial Board / The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette & The Real News)

American forces have now beefed up their presence in Somalia, where the US has been involved since 1992, in an attempt finally to gain victory over a Somali force called al-Shabab, "the Youth," on behalf of a coalition with Somali and African Union forces. Among the six wars in the region that the administration of President Barack Obama has kept the US involved in -- Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen -- it is perhaps hardest to find a rationale for America's long and expensive involvement in Somalia.

Life Under Siege -- We Live in Aleppo: Here's How We Survive
(Omair Shaaban / The Washington Post)

Commentary: "There weren't any bombs today, or the day before. That's good, because it means you can leave your apartment, see your friends, try to pretend life is normal. Still, you don't know when the attacks will resume or how much worse they'll be when they do. The war here has been going on for more than four years. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled, and thousands more are dead, including many of my friends. My wife and I are among about 250,000 people trapped in eastern Aleppo...."

The Battle for Mosul: Civilians Face 'Impossible Choice'
(Teo Kermeliotis / Al Jazeera)

As Iraqi armed forces and their allies move to reclaim the city of Mosul from ISIL fighters, humanitarian agencies are warning that the lives of an estimated 1.5 million civilians are in grave danger. While it is uncertain whether Iraqi forces will achieve their promised "victory," two things are certain: Hundreds of innocent civilians will die and a major urban center will be reduced to rubble.

The Perpetual Killing Fields: A Return to South Sudan
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)

Commentary: "The world is awash in killing fields, sites of slaughter where armed men have laid waste to the innocent, the defenseless, the unlucky; locales where women and children, old and young men have been suffocated, had their skulls shattered, been left gut-shot and gasping. Over the last century, these blood-soaked sites have sprouted across the globe: Cambodia, the Philippines, the Koreas, South Africa, Mexico, Lebanon, Rwanda, Bosnia, Guatemala, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria . . .."

Putin's Plea for Restraint as Hillary Clinton Calls for Launching a Nuclear Attack in "Self-defense"
(Diana Johnstone / Global Research & Prof Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned: "If it's Hillary, It's war." When Presidential candidate Clinton signals that she wants to achieve regime change in Russia, she does so knowing that she enjoys the support of most of the State Department and much of the Pentagon. And Congress is ready to go. Clinton is on record as stating that a pre-emptive nuclear first strike against America's enemies -- including Iran and Russia -- is "on the table." But how can a preemptive attack be seen as an act of "self-defense"?

ACTION ALERT: Mainstream Media Hides History of US Aggression against Yemen
(Adam Johnson / Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting & MoveOn.com & Oxfam)

To hear US corporate media tell it, the US was just dragged into a brand new war -- against an armed faction in Yemen. US destroyers in the Gulf of Aden launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels, a Shia insurgent group currently withstanding a massive bombing campaign from a Saudi-led coalition in a year-and-half conflict between largely Shia rebels and the Saudi-backed Sunni government in Yemen. The US press rarely mentions that the US role in the brutal bombing campaign that has left over 4,000 dead.

Was a US Ship Attacked by a Missile off the Coast of Yemen . . . or Not?
(Sarah Lazare / AlterNet)

On October 8, a US-backed Saudi Arabia-led airstrike against a funeral hall in the Yemen, killed at least 140 people and wounding more than 500. The weapon used in the mass-killing was a US-made 500-pound laser-guided bomb. Obama administration officials have privately expressed alarm that Washington could be charged with war crimes. Meanwhile, a US Navy blockade has cut off food aid to Yemen, contributing to a humanitarian emergency that has affected at least half of the country's population.

UN Experts Accuse US of Complicity in Saudi War Crimes in Yemen
(Edith M. Lederer / Associated Press & The Independent)

UN experts investigating the double bombing of a packed funeral hall in the rebel-held Yemeni capital on Oct. 8 are accusing the Saudi-led coalition of violating international humanitarian law by attacking civilians, the wounded, and medical personnel. The UN Ministry of Health estimated 114 were killed and 613 injured in an attack on a funeral in Sanaa on October 8, 2016.

Green Party and Turkish Officials Warns US, Russia on Brink of Nuclear WWIII
(Jon Lockett / The Sun & RT News & InfoWars)

Russian ultra-nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky has a message for America: "Americans voting for a president on Nov. 8 must realize that they are voting for peace on Planet Earth if they vote for Trump. But if they vote for Hillary it's war. It will be a short movie. There will be Hiroshimas and Nagasakis everywhere." Green Party candidate Jill Stein on why a Clinton presidency would risk WWIII and the significance of Russia's recent emergency mass evacuation drill involving moving 60 million citizens into shelters.

In the Battle for Mosul, Civilians Face 'Impossible Choice'
(Teo Kermeliotis / Al Jazeera)

As Iraqi armed forces and their allies move to reclaim the city of Mosul from ISIL fighters, humanitarian agencies are warning that the lives of an estimated 1.5 million civilians are in grave danger. While it is uncertain whether Iraqi forces will achieve their promised "victory," two things are certain: Hundreds of innocent civilians will die and a major urban center will be reduced to rubble.

"Wars" Against ISIS in Iraq & Syria Are Doomed to Fail
(The Campaign for Peace and Democracy & Joseph Daher / Peace News)

As the sectarian government of Iraq, with full US support, prepares for a bloody attack on Mosul, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have joining forces with the Assad regime to turn Aleppo into a 21st century Guernica. Hopefully, this article written Swiss-Syrian activist Joseph Daher, can provide a political and moral compass in responding to the major continuing consequence of the "War on Terror" -- imperial carnage brutalizing civilians in Syria and Iraq and across the Middle East.

Native Lives Matter: The Police Killings No One Is Talking About
(Stephanie Woodard / In These Times)

Native Americans are being killed by police at a higher rate than any other group in the country - but these deaths are rarely covered in the media. Now, native groups are organizing for justice in a growing Native Lives Matter movement.

Environmental Victory in El Salvador; Environmental Leader Killed in Brazil
(teleSURtv & Nika Knight / Common Dreams)

A little-known World Bank tribunal has ruled against corporate power, rejecting Canadian-Australian gold mining giant OceanaGold's claim that El Salvador interfered with its profits when it pulled the plug on a proposed gold mine. Meanwhile, Latin America remains the most dangerous region in the world for land defenders and environmentalists. The latest victim: Brazilian activist Luiz Araujo, well known for his aggressive enforcement of deforestation laws in the Amazon.

The US Just Bombed Yemen -- and No One's Talking about It.
(Moustafa Bayoumi / The Guardian)

Commentary: "What if the United States went to war and nobody here even noticed? The question is absurd, isn't it? And yet, this almost perfectly describes what actually happened this past week. We need answers from the candidates on how they would deal with a deadly conflict in Yemen -- one of the Middle East's poorest countries. We're not getting them."

ACTION ALERT: First Amendment Under Fire at Pipeline Protest: Reporters and Filmmakers Face Prison Terms
(Jane Kleeb / Our Revolution & Nick Visser / The Huffington Post)

Deia Schlosberg, a documentarian arrested while filming an oil pipeline protest in North Dakota, has been charged with three felony charges -- and could face decades in prison if convicted. Meanwhile, authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! In September, Goodman covered the protests involving thousands of Native American protesters and filmed troubling footage in which heavily armed guards used pepper spray and attack dogs against the nonviolent activists.

The High Human and Financial Costs of War
(Rami G Khouri / Reuters)

We have always known that war is dirty and destructive, but a new investigation reveals how destructive and expensive several wars have been. More than 600,000 military and civilian dead, more than seven million refugees and displaced people, and perhaps nearly $13 trillion in financial costs over the lifetimes of the conflicts. The ravages and costs of war can persist for generations after the fighting and bombing stop.

US/Saudi Wars Crimes Prompt Missile Attack on US Destroyer: Do Yemeni Lives Matter?
(NBC Evening News & Medea Benjamin / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

How much is the life of a Yemeni worth? Not much, according to the Saudi regime that has been bombing and starving the people of Yemen for since March 2015, or to the Saudi's western backers, particularly the US and UK, which have been supplying the Saudi regime with weapons, military training, logistical support and diplomatic cover for its dirty interventionist war. The latest outrage is the October 8 bombing of a funeral hall in Yemen's capital that killed more than 140 people and injured about 600 more.

ACTION ALERT: Growing Calls to Stop US Military Aid to Murderous Saudi Regime
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Warren Strobel / Reuters & United States Senator Chris Murphy)

Rep. Ted Lieu, a former US Air Force lawyer, has urged the Obama Administration to suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia and to suspend cooperation in the war in Yemen, saying that the growing civilian death toll "appears to be the result of war crimes." US Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), has called for a halt to aid noting: "Saudi airstrikes, with support from the US, have killed thousands of civilians in Yemen. ‎Yesterday's attack on large funeral party follows months of attacks on schools, homes, and hospitals."

US Foreign Policy: Killing People to Save Them
(Dr. Arshad M Khan / teleSURtv)

The 15th anniversary of the war in Afghanistan -- a war with no end in sight -- quietly passed by unnoticed by major US media. Meanwhile, we have seen the Middle East and large parts of North Africa on the receiving end of death, destruction and displacement over the last 15 years due to US "interventions" that have brought neither peace nor stability. These regions are on the receiving end of a swath of death, destruction and displacement on a scale unseen since the end of World War II.

The Dehumanization of US War Victims in Afghanistan Continues
(Emran Feroz / teleSURtv.net)

"You should be cursed with your bombs which lead to the suffering of the people of Kunduz and covered them with blood and dust," was the last sentence of Dr. Ehsan Osmani adressed to the Afghan government and its American backers. The anguished note was written one year ago on Dr. Osmani's Facebook feed. During the next few moments, Osmani was killed by one of the US bombs that was dropped on the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, an attack that killed at least 42 MSF staff and patients.

War Crime Evidence: US Bomb Fragments Found at Site of Saudi Funeral Massacre in Yemen
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept & BBC World News)

Fragments of what appear to be US-made bombs have been found at the scene of one of the most horrific civilian massacres of Saudi Arabia's 18-month air campaign in Yemen. Aircraft from the Saudi-led coalition on Saturday bombed a community hall in Sana'a, Yemen's capital city, where thousands of people had gathered for a funeral. The aircraft struck the hall four times, killing more than 140 people and wounding 525. One local health official described the aftermath as "a lake of blood."

Evidence Shows the Leading Cause of the War on Terror Is . . . The War on Terror
(Murtaza Hussain and Cora Currier / The Intercept & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

A secret FBI study has found that anger over US military operations abroad was the most commonly cited cause for individuals committing acts of "homegrown" terrorism. A 2004 Pentagon task force report decisively concluded that American intervention in the Muslim World has elevated the stature of the radical Islamists, while diminishing support for the US. In short, Muslims do not "hate our freedoms," but rather, they hate our policies of attacking Muslim nations and killing innocent civilians.

ACTION ALERT: It's True: The Presidential Debates ARE Rigged
(Lilia Tamm Dixon / The Open Debate Coalition)

PresidentialOpenQuestions.com invited America to suggest questions to be asked of the presidential candidates. More than 3.6 million votes were cast on more than 15,800 suggested questions. During the debate, the moderators cited this history survey but only asked one of the least-important questions -- a question that had received only 13 votes.

Washington's Horrific, Inhumane Torture of Jailed Detainees Left a Legacy of Damaged Minds
(Matt Apuzzo, Sheri Fink and James Risen / The New York Times<)

Before the United States permitted a terrifying way of interrogating prisoners, government lawyers and intelligence officials assured themselves of one crucial outcome. They knew that the methods inflicted on terrorism suspects would be painful, shocking and far beyond what the country had ever accepted. But none of it, they concluded, would cause long lasting psychological harm. Fifteen years later, it is clear they were wrong.

The Trump Effect: This Election Is Bad for Our Brains
(John Boghosian Arden / The San Francisco Chronicle & The Southern Poverty Law Center & Gail Sheehy / Politico)

Donald Trump's public behavior, amplified by the media, has contaminated America's mental landscape and has changed the behavior of many of the nation's children. In schools across the country, teachers are reporting that minority students are being bullied, insulted, and attacked by other students yelling "Trump, Trump, Trump." Latino and Muslim students are being singled out for special intimidation by fellow students chanting "Build a wall" or "Kill the terrorists." The triggers are installed deep in our brains.

ACTION ALERT: US Military Vets Still Dying from Burn-pit Exposures
(Leo Shane III / Military Times & Burn Pit Families & The Burn Pits 360 Veterans Organization)

Veterans exposed to burn pits in Iraq and Afghanistan are begging US leaders to focus attention on their crippling health problems. Burn pits are this generation's Agent Orange, but we are seeing deaths happen after three or five years, instead of decades later. A new petition asks Pres. Obama to use his final months in office to "speak out and educate the American people" about the long-term health effects of burn pits and to increase research into health and medical impacts of exposure to burning hazardous wastes.

Capitol Hill Raises Alarm on over Mosul Attack
(Julian Pecquet / Al-Monitor.com)

One of the top human rights champions on Capitol Hill has brought prominent activists together October 6 to urge the United States and Iraq to protect civilians in the coming assault on Mosul. The briefing served as an urgent appeal to the Barack Obama administration to keep human rights and humanitarian needs top of mind as officials prepare for a conflagration that could displace a million people -- and lay the groundwork for future conflict.

New Guantanamo Intelligence Upends Old 'Worst of the Worst' Assumptions
(Carol Rosenberg / The Miami Herald)

The "Dirty 30" probably weren't all Osama bin Laden bodyguards after all. The "Karachi 6" weren't a cell of bombers plotting attacks in Pakistan for al-Qaida. An Afghan man captured 14 years ago as a suspected chemical weapons maker was confused for somebody else. An ongoing review shows the US intelligence community has been debunking long-held myths about some of the "worst of the worst" at Guantanamo. The retreat emerges in a series of unclassified prisoner profiles released by the Pentagon.

The American-made Catastrophe in Yemen
(C. J. Werleman / Middle East Eye)

While US officials condemn Russian war crimes in Syria, the US-Saudi coalition in Yemen is committing the same -- but the media is silent. Where John Kerry condemned Russia's attack on the aid convoy, and was reported by most major media outlets, the US-led attack against civilians in Yemen went widely unnoticed.

Yemen: The Graveyard of the Obama Doctrine
(Samuel Oakford and Peter Salisbury / The Atlantic)

A year and a half into the Saudi kingdom's relentless war in Yemen, opponents of the new $1.15 billion US arms sale see it as an outright affirmation of Washington's involvement in a deadly, strategically incoherent war that the White House has kept largely quiet about. What's more, it is at odds with Obama's apparent distaste for regional proxy wars. Nonetheless, the US has delivered more than 40 million pounds of fuel to jet aircraft belonging to the oil-rich monarchy along with air refueling, tanks and bombs.

Iraqis to Sue US for Illegal, Devastating 2003 US Invasion

In the wake of the recently approved US 9/11 bill, an Iraqi group is lobbying the country's parliament to sue the United States over the 2003 invasion that ousted late President Saddam Hussein, killed and displaced millions of people and unleashed a major sectarian conflict in Iraq and the region over the past 16 years. The Arab Project in Iraq hopes to form an independent legal body to seek compensation from the US over civilian deaths and damage to property caused during and after the invasion.

A US Soldier Explains "How I Created ISIS"
(Vincent Emanuele / teleSUTtv)

Where did ISIS come from? Many commentators and former military officials correctly suggest the Iraq war is primarily responsible for unleashing the forces we now know as ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, etc. Here, hopefully I can add some useful reflections and anecdotes. When I was stationed in Iraq with the 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, I routinely saw and participated in obscenities. The West never allowed a serious examination of the greatest war crime of the 21st century. I knew there would be a reckoning.

Syria's White Helmets Risk Everything to Save the Victims of Airstrikes
(Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept)

The 3,000 members of the Syrian Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, form a volunteer force dedicated to rescuing victims of bombings and shellings. The White Helmets are first responders at the scenes of airstrikes by Russian and Syrian government forces, pulling survivors from the rubble of collapsed apartment buildings and homes. The group's work has garnered international attention, including a Nobel Peace Prize nomination as well as the Netflix documentary.

Israel Pays $20 Million for Killing 10 in 2010 Attack on Gaza Peace Boat
(AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse & The Times of Israel)

As part of the reconciliation package with Turkey, Israel today sent some $20 million in compensatory payments into the Turkish Justice Ministry, from which it will be distributed to the families of 10 slain Turkish citizens killed by Israeli troops during an attack on a ship in a peace flotilla that was hoping to breach an Israeli blocked and deliver humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza.

Bolivia Ends Its Drug War by Kicking Out the US DEA and Legalizing Coca
(Simeon Tegel / Vice.com)

Under its "Coca Si, Cocaine No" program, Bolivia has legalized coca growing, replacing a strategy of forced eradication with one of regulated production. The biggest benefit has been the end of the climate of fear. "There used to be all kinds of conflict before," a former coca farmer and mother of four said. "Now it couldn't be more different. The soldiers would abuse us, especially the women, sexually. Now, there is respect on both sides. No one exceeds their cato. Some people don't even have front doors."

Pentagon Accused of Destroying Civilian Bridges in Syria, Killing Civilians in Afghanistan
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & John Davison and Michelle Nichols / Reuters & Pamela Constable / The Washington Post)

With more and more US airstrikes not only failing to hit their announced targets but actually hitting the wrong people, the Obama Administration is having growing criticism and questioning about their policies, with the UN warning the US to adhere to its obligations under international humanitarian law.

FBI Hid Orlando Shooter's Real Motive: Anger over US Killing of Muslim Civilians
(Carey Wedler / The AntiMedia)

Months after Omar Mateen's deeply distressing mass-shooting spree in Orlando, Florida, which took the lives of 49 innocent people, the full transcripts of his phone calls with emergency services and police have been released. The FBI withheld the full transcripts claiming it wished to avoid providing a "publicity platform" to would-be terrorists. It is now clear that US foreign policy was a major factor in Mateen's decision to murder dozens of innocent people in an act of retaliation.

Militarized Police Threaten and Arrest Dakota Pipeline Water Protectors
(The Daily Kos & teleSURtv)

In April 2016, Native peoples began protesting the 1,172-mile, four-state, Dakota Access Pipeline, calling the DAP a threat to sacred lands and water. On September 28, 2016 the Water Protectors' caravan was met with armored vehicles, helicopters dropping tear gas and police armed with military-style rifles. Videos show that, as the resisters are confronted, the militarized police start locking and loading their weapons as the protesters raise their hands in unison and yell that "We are not armed. We are praying!"

October 1: A Global Plea to End the Bombing in Aleppo
(The Campaign for Peace and Democracy & the Global Campaign of Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution)

In Syria, the violent sectarian forces have grown in strength directly as a result of the devastation wrought by relentless bombing. The democratic opposition to both the dictatorship and the violently sectarian forces is being crushed under barrel bombs, cruise missiles, cluster and phosphorus munitions, napalm and chemical weapons attacks. The peace and antiwar opposition can stand in solidarity with the democratic struggle by demanding an end to all bombing by all parties.

FBI Hid Orlando Shooter's Real Motive: Anger over US Killing of Muslim Civilians
(Carey Wedler / The AntiMedia)

Months after Omar Mateen's deeply distressing mass-shooting spree in Orlando, Florida, which took the lives of 49 innocent people, the full transcripts of his phone calls with emergency services and police have been released. The FBI withheld the full transcripts claiming it wished to avoid providing a "publicity platform" to would-be terrorists. It is now clear that US foreign policy was a major factor in Mateen's decision to murder dozens of innocent people in an act of retaliation.

Senate Set to Vote Today on Obama Veto of Saudi September 11 Bill
(David Morgan / Reuters & David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy & Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe)

The US Senate will vote on Wednesday on whether to override President Barack Obama's veto of the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act -- a bill allowing relatives of victims in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. Obama warned that other countries could use the law to sue US soldiers, the Pentagon, American companies, and any foreign organizations receiving US weapons or training. David Swanson and Stephen Kinder debate the potential outcomes should the JASTA go into effect.

US Climate Change Costs Hit $67 Billion: Rising Heat Threatens Life on Earth
(Associated Press & Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Erin Auel and Alison Cassady / EcoWatch)

This year is on pace to smash last year's record for the hottest year. The summer of 2016 was hotter than any summer since at least 1016 AD and there is "compelling evidence" that this past summer was hotter than at any point in the past 100,000 years. Arctic ice levels this year were the second-lowest in recorded history and extreme weather events – wildfires, floods, drought and hurricanes – cost the US $67 billion in disaster relief between 2005 and 2015.

The Situation in Aleppo Is Catastrophic.
(Al Jazeera)

Syrian and Russian air raids are ongoing against Aleppo city. Air strikes and all different kinds of rockets have hit different districts. Residents speak of "ferocious bombardment" as at least 91 people are killed. Meanwhile, nearly two million and left without food or water. "What we are suffering can't be expressed by words in any language. We don't have water to give our children . . . the roads have been cut off by rubble. In the hospitals, there are three-four people on one bed."

Slavery Is Still Legal in the US: Striking Against the Prison-Industrial Complex
(The Intercept & The Cato Institute & Newsweek & What Does It Mean?)

The largest prison strike in US history began on September 9, but there's a good chance you haven't heard about it. Some 20,000 prisoners in 24 states and 40 to 50 prisons pledged to join a work strike against "slavery in America." Slavery was never abolished in the US. The 13th Amendment contains a waiver for prison employment. It's no coincidence that today's slaves (forced to labor for major US corporations) and primarily people of color.

Civilians Continue to Die as UK and US Profit off Arms Sales to Saudis
(Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Nick Cumming-Bruce / The New York Times & Tom Batchelor / The Express)

Since the pro-Saudi faction issued its latest demand for unconditional surrender and then withdrew from the peace talks hosted by Kuwait, violence in Yemen has been on the rise, with Saudi airstrikes taking a heavy toll, particularly on the civilian population. Britain has announced plans to increase the amount of aid destined for those caught up in the civil war in Yemen -- at the same time as it sells arms to the Saudi regime which is carrying out deadly airstrikes against civilians in the war-torn Gulf state.

UN Suspends Aid Deliveries in Syria as Airstrikes Resume
(Syria Direct.org)

The Assad regime and Russia are responsible for more than 90 barrel bombs and missile strikes in the 24 hours after the Syrian army's General Command declared an end to the ceasefire, a Civil Defense spokesman told Syria Direct on Tuesday. "Since 7pm Monday night, more than 60 barrel bombs and naval mines have been dropped on Aleppo province," accompanied by an additional "30 airstrikes, including cluster bombs and incendiary weapons."

Police Violence in US is Worse Than Colin Kaepernick Says
(Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)

According a leading UK newspaper, US police have killed 790 people as of September 2016. Last year the total exceeded 1,200. While African Americans are killed in disproportionate numbers, Native Americans are the hardest hit proportionally, says The Guardian. Blacks are second, based on a per capita breakdown. The largest total numbers killed are whites (387). FBI Chief James Comey admits 'it's ridiculous' and 'unacceptable' that the FBI has less-detailed data on the number of civilians killed by cops.

No War 2016 Summit in Washington, DC -- Real Security Without Terrorism
(World Beyond War, Code Pink, International Peace Bureau, Voices for Creative Nonviolence, Jane Addams Peace Association, Veterans For Peace, United for Peace and Justice and many others)

The historic #NoWar2016 conference -- which is being convened at the American University in Washington, DC from September 23-25 -- is full to capacity, but you can still sign up here to be part of the protest at the Pentagon at 9 a.m. on September 26, 2016. Among those speaking at the three-day event are: Dennis Kucinich, Kathy Kelly, Harvey Wasserman, Medea Benjamin, David Swanson, Leah Bolger, Mel Duncan, Jodie Evans, Gar Alperovitz, Gareth Porter, John Kiriakou, and Jeremy Corbyn (by video)

Honoring Aylan Kurdi by Ending the War in Syria
(Ramzy Baroud / QZ.com & AntiWar.com)

Between 400,000 and 500,000 people have lost their lives in Syria's ongoing war, including tens of thousands of children. Despite the international despair generated by the photo of Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body washed up on a beach, the image has been used by various parties to validate their reasons for war. The photo became a weapon in the hands of warring parties, instead of a rallying cry for an urgent ceasefire. The interests of the Syrian people -- the likes of Aylan and his family -- hardly seem to matter.

Letelier-Moffitt Murder Highlights US Impunity, Imperialism 40 Years On

Forty years ago, a remote-controlled car bomb exploded blocks from the White House, killing Orlando Letelier, a Chilean diplomat and his US assistant Ronni Moffitt. The attack was ordered by Chile's Augusto Pinochet, but human rights advocates have long argued that the chief masterminds behind the terrorist attack -- including Henry Kissinger -- should be put on trial. Meanwhile, Michael Townley, the US hitman who orchestrated the bombing, remains safely sheltered in the US witness protection program.

US Admits Supplying Saudis With White Phosphorus Munitions
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)

The US has faced growing pressure in recent months over arms sales to Saudi Arabia, as their airstrikes in Yemen have caused massive numbers of civilian casualties. Faced with increasing evidence that Saudi Arabia appears to be using US-supplied white phosphorus munitions in its war in Yemen, US officials have admitted that the weapons were provided by the United States "in the past," but Washington refuses to say when, or how many weapons were provided.

From Syria to Afghanistan, the Pentagon Kills Civilians, Sabotages a Ceasefire, Attacks Allies, and Arms Al Qaeda Militants
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)

The US bears major responsibility for sabotaging the Syrian ceasefire, with the Syrian military announcing it would be renewing military strikes. This was seen as all but inevitable after a botched US airstrike killed 83 Syrian soldiers. Meanwhile, former CIA officers have revealed that the agency is knowingly providing weapons to Al Qaeda fighters inside Syria and a bungled US air strike in Uruzgan Province killed eight Afghanistan police officers.

One in Three Saudi Air Raids on Yemen Hit Civilian Sites, Data Shows
(Ewen MacAskill and Paul Torpey / The Guardian)

More than one-third of all Saudi-led air raids on Yemen have hit civilian sites, such as school buildings, hospitals, markets, mosques and economic infrastructure, according to the most comprehensive survey of the conflict. Pressure on UK and US roles in the Yemen war is set to increase as survey shows the full range of non-military targets attacked by US-backed Saudi Arabian forces.

CEOs Can Now Be Prosecuted Like War Criminals at the Hague
( teleSURtv & Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

The International Criminal Court has announced it will now hold corporate executives and governments legally responsible for environmental crimes. Meanwhile, four of the largest US chemical companies have been accused of selling billions of dollars worth of harmful isocyanate chemicals but intentionally concealing their dangers to consumers over the past several decades.

The Bayer Monsanto Merger: A Campaign for Control of the World's Food
(teleSURtv & The ETC Group)

The confirmation that Monsanto and Bayer have agreed to a $66 billion merger while at least three more game-changing mergers are in play (and flying under the radar). Anti-competition regulators should block these mergers, and particularly in the emerging markets of the Global South. "These deals are not just about seeds and pesticides, but also about who will control Big Data in agriculture," says Pat Mooney of ETC Group, a Canadian NGO that monitors agribusiness.

US Troops in Syria Flee US-Backed Rebels in Syria
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Raf Sanchez / The Telegraph)

Video footage appears to show US commandos fleeing a Syrian town under a barrage of abuse and insults hurled at them by fighters from the American-backed Free Syrian Army rebel group. The FSA is the centerpiece "moderate" rebel faction of all US cheerleaders of the Syrian Civil War, and heavily backed by the US throughout the war. One of the US-backed rebels shouts: "Christians and Americans have no place among us. They want to wage a crusader war to occupy Syria."

ACTION ALERT: Petition the Vatican to Renounce the
(David Swanson / World Beyond War)

Just War theory holds that a war is morally justified under certain circumstances. In April 2016, the Vatican held a meeting on whether the Catholic Church, the originator of Just War theory, should reject it and issue an encyclical renouncing the Just War Doctrine and, instead, promoting the teaching and use of nonviolence, and and the pursuit of the abolition of war and weapons of war. Here is a petition you can sign, whether or not you are Catholic, urging the church to do just that.

Syria's War: UN Appeals for Passage of Aleppo Aid
(Al Jazeera and News Agencies)

The UN has called on the Syrian government to "immediately" allow life-saving aid into eastern Aleppo, where about 300,000 people are living under siege. Staffan de Mistura, the UN special envoy, said there were 20 aid lorries ready to cross the border from Turkey into Syria, and make it to Aleppo city where a cessation of hostilities was holding "by and large."

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes on Water Well Kill at Least 30 Yemeni Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ahmed al-Haj / Associated Press)

Saudi-led airstrikes on a water well in Yemen reportedly killed 30 people and wounded 17, a UN official said, making it one of the deadliest attacks since peace talks collapsed a month ago. UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, said the casualties included first responders and children. McGoldrick said he is "deeply disturbed by the unrelenting attacks on civilians and on civilian infrastructure." The strikes took place on the eve of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

What 80 Million Unexploded US Bombs Did to Laos
(Rebecca Wright / CNN)

Some 80 million unexploded bombs are scattered across the country -- the deadly legacy of what became known as America's "secret war" in Laos -- a CIA-led mission during the Vietnam War. In total, between 1964 and 1973, the US dropped more than two million tons of bombs -- one of the heaviest aerial bombardments in history. To this day, less than 1% of the bombs have been removed.

US Veterans Support Legal Fight for Victim of US Drone
(W.J. Hennigan / Los Angeles Times)

Three military veterans once involved in the US drone program have thrown their support behind a Yemeni man's legal fight to obtain details about why his family members were killed in a 2012 strike. The veterans' unusual decision to publicly endorse the lawsuit against President Obama and other US officials adds another twist to Faisal bin Ali Jaber's four-year quest for accountability in the deaths of his brother-in-law and nephew.

US Response to 9/11 Seen as Driving Force in Spread of Terror
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Michel Moutot / France 24 & Agence France Press & The Times of Israel )

While within the US, there is still plenty of willingness for politicians to use the 9/11 anniversary to make hawkish speeches praising America's "unity," internationally there is growing willingness to be more circumspect about the results. French President Francois Hollande, or one, claims it was the Iraq war that created the Islamic State group, which in turn, led to the rise of extremist attacks across Europe.

Colombia's FARC Starts Demobilization of Child Soldiers
(Deutsche Welle)

Colombia's FARC rebel group has handed over eight child soldiers to an international humanitarian body as part of a peace deal reached with the government last month. The child soldiers were the first to be demobilized since last month's historic peace deal between Marxist guerrillas of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and the and the Colombian government to end a half-century of fighting.. Further demobilizations are expected.

House Unanimously Passes Bill to Allow 9/11 Lawsuits against Saudi Arabia
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Katie Bo Williams / The Hill)

The House of Representatives has unanimously passed the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act. The bill passed by unanimous voice vote in the Senate back in May. The bill allows families of victims of the 9/11 attack to sue Saudi Arabia in US courts over the attack, based on evidence that the Saudi government played a role in supporting al-Qaeda in the attack. The Saudis are now vowing to collapse the US treasury market in retaliation by selling some $750 billion in Saudi-held assets.

Bill Championed by Families of 9/11 Victims Headed for Likely Veto
(Karoun Demirjian / The Washington Post)

Congress passed a bill to allow families of the victims of the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia over its alleged ties to terrorism. The House passed the legislation by voice vote, with leaders calling it a "moral imperative" to allow victims' families to seek justice for the deaths of loved ones. The White House is in a difficult spot. Saudi Arabia has lobbied hard against the legislation, even threatening to start selling off US assets if the measure passes.

With 28 Million Children Uprooted by War, UK to Spend on $2.5 Million on Wall
(Associated Press & The Guardian)

Some 28 million children have been driven from their homes by violent conflict, according to a UNICEF report. Children make up about a third of the world's population as of 2015, they accounted for nearly half of all refugees, with the number of child refugees having doubled in the last decade. Meanwhile, work is about to begin on "a big, new wall" in Calais to prevent refugees and migrants from jumping aboard lorries heading for the Channel port and refuge in the UK.

Obama Offers Saudis Over $115 Billion in Arms Deals
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Yara Bayoumy / Reuters)

US President Barack Obama's administration has offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, other military equipment and training, the most of any US administration in the 71-year US-Saudi alliance. The Center for International Policy is revealing that over the course of his term in office, President Obama has offered Saudi Arabia over $115 billion in arms and other military equipment in 42 separate deals, by far the most of any US administration.

80 Million Unexploded US Bombs in Laos: Obama Pledges Bomb Removal Assistance
(BBC World News & Josh Lederman and Kathleen Hennessey / Associated Press)

Half a century ago, the United States turned Laos into history's most heavily bombed country, raining down some two million tons of ordnance in a covert, nine-year chapter of the Vietnam War. Declaring a "moral obligation" to heal the wounds of a secret war, President Barack Obama on Tuesday pledged help to clear away the 80 million unexploded bombs the US dropped on Laos a generation ago -- more than 10 for every one of the country's 7 million people.

ACTION ALERT: Unarmed Dakota Pipeline Protesters Withstand Dogs and Mace, Drive Back Enbridge Security
(Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Amy Goodman / Democracy now! & Josh Nelson / CREDO Action & Matt Agorist / MintPress News )

The bulldozers returned to the site of the proposed Dakota Access Pipeline project Saturday. The protesters, anchored by Standing Rock Sioux tribal activists, rallied quickly to defend “the land.” The result was a chaotic confrontation between the all-white private security forces armed with mace and attack dogs and an unarmed multi-ethnic coalition of Americans determined to stop them in their tracks.

An Update on the Struggle for Peace and Justice in Central America and Mexico
(James Jordan / The Alliance for Global Justice )

The Alliance for Global Justice has just celebrated another anniversary of Nicaragua's Sandinista Revolution, which took power away from the corrupt and bloody Somoza regime back in July of 1979. We also celebrate the ceasefire that has brought to an end more than 52 years of war in Colombia. Unfortunately, there are enemies of the peace in Colombia and assaults against popular movements, human rights defenders, rural and indigenous communities are on the rise.

Russia Claims US Biological Research Not Entirely Peaceful
(RT News & USA Today & Associated Press & Northwest Public Radio)

America's staunch opposition to Russian efforts to create a monitoring mechanism for the execution of the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC) indicates that the US may be conducting militarized biological research. In response, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has suggested the US may be conducting biological research that is "not entirely peaceful."

15 Years After 9/11, The War on Terror Has Failed
(John Arquilla / Insight, San Francisco Chronicle)

As the 15th anniversary of al Qaeda's attacks on America nears, one simple but very inconvenient truth must be acknowledged: The "global war on terror" launched by President George W. Bush has failed. The vast increase in the number of terrorist attacks worldwide provides irrefutable evidence of this failure. Since the US began its "war on terror," there has been a sevenfold increase in incidents and a more than fivefold rise in combined deaths and injuries.

Using Human Shields as a Pretext to Kill Civilians
(Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini / Reuters)

In Syria, ISIL fighters reportedly fled Manbij in convoys using human shields; in Kashmir, "army and police used civilians as human shields in operations against militants"; in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists were accused of using international observers as shields. The phrase "human shields"is also invoked to describe the use of civilians civilians in protests, from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to Ferguson, Missouri.

Using Human Shields as a Pretext to Kill Civilians
(Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini / Reuters)

In Syria, ISIL fighters reportedly fled Manbij in convoys using human shields; in Kashmir, "army and police used civilians as human shields in operations against militants"; in Ukraine, pro-Russian separatists were accused of using international observers as shields. The phrase "human shields"is also invoked to describe the use of civilians civilians in protests, from Zimbabwe and Ethiopia to Ferguson, Missouri.

Did US Airstrike in Lybia Kill Two Serbian Diplomats?
(Sharif Abdel Kouddous / The Intercept)

Despite Pentagon evasions, evidence is mounting that a US airstrike against an ISIS training camp in Libya in February 2016 killed two Serbian diplomats. The Pentagon erroneously believed that no civilians were at the camp at the time of the attack. The strike, which involved fighter jets and drones, was authorized by President Obama. At the time, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook characterized the attack as "very successful" and made no mention of any civilian casualties.

An Oil Pipeline and a River: A Tale of Two Standoffs
(Winona LaDuke / Yes Magazine & Michael McLean / Jacobin Magazine)

It's 2016, and the weight of US corporate interests has come to the Missouri River, the Mother River. This time, instead of the Seventh Cavalry, or police dispatched to assassinate Sitting Bull, it is Enbridge and Dakota Access Pipeline. The federal response to Lakota protests against the Pipeline couldn't be more different than their reaction to this year's Bundy occupation. The pipeline decision has been delayed to Sept. 9. Thousands of indigenous activists continue protests.

How Veterans' "Service" Is Used to Fuel Private Profit
(Nick Turse / TomDispatch & Ann Jones / TomDispatchNick Turse / TomDispatch)

In an adapted version of the keynote address she recently gave to the annual convention of Veterans for Peace, Ann Jones takes aim at schemes seeking to use veterans for corporate interests and dismantle the VA system in the name of privatized profits. In 150 years, will some writer be tallying up the number of widows and children still collecting on the wars, interventions, attacks, and raids in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, and elsewhere?

Genocide by Proxy: US Okay With Surgical Strikes on Yemen Hospitals
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: "There is no reason to expect any good to come to Yemen until a whole lot more Americans face the reality of their country's support for a genocidal war of aggression. When enough Americans recognize that, then they will have to do a lot more about it than stop selling tanks to the aggressors. Until then, the US-sponsored atrocity of ethnic cleansing in a poverty-stricken country that threatens no one will continue unabated."

US-backed War in Yemen Turns Hospitals into Morgues
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept)

The humanitarian toll of Saudi Arabia's US-backed bombing campaign in Yemen has become so extensive that the International Committee of the Red Cross has taken the unusual step of donating entire morgue units to Yemeni hospitals. "The hospitals were not able to cope. You could have more than 20 dead people brought into one hospital on one single day. The morgue capacity at a regular hospital is not equipped to handle this influx of dead bodies."

More Civilians Die in Airstrikes: US Is Killing Far More Syrians Than It Admits
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Missy Ryan, Zakaria Zakaria and Thomas Gibbons-Neff / The Washington Post)

Just before 3 a.m., A-10 and B-52 aircraft bore down on the Syrian village of Tokhar. Their 500-pound bombs struck their targets and, when the dust settled, at least 95 people lay dead. According to conflicting Syrian and US accounts, the attack was either a major victory for the United States and its allied ground forces or the worst case of civilian casualties by the United States since the war against the Islamic State began. The final death toll rose to nearly 200.

The Bloody Legacy of American Exceptionalism
(Vanessa Beeley / American Herald Tribune)

Commentary: There are many theories surrounding the origin of American exceptionalism. The most popular in US folklore, being that it describes America's unique character as a "free" nation founded on democratic ideals and civil liberties. Over time, exceptionalism has come to represent superiority. At the same time, the US has become exceptionally lawless and authoritarian particularly in its intolerant neo-colonialist foreign policy. The media supports this superiority complex.

Russian Bombs Creating a 'Humanitarian Crisis' in Syria
(Zena Tahhan / Al Jazeera & Peter Yeung / The Independent & Military World)

Residents and activists in Syrian city say supplies are scarce and aerial bombardment of civilian areas is unrelenting. Schools, hospitals and civilian homes have allegedly been targeted in the air strikes. Field hospitals, ambulance and civil defense personnel have been targeted in the last few days, especially with cluster bombs.

Who Would Win If the Pentagon Fought the Whole World?
(Logan Nye / We Are the Mighty.com & Scout.com)

How would the US hold up if it wound up going to war with the rest of the world? All at once? It's the big fight, the heavyweight championship -- the US against the world. The whole world. And not just traditional rivals. In this scenario, the US has to fight off its allies like the United Kingdom, France, and South Korea as well. So if it's the US against the world, who's going to win? In short, America would stomp them.

Assad's Choppers Accused of Dropping Napalm on Last Hospital in Darayya
(Hussam Eddin / Syria Direct)

On Tuesday, regime helicopters dropped four barrel bombs containing an unknown incendiary substance on the only hospital in the Damascus suburb of Darayya. These barrel bombs did not detonate and caused fires that burned uncontrollably for several hours. Residents of Darayya are referring to the substance reportedly delivered by Tuesday's barrel bomb attacks as "napalm," an incendiary liquid that sticks to skin and other surfaces, causing severe burns.

A Message from Setsuko Thurlow
(The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

Atomic bombing survivor Setsuko Thurlow recalls: "The calendar never fails to bring me the special reminder each year of the unforgettable day, August 6, 1945, that changed my life and that of the entire world. As I attempt to ponder the meaning of my survival from that hell on Earth, I remember Einstein's words, "Splitting the atom has changed everything except our way of thinking, thus we drift towards unparalleled catastrophe".

ACTION ALERT: Appeal to Congress. Stop the Saudi Arms Sale: Hospitals, Schools and Civilians Are Being Bombed
(Action Network & Wired for Change & Just Foreign Policy)

Despite previous promises to stop targeting civilian targets earlier this year, the Saudi-Ied, US-supported coalition continues to bomb civilians in Yemen with US-made weapons, killing more than 20 in just the last several days. The Obama administration has notified Congress of intent to sell $1.15 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, including tanks which would replace tanks destroyed in Saudi Arabia's war against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

What Parents in Aleppo Tell their Children about War

This commentary was written by a man who lives in the Shaar district of Aleppo with his wife and six children. The family fled the fighting and privations of war in 2012, first to the north and then the west of the country, but could not escape the violence and so returned to the ruins of Aleppo where they continue to face grave danger and hardship.

US-Backed Militias Tortured and Killed Hundreds in Iraq
(teleSURtv & Ned Parker and Jonathan Landay / Reuters)

A Reuters investigation reveals that Iraqi militias backed by the US and Iran have disappeared over 700 people. The Reuters research documents disturbing information that reveals US-backed Shiite militias in Iraq have tortured and killed thousands of Sunni men and boys in Fallujah since the city was liberated from the Islamic State group in June. Men were shot, beaten with rubber hoses and, in several cases, beheaded.

Oxfam: London 'In Denial' over Saudi Arms Sales as UK Bombs Kill Civilians in Yemen
(Al Jazeera News & Hamid Dabashi / Al Jazeera)

An international aid organisation has accused British politicians of being in "denial and disarray" over the selling of arms to Saudi Arabia for potential use in the war in Yemen. Oxfam said on Tuesday the UK was violating the International Arms Trade Treaty, which regulates the transfer of conventional arms to ensure there are no violations of international humanitarian law.

Naming America's Own Genocide: The US and California's Indian Catastrophe
(Reviewed by Richard White / The Nation)

Madley argues that California's elected officials were "the primary architects of annihilation" of Indigenous communities and that they were funded and enabled by the federal government. In California, what Americans have often called "war" was nothing of the sort. For every American who died, 100 Indians perished. They died horribly -- men, women, and children. The men who killed them were brutal. Nor did the killings result from a moment of rage; they were systematic.

UN Calls for Nuclear Abolition Treaty; Tokyo and Seoul Call for Nuclear First-Strike
(Susi Snyder / Pax for Peace & ICAN & The Asahi Shimbun)

UN disarmament talks concluded in Geneva with the overwhelming majority of nations signaling their intention to launch negotiations in 2017 for a global ban on nuclear weapons.107 nations in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, Southeast Asia, the Pacific, and Europe, united behind a proposal to convene a conference next year to outlaw nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons remain the only weapons of mass destruction not yet prohibited under international law.

ACTION ALERT: Gun Control Is Possible: Venezuela Acts to Reduce Gun Violence
(Frank Jack Daniel / Reuters & The Pen & The Peace Team)

Venezuelan police crushed and chopped up nearly 2,000 shotguns and pistols in a Caracas city square on Wednesday, as the new interior minister relaunched a long-stalled gun control campaign in one of the world's most crime-ridden countries. With a critical presidential and congressional election coming up, it's time to take a stand on reasonable gun regulation: The Pen and the Peace Team provide an Action Page.

'Disproportionate Force': Airstrikes and Civilian Casualties
(Chris Woods / The New York Times & Impunity Watch / Syracuse University College of Law)

As the US and its allies continue their bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, many more noncombatants are perishing than they seem prepared to admit. During July, reported civilian casualties from coalition airstrikes reached the highest level since the air war began in 2014. Airwars estimates at least 1,500 civilians have been killed by the US-led coalition -- around one death for every nine strikes. Coalition officials admit to just 55 deaths.

Brazil and the Olympics: Environmental Symbolism Cannot Offset the Murder of 23 Environmental Activists
(AIDA & Global Witness & TheLipTV)

Commentary: Last year, Brazil was the world´s most dangerous country for environmental activsts. At least 50 were killed. So far this year, 23 have been assassinated. The Amazon, where I was born, is the epicenter of these crimes. While the opening ceremony focussed on two issues critical issues -- deforestation and climate change -- It would have been stronger if the Amazon's indigenous people hadn't been portrayed only as relics from Brazil's past.

This is the Face of War: And This Is Why Airstrikes on Cities Should Be a War Crime
(Al Jazeera News & Hamid Dabashi / Al Jazeera)

The image of five-year-old boy, confused after an air strike in Aleppo, have sparked revulsion around the world. In the silent bewilderment and steady gaze of the Omran Daqneesh there is the indictment of the entire Earth on which he lives. Nothing will ever wipe away the image of that dusty bloody face or close those piercing, inquisitive eyes.

In Palestinian, Trees and Boats Are Targets
(Ma'an News)

Israeli settler bulldozers under the protection of Israeli army and intelligence forces uprooted hundreds of olive trees from Palestinian lands in the village of Iskaka in eastern Salfit. Villagers were taken by surprise when the convoy stormed the village and uprooted the olive trees without giving prior notice. Meanwhile, Israeli naval forces opened live fire at Palestinian fishermen in waters off the coast of the northern part of the besieged Gaza Strip.

War in Yemen Continues to Destroy the World's Poorest Country
(Yara Bayoumy / Reuters & The Associated Press)

The cost from damage to infrastructure and economic losses in Yemen's civil war is more than $14 billion so far, according to a confidential report seen by Reuters. The conflict has killed more than 9,000 people, displaced 2.4 million, and destroyed much of the already limited infrastructure in the Arab world's poorest country, where more than half the population is suffering from malnutrition.

Underground Hospitals Struggle to Treat Aleppo's Children as War Rages across Syria
(Richard Engel / NBC Nightly News & James Denselow / Al-Jazeera)

Several conflicts are at play in Syria. The first is the retreat of the Islamic State of ISIS across the country and the second is the unpredictable events in and around Aleppo where regular regime gains have been stunningly reversed. It is hard to overestimate the importance of Aleppo. Syrian/US/Russian airstrikes have been ferocious -- with the reported use of incendiary and chemical weapons. Hospitals also have become targets -- with one being hit every 17 hours.

US-backed Saudi Strike Kills Schoolchildren in Yemen
(Agence France-Presse & Al-Monitor )

Saudi-led air strikes on a school in a rebel-held province of northern Yemen have killed 10 children and wounded 28 others, according to reports from Doctors Without Borders. The war in Yemen continues to take a terrible toll as UN-mediated peace talks remain stalled, and a fragile cessation of hostilities, barely a week old, is already collapsing.

Fukushima: A Crisis Without End
(Helen Caldicott / TalkingStickTV & PR Newswire)

A new report titled "5 Years Living With Fukushima" concludes that the full impact of the three nuclear reactor meltdowns at Fukushima may never be known, due to Japan's failure to immediately and fully track radiation exposures, as well as a "disturbing" lack of testing of the general population for radiation-related diseases and other impacts (miscarriages, fetal malformations, leukemia, lymphomas, solid tumors or non-cancerous diseases).

"America, Ask Why You Are Hated!" The July 28, 2016 US Manbij Massacre
(Ollie Richardson / StalkerZone & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian & Leith Fadel / Al-Masdar News)

The US-led coalition's presence in Syria is becoming more unwelcome as the days pass. It is becoming increasingly difficult for the massacre of civilians to simply go unnoticed. On July 28th, A US-led coalition airstrike on Ghandura village in northern Manbij resulted in the deaths of 45 civilians, including women and children. The bombing targeted a street market crowded with people. The following day, ISIS posted a video depicting the horrific aftermath of the airstrike.

No Donald, It Wasn't Obama and Clinton Who Created ISIS; It was Bush and Cheney
(Scott Galindez / Reader Supported News)

ISIS wasn’t created by Obama pulling troops out of Iraq, it was created by the Bush/Cheney invasion of Iraq. ISIS formed during the invasion of Iraq and was radicalized by the way we, and the Iraq government we installed, treated the Sunnis. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney broke Iraq and didn’t rebuild it. Instead they helped the Shia crush the Sunni population. Giving the Sunnis a state, following the invasion, would have prevented the subsequent radicalization.

Over 1,500 Civilians Killed by US Coalition in Iraq and Syria
(teleSURtv & The Empire Files)

More than 1,500 people have been killed by the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, London-based Airwars monitoring group said in a report released on the second anniversary of the beginning of the airstrikes against the extremist group. By August 8, 2016 -- the second anniversary of the air war -- between 3,462 and 4,736 civilian non-combatant fatalities had been alleged from 527 separate reported incidents, in both Iraq and Syria.

ACTION ALERT: Google Maps Erases Palestine from the Face of the Earth
(Causes.com & The Washington Post)

After years of fear-mongering over the hyped Iranian "threat"* to "wipe Israel off the map," Google has just done just that to Palestine. (The "threat" stems from a mistranslation of a speech that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini gave in the 1980, in which he said: "This occupation regime over Jerusalem must vanish from the arena of time.") 137 counties and the UN recognize the state of Palestine and Google should, too!

Over 500 Days of the Indefensible, US-Backed War on Yemen
(Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

Yemen is listed by the UN as one of the worst humanitarian crises in the world today, and in terms of the sheer number of lives at risk of starvation I think it is fair to say that it is the most severe in the entire world. Even if the fighting stopped immediately (and it obviously won’t), Yemen will be recovering from this war for decades.

Sanctions for Russia and a Green Light for Israel to Continue War Crimes
(Ajamu Baraka / Ajamu Baraka's Website )

Commentary: The moral duplicity in the US political class is breathtaking. President Barak Obama has announced expanded economic sanctions against Russia for its' alleged support for "pro-Russian separatist forces" in Eastern Ukraine. At the same time, it is undeniable that war crimes are being committed in Gaza. Applying the same logic that the US applied to the Russians leaves the US as morally culpable for the war crimes being carried out by Israel.

Britain Boycotts Disarmament Talks While World Remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki Bombings
(International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Tomihisa Taue / Mayor of Nagasaki / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

As the world remembers Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the UK continues to boycott disarmament talks that could prevent similar tragedies in the future. At UN talks this year, more than 100 governments laid the groundwork for a new global treaty to ban nuclear weapons. In a speech marking the 71st anniversary of his city's bombing, Nagasaki's Mayor plead: "Young people, for the sake of the future, will you face up to the past and thereby take a step forward?"

Will Nagasaki Be the Last Use of Nuclear Weapons?
(Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy (Part 3))

At 11:02 on August 9, 1945 a single US plutonium bomb -- with less than one-fifth of the explosive power of an average warhead for Trident submarine -- lead to the deaths of more than half of Nagasaki's population of 240,000. On the anniversary of this bombing, survivors travel from Japan to Britain to stand vigil -- and face arrest -- at the gates of the Faslane nuclear base where the UK's fleet of US Trident subs (armed with US-supllied nuclear weapons) are stationed.

Refugee Athletes Arrive in Rio to Compete under the Olympic Flag
(Annalisa Merelli / Quartz & NBC Nightly News & Niyazi G. Atay / Al Monitor)

For the first time in Olympic history, refugee teams from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will participate at the games in Rio, representing not only the people from each of these countries, but the 65 million people displaced by war and persecution. Having overcome unimaginable hardships on their way to Rio, all ten of these athletes share an ardent desire that their refugee status not define them. They are in Rio as competitors.

US Hit for Using "Scorched Earth" Tactics in Syria
(Lizzie Dearden / The Independent)

Members of the US-led coalition have been accused of deploying a "scorched earth policy" in Syria by activists who claim to have documented scores of civilian deaths -- including air strikes in Manbij that have killed innocent families. "The attacking militias and the international coalition have dealt with Manbij civilians, who are estimated to be around 3,000 in number, as if they were terrorists or ISIS supporters."

ACLU Prompts Release of US Drone Assassination Policy
(Kevin Bohn / CNN & American Civil Liberties Union)

The Obama administration has released a previously secret 18-page policy guidance document that lays out how potential drone targets may be chosen and approved and the President's role in the decision-making process. The policy document, known as the President Policy Guidance, says counterterrorism operations -- including lethal action against designated terrorist targets -- will be taken only when there is "a near certainty" that the target is properly identified.

A Letter to Barack Obama from Hiroshima Survivor Setsuko Thurlow
(Daniel Hogsta / International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Setsuko Thurlow, Hiroshima Survivor & Rebecca Johnson / Open Democracy)

Japanese A-bomb survivors are growing old with their dreams of nuclear abolition unfulfilled. Following three International Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, 127 nations have pledged to rid the world of nuclear weapons -- but the US refused to even attend these meetings. Why, Mr. President, is the US government boycotting the UN disarmament negotiations, the most significant advance for nuclear disarmament in a generation?

A Call for a Nuclear-free World on "Hiroshima Day"
(Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi)

On the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Mayor Matsui Kazumi of Hiroshima delivered this year's Peace Declaration at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. "Today, we renew our determination, offer heartfelt consolation to the souls of the A-bomb victims, and pledge to do everything in our power, working with the A-bombed city of Nagasaki and millions around the world, to abolish nuclear weapons and build lasting world peace."

ACTION ALERT: Sign the Global Call for Atomic Disarmament
(Joseph Gerson / Peace and Planet & The 2016 World Conference against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs)

Seventy-one years ago, the US used nuclear weapons against the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The two bombs burned out the cities and claimed the lives of about 210,000 people by the end of the year. It was a hell on earth. Today, Japan's A-bomb survivors invite the world to join the International Signature Campaign in Support of the Appeal of the Atomic Bomb Survivors of Hiroshima & Nagasaki, for the Elimination of Nuclear Weapons.

Syria Crumbles Under Russian Airstrikes
(Al Jazeera)

Since September 30, 2015, Russia has been carrying out air strikes in Syria in support of its ally President Bashar al-Assad. The campaign has been relentless and growing in intensity, with Russian jets flying 444 combat sorties against more than 1,500 targets between February 10 and 16 alone. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says thousands of non-combatants have been killed or wounded in these airstrikes.

ACTION ALERT: Israel Set to Destroy Palestinian Village
(Just Foreign Policy & J Street Blog)

In days, Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman will decide whether to destroy 40% of the Palestinian village of Susya, leaving a hundred people homeless. You can urge Secretary of State John Kerry to make clear the US won't tolerate the demolition of Susya by signing the Just Foreign Policy petition at MoveOn.

Hiroshima Mayor's Appeal: "Please, everyone, shout loudly that we don't need nuclear weapons."
(Hiroshima Mayor Matsui Kazumi)

Today, the 71st anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Mayor Matsui Kazumi of Hiroshima delivered this year's Peace Declaration at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Ceremony. Seventy-one years later, over 15,000 nuclear weapons remain, individually much more destructive than the one that inflicted Hiroshima's tragedy. "Is it not time to honor the spirit of Hiroshima and clear the path toward a world free from that "absolute evil," that ultimate inhumanity?"

New US War Crimes in Syria: 200 Murdered Civilians 'Mistaken for ISIS'
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al-Monitor)

With the Pentagon's Centcom already promising an investigation into the US airstrikes on July 19 in Manbij, in which warplanes killed up to 200 civilians after "mistaking them for ISIS," the Pentagon has confirmed today that a second formal investigation has been launched into a July 29 strike, which hit civilian neighborhoods near Manbij, killing another 28.

UN Calls for Protection of Children in War Zones: Saudis Threaten to Withdraw UN Funding
(United Nations News Service & Associated Press)

With children continuing to be tortured, maimed, imprisoned, starved, sexually abused and killed in armed conflict, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called on all countries to back their words with concrete actions to end such violations. "In places such as Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, children suffer through a living hell," the UN chief said as he opened the Security Council's debate on children and armed conflict.

Life among Barrel Bombs for Aleppo's Children
(Olivia Alabaster & Zouhir Al Shimale / Al Jazeera & Samer Abboud / Al Jazeera)

The psychological trauma of being trapped in a war zone lasts long after the conflict ends. Regardless of how many civilians manage to leave besieged Aleppo in the coming days, the psychological scars left on the city's children may never heal. Some 300,000 civilians remain in the opposition-held part of the city, 60 percent of whom are women and children. For the more than 400,000 residents who remain in Aleppo, the immediate future is bleak.

No More Hiroshimas, No More Nagasakis: Ban Nuclear Weapons!
(Australian Doctor.com)

Notes on the aftermath of America's nuclear bombing of Hiroshima: "I saw nothing that wasn't burnt to a crisp. Streetcars were standing and inside were dozens of bodies, blackened beyond recognition. I saw fire reservoirs filled to the brim with dead bodies who looked as they had been boiled alive. In one reservoir I saw one man, horribly burned, crouching beside another man who was dead. I paused to rest."

Patterns of Harm: Tracking Civilian Deaths 2011-2015
(Iain Overton / Action on Armed Violence)

For over five years, Action on Armed Violence has monitored English language media coverage of explosive violence around the world. Our latest report presents data from over 188,325 recorded deaths and injuries -- a result of 12,566 incidents of explosive weapons use between 2011 and 2015. Of the 188,325 deaths and injuries recorded from 2011 to 2015, 145,565 (77%) were civilians. In populated areas, civilians accounted for 91% of deaths and injuries.

ACTION ALERT: The Struggle Against Racist Policing -- from the US to Brazil to Palestine
(teleSUR & ColorOfChange and MoveOn.org)

Black Lives Matter argues that the police violence and killings of Black people in the US is connected to Israel's decades-long oppression of Palestinians. In recent weeks BLM activists have intensified their global campaign against the killings of non-white minorities around the world. The federal government knows exactly how police departments are terrorizing Black communities -- it's past time they do something about it and hold these officers accountable.

Coups Inside NATO: A Disturbing History
(Jonathan Marshall / Consortium News & Nafeez Ahmed / Middle East Eye)

Turkey's embattled President Erdogan suspects US sympathy for the failed coup if not outright assistance to the coup plotters, a belief that has some basis in history. The assumption that NATO has always before respected peaceful political change within its ranks is false. Turkey's 1960 coup was engineered by Colonel Alparslan Türkes, reportedly a liaison officer to the CIA. Many Greeks blamed Washington for the 1967 coup lead by right-wing army officers.

Racism Casts 'Dark Shadow' Over United States, Says UN Expert
(teleSUR & Cedric Johnson / Jacobin Magazine)

A high-ranking United Nations human rights official has raised alarms over police brutality and impunity, mass incarceration, and racial bias in the US criminal justice system where nearly 40 percent of the country's 2.3 million prisoners are African-Americans. In Jacobin Magazine, Cedric Johnson argues that genuine public safety and social justice will come from projects that build popular consensus and organize for real power.

Nice, Munich and the Terrorism of the West
(Belen Fernandez / Middle East Eye)

Commentary: Eighty-four lives lost in Nice is an atrocity of extreme proportions, but what of the estimated half-million Iraqi children killed by US sanctions in the 1990s,well before George Bush announced the "war on terror"? It has become tiresome to point out the institutionalised hypocrisy, but there's not exactly an alternative -- particularly when the function of Western media is to fuel an anti-intellectual, anti-analytical, anti-empathetic approach to current events.

How Close Are We to Nuclear War?
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Former Clinton cabinet member William J. Perry sees a danger that this year's presidential wannabes have largely ignored. The last presidential candidate to address the threat of nuclear war was Congressman Dennis Kucinich -- in 2008. In Perry's recent book, "My Journey to the Nuclear Brink," he restates his long-felt concern that the detonation of just one nuclear weapon could produce a "nuclear catastrophe . . . that could destroy our way of life."

US Navy Sued over Plans for War Games on Pacific Islands
(Caleb Jones / Associated Press and ENews & The Center for Biological Diversity)

Community members and the earthJustice environmental group have sued the US Navy, the Department of Defense and the Secretary of Defense over a plan to turn two Pacific islands into live-fire testing sites for training exercises. The Pentagon's plan calls for using the islands of Tinian and Pagan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands for military war games.

Human-caused Species Extinctions Worldwide Now Threaten Human Life
(Ian Johnston / The Independent)

Animal and plant species are declining so quickly that world biodiversity loss could soon start to threaten much of the planet's ability to support human life. Experts analysed nearly 2.4 million records about more than 39,000 species at 18,600 different places around the world and discovered that for 58.1 percent of the world's land surface, the loss of biodiversity was serious enough to call into question its ability to sustain the 5.3 billion people who live there.

UN: Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan Reach Record Highs
(Rebecca Kheel / The Hill)

Following a depressingly familiar trend, a new UN report has found record levels of violence against Afghan civilians in the first half of 2016, with 1,601 killed and 3,565 wounded -- the highest number of casualties since 2009 and on track to break the record level set in 2015. Children are increasingly the targets of this rising violence, with the new report including 388 children killed and 1,121 injured.

Domestic Terror: How the GOP Ignored the Problem of 'Killer Vets'
(Ben Wofford / Politico)

While GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is blaming Barack Obama for police shootings, the fact is that it was the Republicans who halted a federal study that sought to detect potential radicalization by veterans -- seven years ago.

Congressman and Former Marine Says Assault Rifles Don't Belong on City Streets
(Seth Moulton / New York Daily News & Katie Mettler / The Washington Post & Jason Zengerle/ GQ Magazine)

Congressman and Iraq War veteran Seth Moulton writes: I'm a Marine. I carried guns every day in Iraq, guns very similar to the ones used to perpetrate the Orlando murders and many other mass shootings in America. But there's a big difference between a US Marine with a rifle and a civilian with a gun.

Okinawa Protests Erupt as US Helipad Construction Resumes
(Ayako Mie / Japan Times)

Hundreds of riot police and protesters clashed as construction of US helipads resumed in Okinawa's Northern Training Area, a key condition for the partial return to Japan of a large parcel of land being used by US forces. Local residents have complained about the noise made by the crash-plagued Osprey tilt-sing aircraft and the environmental impact construction will have on the area.

Dueling Plans for US Nuke Arsenal: 10 Senators Demand De-escalation
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Brendan McGarry / DODBuzz & US Senate)

In competing letters this month to the Obama administration, US lawmakers dueled over plans to upgrade the military's nuclear arsenal. A group of 10 Democratic senators urged the president to restrain spending on nuclear weapons and to adopt "a policy of no-first-use of nuclear weapons, and canceling launch-on-warning plans." A bipartisan group of Republicans and Democrats -- including Hillary Clinton's VP nominee, Tim Kaine -- have called for increasing nuke funds.

US Airstrikes Will Continue -- Despite Mass Killing of Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)

The US will not pause airstrikes in Syria despite appeals from opposition activists after what appears to be the worst US-caused civilian casualty disaster of the war against the Islamic State. Syrian activists claim as many as 125 civilians were killed in a northern city hit by US-led effort airstrike. Despite calls from its own allies within Syria to immediately suspend their air campaign, US military officials vowed that US airstrikes in Iraq and Syria will continue unchanged.

More Proof That America's Drone War Doesn't Work
(Paul Pillar / The National Interest 7 Emily Manna / Georgetown Public Policy Review)

Most of the debate surrounding the United States drone program has focused on its legality and morality, while its effectiveness as a counterterrorism strategy has gone largely unquestioned. There is reason to believe that leadership decapitation is no longer an effective tactic to use against Al Qaeda and the Taliban. One principal finding: there was a statistically significant rise in terrorist attacks in a province after it became the target of US drone strikes.

The Big Boom: Nukes And NATO
(Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy In Focus and AntiWar.com)

It's been 71 years since atomic bombs destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and humanity's memory of those events has dimmed. But the world has little idea of what we face today. The bombs that obliterated those cities were tiny by today's standards. If the Hiroshima bomb represented approximately 27 freight cars filled with TNT, a one-megaton warhead would require a train 300 miles long. Each Russian RS-20V Voevoda intercontinental ballistic missile packs 10 megatons.

War Crime: US-backed Rebels Ask US to Stop Bombing as Entire Families Are Killed in Syria Attack
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & The Washington Post)

The US-backed opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Coalition has called for the US to immediately suspend all airstrikes against Syria following an attack on the villages of Tokhar and Hoshariyeh. left 56 civilians dead. The Syrian Observatory has warned the final death toll is being revised upward and could be around 200. Rebels warned that "entire families had been wiped out," serving as a recruitment tool for ISIS and other Islamist factions.

ACTION ALERT: Ban Cluster Bomb Transfers to Saudi Arabia -- And Everywhere Else
(Just Foreign Policy & No Clusterbombs.org & The Cluster Munition Coalition)

A White House decision to suspend cluster munition transfers to Saudi Arabia should be made permanent and extended to cover all such munitions. The White House suspended sales of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia following concerns over civilian harm from their use in Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been conducting military operations since March 2015. Urge the US Senate to oppose the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia.

Toxic and Deadly, the Human and Environmental Toll of Open Burning
(Daniel Ross / TruthOut)

Because the open burning of old munitions is highly toxic, it is banned in Canada and many European countries. But not in the US. Now, a decades-long effort to end the practice is moving ahead. In the meantime, bases across the US continue to dispose of tons of small arms cartridges, rockets, mortars, artillery shells and tactical missiles by burning them in the open, causing toxic clouds to blow over surrounding communities and contaminating the soil and groundwater.

Action Alert - Appeal for Solidarity with Okinawan Anti-Bases Movement - Takae
(Joseph Gerson / American Friends Service Committee)

There is deep concern about potential consequences of Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's election victory, including the abandonment of Japan's pacifist constitution, encouragement for the US' first-strike nuclear war-fighting doctrine, and support for the US move to build yet another military base in Okinawa -- a so-called helipad to serve as bases for Osprey warplanes -- that would devastate the rare, near-pristine mangrove forests in Takae.

Another US 'Mistake' Kills 56 Civilians in Syria; How the US Fuels Extremism
(teleSURtv & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)

An airstrike by the US-led coalition killed at least 56 civilians -- including at least 11 children -- north of the besieged city of Manbij. Another 21 people were killed in raids believed to have been conducted by US-led coalition aircraft on Manbij's northern quarter. Since August 2014, the US and its allies have carried out more than 10,800 airstrikes, but have only admitted to killing 21 civilians. According to Airwars, between 1,000 and 1,400 civilians having "likely" been killed.

US-backed Fighters Behead 10-year-old Boy, Post Video

The US says it may reconsider its affiliation and support for the Syrian opposition if reports of anti-Assad rebels beheading a Palestinian boy are confirmed. The State Department has vowed "consequences" if the gruesome videos of the death are true.

US and Russia Are Killing More Civilians Than They Admit

The US and Russia both refuse to concede their bombs are killing hundreds of innocent men, women and children in the Middle East. The US has launched more than 7,500 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria since August 2014 but admits to killing only 21 civilians. According to a UN count, at least 400 civilians had been killed by airstrikes in Iraq alone between January 2014 and October 2015.

Nuclear Weapons Are The Most Consequential Threat America Faces
(President John F. Kennedy & Lee H. Hamilton / The Huffington Post)

Commentary: If you ask Americans to identify the greatest risk to our national security, most will probably point to terrorism. Others will cite climate change, illegal immigration, or potential conflict with China or Russia. From my point of view, however, the gravest threat to our security and well-being as a nation is the threat posed by nuclear weapons. A single nuclear detonation could kill tens of thousands. A nuclear conflict could bring an end to civilization.

It Was Not a Good Week for the NRA
(Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)

Commentary: The NRA likes to argue that people need to carry guns for "self-defense" but real-world experience shows that merely having a gun in your possession can get you killed. As PolitiFact noted in 2013: "More Americans have died from guns in the US since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history." The scale of US gun-deaths now routinely claims more lives than are lost in countries with active civil wars — including Pakistan and Sudan.

It Was Not a Good Week for the NRA
(Gar Smith / Berkeley Daily Planet)

Commentary: The NRA likes to argue that people need to carry guns for "self-defense" but real-world experience shows that merely having a gun in your possession can get you killed. As PolitiFact noted in 2013: "More Americans have died from guns in the US since 1968 than on battlefields of all the wars in American history." The scale of US gun-deaths now routinely claims more lives than are lost in countries with active civil wars — including Pakistan and Sudan.

GOP Platform Targets Parks and Forests
(Jenny Rowland/ ThinkProgress )

The Republican platform committee met this week to draft the document that defines the party's official principles and policies. Along with provisions on pornography as a "public health issue" and LGBT "conversion therapy" is an amendment calling for the indiscriminate and immediate disposal of America's national forests and public lands.

The Price of "Victory": Fallujah in Ruins
(Kelley Beaucar Vlahos / The American Conservative)

The liberation last month of the Sunni city of Fallujah from a two-year ISIS stranglehold was celebrated as a rare victory by Iraqi forces and their US backers. But the city lies ravaged. Fallujah looks post-apocalyptic. The only people in Fallujah right now are fighters. Shia fighters, Iraqi forces, and non-uniformed Shiite militia raising their own flags in the city. The very people the US helped to "liberate" are being abused all over again.

UK Claims It Is 'Not Responsible' for Cleaning Up Radioactive Wastes It Left in Iraq
(Doug Weir / The Ecologist &Toxic Remnants of War Network)

The UK government has disclaimed any duty to decontaminate the toxic, radioactive ash left behind by its DU munitions - -- or even monitor the impacts on human health. The UK and the US position is that assessing harm, and the costly and technically challenging task of clearance, is the sole responsibility of the country they attacked - -- arguments they also used to make for removing landmines and cluster bombs.

ACTION ALERT: Army Base Poisoning Michigan's Water and Air
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB))

For years, the Badger Army Ammunition Plant has been flooding surrounding land and waters with ead, copper, arsenic, ammonia, nitroglycerine, PCBs and methylmercury – the most toxic form of mercury. Meanwhile, in communities across America, open burning and detonation of hazardous waste explosives results in the uncontrolled release of toxic heavy metals, energetic compounds, perchlorate, nitrogen oxides, dioxins and other carcinogens to the environment.

Biodiversity, GMOs, Gene Drives and the Militarized Mind
(Vandana Shiva / Common Dreams)

A recent report from the US National Academy of Science, titled "Gene Drives on the Horizon," warns: "One possible goal of release of a gene-drive modified organism is to cause the extinction of the target species or a drastic reduction in its abundance." Gene Drives have been called "mutagenic chain reactions," and are to the biological world what chain reactions are to the nuclear world. The London Guardian has described Gene Drives as the "gene bomb."

ACTION ALERT: Help Stop Police Use of Lethal Force
(Jamira Burley / Amnesty International)

The use of lethal force by law enforcement officers raises serious human rights concerns regarding the right to life, the right to security of the person, the right to freedom from discrimination and the right to equal protection under law. The first step to securing the right to life, says the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, is the creation of a legal framework for the use of force by the police and the conditions under which force may be used.

America's Funding of Honduran Security Forces Puts Blood on our Hands
(ohn James Conyers, Jr, Keith Ellison, Hank Johnson , Marcy Kaptur, Jan Schakowsky and Jose E Serrano / The Guardian)

The US is investigating allegations Honduran military had hitlist of environmental activists to target. We should not be working with Honduran police and military until the government defends human rights and holds security forces responsible for their crimes.

The President Is Wrong About Dallas, Wrong About Race
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Michelle Alexander )

Commentary: "These are not 'tragedies.' It is not a tragedy when a cop chokes a man to death or blows away a 12-year old with a toy gun. These are innocent, unarmed people killed in cold blood. These are not tragedies, they are something more like negligent homicide, or murder." "If we're serious about having peace officers -- rather than a domestic military at war with its own people -- we're going to have to get honest with ourselves about who our democracy actually serves and protects."

Gaza: Living and Dying with Drones
(Ann Wright / Consortium News)

Commentary: While US political leaders claim to uphold universal human rights, nearly all are selective in sympathizing with Israel in its lopsided war against the Palestinians as reflected in the 2014 slaughter in Gaza. Two years ago, on July 7, 2014, the Israeli government launched a horrific 51-day air, land and sea attack on the people of Gaza. Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) fired missiles, rockets, artillery and tank shells relentlessly on 1.8 million Palestinians.

US Put on Tourism Watchlist as Cops Kill Another Black Man: Meanwhile Police Killings of Latinos Go Unreported

Alva Braziel is the most recent victim of police terror in the US as he was shot 10 times by Houston police. "Black people don't feel as if we're being treated unequally -- it's a fact that we're being treated unequally," says Dr. Cornell West. It was telling, West said, that Obama could call the shooting of Dallas police "a vicious and despicable act" but he would not use those exact words to describe police-involved killings in general.

What Does Dallas's 'Bomb Robot' Mean for the Future of Policing?
(Simone McCarthy / The Christian Science Monitor )

The anti-police violence in Dallas started with human gunfire and ended with a robot bearing a bomb, marking the first time US law enforcement has used a robot to kill a suspect.

Black Lives Still Must Matter, Even After Dallas
(Kai Wright / The Nation)

Commentary: "Nothing about the horrific events in Dallas last night changes the reality that brought hundreds of people out to march in the first place, any more than the assassination of NYPD Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in 2014 changed the fact that Eric Garner's killing was a crime against humanity. It is still sadly necessary to remind the nation and our law enforcement that black lives matter."

Unarmed Americans Die by Police Bullets but Attorney General Lynch Still Does Nothing
(Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: You said: "All of us as Americans should be troubled by the shootings." All of us are. Attorney General Lynch is the best-positioned person in the nation to confront excessive police violence. As the head of the Department of Justice she has more powerful tools at her disposal than any other law enforcement officer in the nation. But she will not use the power that she has.

America Spends More Money on Jails than on Schools
(Teresa Welsh / McClatchy)

The US has the highest percentage of people in jail of any country on Earth. Spending on jails and prisons has increased by 324 percent -- to $71 billion. Texas has hiked incarceration spending by 850 percent. More than two-thirds of state prison inmates are high school dropouts.

US Army-trained Sniper Targets Police; Killed by Robot-bomb
(Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Del Quentin Wilber, Matt Pearce / The Los Angeles Times)

After announcing the arrest of one suspected shooter and another "person of interest," police have announced that an attack in downtown Dallas that killed five police officers and injured seven other officers was the act of a single "lone gunman -- an Afghanistan veteran drawn to Black Power symbology and a determination to kill white people" -- especially white police.

The Crippling Wounds of Mass-shooting 'Survivors'
(Timothy "Meteor Blades" Lange / The Daily Kos)

In our recollections of mass shootings, we remember the tally of the dead: Aurora -- 12; Sandy Hook -- 27; San Bernardino -- 14; Orlando -- 49; Fort Hood -- 13; Dallas -- 5. But, as frequently is the case, the number of wounded outnumbers the slain, just as is the case on the battlefield. For many of them, the nightmare didn't end when the shooter died or was captured. The impact of their wounds can continue for months or years or a lifetime.

Unarmed Americans Die by Police Bullets but Attorney General Lynch Still Does Nothing
(Marc Ash / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: You said: "All of us as Americans should be troubled by the shootings." All of us are. Attorney General Lynch is the best-positioned person in the nation to confront excessive police violence. As the head of the Department of Justice she has more powerful tools at her disposal than any other law enforcement officer in the nation. But she will not use the power that she has.

ACTION ALERT: One Cheer for Obama's Executive Order on Drone Strikes
(Rachel Reid / Foreign Policy & CODEPINK)

Analysis: President Barack Obama finally released data on civilians killed in US counterterror operations in Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen -- an important step toward ending the absurdity of undeclared drone wars. Yes, the White House low-balled its drone casualty numbers. But don't let that obscure the value of its important policy changes, which will save civilian lives.

ACLU Report: US Is Routinely Deserting and Deporting Vets
(Adolfo Flores / Buzzfeed)

A report by the ACLU released on Wednesday accuses the federal government of failing to naturalize, and then deporting, immigrants after they serve in the military. The findings released on Wednesday are based on interviews with 59 veterans from 22 countries who have been deported or are fighting their deportation. Of those, 31 of were brought to the US before the age of 10.

Gaza is Barely Holding Together
(Bill Corcoran / American Near East Refugee Aid and Just World Books)

The United Nations predicts that Gaza will be unlivable by 2020. The study estimates the population of 1.6 million will expand to more than two million, requiring a hefty increase in basic services. But, Gaza has barely recovered from the 2014 war, the third in five years. ANERA is helping to provide support on the ground. Meanwhile, Just World Books has just published a "Gaza Library" -- a collection of four books exploring Palestinian culture, politics and cuisine.

Deadlier than ISIS: US Cops Continue to Kill Americans
(Celisa Calacal / ThinkProgress)

In the first half of 2016, police have killed 532 people -- many of whom were unarmed, mentally ill, and people of color. This number comes from The Guardian's police killings database, but the Killed by Police database counts 580 people who have died at the hands of police so far this year. The Washington Post also reports that 488 people have been shot and killed by cops.

State Dept: Israel Systematically Seizing Palestinian Land
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Jerusalem Post)

In an unusually harsh public criticism, State Department spokesman John Kirby criticized Israel for systematically seizing Palestinian land for the expansion of Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank, insisting that such moves are "fundamentally undermining the prospects for a two-state solution."

For Obama's Secret Wars, the Record Suggests a Far Worse Reality
(Chris Woods / AntiWar.com)

Targeted killings or assassinations beyond the battlefield remain a highly charged subject. Most controversial of all is the number of civilians killed in US covert and clandestine drone strikes since 2002. United Nations data for Afghanistan indicates that one civilian was killed for every 11 international airstrikes in 2014.

US-Backed Syrian Rebels Accused of Torture, Summary Executions
(AntiWar.com & The Associated Press & Sky News)

While most of the reports on war crimes in Syria center on either ISIS or the Syrian government, they are by no means the only ones committing such crimes, as a new report from Amnesty International details "chilling" abuses committed by a number of different groups, including several US-backed rebel factions.

How Can America Celebrate Independence Day With Millions Behind Bars and Under Surveillance?
(JB Nicholas / The Daily Beast )

Commentary: "It was bizarre to celebrate a day dedicated to freedom from inside prison. Even after being released, the day smacks of hypocrisy for me . . . . For 13 Independence Days, I was a prisoner. To be a prisoner on the Fourth of July is to know the essential hypocrisy of contemporary America. "

July 4th: No Time for Celebration for Indigenous Peoples in US
(Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz / TeleSURtv)

July 4 symbolizes the beginning of the "Indian wars" and "westward movement" that raged across the continent over a century of unrelenting US wars of conquest. That was the goal of independence for both the seasoned killers of the so-called "revolutionary army" and the militias using extreme violence against Indigenous noncombatants to subjugate and expel. Without this resistance, the intended genocide of the Native people would have completely succeeded.

The Staggering Myths about Gun Control
(Dennis A. Henigan / Salon)

Commentary: "The issue of guns in America causes people in other parts of the developed world to look at our country and shake their heads. They just don't get it. They don't understand why so many Americans have such passion for their guns. They don't understand why gun control is such a contentious issue. The gun lobby's disproportionate political power will never be overcome until these fallacies are destroyed."

First US Assessment of Drone Strikes Downplays Civilian Deaths
(Associated Press & Bill Roggio / The Long War Journal)

Peeling back some of the secrecy of America's drone strikes on suspected terrorists, the Obama administration on Friday said it has killed up to 116 civilians in counterterror attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and other places where the US is not engaged in active, on-the-ground warfare.

The Obama Administration's Dubious Drone Death Toll
(Ryan Devereaux / The Intercept & Lawfare Blog)

In a long-anticipated gesture at transparency, the Obama administration has released an internal assessment of the number of civilians killed by drone strikes in nations where the US is not officially at war. According to the data, US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Libya killed between 64 and 116 civilians during Obam's two terms -- a fraction of even the most conservative estimates of drone-related killings catalogued by independent researchers over the same period.

Russia Accused of War Crime: Dropping Phosphorus and Thermobaric Bombs on Residents of Allepo
(Daily Sabah & Yalibnan.com)

Footage of Russian warplanes targeting civilians in Syria's second largest city of Aleppo on June 8 shows the use white phosphorus -- an incendiary and toxic chemical banned by the international treaties. Its usage constitutes a war crime. Moscow is also dropping what appear to be fuel-air bombs, described by one arms expert as "a mini nuclear bomb" next to residential areas. Former British Army explosives expert Major Chris Hunter called it "a very, very irresponsible act."

CIA Gave Romania Millions to Host Secret Prisons
(Alison Mutler |/ Associated Press & Open Society Foundation)

The CIA paid Romania "millions of dollars" to host secret prisons, a rights lawyer said Wednesday as the European Court of Human Rights heard accusations that Romania allowed the agency to torture terrorism suspects in a secret renditions program under President George W. Bush.

Navy Builds Underground Nuclear Weapons Base 20 Miles from Seattle
(Hans M. Kristensen / Federation of American Scientists & President Barack Obama)

The US Navy has quietly built a new $294 million underground nuclear weapons storage complex at the Strategic Weapons Facility Pacific (SWFPAC), a high-security base in Washington that stores and maintains the Trident II ballistic missiles and their nuclear warheads for the strategic submarine fleet operating in the Pacific Ocean.

If Australia Can Stop Mass Shootings Why Can't the US? Part One
(Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

As the United States struggles to make sense of yet another mass shooting, we look at one country that fought to change the culture of gun violence and won. Just 12 days after a grisly mass shooting, Australia's government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. Now, 20 years later, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and overall gun violence has decreased by 50 percent.

If Australia Can Stop Mass Shootings Why Can't the US? Part Two
(Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

As the United States struggles to make sense of yet another mass shooting, we look at one country that fought to change the culture of gun violence and won. Just 12 days after a grisly mass shooting, Australia's government announced a bipartisan deal to enact gun control measures. Now, 20 years later, there has not been a single mass shooting in Australia, and overall gun violence has decreased by 50 percent.

Russia Accused of War Crime: Dropping Phosphorus and Thermobaric Bombs on Residents of Allepo
(Daily Sabah & Yalibnan.com)

"It's really terrifying; night turns into clear day," says a resident of Allepo, Syria. "My city is totally stricken. There are hundreds of airstrikes with vacuum rockets, thermite and cluster bombs, barrel bombs and naval mines." Former British Army explosives expert Major Chris Hunter called it "a very, very irresponsible act . . . . It is a breach of the Geneva Convention to use these weapons off the battlefield. The effect on civilians is horrific."

ACTION ALERT: Top Scientists Call for Obama to Take Nuclear Missiles off Hair-Trigger Alert
(Lisbeth Gronlund / Union o f Concerned Scientists)

More than 90 prominent US scientists, including 20 Nobel laureates and 90 National Academy of Sciences members, sent a letter to President Obama yesterday urging him to take US land-based nuclear missiles off hair-trigger alert and remove launch-on-warning options from US warplans.

Tens of Thousands Protest US Bases in Okinawa
(Chosun News & The Diplomat)

Tens of thousands of protestors have gathered on the Japanese island of Okinawa demanding the US military shut its bases following a rash of high-profile incidents -- including sexual assaults and murder -- involving service members that have made headlines in recent months. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's popularity has dipped in the region because he favors relocation rather than removal of all US military personnel from Okinawa, as called for by the island's governor.

World's Largest Cemetery Receives '100 Bodies a Day' from Fighting in Iraq
(Alex MacDonald / Middle East Eye)

As far as the eye can see, gravestones, tombs and Shia icons stretch out amid the baking summer heat. This is the Al-Salam Valley cemetery, the largest in the world, in Iraq's Najaf province. Middle East Eye speaks with gravedigger at Al-Salam Valley cemetery, where Shia dead are delivered from fighting in Fallujah and across Iraq.

US Making a Deadly Mistake in Afghanistan, Says Former Diplomat
(Charles Davis / teleSURtv)

Matthew Hoh resigned from the State Department in 2009 to protest the US war in Afghanistan. He says Obama is making the same mistakes today. The war that Barack Obama promised to end two years ago is now being expanded, with reports of more airstrikes and ground combat to come. According to the UN at least 3,545 innocent men, women and children were killed and another 7,457 injured in 2015--the worst death toll since the US invaded the country in 2001.

US Rules Soldiers Who Killed 2 Pregnant Afghan Women Acted 'Appropriately'
(teleSURtv & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)

The US Department of Defense absolved soldiers involved in the murder of seven Afghan civilians, including two pregnant women. Surviving witnesses had testified that the soldiers allegedly tried to cover up their actions by digging their bullets out of the bodies of the women they had killed. Ultimately the massacre would take seven civilian lives. The Pentagon ruled that "the amount of force utilized was necessary, proportional and applied at appropriate time."

Orlando Massacre Wasn't 'Terrorism' or a 'Hate Crime': It Was 'Counter-terrorism'
(Malia Zimmerman / FoxNews.com & Anneta Konstantinides and Hannah Perry / Dailymail.com and Associated Press)

After days of reports characterizing the Orlando mass murders as a "hate crime" targeting gays, a series of previously unreleased phone calls and social media postings reveal that Omar Mateen intended his acts to be revenge for Washington's murders of innocent women and children in the so-called "War on Terror." If Mateen's act were prompted in response to US violence they could be seen as "retaliation" or, in the Pentagon's parlance, "counter-terrorism."

After Orlando, Clinton, Trump Call for Bombing ISIS; Ignore Links to a US Mercenary Corp
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept )

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump responded to the Orlando shooting with the same plan: bomb people. Both candidates called for escalating the US-led bombing campaign against ISIS -- which played no role in the attack. Little attention has been focused on the fact that the killer of 49 innocents in Orlando worked as a security guard for G4S -- a giant, often controversial global contracting corporation that provides mercenary forces, prison guards and security services.

Approaching Nuclear Midnight: The Steady Tick of the Doomsday Clock
(Tom Englehardt and Noam Chomsky / TomDispatch)

Professor, activist, critic and author Noam Chomsky turns to the single most vital question for humanity: Will we destroy ourselves? "Prospects for decent long-term survival are not high unless there is a significant change of course. A large share of the responsibility is in our hands -- the opportunities as well.... Nuclear weapons pose a constant danger of instant destruction, but at least we know in principle how to alleviate the threat, even to eliminate it."

ACTION ALERT: Act to Control Gun Violence in America
(Credo Mobile & ActionTaker)

Another horrific mass shooting happened yesterday, leaving at least 50 dead and 50 more wounded at an LGBT club in Orlando. As the death toll from the tragedy in Orlando continued to mount, Republican politicians were quick to offer their "prayers and condolences" to the families and friends of the victims. But "thoughts and prayers" are not enough. We need a real gun control legislation package that includes a ban on assault weapons.

The Tragedy in Orlando Was Not Terrorism: It Was a "Hate Crime"
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment & The Reveal)

Analysis: For some people tracking the toll of gun violence in America, the work seems to have no clear end in sight. Mass killings happen roughly every two weeks in America The FBI counted 172 cases between 2006 and 2011. By law, if the alleged Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, had been a terrorist, he would have directed criticism to US government policy and issued demands. Shooting people at a nightclub has no obvious strategic goal.

Another Cause of PTSD: Combat Concussions
(Sarah Knapton / The Telegraph)

Shockwaves from explosions may scar the brains of soldiers in areas linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suggesting a possible physical cause for the condition. Scientists found distinctive injuries in the brains of eight military personnel who survived bomb blasts but died between four days and nine years after the trauma.

Senate Amendment Would Block US Bomb Sales for Saudi War
(AntiWar.com & Defense News & Agence France-Presse)

A bipartisan amendment at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is seeking to halt all sales of bombs and other air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia until the Kingdom promises to take precautions to limit the number of civilians they kill. Sen. Chris Murphy (D- CT) noted that the US involvement in the Saudi War is damaging their credibility internationally, and says that "every single civilian death inside Yemen is attributable to the United States."

Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime
(Dennis J. Bernstein / Consortium News)

Night and day, US "pilots" sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Colonel Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime. Col. Wright, who spent most of her adult life as a diplomat working in the US State Department, is now leading the charge against the US "drone war."

US Escalates Combat Role in Afghanistan as Afghan People Complain of 'Abandonment'
(Al Jazeera)

The White House has announced the expansion of the US military's role in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban, ratcheting up a 15-year conflict President Barack Obama had vowed to end. US forces will play a "more proactive" role in helping local troops "be more effective in the battlefield." In the meantime, the residents of Afghanistan complain of increasing threats, greater instability and a feeling of "abandonment" by Western countries.

What Hope Is There for Syria's Besieged Civilians?
(Al Jazeera)

For nearly four years, Syrians in the town of Daraya have lived under siege at the hands of their government with limited access to food and medicine. The UN estimates that more than 500,000 Syrians are affected, but some groups like the Siege Watch Project put that figure at more than one million. Now government forces have dropped barrel bombs on a suburb of Damascus, just as it was set to receive its first food-aid delivery in four years.

The High Toll of Obama's Low-cost Wars
(Greg Jaffe and Loveday Morris / The Washington Post)

The White House is on the verge of releasing a long-delayed accounting of how many militants and civilians it has killed, primarily with drones. In his final months as president, Obama has touted his toughness even as he has worried openly about the toll American airstrikes take on innocent civilians. As one deadly bombing in Iraq shows, even the most surgical of strikes can result in unintended consequences.

US Feeds a Global Plague of Handguns and Pistols: Small Arms Imports to Middle Eastern Countries Have Doubled
(Dave Bryan / Associated Press & KIM Won-soo, UN High Representative for Disarmament Affairs)

Small Arms Survey's latest report reveals annual sales of small arms and light weapons to Middle Eastern countries nearly doubled in dollar terms in 2013 over the year before, as conflicts heated up across the region. Weapons sales rose from $342 million in 2012 to $630 million in 2013. The US was both the biggest exporter and importer of weapons ranging from pistols and military firearms to hunting rifles, ammunition and anti-tank guns.

Small Arms and Femicide: Confronting a Vector of Violence against Women
(Reaching Critical Will & Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)

Small arms and light weapons are a key part of the global armed violence epidemic, resulting in about half a million deaths annually. The manufacture, trade, proliferation, possession, and use of small arms and light weapons facilitate gender-based violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, mass shootings, human trafficking, and armed conflict. They also are key factors in the perpetuation of violent masculinities and the militarisation of communities.

The Foreign Policies of Sanders, Trump, and Clinton: America and the World in 2016 and Beyond
(Joanne Landy / Campaign for Peace and Democracy )

Analysis: The world is faced with crises on virtually every front, and any assessment of the foreign policy positions of the two major parties' presidential candidates must be measured against how well they respond to these crises. Despite their differences, the foreign policies of both Trump and Clinton promise a future of endless militarism, drone attacks, support for dictators, and savage neoliberal economic policies throughout the world.

Calling Out Drone War as a War Crime
(Dennis J Bernstein / Consortium News & Dan Falcone and Saul Isaacson / CounterPunch)

Night and day, US "pilots" sit in cushioned chairs near Las Vegas, commanding drones on the other side of the planet, tracking and killing people, what retired Col. Ann Wright and other activists call a war crime.

Stop The Gene Bomb!
(The ETC Group & Joel Achenbach / The Washington Post)

The NAS today released a significant report about Gene Drives -- one of the most alarming developments in genetic engineering and a clear example of high-risk technology that needs to be stopped in its tracks. This first study on gene drive oversight avoids such explosive issues as militarization, commercialization, and food security. The ETC Group is working on a critical report on Gene Drives that urges that gene drive patents and governance be handed to the UN.

The Latest Attempt to Whitewash the Saudi-Led Coalition's Crimes in Yemen
(Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

Commentary: The UN has made a humiliating, disgraceful reversal in its reporting on the Saudi-led coalition's crimes in Yemen: The United Nations said on Monday it had removed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen from a child rights blacklist pending a joint review by the world body and the coalition of the cases of child deaths and injuries.

Casualties of War
(Lori Freshwater / Earth Island Journal)

It seemed there was an unusually high number of rare cancers and diseases afflicting current and former residents of several neighborhoods that Coldwater Creek ran through, including St. Ann. The most likely cause, the news reports and websites she scanned indicated, was the creek, which had been contaminated by radioactive waste from the World War II era.

Fleeing Falluja Civilians Shot; Detainees Tortured
(BBC World News & Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press)

Civilians fleeing Falluja, an Iraqi stronghold of the so-called Islamic State (IS), are being shot as they leave, an aid agency says. The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) said families it had interviewed described people being shot dead as they crossed the Euphrates River. The Iraqi government has been urged to investigate allegations that civilians detained during the battle for Falluja have been tortured by Shia militiamen.

The Latest Taliban Leader's Death Changes What, Exactly?
(Gayle Tzemach Lemmon / Defense One)

Commentary: Ask three people what they make of Taliban leader Mullah Mansoor's death by drone and you'll get three answers, none offering a swift end to the war. In the aftermath of the drone strike that killed Mansoor in Baluchistan, Washington is debating what his death means and what message the strike sends. From the perspective of those who have lived with Afghanistan's security woes, the one certainty they fear they can count on is more violence.

Monitoring International Airstrikes

Airwars is a journalist-led transparency project working around four strands. We monitor and assess reports of civilian casualties allegedly caused by Coalition and other international airstrikes. We analyze data from the campaigns to help make sense of the war. We archive military claims. And we publish news on our findings.

Congressional Resolution Salutes Anti-Vietnam War Peace Movement
(Tom Hayden / The Democracy Journal & Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives)

Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a House Resolution recognizing the Vietnam anti-war movement as, "one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the war." The Vietnam peace movement is the only Sixties movement that has been marginalized instead of memorialized. Yet it was a life-changing experience for many, including thousands of soldiers and veterans.

Gaza Blockade Denies Palestinians Their Freedom, Says Oxfam
(teleSUR & Sultan Barakat / Al Jazeera English and The Brookings Institute)

As the two-year anniversary of the last round of conflict in Gaza approaches, the inhumane conditions to which 1.8 million Palestinians are being subjected threaten to reach boiling point by the summer months, when the lack of access to water and electricity -- available for a maximum of eight hours a day -- combined with the oppressive heat and the lack of a reconstruction progress, could exacerbate frustrations, culminating in a new cycle of violence.

UN Blacklists US-backed Saudis for Murdering, Maiming Children
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Michelle Nichols / Reuters)

United Nations slammed the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen for killing and maiming children and added the Saudi regime to an annual blacklist of terrorist states and armed groups that violate children's rights during conflict. The US role in the Yemen war was not mentioned nor was the US named when the UN report condemned the deadly attack on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan.

An Unprecedented Act: Iraqi Leader Halts Planned Assault on Fallujah because of Risk to 50,000 Civilians Trapped in City
(Sinan Salaheddin / Associated Press & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Carlo Munoz / The Washington Times)

The UN Children's Fund issued a warning to Iraqi troops and ISIS militants in the battle for Fallujah to spare an estimated 20,000 children, among the tens of thousands of civilians trapped by the fighting in this city west of Baghdad. Shortly thereafter, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi halted military operations to retake the city over concerns the city's 50,000 inhabitants would be caught in the crossfire. A remarkable act. In war, the lives of innocent civilians are rarely a concern.

Pentagon Rules Special Ops Killing of Pregnant Afghan Women Was 'Appropriate'
(Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)

An internal Pentagon investigation into a notorious US night raid inside Afghanistan has ruled that the soldiers involved had followed the rules of engagement. Although two children were shot and multiple witnesses and Afghan investigators confirmed that US soldiers dug bullets out of the body of at least one of several pregnant women killed by US troops, the Pentagon concluded that "the amount of force utilized was necessary, proportional and applied at appropriate time."

ACTION ALERT: Don't Draft Women; Don't Draft Men. Support H.R. 4523 and Abolish the Selective Service System
(Edward Hasbrouck / Hasbrouck.org & Resist.org)

This year, Congress is having its most serious debate about draft registration in decades. The Selective Service System maintains contingency plans for a general "cannon fodder" draft of young men and/or a separate Health Care Personnel Delivery System for men and women up to age 44. A provision requiring women to register for the draft remains in the Senate version of the Defense Authorization Act. Meanwhile, a new bill, H.R. 4523 would abolish the draft.

America's Atomic Vets: 'We Were Used as Guinea Pigs -- Every One of Us.'
(Jennifer LaFleur / The Reveal: Center for Investigative Journalism)

The military had a long history of using war games to train troops. During the nuclear testing era, troops were exposed to detonations to see how they would react to a nuclear attack and whether equipment still would function. All of the atomic vets were sworn to secrecy. Until the secrecy was lifted decades later, they could not tell anyone about their experiences. Even if they became ill, they could not tell doctors they might have been exposed to radiation.

75 Hospitals Attacked in 2015: US, France, Britain, Rebels Stand Accused
(Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters and The Huffington Post & teleSUR)

Four of the five members of the UN Security Council -- the US, UK, France and Russia -- stand accused of bombing civilian hospitals. The only Security Council member not involved in these crimes was China. Nearly 1,000 people were killed in attacks on health centers over the past two years (almost 40% in Syria). The World Health Organization reported 594 attacks lead to 959 deaths and 1,561 injuries in 19 countries between January 2014 and December 2015.

US-Funded Company Involved in Murder of Honduras Activist Berta Caceres

Activist Berta Caceres spent decades fighting for indigenous rights and against environmental destruction -- dangerous work that made her a target for death threats. Less than three months before Caceres was murdered, Desarrollos Energeticos S.A. -- the firm behind the controversial Agua Zarca hydroelectric project on Lenca land -- signed a contract with USAID partner Fintrac. Four people, including three Honduran military men, have been linked to her murder.

15 Found Guilty in Operation Condor Murders, a CIA-backed Conspiracy that Terrorized Latin America
(J. Patrice McSherry / TeleSURtv & Hugh Bronstein / Reuters)

Operation Condor was a covert, multinational "black operations" program organized by six Latin American states (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay, later joined by Ecuador and Peru), with logistical, financial, and intelligence support from Washington. A classified US Army Special Forces manual of December 1960 Counter-Insurgency Operations secretly endorsed "counter-terror" tactics including assassination and abduction.

Victory! Obama Blocks Cluster Bomb Sale to Saudis
(Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & John Hudson / Foreign Policy & Stop Cluster Munitions.org)

"Frustrated by a growing death toll, the White House has quietly placed a hold on the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia as the Sunni ally continues its bloody war on Shiite rebels in Yemen . . . It's the first concrete step the United States has taken to demonstrate its unease with the Saudi bombing campaign that human rights activists say has killed and injured hundreds of Yemeni civilians, many of them children."

Will Women Dodge the Draft?
(Kelley Vlahos / The American Conservative)

It's been two generations since "your number is up" meant anything but relief at the DMV or a one-way ticket to the pearly gates. But for any man older than 65, it once meant something entirely different. Today, the issue of whether to open the Selective Service to women -- all men 18-25 are still required to register -- is very much a debate on Capitol Hill. Such a change could be included in the next major defense budget authorization bill.

Obama's Hiroshima Speech Was Lovely, Frustrating, and Infuriating
(Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com)

Commentary: As unforgivable as Obama has been on foreign policy in myriad ways there is something about him which almost looks like better than it could be. At least in certain lights. That is to say, Obama kills people, but he also occasionally appears to notice that the US has made foreign policy mistakes. Obama did what leaders do. Poetry made evading details easier -- "death fell from the sky" instead of, "the Enola Gay dropped a nuclear bomb."

The Republicans' Military Budget Could Make Every Homeless Person in America a Millionaire
(Adrienne Mahsa Varkiani / ThinkProgress)

The US spent more than $596 billion on the military in 2015, more than the next six countries in the world combined. Now House Republicans want to spend $602 billion on the Pentagon. With 564,708 homeless people in the US, ending homelessness would take less than 1 percent of next year's military expenditures. From 2016 to 2025, there will be a US funding gap of over $1.4 trillion for surface transportation, water, electricity, airports, and waterways and ports.

Global Climate Change Threatens to Create More Refugees
(Barın Kayaoglu / Al-Monitor & Andy Rowel / Oil Change International)

New reports are warning of the possibility that global warming could worsen the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa. Several studies are warning that climate refugees could become the leading export of the Middle East and North Africa region by 2050. If world leaders ignore the promises they made at the Paris Climate Change Summit in December 2015, average summer temperatures soon will increase by 5 degrees Celsius (9 degrees Fahrenheit).

ACTION ALERT: Act Today to Ask the Senate to Halt Open Burning of Toxic Military Waste
(Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger & Suzanne Yohannan / Superfund Report)

On May 26, US Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI-Dem) filed an amendment (S.2943) to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring an independent scientific review of safer alternatives to open burning, detonation and incineration of the Pentagon's hazardous waste munitions. The current practice of incinerating these toxic explosive chemical wastes involves burning in open-air pits, resulting in immediate, downwind and downstream pollution.

The "Nuclear Football" Goes to Japan
(Joe Cirincione / Defense One & Michael Dobbs / Smithsonian Magazine)

When President Obama visits Japan -- and the site of the first targeted nuclear detonation -- he will have the power of 22,000 Hiroshimas on public display in the suitcase his aide carries with him. This is the "nuclear football" that allows any US leader to launch 975 nuclear warheads within five to 12 minutes. Each warhead is 6-30 times more powerful than the bomb that obliterated Hiroshima. Within 30 minutes of launch, hundreds of millions of people would be killed.

Obama's Hiroshima Visit Is a Wake-up Call on the Risks of Nuclear Weapons
(Peter Maurer and Tadateru Konoe / The New Statesman)

We now know more than ever the dangers of an accidental or deliberate detonation of a nuclear weapon. Malfunctions, mishaps, false alarms and misinterpreted information have nearly led to the intentional or accidental detonation of nuclear weapons on numerous occasions since 1945. In the past two years alone, we have seen scores of "military incidents" involving nuclear weapon states and their allies. There can be no adequate response to a nuclear detonation.

US Airstrikes on Syria Kill More than 400 Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Rudaw News)

A new summary of casualties from US-led coalition airstrikes against Syria says that, since September of 2014, the strikes have killed nearly 4,900 people, mostly ISIS but also including 417 civilians -- 111 of them children under the age of 18 and at least 70 women. This is ten times as many civilians as the Pentagon has confirmed killing over the course of the entire war. Meanwhile, the Syrian regime has managed to kill more than 10,000 civilians in 2015 alone.

Questions Grow over US Role in Death of Honduran Eco-Activist Berta Caceres
(Democracy Now!)

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has returned from a visit to Honduras. Johnson's visit comes as a growing number of activists in Honduras and in the United States are calling on the United States to stop funding the Honduran military, over accusations that state security forces have been involved in human rights violations, extrajudicial killings -- and the murder of internationally renown environmentalist Berta Caceres.

ACTION ALERT: It's Time to Stop the Saudis
(Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine & CODEPINK)

Commentary: Saudi government money is responsible for spreading Wahhabism -- and terrorism -- around the world. It has been 17 years since a US-led intervention wrested Kosovo from Serbian oppression. Now, our great good friends, the Saudis, are doing their best to start the bloodletting all over again. ACTION: Prevent Saudi Arabia and other accused foreign sponsors of terror from invoking sovereign immunity in cases involving terrorist acts in the US.

Conflict, the Environment and Humanitarian Action
(The Toxic Remnants of War Project & Turkey International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

This week the much anticipated but also disputed World Humanitarian Summit begins in Istanbul. Its aim is to find ways to improve the global system of humanitarian assistance for the challenges posed by conflict, natural disasters, climate change and displacement. Conflict-related environmental damage is a growing cause for concern for humanitarian actors and civil society in war-torn countries.

Climate Change Threatens Cherished Sites around the Planet
(Seth Shulman / Catalyst Magazine & Union of Concerned Scientists)

Ancient buildings, wilderness, and historic in virtually every nation -- from the Taj Mahal to the Great Barrier Reef – are now at risk from unprecedented climate-driven storms and floods. In the US, much of America's natural and cultural heritage – from the Statue of Liberty and Mesa Verde National Park – face imminent threats from climate change and extreme weather events.

Doctors With Enemies: Did Afghan Forces Target the MSF Hospital?
(Matthieu Aikins / The New York Times)

The aircraft's target, a Doctors Without Borders hospital, was lit by generators, a beacon in the blacked-out city. As they prepared to fire, the gunship's crew members radioed to the ground force commander, a United States Army Special Forces major, for more information. The US government's report has ruled the attack an accident but mounting evidence suggests that Afghans' mistrust for the nonprofit medical group might have set the tragedy in motion.

America's Civilian Killings Are No Accident
(Peter Van Buren / AntiWar.com)

America and its allies make modern war in a way that assures "mistakes" destroy hospitals, and civilian lives are taken by drones. These horrors are all too often strategic decisions, or the result of the profligate use of needlessly destructive weapons. They are typically far from accidents.

Why Is CIA Backing Al Qaeda Rebels inside Syria?
(Juan ColeTwitter / The Nation & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Fox News)

What's left of the Free Syrian Army is an alphabet soup of fundamentalists, some more moderate Muslim Brotherhood elements, others armed with blueprints for a puritanical Salafi regime with no room for secularists, religious minorities, or for democracy. The CIA claims to have "vetted" more than 30 such insurgent groups as having no ties to Al Qaeda. The problem is that the "vetted" groups keep showing up on the battlefield as de facto allies of Al Qaeda in Syria.

An Iraqi Doctor's Plea for the Children and People of Her Country
(Souad Al Azzawi / BRussels Tribunal & CounterCurrents & Global Research)

For two decades, the American occupation has violated children's rights on all levels -- health care, education, social security, family unity, separation of children through detention, imprisonment and exile. The US and the UK have been waging continuous wars to occupy this oil rich country, attacking civilians with conventional, non-conventional, and banned weapons -- such as cluster bombs, napalm bombs, white phosphorous and Depleted Uranium weapons.

US-backed Iraqi Government Follows in Assad's Footsteps, Kills Civilian Protesters
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Kareem Raheem and Stephen Kalin / Reuters)

In Iraq, there is still no vote on the cabinet nominated over a month ago. This has triggered public discontent leading to mass protests and rallies centered around the walled-off Green Zone. Many protesters forced their way in, with some entering the prime minister's office.Iraqi military and police, responded with tear gas and live ammunition, wounding at least 58 and according to some reports killing several civilians. Baghdad has imposed a city-wide curfew

ACTION ALERT: Speak Up for Children Held in Israel's Military Detention
(Defense for Children International -- Palestine & Robert Naiman / The Huffington Post)

Each year the Israeli military arrests and prosecutes around 700 Palestinian children. Israel is the only country in the world to automatically prosecute children in military courts that lack basic safeguards for a fair trial. Help us stop this.

Why Young Syrians Are Joining ISIS
(Rebecca Crozier / Newsweek)

When discussing how to curb recruitment by militant groups, we often hear of the need to reduce their ideological appeal among young people in Syria and beyond. But evidence shows that the young Syrian men are deciding to join these groups for economic -- not religious -- reasons. With little prospect of employment and the closure of borders, for many men inside Syria, the wages offered by armed groups is incentive enough to join the fight.

'Unprecedented Destruction' of Kurdish City of Cizre
(Tom Stevenson and Murat Bayram / Deutsche Welle)

A Turkish human rights group reveals that Turkey's army turned the Kurdish city of Cizre into a 'war zone' where more than 200 civilians were killed and more than 10,000 homes were destroyed. Cizre, once a thriving, populated and prosperous city, now lies in ruins. Residents of Cizre, in Turkey's volatile southeast, have slowly been returning to the city which has been laid waste by a protracted military campaign targeting Kurdish militants.

Rebuilding Gaza: Humanitarian and Reconstruction Needs
(ANERA: American Near East Refugee Aid)

For 51 days in the summer of 2014, Gaza experienced the worst destruction and displacement since the start of the Israeli occupation in 1967. "Operation Protective Edge" killed more than 2,100 Palestinians, mostly civilians. 11,231 were injured, with 10% suffering permanent disabilities. One year after the last war there are few signs of rebuilding. More than eight years of blockade and three wars in seven years have made Gaza unlivable for the besieged residents.

The Importance of Distance in Modern Warfare
(John Govern / The Modern War Institute)

Remote weapon systems, or unmanned weapons and weaponized vehicles that are remotely controlled, represent a fundamental change in the nature of the battlefield. We are witnessing warfare change in ways that our tactics, operations, and strategy have not yet come to comprehend. As we continue to use and develop remote weapons systems, the nature of our battlefield will bear witness to a new kind of warfare.

ACTION ALERT: Urge President Obama to Take Action in Hiroshima
(The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & John Hall / The MailOnline)

It is an encouraging sign that President Obama will be the first sitting US President to visit Hiroshima. At the same time, Washington is planning to spend at least $1 trillion over the next 30 years to "modernize" its nuclear arsenal -- warheads, submarines, missiles, bombers, production facilities and command and control infrastructure. Actions speak louder than words. That's why we are petitioning President Obama not to come to Hiroshima empty-handed.

Climate Change Summed Up in a Single, Startling Animation
(Richard Gray / Daily Mail Online)

An animation created by a climate scientist at the University of Reading shows month-by month temperature changes between 1850 and 2016. The graphic reveals a clear warming trend that has got greater in recent years.

Conference Ends with Growing Global Support for a Nuclear Weapons Ban
(Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons)

The new United Nations working group on nuclear disarmament has completed its second and most substantive session in Geneva. 100 governments met for over two weeks. Many more contributed support through a joint working paper from the Humanitarian Pledge group (now numbering 127 States). Of course, the US and other nuclear umbrella states were unhappy, but "this meeting was all about the ban. And it was clear that governments are ready to do this."

Keep Trump's (and Hillary's) Hands off the Nuclear Trigger
(John Buell /The Progressive Populist)

Would you want Donald Trump's fingers on the nuclear trigger? Well, the fact is: on at least 30 occasions since the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, every US president has prepared and/or threatened to initiate a nuclear war. The take-away? No one should be trusted with the nuclear trigger: The most responsible course is disarmament.

War Crimes: US Airstrikes Kill Hundreds of Civilians in Attacks on Homes, Colleges and Mosul University
(Nicolas J S Davies / Common Dreams & Avi Asher-Schapiro / Vice News & Fox News)

Under new, looser rules, US military commanders in the field are now free to order air strikes that are expected to kill up to 10 civilians without prior approval from US Central Command. US officials acknowledge that air strikes are killing more civilians under the new rules -- arguably a policy that encourages the commission of war crimes. In recent weeks, fewer than a dozen of these airstrikes reportedly killed more than 440 civilians inside Iraq and Syria.

Obama Should Heed Hiroshima's Survivors
(Amy Goodman, Denis Moynihan / Common Dreams)

Commentary: The White House announced this week that President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, the site of the world's first atomic-bomb attack. He will be the first sitting president to visit a city where 140,000 people were killed and another 100,000 seriously injured by a US atomic bomb dropped on Aug. 6, 1945. While Obama has called for nuclear abolition, he recently revealed a 30-year plan to modernize the entire US nuclear arsenal -- at a cost of $1 trillion.

Army Chaplain Resigns over US Drone Wars and Nuclear Weapons
(Ann Wright / Consortium News)

The US reliance on drones to sustain perpetual war in the Mideast is meeting resistance from some of those assigned to carry out these tactics, US Army Reserve Chaplain Captain Christopher John Antal has resigned his post because he could not support "unaccountable killing" using armed drones to kill "anyone, anywhere on Earth, at any time, based on secret evidence, in a secret process, undertaken by unidentified officials."

Destroying a City to 'Save It': US Bombs Have Obliterated Ramadi
(Elizabeth McLaughlin and Justin Fishel / ABC News)

It was one of the biggest cities in Iraq -- the capital of Anbar Province and a strategic hub for travelers going west to Syria and Jordan. Once a bustling city along the banks of the Euphrates with a booming population of nearly 850,000, Ramadi is now a ghost town. Buildings, roads and waterways have been destroyed. Hidden mines and unexploded ordnance threaten anyone who tries to return.

Human Extinction Isn't That Unlikely
(Robinson Meyer / The Atlantic)

"A typical person is more than five times as likely to die in an extinction event as in a car crash," says a new report. Nuclear war. Climate change. Pandemics that kill tens of millions. These are the biggest threats to globally organized civilization. They're the stuff of nightmares and blockbusters -- but unlike sea monsters or zombie viruses, they're real, part of the calculus that political leaders consider everyday and they're much more likely than we might think.

Raised by War: Coming of Age in Today's Iraq
(Jane Arraf / Global Post)

In 2003, the most powerful army in the world invaded Iraq. Young Ali al-Makhzomy was shaken by the rumble of US tanks rolling into Baghdad. The invasion was the first of many traumatic forces that defined life for an entire generation of young Iraqis. Now in their late teens and twenties, 20 million Iraqi children have been shaped by years of Western sanctions and militarism. Their experiences will shape the country -- for better or worse -- for many years to come.

Freedom of Speech in a Shocking and Steep Decline Worldwide

Freedom of expression has registered a concerning decline globally and as of 2015, it hit its lowest point in 12 years. Governments, political institutions, powerful corporations and organized crime have also increasingly repressed the people's right to voice their opinion and denounce acts of corruption, violence or other human rights violations, various experts revealed on World Freedom of the Press Day. Only one in seven people in the world actually enjoy a free press.

Obama Confesses: US Military Strikes Provoked Terror Attacks in Europe
(Gar Smith / World Beyond War)

On April 1, 2016 President Barack Obama addressed the Nuclear Security Summit and, for the first time, publicly admissed that US foreign policy and military actions were directly linked to the spike in terror attacks against Western targets in Europe and the US. "As ISIL is squeezed in Syria and Iraq," the president explained, "we can anticipate it lashing out elsewhere, as we've seen most recently and tragically in countries from Turkey to Brussels."

Small Arms, Big Violations: Why Isn't the Firearms Threat a Human Rights Issue?
(Daniel Mack / International Journal on Human Rights)

Firearms are the main vector of violent death and injury worldwide. The preponderance of small arms in the armed violence "epidemic" -- over a half million killed annually. Less than 14% of armed violence deaths worldwide were the result of wars. The number of homicides in Brazil in 2013 (over 56,000) was greater than the number of conflict deaths worldwide for every year between 2004 and 2009.

ACTION: A Week Against Gun Violence, Mary 1-8
(Women's International League for Peace and Freedom)

Small arms -- guns, rifles, etc. -- are a key part of the global armed violence epidemic, resulting in about half a million deaths annually. The manufacture, trade, proliferation, possession, and use of small arms facilitate gender-based violence, sexual violence, domestic violence, mass shootings, human trafficking, and armed conflict.

Boots on the Ground in Yemen: Former US Diplomats Condemn US Role in Yemen War
(Channel News Asia & Agence France-Presse & AntiWar.com & The Intercept)

The Pentagon acknowledged on May 6 that it has deployed US troops to Yemen in a push to bolster Arab and local government forces battling Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The US now is militarily involved in a second war inside Yemen -- between the pro-Saudi faction and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A US-backed offensive has been brutally bombing Yemen for more than a year but former US diplomats now say that the war harms US interests.

Obama Confesses US Military Strikes Provoked Terror Attacks in Europe
(Gar Smith / World Beyond War)

On April 1, 2016 President Barack Obama addressed the Nuclear Security Summit and, for the first time, publicly admissed that US foreign policy and military actions were directly linked to the spike in terror attacks against Western targets in Europe and the US. "As ISIL is squeezed in Syria and Iraq," the president explained, "we can anticipate it lashing out elsewhere, as we've seen most recently and tragically in countries from Turkey to Brussels."

Iraq 'Victory' Leaves the City of Ramadi Destroyed
(Susannah George, Desmond Butler and Maya Alleruzzo / The Associated Press)

When Iraqi forces backed by US-led warplanes wrested Ramadi from Islamic State militants after eight months, it was heralded as a major victory. But the cost of winning Ramadi has been the city itself. More than 3,000 buildings and nearly 400 roads and bridges were damaged or destroyed between May 2015, when Ramadi fell to IS, and Jan. 22, after most of the fighting had ended. Over roughly the same period, nearly 800 civilians were killed in clashes, airstrikes and executions.

The Assassination Complex: A New Book Examine's Obama's Drone Wars
(Amy Goodman, Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald / Democracy Now!)

As the Obama administration prepares to release for the first time the number of people it believes it has killed in drone strikes in countries that lie outside of conventional war zones, we look at a new book out today that paints a very different picture of the US drone program. The book, "The Assassination Complex," examines leaked government documents provided by a whistleblower -- documents that undermine government claims that drone strikes are "precise."

Greenpeace: US to Use Global Trade Deal to Evade EU's Environmental and Public Health Protections
(Arthur Neslen / The Guardian & Stuart Jeffries / The Guardian)

Trade deal talks between Europe and the US face a serious impasse with "irreconcilable" differences. According to documents leaked by Greenpeace, the two sides are at odds over US demands that the EU break promises it has made on environmental protection. "These leaked documents give us an unparalleled look US demands to circumvent EU protections for environment and public health. The EU position is very bad, and the US position is terrible."

Hanford Warnings from 2014: Fired Whistleblowers, Cracking Containers, Failing Dam
(RT News & USA Today & Associated Press & Northwest Public Radio)

"Significant construction flaws" have been found in at least 6 of the 28 double-shelled radioactive waste storage tanks at the Hanford nuclear waste complex in Washington State. The operators were warned of the problems in 2014. Now concerns are rising as "huge amounts" of radioactive fumes have continued to pour from the damaged containment vessel for "more than two weeks," sending growing numbers of plant workers to local hospitals.

The Pentagon vs. Palestine: Gaza Needs Peace, Jobs, Security and Water
(Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National)

The hypermilitarized US approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict needs to change. US military aid to Israel --now 20% of Israel's military budget -- is part of the problem. President Obama's 2017 budget allocates $3.1 billion in military assistance to Israel -- more than twice the aid to any other country. In Gaza, with the world's highest unemployment rate, families spend a third of their income on water. Gaza's drinkable water could run out by the year's end.

South Sudan's Broken Oil Industry Is Increasingly Becoming an Environmental Hazard
(Wim Zwijnenburg /Toxic Remnants of War Network )

The environment has long been a factor in violent conflict in South Sudan, especially with respect to control over oil. PAX's Wim Zwijnenburg asks whether tackling the health and environmental risks from South Sudan's oil industry could help boost the legitimacy of a unity government.

World's Doctors Say: 'Ban Nuclear Weapons': It's a Matter of Human Health
(IPPNW & Pressenza)

The International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW), a non-partisan federation of national medical groups in 64 countries -- and the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its efforts to educate US and Soviet leaders about the consequences of nuclear war -- has called on world leaders to "assert the need for a new [anti-nuclear weapons] treaty that . . . explicitly prohibit[s] . . . nuclear weapons, based on their unacceptable [health] consequences."

In Gun-crazed America, Armed Toddlers Proving Deadlier than Terrorists
(Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post)

Since April 20, 2016, there have been at least seven instances in which a 1-, 2-, or 3-year-old shot themselves or somebody else in the United States. In 2015, toddlers were finding guns and shooting people at a rate of about one a week. In 2015, at least 265 people were accidentally shot by kids and, in the past five years, at least six Americans have been shot by dogs. Guns are now killing as many people as cars.

Jordan Grapples with the Environmental Consequences of Its Refugee Crisis
(Doug Weir / The Ecologist &Toxic Remnants of War Network)

The massive flow of refugees fleeing the violence and atrocities of the Syrian conflict is creating huge political and logistical challenges for neighbouring countries. Amidst the urgency of the humanitarian response, the environmental footprint of these population surges has been less visible but, as Jordan is discovering, failing to address the impact of migration during response and recovery could have serious health, environmental and political consequences.

Former ISIS Militant Says Coalition Bombing Campaign Drives Jihadists to Launch Attacks on Western Targets
(Lizzie Dearden / The Independent)

In an interview with The Independent, a former jihadist reveals that he once worked for Royal Mail as a postman before he joined the so-called Islamic State in Syria and appeared in one of its notorious propaganda execution videos. He has a troubling message for the West: it is the US-led bombing campaign against ISIS that has driven jihadists to launch terror attacks in the West and these attacks will continue as long as drones keep killing civilians and ISIS fighters.

The Unrepentant Torturers
(John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News & The Guardian)

The cadre of former CIA directors needs to get its act together on the torture issue. Current director John Brennan said recently that no future CIA director would carry out presidential orders to reconstitute a torture program. Brennan hasn't had any human rights epiphany. He was, after all, the deputy executive director of the CIA under George W. Bush, during which time he did absolutely nothing to stop torture.

Inside the Devastation of America's Drone Wars
(Tom Engelhardt TomDispatch & Pratap Chatterjee / TomDispatch)

In attempts to take out 41 men, US drones killed an estimated 1,147 Pakistani civilians (while many of the 41 targeted figures survived). This isn't a war ON terror, but a war OF terror. In addition to those they kill, Washington's drones also wound (both physically and psychologically) their own operators as well as the people who live under their constant surveillance -- real victims with all-too-real damage, on opposite sides of the globe.

ACTION ALERT: Take Malik Jalal Off Obama's Kill List
(Malik Jalal / 38 Degrees & Democracy Now!)

Malik Jalal has been targeted by drones four times. Dozens of other innocent people have died in the strikes. His family members are terrified that he will be next. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has revealed as many as 12 civilians were killed in December when a US drone targeted vehicles that were part of a wedding procession going towards the groom's village outside the central Yemeni city of Rad'a. It is useless for the US to deny this: there is a video.

Hidden Costs of US Air War: Schools, Homes, Apartments Destroyed and Hundreds of Civilians Killed
(Nicolas J. S. Davies / Consortium News)

When Russian air strikes kill civilians in Syria, it is big news in the US, when US bombs kill civilians there is silence. The US has dropped more than 40,000 bombs and missiles and destroyed 6,000 buildings but the Pentagon claims there have been only 26 civilian deaths. The US has bombed homes, apartments, medical targets, water treatment plants, a telephone exchange, a women's dormitory. Two attacks on Mosul University in March killed 92 faculty and students.

The US Is Killing More Civilians in Iraq and Syria Than It Acknowledges
(Paul Wood / Global Post)

In almost a-year-and-a-half of bombing Iraq and Syria, the United States admits to killing just 21 innocent people. An independent monitoring group says the real figure could be more than a thousand. "You build in your countries and destroy in ours?" asked Abdul-Aziz al Hassan, who lost his father in the bombing at al Gharra. "Is this how you bring democracy? Stop it. Really, stop it. People are tired."

Punishments but No Criminal Charges in US Attack on Hospital
(Robert Burn / Associated Press)

US apologizes for war crime. Claims it was just a mistake. Promises to be more careful in the future. A US aerial gunship attack on a hospital in Afghanistan that killed 42 people occurred because of human errors, process mistakes and equipment failures, and none of the aircrew or US ground troops knew the target was a hospital, a top US general said Friday.

Death from the Sky: Searching for Ground Truth in the Kunduz Hospital Bombing
(May Jeong / The Intercept)

"Had the authorities said it is a terrible mistake from day one, then it would have been easier to believe that it was a mistake. But because in the beginning Afghan senior officials said the hospital was bombed because it was a Taliban base, it is difficult for us to swallow the 100 percent mistake scenario."

War and Environmental Collapse
(David Swanson / Excerpt From "War Is A Lie" (Just World Books, 2016))

Our planet will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive "conventional" war, of the sorts the US government now wages. Intense damage has been done by wars and by the preparation for wars. War's environmental impact falls into four areas: "production and testing of nuclear weapons, aerial and naval bombardment of terrain, dispersal and persistence of land mines and buried ordnance, and use or storage of military despoliants, toxins, and waste." We must end war.

US Borrows Deadly 'Warning Shot' Airstrikes from Israel
(Agence France-Presse & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Before blowing up a jihadist cash hoard in Iraq, the US military warned bystanders of an impending strike by using a Hellfire missile to deliver the wartime equivalent of a door-knock. It was the first time the Pentagon has conducted a "knock operation" in Iraq and Syria, and the inspiration came from watching the Israel Defense Forces pioneer the controversial tactic in Gaza. The US strike managed to kill a woman, some children and several other non-combatants.

Another War Crime as US Tries, Fails to Mimic Israeli 'Roof-knock' Bomb Warning in Iraq
(Judah Ari Gross / The Times of Israel)

The US military employed an Israeli technique, albeit unsuccessfully, of warning civilians prior to an airstrike, known as "roof-knocking," in the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul, Iraq. The technique has been used extensively by Israel in its operations in the Gaza Strip over the years in an attempt to minimize civilian casualties in a densely populated urban area, but only debuted on April 5 in an American operation -- and immediately wound up killing civilians.

American Nuremberg: US Officials Guilty of War Crimes
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Tikkun Magazine & Rebecca Gordon / Hot Books)

In recent months, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have indicated that, as president, they would resort to waterboarding and the murder of a "targeted" individual's family. In short, war crimes. Note: When Trump says such things, it's a future nightmare, to be called by its rightful name and denounced, as well as rejected and resisted by military and intelligence officials. But when President George W. Bush and his top officials actually did such things, it was another story entirely.

Judge Rules CIA Torture Suit Can Begin
(Jenna McLaughlin / The Intercept & The Center for Torture Accountability)

A civil suit against the architects of the CIA's torture program, psychologists James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen, will be allowed to proceed, a federal judge has ruled. The District Judge denied the pair's motion to dismiss a lawsuit launched against them on behalf of three victims -- one dead -- of the brutal tactics they designed. This is the first time torture opponents will have the chance to seek discovery evidence in a court case unimpeded by government interference.

Money Wasted on Stranded Coal Assets Could End World Energy Poverty
(Nicole Ghio / Sierra Club )

Nearly a trillion dollars -- $981 billion to be exact. According to a report released today, that is the estimated amount that could be spent on the global coal plant pipeline. It is also more than one-and-a-half times the cost to end energy poverty according to the International Energy Agency's (IEA) Energy for All Case. Constructing all proposed coal plants would cost $981 billion, more than 1.5 times the amount needed to end energy poverty for 1.2 billion people.

ACTION ALERT: The 30th Anniversary of Chernobyl: Nearly 1 Million Deaths
(Harvey Wasserman / EcoWatch & Celine Mergan / Greenpeace International)

When Chernobyl blew up 30 years ago, it exposed two basic lies that had been used to promote nuclear power: (1) that a commercial reactor could not explode and (2) that the industry's radiation would kill no one. It has been estimated that 985,000 people have died from Chernobyl's fallout. Here's a short list of 30 ways these two tragic flaws are killing us all.

Terrorists 'R' Us: Pentagon Wants to Kill More Civilians in the Name of the 'War on Terror'
(Tom Vanden Brook / USA TODAY)

The Pentagon has approved airstrikes that risk more civilian casualties in order to destroy Islamic State targets as part of its increasingly aggressive fight against the militant group in Iraq and Syria, according to interviews with military officials and data. Six Defense Department officials, speaking anonymously, described how Islamic State targets are selected for attack, described a sliding scale of likely civilian casualties based on the value of the target and the location.

UN Urges Saudis to Halt Floggings, Beheadings, Amputations
(Stephanie Nebehay / Reuters)

United Nations torture experts have called on Saudi Arabia to stop corporal punishment, including flogging and amputations, practices that the Gulf Kingdom considers an integral part of its interpretation of Islamic law. The committee that monitors the UN Convention against Torture, in its first review of Saudi Arabia since 2002, also raised concerns about the ill-treatment of Saudi bloggers, activists and human rights lawyers while in custody.

US Admits to 20 More Civilian Deaths from Air Strikes
(Middle East Eye)

The Pentagon acknowledged on Friday that 20 civilians were killed in US air strikes on Islamic State (IS) group targets over a five-month period, more than doubling an ongoing tally of such deaths to 41. Observers were quick to dismiss the toll as "unbelievable," warning that the number is likely much higher. See the embedded video for additional evidence that the US military routinely kills civilians and ignores the human damage -- and the terrorist blowback -- that it causes.

ACTION ALERT: Senators Challenge US Military Aid to Saudi Arabia
(Robert Naiman / Truthout | Op-Ed)

Until recently, the US relationship to Saudi Arabia has been unquestioned. But now, a bipartisan group of senators is poised to pass legislation that would limit the sovereign immunity of the Saudi government from lawsuits over the 9/11 attacks and Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and Kentucky Senator Rand Paul have introduced a bipartisan bill that would place new conditions on US military aid to Saudi Arabia.

Violence and Death at Heart of US Drug War in Latin America
(Dawn Paley / TeleSURtv & Cyril Mychalejko / TeleSURtv)

The militarization of drug prohibition has allowed the US to push policies of social control through violence and militarization in Latin America while host governments provide most of the funds for these wars against their own populations. The US-backed Plan Colombia and the Merida Initiative have had devastating social consequences, spurring violence and terror, spiking murder rates, pushing up disappearances, and increasing forced displacement.

ACTION ALERT: It's Time to Ban Killer Robots
(Rasha Abdul Rahim / Amnesty International & Ray Acheson / Reaching Critical Will)

In April, the third Convention on Conventional Weapons met to address growing alarm over the use of drones and the development of autonomous robot killing machines. The idea of machines killing humans on the basis of algorithms is cynically abhorrent. While the US insists that its drones provide "enhanced situational awareness," independent reviews reveal that, during one five-month stretch, "90% of people killed by US drone strikes were unintended targets."

Rep. Barbara Lee Recognizes Vietnam Peace Movement in House Resolution
(Hon. Barbara Lee / US House of Representatives & World Beyond War )

Rep. Barbara Lee has introduced a House Resolution (H.Res.695) recognizing the Vietnam anti-war movement as, "one of the largest and most prolonged efforts to achieve peace and justice in recent generations and was critical to bringing an end to the war." Rep. John Conyers became a co-sponsor as an effort begins to seek endorsements from other congressional representatives.

ACTION ALERT: Call for a UN Investigation Into the May 2, 2014 Odessa Massacre
(Bruce Gagnon / Organizing Notes)

The violent, provocative rhetoric and physical attacks that have accompanied Donald Trump's rallies are a reminder that the specter of political violence is not limited to genocidal massacres between rival Hutu and Tutsi tribes in Rwanda. On May 2, 2016, a memorial will be held in Odessa, Ukraine, to honor the memory of scores of pro-democracy activists who were brutally murdered by rightwing radicals on that date in Odessa two years ago.

Sanders Criticizes Israel's Policies in Palestine, Raising Questions over Death Count
(Robert Mackey / The Intercept & Rachel Maddow)

Israeli politicians attacked Bernie Sanders, even after Sanders admitted that he confused the estimated number of Palestinians killed in Israel's 2014 bombardment of Gaza. Sanders erred in saying 10,000 were killed. That was the number of civilians wounded. The UN reported 1,473 civilians killed. The hysteria in Israel seemed overwrought, however, given that "We only killed 500 kids" is not great material for righteous indignation.

US Mulls New War in UAE; Covers Up Civilian Carnage in Yemen
(AntiWar.com & The Intercept)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Obama Administration are in talks to launch a completely separate conflict in Yemen, this time focused against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The "army" may be a group of mostly Colombian mercenaries initially created by US war entrepreneur Erik Prince. Meanwhile the US report on civil rights in Saudi Arabia carefully ignores thousands of civilian casualties from the Saudi-led bombing in Yemen.

ACTION ALERT: Bipartisan Call for Sanctions on the Saudis
(Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & Hon. Chris Murphy / United State Senate)

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) have introduced legislation to prevent the US from continuing to support Saudi-led military campaigns in places like Yemen where Saudi Arabia's year-long campaign has led to a devastating humanitarian crisis and a security vacuum that has empowered our terrorist enemies al Qaeda and ISIS.

ACTION ALERT: Who Sells Cluster Bombs?
(Code Pink)

On April 18, peace activists from across New England will gather in front of Textron Industries headquarters in Providence, Rhode Island, to call on the company to stop selling cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia that it is using to kill civilians in Yemen. Another petition: "We, the undersigned, call on President Obama to meet with Saudi human rights activists during his upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia."

Report: US Has Not "Exported Democracy": It Has Supported Despotism
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Press Trust of India)

The 40th annual State Department report on human rights is raising more eyebrows than usual this year, as the preface by Secretary of State John Kerry warns of a "global governance crisis" wherein countries around the world are cracking down on basic freedoms and stifling dissent, often violently.

Human Rights Watch Reports US Bombs Used in Saudi War Crime
(Kareem Fahim and C. J. Chivers / The New York Times)

A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition used bombs supplied by the United States in an attack on a market in Yemen last month that killed at least 97 civilians, including 25 children, Human Rights Watch said in a report released Wednesday. HRW said it found fragments of two US-made bombs at the market, linking the United States for the first time to the deadly March 15 airstrikes.

Israel Introduces New Terror Weapon: Armed Micro-drones
(Sputnik News & Arie Egozi / Flight Global)

Inexpensive flying grenades are bringing drone technology to a ground-war setting. Israel's "attack and suicide drones" will allow a soldier to follow a target via onboard camera and then remotely drop a lethal grenade on the subject. Meanwhile, another Israeli company plans to profit from creating a "Drone Dome" to protect privileged communities from intrusion by " UAVs classified as malicious."

Killer Robots and 'Meaningful Human Control'
(Human Rights Watch)

According to experts in artificial intelligence, fully autonomous weapons, which would select and engage targets without meaningful human control, could be developed for use within years, not decades. In light of this troubling development, Human Rights Watch and the International Human Rights Clinic is calling on all states to adopt a prohibition on the development, production, and use of all fully autonomous weapons.

US Undecided on Vetoing UN Resolution Against Israel's Illegal West Bank Settlements
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Tovah Lazaroff, Herb Keinon, Danielle Ziri / The Jerusalem Post & Haaretz Editorial)

The US State Department insists the Obama Administration has not taken any position on the potential veto of an upcoming UN Security Council resolution against Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Israeli settlements in the West Bank are illegal under international law, and the Security Council is expected to simply reiterate that fact. The US vetoed an anti-settlement resolution in 2011, the only veto cast by the US during President Barack Obama's tenure.

The Question That Is Never Asked: Why Is US Attacked?
(Joe Lauria / Consortium News)

When Western media discusses terrorism against the West, the motive is almost always left out, even when the terrorists state they are avenging longstanding Western violence in the Muslim world. Western militaries have killed infinitely more innocent civilians in the Middle East than Russia has. Then why won't Western officials and media cite retaliation for that Western violence as a cause of terrorist attacks on New York, Paris and Brussels?

Afghan Families Seek Probe of US Drone Attack that Killed 17 Civilians
(Shereena Qazi / Al Jazeera & Emran Feroz / Al Jazeera)

Relatives and tribal elders in southeastern Afghanistan are demanding an investigation into the killing of 17 people by US drones this week, claiming that the air strikes hit civilians, not members of armed groups. Bahadur Noorullah Khan, a clerk working in the district office, was one of the 17 people killed in the raids. He left behind a wife and two children. "Who is going to feed them?" Khan's wife asked.

Obama Admits US Drone Attacks Routinely Kill Innocent Civilians
(Nicole Gaouette / CNN & The New York Times & The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

President Barack Obama has said there is "no doubt" that innocent civilians have been killed in drone strikes worldwide. The Obama administration has continuously expanded the drone program over two presidential terms, drawing heavy criticism for the extent of civilian deaths -- also known as "collateral damage."

Vietnam Redux: US Deploys B-52 Bombers to Destroy Islamic State
(Andrea Shalal / Reuters & Hana Levi Julian / The Jewish Press)

For the first time in 25 years, America has sent B-52 bombers to the Middle East to fight the war on terror: this time, against Da'esh (ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. "The B-52 demonstrates our continued resolve to apply persistent pressure on Daesh and defend the region in any future contingency," said Air Force Lieutenant General Charles Brown. The Pentagon says the bombers would drop one or two munitions in an area, rather than use carpet-bombing.

Kids Sue Fossil Fuel Industry over Polluted Future
(Our Children's Trust)

A Magistrate Judge with the US Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, has ruled in favor of 21 young plaintiffs in their landmark climate change case against the federal government. The judge ruled against the motion to dismiss brought by the fossil fuel industry and federal government. The plaintiffs claim fossil fuel pollution violates their constitutional right to life. Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call this the planet's "most important lawsuit."

US Drones and Bombs Kills136 Civilians -- From Afghanistan to Yemen
(AntiWar.com & The New York Times & The Defense Security Cooperation Agency)

In Afghanistan, a series of US drone strikes has killed at least 17 civilians. The US is often late to acknowledge civilian deaths. A US Brig. Gen. insisted there was "no evidence" that any of the slain were civilians. On March 15, Saudi warplanes attacked a crowded marketplace in the Yemeni Shi'ite town of Mastaba, killing 119 civilians. The attack was among the deadliest Saudi strikes on Yemen's civilians since the war began. More than 3,000 civilian bystanders have been killed.

US Policy and the Corporate Media Created Refugee Crisis
(Andrew Smolski / CounterPunch)

Take a look at the structure of the media system. The major media institutions are great corporations, some of them parts of megacorporations. Like other businesses, they sell a product to a market. The product that they sell is audiences. What do you expect to come out as the media product of a system of major corporations selling audiences to other corporations in close interaction with a major power system, state power, that there all very much interlocked with?

War and Environmental Collapse
(David Swanson / War Is a Lie)

Book excerpt: "The environment as we know it will not survive nuclear war. It also may not survive "conventional" war, understood to mean the sorts of wars the US government now wages. Intense damage has already been done by wars and by the research, testing, and production done in preparation for wars. . . . [W]ars have damaged the earth, both intentionally and -- more often -- as a reckless side-effect."

Rating the Candidates: Who Wants War?
(Philip Giraldi / The Unz Review)

Commentary: "That American presidential candidates can promote carpet bombing, annihilation of families and going to war to remove an undesirable government tells one that they are willfully ignorant of the consequences of their words. Whom I will be voting for in November comes down to only one issue -- who is less likely to start a new war."

Obama: US Has Killed Innocent Civilians; Warns Drones with 'Dirty Bombs' Could Threaten US Cities
(Robert Hutton / Bloomberg & Nicole Gaouette / CNN & )

During his Nuclear Summit in New York, President Obama admited US drones kill innocent civilians, he then showed a fake propaganda newscast depicting an imaginary plot in which anti-US fanatics use drones and "dirty bombs" to spread radioactive material through US cities. No mention was made of the US use of radioactive weapons in Iraq or how these "dirty bomb" attacks contaminated entire cities and destroyed thousands of lives with radioactive poisons.

Irradiated Iraq: The Nuclear Nightmare We Left Behind
(Barbara Koeppel / The Washington Spectator)

We invaded Iraq to destroy its non-existent weapons of mass destruction. To do it, we fired these new weapons, causing radioactive casualties. In the 1991 Desert Storm campaign, the US military fired weapons containing depleted uranium. Within two years, grotesque birth defects began to spiral. Babies with two heads. Or missing eyes, hands, and legs. Or stomachs and brains inside out.

The Cowards' Wars: The Bias of the International Criminal Court
(Luciana Bohne / CounterPunch)

Commentary: "They come; they see; people die. Their maps are not a territory inhabited by living beings; they are military targets. In 38,000 sorties and 22,000 tons of bombs in three months (Yugoslavia, 1999), they never lost a plane. They promise the people their bombs will not harm a hair on their heads; then they bomb markets and bridges at noon, when people are at their thickest; they say they are as careful at noon as they are at midnight."

ACTION ALERT: STOP the Use of Killer Drones
(The World Can't Wait)

"Reform" is in the air. What we need is visible opposition to US war for empire from people living in this country. Millions of Americans reproach their government for failure to secure access to basic necessities -- housing, education and healthcare -- for a purposeful life. Fundamental dynamics of the capitalist economic system have created a desperate situation for growing numbers of the dispossessed, across the globe.

Drone Killings Are War Crimes
(Daniele Archibugi / Open Democracy)

The threat that terrorists pose to US interests and security did not create killing drones: rather the technical feasibility of killing drones has generated imagined terrorist threats. It is nearly fifteen years since the United States, followed by a few of its closest allies such as the United Kingdom and Israel, used unmanned flying vehicles, better known as drones, for targeted killings.

Cleaning Up Hillary's Libyan Mess
(Robert Parry / Consortium News)

Hillary Clinton's signature project as Secretary of State – the "regime change" in Libya – is now sliding from the tragic to the tragicomic as her successors in the Obama administration adopt increasingly desperate strategies for imposing some kind of order on the once-prosperous North African country torn by civil war since Clinton pushed for the overthrow and murder of longtime Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.

War on Immigrants: Death on the Border
(Andrew Becker / Reveal & Center for Investigative Reporting)

Use of force by the US Border Patrol is back in the spotlight. In a scathing report published last week, a former Justice Department official criticized border agents' "astonishing pattern" of shooting people who threw rocks at them, a practice that led to a "highly predictable" death in 2011. Watch a Spanish-language documentary on deadly force by Border Patrol agents that the Center for Investigative Journalism produced with Telemundo and MSNBC.

Los Alamos: Secret Colony, Hidden Truths
( Casey Sanchez / The Santa Fe New Mexican)

Book Review: After 32 years of working at Los Alamos National Laboratory -- and daring to speak out as a whistleblower -- Chuck Montano was fired. Montano has now self-published a tell-all book in hopes of convincing a congressional subcommittee to reopen its February 2003 investigation into why LANL terminated the contracts of two independent investigators in November 2002. And there was the matter of that unsolved murder.

How Hillary Destroyed Libya, Once a Leading 'Developed Nation'
(Riley Waggaman / Huffington Post & Maximilian Forte / CounterPunch)

As a ferocious supporter of invading of Iraq, then-Senator Hillary Clinton insisted that Saddam Hussein was giving "sanctuary" to terrorists. Aside from being total nonsense, the dark irony is that the invasion transformed Iraq into an enormous terrorist incubator: A top military adviser to General Petraeus has plainly stated: "There undeniably would be no ISIS if we had not invaded Iraq" and "we have to recognize that a lot of the problem is of our own making."

The Case Against Bombing ISIS
(Greg Shupak / Jacobin Magazine)

When ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrendous attacks in Brussels, President Obama said the US "can and will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world." More bombing was on the way. The anti-ISIS campaign is just the latest phase of US imperialism in the Middle East. To date, US-led airstrikes against ISIS have killed at least 1,044 civilians in Iraq and Syria. Even "collateral damage" cannot rationalize such deaths.

The Case Against Bombing ISIS
(Greg Shupak / Jacobin Magazine)

When ISIS claimed responsibility for the horrendous attacks in Brussels, President Obama said the US "can and will defeat those who threaten the safety and security of people all around the world." More bombing was on the way. The anti-ISIS campaign is just the latest phase of US imperialism in the Middle East. To date, US-led airstrikes against ISIS have killed at least 1,044 civilians in Iraq and Syria. Even "collateral damage" cannot rationalize such deaths.

What Do Terrorists Want?
(Sheldon Richman / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Analysis: After the terrorist violence in Brussels many people, including Barack Obama, said we should not change our way of life and live in fear because that is what terrorists want. Maybe, but is that all they want? It seems that something important is left out of the story. In the classical model of terrorism, instilling fear (along with causing death and injury) is not an end in itself. It's a means to an end.

US/South Korea Exercise to "Decapitate" North Korea Prompts Threat of Nuclear Retaliation
(Yonhap News & Korea Times & Associated Press)

North Korea warned Saturday that its military is ready to attack Seoul's presidential palace unless South Korean President Park Geun-hye apologizes for "treason" and publicly executes officials responsible for what Pyongyang says are plans to attack its leadership. On Saturday, the DPRK posted a video titled "Last Chance," depicting a nuclear missile crashing into the streets near Washington's Lincoln Memorial before an explosion wipes out the city.

America's Astounding Human Rights Hypocrisy. What We Could Learn from Cuba
(Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News & Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn.com)

Our American president's long-overdue visit to Cuba has been a great thing for many reasons. But when it comes to harping on the human rights situation in Cuba maybe it's time to come clean about what’s happening here in the US. A comparison of Cuba's human rights record with that of the United States shows that -- when it comes to supporting women, education, healthcare and workers' rights -- it is the US that should be taking lessons from Cuba.

US Bombings Have Increased ISIS Attacks in Europe; In US, Trump Supporter Plans to Terror-bomb Muslims, Gets Probation
(Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & Justin Salhani /Think/Progress)

Who are the terrorists and what inspires them? US foreign policy created ISIS and is now the driving force behind ISIS-inspired terror attacks across Europe. The world has grown increasingly distressed over terrorist attacks -- in Europe, Pakistan, India, Indonesia, Turkey, the Middle East, Africa and the US. And not just by Muslim jihadis, but also by Christian nationalist and white supremacist groups in the US (many of whom are supporters of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz).

Pentagon Spending (Now 54% of the Budget) Is Destroying the World -- and the US
(David Swanson / World Without War)

The Congressional Progressive Caucus has requested budget proposals from members of the public. Here is a friendly suggestion from World Beyond War. Last year's CPC budget proposed to cut military spending by, in my calculation, 1%. Military spending now is 53.71% of discretionary spending, according to the National Priorities Project. No other item adds up to even 7%. Military spending also produces the need for additional spending on debt and veteran care.

With US Help, Saudi Arabia Is Obliterating Yemen
(Sharif Abdel Kouddous / GlobalPost)

More than 5,700 people, including at least 2,577 civilians -- 637 of them children -- have been killed in the eight months Saudi Arabia has been bombing Yemen, according to the United Nations. The UN expects the actual toll to be even higher because many of the dead or injured never reach medical facilities and so go unrecorded.

America's Astounding Human Rights Hypocrisy. What We Could Learn from Cuba
(Harvey Wasserman / Reader Supported News & Marjorie Cohn / Marjorie Cohn.com)

Our American president’s long-overdue visit to Cuba has been a great thing for many reasons. But when it comes to harping on the human rights situation in Cuba maybe it's time to come clean about what’s happening here in the US. A comparison of Cuba's human rights record with that of the United States shows that -- when it comes to supporting women, education, healthcare and workers' rights -- it is the US that should be taking lessons from Cuba.

ACTION ALERT: One Year of Killing in Yemen. Stop Arming Saudi Arabia
(CodePink & PBS & ITV)

Today marks one year since Saudi Arabia began what they said would be "short-term" military involvement in Yemen's civil war. In the 365 days since, using American-made fighter jets, cluster bombs, and other munitions, more than 3,000 innocent Yemeni civilians have been killed, many of them in ways that may amount to war crimes. It is past time for the US to stand up and repudiate Saudi aggression and killing in Yemen.

Media Sensationalize Terrorist Violence in Brussels, Ignore Western-backed Terrorist Violence in Yemen
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

When the media report on civilian deaths in Brussels but ignores Yemen, it's dispensing propaganda, not news. The ultimate media taboo is self-examination: the question of whether the actions we take exacerbate the problem we say we are trying to resolve. Such a process would not dilute the evil of ISIS's civilian-targeting violence, but it would enable a more honest understanding of the role Western military policies play and the inevitable human costs they entail.

A 'Legal Gap'? Nuclear Weapons Under International Law
(Gro Nystuen and Kjolv Egeland / Arms Control Today)

Over the past five years, the international community has devoted attention to the humanitarian, environmental, and developmental consequences of nuclear weapons detonations. More than 120 states have now formally endorsed the "Humanitarian Pledge" calling on states -- nuclear-armed states, in particular -- and other stakeholders to "fill the legal gap for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons."

Recalling Ireland's Easter Rising 100 Years Ago
(Associated Press & Jack Radey / Facebook & Sadhbh Walshe / The New York Times Op-Ed)

Thousands of soldiers marched solemnly through the crowded streets of Dublin on Sunday to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising against Britain, a fateful rebellion that reduced parts of the capital to ruins and fired the country's flame of independence, when about 1,200 rebels sought to ignite a popular revolt against Ireland's place in the United Kingdom.

Issue of Illegal US-Saudi War in Yemen Is Not Up for Debate
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Why are two of the world's richest countries, the US and Saudi Arabia, engaged in unrelenting, aggressive war against one of the poorest countries in the world, Yemen? The US-Saudi-led war has used outlawed cluster bombs against a population with no air force or other effective air defense. The US-supported slaughter has killed more than 6,000 people, mostly civilians. The UN has condemned the war but it is has not mentioned in the Republican or Democrat debates.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Bayers' War on Bees
(Kristin Brown / The League of Conservation Voters)

A new UN report has found that many species of wild bees, butterflies, and pollinators could be moving toward extinction. STOP mass bee deaths this spring! Join us in helping to save the bees before it's too late! Tell Bayer: stop producing bee-killing pesticides.

Obama Apologizes for US Role in Argentina Coup and 'Dirty War' that Tortured and Killed Thousands
(Kamilia Lahrichi and Oren Dorell / USA TODAY & Julie Hirschelf Davis / The New York Times)

President Obama Thursday visited a memorial in Argentina to the thousands of people killed and disappeared during that country's "dirty war," on the 40th anniversary of the coup that started it. Obama used his visit to announce his plan to declassify new military and intelligence records that document the human rights violations from 1976 to 1983.

ACTION ALERT: Killer Drone Advocates Now Have a Movie to Love
(David Swanson / World Beyond War & Roots Action)

If the recent spate of anti-drone movies and plays was making you feel warm thoughts about US culture, you'll want to avoid seeing "Eye in the Sky." This is what "Zero Dark Thirty" was for torture lies. This is what "The Interview" was for hatred of North Korea. The director of "Eye in the Sky," Gavin Hood, openly brags about having had military advisors on this film, just as those films had their government advisors. And it shows.

Saudi Arabia to Scale Down Mass Murders of Yemen Civilians
(ssociated Press & Vice News & Al Jazeera & World Beyond War)

Saudi Arabia said Thursday its military coalition will scale down operations in Yemen, an announcement that came as the death toll from an airstrike by the alliance on a market north of the Yemeni capital this week nearly doubled, reaching 119. A UN official said 22 children were among those killed, in this, the latest in a series of US-backed Saudi airstrikes that have killed hundreds of civilians.

ACTION ALERT: A Call to Halt Arms and Aid to Saudi Arabia
(CODEPINK, Campaign for Peace and Democracy et al.)

The March 5-6 Summit on Saudi Arabia and US-Saudi ties ended with a vote to launch a campaign to end weapons sales to Saudi Arabia. The execution in January of Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, an opponent of both Sunni and Shiite sectarianism and an advocate of a non-violent strategy, is only the most recent example of the barbarity of the Saudi dictatorship. The government carried out at least 157 executions in 2015, many of them by grisly beheadings.

ACTION ALERT: Another Eco-Activist Is Murdered in Honduras
(Carys Afokos / SumOfUs.org & Nina Lakhani / The Guardian)

On March 4, Berta Caceres, co-founder of the Council of Indigenous Peoples of Honduras (COPINH) murdered by gunmen who entered her home in the middle of the night. Carceres had received death threats for opposing the Agua Zarca Dam. Now, another COPINH member has been found dead after his arrest by Honduran police. The latest death comes amid growing fears for the safety of environmental activists and their family members across Hondurdas.

ACTION ALERT: Pressure Mounts on Kerry to Take Action over Honduras Killings

More than 110 land and environmental activists have been murdered since 2010, in the aftermath of a US-backed military coup. Now a group of 730 leading Latin American experts and scholars have condemned the assassination of Honduran activist Berta Caceres and urged US Secretary of State John Kerry to halt aid and support to Honduras until the Central American country improves its atrocious human rights record.

Dozens of Syrian Civilians Killed in Air Strikes on Raqqa
(Reuters & IBTimes & The Independent)

Dozens of people were killed in a series of air strikes on the city of Raqqa in northern Syria on Saturday – despite a cessation of hostilities in Syria that took effect three weeks ago. More than 600 civilians may have been killed by coalition bombs in Iraq and Syria. Civilians have been routinely killed by coalition, government and Russian airstrikes on Syrian cities. Month after month, airstrikes on Syrian cities have continued to kill innocent men, women and children.

UN Says Saudi-led, US-backed Bombing of Yemen Market May Be War Crime
( Reuters & BBC World News)

The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen may be responsible for "international crimes," a category that includes war crimes and crimes against humanity, according to Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. More than 6,000 people have been killed since the coalition campaign began a year ago to fight Iranian-allied Houthis and forces loyal to ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Narendra Modi's War on India's Environment
(Rohini Mohan / Al Jazeera America)

India's Bharatiya Janata Party government came to power in May 2014 in a massive wave of support for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his agenda of economic development for all. In under a year, the BJP has begun to undo policies intended to preserve fair land acquisition, environmental protection and tribal rights. Modi has called these laws -- al designed as safeguards to protect people, the environment, and tribal rights -- "roadblocks" to economic growth.

Agro-Bombs in Our Backyard: Big Ag's Dangerous Fertilizer Blasts
(Anna Lappe / Civil Eats)

Organic agriculture offers more than safe food. It might also lead to a less perilous food chain. Three years ago, an explosion at a West, Texas fertilizer plant killed 15 people and injured another 260. More than a thousand communities nationwide are home to similar fertilizer production facilities that store fertilizer-grade ammonium nitrate -- the agricultural chemical that caused the deadly explosion.

Children of War
(Elaisha Stokes / Al Jazeera America)

It has been a little more than a decade since peace came to Liberia. The war, which spanned from 1989 until 2003, left more than 250,000 people dead and 1.2 million more displaced. It's hard to find a family anywhere in the country that wasn't personally touched by the violence. Most of the children who fought in the war are now young adults. They are largely homeless, without steady work or education.

Hillary Clinton's Complicity in Death of Honduran Environmental Activist
(Adam Johnson / OtherWords & Lee Fang / The Intercept)

Who murdered Honduran environmental activist Berta Caceres? While the identities of the killers remain unknown, activists, journalists, and members of the Caceres family are blaming the increasingly reactionary and violent Honduran government. While Caceres' death drew some mainstream US media coverage, there was a glaring problem with it: Hardly any of the articles noted that the brutal regime that probably killed Caceres came to power in a US-backed coup.

Will We Ever Stop Our War-Hungry Government?
(Bruce Gagnon / The Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space)

Activists from all over Sicily have been protesting against a US Navy base for six years. In addition to their refusal to have their community used as a base for war making they also have grave concern over the health effects of the electromagnetic radiation emitted from the three massive satellite dishes. Meanwhile protests continue over Pacific Ocean Navy bases in Okinawa and South Korea's Jeju Island -- the "Island of Peace."

South Sudan Troops Suffocate Civilians; Unpaid Troops Allowed to Rape and Loot
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com &Agence France-Press & Dawn)

Amnesty International has continued the investigation into the mass death of South Sudanese civilians forced into a shipping container by troops, determining that the troops deliberately suffocated over 60 civilians. Meanwhile, over a period of only five months, more than 1,300 cases of rape were reported in just one of the country's 10 states.

If a US Drone Strike Kills 150 Nameless People, Does Anyone Care?
(Nick Ford / Center for a Stateless Society & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

Most countries don't routinely run around dropping bombs and killing dozens of people in other countries. On March 8, President Obama killed roughly 150 people in a country where the US is not at war. Obama has become a roving, Global Judge, Jury, and Executioner. And we see nothing disturbing or even odd about that. The Pentagon issued a five-sentence boilerplate statement declaring them all "terrorists." And that's pretty much the end of that.

The US Middle East Killing Racket
(Jacob G. Hornberger / The Future of Freedom Foundation)

Commentary: Under what constitutional authority does the US national-security establishment kill people with impunity overseas? How do we know that they were guilty? What impact will those killings have on the American people, especially in terms of terrorist retaliation? What good does embroiling the US in these foreign conflicts accomplish? After all, it was the US national-security state's killing campaign that unleashed most of the chaos in the first place.

Hundreds of Children Killed: US Media Accomplice in Drone Murders
(Emran Feroz / TeleSUR & The Drone Memorial)

Commentary: Since 2001, the United States has been killing people with weaponized drones, most times not knowing the identities of the victims. The victims of drone strikes are nameless and invisible, despite the fact that most of them are civilians -- in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq. The victims are completely dehumanized and described as "terrorists," "suspected militants" or any other similar euphemism. Most of the victims have been civilians.

Armed Eugenics: America's War Against the Mentally Ill
(Alex Zielinski / ThinkProgress & TeleSUR)

Researchers have uncovered a commonly missing factor in police brutality cases: A victim's disability. According to a study published by the Ruderman Family Foundation, a disabled advocacy group, up to half of all people killed by law enforcement were living with a disability. In 2015, LA Police Department officers killed 38 people, the majority were from minority groups. The LAPD also had a 300 percent increase in shootings of suspects with known mental illnesses.

ACTiON ALERT: Stop Killing Environmental Leaders
(Rainforest Action Network & TeleSUR)

"Our hearts are broken. We just lost a powerful woman who dedicated her life to defend the Lenca Indigenous peoples' rights, territory and their sacred Gualcarque River." International human rights organizations have condemned the assassination of Indigenous leader Berta Caceres in Honduras, and called on Secretary of State John Kerry to acknowledge the US's own role in the violence that continues to take innocent lives in the Central American country.

Before Her Death, Murdered Honduran Environmentalist Blamed Hillary Clinton for Honduran Coup
(Greg Grandin / The Nation & Democracy Now!)

Before her murder on March 3, Berta Caceres, a Honduran indigenous rights and environmental activist, named Hillary Clinton, holding her responsible for legitimating the 2009 coup. "We warned that this would be very dangerous," she said, referring to Clinton's effort to impose elections that would consolidate the power of murderers. The Democratic presidential candidate has ignored criticism of her role in enabling the consolidation of the Honduran coup.

Lethal Creep in Action: The Mass-slaughter of 150+ 'Terrorist Suspects' Approaches Genocide
(Laurie Calhoun / AntiWar.com & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

Commentary: When initial reports stated a drone strike had killed 150-plus terrorists in Somalia, my immediate reaction was: "How could a single drone strike kill 150+ people?" In the beginning, drone strikes were used against named, "high-value" targets. Next, "medium-value" targets were hunted down and killed. Then military-age men became targets in "signature strikes." Where can this sort of blind policy of mass homicide ultimately lead, if not to genocide?

The Pentagon & Climate Change: How Deniers Put National Security at Risk
(Jeff Goodell / Rolling Stone)

At some point, climate denialism will flip into climate panic, and the demand for law and order will prevail (as will calls for quick and dangerous techno-fixes like geo-engineering to cool the planet and stop the rising seas). The US military is the only force on Earth with the ability to police, process, feed and move refugees on a mass scale. But this picture could turn dark fast -- one of the biggest long-term threats climate change poses is to civil liberties and freedom.

ACTION ALERT: Fukushima Radioactive Fallout Food Safety Petition
(Kimberly Roberson / Change.org)

We are in the midst of an ongoing and seemingly incomprehensible radiation crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power complex in Japan. Particulates in the form of radioactiive iodine and other radioisotopes from Fukushima have traveled across the US as far as Massachusetts. Here in the US, we are STILL not receiving honest, accurate and consistent information from our government. The EPA must expand the monitoring of air, rain water, and milk.

Before Her Death, Murdered Honduran Environmentalist Blamed Hillary Clinton for Honduran Coup
(Greg Grandin / The Nation & Democracy Now!)

Before her murder on March 3, Berta Caceres, a Honduran indigenous rights and environmental activist, named Hillary Clinton, holding her responsible for legitimating the 2009 coup. "We warned that this would be very dangerous," she said, referring to Clinton's effort to impose elections that would consolidate the power of murderers. The Democratic presidential candidate has ignored criticism of her role in enabling the consolidation of the Honduran coup.

UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Face Inquiry and High Court Legal Action
(Patrick Wintour and Alice Ross / The Guardian)

British sales of arms to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen will be the subject of a full-scale inquiry by a cross-party committee, while the government is also facing a high court challenge to examine whether its actions break UK and EU arms export laws. The inquiry by the powerful committee on arms exports controls is going to look at arms sales to Saudi Arabia and their use by the Saudi air force in Yemen, where there is growing concern about civilian deaths.

ACTION ALERT: Remember Fukushima on March 11 and Unplug Nuclear Power
(Unplug Nuclear Power.com & Robert Hunziker / CounterPunch & RT News)

March 11, 2016 marks the fifth anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear disaster. The Fukushima site continues to leak thousands of tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and surrounding environment every single day. There are many events marking the disaster -- From blockading bridges to delivering letters of protest to Japanese embassies around the world, people are taking power into their own hands and sending a clear message: NO NUKES!

February Shock: Global Temperatures Surpass 'Tipping Point', Planet at Risk
(TeleSUR & Bill McKibben / The Boston Globe & )

Scientists believe a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius will lead to irreversible climate change. Last week, Northern Hemisphere temperatures rose more than 2 degrees Celsius above "normal" for the first time in recorded history and, quite possibly, the first since human civilization began 100,000 years ago. Climate protesters are the planet's antibodies -- its immune system kicking in. The earth is running a high fever. The time to fight it is right now.

Native Community Works to Restore Former Pentagon Ammo Plant in Wisconsin
(Laura Olah / Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB))

The 2016 field season is shaping up to be a busy year on the Ho-Chunk Nation lands at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant. Activities planned include continuing to monitor and inventory wildlife and forestry resources; invasive species management; and removal of unwanted infrastructure. The Nation has worked on multiple tribal lands since 2001 to promote the installation of conservation practices and the restoration of multiple streams, wetlands and prairie habitats.

Honduran Activist Berta Caceres Died in Gustavo Castro Soto's Arms; Now His Life is in Danger
(Amy Goodman / Democracy Now!)

Honduras is still reeling from last week's assassination of Berta Caceres, one of the country's most well-known environmental leaders. Gustavo Castro Soto witnessed Berta Caceres' shooting and sustained two bullet wounds himself during the assault. Now, human rights activists say the Honduran government is detaining Castro without cause and refusing him permission to return to his native Mexico. At least 110 environmental and land defenders have been killed in Honduras since 2010 in the wake of a US-supported coup.

Pentagon: Drone Strike in Somalia Kills More than 150
(AntiWar.com & The Washington Post & BBC World News)

US drones launched a massive attack against an al-Shabaab training camp 120 miles north of the Somali capital city of Mogadishu, according to the Pentagon. Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis claims over 150 militants were slain in the attack. Officials say that they were watching the camp "for several weeks" prior to the attack, and the Pentagon claimed they posed “an imminent threat to US forces.” It’s not clear where those US forces are that were "at risk."

Military 'Censors' Book Exposing 'Burn Pit' Poisoning of US Troops
(Ken Klippenstein/ Reader Supported News)

A new best-selling book called "The Burn Pits" reveals links between military service in Iraq and Afghanistan and illnesses ranging from respiratory complications to brain cancers. The illnesses affect at least 59,000 soldiers including, according to the book, Joe Biden's son Beau, who died of brain cancer after serving in Iraq. Instead of confronting the threat, the Pentagon has gone into full retreat and has apparently ordered the book be banned from all US military bases.

Historic Case: On March 7, Marshall Islanders Call on World Court to Enforce Global Nuclear Disarmament
(Rick Wayman and Sandy Jones / Nuclear Age Peace Foundation & Jackie Cabasso / International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

On March 7, 2016, the International Court of Justice, the world's highest court, will begin hearings in The Hague, on the preliminary objections raised by the United Kingdom, India and Pakistan in the nuclear disarmament cases brought by the Republic of the Marshall Islands. These unprecedented lawsuits aim to hold the nine nuclear-armed states accountable for violating international law by failing to respect their nuclear disarmament obligations under the 1968 NPT.

Ramadi Reduced to Rubble
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Stephen Kalin / Reuters)

The Iraqi military has been touting its "liberation" of the Anbar capital city of Ramadi, in an offensive that began in December and continued well into February, as a key achievement in the war on ISIS. But UN officials describe the level of destruction in Ramadi as "staggering," saying the city is in far worse condition than anywhere else in all of Iraq. The main hospital is destroyed outright, as is the train station, and the city lost 64 bridges and virtually its entire electricity grid.

Israel Destroys More Homes in the West Bank
(Al Jazeera & Emily Mulder / Al Jazeera & Dalia Hatuqa / Al Jazeera)

A United Nations report says a total of 41 structures including a school were destroyed south of Nablus displacing 36 Palestinians. Israel has issued more than 14,000 demolition orders against Palestinian-owned structures in Area C between 1988-2015. Palestinians say the cost of losing a home doesn't surpass the value of life cheapened by decades of Israeli occupation.

Amidst the Debris: The Environmental Impact of the Conflict in Syria
(PAX for Peace)

The ongoing conflict in Syria is likely to have a disastrous impact on the environment and public health, according to a new study published by PAX. Four years of fighting has left cities in rubble and caused widespread damage to industrial sites, critical infrastructure and the oil industry. Pollution from these forms of damage is likely to result in acute and chronic risks to civilians and will have a long-term impact on the environment that they depend on.

ACTION ALERT: Goldman Environmental Prizewinner Berta Caceres Assassinated
(Just Foreign Policy & Sen. Patrick Leahy & National Public Radio & The Goldman Environmental Prize)

Honduras has lost one of its most courageous indigenous leaders, Berta Caceres. Caceres was the General Coordinator of the National Council of Popular and Indigenous Organizations of Honduras. In 2015, she won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her activism and leadership. She was assassinated on March 2. Urge Congress to press the Honduran government for an independent investigation of those responsible for the assassination.

Collapse of Iraq's Mosul Dam Could Kill 1 Million: US Citizens Urged to Flee
(AntiWar.com & The Guardian & Reuters)

The viability of the Mosul Dam is in growing doubt. After US warnings were dismissed by Iraqi officials as overblown, the engineers who built the dam warned that the situation was even worse than the US was saying. The engineers are now saying that if it goes, a 20 meter-high flood of water could roll through Mosul and down the Tigris valley, killing upward of a million people. The US has ordered Americans in Iraq to be prepared to flee the area if the dam were to collapse.

Inconvenient Truths About Military Air Shows: Doing the Math
(Gary Kohls / FUBAR and Grill.org)

The Navy's Blue Angels perform across the US to promote militarism. They also promote cancer. The kerosene-based jet propellant used by the F-18s contains a mixture of volatile organic compounds (some of which are known carcinogens) as well as being liver, kidney and immune system toxins. The post-combustion exhaust from the jet engines contains equally carcinogenic pollutants capable of poisoning animals as well as plant and aquatic life.

National Summit on Saudi Arabia, March 5-6
(Campaign for Peace and Democracy & Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News)

Saudi Arabia opened 2016 with a tragic, yet increasingly common event for the Kingdom, a mass execution. In the words of Amnesty International, "Saudi Arabia's authorities demonstrated their utter disregard for human rights and life by executing 47 people in a single day." Why is the US arming this cruel and dictatorial kingdom? The question will be addressed in a two-day national summit to be held in Washington, DC on March 5-6, 2016.

Civilians Starving to Death in Syria; Refugees Beaten and Gassed in France, Macedonia
(International Business Times & Al Jazeera)

The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights fears thousands of Syrians may have died of starvation, as 480,000 people are "currently trapped in besieged towns and villages." Meanwhile, in France, police fired tear gas canisters at protesters as demolition workers pulled down shacks in makeshift refugee camp. And, in Macedonia, police used stun grenades after hundreds of Iraqi and Syrian refugees tried to force their way through a razor-wire barrier across the border.

The Rape of East Timor: "Sounds Like Fun"
(John Pilger / JohnPilger.com)

Secret documents provide a glimpse of how one of the greatest crimes of the 20th century was executed and covered up. "Rape, sexual slavery and sexual violence were tools used as part of the campaign designed to inflict a deep experience of terror, powerlessness and hopelessness upon pro-independence supporters," says the UN. In scribbled annotations on a memorandum that refers to atrocities in a concentration camp, one diplomat wrote: "sounds like fun."

British Planes Loaded with A-bomb Materials Flown to US; UK's Trident Subs Called 'an Accident Waiting to Happen'
(Rob Edwards / The Guardian & Libby Brooks / The Guardian<)

Britain's Ministry of Defence has admitted that planes loaded with tritium, plutonium and enriched uranium -- ingredients for atomic warheads -- were flown between the UK and the US 23 times in the last five years. Two emergency exercises codenamed Astral Bend envisaged planes carrying nuclear materials crashing. In 2015, a Royal Navy whistleblower was jailed after his 18-page report warned the Trident -- the UK's flagship nuclear sub -- was a "disaster waiting to happen."

Guatemala: Rape as a Military Strategy
(TeleSUR )

The Sepur Zarco case is the first wartime sexual abuse case prosecuted in Guatemala and the first involving sexual slavery tried in a national court. Two former Guatemalan soldiers have been sentenced to 120 and 240 years in prison after they were found guilty of raping women in the Sepur Zarco military base in the 1980s as part of a military strategy. The judge rejected the idea that sexual violence was simply to satisfy the desires of the soldiers, but that it was a weapon of war.

ACTION ALERT: War on Women: One Million Women Are Imprisoned in the USA
(Moms Rising & PeaceTeam.net & William Saletan / Slate)

The United States has the largest prison population and the highest incarceration rate in the entire world. Children lose the most in this trend with more than 2.7 million children in the US having an incarcerated parent. 1,000,000 women, mostly mothers are behind bars in the United States. Two-thirds of the women in federal prisons are serving time for challenges related to nonviolent drug abuse. They need treatment and counseling, not incarceration.

The Trident: An Icon of Militarism
(Nadia Mitchell / Veterans for Peace & Caroline Lucas, Nicola Sturgeon and Leanne Wood / The Guardian)

On February 27, thousands of protesters -- including Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of Britain's Labour Party -- gathered in London for a huge anti-nuclear march and rally. The rally called for the elimination of the country's nuclear-submarine program, calling the Navy's Trident submarine "an outdated weapon system from a bygone age." Protestors cited 13 occasions from across the world when nuclear weapons were nearly launched by accident.

Pentagon Criticized for Offering only $6,000 for Civilians Killed in US Attack on Afghan Hospital
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Kellan Howell / The Washington Times)

The Pentagon is paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to wounded survivors and relatives of 42 people killed when a US gunship attacked a charity hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz, but the charity group Doctors Without Borders says the "blood money" is not enough to compensate for the loss of life. The US has previously paid $50,000 for Afghan civilians killed by US forces. The victims of the MSF attack were offered only $6,000 as a "condolence payment."

The Media Are Misleading the Public on Syria
(Stephen Kinzer / Boston Globe)

Coverage of the Syrian war will be remembered as one of the most shameful episodes in the history of the American press. Reporting about carnage in the city of Aleppo is the latest reason why. Americans are told that the virtuous course is to fight the Assad regime and its Russian and Iranian partners. This is convoluted nonsense, but Americans can't be blamed for believing it. We have almost no real information about the combatants, their goals, or their tactics.

US-Saudi Coalition Bombs Are Killing Civilians and Obliterating Yemen's Architectural Heritage
(Iona Craig / The Intercept)

In addition to the growing number of civilian casualties in Yemen's long war, US-made bombs dropped by fighter jets from a Saudi Arabian-led coalition are pulverizing Yemen's architectural history, often referred to as a living museum. These airstrikes are tearing villages apart, forcibly displacing thousands and erasing the country's inimitable heritage, possibly in violation of international humanitarian law, according to the world heritage body, UNESCO.

ACTION ALERT: Hillary Clinton's F-15s -- A 'Christmas Gift' to the Saudis and US Arms Makers
(Code Pink & Lee Fang / The Intercept)

New emails reveal that, on Christmas Eve 2011, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her aides celebrated an arms deal that sent a "Christmas present" of US F-15 fighter jets to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis have used those jets to conduct bombing raids that have killed 2,800 Yemeni civilians -- a level of slaughter that international human rights groups have called war crimes. Meanwhile, Lockheed Martin, Boeing rally around Saudi Arabia, waving off humanitarian concerns.

ACTION ALERT: Shut Down Creech: Ground the Pentagon's Killer Drones
(Veterans for Peace, CODEPINK: Women For Peace, et al)

In 2005, Creech Air Force Base secretly became the first US base in the country to carry out illegal, remotely controlled assassinations using the MQ-1 Predator drones, and in 2006, the more advanced Reaper drones were added to its arsenal. The majority of those killed by drones are civilians. Creech AFB is where the killer drone program started -- it is where we shall end it. Support the Mass Mobilization to Stop the Drone Wars from March 27 - April 2, 2016.

How US Armsmaker BAE Profits from the Deaths of Yemeni Civilians
(James Cusick / The Independent and Alistair Dawber / The Independent)

The UN says Saudi-led raids on Yemen's schools, medical facilities, mosques and markets have violated international humanitarian laws. Human Rights Watch says it has evidence of internationally banned, US-supplied cluster bombs being used at least five times, including during an attack in December 2015 that injured civilians. At the same time, Saudi Arabia's bombing of civilian targets in Yemen is helping to increase the sales of fighter aircraft made by BAE Systems.

Chemical Warfare on California's Kids; Air Pollution and Dementia
(Californians for Pesticide Reform & Clayton Aldern / Grist)

Parents and health professionals are pressing officials in California and Hawaii to ban the neurotoxic pesticide, chlorpyrifos, after the pesticide was found in hair samples of every child tested. Alarms were sounded after research linked chlorpyrifos to falling IQs, autism and ADHD in children. Meanwhile, a study from Taiwan showed that for every unit increase in exposure to particle pollution, the risk of developing Alzheimer's increased more than 100 percent.

War Crimes and Body Cams: Oscar-nominated Danish Film Raises Accountability Issues
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet & Maj. Ryan Kenny / AFCEA International)

Director/writer Tobias Lindholm's Academy-Award-Nominated Best Foreign Language Film, A War, captures both the rigors of war and the mundane, crippling consequences for war's survivors. It also introduces the idea of body-cams for soldiers. Using "body cameras" to police officers is now clearly established in the US. What are the chances that US soldiers might be equipped with cameras to record their interactions with foreigners in distant combat zones?

'Open the Land': The Shawnee Aim for a Return to Ohio
(Kevin Williams / Al Jazeera America)

Attempts to right a wrong exacted on the Shawnee Tribe almost 200 years ago are running into headwinds and government inertia in Ohio as the Native American nation seeks to reclaim its lost homeland. But there are signs the marshy bottomland from the often overflowing Great Miami River may someday see a Native American nation officially return to Ohio for the first time, with the Shawnee reclaiming a tiny slice of their lost territory.

Outrage as US Attack in Libya Kills Two Serbian Embassy Hostages
(The Associated Press & Al Jazeera America )

Two Serbian embassy staffers held hostage since November died in Friday's US airstrikes on an Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) camp in western Libya that killed dozens, Serbian officials said Saturday, questioning why the Americans did not appear to know that foreign captives were at the site. A US official -- apparently in a state of denial -- responded that US forces had "no information indicating that their deaths were a result" of the airstrikes.

Why Does the US Continue to Support the Saudi Slaughter in Yemen?
(Adil E. Shamoo / Foreign Policy in Focus & AntiWar.com)

The civil war in Yemen has displaced 2.3 million people and left 5,700 dead -- 2,500 of them, civilians. Two thirds of the deaths have resulted from airstrikes. Adding to the misery of the Yemeni people, the US has approved a $1.3 billion arms sale to the Saudis that includes air-to-ground ordinances and included 22,000 bombs. From 2010 to 2014, the US sold $90 billion worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia, including internationally banned cluster bombs.

The United States' $7 Billion Fight Against Poppy Production in Afghanistan Has Completely Failed
(Azam Ahmed / The New York Times)

The US has spent more than $7 billion in the past 14 years to fight the runaway poppy production that has made Afghan opium the world's biggest brand. Tens of billions more went to governance programs to stem corruption and train a credible police force. But in Helmand Province the swollen bulbs of opium are growing thick and high -- within sight of official buildings -- a clear sign of a local narco-state that is administered directly by Afghan government officials.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Your UN Ambassador
(The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN))

There are 16,000 nuclear weapons in the world. Nine states possess nuclear weapons. Five additional NATO states have nuclear weapons on their territory. A single one could create a humanitarian catastrophe. Nuclear weapons are the only weapons of mass destruction that have not yet been ruled illegal under international law. For the first time in history we can do something about it! It's time to make things right and ban nuclear weapons for good. Support the ban campaign.

War of Words: Who Bombed the Hospital in Syria? US or Russia?

Airstrikes on a hospital affiliated with Doctors Without Borders -- aka Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF) -- and a children's hospital in Syria were carried out by aircraft departing the US Incirlik Airbase in Turkey, a member of Russia's Committee on International Policy has charged. Syria's Ambassador to Russia has accused the US of striking the hospital in Idlib province. At the same time, Turkish Prime Minister has accused Russia of striking the hospital.

US Air Strike Hits Syrian Bakery: 38 Civilians Killed Over 48 Hours

An early morning US airstrike against the city of Shadadi killed 15 civilians gathered outside a bakery. This incident was the start of a flurry of US airstrikes in Syria's northeast which, over the past 48 hours, have left at least 38 civilians dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Mystery of Khost: Did US Drone Kill 14 at Afghan Funeral?
(The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

Using the UN's figures, the civilian death rate from US airstrikes in Afghanistan is now at its highest rate since 2008. This has raised concerns that military targeting is becoming less accurate, or that there might have been an unannounced change in the rules of engagement. Bureau research shows that, on average, a civilian was killed every fourth drone or jet strike in 2015 -- up from one in 11 attacks the year before and the first time the casualty rate has risen since 2011.

Burn Pits: The Biggest Iraq War Scandal that Nobody's Talking About
(Liam O'Donoghue / Salon.com & Newsweek)

When the US military sets up a foreign base, it disposes of the thousands of pounds of daily waste by burning the garbage in open air "burn pits." The waste includes "tires, lithium batteries, asbestos insulation, pesticide containers, Styrofoam, metals, paints, plastic, medical waste and even human corpses." Thousands of soldiers have contracted cancers and died from exposure to the more than 250 military burn pits operated in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Siege Warfare in Syria Revives Debate over Ancient Tactic
(Associated Press)

Sieges were widely used for centuries as a military tool -- from Jerusalem to Leningrad and Sarajevo -- and aren't defined outright as a war crime. However, recent images of emaciated civilians in blockaded areas, such as the Syrian town of Madaya, have prompted global outrage. The United States says President Bashar Assad is violating the rules of war with what it calls a policy of "surrender or starve."

US-Backed Rebels Fight Each Other in Syria as Besieged Civilians Starve to Death
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Holly Williams / CBS Evening News)

The recent Syrian military offensive in Aleppo Province has the US keen to throw even more aid at rebel factions, including some Islamist-leaning groups. Hassan Haj Ali, the commander of the Falcons of Mount Zawiya Brigade, confirmed that his forces have been the recipients of US arms recently.

US Bombs Strike Syrian Bakery, Kill 15

An early dawn US air raid against the Syrian city of Shadadi ended with airstrikes hitting the city's bakery, and killing 15 civilians who were lining up outside to buy bread just before the bakery opened, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Syria Says US -- Not Russia -- Was Responsible for MSF Hospital Attack
(TeleSUR & Kathy Kelly / TeleSUR)

Syria has blamed the US for killing civilians in the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders hospital south of Aleppo, countering claims by Turkey and the US that Russia was behind the fatal attacks. At least five medical facilities and two schools were hit by missiles in attacks that left almost 50 civilians dead, including children and women. The attacks have been labeled a violation of international law by the United Nations and as "war crimes" by the MSF and Turkey.

Children Die as Hospitals, Schools Bombed in Syria's 'Mini-World-War'
(Loveday Morris and Erin Cunningham / The Washington Post & Liz Sly / The Washington Post & Bassem Mroue / AP)

Nearly 50 civilians were killed in missile strikes on hospitals and two schools in northern Syria on Monday, the United Nations said, deepening the country's humanitarian crisis despite plans for a temporary cease-fire later this week. In total, at least five medical facilities and two schools in Idlib and neighboring Aleppo province were attacked on a single day. Russian official warns that the world had already descended into "a new Cold War."

Global Nuclear Ban Talks Start on February 22: US/China/Russia/UK/China Sign Joint Letter Refusing to Attend
(Beatrice Fihn / International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

A new UN working group on nuclear disarmament will begin next week in Geneva, Switzerland and new legal measures and norms are on the agenda. 123 states have endorsed the humanitarian pledge and committed to "fill the legal gap" for the prohibition and elimination of nuclear weapons. All nine nuclear-armed nations have refused to attend. The US, China and Russia jointly signed a letter that called the approach of giving greater control to nuclear-free nations "divisive."

A New Movement to Ban Nuclear Weapons
(International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons)

This hour-long podcast, produced by ICAN in January 2016, describes the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons and the growing international movement to ban them through a new global treaty. The presentation includes the words and testimony of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Pope Francis, Jody Williams, Martin Sheen, Eric Schlosser, Ban Ki-moon and dozens of activists and world leaders who share the quest for a nuclear-free future.

Feminists Should Oppose Militarism and End the Draft & and The Death Toll of Hillary Clinton's Wars
(Sarah Lazare / AlterNet & Conn Hallinan / Foreign Policy in Focus)

Feminists should unequivocally declare that Clinton's policies of war and empire that kill, wound and traumatize women around the world are not compatible with feminism. Of course we defend any woman, including Clinton, against sexism. But that defense must not lead to reflexive embrace of an entire platform. Hillary supported the US attack on Iraq, which killed between 400,000 to over 1 million people, drove more than 2 million from their homes and left 2 million internally displaced.

Afghanistan Civilian Deaths at Record High
(Al Jazeera America & AntiWar.com)

Civilian casualties of the war in Afghanistan rose to record levels for the seventh year in row in 2015, as violence spread across the country in the wake of the withdrawal of most international troops, the United Nations reports. At least 3,545 noncombatants died and another 7,457 were injured by fighting last year in a 4 percent increase over 2014.

Obama's Budget: $16 Billion for New Nuclear Weapons While 16 Million US Children Live in Poverty
(Aaron Mehta / Defense News & Kingston Reif / Arms Control Association )

Under President Obama, the US is on track to spend about $1 trillion on atomic weapons over the next 30 years, invitng a dangerous arms race with Russia, China and others. Starting in 2021, between 2021 and 2035, it's about $18 billion a year to reconstitute and recapitalize our strategic nuclear deterrent," one Pentagon spokesperson said. "If that comes out of our conventional forces that will be very, very, very problematic for us."

What's Next for Syria? A Call to Stop Bombing a Nation and Arming Endless Conflict
(Simon Lewis / TIME Magazine & Vitaly Naumkin / Al Monitor & The US Peace Council)

Syria's five-year-old war has claimed 470,000 lives -- 11.5% of Syria's people have been killed or injured. There are three scenarios for the war-torn country: gradual reconciliation through the Geneva dialogue; a military victory by President Bashar al-Assad or; a major war involving global powers. It's time to: Stop bombing Syria's economic infrastructure in the name of fighting ISIS, Stop injecting foreign fighters into Syria, Stop funding and arming the combatants in Syria.

Let's End the Peril of a Nuclear Winter
(Alan Robock and Owen Brian Toon / Op-Ed, The New York Times)

Even with the reduced US and Russian nuclear arsenals agreed to in 2010, the world still risks destruction. Smoke from incinerated cities would create a "nuclear winter," plunging global temperatures below freezing year 'round. Crops would die and most of humanity would perish. But it is not just superpowers that threaten the planet. A "small" nuclear war between any two countries using 100 Hiroshima-size atom bombs, could easily destroy most life on Earth.

Plan Colombia: 10 Billion US Dollars Spent; 7 Million Colombians Dead
(Megan Alpert / Foreign Policy & Daniel Kovalik / TeleSURtv & Dan Kovalik / The World Report)

Plan Colombia's 15th anniversary was celebrated in Washington February 11. President Juan Manuel Santos came to DC to praise Colombia's US-backed $10 billion "war on drugs." Washington's military approach to America's drug-addiction left Colombia marked by massacres, mass graves, and death squads. Bullets were supposed to cut cocaine exports 50% by 2006. Today, however, after 15 years of war, Colombia remains the world's No. 1 cocaine producer.

Russian-backed Aleppo Offensive 'Kills Hundreds'; Siege Threatens 300,000
(Al Jazeera America)

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports the Syrian government's offensive in Aleppo has killed 500, many killed in airstrikes on cities. Russia denies that its bombers have targeted civilians. Hundreds of thousands in rebel-held areas under threat of starvation as government forces advance. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch says joint operations using banned cluster-bomb munitions have killed nearly 40 civilians since January 26.

Will Global Warming Heat Us Beyond Our Physical Limits?
(Cheryl Katz / National Geographic)

If we don't cut greenhouse gases, it's not just storms and rising seas we'd have to worry about. The heat alone could kill a lot of us. Last June in Pakistan, a heat wave killed more than 450 people in the port city of Karachi, where this man received medical treatment. Temperatures stayed around 113 F (45 C) for three days.

The Pentagon's Wars Are Lowering Global Life Expectancy
(Nick Alexandrov / CounterPunch)

One of the greatest stories of the 20th century was the doubling of the life expectancy of adults. In the last quarter-century, Washington has helped fight this trend. Deaths in the Mexico's US-backed drug wars have been killing around 19,000 a year. US sanctions against Iraq killed more than half a million children in 1995. In 1985-90, the life expectancy in Iraq was 63.9. After the US invasion, Iraq's life expectancy fell to 57 years -- on par with Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

Fifteen Years Later: The "Great Success" of Plan Colombia
(Lisa Taylor / Upside Down World)

Signed in 2000, Plan Colombia was a $1.3 billion initiative to support Colombia's counterinsurgency and counternarcotics efforts by "fighting the War on Drugs from a supply side perspective." 71% of the funds went to military aid -- training troops, supplying weapons, and chemical spraying to destroy coca crops. The US has spent almost $10 billion on Plan Colombia but the drug trade continues to flourish. Meanwhile, 80% of the Drug War's deaths have been civilians.

ACTION ALERT: President Obama: Tell the United Nations to End the Drug War
(Matt, Favianna, Oscar and Erick / Presente.org )

The war on drugs is a disastrous, brutal failure. This failed policy empowers the criminals it claims to fight, weakens democratic institutions, and violates human rights. But this could change in April, when the United Nations will meet to debate international drug policy. President Obama could help stop the harm created by racist and outdated drug war policies by calling for a focus on public health and human rights at the UN forum.

ACTION ALERT: President Obama: Tell the United Nations to End the Drug War
(Matt, Favianna, Oscar and Erick / Presente.org )

The war on drugs is a disastrous, brutal failure. This failed policy empowers the criminals it claims to fight, weakens democratic institutions, and violates human rights. But this could change in April, when the United Nations will meet to debate international drug policy. President Obama could help stop the harm created by racist and outdated drug war policies by calling for a focus on public health and human rights at the UN forum.

US Military Attacked for Complicity in Afghan Child Soldiers after Boy's Murder
(Spencer Ackerman and Sune Engel Rasmussen / The Guardian)

The Taliban's murder of a 10-year old Afghan boy has cast a spotlight on the practice by US allies of turning children into fighters in the war-torn country. Wasil Ahmad, who was killed by Taliban on Monday, fought in Afghan Local Police, a US-funded government militia that employs child soldiers illegally. Overshadowed in the outpouring of grief is the grim practice of allowing children to take up arms, particularly alongside a quasi-official force created by the US military.

Billions Pledged for Syrians as Raids Worsen Country's Humanitarian Crisis
(Al Jazeera America)

Turkey's foreign minister said a new exodus of thousands of Syrians could be on the verge of heading into his country. With Syria's five-year-old civil war raging and another attempt at peace negotiations called off in Geneva after just a few days, the London donors conference is hoping to go some way to addressing the needs of some six million people displaced within Syria and more than four million refugees in other countries.

Mixed Messages: Russia Bans 5 US Officials over Torture; Russian Nuclear Exercise Targeted Sweden
(RT News & The Local)

The Russian Foreign Ministry has imposed a travel ban on five former law-enforcement officials from the US citing their role in the "legalization and use of torture and indefinite detentions." In other news, a NATO report claims that a 2013 training mission by the Russian military involved a simulated attack against Sweden that included the theoretical use of nuclear weapons.

America's Myth of a Peaceful Nation
(Vasko Kohlmayer / AntiWar.com)

"We are a peaceful nation," claimed Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson in an interview with Katie Couric late last year. Carson voiced a view that is held by many in our society. Like most people around the world, we naturally like to think of ourselves as a peace loving country. Unfortunately, the record does not bear this out. It, in fact, indicates something quite opposite.

MPs Call on UK to Stop Arming Saudis; Protesters Disrupt Warmongers' Dinner
(RT News)

A group of MPs have called on the British government to immediately suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and have demanded an independent inquiry into charges of war crimes in Yemen. Meanwhile, anti-arms trade campaigners decrying the Saudi campaign in Yemen were physically removed from London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel, Monday, as they attempted to disrupt an annual dinner held at the site for arms dealers and politicians.

Escalation Nation: Pentagon Admits More that 4,000 US Troops in Iraq
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com )

While the Pentagon continues to talk up its intentions to send many hundreds more ground troops into Iraq, escalating their overall presence, officials today admitted that the number of US troops in the country is far above what they'd previously admitted. While the White House has repeatedly talked about troop levels being at 3,500 to 3,600, a Pentagon spokesman admitted the figure was "well above 4,000."One report placed the figure at 4,450.

Report on the World Nuclear Victims Forum
(Manfred Mohr / International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the World Nuclear Victims Forum Executive Committee organized a World Nuclear Victims Forum on the impacts of nuclear warfare. Prof Manfred Mohr from ICBUW Germany reports on the international gathering, which was held in Hiroshima in November 2015.

MPs Call on UK to Stop Arming Saudis; Protesters Disrupt Warmongers' Dinner
(RT News)

A group of MPs have called on the British government to immediately suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia and have demanded an independent inquiry into charges of war crimes in Yemen. Meanwhile, anti-arms trade campaigners decrying the Saudi campaign in Yemen were physically removed from London's Park Lane Hilton Hotel, Monday, as they attempted to disrupt an annual dinner held at the site for arms dealers and politicians.

"The Most Toxic War in History" - 25 Years Later
(Doug Weir / SustainableSecurity.org & International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

This month marks the 25th anniversary of the start of Operation Desert Storm, the combat phase of the Gulf War. A quarter of a century on from the first widespread use of depleted uranium munitions, have lessons been learned about the need to protect civilians, military personnel and the environment from conflict pollution and the toxic remnants of war?

ACTION ALERT: Open Air Burning of Munitions is Obsolete and Dangerous
(Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger)

The US Army reports that its retired stockpile of conventional (non-nuclear/non-biological/non-chemical) ammunition -- and more than 300,000 missiles and components -- grew from 557,000 tons in 2009 and could exceed 1.1 million tons by FY 2025 representing a $2.8 million clean-up liability. A national coalition of 29 organizations is supporting Louisiana residents in their fight to end open-air burning of a stockpile of hazardous explosive waste in the town of Colfax.

From Africa to Europe, Children Are Victims of War
(Jason Ditz / Anti-War.com & The Associated Press & Margaret Griffis / AntioWar.com & Al Jazeera and Agencies)

A Boko Haram attack has destroyed a Nigerian village, leaving many civilians -- including children -- burned to death. Inside Iraq, ISIS attacks have included killings of children and youth. Meanwhile, more than 10,000 children fleeing wars in their homelands have disappeared, raising fears they are being exploited, says Europol, Europe's police agency.

ACTION ALERT: Please Take Action to Save the Bedouins
(Rabbi Arik Ascherman / Via Tikkun Magazine)

A week ago, the Israeli High Court removed the last legal hurdle preventing the immediate expulsion of over 1,000 men, women and children from their homes. The mayor of the artificial Bedouin township of Hura, where the Israeli government wishes to move them, says he has that Hura's inadequate zoning plan leaves no place to put them.

Can Meetings Set for Geneva and New York Prevent Nuclear War and Restore National Prosperity?
(Dr. Ira Helfand / TEDTalks & Greg Mello / The Los Alamos Study Group)

Commentary and Analysis: As the first session of the Open-Ended Working Group on Nuclear Disarmament begins, some nuclear weapon states -- the US in particular -- will promise the moon to prevent negotiations that could lead to any effective disarmament measure. Empty promises flavored with delicious idealism are a specialty of this US administration. "A world free of nuclear weapons" is one of these empty and dangerous platitudes.

Gun Control Is Also Needed at the Pentagon
(Norman Solomon / Al Jazeera America)

Commentary: "I don't question President Obama's sincerity when he sheds public tears over the victims of gun violence. I do wish, however, that he would enlarge his field of compassionate vision to include those directly suffering from what Martin Luther King Jr. called 'the madness of militarism' -- in this case, US militarism. In 2016, no institution is more in need of gun control than the Pentagon."

Russian Claims: US Building Biowar Labs Near Border; Deadly Virus Traced to US Lab in Ukraine
( & DNI News)

Russia recently charged the Pentagon with expanding a network of biological weapons laboratories in Europe -- including inside Georgia and Ukraine, two countries on the Russian border. The US state department denied the claim outlined in the new Russian foreign policy strategy document. On January 12, 2016 it was reported that more than 20 Ukrainian soldiers were killed and over 200 soldiers hospitalized following exposure to a deadly virus allegedely traced to a US lab in the city of Kharkov.

'Doomsday Clock' Stands Near Midnight as Obama Plans $1 Trillion Expansion of Nuclear Weapons
(Stephen Kinzer / The Boston Globe & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

President Obama has proposed a frighteningly wrongheaded plan to "modernize" our nuclear arsenal at a cost of about $1 trillion over the next 30 years. Obama plans to buy 1,000 new missiles with adjustable nuclear capacity, 100 new long-range bombers, and a new fleet of nuclear-armed submarines. Former Defense Secretary William Perry warns that if the plan becomes real, disputes among nations will be "more likely to erupt in nuclear conflict than during the Cold War."

US-Backed Saudi Forces Starving a Half Million Yemeni Children
(MintPress News Desk)

While the media was flooded with images of the starving children of Syria, the thousands of children suffering from Saudi Arabia's US-backed onslaught on Yemen made far fewer headlines. The United Nations has warned that 8,000 children could suffer from severe malnutrition in 2016. And that's just in one southern Yemeni city.

Pentagon Orders $900 Million for New Chemical Weapons; Russia Alarmed
(Sputnik News & Bill Gertz / Washington Free Beacon)

The US Army has awarded 17 companies, including major corporations, $900 million in contracts for biological and chemical war projects. Russia recently charged the Pentagon with expanding a network of biological weapons laboratories in Europe, a charge the State Department denies. Meanwhile, the US government has confirmed that it employed racial testing of chemical weapons during WWII to see how non-whites reacted compared to "normal" white soldiers.

Saudi Arabia Is Killing Civilians With US Bombs While US Arms Makers Are Paid Billions
(Marjorie Cohn / TeleSur & AntiWar.com)

The US government is the primary supplier of Saudi weapons. In November 2015, the US sold $1.29 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia. It included more than 10,000 bombs, munitions, and weapons parts manufactured by Raytheon and Boeing, as well as bunker busters, and laser-guided and "general purpose" bombs. A month earlier, the United States had approved a $11.25 billion sale of combat ships to Saudi Arabia.

ACTION ALERT: Monsanto Supplied Outlawed WMD Used in Israel's Attack on Gaza Civilians -- A War Crime
(ANON HQ & Blacklisted News & Sputnik News & SumOfUs)

Agribusiness giant Monsanto -- best known for their genetically modified soybeans and "probably carcinogenic" herbicide -- has supplied the Pentagon with white phosphorous used in incendiary weapons. And some of that was used by Israel in its 2008 attack on Gaza. Meanwhile, Monsanto has accused the California EPA of being an "unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and foreign body" for labeling it's glyphosate herbicide as "carcinogenic."

ACTION ALERT: Demand an Honest Summit on Syria: Failure Could Lead to a Nuclear War
(An Urgent Appeal by the US Peace Council)

After almost half a decade of violent proxy war, terrorism, and bloodshed, Syria's warring parties have agreed to meet in Geneva, to seek a political solution to a war that has cost the lives of tens of thousands of innocent men, women and children. But the summit, as currently conceived, excludes moderate Syrians and Kurds. A non-inclusive process will lead to further war and increase the likelihood of a nuclear confrontation between the US and Russia.

More Gitmo Outrages: False Imprisonments, Torture, CIA Accused of Inmate Deaths
(RT News)

A Yemeni prisoner held at the Guantanamo Bay due a case of mistaken identity has been released -- after 13 years of confinement. A Kuwaiti national, illegally detained for 14 years and repeatedly tortured, was finally released to his home country. A former Guantanamo guard says he witnessed prisoners being brought to a secret "black site"where the CIA staged their suicides to get rid of the "problem." At the time, the US said the men hanged themselves.

Pentagon Calls Civilian Deaths 'Acceptable': UN Calls Deaths a 'War Crime'
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & Al Jazeera America)

US military spokesman Col. Patrick Ryder claims US airstrikes against targets in the Iraqi city of Mosul "likely" killed only 16 civilians. While human rights groups put the civilian death toll in the hundreds, the Pentagon insists that the civilians killed were an "acceptable" number. Following previous attacks, Pentagon officials similarly stated they were "comfortable" with civilian casualties in the scores.

US-backed Saudi-led Airstrikes Have Killed 500 Children in Yemen: UN Report
(The Associated Press & Al Jazeera America )

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights says the US-backed, Saudi-led conflict in Yemen has caused a "disproportionate amount" of civilian damage. A UN panel singled out coalition forces for committing "grave violations." More than 5,600 people -- including 2,615 civilians and 500 children -- have been killed since March. Most of the deaths were caused by coalition airstrikes. Rights groups have criticized the US and UK for supplying arms to the Saudis.

Alarm Sounded as 40 Countries Are Found to be Working on Killer Robots
(Kirsty Styles / The Next Web & Bloomberg News & )

Despite calls for a ban made by people like Tesla's Elon Musk last year, Sir Roger Carr, the chairman of British weapons manufacturer BAE, said that 40 countries are currently working on this deadly, autonomous technology, including the United States. The US is the leader in this field, despite the fact that it is the only country in the world that has banned their use -- but only for a decade, starting in 2012.

Honoring the Legacy of Terry Turner
(Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch)

Commentary: "In the years I've worked with Amazon Watch I've met many extraordinary people. In that time I've drawn inspiration from powerful indigenous leaders, staunch environmental and human rights defenders, political pioneers, and media magnates. I had one of my most inspiring encounters in 2011 when working alongside the famed anthropologist Terence Sheldon Turner in the Brazilian Amazon."

Secretary of State Kerry Pressed for Hidden 'Evidence' of MH-17 Shoot-down
(Robert Parry / Consortium News & William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Middle East Eye )

The father of a young American who died aboard Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is pressing Secretary of State John Kerry to release evidence to support his early claims that the US government possessed details about the launch of the missile that killed 298 people. The mystery remains: Why has the US -- after asserting that it possessed information implicating the Russian government -- failed to make the data public or apparently even share it with Dutch investigators?

Grandmother Photographs Drone Protest in Syracuse, Is Sentenced to Six Months in Jail
(Gail Ablow and John Light / BillMoyers.com)

Fifty-nine-year-old Mary Anne Grady Flores will serve six months for photographing a protest of an airfield in upstate New York where drone pilots are trained and from where missions are carried out. Flores was arrested after the commander of the 174th Attack Wing of the Air National Guard -- which pilots drones on lethal missions around the world -- requested a court order of protection against a group of mostly gray-haired demonstrators whom he had never met.

How the UK Arms the World's Dictators
(Member of Parliament Diane Abbott / The New Statesman & Rowena Mason / The Guardian)

Commentary: A Member of Parliament claims Britain's arms trade is undermining the humanitarian efforts of its Department of International Development. "Saudi Arabia, which buys at least a third of our arms exports, has been bombing Yemen for nine months now. The results have been, in the words of the UN's Yemen envoy Johannes van der Klauwe, 'a humanitarian catastrophe.'"

Crashing Drones and Killer Robots Should be Banned 'Before It Is Too Late'
(Heather Saul / The Independent & Colin Lecher / The Verge)

'Killer robots' would "jeopardise basic human rights" and should be preemptively banned "before it is too late", Human Rights Watch has warned. Now, according to a new investigation from The Washington Post, the Air Force had its worst year for drone crashes ever in 2015, costing taxpayers $2 million as the Pentagon's Reaper drone has suddenly been plagued by mysterious crashes.

Israel Attacks Palestinian Crops with Pesticides Hits Water Supplies
(Belal Aldabbour / Al Jazeera America & Muna Dajani / Al Shabaka)

On January 7, a low-flying agricultural aircraft sprayed herbicides on to Palestinian farmlands along the eastern border, eradicating or damaging up to 162 hectares of crops and farmland along the Israeli border fence. Israeli warplanes also bombed Gaza's main agricultural experiment station, causing $300,000-worth of damages and destroying the station's building, laboratories, vehicles and a large power generator.

Syrian Civilians, Children Killed in Air Attack on ISIS
(ntiWar.com & Reuters & Al Jazeera America)

The civilian death toll of the ISIS war continues to rise precipitously, with a series of Saturday airstrikes against the ISIS caliphate's capital city of Raqqa having killed at least 40 civilians, including eight children, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. As of yet there are no indications if the airstrikes were launched by the US or Russia. Meanwhile, ISIL has been accused of murdering 130 in government-held districts of Deir Az Zor.

US Military Readies Punishments for Botched Afghan Airstrike
(Paul McLeary / The Cable @ Foreign Policy)

The Pentagon is preparing to punish specific members of the US special operations forces and others involved in a bungled airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, that left 42 civilians dead. But the move, which has not previously been reported, could also spark new questions about the military's ability to police itself.

ACTION ALERT: Saudis Prepare to Behead and Crucify Teenager for Participating in Pro-democracy Protest
(John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News & The Guardian)

Riyadh's decision to execute 47 people on January 2 -- the largest mass execution in Saudi Arabia in 35 years -- has further exacerbated an already shaky balance with Shias in the region. Now a global appeal has been issued to prevent the beheading and crucifiction of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, a teenage boy accused of attending pro-democracy protests.

Pro-gun Advocate Shot Dead by Friend: The 'Self-Defense' Argument
(Ben Hayden / Daily Kos & YouTube)

Charles Carter and Vincent Smith were right-wing extremists planning a "Paul Revere 2016 Final March to Restore America" -- a cross-country caravan to "remove the corrupt leadership that has taken over our beloved country and ousted her God and constitution."The tour was cancelled after Smith shot and killed Carter during a drunken confrontation. Plus: A collection of videos document how guns can both endanger and protect gun-owners.

Will More Guns Keep Us Safe? Two Sides of the Gun Debate
(Susan Miller / USA TODAY & Colion Noir / NRA & Molly Hennessy-Fiske / Los Angeles Times)

The bullet-pocked summer and fall of 2015 are gut punchers. President Obama has announced expanded background checks on unlicensed dealers. People might buy a gun for protection, but it more often causes harm. The number of times people with a gun have taken down a mass shooter is "extraordinarily low." Meanwhile, in the world of gun owners, Colion Noir, an articulate African American NRA advocate, has become an Internet sensation and his popularity is growing.

Fire and Oil: The Collateral Damage of Airstrikes on ISIS Oil Facilities
(Wim Zwijnenburg and Annica Waleij / Toxic Remnants of War & the Wilson Center)

As the United States, Russia, and others step up attacks on the self-proclaimed Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), there is concern over their direct and long-term environmental and public health impacts. Many air strikes have targeted lucrative oil installations under the control of ISIS, and these could have severe detrimental effects for Syria's future, both environmentally and socio-economically.

ACTION ALERT: After 14 Shameful Years, Close Guantanamo Now!
(A Message from Michael Ratner / Code Pink)

Despite the rhetoric saying he would close Guantanamo as almost the first act of his Presidency, President Obama has refused to take actions to actually close the prison. Let's remember: seven of the 14 years that these men have languished in Guantanamo have been under Obama. A reluctant Pentagon is no excuse. Obama is Commander in Chief. If Obama is to close the prison before he leaves office, he must move to do so NOW.

ACTION ALERT: Free Phyoe Phyoe Aung
(Jasmine Heiss & Amnesty International & Ne Win & Joy Y. Wang / MSNBC)

Phyoe Phyoe Aung was arrested for heading up a peaceful student protest, and now faces nine years in prison. Below is a message from her father. Join thousands of others in taking action for Phyoe Phyoe Aung today.

Former Guantanamo Bay Detainee Speaks Out for Justice
(Al Jazeera America & RT News)

Shaker Aamer was recently released from Guantanamo prision after being held and tortured for 14 years, without ever being charged with a crime. Now Aamer is calling for Gitmo to be closed: "Guantanamo is being run by one concept -- how to destroy a human being. Guantanamo is not a detention facility, it's not like a normal jail." It is "run by psychologists, by psychiatrists," who know how to "manipulate." "If they are willing to do this to us, they are willing to it against their own people one day."

How Many Bombs Did the United States Drop in 2015?
(Micah Zenko / Council on Foreign Relations & Sorcha Faal / What Does It Mean)

In 2014, the CIA estimated the size of the Islamic State to be between 20,000 and 31,000 fighters. Pentagon officials claim that at least 25,000 Islamic State fighters have been killed by US bombs. 23,144 bombs were dropped on Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in 2015. Following the Pentagons announcement that 6 innocent civilians have died, Russian diplomats lauded President Barack Obama for developing what can only be described as a "miracle bomb."

Yemen Civilians Suffer Relentless Bombing from US-backed Saudis
(Sharif Abdel Kouddous / The Intercept & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

The Saudi-led, US-backed war on Yemen continues, and the UN is once again calling attention to the coalition's war crimes. After nearly 10 months of war, the destruction of Yemen continues with little respite for civilians. On Sunday, a hospital in northern Yemen supported by Doctors Without Borders was bombed, killing at least five people and injuring three staff doctors.

ACTION ALERT: Ask the President to Condemn the Saudi Regime in His State of the Union Address
(Robert Naiman, Avram Reisman, and Sarah Burns / Just Foreign Policy & David E. Sanger / The New York Times)

President Obama should call out the Saudi government in his final State of the Union address for its support of terrorism, sectarian violence, and gross violations of human rights.

A Town Sacrificed for Lead Bullets
(Ben Paynter / Wired Magazine)

Picher, Oklahoma, sprang up as a 20th-century boomtown -- the "buckle" of the mining belt that ran through Oklahoma, Kansas, and Missouri. The earth berneath it produced most of the lead for US bullets in World Wars I and II. Picher eventually became a Superfund site, and the state offered residents an average of $55 per square foot to evacuate their homes. Picher became a dead city. Except that a few people refused to leave.

ACTION ALERT: New Documentary on Guns and NRA!
(Brave New Films)

The documentary film, scheduled to be released in March, depicts the National Rifle Association, as a profit-making mega-business operating with complete immunity, and it's complete with wrenching real-life stories of families affected. The Greenwald film could be seen by thousands, even millions, of Democratic voters, raising their intensity to historic levels. It will be a powerful tool at house parties everywhere.

UN Chief: Saudi Use of US-made Cluster Bombs in Yemen Could Be a War Crime
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Human Rights Watch & Louis Charbonneau / Reuters & Ben Norton / Salon.com)

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has issued a statement warning that the Saudi Arabian coalition's intense airstrikes against residential areas, and apparent indiscriminate use of US-made cluster bombs against populated areas in the capital city of Sanaa could amount to a war crime. Images have surfaced of US-made cluster bombs used against densely populated neighborhood buildings and a kindergarten.

Obama Urged to Consider Allowing More Civilian Casualties in America's Foreign Wars
(Karen DeYoung and Missy Ryan / The Washington Post)

President Obama's order to intensify air attacks in Syria has led to new internal debate over whether to loosen tight restrictions on strikes against Islamic State targets that risk civilian casualties. So far, at least, the White House has resisted proposals to change the rules of engagement for the bombing.

Obama Issues Emotional Call to End Gun Violence: NRA Fires Back with a Disturbing Photo
(President Barack Obama & The National Rifle Association)

President Obama delivered a deeply personal and emotional appeal to the country to help curb gun violence on Tuesday at the White House. For Obama, who is often criticized for his overly clinical approach to heated issues, his tone -- sad and mad in relatively equal measure -- was remarkable. In response, the NRA posted a dismissive rebuttal accompanied by a photo that appeared to be chosen to suggest the president should be targeted for assassination.

ISIS Executes Female Journalist and Syrian Filmmaker
(The Independent & Syria: Direct & Raqqa RBSS & RT News)

Syrian media has reported that ISIS has executed what is believed to be the first female citizen journalist for reporting inside its territory. The execution of Ruqia Hassan marks the fifth journalist who reported on ISIS to be killed since October. Ms Hassan, who also went by the pseudonym Nisan Ibrahim, was a independent reporter. Some of her last words were: "When ISIS arrests and kills me it's ok because. . . it's better than [living] in humiliation with ISIS."

ACTION ALERT: Ask the President to Condemn The Saudi Regime in His State of the Union Address
(Just Foreign Policy & The New York Times)

The Obama Administration has not yet publicly condemned the Saudi government's execution of a prominent Shia dissident, even though recent Saudi government actions threaten to undermine the Administration's strategy against ISIS. President Obama should call out the Saudi government in his final State of the Union address for its support of terrorism, sectarian violence, and gross violations of human rights.

The Crimes of the Saudi Royal Family: Part I
(The United States Department of State & Human Rights Watch)

A US State Department study concludes the most important human rights problems associated with Saudi Arabia's dictatorial monarchy include: "citizens' lack of the ability and legal means to change their government; pervasive restrictions on universal rights such as freedom of expression, including on the Internet, and freedom of assembly, association, movement, and religion; and a lack of equal rights for women, children, and noncitizen workers."

The Crimes of the Saudi Royal Family: Part II
(The United States Department of State & Human Rights Watch)

A US State Department study concludes the most important human rights problems associated with Saudi Arabia's dictatorial monarchy include: "citizens' lack of the ability and legal means to change their government; pervasive restrictions on universal rights such as freedom of expression, including on the Internet, and freedom of assembly, association, movement, and religion; and a lack of equal rights for women, children, and noncitizen workers."

The Crimes of the Saudi Royal Family: Part III
(The United States Department of State & Human Rights Watch)

A US State Department study concludes the most important human rights problems associated with Saudi Arabia's dictatorial monarchy include: "citizens' lack of the ability and legal means to change their government; pervasive restrictions on universal rights such as freedom of expression, including on the Internet, and freedom of assembly, association, movement, and religion; and a lack of equal rights for women, children, and noncitizen workers."

Drones in 2015: Operators Charge US Drones 'Recruit' Enemies
(Ed Pilkington and Ewen MacAskill / The Guardian & Charles Pierson / CounterPunch)

Four former US service members who participated in the Pentagon's drone assassination programs have issued an emotional plea to rethink an airstrike strategy that has 'fueled feelings of hatred' toward the US. So far, eight US citizens have been killed in US drone strikes. The Obama Administration has easing restrictions on the sale of US-made drones. Purchasers must promise to use the drones only in accordance with international law -- just like the US does.

City of Ramadi 'Recaptured' -- and Reduced to Rubble
(The Telegraph & War News Today)

The Iraqi military declared on December 28 that the city of Ramadi in Anbar province had been retaken from Islamic State. The footage shows a devastated Ramadi, with crumbling buildings and roads. At one point, troops are seen standing in a deserted street holding an Iraqi flag. It then cuts to the inside of a building to show what appears to be material seized from Isil. In another clip, the body of what appears to be a militant lies face down in the rubble.

A Glimpse at a Sustainable Human Settlement -- In the Heart of the Amazon
(Survival International & BBC)

For the first time, extraordinary aerial footage of one of the world's last uncontacted tribes has been released. Survival's new film, narrated by Gillian Anderson, has launched our campaign to help protect the earth's most vulnerable peoples.

Silent Night: The Christmas Truce of WWI
(Gar Smith / Environmentalist Against War & John McCutcheon & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)

Every December, songwriter John McCutcheon approaches a microphone and announces a special song. Those who know the song grow silent. Those hearing it for the first time are soon nodding their heads in quiet affirmation. Some find themselves weeping. McCuthcheon's soul-wrenching "Christmas in the Trenches," retells a nearly forgotten incident from WW I that people in Europe still remember as the "Christmas Miracle."

Guns Don't Kill People: Americans with Guns Kill People
(Michael Moore / The Hollywood Reporter)

The 'Where to Invade Next' filmmaker argues that even if the US banned guns, its lack of a social safety net would still turn many toward violence: "We just need to modify [the NRA's slogan] to, 'Guns don't kill people -- Americans kill people.' There is no question that fewer guns will result in fewer gun deaths. This has been proven in every country that has decided to decrease or remove guns from civilian ownership.

Kenyan Muslims 'Shielded Christians from Shabaab'
(Lucas Barasa, Manase Otsialo and David Muchui / Nation & CNN)

Two people were killed and three others injured when suspected Al-Shabaab militants attacked a bus and a lorry in Mandera. Governor Ali Roba said locals protected non-Muslim passengers thereby preventing a massacre similar to last year's when Al-Shabaab members hijacked and killed 28 people, mainly teachers, in a Nairobi-bound bus.

Chelsea Manning Spends Sixth Christmas in Prison with No End in Sight
(Ed Pilkington / The Guardian & Chelsea E. Manning / The Guardian)

The army private who transferred about 750,000 files of US secrets to WikiLeaks writes about the feeling of detachment that engulfs her at this time of year: "The chasm between me and the outside world feels like it's getting wider and wider, and all I can do is let it happen."

Chelsea Manning Spends Sixth Christmas in Prison with No End in Sight
(Ed Pilkington / The Guardian & Chelsea E. Manning / The Guardian)

The army private who transferred about 750,000 files of US secrets to WikiLeaks writes about the feeling of detachment that engulfs her at this time of year: "The chasm between me and the outside world feels like it's getting wider and wider, and all I can do is let it happen."

Chelsea Manning Spends Sixth Christmas in Prison with No End in Sight
(Ed Pilkington / The Guardian & Chelsea E. Manning / The Guardian)

The army private who transferred about 750,000 files of US secrets to WikiLeaks writes about the feeling of detachment that engulfs her at this time of year: "The chasm between me and the outside world feels like it's getting wider and wider, and all I can do is let it happen."

Chelsea Manning Spends Sixth Christmas in Prison with No End in Sight
(Ed Pilkington / The Guardian & Chelsea E. Manning / The Guardian)

The army private who transferred about 750,000 files of US secrets to WikiLeaks writes about the feeling of detachment that engulfs her at this time of year: "The chasm between me and the outside world feels like it's getting wider and wider, and all I can do is let it happen."

Chelsea Manning Spends Sixth Christmas in Prison with No End in Sight
(Ed Pilkington / The Guardian & Chelsea E. Manning / The Guardian)

The army private who transferred about 750,000 files of US secrets to WikiLeaks writes about the feeling of detachment that engulfs her at this time of year: "The chasm between me and the outside world feels like it's getting wider and wider, and all I can do is let it happen."

Silent Night Bethlehem /7 O'clock News
(David Morrison / Sadaka, The Ireland Palestine Alliance & Philip Weiss / Mondoweiss.net)

Christmas in Bethlehem 2015, a newly released video from Sedaka, was inspired by the 1966 Simon & Garfunkel track "7 O'Clock News/Silent Night," which is overlaid with a newscast of the actual events of 3 August 1966, when the Vietnam war raging. Christmas in Bethlehem is overdubbed with a newscast of recent events in Bethlehem.

UN Condemns US-backed Saudi Bombings in Yemen
(Sputnik News & Abby Martin / teleSUR)

The Saudi Arabian-led military campaign in Yemen has received more international condemnation after UN officials told the Security Council that the coalition was responsible for a "disproportionate amount" of attacks on civilian areas. Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein, the UN's Commissioner for Human Rights, told the UN Security Council that he had "observed with extreme concern" incidents of heavy shelling in areas with high concentrations of civilians.

Obama's Global Warming Limits Under Attack from GOP Politicians
(Ken Kimmell / Union of Concerned Scientists & Chris Mooney / The Washington Post)

The Obama administration's new limits on global warming emissions from power plants are the single most effective climate action ever undertaken by our government. And since the day they went into effect, they've been under threat. Twenty-six states are suing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop their implementation. Congress recently voted to dismantle the limits outright. And a majority of the presidential candidates oppose them.

Voices from Syria: 'The Safest Place Is the Frontline'
(Olivia Alabaster / Al Jazeera America)

The UN Security Council this weekend agreed on a draft resolution for peace talks in Syria after five years of war in the country, large parts of which have been seized by fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) group. Meanwhile, Syrian residents continue to grapple with daily air strikes launched by the Syrian regime, Russia and a US-led coalition, each with different targets and aims for the country's future.

Saudi Arabia and the UN's Human Rights Scandal<
(John Kiriakou / Reader Supported News & The Clarion Project)

Saudi Arabia has completed its first three months as Chair of the UN Human Rights Council, exemplifying the world body's inability to put its foot down on human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, a country that resorts to beheadings and crucifictions. Recently, a 45-year-old domestic worker in Saudi Arabia was sentenced to death for fornication. The man in the alleged relationship faced only 100 lashes.

US Military Pollution and Climate Change
(Caroline Bridgman-Rees / US Peace Council )

US military pollution is the worst in the world. Its assault on the climate hastens global disaster, threatens human lives everywhere, and wastes precious natural resources for future generations. The US federal government, Pentagon, Congress and NATO are responsible for this pollution, as are political and corporate leaders, military industrialists, contractors, engineers, and scientists. All of them justify violent methods of national security for profit and power.

Endless War Crimes in Yemen Slowed by Ceasefire
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Commentary: "The first lie about Yemen's dirty war in the world of official journalism is that the fighting there has been a "nine-month conflict" and that 'the conflict started in March,' as the New York Times put it on December 17. This is simply not true in any meaningful sense. What started in March was a savage, one-sided air war backed by the US, all too similar to the Nazi-backed one-sided air war in Spain in the thirties that gave the world 'Guernica.'"

US Keeps Killing Civilians and Allied Troops in Asymmetrical Wars
(Sheldon Richman / AntiWar.com & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Analysis: Terrorists commit "crimes" against people in other countries. They shoot up parties, concert halls, and restaurants. It's horrible, but it's not war. ISIS and al-Qaeda have no armies capable of invading the US, no navies, no air forces. They have no ability to conquer the country. In no sense can they defeat us. Only we can do that. "We" are at war with them. They are not at war with us.

Obama Fights Release of 2,000 US Torture Photos
(Jonathan Turley / JonathanTurley.org & Ewan Palmer / International Business Times)

President Obama once pledged that his government would be the most transparent in history -- a claim that is often mocked by civil libertarians and other critics who accuse him of almost Nixonian secrecy policies and inclinations. The Administration continues to fight to withhold over 2,000 images of torture and abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan simply because it would make the United States look bad.

Noam Chomsky Explains How France Provoked the Paris Terror Attacks
(Sputnik News & Abby Martin / teleSUR)

The Islamic State, can’t be defeated by military force; by increasing airstrikes against the terrorist organization, the West increases the likelihood of large-scale terrorist attacks similar to what happened in Paris on November 13. If the West wants to reduce the possibility of further terrorist attacks, it needs to address the root causes of the terrorist attacks in Paris -- the US invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the Wahhabization of Sunni Islam.

Top 10 Signs the US is the Most Corrupt Country in the World
(Juan Cole / JuanCole.com)

While it is true that you don't typically have to bribe your postman to deliver the mail in the US, in many key ways America's political and financial practices make it, in absolute terms, far more corrupt than the usual global South suspects. The rich are well placed to bribe our politicians to reduce taxes on the rich. The way the Supreme Court got rid of campaign finance reform and allowed open, unlimited buying of elections is the height of corruption.

No Greater Threat to the World's Children than Climate Change
(Jim Shultz / Yes! Magazine)

Commentary: There are 2.3 billion children (defined as people under 18) living on Earth and they are most concentrated in the parts of the world most at risk: sub-Saharan Africa with its growing drought crisis, the areas of East Asia in the path of increasing killer storms, and the parts of South Asia most at risk for flooding. In short, climate change's triple threat has the world's children squarely in its path.

Torture by Iraqi Militias: The Report Washington Did Not Want You to See
(Ned Parker / Reuters)

In late 2005, US soldiers raided a police building in Baghdad and found 168 prisoners in horrific conditions. Washington pressured the Iraqi government to investigate the prison but the findings were never released. Two unpublished investigations show that the United States has consistently overlooked killings and torture by Iraqi government-sponsored Shi'ite militias.

Why the Paris Climate 'Success' Is a 'Fraud'
(Nick Dearden / Global Justice Now & The Institute for Public Accuracy & Bjorn Lomborg / The Copenhagen Consensus Center)

"For us people who are really affected by climate change, we need to change the slogan '1.5 to stay alive' to '1.5 we might survive', because already at 0.8 degrees, we're already suffering loss of lives." Despite the self-congratulatory statements from world leaders praising themselves for single-handedly saving the world from climate catastrophe on December 12, 2015, the reality is that they have set the planet on course to burn.

Here's What You Need to Know about The New Paris Climate Agreement
(Ben Adler / Grist)

Analyses: The Paris Agreement is not a treaty. Its climate-change agreements are not binding. (The Obama administration insisted on this so the deal wouldn't require US Senate approval.) The Agreement commits 196 countries to limit global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels -- with a stretch goal of keeping below 1.5 C. But under the most optimistic assumptions, the Paris accord will set us on a path to 2.7 to 3.5 C of warming.

Doctors Without Borders Brings Petition to the Gates of the White House
(Doctors Without Borders / Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) USA)

On December 9, 2015, Doctors Without Borders staff and supporters gathered across the street from the White House to honor the doctors, staff and patients murdered in a US attack of a hospital in Afghanistan. The rally concluded with the presentation of thousands of pages containing the names of the more than half-a-million people on a petition calling on President Obama to consent to an independent investigation into the October 3 attacks on the civilian trauma center.

CIA Runs Shadow War with Afghan Militia Implicated in Civilian Killings
(Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post)

Months after the Obama administration declared combat operations over in Afghanistan, the CIA continues to run a shadow war in the eastern part of the country, overseeing an Afghan proxy called the Khost Protection Force. The highly secretive paramilitary unit has been implicated in civilian killings, torture, questionable detentions, arbitrary arrests and use of excessive force in controversial night raids, abuses that have mostly not been previously disclosed.

Report Reveals 140,874 US Nuclear Workers Sick, Dying or Dead
(Brittany Peterson / McClatchy & Lindsay Wise, Frank Matt and Samantha Ehlinger / McClatchy)

Will modernization of nation's old nuclear weapons overlook risks of past? US hopes to save money by cutting medical benefits for nuclear workers. The US government has compensated over 52,000 nuclear workers illnesses related to radiation exposure, but the process is complicated. Deaths resulting from exposure while working at the plants and the compensation process for survivors begs the question: How much is a life worth?

Dow and DuPont -- Responsible for Agent Orange, Dioxin, Napalm, Pesticides, Bophal -- Plan to Merge
(Phil Mattera / Dirt Diggers Digest & Tom Risen / US News)

A corporation once known as the Merchant of Death because it dominated the gunpowder market wants to unite with a company that produced napalm and Agent Orange during the Vietnam War. The proposed merger of DuPont and Dow Chemical is not a marriage made in heaven. The two chemical giants are seriously tarnished, raising questions as to whether the plan for a merger and then breakup is just a ploy to evade liability -- something both companies has done in the past.

Drone Strikes Are Creating Hatred Toward America That Will Last for Generations
(Sally Kohn Quartz / Defense One)

The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes,' said retired four-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal, 'is much greater than the average American appreciates.' The killing of innocent civilians by American drones is one of most "devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world. If we want to curb terrorism in the United States, we must stop drone attacks in the Middle East.

Moral Injury: Another Casualty of War
(Alice Lynd / The Volunteer)

Men and women who would defend their country may come to regard what they have experienced while in the military as a betrayal of what is morally acceptable. Some soldiers instinctively respond to concepts in international law of which they may not even be aware. When men and women in the military do or see things that offend their deeply held sense of right and wrong, they may experience moral injury, a condition that overlaps with but is not the same as PTSD.

Nuclear Weapons and Suicide Bombing: Nuclear-free Pleas from Paris and Australia
(Alan Robock / The Huffington Post & Tim Wright / ICAN and Senator Lisa Singh)

France's 300 nuclear weapons were useless to protect them from the horrendous suicide bomb attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2016. And if France ever uses those weapons to attack another country's cities and industrial areas, France itself will become a suicide bomber. Today nine countries together possess more than 15,000 nuclear weapons. And most of those weapons are many times more efficient, effective and powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan in 1945.

Former Drone Pilots Denounce 'Morally Outrageous' Program
(Jake Heller / NBC News)

Former Air Force airmen are speaking out against America's use of drone warfare, calling the military drone program "morally outrageous" and "one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism and destabilization around the world." In interviews with NBC News, three former servicemen -- who together have 15 years of military drone experience -- decried the civilian cost of drone strikes and called on President Obama to "turn this around" before he leaves office.

US Bombs Kill 36 Civilians in Syrian: Why the Air War on ISIS Will Fail
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Patrick Cockburn / CounterPunch)

US warplanes attacked the Syrian village of al-Khan today, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, killing at least 36 people, all of them civilians. Over a dozen other civilians are missing. Britain has now joined a US-led campaign to weaken and defeat ISIS. But the British contribution will not make much difference because there are already far more aircraft available than there are identifiable targets to attack.

End the Gun Epidemic in America: Model Gun Laws on Abortion Laws
(The New York Times Editorial Board & The Daily Kos)

Commentary: "It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency. These are weapons of war." Meanwhile, in Missouri, Democratic State Rep. Stacey Newman has proposed a bill that would "require anyone buying a gun to follow the restrictions required of women seeking abortions, including a 72-hour waiting period."

12 Million Syrian Refugees Facing a Deadly Winter
(Ma'an News Agency & VICE News)

More than 12 million people in Syria -- nearly half of whom are children -- are in need of immediate humanitarian assistance before winter sets into the war-torn country. At the same time, around 100,000 Palestinians -- already refugees from continued military assaults from the Israeli Defense Forces -- have been among the over four million people to flee Syria since the start of the fighting in 2011.

Day 4 at the Climate Summit; 500 Groups to Drop $3.4 Trillion in Fossil Fuel Investments
(Bridgette Burkholder / Climate Nexus & 350.org and Divest Invest & Sarayaku and Amazon Watch)

Day four of COP21 found negotiators embroiled in the details of a new draft of the agreement, while extreme weather events around the world highlighted the importance of the talks. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel divestment campaign broke a new record at COP21 with more than 500 institutions -- with more than $3.4 trillion in assets -- made commitments to divest from fossil fuels. "Let's leave our old perceptions and ideas, to be reborn and boost a collective transformation!"

Mass Shootings Deserve the Same Urgency as Terrorism
(Ali Gharib / Al Jazeera America)

After a shooting in Oregon in October that left nine victims dead, President Barack Obama said, “This is a political choice that we make to allow this to happen every few months in America.” But he actually understated the frequency of such attacks. As of this writing, more than 350 mass shootings have taken place in 2015 -- more than one a day.

Day 4 at the Climate Summit; 500 Groups to Drop $3.4 Trillion in Fossil Fuel Investments
(Bridgette Burkholder / Climate Nexus & 350.org and Divest Invest & Sarayaku and Amazon Watch)

Day four of COP21 found negotiators embroiled in the details of a new draft of the agreement, while extreme weather events around the world highlighted the importance of the talks. Meanwhile, the fossil fuel divestment campaign broke a new record at COP21 with more than 500 institutions -- with more than $3.4 trillion in assets -- made commitments to divest from fossil fuels. "Let's leave our old perceptions and ideas, to be reborn and boost a collective transformation!"

ACTION ALERT: Gun Control Can Make Americans Safer
(Credo Action & Every Town for Gun Safety)

After the recent attacks in Paris and Beirut, Republican politicians used hateful, Islamophobic rhetoric to call for xenophobic restrictions on refugees -- all allegedly in the name of keeping Americans safe. Yet right-wing Republicans in Congress have done nothing to pass any reasonable proposals to protect our communities from the senseless reign of domestic terrorism that kills more than 33,000 Americans every year.

War on Terror Creates Terrorists: UK Attacks on ISIS Will Provoke ISIS to Attack UK
(Ron Paul / Ron Paul Liberty Report & Jeremy Corbyn / The Guardian)

Commentary: Ron Paul: "The interventionists will do anything to prevent Americans from seeing that their foreign policies are perpetuating terrorism and inspiring others to seek to harm us. The neocons know that when it is understood that blowback is real -- that people seek to attack us not because we are good and free but because we bomb and occupy their countries -- their stranglehold over foreign policy will begin to slip."

You Are More Than 7 Times As Likely To Be Killed By A Right-Wing Extremist Than By Muslim Terrorists
(Ian Millhiser / ThinkProgress)

Though terrorism perpetrated by Muslims receives a disproportionate amount of attention from politicians and reporters, the reality is that right-wing extremists pose a much greater threat to people in the US than terrorists connected to ISIS or similar organizations. Since the 9/11 attack, right-wing extremists have averaged 337 attacks per year inside the US, causing a total of 254 fatalities. Foreign terrorists caused 50 fatalities over the past 13.5 years.

GOP Candidates Slow to Condemn NRA-backed Acts of Domestic Terrorism
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment & Emily Atkin / ThinkProgress & Portland State University Student Union)

Americans are more at risk from violence by armed white Christian fanatics than they ever were from Muslims. Much violence has to do with abortion and is inspired by Christian fundamentalism. Mainstream GOP politicians (and apparently most of the presidential candidates) now want to ban abortion even in cases of rape or where the mother's life is in danger. As of Friday night, none of the 14 Republican candidates had mentioned or condemned the shooting.

The Hidden Villain of Global Warming -- The Pentagon
(Gar Smith / Common Dreams & The Next News Network)

From November 30 to December 11, delegates from more than 190 nations will convene in Paris to address the increasingly visible threats of climate disruption. But it is difficult to imagine the delegates reaching this goal when one of the largest contributors to global-warming has no intention of agreeing to reduce its pollution. The problem in this case is neither China nor the United States. Instead, the culprit is the Pentagon.

COP 21: Climate, War and Peace

An argument can be made that COP21 must address the subject of war and peace as an ecological issue. It is difficult to accurately determine the amount of atmospheric pollution caused by the military. Nonetheless, it is significant. A certain correlation can be found between the biggest C02 emitters of the world and those who are in charge of the most militarized complex. How come the IPCC does not take into account this form of destructive human activity?

US-Backed Saudi Airstrikes Kill Hundreds in Yemen War Crimes: UK Provides the Missiles
(Middle East Eye and Agencies & Mary Atkinson / Middle East Eye)

Human Rights Watch alleges that Saudi Arabian air strikes in Yemen on November 27 killed at least 309 civilians in a series of attacks that clearly constitute war crimes. Meanwhile, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say that a UK-made missile was used to destroy a civilian factory in September.

White House Ally, Saudi Arabia, Plans to Behead 50
(Bill Law / The Independent)

Saudi Arabia has carried out 151 beheadings already this year; sources claim over 50 men will be executed after Friday prayers in a show of power by Interior Minister Mohammad bin Nayef Alamy. Impervious to international opinion, the desert kingdom now is poised to execute more than 50 people, three of whom were under 18 when their alleged crime took place. All because of a power struggle within the ruling family.

Former Drone Operators Traumatized by Assassinations: US Court Upholds Targeted Killings
(Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & Alex Dobuzinskis / Reuters)

According to former drone pilots, US drone operators (frequently using alcohol and drugs) are inflicting heavy civilian casualties and have developed an institutional culture callous to the death of children and other innocents,. According to these whistleblowers, drone operators routinely refer to children as "fun-size terrorists" and liken killing them to "cutting the grass before it grows too long."

US Accused of Covering Up Death of Six Children in Syria Air Strike
(Simon Hooper and Bilal Abdul Kareem / Middle East Eye)

A Syrian father has accused the American military of attempting to cover up the deaths of six of his children and the serious injury of two others in a US-led coalition air strike. "After careful review and based on the best available evidence, it was determined that allegations of civilian casualties by the coalition were unfounded and deemed not credible," a Centcom spokesman said. But the photos, videos and bodies of the dead children tell a different story.

Police-caused Taser Deaths on the Rise in US
(Cheryl W. Thompson and Mark Berman / The Washington Post)

Tasers are in the arsenals of more than 17,000 US law enforcement agencies and they are used more than 900 times a day. The manufacturer, Taser International (which made more than $164 million on taser sales in 2014) claims the weapons have prevented death or serious injury more than 135,000 times between 2000 and 2014. But an independent survey reveals police using tasers have killed at least 48 people in the US since January -- about one death a week.

Thanksgiving for a Grateful Empire
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News)

Commentary: "It is a nice thought to imagine Americans quietly sharing an inclusive and comforting community in which we express gratitude for our gifts and share them with others wherever in the world they meet our military. . . . But the sad reality seems to be that, as a nation, we no longer know what we hold dear, or even what we once believed we held dear."

Why Are Syrians Leaving Syria? Civil War Has Killed 19,000 Children
(Brianna Lee / International Business Times & Middle East Monitor)

The devastating civil war in Syria has claimed the lives of more than 19,000 children since the conflict began in 2011, according to new estimates tabulated by the Syrian Human Rights Network. The report, released this week, comes amid a roiling international debate on how to deal with the surging flow of Syrian refugees fleeing the war.

A Green Powered World Is Feasible: 139 Countries Could be 100% Renewable by 2050
(Michael Mathres / EcoWatch & Mark Fischetti / Scientific American & Renewable News)

Moving 139 national economies to 100% renewable power would lower emissions and create a net gain of about 22 million jobs. The transition from fossil fuels would prevent 3.3 to 4.6 million premature air pollution deaths a year through 2050. A major study explains how a cleaner, fossil-free world could derive all of its power from 1.7 billion rooftop solar systems, 40,000 photovoltaic power plants, 3.8 million wind turbines, 900 hydroelectric plants, 490,000 tidal turbines etc.

More Civilians Die in Coalition Air Strikes; US Media Ignore Civilian Drone Deaths
(AntiWar.com & The Conversation)

The Canadian military is once again facing allegations of killing Iraqi civilians, this time in a strike last week against ISIS-held Mosul. Meanwhile, the Obama administration repeatedly claims its drone strikes are precise and conducted in compliance with international law. But information provided by an unnamed source paints a different picture. Meanwhile, major US papers have underreported the number of civilian drone victims in Pakistan and Yemen and failed to correct the record when evidence showed their reporting was wrong.

Record Number Of Drone Pilots Quit Jobs, Citing Mental Health Issues
(Andrew Buncombe / The Independent )

In an unprecedented insight into the inner workings of a CIA-controlled program that is as secretive as it is controversial, former drone operators share their concerns that innocent civilians are routinely killed and chalked up as "enemy combatants." The take-away: America's drone program is unregulated, counter-effective and carried out by stressed men who often abuse drugs and alcohol, according to the very people who spent years remotely flying these missions.

War Won't Defeat ISIS: War Created the ISIS Threat
(Charles P. Pierce / Esquire Magazine & Beenish Ahmed / Think Progress )

The violence of war only feeds more violence. A 242-ship Navy cannot stop one motivated murderous fanatic from emptying the clip of an AK-47 into the windows of a crowded restaurant. The initial death count in Paris was around 129 but other deaths preceded the attack on Paris. According to conservative estimates, about 210,060 people have died in Syria's civil war over the past four years -- an average of 144 deaths each day, at least half of them civilians.

Who’s Afraid of the Torture Report?
(Ashley Gorski and Noa Yachot / ACLU)

Multiple government agencies are doing their best to ignore a 6,900-page elephant in the room: a mammoth report, authored by the Senate Intelligence Committee, detailing the horrors of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program.

As World Mourns Paris, Many in Mideast See Double Standard
(Susannah George / Associated Press & Robert Parry / Consortium News)

"You Killed Our Brothers in Syria," the terrorists shouted while shooting into crowds in France. Another terrorist outrage -- this one in Paris -- is spreading fear and fury across Europe. Which makes this a key moment for President Obama to finally level with the American people about how US "allies" — such as Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar — have been aiding and abetting the extremists.

Non-French War Deaths Matter & The Top 10 Terrorist List
(David Swanson / Information Clearing House & Pepe Escobar / Asia Times)

Commentary: We are all France. Apparently. Though we are never all Lebanon or Syria or Iraq for some reason. Or a long, long list of additional places. We are led to believe that US wars are not tolerated and cheered because of the color or culture of the people being bombed and occupied. But let a relatively tiny number of people be murdered in a white, Christian, Western-European land, with a pro-war government, and suddenly sympathy is the order of the day.

After the Paris Attacks, a Call for Justice -- Not Vengeance
(Phyllis Bennis / The Nation)

Commentary: France is in mourning and in shock. But we know what happens when cries of war and vengeance drown out all other voices; we've heard them before. It happened after the attacks on 9/11. Already we're hearing French officials calling for more of the same. "This time it's all-out war" is the French version of Bush's "you're either with us or with the terrorists." But wars of vengeance won't work for France anymore than they worked for the US.

Since the 'War on Terror' Began, Acts of Terror Have Increased 6,500 Percent
(Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News)

Terror attacks have jumped by a stunning 6,500% since 2002, according to a new analysis by Reader Supported News. The number of casualties resulting from terror attacks has increased by 4,500% over this same time period. These colossal upsurges in terror took place despite a decade-long, worldwide effort to fight terrorism that has been led by the United States.

We Are in Pitiless Times: ISIS Bombings and US Militarism
(Vijay Prashad / Open Democracy & Jessica Desvarieux / Real News Network)

A week of horrible carnage -- bomb blasts in Beirut and Baghdad and cold-blooded shootings in Paris. Each act of terror left dead bodies and wounded lives. How does one react to these incidents? After Paris, macho language about "pitiless war" defines the contours of leadership. Little else is on offer. It is red meat to our emotions. No-one remembers the Western and Saudi-backed World Muslim League, whose job was to destroy the forces of secular nationalism in the Arab world.

Paris Attacks Show Why the West's 'War on Terror' Can't Succeed
(Steve Weissman / Reader Supported News & Marc Ash / Reader Supported News & Francois Hollande)

The murders in Paris send a clear message that the War on Terror is a failure. It is a "war" that will never be won -- al least as long as Western nations insist on dropping bombs on targets in largely Muslim nations in an attempt impose "order," Western violence only invites retaliation. The terror attacks in Paris left no doubt as to the motives of the suicide attackers: "What you are doing in Syria, you are going to pay for it now," one of the black-clad gunmen shouted.

A New Global Threat: Wars and Refugee Flight Triggered by Climate Change
(Joe Romm / ThinkProgress)

"The Syria conflict has triggered the world's largest humanitarian crisis since World War II," reports the European Commission. And a scientific studies have confirmed that "Human-caused climate change was a major trigger of Syria's brutal civil war." Global security now calls for plans to respond to the destabilizing effects of climate change that can trigger flight and warfare.

Big Coal Covered Up Planetcide: Peabody Coal (Like Exxon) Covered Up Climate Change, Lied to Investors
(Tim McDonnell / Mother Jones & Grist)

Just days after President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, environmentalists were handed another victory Monday morning when New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman released the results of an investigation that found one of the world's largest coal companies had misled the public and its shareholders about the risks climate change could pose to its bottom line.

Paris: Reaping Whirlwind of Western Violence
(Chris Floyd / CounterPunch & Joseph G. Ramsey / CounterPunch)

Commentary: The West overthrew Saddam by violence. We overthrew Gaddafi by violence. We are trying to overthrow Assad by violence. Harsh regimes -- but far less draconian than our Saudi allies and other tyrannies around the world. What have these interventions brought? A hell on earth that grows wider and more virulent each year. Without the US' deliberate creation of armed Sunni extremists, there would have been no "War on Terror" -- and no attacks in Paris.

UN Court Rules US Guilty of Torture, Abuse
(Reuters & Wilson Dizard / Al Jazeera America)

UN prosecutors claim they have evidence that international forces in Afghanistan subjected detainees to physical and psychological abuse. A UN human rights report urges the US to bring alleged torturers to justice. In 2014, another UN report criticized the US for a host of human rights crimes ranging from jailing the homeless and life-sentences for juveniles to drone assassinations and NSA spying on citizens.

ACTION ALERT Gun Owners Against the NRA!
(MoveOn.org & Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post)

We've developed a breakthrough strategy to destroy the National Rifle Association's credibility in Washington: gun owners committed to fighting for gun control. The truth is that only a tiny minority of gun owners actually belong to the NRA -- and most of them don't even agree with it. MoveOn has launched Gun Owners for Gun Control, which now has 32,260 members. Next week, we're bringing 15 of them to Washington to meet with the White House and Congress.

ACTION ALERT: Doctors Without Borders Issues Damning Report on US Attack; Demands Independent Investigation
(Doctors Without Borders & Rowan Scarborough / The Washington Times)

A horrific new report on the US attack on a hospital in Afghanistan describes "people being shot, most likely from the plane, as people tried to flee the main hospital building that was being hit with each airstrike. Some accounts mention shooting that appears to follow the movement of people on the run." A Doctors Without Borders petition asking the US to cooperate in an independent investigation has now gathered nearly one million signatures.

ACTION ALERT: Help Needed for Syrian Refugees
(Associated Press & Friends Committee on National Legislation)

The latest news as tens of thousands of people fleeing war or poverty make their way across Europe. Finland says it is planning to house asylum-seekers in tents and containers because there is insufficient accommodation to meet the growing influx. The Interior Ministry said that after a brief respite, Finland has again seen a surge with more than 7,000 coming into the country in October.

Armed Groups Target Elephants in Congo Park
(Christopher Torchia / Associated Press: Big Story)

More than 200 elephants have been poached in Garamba since a census in April 2014 counted 1,780 elephants -- down from more than 11,000 two decades ago. Such violence is not confined to Garamba in northeastern Congo, on the border with South Sudan. Farther south, in Congo's Virunga National Park, assailants killed a ranger last month and another died in a militia attack there in August.

Pentagon Faces New War Crimes Charge: US Reportedly Shot Victims Fleeing Kunduz Hospital
(F. Brinley Bruton, Fazul Rahim and Alexander Smith / NBC News)

According to an investigation by the charity Doctors without Borders, a US warplane shot people trying to flee a burning hospital destroyed in airstrikes in October 2015. "Thirty of our patients and medical staff died [in the bombing]. . . . Some of them lost their limbs and were decapitated in the explosions. Others were shot by the circling gunship while fleeing the burning building."

TPP Is a 'Corporate Power Grab
(Deirdre Fulton / Common Dreams & Bill Weinberg / The World War 4 Report)

As expert analysis of the final text of the long-shrouded TransPacific Partnership has caused a consensus to form around the first, full, fundamental assessment of the 12-nation pact: It's worse than we thought. The TPP consolidates the agenda of 500 official US trade advisers representing corporate interests. The details of the corporate-crafted pact are designed to work to the detriment of the public interest and the environment.

White Earth Tribe Members Voice Pipeline Concerns
(John Enger / Minnesota Public Radio)

White Earth doesn't want another oil pipeline. Some 100 people turned out to a community center on the White Earth Indian Reservation for one of 11 public hearings across the state on a pipeline replacement project proposed by Enbridge Energy. The Calgary-based energy company wants to re-route a 50-year-old oil pipeline known as Line 3 from its current path along Highway 2 to the proposed Sandpiper pipeline corridor, which will likely run near White Earth.

The UN Says US Drone Strikes in Yemen Have Killed More Civilians Than al Qaeda
(Samuel Oakford / Vice News & Gillian Mohney / Vice News)

American drones strikes may have killed as many as 40 Yemeni civilians over the past year, the UN reported on Monday, offering a tally of the human cost of the long-running US campaign against al Qaeda in Yemen, which has continued amid the chaos of country's current war.

'All We Could Find Were Body Parts': America's Role in Yemen's Civilian Carnage
(Samuel Oakford / Vice.com)

Bombs started falling shortly after 10am, the first striking near where the men had gathered. The structure, held up by tree branches and covered with a tarp, was obliterated minutes later. Mosaibas was nearby, but survived the attack; his bride, Hanen Makhrama, had not arrived yet from her nearby village. The women and children inside the structure, however, were killed.

Nobel Peace Prize Winner Bombs Afghan Hospital
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Commentary: It's not fair to blame President Obama for the waves of aerial bombing that destroyed a neutral hospital operated by Doctors Without Borders, even though it appears on its face to be yet another US war crime. But it's totally fair to blame Obama for giving the world another six years (so far) of George W. Bush's policy of bringing chaos and devastation to whatever part of the Middle East happens to be annoying the folks who have decided these things since 2001.

An Overlooked Terrorist Threat: Pollution from Global War Economies Kills Millions Every Year
(TeleSUR & Kathy Kelly / TeleSUR)

As nations prepare to convene for the Climate Summit in Paris, a new study confirms that industrialized farming plays a huge role in air pollution, smog and soot deaths currently killing around 3.3 million people a year around the world. Another major contributor to pollution-caused climate change is the US military. Earth's military crisis, its climate crisis, and the paralyzing economic inequalities that burden impoverished people are linked.

Do Indian Lives Matter? US Police Violence Is Greatest Against Native Americans
(Debra Loevy / CounterPunch)

With all our talk about police violence aimed at poor and minority communities, we have yet to talk about the group most likely to be killed by law enforcement: Native Americans. Native American men are incarcerated at four times the rate of white men and Native American women are sent to prison at six times the rate of white women. With only .8% of the population, Native Americans make up three out of the top five top age-groups most likely to be killed by the police.

Israeli Forces Have 'Ripped up the Rulebook'; Palestinians Threatened:'We Will Gas You until You Die'
(Ma'an News Agency & Annie Robbins /Mondoweiss.net & Uri Avnery / AntiWar.com)

Amnesty International has demanded that Israel stop killings in occupied Palestine, accusing Israeli forces of "ripping up the rulebook." AI accused Israel of "flouting international standards by shooting to kill in situations where it is completely unjustified." A shocking video shows an Israeli officer warning Palestinians: "We will gas you until you die." Israeli activist Uri Avnery writes: "A troubling suspicion is getting around: that our prime minister has serious mental problems."

US Is Not Honoring its NPT Promise for Nuclear Disarmament
(Alice Slater Interviewed by Kourosh Ziabari / Fars News Agency)

On the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, peace activists were widely debating the need for a global nuclear disarmament. "It's clear that the US is not honoring its promise in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty to make good faith efforts for nuclear disarmament," said Alice Slater, the New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Slater notes the US has never acknowledged its "immoral" use of nuclear weapons during the World War II in Japan.

America's Civilian Killings Are No Accident
(Peter Van Buren / AntiWar.com)

Commentary: America and its allies make modern war in a way that assures "mistakes" destroy hospitals, and civilian lives are taken by drones. These horrors are all too often strategic decisions, or the result of the profligate use of needlessly destructive weapons. They are typically far from accidents.

ACTION ALERT: Four More Times When Accidental Nuclear Wars Nearly Happened. Demand a Congressional Investigation
(Jon Schwarz / The Intercept & Aaron Tovish / The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists)

An event at the United Nations has made a powerful case that William Bassett, an unknown US Air Force Captain, saved humanity from accidental nuclear obliteration 53 years ago today, on October 28, 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis. If the story is true, it would constitute a terrifying addition to the lengthy and already frightening list of mistakes and malfunctions that have nearly plunged the world into an apocalyptic nuclear war.

Exxon Knew Everything There Was to Know About Climate Change by the Mid-1980s -- and Denied It
(Bill McKibben / The Nation & Zoe Carpenter / The Nation)

Documents reveal Exxon knew as early as 1981 that carbon emissions drive climate change. As early as the late 1970s, Exxon scientists warned top executives that climate change was real, dangerous, and caused by their products. By the early 1980s, Exxon's own climate models were predicting -- with great accuracy -- the track the global temperature has taken ever since. This all adds weight to rising calls that fossil-fuel companies be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy.

Jail for Big Oil Execs? Sanders Calls For Federal Investigation of Exxon
(Emily Atkin / ThinkProgress & Nadia Prupis / Common Dreams & Democracy Now!)

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wants ExxonMobil investigated by the Department of Justice. Charging the oil giant with engaging in a cover-up to intentionally mislead the public about the environmental impacts of fossil fuels, Sanders called on US Attorney General Loretta Lynch to investigate the powerful corporation for criminal behavior. Congressional hearings (on the scale of those involving Big Tobacco) are also being called for.

Washington Set to Spend $80 Billion to Build New Bombers
(Rick Clough, Anthony Capaccio, and Julie Johnsson / Bloomberg & David Axe / Quartz)

With the country's roads, rails and bridges crumbling and more than 18 million American children living in poverty, the Obama administration has agreed to spend $80 million to build a new Long-Range Strike Bomber for the Air Force. The big winner: Northrop Grumman Corp. The big loser? According to the US news media, it's Northrop's chief competitor, Boeing. Unfortunately the biggest losers are the American people.

What Gives the US the Right to Conduct 'Targeted Killings' Around the World?
(Noam Chomsky with Abby Martin / The Empire Files on TeleSUR)

This idea, that the United States has the right to invade, bomb, and kill, is a myth that renowned author and intellectual Noam Chomsky debunked during a 25-minute interview with Abby Martin for teleSUR's The Empire Files. Even if the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, which the United States bombed in October, had been only full of Taliban, Chomsky asks, why does the United States feel it has the right to kill people there?

US-backed Saudi Forces Bomb Doctors Without Borders Hospital in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters )

Adding to concerns about Saudi attacks on civilians in Yemen, an overnight air raid pounded a residential district in Sanaa, hitting several homes, a girl's school, and destroying a Doctors Without Borders hospital. The Obama Administration is reportedly increasingly divided over the Saudi war, which the US has been participating in. Of particularly concern: the huge civilian death toll from Saudi airstrikes, with official estimates of about 1,500 civilians killed.

ACTION ALERT: War Crime? US Green Berets Admit Knowingly Killing Civilians in Kunduz Hospital
(Associated Press and The Telegraph & CREDO and Daily Kos)

After more than three weeks of shifting narratives and outright lies, the Pentagon has finally admitted that it was US Army Green Berets who requested the October 3 airstrike on the Doctors without Borders trauma centre in Afghanistan. The soldiers claimed they were aware it was a functioning hospital but believed Taliban fighters were inside. Even if there were evidence of this (and there is none) it is a crime to wantonly kill innocent civilians in an attempt to kill an enemy soldier.

A Five-Nation Plan to End the Syrian Crisis
(Jimmy Carter / The New York Times)

Analysis: "I have known Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria, since he was a college student in London, and have spent many hours negotiating with him since he has been in office. I noticed that Bashar never referred to a subordinate for advice or information. His most persistent characteristic was stubbornness; it was almost psychologically impossible for him to change his mind -- and certainly not when under pressure."

Looking for Solutions to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
(Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & the International Forum on Globalization)

According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the armed conflict inside Syria has driven more than 3 million Syrians from their homes. (Some estimates place the number of refugees at more than 4 million). Many of these huddled masses now struggle to survive in refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. Some resettlement options may seem far-fetched but -- with rising numbers of global refugees -- new solutions are needed.

ACTION ALERT: A Plan to Help Syrian Refugees
(United to End Genocide)

What can the United States be doing to address the largest humanitarian crisis of our time? With Syria and its people trapped between Assad's bombs and the terrorism of ISIS, this has been a difficult question to answer. But now, there is a clear step that the United States can take -- through the Middle East Refugee Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act (S.2145) -- and you can help by supporting this important US Senate bill.

Germany Targets CIA's 'Queen of Torture'
(lisabeth Braw / Al Jazeera America)

A German human rights group has filed a criminal complaint against Alfreda Frances Bikowsky, a CIA official who allegedly authorized torture of suspected al Qaeda militants. The complaint presents proof of Bikowsky's involvement in the torture of German citizen Khaled El Masri and asks that she be prosecuted in Germany. It also puts Bikowsky, nicknamed the "Queen of Torture," in the spotlight of European efforts to hold CIA officials accountable for allegations of abuse.

Israeli Soldiers Kill Hebron Peace Activist, Hashem Azzeh
(Causes.com & Muftah.org)

In many ways, Hashem was Hebron's unofficial spokesperson. He was a medical doctor who had founded a voluntary clinic in his neighborhood. He was famous for inviting everyone to his house regardless their religious or ethnic background and served as a perfect example of non-violent resistance despite having faced a lot of violence and hardship himself.

The NYPD Is Using Mobile X-Ray Vans to Spy on Unknown Targets
(Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic & Orin Kerr / The Washington Post)

New York City police now maintain an unknown number of military-grade vans outfitted with X-ray radiation, enabling cops to look through the walls of buildings or the sides of trucks. The technology was used in Afghanistan before being loosed on US streets. Each X-ray van costs an estimated $729,000 to $825,000. The NYPD will not reveal when, where, or how often they are used.

Happy Birthday, UN! Don't Forget Your First Resolution -- to Eliminate Nuclear Weapons!
(UNFOLD ZERO & The United Nations)

On the 70th anniversary of the UN's birth, let us recall the words of UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon: "The only absolute guarantee that they are never used again is through their total elimination." In 2013, the Islamic Republish of Iran calling for the worldwide abolition of Nuclear Weapons. The resolution had the support of the Non-Aligned Movement. The resolution passed with 129 countries supporting it. The US and other nuclear powers did not endorse the resolution.

Extremist Violence Surges in Israel: Peace Rabbi Attacked by Israeli Settler
(Ehab Zahriyeh / Al Jazeera America & Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun & Uri Avnery / Gush Shalom)

The present trouble started when Jewish extreme right-wing leaders (including a minister and Knesset members) staged a provocative visit to the Temple Mount. Over recent weeks, knife attacks have claimed innocent Israeli lives and innocent Jews, mistaken for Arabs, have been killed by angry mobs. Recently an Israeli settler attacked a rabbi protecting Palestinian farmers. Video shows Israeli settler assaulting peace activist Rabbi Arik Asherman with stones and a knife.

The Drone Papers: Manhunting in the Hindu Kush
(Ryan Devereaux / The Intercept)

From 2011 to 2013, the most elite forces in the US military, supported by the CIA and other elements of the intelligence community, set out to destroy the Taliban and al Qaeda forces that remained hidden among the soaring peaks and plunging valleys of the Hindu Kush, along Afghanistan's northeastern border with Pakistan. The goal was to pinpoint members of violent organizations, then draw up plans to eliminate those targets from the battlefield, either by capturing or killing them.

Saudi Airstrikes Have Killed Thousands of Yemeni Civilians: Where Is the UN?
(PressTV & TeleSUR)

UNICEF senior official Afshan Khan warns the humanitarian crisis in Yemen has reached “disturbing proportions,” with more than 535,000 children facing malnutrition, imminent famine and death. Meanwhile, human rights groups say the US may be responsible for war crimes in Yemen, where Saudi-led airstrikes have killed over 2,400 civilians.

Tamir Rice, Eric Garner Among Officer-Caused Homicides Missing in FBI Data for 2014
(Aaron Morrison / International Business Times)

Several police killings of African-Americans, which sparked nationwide protests, are missing from federal tallies because local police departments have refused to provide the data to government officials. The missing cases include the police-involved deaths of Eric Garner in New York, as well as Tamir Rice and John Crawford in Ohio. Only 224 of 18,000 US law enforcement agencies reported fatal shootings by their officers to the FBI.

Whistleblower's Leak of 'Drone Papers' Triggers Call for Investigation of Civilian Killings
(Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & Democracy Now!)

Following publication of a cache of secret documents on the US military's drone assassination program, civil rights organizations are calling for an immediate congressional inquiry. The leaks undermine government claims that the drone strikes have been precise. In Afghanistan, strikes on 35 targets killed at least 219 other people. Among other revelations: unknown male victims were to be labeled as "enemies killed in action" unless evidence later proved otherwise.

The Drone Papers: Secret Papers Expose the Inner Workings of Obama's Assassination Program
(Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)

Drones are a tool not a policy. The policy is assassination. While every president since Gerald Ford has upheld an executive order banning assassinations by US personnel, Congress has avoided legislating the issue or even defining the word "assassination." This has allowed proponents of the drone wars to rebrand assassinations with more palatable characterizations, such as the term du jour, "targeted killings."

US Analysts Knew Bombed Afghan Site Was Hospital
(The Associated Press & Al Jazeera America)

US analysts knew a site in Afghanistan was a hospital days before it was destroyed by a US military airstrike. Doctors Without Borders has acknowledged that wounded Taliban fighters had been treated at the facility but insisted that no weapons are allowed in. In the past, the Pentagon has destroyed entire buildings filled with civilians in an attempt to kill suspected targets. Was that Washington's plan? Were MSF's doctors to be sacrificed in the name of "collateral damage"?

Mass Murder in the US; US Mass Murders in Other Countries
(Jay Youngdahl / The East Bay Express)

Commentary: Another month, another mass shooting by an American citizen at a school. Another month, another murder of civilians by the American military in one of our endless wars overseas. While gun control advocates decry the proliferation of mass shootings in the United States, they remain silent when the US shoots and bombs people in other nations.

ACTION ALERT: Demand South Korea Apologize for Rape of Women During the US War on Vietnam
(Nguyen Thi Bach Tuyet with Voices of Vietnam / Change.org)

"Thousands of Vietnamese women like me were raped by South Korean soldiers during the Vietnam War. The South Korean government has never apologized nor acknowledged this systematic brutalization at the hands of their soldiers during the war. Now I am calling for justice and I need your help."

Okinawans Protest as US Attempts to Force Construction of New Military Base
(John Aleksandr Melendez / AntiWar.com)

This summer, Okinawans took to the water in kayaks to face down warships in their protest over the construction of a new US military base in Henoko. This image perfectly illustrates the ongoing struggle over the base, which involves the Okinawan provincial authorities, the Japanese mainland government, and the United States. It's a David-and-Goliath struggle so darkly absurd it could have been lifted from a Haruki Murakami novel.

Without UN Approval, US Attack on Syria Violates International Law
(Michael Ratner / The Ratner Report)

Under the UN Charter, you have to get the UN authority to use force and that's a treaty the US has agreed to and signed. We're bound by the UN Charter the same way we're bound by the US Constitution. Under the UN Charter, you can only use force if you are attacked or if you can get a majority of nine members the UN Security Council to approver the use of force. But Security Council members Russia and China are unlikely to grant such authority.

The Kunduz Hospital Bombing and Obama's Guilt
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Commentary: So, it's not really fair to blame President Obama for the aerial bombing that took more than an hour on October 4 to destroy a neutral hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan (even though it appears on its face to be yet another US war crime). But it's totally fair to blame Obama for another six years of President Bush's policy of bringing devastation to whatever part of the Middle East happens to be annoying the folks who have decided these things since 2001.

My Idea: Let's Try Not to Bomb Hospitals
(Jon Carroll / The San Francisco Chronicle)

Commentary: "You may have heard that American forces bombed a hospital in Kunduz, a town about the size of Oakland in northern Afghanistan. It is not at all clear why we were bombing them, or if we even knew it was a hospital.... We don't like to see ourselves as a nation that bombs hospitals. As someone once said, 'They hate us because we don't know why they hate us'."

The Obscenity of Our War
(Kathy Kelly / Voices for Creative nonviolence)

Before the 2003 Shock and Awe bombing in Iraq, activists living in Baghdad would regularly visit city sites that were crucial for maintaining health and well-being -- hospitals, electrical facilities, water purification plants, and schools -- and string large vinyl banners between the trees outside these buildings which read: "To Bomb This Site Would Be A War Crime." Tragically, the banners must again condemn war crimes, this time the bombing of a civilian hospital in Kunduz.

Why Bombing the Kunduz Hospital Was Probably a War Crime
(Nick Turse / The Intercept)

Analysis: "Did the US military commit a war crime when it bombed a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz and killed at least 22 people? It's too early for experts to say for certain, but there's good reason to believe the attack may have violated international humanitarian law."

ACTION ALERT: Stop Bombing Yemen; Investigate US-backed Mass Killing in Wedding Attacks
(RT America & Robert Naiman and Avram Reisman / Just Foreign Policy & Amnesty International)

The US-backed Saudi bombing of Yemen has killed thousands of civilians -- including Americans trapped in Yemen -- while Congress has been mostly silent. Now, we have an opportunity to something about it: Reps. Debbie Dingell and Keith Ellison are circulating a letter to President Obama pressing for the US to take responsibility for protecting civilians from airstrikes and urging greater diplomatic efforts to end the war and engage with Iran.

Why Is the US Refusing an Independent Investigation If Its Hospital Airstrike Was an "Accident"?
(Glenn Greenwald/ The Intercept)

In Geneva this morning, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) demanded a formal, independent investigation into the US airstrike on its hospital in Kunduz. The group's international president, Dr. Joanne Liu, specified that the inquiry should be convened pursuant to war crime-investigating procedures established by the Geneva Conventions and conducted by The International Humanitarian Fact-Finding Commission.

El Salvador's Gang Wars Have Killed 500 Children in 2015

El Salvador's murder rate continues to soar, with gang violence blamed for what the government says is a 72 percent increase in murders in the first nine months of 2015 over the same period last year. Through September, 4,942 people had been murdered and more than 500 of those killed were children. Once considered a success story, El Salvador's murder rate has skyrocketed since the country's gangs broke a 2012 truce.

Second Saudi War Crime: US-backed Attack Kills 23 at Yemen Wedding Party
(AntiWar.com & Ahmed Al-Haj / Associated Press)

A rescue mission is ongoing in Dhamar Province, south of the Yemeni capital of Sanaa this evening, after Saudi warplanes attacked yet another wedding. At least 23 are confirmed killed and dozens wounded, though the toll is likely to rise. This is the second time Saudi planes have gone after a wedding in the last 10 days. A previous attack on a wedding party near Mocha left 131 killed.

ACTION ALERT: Tell the Pentagon: Rebuild the Bombed Hospital in Kunduz!
(Code Pink & Curt Wechsler / The World Can't Wait & Revolution Newspape)

Bombing a hospital is a war crime. But that's exactly what the US military did in Kunduz, Afghanistan, over the weekend when it dropped several bombs on a Doctors Without Borders hospital, killing 22 and wounding dozens of others. We are asking General John Campbell to apologize for the bombing, rebuild the hospital, provide healthcare for the injured and compensation to the families of the deceased, and submit to an independent investigation.

Ruminations of an Afghan Girl Burning to Death in a Hospital Bed
(David Swanson / Let's Try Democracy)

Commentary: "I know that I'm not supposed to be bitter, and yet that somehow makes it harder not to be. When my father and sister and two cousins were blown into little pieces last year, it was the action of some distant office worker pushing a switch on a remote-controlled airplane. And I'm supposed to believe that they meant well. And this is supposed to make it better. But somehow it makes it worse."

Was It a War Crime? US Strike on MSF Hospital in Kunduz Poses Tough Legal Questions
(Michael Pizzi / Al Jazeera America)

Exactly what caused the United States to strike a Doctors Without Borders trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, on Saturday morning is still unclear, but details emerging from the incident are chilling. Those who could, fled as the building burst into flames, but patients who were unable to escape burned to death as they lay in their beds. MSF has demanded an independent investigation "under the clear presumption that a war crime has been committed."

One Day After Warning Russia of Civilian Casualties, the US Bombs a Hospital in Afghanistan
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept & Medicines sans Frontieres)

Early this morning, in the Afghan city of Kunduz, the US dropped bombs on a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)). The airstrike killed at least 9 of the hospital's medical staff, and seriously injured dozens of patients. "Among the dead was the Afghan head of the hospital, Abdul Sattar." Plus: Updates from Medicines sans Frontieres.

Egypt Employs Saltwater as Weapon in 'Eco War' Against Gaza
(Mohammed Omer / Middle East Eye)

Egyptian military vehicles are transferring Mediterranean Sea water to the Rafah border, to fill a newly-built crude canal, flooding and destroying the lifeline tunnels connecting Egypt and blockaded Gaza. But the story goes deeper: the Egyptian government is trying to economically crush Hamas, an ally of the Muslim brotherhood. Analysts have warned that Egypt flooding Gaza's tunnels will have serious negative implications for the local environment.

Afghan Bombing with Patients Burned to Death in their Beds: A War Crime
(News24.com & BBC News)

President Barack Obama has pledged a full investigation into an apparent US air strike on an Afghan hospital that killed 19 people, in a bombing the UN said could amount to a war crime. Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said patients burned to death in their beds during a bombing raid that continued for half an hour after US and Afghan authorities were informed the hospital had been hit.

War Crime: US Bombs Doctors Without Borders Clinic: 12 Staff Dead, 7 Patients Killed, Including 3 Children
(Lynne O'Donnell / Associated Press)

Twelve staff from Doctors Without Borders were killed and 30 were missing after an explosion near their hospital in the northern Afghan city of Kunduz that may have been caused by a US airstrike. US forces in Afghanistan said they conducted an airstrike on Kunduz at 2:15 a.m. The spokesman, US Army Col. Brian Tribus, said the strike "may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility" and that the incident was under investigation.

The Hidden Terrorist Threat: Pollution from Global War Economies Kills 3.3 Million People Every Year

What are the true costs to society of fossil fuels? According to a recent International Monetary Fund (IMF) study, fossil fuel companies are benefiting from global subsidies of $5.3 trillion (£3.4 trillion) a year, $10 million per minute, every minute, each and every day -- this is greater than the total health spending of all the world's governments. Climate change, if we cannot slow it, does not merely promise poverty and despair on an unprecedented scale, but also war.

Field Notes to Life During the Apocalypse
(Arun Gupta / TeleSur)

Commentary: "Humanity, after taking over the driver's seat of evolution, has crashed it into the brick wall of industrial civilization. One world is ending because of the sixth great extinction, pollution, deforestation, collapse of fisheries, sea-level rise, wildfires, invasive species, and coral die-offs. For decades, states, corporations, and institutions have worked to block a transition from a fossil-fuel economy. In 2015, CO2 hit 400 parts per million, the highest level in 23 million years.

Russia Starts Bombing ISIS: China Sends Troops, Warships to Syria
(Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & WhatDoesItMean)

Russian military jets have carried out air strikes in Syria for the first time. The strikes were launched hours after the Russian parliament gave their seal of approval. (Note: The US Congress has not exercised its Constitutional mandate to approve the growing US war in Syria.) China has now joined the Russians to fight inside Syria. With support from Iranian forces and Hezb'allah, Assad's troops now have the kind of force projection previously match only the US.

US Demands Investigation of Deadly Saudi Strike in Yemen; Refuses to Apologize for US Drone Strike that Killed Yemeni Family
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & The Guardian)

Just one day after abandoning a UN resolution authorizing an investigation into the reports that Saudi bombing has caused major civilian casualties in Yemen, the US has suggested that the Saudi government should investigate these war crimes itself. Meanwhile, the US Justice Department has rejected a Yemeni man's offer to drop his federal lawsuit for a US drone strike that killed his family in Yemen if President Obama would simply issue a public apology. Washington refused.

Updating the NRA Scorecard: 294 Mass Shootings in 274 Days
(The Washington Post & The Gun Violence Archive & The New York Times)

President Obama, visibly shaken, did little to try to hide the anger and frustration that have deepened as he returns again and again to the White House lectern in the wake of a deadly mass shooting. The President admitted that he was unable to do anything to prevent such tragedies by himself and took a swipe at the NRA, the powerful gun lobby that has blocked most federal efforts to limit gun use and has push through state laws making gun use and carrying far easier.

How America's Drone War in Yemen Strengthens al-Qaeda
(Conor Friedersdorf / The Atlantic & Orin Kerr / The Washington Post)

Some people in Yemen who once opposed attacks on foreign countries like the United States are becoming more willing to give terrorists like al-Qaeda space to operate. America's drone war is largely responsible for that shift. The US must "stop pursuing policies bound to enrage and embitter Yemenis who might otherwise be neutral," an expert on the country argues.

'Intentional' Saudi Attack on Wedding Kills 131 in Yemen
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & The Guardian)

Adding to the enormous death toll of the Saudi war against Yemen, Saudi warplanes today attacked a wedding party near the port city of Mocha, killing the groom and a huge number of civilians, with at least 131 confirmed dead in the latest reports from medical officials. The attack does not appear to have been "accidental," like so many other Saudi airstrikes, but rather targeted a Shi'ite wedding because the groom was seen as being "affiliated" with the Houthis.

US-Backed Saudi Airstrike Kills at Least 70 Civilians at Yemen Wedding
(Middle East Eye)

Since the bombing of Yemen began in March 2015, rights groups have criticized airstrikes that have hit civilian targets -- including a factory and a dairy. At Least 70 civilians were killed at a wedding. A further 25 civilians were killed in an attack on a border village as airstrikes continue to kill large numbers of non-combatants in a war that has taken its greatest toll on ordinary Yemeni citizens.

Starving Civilians in Yemen Wish for Death to Escape Horrors of War
(Nawal Al-Maghafi / Middle East Eye)

"Everything is gone, the business, the people," the plant manager, Mohammed Al-Razoom, cried as he walked us around what was left of his factory in Hajjah. As in most conflicts, civilians caught in the middle bear the brunt of the cost, with thousands falling victim to indiscriminate targeting -- whether from coalition airstrikes or heavy shelling by the Houthis. While estimates vary, the death toll for the first six months of coalition attacks has likely surpassed 4,500.

The Siege of Damascus: An Account of Everyday Life in Syria's Savage War
(Peter Oborne: Middle East Eye)

It has been 18 months since I was last in Damascus. Life in the city has become tougher and more dangerous. People are weary of the conflict, the shortages, and the danger. They see no end to the fighting. They feel isolated and abandoned by the world. "We do not know what will happen tomorrow, next month, next year or in ten years' time," one survivor said. A man nearby added: "Now the normal thing in Syria is death. The abnormal thing is that you should live."

Medics Report: US-backed Saudi Attack Kills 30 Civilians in Yemen
(Reuters & RT News & Sputnik News & Prison Planet)

Residents and medics said airstrikes by helicopters flying from Saudi Arabia killed 30 civilians in a Yemeni village on Sunday, but Saudi authorities dismissed the accounts as "totally false." Apache helicopters fired rockets at the village of Bani Zela in Hajjah province, 6 miles from the Saudi border, killing at least 25 civilians, including women and children, the residents and medics said.

Murder, Mayhem and Rape in Afghanistan: Made in the USA
(Sonali Kolhatkar / TruthDig)

Child rape by Afghan military commanders is so rampant that it has a name: "bacha bazi," or "boy-play." In some cases, rapes have taken place on US military bases under the noses of American soldiers but US troops were ordered to look the other way. The child rape story should not surprise us. The current Afghan government, which is supposed to symbolize the democratic progress resulting from the US war, has at its highest echelons an alleged mass murderer.

Pope Francis Challenges Congress to Halt the Arms Trade
(Phyllis Bennis / AntiWar.com & Anthony Newkirk / Foreign Policy in Focus & Barbara Opall-Rome / Defense News)

Pope Francis' address to Congress was almost certainly not what congressional leaders had in mind when they invited the pope to speak. But here was the "People's Pope," calling out war profiteers and demanding an end to the arms trade. Just as simple and as powerful as that. Pope Francis ha earlier called the arms trade the "industry of death." Military economies "live off wars! . . . This is why so many people do not want peace. They make more money with the war!"

Transcript: Pope Francis's Speech to Congress
(The Washington Post)

Pope Francis addresses a joint meeting of Congress urging lawmakers to take action on climate change, and sharing his views on the death penalty and immigration. From his private meeting with President Obama to giving the first-ever papal address before a joint session of Congress, Pope Francis did not shy away from politics during his three-day stop in Washington, D.C.

Saudi Arabia, World Leader in Beheadings and Crucifixtions, Joins UN Human Rights Council -- With US Support
(Justin Salhani / ThinkProgress & Jeffrey Goldberg / The Atlantic)

Saudi Arabia beheaded over 100 people this year through June. That's already more than they beheaded in the entirety of 2014. The regime there is also known for its use of floggings and implementation of the death penalty against people convicted as minors. For Saudi Arabia, sometimes it's not enough to simply behead a person who has run afoul of the government: On some occasions, there's nothing like crucifixion to make your point.

If I Don't Help These Children, Who Will?
(Geoffrey Njoku / UNICEF & Human Wrongs Watch & United Nations & Human Wrongs Watch)

A sharp increase in attacks by Boko Haram fighters has uprooted 500,000 children over the past five months, bringing the total number of children on the run in northeast Nigeria and neighboring countries to 1.4 million. Meanwhile, UNICEF's humanitarian work in the region remains almost 70 percent underfunded, having received only 32 percent of the $50.3 million promised to provide these homeless children with vaccinations and access to food and safe water.

September 26: Stanislov Petrov Day: The Man Who Prevented a Nuclear Holocaust
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet & David Wright / The Union of Concerned Scientists)

September 26 should be recognized globally as Petrov Day. If it hadn't been for Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov, in 1983 nuclear war would have erupted and billions of people would have been killed. Russian radar has incorrect reported incoming US ballistic missiles and it was Petrov's duty to unleash a retaliatory attack. Petrov ignored his training and refused to launch the missiles. A movie about this incident -- "The Man Who Saved the World" -- is now showing in select theaters.

ACTION ALERT: Negotiations Needed to End Syria War
(Avram Reisman and Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & United to End Genocide & Robert Naiman and Avram Reisman / Just Foreign Policy)

Dear President Obama: After four years of war, 220,000 people killed and over 4 million refugees, the people of Syria are losing hope in the world. But next week, with the eyes of the world on New York when the UN General Assembly meets, you have a chance to give hope where it is quickly fading. [B]uild an effective global response to the refugee crisis, protect those under attack and work toward the political solution needed to stop the war in Syria.

What about the Syrians Who Haven't Been Able to Escape?
(Emily Feldman / Al Jazeera America)

The bombs that crash into the Syrian city of Aleppo have become so familiar to residents that some identify them by sound. Among the most feared are the so-called "elephant rockets", which thunder into neighborhoods, obliterating anything they hit. The problems are innumerable and getting worse. Besides the near daily bombings, there are fewer doctors, repairmen or experts of any kind to respond to tragedies and keep basic services running.

The Climate Wars Are Coming -- and More Refugees with Them
(Paul Hockenos / Al Jazeera America)

Global warming is responsible for longer-lasting droughts, more violent storms and rising sea levels that worsen the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people. Rising temperatures and changing climate will trigger massive and increasing refugee flows -- unless the international community gets serious about reducing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Rising temperatures will also lead to new "climate wars" over arable land, water, and high ground.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Congress: Return Native Americans' Sacred Land
(Rep. Raul Grijalva / US House of Representatives / CREDO Mobilize)

Last year, Republicans in Congress secretly gave away sacred Native American lands in eastern Arizona to Resolution Copper, a multinational mining conglomerate with "dismal human rights and environmental records." If this deal is finalized, these sacred Native lands could be destroyed permanently.

Exxon's Plot to Destroy the Planet: Investigation Reveals Oil Company Conspired to Cover Up Its Climate Change Role
(Jason M. Breslow / PBS)

Despite its efforts for nearly two decades to raise doubts about the science of climate change, newly discovered company documents show that as early as 1977, Exxon research scientists warned company executives that carbon dioxide was increasing in the atmosphere and that the burning of fossil fuels was to blame.

US Soldiers Told to Ignore Afghan Allies' Abuse of Boys
(Joseph Goldstein / The New York Times)

One of the pretexts used by the US to justify its invasion of Afghanistan was that military intervention was a means to "liberate" Afghan women from the repression of strict Islamic tradition. Now, it turns out, the Pentagon and White House have been turning a blind eye to another kind of sexual repression -- the sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan officials, soldiers and police.

ACTION ALERT: A Canadian Manifesto for the Planet and One Another
(Naomi Klein, David Suzuki, Leonard Cohen, Donald Sutherland and Ellen Page / The Globe and Mail)

"We could live in a country powered entirely by truly just renewable energy, woven together by accessible public transit, in which the jobs and opportunities of this transition are designed to systematically eliminate racial and gender inequality. Caring for one another and caring for the planet could be the economy's fastest growing sectors. More people could have higher wage jobs with fewer hours, leaving us time to enjoy our loved ones and flourish in our communities."

US Government to Blame for Somalia's Misery
(Scott Horton / The Future of Freedom)

According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network, "An estimated 4.6 percent of the total population and 10 percent of children under 5 died in Southern and Central Somalia [between October 2010 and April 2012.]" It is now estimated that more than a quarter of a million people died, more than half of them -- at least 125,000 -- children. This is more than twice the number the British government had previously concluded.

In 2012, the US Ignored Russian Bid to Broker Peace in Syria; Russia Has Now Renewed the Offer
(Julian Borger and Bastien Inzaurralde / The Guardian & Michael R. Gordon / The New York Times)

Former Finnish president and Nobel peace prize laureate Martti Ahtisaar has revealed that Russia offered to broker a peace settlement in Syria in 2012 that would have seen president Bashar al-Assad relinquish power. The US secretly rejected the peace offer, opting for a path of confrontation that lead to the deaths of tens of thousands and caused the world's gravest refugee crisis since WWII. Now, once again, Russia has offered to intervene to start peace negotiations.

Russia Launches Massive War Games; Defends Long-standing Support of Syrian President
(PressTV & Alec Luhn / The Guardian & Shaun Walker and Ian Black / The Guardian & Mary Chastain / Breitbar.com)

Russia has launched its largest military drill of the year in Syria, involving 7,000 items of military equipment and some 95,000 infantry, navy and air force units. Russian officials complained of a "strange hysteria" over Moscow's actions. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that "Russia has never made a secret of its military-technical cooperation with Syria" and insisted there was nothing out of the ordinary about their presence.

On Duty Cops Have Killed 700 Citizens to Date
(Wesley Lowery / The Washington Post)

By mid-September, the tally of US citizens shot and killed by on-duty police officers had passed 700 -- a fatal milestone that is almost double the highest number of police shootings ever reported by the FBI for an entire year.

WWII Chemical Weapons Still Seeking Their Prey
(Nils Niitra / Postimees)

Though chemical weapons were never employed in WW2, on European soil, they were massively produced. Once war was over, the allies tried to figure out what to do with the chemical weapons of Hitler's Germany. Some 170,000 tons of chemical weapons were drowned in the North Sea's Skagerrak Strait -- whole ships stuffed full of chemical weapons. 50,000 tons of chemical weapons (containing 15,000 tons of hazardous active substances) were sunk into the Baltic Sea.

How to End the Refugee Flood
(Eric Margolis / The Unz Review)

Commentary: In 2006, the Bush administration, cheered on by Israel, planned to invade Syria and destroy Hezbollah in Lebanon. This was during the period when Bush was boasting to Britain's Tony Blair that the US would also go on to invade Pakistan. The invasion of Syria did not take place because a few intelligent people in Washington asked who would Washington put into power to run Syria?

Saudi Airstrikes and US Cluster Bombs Taking Heavy Toll on Yemeni Civilians
(AntiWar.com & Kareem Fahim / The New York Times)

What began as a US-backed Saudi-led aerial campaign against the Houthis (the rebel movement that forced Yemen's government from power) has become so broad and vicious that critics accuse the coalition of collectively punishing people living in areas under Houthi control. More than a thousand civilians have died in airstrikes that human rights groups have characterized as "war crimes" -- and involve US-made cluster munitions and 1,000-pound bombs.

Voices from Yemen: The Many Miseries of Yemeni Families
(Hanna Ingber / The New York Times)

As the civil war in Yemen continues, many families say they are living in constant fear. Parents say that their older children have been wetting their beds at night, and that younger ones are so traumatized that they are sent running for cover by the sound of a door slamming. The fighting has displaced a million people, destroyed cultural heritage sites and terrorized the population.

NYT Gives a False Pass to US on Cluster Bomb Sales
(Jim Naureckas / Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting)

In a report on the use of cluster bombs (outlawed by 117 countries) the New York Times recently reported that, while the US has yet joined the treaty it has abided by its provisions. Not true, FAIR critics pointed out. Human Rights Watch has reported US cluster-bombs made in Massachusetts have been used to kill civilians in Yemen. The Times has apologized for the error and entered a correction. The US government, however, has not changed its policies.

How Washington's Neocons Destabilized Europe
(Robert Parry / Consortium News)

The refugee chaos that is now pushing deep into Europe started with the cavalier ambitions of US neocons and their liberal-interventionist sidekicks who planned to remake the Middle East through "regime change."The neocon prescription of endless "regime change" now is spreading chaos across the Middle East and into Europe, yet the neocons control the mainstream US narrative continue to diagnose the problem as "not enough regime change."

Secret Warfare: US Special Forces Expand Training to Allies With Histories of Abuse
(Nick Turse / The Intercept)

In March, US Special Operations forces traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina to train with local police units at a national training center in Manjaca -- the first-of-its-kind Joint Combined Exchange Training (JCET) ever held in the Balkan nation. The program was part of a shadowy and growing global strategy involving America's most secretive and least scrutinized troops. Between 2012 and 2014, the Pentagon carried out 500 JCET missions around the world.

NRC Drops Cancer Risk Studies, Rules "Radiation Is Good for You"
(Karl Grossman / Special to Environmentalists Against War & Timothy Cama / The Hill)

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is considering a move to eliminate the "Linear No-Threshold" basis of radiation protection that the US has used for decades and replace it with a new standard that contends low doses of radioactivity are actually "good" for people. The current requirement that nuclear operators reduce exposures to "as low as reasonably achievable" would be abandoned. Emergency evacuation zones would be significantly reduced or abolished entirely.

A Refugee Crisis Made in America
(Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative)

By one not unreasonable estimate, as many as four million Muslims have died or been killed as a result of the ongoing conflicts that Washington has either initiated or been party to since 2001. The US has taken in only a small number of the refugees and a usually voluble White House has been uncharacteristically quiet about the problem.

Refugee Crisis: Where Are All These People Coming from and Why?
(Patrick Cockburn / The UNZ Review & The Indepndent)

It is an era of violence in the Middle East and North Africa, with nine civil wars now raging in Islamic countries. Half of the 23 million population of Syria have been forced from their homes, with four million becoming refugees in other countries. Some 2.6 million Iraqis have been displaced by Islamic State offensives in the last year. And, unnoticed by the outside world, some 1.5 million people have been displaced in South Sudan since fighting there resumed at the end of 2013.

Do America's Military Bases Abroad Help Or Hinder Global Security?
(National Public Radio)

The US has around 800 military bases outside of the nation's borders. They're home to hundreds of thousands of troops and family members, and, in many cases, they're a cause of controversy. In his new book, "Base Nation: How the US Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World," David Vine, an associate professor of anthropology at American University, argues that we've become too dependent on these bases and that many of them cause serious opposition abroad. He lays out his thinking in .

Jeju Islanders' Long Struggle against Pentagon Wins International Peace Prize
(Bruce Gagnon / Space4Peace.blogspot & Save Jeju Now & The International Peace Bureau)

As we were preparing to leave Gangjeong, a formation of Navy Blue Angel warplanes came screaming over the village. For the next 15 minutes they went back and forth directly over Gangjeong. One of the stunts brought the planes very low in an ear-splitting maneuver. The Navy was sending a message to Gangjeong. The message was loud and clear. "We own you now. Your village will become a war base. There is nothing you can do." The International Peace Bureau begs to disagree.

US Cover-up of Bombings: Police Killed in Afghanistan; Civilians Killed and Terrorized in Syria
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com / Mike Giglion and Munzer Al-Awad / BuzzFeed)

A UK-based project that collects and evaluates claims of civilian casualties in Syria, has identified 86 events during which coalition-inflicted civilian deaths are alleged, causing between 280 and 340 civilian deaths. Yet, after more than 2,400 attacks from the coalition's drones and fighter jets in Syria, the US Central Command, which oversees investigations into civilian deaths, has only admitted that just one bombing run in the northern town of Harem had "likely" killed two young girls.

UN: Israel Has Issued More than 14,000 Demolition Orders in the Occupied Territories
(Dalia Hatuqa /Al Jazeera & United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs)

According to a new report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, between 1988 and 2014, Israeli authorities issued more than 14,000 demolition orders against Palestinian-owned structures and homes in Area C of the occupied West Bank. Area C, a region under full Israeli military and administrative control, is home to around 300,000 Palestinians and covers 60 percent of the West Bank. It is here, in Area C, that most Jewish settlements have been built.

UN: Gaza Could become 'Uninhabitable' by 2020
(Agence France-Presse & Yousef Munayyer / Al Jazeera)

Israeli military action and economic blockade have rendered the coastal strip unfit for civilian life, report says. The UN warns that if there is no change, there will be no drinkable water left in the Gaza Strip by 2016. A political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is needed to replace the corrupt policies that have brought nothing but recurring, indecisive wars to Gaza. The tiny Palestinian enclave is likely to experience a major humanitarian catastrophe long before the 2020 UN estimate.

Parting the Brown Sea: Sewage Crisis Threatens Gaza's Access to Water
(Hyder Abbasi & Jen Marlowe / Al Jazeera America)

Wadi Gaza is but one illustration of the full-blown water and sanitation crisis that is facing the Gaza Strip. A severe lack of potable water is exacerbated by inadequate sanitation infrastructure, which in turn is connected to Gaza's chronic shortage of electricity and fuel, all of which is tied to Israel's ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip. The United Nations warned that by 2020, Gaza may no longer be livable, in large part because of these interconnected problems.

Rape Is a Weapon of War
(CARE & Voice of America & The United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights)

The humanitarian crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has taken a turn for the worse. In the place that's believed to have one of the highest rates of sexual violence in the world because of the systematic use of rape as a weapon of war, girls and women face increased peril on the road to safety. There are actions we can take to decrease sexual gender based violence & provide survivors with emergency assistance.

The Real (Hidden) History of Labor Day
(Jim Hightower / The Hightower Lowdown)

It's a bit odd that in America's thoroughly corporatized culture we have no national day of honor for the Captains of Industry, and yet we do have one for working stiffs: Labor Day! Where did it come from? Who gave this day off to laboring people? In fact, it was not "given" by anyone in power -- it was taken by laborers themselves. In a bottom-up act of democratic audacity, this was our first national holiday to be put on the calendar by ordinary folk -- not for a day at the beach, but to stand up to power.

Migrant Flight, Washington's Role and America's Failure
(Amanda Taub / Vox World)

The human tragedies of this summer’s refugee crisis are beginning to feel unbearable. Yesterday, photos of a drowned Syrian toddler whose body washed up on a Turkish beach shocked the world. Aylan Kurdi was 3 years old, and his 5-year-old brother and mother also died at sea. Days earlier, Austrian officials discovered the body of another refugee toddler, a tiny girl no more than 2 years old. She and 70 others, including three more children, suffocated in the back of a smuggler's truck.

Urgent -- Millions of Desperate War Refugees Need Our Help
(Oxfam & United to End Genocide & MoveOn.org & Al Jazeera)

After four years of war, more than 4 million people have fled Syria as refugees: 1 million of these people have fled over the last 11 months. Others are fleeing wars in Africa. The drowning of a little boy named Aylan Kurdi has put a human face on the crisis. Aylan (along with his brother and mother) were among those who fled their homes in hopes of finding a better life. America is responsible for many of the bombs being dropped; Washington should take responsibility for the refugees these wars create.

US Guilty of Violating Global Cluster Bomb Treaty
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept & Robert Parry / Consortium News)

Cluster bombs were used in five countries this year: Syria, Libya, Yemen, Ukraine and Sudan. The US is one of 117 countries that have signed a treaty banning these weapons of mass destruction. But the US is not in compliance. The US does not occasionally violate some of these provisions. It continually violates all of them, systematically and as a matter of policy. Obama used cluster bombs against Yemeni civilians, and then forced the imprisonment of a Yemeni journalist who reported it.

Yemen's Hidden War: How the Saudi-Led Coalition Is Killing Civilians
(Iona Craig / The Intercept)

In Yemen, powerful missiles launched from the sky routinely destroy targets on the ground -- killing scores of innocent civilians at the same time. The names of the dead do not even make news in the local press in Aden. This form of death is now commonplace amid a war so hidden that foreign journalists are forced to smuggle themselves by boat into the country to report on an ongoing conflict that the UN says has killed more than 4,500 people and left another 23,500 wounded.

Gun Adrenaline: The Psychological Argument against 'Open Carry'
(Alan Yuhas / The Guardian)

When police officers put on their badges and blues, do they somehow change inside? A large body of psychological research on the ‘weapons effect' may help explain the often violent interactions between police and the policed. The evidence is persuasive: simply seeing a weapon -- whether a sword, hand grenade, tank or gun -- makes people more aggressive.

The Arctic Wilderness Stands Imperiled by Obama's Oil Extraction Plans
(Rebecca Solnit / The Guardian)

On April 3, the Obama administration announced plans to recommend wilderness status for the most embattled parts of Alaska, a move that would forever ban oil extraction. However, on August 17, the administration turned around and gave Shell Oil a permit to drill for oil off Alaska's north coast. Recently, we were invited to this endangered wilderness as guests of the Sierra Club, whose experts introduced us to this remote, fragile, pristine place, to the wildlife and to its Indigenous inhabitants.

Global Warming Could Mean More Violence, More Wars, More Refugees, More Syrias
(Lindsay Abrams / Salon.com)

The military sees climate change as a national security issue -- a "threat multiplier" and an "immediate threat" to national security. Climate change contributed to four years of record drought in Syria that helped spark Syria's civil war. In 2003, the Pentagon warned of a climate-driven scenario in which "warfare would define human life." Rising temperatures could increase acts of violence, rape and murder as much as 50 percent by 2050. What will it take for the climate-change deniers to accept reality?

ACTION ALERT: Preparations Underway for Critical December Climate Summit in Paris

The governments of the world are working on the negotiating text of a new global agreement to combat climate change. It will be signed in December, during the Paris Conference of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and will take effect in 2020. AIDA is advocating for the new climate agreement to be a tool that adequately addresses the effects of extreme changes in climate, especially in the most vulnerable countries.

Pushing the Edge on Nuclear War
(William R. Polk / Consortium News)

Official Washington's neocons and liberal hawks are ratcheting up tensions again over Ukraine with the goal of humiliating and even destabilizing nuclear-armed Russia -- and there's no modern-day JFK to tamp down the enthusiasm, an existential risk that troubles ex-US diplomat William R. Polk.

The Iran Deal and the Threat of a US-Russia Conflict
(Alice Slater / The Nation & John Hallam / People for Nuclear Disarmament)

The US should agree to a proposal made by Russia and China to negotiate a space weapons ban instead of continuing to block all discussions of a UN draft treaty they tabled in Geneva in 2008. We should dismantle NATO, a destabilizing Cold War relic. Owing to NATO's activities along the Russian border, tensions between Russia and the West over the Ukraine crisis has brought both parties one step closer to the precipice of nuclear brinksmanship, the point at which nuclear risk skyrockets.

Inside the Most Expensive Nuclear Bomb Ever Made
(Len Ackland and Burt Hubbard / Mother Jones & Reveal)

Engineers at the US nuclear weapons lab in New Mexico have spent the past few years designing and testing the B61-12, a high-tech addition to our nation's atomic arsenal. Unlike the free-fall gravity bombs it will replace, the B61-12 is a guided nuclear bomb. America's new 12-foot nuclear bomb looks more like a trim missile than a weapon of mass destruction.

Scrap the F-35 Jet; Use the $1.1 Trillion for Free Universal Child Care
(C. Robert Gibson / Al Jazeera America)

The cost of childcare is bankrupting America's parents. But providing free, universal childcare for all parents is easily affordable by simply cutting a small handful of military programs. By scrapping the F-35 program, the US government would have another $1.1 trillion to spend, which could fund almost six years of free, universal childcare across the United States.

US-backed Saudi Airstrike Kills 36 Yemeni Civilians
(AntiWar.com & Xinhua & Reuters)

Saudi warplanes attacked a bottling camp in the Hajjah Province in north Yemen today, killing 36 workers at the factory, who were identified as civilians by local residents. This was the latest in a long line of huge civilian tolls in the Saudi war. While Saudi officials usually shrug off the huge death tolls of their war, today they felt the need to deny that the death toll was wholly civilian, claiming the factory was a "bomb-making facility" and that 17 of the 36 people killed were Houthis, with the rest civilian workers.

US & Saudi Arabia War Crimes Keep Killing Yemenis
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News & Noam Chomsky / RT News)

Saudi Arabia's aggression against Yemen, the poorest country in the region, has been catastrophic for Yemen, which is all-but-defenseless. Backed by eight other Arab dictatorships and the US, the Saudi alliance has committed uncounted war crimes and crimes against humanity. The onslaught has killed more than 4,300 people (mostly civilians), subjected roughly half the Yemeni population to severe hunger and water scarcity, and laid waste to World Heritage sites among the oldest in the world.

The 2015 Global Peace Index Finds the World Is Getting Less Peaceful
(The Institute for Economics and Peace)

The Global Peace Index measures the state of peace in 162 countries according to 23 indicators that gauge the absence of violence or the fear of violence. It is produced annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace. The 2015 Global Peace Index reveals a divided world, with the most peaceful countries enjoying increasing levels of peace and prosperity, while the least peaceful countries spiral into violence and conflict.

Canada Accused of Killing Iraqi Civilians
(AntiWar.com & The Associated Press & The Canadian Press & The Globe and Mail)

Early in their involvement in the air war against ISIS, Canadian military officials were insisting regularly that they were "confident" no civilians were being killed in any of the strikes. This was in keeping with the Pentagon narrative, that irrespective of allegations of a huge toll, none of the dead were civilians. now it is revealed that Canadian pilots actually were accused, in mid-January, of killing civilians on the outskirts of Mosul, but the military didn't discuss the issue.

Imperial America: Or Have We Gone Crazy?
(Justin Raimondo /AntiWar.com)

Commentary: The political elites are baffled by the rise of Donald Trump: how is it that the celebrity equivalent of a circus clown could be number one in the GOP presidential race? Here, after all, is someone who wants to deport upward of some 11 million people -- kick down their doors, put them on a train, and send them off to Mexico, in spite of the fact that many of them were born here. Asked by Hugh Hewitt if he's an authoritarian, Trump didn't deny it: instead he answered: "Everyone is weak. We need someone strong."

UN Reports: Israel Violating Civil Rights in Palestine; Fueling War in Sudan
(Gili Cohen / Haaretz & Michelle Nichols / Reuters)

According to a recent UN report, Israeli weapons are being used in South Sudan by the local army and its senior officers. Photographs from the field show weapons manufactured by Israel Weapon Industries. In other news, a UN political affairs chief says Israel's new legislation imposing up to 20 years prison time for stone throwing and allowing force-feeding of hunger-striking prisoners may worsen "already-precarious human rights situation" inside Palestine.

Popular Movements Need to 'Reverse the Mad Rush Toward Destruction'
(Noam Chomsky interviewed by David Barsamian / International Socialist Review)

Commentary: "The invasion of Iraq, which hit this vulnerable society with a sledgehammer, excited ethnic conflicts that had not really been there before and they blew up and grew further, and other US interventions increased the violence and instability. . . . Baghdad in 2000, was an intermingled city: Shi'ites and Sunnis were living in the same neighborhoods, they intermarried. The US, in its wisdom, decided that there should be sectarian divisions in everything. Now we have ISIS on our hands."

The New Cold War: Grim Toll of Rising Ukranian Shelling of Donbas
(New Cold War.org)

The following is a compilation of eleven news reports that provide some overview of the scale of the recent escalation of shelling and other military activity by the Ukrainian armed forces and the extremist paramilitary forces allied with it in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine. No Western media sources report in any detail on the scale of Ukrainian violations of the Minsk-2 ceasefire agreement of Feb. 15, 2015 or on the Kiev government's punishing attacks on eastern Ukraine.

Beheading the Guardian of Palmyra
(Robert Fisk / CounterPunch & Adam Withnall / The Independent)

ISIS has killed "the guardian of Palmyra," 82-year-old Khaled al-Asaad. The jovial, long-retiredd "guardian of the past" was tortured for a month and then beheaded for refusing to betray the secret location of the Roman's city's priceless artefacts, Khaled al-Asaad's gruesome death has appalled his fellow archeologists and shocked people around the world.

Daniel Ellsberg Arrested at Lawrence Livermore Lab on 70th Anniversary of Nuclear Bombing of Hiroshima
(Jane Ayers / Reader Supported News )

Former Pentagon strategist Daniel Ellsberg has been arrested for than 50 times for nonviolent actions protesting nuclear weapons -- at Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapon Production Facility, the Nevada Test Site, Livermore Nuclear Weapons Design Facility, the Nevada Test Site, and the Vandenberg Missile Test Site. "The possibility of human extinction as a result of [US] or Russian nuclear weapons that are on alert facing each other right now still exists, and still reflects American policy under our current president."

New US-backed Saudi War Crime Kills More than 65 Civilians in Yemen
(Rick Gladstone / The New York Times & Deutsche Welle)

Saudi-led airstrikes on a residential district in Yemen's southwestern city of Taiz have reportedly killed more than 65 civilians, including 17 people from one family. If confirmed, it would be one of the largest tolls from airstrikes by Saudi Arabia and its military coalition partners since they began bombing Yemen. Meanwhile, the United Nation's World Food Programme says the conflict in Yemen has brought the country to the brink of famine. One in five Yemenis is in desperate need of aid.

The US Owns Part of Europe's Migrant Problem
(Dan Simpson / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Commentary: "The biggest problem of Europe, the Middle East and North Africa at the moment is massive migration. It is a result of American direct and indirect war-making in recent years in those regions. Most Americans regard the problem as someone else's. We get away with it because people don't think the matter through."

US-backed Air Raid in Yemen Kills 13 Teachers and Four Children
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse & Business Day Live & Carlo Angerer / NBC News)

Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners are facing yet another round of condemnation today after an airstrike against northern Yemen's Amran Province killed 17 civilians, including 13 teachers and four children. 20 other civilians were wounded in the strike. The attack hit a building which houses the teachers union offices for the region. The children at the site were the children of teachers, who were playing outside when the strike hit.

US Ignores World Condemnation for War Crimes in Yemen
(Sonali Kolhatkar / TruthDig)

Yemen has been the target of a brutal US-backed war led by Saudi Arabia. While ordinary civilians are suffering horrific violence and starvation, there is deafening silence from the US and others who claim to be defenders of human rights. The situation is so bad now that nearly every major global human rights organization has issued dire warnings of the humanitarian catastrophe unfolding in the Persian Gulf's poorest nation.

War Refugees: The Moral Bankruptcy of Italy and NATO
(Ramzy Baroud / AntiWar.com & Silvia Aloisi and James Mackenzie / Reuters)

On April 26, 2011, a meeting that can only be described as sinister took place between the then Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, and French President, Nicolas Sarkozy. The most pressing issue discussed at the meeting in Rome was how to deal with African immigrants. The Franco-Italian spat over immigration follows sharp differences over Libya, where Rome had been dragged into a war it wished to avoid, fearing a Paris-Benghazi nexus would effect its interests in Libyan oil and gas.

Saudis Use Increased US Aid to Bomb Civilians and Humanitarian Relief Targets in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & W.J. Hennigan, Laura King and Zaid Al-Alayaa / The Los Angeles Times & Reuters)

A humanitarian catastrophe that has killed thousands and left millions on the brink of starvation, the Saudi war against Yemen, and blockade of the country has been regularly criticized by human rights groups. The US has supplied munitions and in-air refueling of bombers. Yemen has been under naval blockade since March, and traditionally imports 90% of its food by sea. US-backed Saudi warplanes have attacked and destroyed much of the primary humanitarian aid port in Hodeida.

Dark History: How the US Ran Cuba as a Slave Colony
(Christopher Dickey / The Daily Beast)

US Secretary of State John Kerry recently lectured Cuban officials about human rights. It was a darkly ironic moment given the history of US interventions and invasions of the island. To many Cubans, the American flag -- not the Confederate flag -- was seen as the star-spangled banner of slavery. The main market for slaves -- tens of thousands of them every year -- was the Spanish colony of Cuba and the pro-slavery faction in the US planned to conquer Cuba and turn it into a new slave state.

Shots on the Bridge: Inside a Post-Katrina Police Massacre
(Ronnie Greene / Al Jazeera America)

New Orleans Police Department officers continue to aim their muscle, and fire their weapons, at black targets in numbers out of context even for a city with a majority black population. "If you are a black teenager and grew up in New Orleans, I guarantee you have had a bad incident with the police," an Orleans Parish judge acknowledged to the US Department of Justice. Each time a city officer fired a weapon in a 17-month period from 2009 to 2010, the target was black.

The Real Nuclear Danger Isn't Iran or North Korea, It's the US and Russia
(Joe Cirincione / Al Jazeera America)

Analysis: The most dangerous nuclear threats are not North Korea or Iran but the US and Russia -- the ones with nearly all of the weapons. There are almost 16,000 nuclear weapons still in the world today, and the US and Russia possess 94 percent of them. Worse, 1,800 of these Russian and American weapons sit atop missiles on hair-trigger alert, ready to launch on a few minutes notice.

Government Terrorist Attack Targets Rebel Town in Syria, Kills Hundreds of Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera America & Reuters & The Associated Press)

According to local eyewitnesses, at least 110 people are dead and 300 were injured in a string of regime air raids that included an attack on a markeplace in the rebel-held town of Douma near Damascus. This was the second time the marketplace was hit in the past week, as on Wednesday another airstrike there had killed 27 people. UN aid chief Stephen O'Brien stated he was 'appalled' by reported attack on market and "by the total disrespect for civilian life in this conflict."

China's Air Pollution Kills 1.6 Million a Year; 4,000 a Day
(Beatrice Gitau / The Christian Science Monitor)

A startling report from China provides evidence that coal and capitalism are providing a recipe for an unprecedented environmental holocaust. In recent years, China's economy has grown rapidly, but at a price. Factories and heavy industries pollute the air at the cost of people's health and the environment.

US Will Not Release Hunger-striking Gitmo Detainee Facing Death
(Al Jazeera America)

US intelligence, the State Department and military officials all cleared Tariq Ba Odah for release from the Guantanamo prison six years ago but the Yemeni detainee remains in jail. Ba Odah, 36, has staged a hunger strike to protest his imprisonment and has been force-fed by nasal tube since 2007. Ba Odah's weight loss over the last 18 months raising fears that he could die of starvation. Pentagon officials insist he is receiving proper care. The five-foot-tall prisoner now weighs just 75 pounds.

Hiroshima: How Bombing Civilians became Thinkable
(Michael Pizzi and Jyoti Thottam / Al Jazeera America)

In the 70 years since Hiroshima, scholars have sought to explain why states bomb civilians with apparent impunity. On Aug. 6, 1945, the day the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima and incinerated 140,000 people, President Harry Truman warned: If the Japanese "do not now accept our terms, they may expect a rain of ruin from the air the like of which has never been seen on this earth." While the scale of immediate destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- certainly had "never been seen," the mass-bombing of civilians was nothing new.

Three Female ISIS Defectors Describe Life Under Terror Group's Harsh Rule
(Richard Engel / NBC News)

After driving around a small town here for about 15 minutes to make sure we weren't being followed, we were finally taken to a safe house where we waited for three Syrian women to arrive. The women were members of ISIS's feared morality police. They had defected and fled to Turkey, but they're not out of danger here. ISIS, which has informants on both sides of the border, is not a group that treats quitters kindly, especially when they talk to foreign journalists.

Hunger Striker in Israel Unconscious as Battle Rages over Force-feeding
(Daniella Cheslow / McClatchy Foreign Staff )

Under Israeli law, people can be detained without charges and held for years without trial. To protest these conditions, a Palestinian detainee named Mohammed Allan has refused food for 60 days. He recently lapsed into unconsciousness. Doctors have refused the government's entreaties to force-feed him. The procedure, employed by the US on prisoners at Guantanamo, has been called a form of torture. Which should rule, medical ethics or security concerns?

A Wedge for Nuclear Disarmament
(Robert Koehler / PeaceVoice & AntiWar.com)

The Republic of the Marshall Islands has filed suit in both the International Court of Justice in the Hague and US federal court against the five NPT signatories -- the United States, the UK, China, Russia and France -- that possess nuclear weapons, demanding that they comply with the treaty they signed. For good measure, the lawsuit demands compliance from the other four nuclear nations as well -- Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea -- on the grounds of international law and sanity.

Nagasaki: A Poem and a Humanitarian Pledge
(Lawrence Downes / The New York Times & The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons)

The horror of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki blasts, 70 years ago this month, is receding in human memory. With distance comes the peril of ignorance and indifference. Here is a jolting antidote -- a poem worth eight minutes of your day. And the Humanitarian Pledge against nuclear war presented at the international conferences in Oslo, Nayarit and Vienna.

Did the US Just Kill 5 Kids in Syria?
(Michael Weiss / The Daily Beast)

A Syrian monitor group says warplanes believed to be part of the US-led anti-ISIS coalition bombed and killed 18 people in the Idlib province town of Atmeh. Planes from the US-led coalition killed civilians, including five children, in an airstrike near Aleppo this week. Eight of the alleged fatalities were civilians, including women and children -- among them, five young sisters and a three-person family of internally displaced persons.

The Bombs Beneath Us: Unexploded Ordnance Linger Long after Wars Are Over
(Sarah Kaplan and Nick Kirkpatrick / The Washington Post)

In the small farming towns of France and Belgium, undetonated World War I explosives that turn up during each year's spring planting and autumn plowing are known as the "iron harvest." More than a billion shells were fired during the conflict and as many as a third never exploded. In 1996, the French Interior Ministry estimated that 12 million shells still slumber in the soil near Verdun alone. So many explosives linger from century-old battles that residents often see their discovery as utterly banal.

The Collateral Damage Close to Home: The Death of Baraah
(Christian Christensen / Al Jazeera America)

On July 12, a young Yemeni girl named Baraah suffered horrific injuries as a result of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike. Baraah was another name to be added to the long list of children killed or maimed as a result of state violence -- another innocent piece of collateral damage in the ongoing global “war on terrorism.” Yet for me, Baraah was different. I knew about her because she was the niece of a friend. Through my friend, I learned of the second- and third-degree burns that covered 90 percent of her body.

Pentagon War Manual Gives Military License To Target and Attack Journalists
(Kevin Gosztola / ShadowProof)

The Pentagon has adopted a "law of war manual" that enables US military commanders to treat journalists as "unprivileged belligerents." It suggests that correspondents who report some information about combat operations may be taking "direct part in hostilities," a disturbing argument for justifying the killing of reporters in war zones. There also is a part of the manual that encourages journalists to submit to censorship of news reports that might aid enemies.

Autonomous Weapons: an Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers
(The Future of Life Institute)

Artificial Intelligence has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms. Autonomous weapons are ideal for tasks such as assassinations, destabilizing nations, subduing populations and selectively killing a particular ethnic group. We therefore believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity.

US and UK Support for Saudi Bombing of Yemen Causing the World's Worst Humanitarian Crisis
(Kate Nevens /MENA & Zarina Khan and Leonie Northedge / SaferWorld)

Continuing UK and US support to the Saudi-led bombing and de-facto blockade of Yemen is helping to contribute to what is the most severe global humanitarian crisis in the world today. The UK's support for this counterproductive military campaign is driven by its close relationship with Saudi Arabia, and betrays fundamental contradictions in UK foreign policy.

Why Do We Lament A-Bombs and Not Fire-Bombs?
(Eric Margolis / The UNZ Review)

We are now in the midst of the annual debate over the atomic bombing of Japan. Seventy years ago, the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, killing or injuring some 140,000 people. A few days later, a second weapon was dropped on Nagasaki, causing 80,000 casualties. Most of the dead were civilians. Lost to memory: the March 9, 1945, mass raid code-named "Meetinghouse," where 346 US B-29 bombers showered Tokyo with bombs and incendiary devices made from jellied gasoline.

Thanks to Reliance on "Signature" Drone Strikes, US Military Doesn't Know Who It's Killing
(Adam Hudson / Truthout)

In a signature strike, a drone targets an area the US believes is filled with militant activity -- but does not not know exactly who they are killing. While signature strikes have been happening for a while, they signify a serious shift in US war-making. While this approach may seem "cleaner" and more precise than previous tactics, this kind of "high-tech militarism" inflicts serious human suffering and perpetuates the US permanent-war machine.

Campaign Watch: Do War Crimes in Yemen Matter to an American President?
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Commentary: The American-backed genocidal war on Yemen is in its fifth month, making it one of the hotter issues in the 2016 Presidential campaign, right? Wrong. If ANY announced candidate has said anything about Yemen, it's hard to find. None of our would-be leaders of the Free World are calling for a halt to the war of aggression that violates international law, none are demanding a stop to the war crimes that flow from the terror-bombing carried out with US tactical and intelligence support.

The Point of No Return: Climate Change Nightmares Are Already Here
(Eric Holthaus / Rolling Stone Magazine)

In the past few months, record-setting heat waves in Pakistan and India killed more than 2,000 people. The rain forests in Washington state's Olympic National Park caught fire for the first time in living memory. In California, suffering from its worst drought in a millennium, an explosive fire incinerated cars trapped on the I-15 freeway during rush-hour traffic. A few days later, the region was pounded by an unprecedented summer deluge. Sea levels are now expected to rise 10 feet by 2065.

Federal Data Shows Guns Are Rarely Used for Self-Defense
(The Violence Policy Center & Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post)

The five states with the highest per capita gun death rates in 2011 were Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Wyoming, and Montana. Each of these states has extremely lax gun violence prevention laws as well as a higher rate of gun ownership. The state with the lowest gun death rate in the nation was Rhode Island, followed by Hawaii, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey. Each of these states has strong gun violence prevention laws and has a lower rate of gun ownership.

Calls to End 'Absolute Evil' of Nuclear Weapons
(Kirk Spitzer / USA TODAY )

Japan marked the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as its mayor renewed calls for global leaders to rid the world of nuclear weapons, calling them "the absolute evil and ultimate inhumanity." Tens of thousands of people stood for a minute of silence at a ceremony at 8:15 a.m. in Hiroshima's Peace Memorial Park near the epicenter of the 1945 attack. "President Obama and other policymakers, please come to the A-bombed cities, hear the (surviving victims) with your own ears.

Under the Mushroom Cloud -- Nagasaki after Nuclear War
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch.com & Susan Southard / Book Excerpt)

The nuclear age. Doesn't that phrase seem like ancient history? With the twin anniversaries of the obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki coming around again, this is its 70th birthday. Just a year younger than me, it was my age-mate, my companion all those years I was growing up. Those unshakeable fears, the "unthinkable," turned out to be eminently translatable into the world of dreams.

August 6, 1965: The Day the Troops Trains Came to Berkeley
(Gar Smith / EAW & Paul Avery / San Francisco Chronicle & Bob Randolph / The Berkeley Barb )

Fifty years ago on August 6 (Hiroshima Day), a group of Berkeley students and Bay Area peace activists took up positions on some railroad tracks near University Avenue and unveiled two large banners spelling out: "STOP The War Machine." Their goal: to try and stop a Pentagon troop train carrying young soldiers to fight and die in Vietnam. Additional protests followed, each larger than the one before. Protesters leapt aboard the trains and were clubbed by police. Within a week, the Pentagon halted the trains.

A Peace Declaration from The City of Hiroshima
(Matsui Kazumi, Mayor of the City of Hiroshima & Akira Kawasaki / Peace Boat.org)

In our town, we had the warmth of family life, the deep human bonds of community, festivals heralding each season, traditional culture and buildings passed down through history, as well as riversides where children played. At 8:15 a.m., August 6, 1945, all of that was destroyed by a single atomic bomb. Below the mushroom cloud, a charred mother and child embraced, countless corpses floated in rivers, and buildings burned to the ground. Tens of thousands were burned in those flames.

Remembering Hiroshima and Nagasaki
(Vanessa Griffen / The Fiji Times & Loreta Castro / The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Seventy years ago, on August 6 and 9th 1945, the world's first atomic bombs were dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The uranium bomb detonated over Hiroshima razed around 70 percent of all buildings and caused an estimated 140,000 deaths by the end of 1945. The plutonium bomb used on Nagasaki three days later, levelled 6.7 km of the city and killed 74,000 people by the end of 1945.

The Catastrophic Effects of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings Still Being Felt Today
(Human Wrongs Watch & ICAN)

The two atomic bombs dropped on Japan in August 1945 killed and maimed hundreds of thousands of people, and their effects are still being felt today. The uranium bomb detonated over Hiroshima on 6 August 1945 had an explosive yield equal to 15,000 tones of TNT. It razed and burnt around 70 percent of all buildings and caused an estimated 140,000 deaths by the end of 1945, along with increased rates of cancer and chronic disease among the survivors.

Hear the Stories of Three Atomic Bombing Survivors
(Yasuaki Yamashita and Setsuko Thurlow Human Wrongs Watch & RT News )

"Although it was morning, it looked like twilight because of the dust and smoke in the air. People at a distance saw the mushroom cloud and heard a thunderous roar. But I did not see the cloud because I was in it. I did not hear the roar, just the deadly silence broken only by the groans of the injured. Streams of stunned people were slowly shuffling from the city centre. They were naked or tattered, burned, blackened and swollen. Eyes were swollen shut and some had eyeballs hanging out of their sockets."

America's Hiroshima and Nagasaki --70 Years Later
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Christian Appy / TomDispatch)

Commentary: So many decades later, it's hard to remember the kind of nuclear thinking top American officials engaged in during the Cold War. In secret National Security Council documents of the early 1950s, for instance, the country's top strategists descended willingly into the charnel house of futuristic history, imagining life on this planet as an eternal potential holocaust.

Report: Hundreds of Civilians Killed in US-led Air Strikes on Isis
(Alice Ross / The Guardian)

Why would anyone want to "harm America"? Here's one reason; A team of independent journalists working under the banner of the Airwars Project has assembled 'credible reports' that at least 459 non-combatant deaths -- including 100 children – have been murdered in 52 US air strikes launched against targets in Syria. Although the Pentagon has launched more than 5,700 air strikes in Syria, its impact on civilians remains largely unknown.

Iraq's Continuing Struggle with Conflict Pollution
(Wim Zwijnenburg / Toxic Remnants of War / Special to EAW)

While Iraq is still recovering from the environmental impact of both Gulf wars, it now faces new environmental problems caused by the current conflict against the Islamic State. Since the uprising began in June 2014, fierce battles have taken place in and around cities and industrial areas, affecting the already precarious environmental situation. Wim Zwijnenburg considers the risks and response.

It's Time to Ban the Bomb
(Hans Blix / Project Syndicate & A Video by Kathleen Sullivan and Amber Cooper-Davies)

The nuclear agreement between Iran, the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, and the EU, comes at a historically propitious moment. Seventy years ago next month, the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki opened the darkest chapter in the long history of humanity's wartime horrors. Fire, bullets, and bayonets were now joined by nuclear radiation -- a silent, invisible killer like gas and biological agents.

UN Gives US Flunking Grades on Privacy and Surveillance Rights
(Jenna McLaughlin / The Intercept)

The US scores very low when it comes to protecting its citizens' privacy, a new UN Human Rights Committee review finds. The committee issued mid-term report cards for several countries based on how well they have adhered to and implemented its recommendations related to the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, an international treaty outlining the civil and political rights of all individuals. The US performance in several aspects of protecting privacy was graded "not satisfactory."

The B61-12: Obama Pledged to Reduce Nuclear Arsenal, Then Came This Weapon
(Len Ackland and Burt Hubbard / Reveal @ The Center for Investigative Reporting)

With the United States' new B61-12 nuclear bomb, the military can change the explosive power of the each detonation -- from an equivalent force of 50,000 tons of TNT down to 300 tons. The bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World War II, detonated at about 2,000 feet, was the equivalent of 15,000 tons. Search for a location below and click the various yields to simulate a surface explosion of the B61-12.

Chicago Tops in Fatal Police Shootings among Big US Cities
(Andrew Schroedter / The Better Government Association & Chicago Sun-Times)

Chicago police have fatally shot 70 people over a five-year span, tops among departments in the largest US cities. The Chicago victims were nearly all male. Most were black. More than half of the killings happened in six South Side police districts. No other police department in any of the 10 most populous cities killed more people from 2010 through 2014, but Chicago ranks fourth behind Phoenix, Philadelphia and Dallas when the numbers are adjusted for population.

Another Reason to Close Guantanamo: Cancer Clusters
(Al Jazeera America)

The US Navy is investigating a complaint that seeks the evacuation of civilian and military lawyers from parts of the US base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, following reports of cancer cases among personnel working on the trials of detainees there. At least seven civilians and military members who worked on detainee trials at Guantanamo Bay have been diagnosed with cancer, according to the complaint.

World's Leading Scientists and Innovators Warn: Stop Killer Robots!
(Samuel Gibbs / The Guardian & Editorial / The Guardian)

Drone wars signal a future in which weapons may think for themselves. The world may have to take responsibility for computerized conflict if action is not taken soon to halt the development of autonomous weapons. Now, more than 20,000 experts and leading robotics researchers have signed an open letter warning of military and social catastrophe that could result from an artificial intelligence arms race.

Autonomous Weapons: An Open Letter from AI & Robotics Researchers
(The Future of Life Institute)

Autonomous weapons select and engage targets without human intervention. Artificial Intelligence technology has reached a point where the deployment of such systems is -- practically if not legally -- feasible within years, not decades, and the stakes are high: autonomous weapons have been described as the third revolution in warfare, after gunpowder and nuclear arms. We believe that a military AI arms race would not be beneficial for humanity.

Halliburton Subsidiary KBR Suing Veterans for Legal Bills from Case KBR Lost
(Walter Einenkel / Daily Kos)

After developing health problems consistent with hexavalent chromium exposure, 12 National Guard vets sued KBR (Kellogg, Brown & Root, a former subsidiary of Halliburton) for negligence in Federal Court in Portland. In 2012, after a month-long trial, the jury awarded the veterans $85 million. KBR appealed, and sought $30 million in legal fees and damages from the suffering veterans for initiating the lawsuit in the first place. So how come KBR can sue these veterans for legal fees, you might ask?

Yemen: Coalition Strikes on Residence Apparent War Crime
(Human Rights Watch)

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes that killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children, and wounded dozens in the Yemeni port city of Mokha on July 24, 2015, are an apparent war crime. The failure of Saudi Arabia, the US and other coalition members to investigate apparently unlawful airstrikes demonstrates the need for the UN Human Rights Council to create a commission of inquiry to investigate allegations of laws-of-war violations by the coalition, the Houthis, and other parties to the conflict.

ACTION ALERT: A Plea from Pagan and Tinian: 'Don't Drop Bombs in My Backyard!'
(Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa / Variety News Staff & Arley Long Tinian, MP)

The small Pacific islands of Pagan and Tinian are home to pristine beaches, majestic mountains and colorful sea life. They are also home to 2,800 American citizens, as they are part of the Marianas, a US territory. But the US Navy has plans to bomb these islands as part of a training exercise, obliterating their rare coral ecosystems, wildlife, and important historic artifacts. The islands' residents would be relocated, kicked off their ancestral land for the sake of bomb testing. We cannot let this happen.

The US Aids and Abets War Crimes in the Philippines
(Marjorie Cohn / TruthDig)

After Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush declared the Philippines a second front in the war on terror. The Philippine government used this as an opportunity to escalate its war against Muslim separatists and other individuals and organizations opposing the policies of the government. The egregious human rights violations committed by the Philippine military and paramilitary forces are some of the most underreported atrocities in the media today.

US-backed, Saudi-led Coalition Airstrikes Kill More than 120 Women, Children, Elderly Civilians
(Ahmed Al-Haj / Associated Press)

Saudi-led coalition airstrikes killed more than 120 civilians and wounded more than 150 after shelling a residential area in the Yemeni province of Taiz on Friday evening according to security officials, medical officials and witnesses. Most of the houses in the area were leveled and a fire broke out in the port city of Mokha. Most of the corpses, including children, women and elderly people, were charred by the flames, they said.

The Drone Doctors
(Brian Anderson / Motherboard, Vice )

A group of US military medical doctors hope to fundamentally change an intense work culture within the American drone program, where the physical and mental toll of near round-the-clock remote warfare can be suffocating for pilots, sensor operators, and analysts, and stifling to the Air Force, as it struggles to train and retain drone personnel.

Last Call for a Lost Cause: Hollywood's Love Affair with the Confederacy
(Mick LaSalle / San Francisco Chronicle)

Commentary: As early as the 1890s, a revisionist version of the Civil War conflict had overtaken the narrative. In this new rendering, the Civil War had not been an effort to destroy the United States over the issue of slavery. Rather, it had been a mighty quarrel between two equally worthy points of view, and the Confederacy was a noble lost cause. This kind of pernicious nonsense persisted for three generations -- at least until the late 1960s and mid-1970s -- and it was celebrated in film.

The Abuses of Peacekeepers: Child Molestation and Civilian Murders
(Al Jazeera America)

French prosecutors and military authorities are investigating accusations of sexual abuse of children in 2013 and 2014 by French troops sent to protect civilians amid sectarian violence in the Central African Republic. Several children as young as 9 have complained of being forced to trade oral sex and sodomy for food with French soldiers tasked with protecting civilians in the the CAR. A UN official who admitted not following up on allegations of child sexual abuse by French soldiers has resigned.

On 'Death Road': Women, Civilians Flee ISIL Extremists in Iraq & Syria
(Shalaw Mohammed / Niqash.org )

Four million women live under the rule of Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria. As extremists rule harshly and coalition airstrikes hit, there's a mass exodus of civilians out of Hawija. And one of the ways they are getting out is with people smugglers on the "death road."

Retired General Says: Drones Create More Terrorists Than They Kill; Iraq War Helped Create ISIS
(Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept & Lt. Gen Michael Flynn interview / Al Jazeera America)

A retired US lieutenant general and former Obama spy chief calls for "different approach" on drones, criticizing the "strategic mistakes" of Iraq war that boosted the rise of ISIL by "putting fuel on a fire." Retired US Lt. General Michael Flynn claims US prisons in Iraq "absolutely" helped radicalize young Iraqis and the Obama administration didn't "listen" to his intelligence agency's 2012 warnings on rise of Al-Qaeda-linked rebel groups in Syria.

Senator: Compensate Residents Near Site of Atomic Bomb Test
(Russell Contreras / The Associated Press)

People who lived near the site of the first atomic bomb test in the New Mexico desert and later developed cancer and other health problems need to be compensated, a US senator said Thursday. The federal government neglected residents of the historic Hispanic village of Tularosa near the Trinity Site, where the weapon was detonated on July 16, 1945, Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., said in a speech on the Senate floor on the 70th anniversary of the test.

"The 51 Day Genocide": Regarding Israel's Ongoing Attacks on Gaza
(Book Review by David Swanson / CounterPunch)

Israel's Prime Minister calls Iran a "terror machine." True, Tehran provides funds to militant organizations (as does Washington), but Iran has no armies of occupation. Max Blumenthal's latest book, "The 51 Day War: Ruin and Resistance in Gaza," tells a powerful story. Among the terms that accurately characterize the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza (David Swanson writes) are "occupation, murder-spree, and genocide. Each serves a different valuable purpose. Each is correct."

UN Report: 15,000 Civilians Killed in Iraq
(The Associated Press & Al Jazeera America)

According to a UN report, during 16 months ending April 30, the conflict in Iraq killed nearly 15,000 people and wounded 30,000 others. The UN investigation concluded that the blame was shared by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), by Iraq's own security forces and other elements. The UN human rights office said violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights abuses by ISIL may in some cases amount to war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide.

Destroying Syria to Make It Safe for American Values
(Eric Margolis / The UNZ Review)

The armies of the US, France and Britain -- assisted by Turkey -- have wrought havoc in the Arab world. The UN reports 4,013,000 Syrian refugees have been driven from their homeland, and another 7.6 million as internal refugees from a war that has been raging since 2011. That 11.6 million refugees -- a staggering 50% of Syria's population. The largest number of refugees in the past 25 years, the flood of displaced Syrians now exceeds in number the 5.5 million refugees from Palestinian.

The War on Yemen: A Mounting Humanitarian Catastrophe
(Democracy Now! & The Yemen Peace Project)

Aid groups are warning Yemen is on the brink of famine as the Saudi-led attack intensifies. More than 3,000 people, including 1,500 civilians, have died in Yemen since the US-backed Saudi offensive against the Houthi rebel group began on March 26. According to the United Nations, 80 percent of Yemen's 25 million people are now in need of some form of humanitarian aid, and more than one million Yemenis have fled their homes.

The US and the War on Yemen
(Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

Commentary: "The US certainly does bear a substantial share of the blame for the effects of this war. It is natural that the people suffering from the bombing campaign and the blockade would hold Saudi Arabia's patron and supporter responsible for what is being done to them. The US has facilitated and endorsed this war, which has already caused extraordinary harm to the civilian population in just three and a half months and will cause much more if it isn't halted very soon."

A Year after the M-17 Shoot-down, Why Is There No Resolution?
(Robert Parry / Consortium News & RT News)

Almost a year ago, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 was shot down over eastern Ukraine killing 298 people. Yet, instead of a transparent investigation seeking justice, the case became a propaganda game of finger-pointing, with the CIA withholding key evidence all the better to blame Russia. Also: view the 23-minute video: The Untold Story of M-17.

How the Pentagon's Secret Plan to Poison San Francisco's Fog Turned Deadly
(Kevin Loria / Business Insider)

San Francisco's fog is famous, especially in the summer, when weather conditions combine to create the characteristic cooling blanket that sits over the Bay Area. But one fact many may not know about San Francisco's fog is that in 1950, the US military conducted a test to see whether it could be used to help spread a biological weapon in a "simulated germ-warfare attack." This was just the start of many such tests around the country that would go on in secret for years.

Yemeni Genocide Proceeds Apace, Enjoying World's Silence
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Commentary: After years of US drone strikes proved too slow and ineffective at wiping out people in the poorest country in the Arab world, it was time to expand the arsenal of war crimes. he United States and the Islamic State, ISIS, are de facto allies of Saudi Arabia and its alliance of dictator states, all bent on exterminating Yemeni Houthis and pretty much any other Yemeni in the neighborhood. This Yemenicide started in earnest in March 2015.

ACTION ALERT: Ban the "Oil Bomb" Trains
(Cole Mellino / EcoWatch & Anastasia Pantsios / EcoWatch )

Monday was the second anniversary of the tragic Lac-Megantic, Quebec, oil train disaster that killed 47 people. Since then, oil trains continue to derail and explode with five already this year. Four of the derailments occurred within just four weeks. In response, a coalition of environmental and social justice organizations has launched a week of action -- including more than 80 events across the US and Canada -- to call for an end to shipments of crude oil by rail.

ACTION ALERT: A Call for Sanity on 60th of the Russell-Einstein Manifesto
(World Beyond War)

Sixty years after Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell issued their manifesto about the growing threat of world war, the globe continues to face the prospect of nuclear annihilation -- coupled with the looming threat of climate change. "Here, then, is the problem which we present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?"

Jade Helm 15, Heavily Scrutinized Military Exercise, To Open without Media Access
(Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

Jade Helm 15, the controversial Special Operations exercise that spawned a wave of conspiracy theories about a government takeover, will open next week without any media allowed to observe it, a military spokesman said. Embedded reporters won't be permitted at any point during the exercise, in which military officials say that secretive Special Operations troops will maneuver through private and publicly owned land in several southern states.

On the One-year Anniversary of Israel's Attack on Gaza
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

One year ago today, Israel invaded, bombed and shelled Gaza, and continued to do that for the next seven weeks. According to the UN, at least 2,104 Gazans were killed -- 1,462 of whom (69 percent) were civilians, including 495 children. A total of 6 Israeli civilians, and 66 soldiers, were killed. That is what makes Max Blumenthal's new book about this Israeli attack so compelling -- it humanizes this event like nothing else I've read. Blumenthal spent weeks on the ground in Gaza in the middle of the war.

Collateral Damage Estimates and the Acceptability of Attacks on Industrial Sites
(Doug Weir / Toxic Remnants of War Project)

The deliberate or inadvertent damage or destruction of industrial facilities during conflict has the potential to cause severe environmental damage and long-term risks to civilians. While international humanitarian law seeks to provide some measure of prohibition on attacks against infrastructure containing 'dangerous forces' such as nuclear plants or dams, current laws do not cover military attacks on facilities manufacturing or using deadly chemicals. It is time for new laws against such attacks.

Israel Seizes Latest "Peace Ship" Headed to Gaza with Humanitarian Supplies
(The Freedom Flotilla Coalition & Robert Naiman / The Huffington Post & Gaza's Ark Steering Committee)

On June 29, the "Marianne," an international "peace ship" carrying humanitarian supplies to Gaza, was boarded and seized by Israeli troops in international waters. The 18 passengers on board the "Marianne" -- including the Palestinian Member of Israel's Knesset, Tunisia's ex-president and numerous international journalists -- were forcibly kidnapped, imprisoned and, eventually deported in small groups between July 1-6.

US-backed Coalition Bombing in Yemen Reported to Have Killed More than 1,500 Civilians
(Al Jazeeera America)

The Saudi-led coalition targeting Houthi rebels in Yemen launched a series of airstrikes on Tuesday, killing more than 100 civilians, according to rebel sources. News of the latest casualties came as the United Nations announced that the number of civilians killed in three months of violence has risen above 1,500. Fighting between rebels and government forces, including coalition airstrikes, have severely affected civilian centers, creating a humanitarian crisis.

Today's Civilian Victims in Yemen Will be Ignored Because US and its Allies Are Responsible
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

In Fayoush, Yemen, just outside of Aden, "a massive airstrike" hit a marketplace and killed at least 45 civilians, wounding another 50. Officials told the AP that "bodies were strewn about following the strike." The bombing was carried out by what is typically referred to as a "Saudi-led coalition"; it is rarely mentioned in Western media reports that the US is providing very substantial support to this "Saudi-led" war in Yemen, now in its fifth month, which has repeatedly, recklessly killed Yemeni civilians.

ISIS Kills Syrian Soldiers; US Bombs Kill Syrian Civilians
(Associated Press & Lin Jenkins / The Guardian)

Militants and civilians were reported killed in one of the largest operations carried out by the US-led coalition against Islamic State in Syria to date. Meanwhile, a video attributed to the anti-Saddan ISIS fighters shows a group of teenage boys appearing to shoot dead 25 men at UNESCO world heritage site.

Saudi Airstrikes Kill 169, Mostly Civilians, Across Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Sami Aboudi and Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters)

Saudi airstrikes against Yemeni cities have been a daily occurrence over the past several months, but seem to be escalating greatly, with a series of strikes leaving 169 people -- mostly civilians -- killed in the attacks. The biggest single strike was against the city of Aden, where Saudi strikes hit a marketplace, killing 45 civilians. 40 more civilians were reported killed in a strike that hit a livestock marketplace in al-Foyoush. Saudi officials insisted they don't "intentionally target civilians."

US Isolated as UN Resolution Condemns Israel War on Gaza

Israel's 2014 invasion of Gaza devastated the coastal enclave, and left over 2000 people dead. On July 3, the United Nations called on Israel to prosecute perpetrators of war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza massacre and cooperate with the International Criminal Court's investigation. 41 countries voted in favor. India, Kenya, Ethiopia, Paraguay and Macedonia abstained. Only Israel's closest ally, the United States, voted against the resolution.

Small Hands, Heavy Burden: Syria's War and Child Labor
(United Nations News Centre)

Syria's children are paying a heavy price for the world's failure to put an end to the conflict. According to a new UN report, "the most vulnerable of all working children are those involved in armed conflict, sexual exploitation and illicit activities including organized begging and child trafficking."

Small Hands, Heavy Burden: Syria's War and Child Labor
(United Nations News Centre)

Syria's children are paying a heavy price for the world's failure to put an end to the conflict. According to a new UN report, "the most vulnerable of all working children are those involved in armed conflict, sexual exploitation and illicit activities including organized begging and child trafficking."

Libya's Benghazi, Now a Shattered City
(The Associated Press & The Embassy of Libya)

The old courthouse in central Benghazi, Libya's second-largest city and the birthplace of the uprising against Moammar Gadhafi, is a shelled-out ruin -- a testimony to the destruction and chaos that followed the US-backed destabilization of the country. Today, Libya is bitterly divided between an elected parliament and government in the east and an Islamist militia-backed government in the west. Hundreds of militias are aligned with either side or on their own, battling for power and turf.

Army Apologizes to Troops Exposed to US-Designed Chemical Weapons in Iraq
(Andrew Emett / NationofChange)

After it was reported that more than 600 service members suffered from chemical exposure in Iraq, the undersecretary of the Army issued an apology this week. The scandal goes deeper with its lack of proper medical treatment for these service members.

Global Water Famine Predicted in 15 Years

Water is drawn faster than replenished in most of world's largest aquifers, according to two studies. Population growth and climate change will increase global water demand, leaving short supply if usage does not change. The world could suffer a 40 percent shortfall in water in just 15 years unless countries dramatically change their use of the resource, a United Nations report has warned.

Wars Are Creating Unprecedented Refugee Crisis
(eNews Channel Africa & Geir Moulson / AP & Huffington Post)

Almost 60 million people worldwide were forcibly uprooted by conflict and persecution at the end of last year, the highest ever recorded number. More than half the displaced from crises including Syria, Afghanistan and Somalia were children. In 2014, an average of 42,500 people became refugees, asylum seekers, or internally displaced every day, representing a four-fold increase in just four years.

US Finally Grants Health Care to Air Force Vets Exposed to Agent Orange
(Hope Yen / Associated Press)

Ending years of wait, the government has agreed to provide disability benefits to as many as 2,100 Air Force reservists and active-duty forces exposed to Agent Orange residue on airplanes used in the Vietnam War. The Agent Orange-related caseload already makes up 1 out of 6 disability checks issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs. The expected cost over 10 years is $47.5 million, with separate health care coverage adding to the price tag.

Obama Calls for ‘Urgency' on Guns in SF Speech to Mayors
(Carla Marinucci and John Wildermuth / San Francisco Chronicle)

Just days after a devastating church massacre in South Carolina, President Obama on Friday urged hundreds of US mayors to show "a sense of urgency" on common-sense gun legislation, saying defiantly, "I am not resigned" to Congress' refusal to act, even after a litany of mass shootings. "I refuse to act like this is the new normal ... or that it is simply sufficient to grieve," Obama said in a speech before the US Conference of Mayors at the San Francisco Hilton near Union Square.

Army Apologizes to Troops Exposed to US-Designed Chemical Weapons in Iraq
(Andrew Emett / NationofChange)

After it was reported that more than 600 service members suffered from chemical exposure in Iraq, the undersecretary of the Army issued an apology this week. The scandal goes deeper with its lack of proper medical treatment for these service members.

The Bombing of Yemen and What I Learned in Iran
(Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & Huffington Post)

Two weeks ago, I boarded a plane to Tehran, intending to join a peace boat to protest the Saudi bombing and blockade of Yemen, which has already killed over a thousand Yemenis, including at least one US citizen. As a US citizen and a peace advocate, I wanted to use the opportunity to draw attention to the terrible actions of a US ally -- actions, which the US government is actively supporting. Our government could act to stop the violence right now, but it is not yet doing so.

America's Warlords in Afghanistan
(Kelley Vlahos / The American Conservative & Gabriel Carlyle / Peace News)

To fight the Taliban, the United States created a new generation of abusive strongmen that are now running rampant. Meanwhile, a sharp increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan following the closure of some US/NATO bases suggests that ordinary Afghans are now paying the price for the US decision to block earlier peace initiatives.

An Encyclical Letter on Care for Our Common Home: Part 1
(The Holy Father Pope Francis)

"More than fifty years ago, with the world teetering on the brink of nuclear crisis, Pope Saint John XXIII wrote an Encyclical which not only rejected war but offered a proposal for peace. He addressed his message Pacem in Terris to the entire "Catholic world" and indeed "to all men and women of good will". Now, faced as we are with global environmental deterioration, I wish to address every person living on this planet . . . to enter into dialogue with all people about our common home."

Focus on Ukraine: Unarmed Civilian Protection
(The Nonviolent Peaceforce)

As of mid-April, 2015 the UN Human Rights Office reports that more than 6,225 people had been killed since the beginning of the conflict in Ukraine in mid-April of 2014 and expressed fear the real figure may be considerably higher. In March 2015, Nonviolent Peaceforce and the Association for Middle Eastern Studies conducted a series of trainings for Ukrainian residents from conflict-affected communities. These trainings were the first to introduce Unarmed Civilian Protection (UCP) to Ukraine.

The Myth of the Inevitable War
(Philip Jenkins / The American Conservative)

US military forces planned to seize Canada’s rich mineral resources in Ontario after launching surprise attacks on ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and Vancouver. The Pentagon planned to use poison gas on civilians before they could mount a counter-offensive. If the above sounds like a fictitious alternative history scenario, it isn’t. What I have just described is the War Plan Red developed by the US War Department in the late 1920s. It remained on the books as a valid attack plan through 1939.

US Sarin Gas Cover-up Continues
(Barbara Koeppel / The Washington Spectator )

During the Pentagon's invasion of Iraq, US troops blew up 8.5 cubic metric tons of munitions that spewed out sarin at Khamisiyah's Bunker 73 on March 4, 1991. Nearly 20,000 US troops troops were exposed to sarin nerve gas during combat duty inside Iraq. Many now suffer from brain cancer and neurological diseases -- illnesses linked to sarin exposure. But the Pentagon has denied treatment for these vets, arguing it "cannot confirm exposure, only the possibility of exposure."

Quaker Strategies for Peace: Peace-building Can Replace Weapons and War
(American Friends Service Committee)

As a means to secure peace, war is not working. In 2012, the world directed 11 percent of its gross product -- a total of $9.46 trillion -- toward containing violence, with half spent on militaries. Fighting violence with violence begets more violence. Every day, all over the world, people from all walks of life resolve conflicts without killing anyone. For almost 100 years, AFSC has brought relief in the aftermath of conflicts. Nearly all of our international programs originated in war zones or amid political conflicts.

How Students Are Rebuilding Gaza
(American Friends Service Committee)

Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" was catastrophic for Palestinians in Gaza. Nearly 30 percent of the population was displaced, with about 273,000 sheltering in UN schools. Ten thousand homes were razed and 89,000 were damaged. Over 2,100 people in Gaza lost their lives, including 513 children. Though bombs stopped falling months ago, recovery efforts have only just begun. Tight restrictions on imports, including construction materials, have slowed efforts at reconstruction. Some estimate that it will take a generation to rebuild.

US Tops for Income Inequality and Incarceration, but Near Bottom for National Health
(Mark Karlin / Tikkun Magazine & TruthOut )

Commentary: When it comes to the health, well-being and shared prosperity, the US has fallen far behind. Pick almost any measure of social health and cohesion over the last four decades or so, and you will find that the United States took a wrong turn along the way. The US ranks 26th in infant mortality and 26th for life expectancy, right behind Slovenia. The US leads the world in jailing its citizens. In the US, economic feudalism is creating a dysfunctional society that pits the haves against the have nots.

Tales from the One Percent: Richest US Politician Says Poor 'Are Doing Great'
(Judd Legum / ThinkProgress & Chris McGreal / The Guardian and Matt Isaacs / The Investigative Reporting Program)

Congressman Darrell Issa, America's richest Congressman with a net worth of nearly $500 million, says the nation's poor are actually doing very well. Issa told CNN that "our poor are. . . the envy of the world." In reality, US economic mobility is lower than in many developed countries. According to research, there is less economic mobility in America than in Switzerland, Pakistan, Singapore, France, Spain, Japan, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Australia, Canada, Finland, Norway and Denmark.

AMA Calls for Nuclear Ban as 16,000-plus Nuclear Weapons Threaten Global Survival
(American Medical Association & John Scales Avery, Ph.D. & Danish Pugwash Group /TRANSCEND Media Service)

There are 16,300 nuclear weapons in the world today, of which 15,300 are in the hands of Russia and the United States. Several thousand of these weapons are on hair-trigger alert, meaning that whoever is in charge of them has only a few minutes to decide whether the signal indicating an attack is real, or an error. The most important single step in reducing the danger of a disaster would be to take all weapons off hair-trigger alert.

Pentagon's New "Law of War Manual" Claims Depleted Uranium Weapons Are OK
(International Campaign to Ban Uranium Weapons)

In a self-serving review, the users of radioactive depleted uranium weapons have concluded that DU shells are legal and acceptable. Overall the Pentagon's latest "Law of War Manual "finds that the use of DU weapons is lawful -- even after consideration of the legal requirement on the need to avoid superfluous injury (to troops) and to avoid weapons that are inherently indiscriminate -- and any damage is balanced by the military advantage claimed from their use.

Abolish Special Ops Forces
(Sheldon Richman / Free Association)

Commentary: It's time to disband the Navy's SEAL Team 6 and all other secretive, unaccountable units of the US imperial military. As is said about lawyers, if we didn't have these units, we wouldn't need them. Here we have a super-secretive unit of killers that is protected from accountability. The existence of secretive military units conducting private lethal operations should bother anyone who aspires to live in a free society. Their very nature offends common decency.

Underage 'Enemies' of the US: Omar Khadr and the Juveniles of Guantanamo
(Jenifer Fenton / Al Jazeera America)

Omar Khadr, a Canadian citizen and former teenage inmate at Guantanamo, is appealing his conviction by a US military tribunal. Although Khadr is the only person in modern history to have been charged with a war crime allegedly committed as a juvenile, he was hardly the only child in Guantanamo. An examination of birth dates and dates of detention of inmates at the facility found at least 23 were under the age of 18 when first detained. But the number could be as high as 33.

Yemen: US-backed War Crime Kills Civilians, Destroys World Heritage Site
(Euronews & AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)

Recent concerns about sites from antiquity being damaged in war have mostly centered around ISIS occupations in Syria, but attention quickly turned south today with news that the World Heritage Site in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa was the target of multiple airstrikes. UNESCO officials condemned the attack on the complex of 2,500-year-old buildings. In the aftermath of "multiple attacks" on the Old City, locals reported at least five civilians who lived in the area had been killed.

Egypt: US-Backed Military Dictatorship Kills 1000 Protesters, Jails 41,000 'Dissidents'
(TeleSUR.TV & Colleen Curry / Vice News & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

In June 2014, Human Rights Watch warned that Egyptian "security forces have carried out mass arrests and torture that harken back to the darkest days of former President Hosni Mubarak's rule." In March 2015, President Barack Obama personally called Egyptian despot Abdelfattah al-Sisi to announce he was lifting the freeze on weapons transfers to the regime. Obama also affirmed that another $1.3 billion in US military aid was in the pipeline.

MoD Casts Veil of Secrecy over UK Drone Strikes in Iraq
(Peace News)

Britain carries out 100 armed drone attacks against ISIS insurgency. The British ministry of defence has concealed the details of one in five UK drone strikes in Iraq over the last six months, and held back all location information for two out of five drone strikes there.

Nuclear Reactors in France and UK Face Meltdown Risks
(Henry Samuel / The Telegraph & Lizzie Parry /London Daily Mail Online)

In France and Britain, faulty valves in new-generation EPR nuclear reactor pose meltdown risk at France's Flamanville third-generation EPR nuclear reactor and two new plants at Hinkley Point. "Multiple" malfunctioning valves in the Flamanville EPR could a meltdown, in a similar scenario to the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear accident. Meanwhile, women living near a Welch nuclear plant are succumbing to cancer at rates FIVE times higher than normal.

'Liberated' Iraq on the 'Verge of Collapse'
(Baher Kamal / Human Wrongs Watch)

Crisis-torn Iraq, one of the world's most severe emergencies, is on the verge of collapse because of a lack of funding could force the closure of more than half the relief operations in the country over the coming weeks, the top UN humanitarian official there has warned. "Iraqis are the victims of some of the most horrible violence anywhere in the world," she explained, drawing attention to women who are "enslaved and abused. Children are used as human shields and suicide bombers and are crucified. Populations are subjected to mass executions, torture and systematic rape.

80 Percent of Yemen's Population at Risk: Children Struggle to Survive
(Human Wrongs Watch and United Nations & Mohammed Al-Asaadi and Ansar Rasheed / UNICEF)

Some 20 million people in Yemen -- close to 80 percent of the population -- urgently need humanitarian assistance. Fighting in Yemen has closed numerous schools and left children in a desperate struggle to survive. Without emergency relief and an end to the conflict, their situation will only become worse.

Poland Says Washington Stonewalling CIA Jail Investigation
(Christian Lowe and Wojciech Zurawski / Reuters)

The United States is ignoring a request from Poland to hand over the full version of a Senate report that could shed light on allegations the CIA abused al Qaeda suspects at a secret prison in the north of the country, according to Polish prosecutors. The report last December by the US Senate intelligence committee detailed how the CIA used techniques including water-boarding and mock executions on terrorism suspects at secret overseas facilities in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001.

Were FBI and Boston Cops Justified in Killing Usaamah Rahim?
(Gleen Greenwald and Murtaza Hussain / The Intercept)

Last week, a 26-year-old black Muslim man was shot and killed in Boston by agents of the FBI and Boston Police Department. Major media outlets immediately, breathlessly and uncritically repeated law enforcement claims that the victim was on the verge of executing an "ISIS-inspired" or "ISIS-linked" plot to behead police officers. There were obvious, glaring questions about these claims, yet they were largely ignored by a media propaganda machine that now has the cover of law.

USA Police State Celebrated as Defense of Freedom
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

Commentary: One needs a wicked sense of humor these days to fully appreciate the present moment in American history, as a supposedly free country debates which police state practices to adopt, while ignoring any thought that maybe the United States should not be a police state at all.

Exposed: The CIA's Secret "Kill Missions" in Afghanistan
(Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

As the US military focused heavily on the Iraq war in 2006, the general in charge of the secretive Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) noticed something alarming: The Taliban was regrouping in Afghanistan, and the United States didn't have the manpower there to stop it. The solution? Unleashing the Naval Special Warfare Development Group -- popularly known as SEAL Team 6. Unfortunately, some of those secret US operations resulted in civilians being killed.

Okinawa: The Effects of Long-term US Military Presence
(Genuine Security.org)

At the end of WWII, the US took over the administration of the Okinawa islands. Immediately after the war, Okinawan civilians, displaced by the terrible Battle, were placed in POW camps while the military claimed land for bases. In 1951, the San Francisco Peace Treaty placed Okinawa under US military administration until 1972 when Okinawa's administration reverted to Japan. Today there are 37 US bases and military installations in Okinawa, 23,842 troops and 21,512 military family members.

Okinawans Want Their Land Back, Is That So Hard To Understand?
(Jon Letman / AntiWar.com & Foreign Policy In Focus & Truthout)

Commentary: "Living in a country where people learn world geography through frequently fought overseas wars, Americans are accustomed to reading about places where we've fought wars -- Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. But one formerly war-ravaged part of the world most Americans don't think much about is Okinawa."

US Drones Kill 34 at Afghan Funeral While US-backed Militias Run Amok
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Kristoff Saunders / News of Fulton County)

US drones attacked a funeral in Afghanistan's Khost Province, leaving at least 34 mourners dead. The funeral was reportedly for a Taliban fighter, and the Afghan government insisted that -- by extension -- all the mourners must've been Taliban, too. Meanwhile, US-subsidized local militias in Afghanistan, dubbed the Afghan Local Police, often act as vigilantes in the best of times, and as guns for hire to the highest bidder. The ALP also engage in wide-spread bribe-taking and violence against locals.

The Twisted Legacy of Colombia's Aerial Cocaine Crop Spraying Program
(Steven Cohen / Vice)

After 30 years of protests, Colombia's US-backed drug war has finally been brought to ground. Colombia's National Council on Dangerous Drugs voted to suspend the aerial fumigation of coca in the only country in the world where the US fumigation program still operated. The secretive US fumigation program, has spent $2 billion tax dollars spraying a weaponized herbicide over 4.3 million acres, causing untold harm to people, wildlife, national parks, waterways, and the Amazon rainforest.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission Downgrades Value of Human Life
(David Wright / The Equation: Union of Concerned Scientists)

If the NRC wants to determine if it makes sense to require nuclear plants to add safety and security systems, a cost benefit analysis must consider the cost of adding those systems and compared to the cost of an accident that would have been prevented by those systems. So the question is: How much does the NRC think a human life is worth? Every other US agency uses a value of $9.1 million for a human life. The NRC stands alone by assigning a value of only $3 million for the loss of a human life.

Pakistan Hangs Three Anti-Nuclear Protesters
(Agence France-Presse & Arab News & BBC News)

Pakistan on Thursday executed three Baluch separatists convicted of hijacking a plane in 1998, which they attempted to fly to India to disrupt Islamabad's first nuclear tests, officials said. The executions were carried out on the 17th anniversary of the tests, which made Pakistan the world's seventh nuclear-armed power -- a landmark event for the impoverished Muslim country of 200 million people.

Generals Admit US Is Losing War Against ISIS as Latest US Airstrike Kills Scores of Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who has become President Obama's special ambassador for the war, going around the world selling it to potential allies, now predicts the conflict would be much longer than anyone imagines, saying it "will likely take a generation or more." Meanwhile, former US General David Petraeus, the commander during much of the last US war in Iraq, insisted that the US is "probably losing" the war against ISIS. In Iraq, the latest US airstrike has reportedly killed many civilians.

Stars on Their Shoulders, Blood on Their Hands: War Crimes in Nigeria
(Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty / Foreign Policy Op-ed & Netsanet Belay / Mail & Guardian)

In his inaugural address, Nigeria's new president, Mohammadu Buhari, promised to "overhaul the rules of engagement to avoid human rights violations" in his country's prosecution of its war against rebel armies. There is much work to do. According to a disturbing human rights report, civilians in northeast Nigeria are facing unspeakable violations at the hands of the very military whose duty is to protect them. In a nod to the US, Nigeria's soldiers have named one of their most hellish prisons, "Gitmo."

Saudi Bombing Leaves Yemen without Water, Food, Fuel
(Rori Donaghy / Middle East Eye & Agencies)

Two thirds of Yemen's civilians lack access to clean water supply, according to the international aid organization Oxfam. The Saudi-led coalition carrying out airstrikes against Houthi rebels and Yemen's cities -- has left three million Yemenis without clean drinking water. At least 16 million out of a population of 24 million now lack access to clean water and sanitation. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have blocked a Iranian ships from delivering tons of humanitarian supplies to Yemen.

Okinawans Want Their Land Back, Is That So Hard To Understand?
(Jon Letman / AntiWar.com & Foreign Policy In Focus & Truthout)

Okinawa is one of the smallest of Japan's 47 prefectures, and although it accounts for less than 1 percent of Japanese territory, it is home to around 24,000 US military personnel, almost half of Japan's total, and is burdened with nearly 75 percent of US bases in Japan. Consider what it's like to have 20 percent of your small, crowded island home occupied by more than 32 foreign military bases and some 50 restricted air and marine military training sites. Small wonder, Okinawans are fed up with the Pentagon.

Generals Admit US Is Losing War Against ISIS as Latest US Airstrike Kills Scores of Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Retired Marine Gen. John Allen, who has become President Obama's special ambassador for the war, going around the world selling it to potential allies, now predicts the conflict would be much longer than anyone imagines, saying it "will likely take a generation or more." Meanwhile, former US General David Petraeus, the commander during much of the last US war in Iraq, insisted that the US is "probably losing" the war against ISIS. In Iraq, the latest US airstrike has reportedly killed many civilians.

Saudi Warplanes Pound Sanaa, Killing at Least Eight Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters, Agence France-Press and Deutsche Welle)

Adding to the civilian toll of the 2+ month long Saudi Arabian-led war on Yemen, coalition warplanes today attacked the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, blowing up a military arms depot and setting off explosions near a residential area, killing at least eight civilians and badly wounding 20 others.

Human Rights Watch: Saudis Still Using Cluster Bombs against Yemen
(Press TV)

Human Rights Watch says evidence shows Saudi Arabia has been pounding neighboring Yemen with internationally banned cluster bombs, warning that such attacks are "harming civilians," including women and children. In a report released on Sunday after a visit by HRW officials to Yemen's northern province of Sa'ada, the New York-based rights organization said the cluster bombs have targeted civilians and residential areas. The report said three types of cluster bombs have been used in the attacks.

The US and UK Hide Their War Crimes by Invoking
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

For years, human rights groups have fought to obtain a 37-year-old diplomatic cable, relating to British responsibility for British brutality in Bahrain. Ordinarily, documents are disclosed after 30 years. But now, a British tribunal has ruled that most of the cable shall remain suppressed. This is exactly the same mentality driving the Obama administration's years-long effort to suppress photographs showing torture of detainees by the US -- and even amending the Freedom of Information Act to do so.

Cuba Removed from US 'Terror List' -- While US Terror Plots against Cuba That Killed 3,478 Go Unaddressed
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Karen Lee Wald / TruthDig)

On May 29, the Obama Administration removed Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. Cuba was added to the list in 1982, during the Cold War. Meanwhile, most Americans are unaware of the US-backed terror war against Cuba -- a covert program involving terror bombings and bio-warfare -- that killed more than 3,400 innocent people. The unreported truth was that it was the United States that deserved to be on a "terror list."

The Soldier's Story: IDF Corporal Says the Occupation of West Bank 'Corrupts Israel'
(Gershom Gorenberg / The American Prospect)

Corporal Shachar Berrin's commander in the Israeli army sentenced him to a week in prison for participating "in a political meeting, while in uniform, in the presence of the media." Cpl. Berrin's crime was to criticise the apparently endless Israeli occupation of the West Bank, claiming that the illegal occupation of Palestinian lands "corrupts Israel." Cpl. Berrin's punishment raises messy questions about how separate the military and politics should be, or can be, in an already shaky democracy.

Just How Many Civilians Have Died in the West's Campaign Against the Islamic State?
(Richard Hall / The Global Post)

The US-led coalition of 21 countries -- formed to "degrade and destroy" the Islamic State -- has so far carried out some 3,200 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. But unmentioned in all the stories of military triumphs is a problem that Western officials behind the campaign tend to downplay: civilian casualties. Large-scale civilian casualties contribute to the Sunni community's resentment of the Shia-dominated Iraqi government, which has paved the way for the rise of the Islamic State.

Praising US "Restraint" While Ignoring Civilian Deaths
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

On May 25, The New York Times published an article claiming that the US is being hampered in its war against ISIS because of its excessive concern for civilians. "American officials say they are not striking significant -- and obvious -- Islamic State targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians," reporter Eric Schmitt says. But there's one rather glaring omission in this article: the many hundreds of civilian deaths likely caused by the US-led bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria.

How the US Pushed for Pesticide Profits over People's Health
(Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)

In order to facilitate the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership free trade deal, US trade officials pushed the European Union to shelve plans to restrict the use of endocrine-disrupting chemicals linked to cancer and male infertility. Plans to ban 31 pesticides containing endocrine disrupting chemicals were dumped amid fears of an aggressive trade backlash stoked by US chemical company lobbyists.

Israel Thanks Obama for Sabotaging Nuclear Nonproliferation Deal
(Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams & Thalif Deen / IPS News)

The US sabotage of an international agreement aimed at eradicating nuclear weapons stockpiles has been met mostly with alarm and frustration around the world -- but gratitude from one key US ally: Israel. The US, Britain and France have destroyed the latest hopes for a nuclear weapons ban as the US plans to spend a $1 trillion over the next 30 years building two new bomb factories plus submarines, airplanes, and missiles to deliver a new generation of "improved" nuclear weapons.

ACTION ALERT: End US-Germany Complicity in Drone Assassination Pact
(European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights & World Beyond War & Roots Action & Massoud Hayoun / Al Jazeera America)

A German court is set to hear testimony from the family of two Yemeni civilian drone strike victims. The trial could set a precedent for legal actions against countries participating in the "War on Terror." Although statements from victims' relatives have been previously submitted to a UK court, this marks the first time a court will "hear evidence from a drone victim" read aloud by a family member. The trial is "a big step" in holding the US and its allies accountable for killing civilians -- the very definition of a "terrorist" act.

US Admits for the First Time that Airstrikes Killed Syrian Children

The Pentagon admitted on Thursday that a US air strike last November had killed two Syrian children. This marks the first time that the US has acknowledged civilian casualties caused by its campaign against the Islamic State group inside Syria. Independent observers claim the November 2014 attack killed four children. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Wednesday that 131 civilians had been killed in coalition air strikes since September, including 42 children.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Pentagon's Plan to Seize and Bomb Pagan Island
(Petition by Arley Long / Change.org & David S. Cloud / The Los Angeles Times<)

The small Pacific islands of Pagan and Tinian are home to pristine beaches, majestic mountains and colorful sea life. Now the Pentagon has plans to use Pagan -- the "Crown Jewel" of the Marianas -- for "live-fire training." The US Navy's plans to bomb these islands, would obliterate rare coral ecosystems, wildlife, and important historic artifacts. The Islands residents would be forced from their ancestral lands -- all for the sake of bomb testing. We cannot let this happen.

How To Honor Memorial Day
(Ray McGovern / Consortium News)

How best to show respect for the US troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and for their families on Memorial Day? Simple: Avoid euphemisms like "the fallen" and expose the lies about whose idea it was to start those wars and then to "surge" tens of thousands of more troops into those fools' errands. Let's be clear on this: the 4,500 US troops killed in Iraq and the 2,350 killed in Afghanistan -- so far -- did not "fall." They were wasted on no-win battlefields at the direction of politicians and generals.

Non-Proliferation Summit Ends with 106 Nations Endorsing Nuclear Weapons Ban: US and UK Opposed
(The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Beatrice Fihn / ICAN)

As the 2015 Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference ended, more than 100 governments had committed to work for the elimination of nuclear weapons by endorsing a "Humanitarian Pledge." While the US and UK blocked progress on a Middle East Nuke-free Zone, the final draft document was deeply flawed. It contained no meaningful disarmament agreements and it rolled back previous progress. Most delegations admitted that the text fell dramatically short of making credible progress.

The American-Made Child Army in Africa
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)

President Obama couldn't have been more eloquent when he said: "When a little boy is kidnapped, turned into a child soldier, forced to kill or be killed -- that's slavery." Approximately 13,000 children have been recruited into armed groups in South Sudan. The Child Soldiers Prevention Act prohibits the US from providing military assistance to governments using child soldiers. The US, however, relied on a technicality to gain an exemption.

ACTION ALERT: Call the White House! Stop Blocking Relief Shipments to Victims of Yemen War
(International Action Center & The Associated Press)

The White House has claimed the primary purpose of US Navy warships in the waters off Yemen is to "ensure goods can transit safely" through the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea. The Pentagon has said the ships are there "to assure the waterways are open." But if the US is concerned about protecting "freedom of the seas," why does it continue to threatened relief shipments trying to bring food and medicine to the besieged civilians of Yemen? Call the White House.

Saudi Arabia Seeking Nuclear Weapons from Pakistan, US Sources Say
(Middle East Eye)

Longstanding military ties between the two countries is coming to fruition over Saudi Arabia's alleged purchase of nuclear weaponry from Pakistan. "For the Saudis the moment has come," an anonymous former US defense official told the UK's Sunday Times. The House of Saud has made the strategic decision to "Go nuclear."

The 80 US Soldiers Who Died in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi 'Died for Nothing'
(Jacob G. Hornberger / Hornberger's Blog: The Future of Freedom Foundation)

Commentary: More than 80 US soldiers were killed and more than 200 were injured in the 2006 Battle of Ramadi. My hunch is that some of the family members of those dead Americans now are thinking, "Okay, ISIS controls Ramadi, but at least my loved one died so that Americans can be free." But the fact is that they did die for nothing. Just look at Ramadi today for proof. Indeed, just look at Iraq. Or look at the 58,000 plus US soldiers who died in the Vietnam War. They all died for nothing, too.

Nuclear Powers Unmoved as 91 Nations Call for Nuke Ban at NPT Meeting
(International Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons & The Japan Times & Lourdes Verges / FundiPau)

The Austrian Pledge was designed to fill the legal gap in nuclear disarmament laws to make nuclear weapons illegal and prohibited -- just as the world has done for biological and chemical weapons. On Friday, May 15, the latest NPT draft text came out. Thanks to the push-back from nuclear weapons states, this draft was much weaker, many of the strong paragraphs on the humanitarian impact were gone, and the joint statement and the Austrian pledge were significantly weaker.

Femicide in Mexico a 'Near Pandemic'
(Judith Matloff / Al Jazeera America)

On average, six women are being murdered each day as femicide in Mexico nears a pandemic. The border town of Juarez, has the largest number of victims in province of Mexico state but the carnage is nationwide. Yet only 24 percent of the 3,892 femicides identified in 2012 and 2013 were investigated by authorities. And only 1.6 percent led to sentencing.

"America: Ask Why You Are Hated!" Family of Four Reportedly Killed in US-led Air Raid
(Fazel Hawramy and Raya Jalabi / The Guardian)

A US-led coalition including Canada, Britain, France and Jordan, has carried out several thousand air strikes, as part of its campaign against ISIS. The latest victims of Washington's military aggression -- in a foreign land far from the borders of the US "homeland" -- reportedly killed five members of one family, including a pregnant woman and girl aged eight, who all died in a single attack on one Iraqi village. Other victims of the US-lead anti-ISIS air war frequently go unrecorded.

Israel Continues to Criminalize Marking Nakba Day
(Patrick Strickland / Al Jazeera America & TRTWorld & Nour Odeh / Al Jazeera)

Each year on May 15, Palestinians across the world commemorate the Nakba ("the catastrophe") -- the date of the 1948 establishment of Israel that led to hundreds of thousands of Palestinians being displaced from their homeland. Activists now face difficulty in commemorating Palestinian dispossession due to a controversial Israeli law. Since 2011, Israeli legislation meant to intimidate Palestinians has made publicly mourning the Nakba difficult for Palestinians and others in Israel.

Mexican Authorities Implicated in Violence but US Security Aid Still Flows
(Cora Currier and Jesse Franzblau / The Intercept)

Last September, 43 students vanished after being kidnapped from the Mexican city of Iguala. Evidence implicating Mexican authorities in their disappearance and subsequent deaths, has led to an outburst of popular anger against this latest atrocity linked to the police and the government. In light of this mass murder, US cooperation with the Mexican government -- which entails billions in financial backing for its "war on drug"s -- is receiving renewed scrutiny.

ACTION ALERT: Demand a Permanent Ceasefire in Yemen
(Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & Huffington Post)

Commentary: "It could be argued that Saudi Arabia has become a more dangerous regional aggressor than Israel, because so far, at least, Saudi Arabia's aggression in Yemen, like its aggression in Bahrain, has provoked a less vigorous international reaction than Israel's recent wars in Gaza and Lebanon. Saudi Arabia's campaign is being widely judged a failure in a military sense... Like Israel in Gaza and Lebanon, they have killed many human beings, including many civilians, for no clear military purpose."

Officials in Kiev Discount Fallout Danger from Fires as Mutations Surface across Ukraine
(RT News & Documentary Films)

The Red Forest remains one of the most contaminated areas in the world. However, it has proved to be an astonishingly fertile habitat for many endangered species. The evacuation of the area surrounding the nuclear reactor has created a lush and unique wildlife refuge. But there are troubling signs that some birds and animals have been undergoing strange mutations. Meanwhile, children born in the fallout zone are plagued with mental retardation, strangely deformed limbs and grotesque tumors.

Disaster at US Nuke Dump: Equivalent of 370 Billion Bq of Plutonium Feared Released

370 billion Bq of plutonium equivalent may have escaped from a nuclear waste drum during "thermal runaway " at the government's Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, near Calsbad, New Mexico. Multiple fires suggesting a "significant number" of breached drums. Over 5,000 times amount in waste drum blamed for WIPP release. According to one official: "We thought for sure" there were multiple ruptured drums -- "It actually was measured" in city many miles away.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Saudi War Crimes in Yemen
(Robert Naiman / Just Foreign Policy & Al Jazeera America & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Saudi Arabia has declared Saada a military target and ordered civilians to flee the capital. Instead of a five-day cease-fire, Saudi state television channel Al Ekhbariya has announced that the whole of the arid, mountainous province is to become a military target from Friday evening -- an escalation in the Saudi-led coalition's intervention in Yemen's civil war. Escalating conflict in Yemen is making a dire humanitarian situation worse. Sign the petition calling for an immediate and permanent cease-fire.

Drone Warfare: Counting the Cost of US Drones
(Jack Serle / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

There have now been 515 US drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia since 2002, killing at least 2,887 people. Of those, the Bureau has been able to determine where 2,353 came from. They include Moroccans, Kenyans and Syrians -- drawn from 34 countries in all. The accidental killing of American Warren Weinstein and Italian Giorgio Lo Porto by the CIA in January now means at least 38 Westerners have been killed by covert US drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

The Toll To Date: 38 Westerners Killed by US Drone Strikes
(Chris Woods and Jack Serle / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

In an unprecedented announcement today President Barack Obama admitted that two al Qaeda hostages, an American and an Italian, were killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan in January. He also said two other US citizens were killed in a subsequent strike later in the same month. These were not the only Westerners killed by the US in its covert drone war in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.

Obama's Unaccountable Drone War
(Philip Giraldi / The American Conservative)

Following the recent killing of two foreign captives (one a US citizen) in an errant drone strike in Pakistan, a former CIA officer concludes: "There is considerable evidence that the White House has sought to conceal the scale of ongoing military action worldwide and the fact that it has avoided transparency about the drone program suggests that it has much to answer for."

American 'Support' for Drones Based on Manipulated Polling Techniques
(Dan Froomkin and Jon Schwarz / The Intercept; Unofficial Sources)

The headline on the Associated Press story is unambiguous: "AP Poll: Americans approve of drone strikes on terrorists." And that's true! According to the AP's poll, 60 percent of Americans support the use of drones to "target and kill people belonging to terrorist groups like al-Qaida." The problem is the US drone program does much more than kill members of al-Qaida: it also kills a significant number of civilians. The poll-takers managed to eliminate this information from the polling process.

A New Charge that US Killed Civilians in Syria; Aleppo Hospital Closed by Bombings
(Mousab Alhamadee / McClatchy & Al Jazeera America / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

A new report from The Syrian Network for Human Rights accused the United States of killing dozens of civilians in airstrikes last week in northern Syria. The report said that at least 64 people, including 31 children, were killed when US aircraft fired at least nine missiles over 30 minutes at the village of Bir Mahalli. Meanwhile, Aleppo's main medical centre -- which served about 400,000 people in the war-ravaged Syrian city -- was forced to close after being bombed twice last week.

Israeli Soldiers Testify to Horrific Brutality and War Criminality in Gaza
(Peter Beaumont / The Guardian & Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

Testimonies provided by more than 60 Israeli soldiers who fought in the 2014 war in Gaza have raised serious questions over whether Israel's tactics breached its obligations under international law to distinguish and protect civilians. The claims -- collected by the human rights group Breaking the Silence -- are contained in dozens of interviews with Israeli combatants, as well as with soldiers who served in command centres and attack rooms, a quarter of them officers up to the rank of major.

How 43 Students Disappeared In The Night: A Two-part Investigation
(Ryan Devereaux / The Intercept)

At a dimly lit intersection in Iguala, police with automatic weapons surrounded three buses loaded with college students. The police opened fire. Screaming that they were unarmed, the students fled down darkened alleys, pounding on doors, desperate for shelter. Gunmen put the city on lockdown, stalking the streets in a drizzling rain. By the time the gunfire finally stopped, two dozen people were wounded and six were dead at three locations, the youngest only 15 years old.

The Horror of Syria's Barrel Bombs
(Al Jazeera America)

yrian government forces are targeting civilians in barrel bomb attacks in Aleppo that have forced hospitals and schools to move underground, rights group Amnesty International says in a new report that describes the bombings as "crimes against humanity." The report, "Death everywhere: War crimes and human rights abuses in Aleppo" details war crimes and other abuses being committed in the city by government forces and armed opposition groups on a daily basis.

AP's Bogus 'Pro-Drone' Poll vs the Reality of US 'Kill Videos'
(Dan Froomkin and Jon Schwarz / The Intercept)

The US drone program does much more than kill members of al-Qaida: it also kills a significant number of civilians, and drone operators often don't even know exactly whom they're targeting. Independent groups have estimated that at least hundreds, and possibly thousands, of noncombatants have been killed in the operations, a count the US government disputes.

Israel's Order to Troops: Kill Civilians on Sight
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Joel Greenberg / McClatchy )

Israel's repeated denials that it deliberate targeted civilians during its wars in the Gaza Strip, have been exposed as lies by the testimony of more than 60 Israeli soldiers who confirmed that not only did they deliberately target civilians during the most recent invasion, but that they were explicitly ordered to do so. The orders were clear: "Whoever you see there, you kill." Responding to the charges Israeli Army commander , Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz declared: "It's going to be worse next time."

Texas Governor to Deploy State Troops to Face Off Against Pentagon's Massive 7-State Military Exercise
(Wade Goodwyn / National Public Radio)

Allegedly fearing that President Obama is planning to use Special Forces to put Texas under martial law, Greg Abbott, the state's new Republican governor, has announced plans to deploy the Texas State Guard to face off against Navy SEALs, Marines and Green Berets. The battleground? Jade Helm 2015, a controversial domestic military exercise designed to pour US troops and equipment into seven "friendly" and "hostile" states -- from Texas to California -- during operations set to start in July of this year.

US Caught Providing Illegal Cluster Bombs Saudis Use to Kill Civilians in Yemen
(Ahmed Al-Kolebi / Dar Al-Salam Organization & Human Rights Watch)

Credible evidence indicates that the Saudi-led coalition used banned cluster munitions supplied by the United States in airstrikes against Houthi forces in Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today. Cluster munitions pose long-term dangers to civilians and are prohibited by a 2008 treaty adopted by 116 countries, though not Saudi Arabia, Yemen, or the United States.

US Airstrike in Syria Kills 53 Civilians, 6 Children
(Juan Cole / Informed Comment & TeleSur TV)

A US air strike on Friday inadvertently hit a village of non-combatants, killing members of six families and raising new questions about Washington’s approach to fighting Daesh (ISIS or ISIL) in Syria. US air strikes in Syria are estimated to have killed 2000 Daesh fighters, out of an estimated 25,000 in Syria and Iraq. However, thousands more volunteers are said to have join up after hearing that the US was targeting Daesh. Despite months of bombing raids, Daesh has lost no territory in Syria.

Double Standards and Drones
(Marjorie Cohn / Consortiium News)

American politicians and pundits genuflect to the theory of exceptionalism, which holds that the US can do pretty much whatever it wants, but this lawlessness -- best exemplified by drones raining down death on "terrorists" and civilians alike -- makes more enemies than it kills, writes Marjorie Cohn.

A First-Person Account of the Earthquake in Nepal Daniel Sendecki & Sacha Mlynek / G Adventures
(Daniel Sendecki & Sacha Mlynek / G Adventures)

On April 25, 2015 at 11:56am local time, Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake -- the most powerful disaster to strike the region in over 80 years. G Adventures CEO Tashi Sherpa recounts his harrowing experience following the disaster that struck his home in Nepal.

Saudi War Crimes Claim More Civilian Lives in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mohammed Ghobari / Reuters & The New York Times)

Saudi warplanes attacked a residential district in the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa today, killing at least 20 civilians and wounding more than 50 others. This is the latest in a long line of Saudi airstrikes against residential areas and refugee camps, a policy which has killed hundreds of civilians. The UN estimates that at least 300,000 people have been displace. Saudi bombs have destroyed Yemen's airports, preventing the delivery of fuel, medicines and food to a population reeling from the attacks.

Drone Operators, Not American Snipers, Rack Up the Biggest Body Count
(Shane Smith / AntiWar.com)

For all the macho posturing of the late Chris Kyle, gunned down at a shooting range by a PTSD-afflicted veteran, his prolific killing has nothing on the death and destruction rained from above by those who carry out US drone strikes in the Middle East. For all intents and purposes, former drone operator Brandon Bryant has Kyle beat by a long shot. According to Bryant, over 1,600 deaths were dealt by him through the technological terror that patrolled the skies of the Middle East.

The Case against Predator Drones
(Bruce Fein / The Washington Times / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)

Commentary: Something is rotten in President Barack Obama's classified, programmatic use of predator drones to target suspected international terrorists for death anywhere on the planet. The program is secret, lawless, and unaccountable to Congress, the Supreme Court, and the American people. And the targeting intelligence is suspect.

Saudis Bomb Airport to Deny Yemen Food, Fuel and Medicine
(AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)

Calamitous shortages of basic goods have fueled a crisis across much of Yemen, particularly the capital city of Sanaa, where Saudi airstrikes are already putting pressure on hospitals. The Saudis have also harshly limited aid shipments into Sanaa. Today, they assured that there will be no future air shipments to Sanaa, destroying the runway at the Sanaa International Airport in a bombing run.

Miyazaki's Beautiful Antiwar Dreams: War and Peace in the Films of Studio Ghibli
(Dan Sanchez / AntiWar.com & Medium.com )

Japanese animator Miyazaki's masterful art renders heart-rendering images of beautiful worlds and innocent lives torn apart by the winds of war. Some of the most powerful anti-war statements ever committed to film can be seen in the animated works of Studio Ghibli -- Grave of the Fireflies, Castle in the Sky, Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and The Wind Rises.

Drone Deaths Suddenly a Scandal -- Now That Westerners Are the Victims
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

Commentary: Glenn Greenwald writes -- "In all the years I've been writing about Obama's drone killings, yesterday featured by far the most widespread critical discussion in US establishment journalism circles. . . . The reason for the unusually intense, largely critical coverage of drone killings yesterday is obvious: the victims of this strike were Western and non-Muslim, and therefore were seen as actually human."

Deaths of Hostages Reveal Criminal Nature of US Drone Policy
(Trevor Timm / The Guardian & Robert Beckhusen & Matthew Gualt / Medium.com)

President Obama's admission on Thursday that the CIA killed two innocent hostages in a US drone strike in Pakistan should definitively prove to the American public what the White House has been trying to hide from them for a while: the US government's secretive use of drone strikes is a transparency nightmare and human rights catastrophe. It requires a full-scale, independent investigation.

Obama Praises 'Outstanding' Intelligence After Killing Hostages
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

One day after admitting that US drones had killed two Western hostages in Pakistan because of an intelligence failure, President Obama cheered US intelligence as the most capable in the world. "You do an outstanding job," Obama said, bragging the US intelligence community had "showed that Syria had chemical weapons," something they freely admitted, and had "revealed Russian aggression in Ukraine," something the US continues to insist without providing any evidence.

Obama Admits He Killed Hostage Who Begged for Washington's Help
(Spencer Ackerman, Sabrina Siddiqui, Paul Lewis and Alan Yuhas / The Guardian)

The broad targeting of 'al-Qaida compounds' suggests that a 2013 policy change ordered by the President -- one requiring 'near certainty' that suspect is present -- has not been implemented. This explains why, for every "terrorist" that the US has ordered killed, the US has killed 28 "non-target" civilians. The wife of Warren Weinstein, the 73-year-old American hostage killed in a January drone strike on Pakistan, now blames the Obama administration and al-Qaida for her husband's death.

Obama Accused of 'Double Standard' in US Drone Assassination Program
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Spencer Kimball / Deutsche Welle)

President Obama accepted blame for the deaths of two hostages killed in a Pakistan raid but the families of innocent civilians killed in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen have not received the same consideration. The families of the two slain aid workers are already criticizing Washington for its "inconsistent" response to the hostage-taking and are likely to see the pledge of money as an attempt to buy their silence. Also killed: Adam Gadahn, a California resident who became a spokesperson for Al Qaeda.

I.F. Stone on Earth Day: Connecting the Dots
(Naomi Klein / This Changes Everything & Prince Ea / Stand for Trees)

Until we have a leadership willing to make the enormous changes -- psychological, military, and bureaucratic -- to end the existing world system of hatred, anarchy, murder, war and pollution, there is no use talking about . . . spending a couple of hundred million dollars on the Missouri River. If we do not challenge these fundamental causes of peril, we will be conned by the establishment while basic decisions are made over which we have very little control, though they endanger everything on which our future and the world's depend.

The Saudis Resume Their Useless, Destructive, Alienating Air War in Yemen
(Patrick Cockburn / The Independent & Unz.com)

Air strikes were still taking place in Aden, Taiz and other Yemeni cities hours after they were supposed to have ceased. The course of the air war has been very similar to successive Israeli bombardments of Lebanon and Gaza over the past 20 years. First, there are bloodcurdling claims how the enemy will be defeated by airpower alone. Then, it becomes clear that air strikes are doing a lot of damage to civilians -- 944 Yemenis have been killed and 3,487 wounded so far.

Iran Calls for Ceasefire in Yemen as Saudi Air Raids Kill Hundreds of Civilians
(Al Jazeera America & Reuters & Ahmed Al-Kolaibi / Dar Al-Salam Organization)

On April 21, the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen called a halt to the airstrikes that had pounded Houthi rebels for more than three weeks. Saudi officials said the bombing had neutralized threats to the kingdom and destroyed Houthi heavy weapons but observers inside Yemen reported the air strikes were responsible for demolishing homes and killing hundreds of civilians. The air war, itself, was faulted for failing to deter Houthi advances while fueling anger against the Saudi-backed forces.

NATO and the Looming Threat of Nuclear War
(Noam Chomsky / RT News & Michel Chossudovsky / Global Research)

How dangerous is the current confrontation between Russia and the West? Noam Chomsky fears NATO expansion and US quest for hegemony has created an unstable global situation where a single misstep could result in a nuclear war. Prof. Chossudovsksy warns: While a WW III scenario implying the preemptive use of nuclear weapons has been on the Pentagon drawing board for more than ten years, military planners are now involved in more concrete attack plans directed against Russia.

The Oklahoma City Bombing: Remembering the Victims but Not the Cause
(Gar Smith / The Berkeley Daily Planet)

On the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, hourly radio newscasts were filled with remembrances of the violent explosion and the solemn recitation of the names of the 168 murdered victims. But one name was rarely, if ever, spoken -- the name of the perpetrator, Timothy McVeigh. It was like overhearing someone obsessing over the sinking of the Titanic without once mentioning the iceberg.

The Shroud of Secrecy around US Drone Strikes abroad Must Be Lifted
(Trevor Timm / The Guardian & Spencer Ackerman / The Guardian)

The Texas-born Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh narrowly escaped a drone strike and is now standing before a US court. It's been over two years since President Obama promised new accountability rules when it comes to drone strikes, yet it's become increasingly clear virtually no progress has been made. The criteria for who gets added to the official 'kill list' is still shrouded in secrecy -- even when the US government is targeting its own citizens.

The US Soldier behind the Oklahoma City Bombing Has Sympathizers in Today's GOP
(The Associated Press & The Miami Herald)

On the 20th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, most of the US media attention was directed at the shocking damage and the human toll. Little mention was made of the man behind the bombing -- a former Army sergeant and decorated Gulf War veteran radicalized by his anger over the government's mass-murder of 74 men, women and children at Waco, Texas. Even less attention was paid to the similarity between McVeigh's anti-government sentiments and the rhetoric of today's GOP.

The Unspeakable Secret: The Pentagon's Global Violence Fuels Terrorism
(Jon Carroll / The San Francisco Chronicle)

Commentary: I know we kill people. We've always killed people. It's a nation-state kind of thing to do. We have enemies, and they have us. Some enemies attack; other enemies menace. But the amount of killing we do (to say nothing of the maiming and the injuring) seems excessive. All that violence is counterproductive, because people tend not to like it when you kill them. Their relatives develop grudges; some start rebel movements.

If We Can't Hold Police Accountable, What Will Happen With RoboCops?
(Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ Truthout & Jonathan Strickland / How Stuff Works.com)

Police departments across the country, already involved in a hyper-militarized frenzy, may soon have another disquieting option at their fingertips -- RoboCops. According to The Free Thought Project, "By 2016, there will likely be a 6-foot tall police robot patrolling the streets and handing out parking tickets." The Telebot has been field-tested and is undergoing final tune up. The Telebot has a "menacing look" and was designed to "intimidate and display a sense of authority."

Egypt Sentences American to Life for Protesting, US Sends More Arms to Egypt
(Paul Gottinger / Reader Supported News)

Less than two weeks after the Obama administration normalized relations with the Egyptian government by releasing over $1 billion in US taxpayer-funded military aid and weapons, an Egyptian court sentenced an American citizen to life imprisonment. What was his crime? He was peacefully protesting to protect the values of democracy and political freedom that he learned in America.

Organic Farms in the West Bank: Hemmed in by Smokestacks, Separation Wall
(Creede Newton / Al Jazeera America)

The Taneeb farm, an organic farming enterprise in the West Bank, is surrounded by the conflict. On one side, there is the Israeli separation barrier that cordons off the West Bank. On the other three sides are 11 Israeli factories. Local farmers say that the presence of the Geshuri factory, which produces pesticides and fertilizers, has led to higher rates of cancer and other diseases.

Anti-Trident Anti-Nuke Protests Rock Scotland

The Bairns Not Bombs demonstration from Scrap Trident Coalition aims to see the closure of the base, home to the UK's nuclear weapons system. A Scrap Trident spokesperson said: "As an indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction the UK's Trident breaches international humanitarian law. This means that peacefully and non-violently blocking the entrances to the base is entirely legitimate and lawful."

ACTION ALERT: Say No to Nukes: April 26, Global Wave 2015
(Peace and Planet & Jacqueline Cabasso, Joseph Gerson and Kevin Martin / Truthout )

On April 26/27, people around the world will wave goodbye to nuclear weapons. Will you be among them? Join this international action to raise public awareness and urge governments to agree to a diplomatic process to prohibit and eliminate nuclear weapons. Anyone can wave goodbye to nuclear weapons.

The Desecration of Nimrud
(BBC & the Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Islamic State has posted a video online that shows its militants destroying the ancient city of Nimrud in Iraq. The images appear to confirm reports in March that the jihadists had vandalised Nimrud, one of Iraq's greatest archaeological treasures.

Inside Yarmouk: ISIL Takeover of Palestinian Camp in Syria a 'Siege Within a Siege'
(Michael Pizzi / Al Jazeera America)

For almost two years, rebel-held Yarmouk Camp in Damascus has been suffocating under a regime stranglehold. Water has been cut off entirely, while medical and food supplies are scarce. Once known as the capital of the Palestinian diaspora, Yarmouk's pre-war population of 180,000 has shrunk to just 18,000. But the situation worsened on April 1, when ISIL fighters surged in. For the last remaining residents, the takeover by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has meant a "siege within a siege."

Manhunters Inc. -- Hunting Humans by Remote Control
(Gregoire Chamayou / TomDispatch)

Contrary to Carl von Clausewitz's classical definition, the fundamental structure of modern warfare is no longer that of a duel, with two fighters facing each other. Today, the paradigm is quite different: that of a hunter advancing on a prey that flees or hides from the pursuer. The rules of the game are not the same.

Pakistani Journalist Sues CIA For Drone Strike that Killed Relatives
(The Guardian )

Pakistan's Islamabad high court has ordered that murder charges be brought against Jonathan Banks and former CIA lawyer John A Rizzo for 2009 strike that killed at least three. Banks's name was first dragged into the public domain in 2010 when a tribesman called Karim Khan began legal action against the undercover spy chief over an attack by an unmanned aircraft on his home which he said killed his brother and son. The unmasking of a sitting station chief forced Banks to quit his post and leave the country.

US Arms Saudis; Saudis Bomb Yemen; Students Killed
(James Rosen / McClatchy & Reuters)

The United States appears to be slowly but steadily deepening its involvement in the war in Yemen. Military officials have revealed that the US has stepped up weapons shipments to the Saudi-led Sunni Muslim coalition of Arab countries that has been bombing Shiite Muslim Houthi rebels in Yemen for almost two weeks. Five bombs dropped on the Republican Guard base near the city of Ibb, apparently struck a nearby school, killing several students.

US-backed Airstrikes on Yemen Kill Civilians -- and Hopes for Peace
(Baraa Shiban / The Guardian & Kareem Shaheen / The Guardian)

Commentary: "You can't bomb a country into existence, however much America seems determined to try. America saw my country primarily through a counterterrorism lens, which was a mistake. Instead of fixing the problems, drone strikes only made them worse. Investigating US drone strikes on my country, I have seen the aftermath of aerial bombardment time and time again. The weeping father; the young girl unable to walk from shrapnel wounds; the mother, mute from shock. "

In Tikrit US-backed Troops Murder, Loot and Lynch

On April 1, Tikrit was liberated from the extremist group Islamic State. The Shi'ite-led central government and allied "liberators" took revenge. Two federal policemen flanked a suspected Islamic State fighter, took out knives and repeatedly stabbed the man in the neck and slit his throat. Hundreds of homes were torched in the city as government soldiers looted stores. Sunni lawmakers who visited Tikrit complained that events have spun out of control since the security forces and militias retook the city.

California TV Commercial Asks Drone Pilots to 'Stop Killing'
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & The Monthly Drone Report)

This may be a first: a television ad campaign in a US state capitol appealing to someone to stop murdering human beings who have, in most cases, already been born. A new 15-second television ad, a variation on one that's aired in Las Vegas near Creech Air Force Base, is debuting this week in Sacramento, Calif. Take a look.

US Police and Prisons Rank Among the World's Top Killers of Citizens
(Carimah Townes / ThinkProgress & Cassandra Fairbanks / The Free Thought Project & Amnesty International)

In March alone, 111 people died during police encounters -- 36 more than the previous month. The deaths follow a national pattern: suspects were mostly people of color, mentally ill, or both. In 2014, the US ranked fourth in countries that use the death penalty to tackle real or perceived threats to state security, crime or internal instability. Globally, the number of death sentences recorded in 2014 jumped almost 500 compared to 2013, mainly because of sharp spikes in Egypt and Nigeria.

Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence
(The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr)

Commentary: "I am convinced that if we are to get on the right side of the world revolution, we as a nation must undergo a radical revolution of values. We must rapidly begin the shift from a thing-oriented society to a person-oriented society. When machines and computers, profit motives and property rights, are considered more important than people, the giant triplets of racism, extreme materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered. "

Civilians Die as US Backs Another Illegal War in the Middle East
(Associated Press & Ajamu Baraka / AntiWar.com & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

"We haven't slept -- one child screams and a second cries," said Mustafa al-Ahmadi, a father of eight who said the family seeks shelter in their basement when close explosions rock the house. "Once it's quiet, we return to our room but the minute we step in, a second explosion rocks the house so we return to the basement. This is how we spend the night, running back and forth."

Pentagon Coverup Exposed: US Nerve Gas Hit Our Own Troops in Iraq
( Barbara Koeppel / Newsweek)

During and immediately after the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 US troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Department of Defense and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today.

Destroying a City to 'Save' It: Inside Kobani, Scenes of Devastation on Every Side
(Nick Paton Walsh / CNN)

When violence swallows a city as wholly as it has Kobani, as in so many of Syria's mottled cities, the fight becomes about who wins, rather than what is left for the victor. Its streets have been so ground down to the bone, that the prize -- so small but so intensely fought over -- is now unrecognizable. Every time you open your eyes in Kobani, you see the damage.

Army Apologizes to Troops Exposed to US-Designed Chemical Weapons in Iraq
(Andrew Emett / Nation of Change)

After it was reported that more than 600 service members suffered from chemical exposure in Iraq, the undersecretary of the Army issued an apology this week. The scandal goes deeper with its lack of proper medical treatment for these service members.

Pentagon Coverup: Soldiers Dying from Exposure to Chemicals in Iraq
(Barbara Koeppel / The Washington Spectator and Newsweek )

During the first Gulf War, more than 200,000 of 700,000 US troops sent to Iraq and Kuwait in January 1991 were exposed to nerve gas and other chemical agents. Though aware of this, the Pentagon and CIA launched a campaign of lies and concocted a cover-up that continues today. A quarter of a century later, the exposed troops are dying of brain cancer at two to three times the rate of those who were farther away. Others have lung cancer or debilitating chronic diseases.

Body Count Report Reveals At Least 1.3 Million Lives Lost to US-Led War on Terror
(Sarah Lazare / Common Dreams)

On the 12th anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, groups of physicians attempted to arrive at a partial answer to this question by counting the dead. Although it is a conservative estimate, the physicians' groups conclude the figure 'is approximately 10 times greater' than what has typically been reported.

Agent Orange Funding Opens Door To US Militarism And Covert Action In Vietnam
(Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers / Countercurrents.org )

The use of Agent Orange constitutes a war crime with devastating effects on the people in Vietnam not only during the war but even today. Is the United States finally accepting responsibility for the devastating ongoing effects of Agent Orange in Vietnam, or is this funding just a way to get USAID in the door to meddle in the country's affairs as part of Obama's "Asian Pivot" strategy?

US 'Drug War' Spraying Causes Cancer in Colombia While US Tobacco Kills Millions Worldwide
(Robert Barsocchini / Washington's Blog)

A drug-eradication fumigation program, which is financed by the US and partly carried out by American contractors has sprayed 4 million acres of land in the past two decades to kill coca plants. The herbicide has been found to cause cancer. Colombia's left likens the program to the US military's use of the Agent Orange herbicide during the Vietnam War. Meanwhile, the US continues to promote an much deadlier drug -- tobacco -- around the world. Perhaps Colombia should spray tobacco crops in the US.

US vs ISIS: 2,320 US Airstrikes, $2 Billion, And Not Much to Show for It
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & David Alexander / Reuters)

The Pentagon has issued a statement regarding it's ongoing air war against ISIS today. The statement attempts to focus on big "successes" in the attack, including 73 tanks destroyed, many of them US-made M1A1 tanks, and 282 Humvees, all of them US-made. Conspicuously absent in the war, however, is any meaningful territory gained in either Syria or Iraq, despite thousands of airstrikes. The Pentagon has only managed to blow stuff up -- including most of the city of Kobani.

The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War
(George Black / The Nation )

In defense of Khe Sanh, the Air Force dropped 100,000 tons of bombs on the mountains, stripped the forests bare with Agent Orange and incinerated them with napalm. Since the war, Vietnam has replanted this barren and eroded land, part of a national effort to rehabilitate regions devastated by herbicides. Chuck Searcy first came to Khe Sanh in 1992, twenty-four years after Tet. Probably no other US veteran has ever immersed himself so completely in the realities of Vietnam.

Hidden Sacrifice: 73,000 US Gulf War Deaths Exceeds Vietnam War Numbers

More Gulf War Veterans have died than Vietnam Veterans. This probably is news to you. But the truth has been hidden by a Pentagon technicality. During the Iraq War, the Bush administration did something dishonest that resulted in a lie that's persisted since the war began -- and continues to this very day. They decided to report the war deaths in Iraq only if the soldier died with his boots on the ground in a combat situation.

ACLU Sues for Records of US Drone Killings
(Ken Dilanian / Associate Press & World Can't Wait)

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the federal government, seeking to force a response to its request for documents about drone missile strikes against terror suspects. The complaint, filed in New York's southern district, says the Justice and Defense Departments and the CIA have failed to respond to the ACLU's year-old request for records relating to drone strikes under the Freedom of Information Act.

UN Torture Expert Refused Access to Guantanamo Bay and US Federal Prisons
(The Guardian & Agence France Presse )

Juan Mendez says he has been waiting more than two years for access to a range of state and federal prisons and asks: "Is the United States hiding something?"

After Four Years of Death and Devastation, Syria's Civil War Sees No End in Sight
(Hrair Balian / The Carter Center and Al Jazeera America)

As the fourth anniversary of the conflict in Syria approaches, there appears no end in sight. Horrendous violations of international law continue unabated. Syrians have allowed themselves to be used as proxies by self-interested foreign countries. The war has taken sectarian and criminal dimensions, drowning the reform agenda that spurred the popular anti-government protests in 2011.

Atrocities Committed by US-Trained Iraqi Forces -- Again
(Peter Maass / The Intercept)

Commentary: Investigative reporter James Gordon Meek broke an important story this week: He revealed that US-backed forces in Iraq are committing the same type of horrific war crimes -- wanton killings of prisoners, beheadings, torture -- as the Islamic State fighters on the other side of the front line. We shouldn't support forces that we fully know are committing war crimes.

US-Trained Iraqi Forces Face War Crimes Investigation for Beheading, Murdering Civilians, Children
(Mark Hanrahan / International Busness Times & James Gordon Meek, Brian Ross, Rym Momtaz and Alex Hosenball / ABC News)

Iraqi forces trained and equipped by the US are under investigation for committing war crimes similar to those perpetrated by ISIS forces. US law forbids the Pentagon from providing assistance to any foreign military units if there is credible evidence that they are involved in human rights abuses.

US, Allied Airstrikes 'Killed More than 100' Civilians and 22 'Friendly' Iraqi Soldiers
(Roy Gutman / McClatchy Foreign Staff & Reuters )

A leading Syrian opposition human rights group on Wednesday charged that the US-led coalition has been responsible for the deaths of more than 100 civilians since it began bombing Islamic State targets in September and demanded that the US Central Command carry out "a serious investigation" and stop issuing denials. Meanwhile, 22 soldiers from an Iraqi army unit in the western province of Anbar have been killed in an apparent 'friendly fire' incident.

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Scores of Civilians
(TeleSur TV & RT America & Press TV)

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that at least 30 people were killed on March 9, 2015 during a US-led airstrikes on an Islamic State group-controlled oil refinery in northern Syria. According to reports, several Islamic State group militants were killed in the attack, but the remainder were civilians and workers. According to the news outlet McClatchy, the US conducted an airstrike on December 28, 2014, which resulted in the death of at least 50 civilians.

How the US Paid for Death and Damage in Afghanistan
(Cora Currier / The Intercept)

An armored vehicle ran over a six-year-old boy's legs: $11,000. A jingle truck was "blown up by mistake": $15,000. A controlled detonation broke eight windows in a mosque: $106. A boy drowned in an anti-tank ditch: $1,916. A 10-ton truck ran over a cucumber crop: $180. A helicopter "shot bullets hitting and killing seven cows": $2,253. Destruction of 200 grape vines, 30 mulberry trees and one well: $1,317. A wheelbarrow full of broken mirrors: $4,057.

The Climate Crisis Alarms Are Ringing
(Naomi Klein / The Guardian)

The second in a major series of articles on the climate crisis and how humanity can solve it. In this extract taken from the Introduction to This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein, the author calls the climate crisis a civilisational wake-up call to alter our economy, our lifestyles, now -- before they get changed for us.

Oversight Needed for CIA Drone Killings and Arming of Syrian Rebels
(Ken Dilanian / Associated Press)

The Senate report on the CIA's brutal interrogations shows how a rigorous examination of a secret agency can expose misconduct, incompetence and bureaucratic spin, even for doubters of the investigation's claim that torture did not work. The review also highlights how rarely such public appraisals of intelligence programs occur. And it raises the question of how well other CIA initiatives are managed, from targeted killing with drones to the secret effort to train and arm Syrian rebels.

Addressing Climate Change Requires a Planetary Marshall Plan
(Naomi Klein / The Guardian)

The only historical precedent for a crisis of this depth and scale was the Cold War fear that we were heading toward nuclear holocaust, which would have made much of the planet uninhabitable. The vast majority of nuclear scientists never told us that we were almost certainly going to put our civilisation in peril if we kept going about our daily lives as usual -- which is what the climate scientists have been telling us for years.

Another US War Crime: The Civilian Carnage From 'Operation Noble Justice'
(Andrew Cockburn / CounterPunch)

The 27-foot-long Predator drone was circling at 14,000 feet. Below its belly, an infrared video picked up the warmth thrown off by the vehicles and passengers 2.5 miles below. Almost in an instant the images flashed across the world to twin screens inside a metal box roughly the size of a shipping container at Creech Air Force Base in Nevada. In another instant, 23 innocent people (including two children) where blown to pieces; eight other men, women and children were severely wounded.

Anti-drone Protesters Arrested at Creech Air Force Base
(Keith Rogers / Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Overseas operations involving unmanned Predator and Reaper drones are controlled remotely via satellite links by pilots and sensor operators who sit at computer consoles at Creech Air Force Base, 45 miles northwest of Las Vegas. On March 6, police arrested Father Louis Vitale and 33 others (including two juveniles) for trespassing and blocking a road at the base, where nearly 150 peace activists had gathered to protest US drone operations in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

The A-10 Warthog & Nuclear Warfare: Raising Depleted Uranium's Threshold of Acceptability
(Doug Weir / Ban Depleted Uranium.org)

The apparent U-turn by the Pentagon over DU use by aircraft in Operation Inherent Resolve has been cautiously welcomed by campaigners, but is it a sign of a wider policy shift? Is the threshold of acceptability for the use of DU in operations rising in response to international pressure over the controversial munitions and what part has the A-10 played in this?

The World Need a Legally-Binding Treaty to Prohibit Nuclear Weapons
(Ray Acheson / Inter Press Service & Josh Butler / Inter Press Service)

Five years after the adoption of the NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Action Plan in 2010, compliance with commitments related to nuclear disarmament lags far behind those related to non-proliferation or the peaceful uses of nuclear energy. Meanwhile, a lawsuit by the Marshall Islands accusing the United States of failing to begin negotiations for nuclear disarmament has been thrown out of an American court.

Global Warming and Global War
(Lindsay Abrams / Salon.com)

Climate change caused by human activity contributed to four years of record drought in Syria, and that drought helped spark Syria's civil war. From 2006-2010, an unprecedented drought spread over much of Turkey, Syria and Iraq. Syria was especially vulnerable to its effects. A new study now connects the dots between drought, climate change and violent conflict.

55 Years Later, Algerians Still Suffer from French Atomic Blasts
(Johnny Magdaleno / Al Jazeera America)

In the early Sixties, France exploded 17 nuclear bombs in the Algeria, turning Saharan deserts sands into glass, leaving contaminated wastes scattered across the land, and exposing nearby populations to blast effects and lingering radiation. As many as 60,000 may have been sickened by the blasts but, to date, only 17 people have received compensation for a range of disabling and deadly diseases, including cancers, blindness and birth defects.

Banksy Goes Undercover in Gaza, Releases Mini-Documentary
(Jenni Ryall / Mashable)

The unidentified street artist Banksy has re-emerged in Gaza to create a political mini-documentary about life inside the war-torn region. Among the destroyed buildings and bleak reality, Banksy is shown painting a piece titled "Bomb Damage" that depicts the Greek goddess Niobe cowering and weeping in the only part that remains of a building.

American Blogger Hacked to Death 'In Retaliation for US Strikes on ISIS'
(Al Jazeera America & The Daily Mail)

Dr. Avijit Roy was attacked and kiled by cleaver-wielding extremists in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Militants, Ansar Bangla 7, claimed responsibility, saying Dr Roy's writings were a 'crime against Islam'. The militant group said that Roy's US citizenship made the killing a '2 in 1' -- doubling as revenge for airstrikes in Syria. Roy was well-known for his writings against religious extremism, both online and in published books. US condemned 'horrific' murder on Friday -- but said it could not give a motive.

Addressing Climate Change Is a 'Moral Duty'
(Al Jazeera America & Sarah Posner / Al Jazeera America & David Gibson / The Washington Post)

A significant majority of Americans believe combating global warming is a moral issue that obligates them -- and world leaders -- to reduce carbon emissions, a new survey indicates. The Reuters/IPSOS poll of 2,827 Americans was conducted in February to measure the impact of moral language, including interventions by Pope Francis, on the climate change debate. The poll suggests that appeals based on ethics could be key to shifting the debate over climate change in the United States.

Rebuilding Gaza Could Take a Century if Israel Maintains Its Blockade
(Kieran Guilbert / Thomson Reuters Foundation & United Nations Relief and Works Association)

According to the international aid agency, Oxfam, the rebuilding of homes, schools and hospitals in Gaza could take more than a century to complete unless an Israeli blockade restricting imports of construction materials into the Gaza Strip is lifted. Gaza needs more than 800,000 truckloads of building materials to repair infrastructure damaged in the 2014 war with Israel, yet less than a quarter of one percent of the materials needed have entered Gaza in the last three months, Oxfam said.

Annual Report: World Response to ISIL 'Shameful'
(Amnesty International)

Human rights group says 2014 was "catastrophic": urges permanent UN Security Council states to give up veto powers. Amnesty International’s Annual Report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of human rights in 160 countries over the course of 2014. The inability of world leaders to deal with the changing face of conflict, including a growing threat from armed group attacks, has left millions of people unprotected and in grave danger,

One Million Ukraine Soldiers Flee To Russia After Thousands Die In Key Battle
(Sorcha Faal / What Does It Mean & RIA Novosti)

Russia's Federal Migration Service reports that, in a single week, more than 20,000 Ukrainian men of military age had fled over the border into Russia to avoid being drafted into the Ukrainian armed forces. The total number of Ukrainian military resisters seeking asylum inside Russia has reportedly topped 1,193,000. Ukraine's battle is posed to become the sixth war since 9/11 the US and its EU allies have mounted -- along with armed interventions in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Yemen.

Gaza in Ruins After Receiving Only 5% of Pledged Reconstruction Funds
(Ken Klippenstein / Reader Supported News )

Chris Gunness, spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East, discusses the consequences of the fact that only about 5% of pledged donations have reached war-devastated Gaza. "There are about 110,000 homes which are either completely uninhabitable or very badly damaged. Assuming each home has between six and eight people, that’s 600,000-800,000 people. . . the breadth of the humanitarian impact is immense."

European Court Rules Poland Was Complicit in CIA's Torture Programs
(Victoria Parsons / The Bureau of Investigative journalism)

The European Court of Human Rights today confirmed that the Polish government was complicit in the CIA's secretive programme of rendition, detention and interrogation. The Court in Strasbourg today rejected a challenge from the Polish government to a landmark ruling from last July, a decision which now makes that original judgement final.

Egypt 'Avenges' Murdered Christians, Kills 7 in Libya -- Including 3 Children
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Al Jazeera America)

Vowing to "punish" ISIL for beheading 21 Egyptian Christians, Cairo sent aircraft to bomb targets in Libya. Egypt's airstrikes resulted in the deaths of 7 Libyan civilians -- including three children. Vowing to "punish" Egypt for attacking and killing people inside Libya, ISIS in Libya has retaliated by capturing at least 35 additional Egyptians, who will be held as hostages and potentially subjected to a new round of public executions.

Majority of Palestinians Killed by Israeli Airstrikes Were Civilians
(The Associated Press & DSWright / FireDogLake)

At least 844 Palestinians were killed as a result of airstrikes on homes during Israel's summer war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip, according to an Associated Press investigation. The AP examined 247 Israeli airstrikes on homes, interviewing witnesses, visiting attack sites and compiling a detailed casualty count. The review found that 508 of the dead -- just over 60 percent -- were children, women and older men. The youngest to die was a 4-day-old girl, the oldest a 92-year-old man.

The US Media and the 13-Year-Old Yemeni Boy Burned to Death Last Month by a US Drone
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

On January 26, the New York Times claimed that "a CIA drone strike in Yemen . . . killed three suspected Qaeda fighters on Monday." One victim was Mohammed Toiman al-Jahmi, a teenager whose father and brother were previously killed in US drone strikes. The Times reported that boy "was a member of the terrorist group" but, few months before he was killed, the Yemeni teen told the London Guardian that "he lived in constant fear of the 'death machines' in the sky."

Yes, ISIS Burned a Man Alive: But White Americans Did the Same to Thousands of Black Americans
(Chancey de Vega / The Daily Kos & Bill Moyers / Bill Moyers.com )

When ISIS burned Muadh al Kasasbeh, a captured Jordian fighter pilot, to death, Washington denounced the act as savagery, barbarism, and wanton cruelty -- something from the "dark ages" and not of the modern world. But for almost a century, the US practiced a unique cultural ritual that involved the ceremonial torture, murder -- and yes, burning alive -- of black Americans by whites. And images of the spectacular lynchings and burnng of black bodies were shared via postcards and other media.

Burning Victims to Death: Still a Common US Practice
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike. The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration. Hellfire missiles fired from drones often incinerate the victims' bodies, and leave them in pieces and unidentifiable. US napalm strikes burned Vietnamese civilians alive during the 1960s; In Iraq, a "rain of fire fell on the city" of Fallujah when US forces unleashed a barrage of white phosphorus.

Court Rules US Military Ordered Murder of Two Americans in Chile
(Pascale Bonnefoy / The New York Times )

In November 2011, a Chilean judge indicted Ray E. Davis, a former US Navy officer, in the killings of two United States citizens shortly after a 1973 CIA-backed military coup. In January 2015, two former Chilean intelligence officials were sentenced in the murders of the two American citizens shortly after the 1973 coup led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet. The murders of Frank Teruggi and Charles Horman inspired the award-winning 1982 Costa-Gavras film "Missing." The US refused to extradite Davis.

Hundreds of Rabbis from Around the World Call on Israel to Halt Demolition of Palestinian Homes
(Lizzie Dearden / The Independent & Jon Stone / The Independent)

More than 400 rabbis from Israel, Britain and around the world have called on Benjamin Netanyahu to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes. Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) has submitted an open letter to the Israeli Prime Minister claiming his stance is not in line with "international law and Jewish tradition." It came after Mr. Netanyahu announced the destruction of more than 400 Palestinian homes in the Israel-controlled part of the West Bank known as Area C.

The Failed 'Yemen Model'
(Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com)

Commentary: "Last September, President Obama cited his drone program in Yemen as a successful model of US anti-terrorism strategy. He said that he would employ the Yemen model in his effort to 'degrade and ultimately destroy' ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Does anyone wonder why, after 14 years of drone strikes killing more than 800 al-Qaeda militants, it seems there are still so many of them? As a Slate Magazine article this week asked, "What if the drones themselves are part of the problem?" That is an excellent question and one that goes to the heart of US anti-terrorist strategy."

US Police Kill Teens and Tots and Get Away with Murder
(Shaun King / The Daily Kos & Kate Abbey-Lambertz / The Huffington Post )

American police will kill you. Run from them, they'll kill you. Act nervous when they scream at you and they'll kill you. Walk down the stairs and they'll kill you. Put your hands up and they'll kill you. Kristiana Coignard walked into a Texas police department, picked up a phone to speak to someone and was soon shot to death by three cops. Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed in 2010 during a botched police raid at her home. The Detroit officer who fatally shot a sleeping 7-year-old girl will not be retried.

Drone Strike Kills Four Alleged Al-Qaeda Fighters in Yemen
(Al Jazeera America & Justin Elliott / ProPublica)

A drone strike killed at least four alleged Al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen on Monday, the third such attack in a week after Washington vowed to continue it’s campaign against the armed group. An attack on Jan. 26 killed three people, including Mohammed Toayman, a sixth-grader said to be between the ages of 12 and 15, whose father and brother were killed in a 2011 drone strike. US officials insist that Toayman was an Al-Qaeda operative of "fighting age" -- a disputed standard for counting civilian casualties because it regards all military-age males as combatants.

US Drone Count in Yemen: 424 Killed, including 8 Children
(Jack Serle / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

A US drone strike that hit Yemen this week means at least 424 people, including eight children, have now been killed in such missions since the start of operations in 2002. Monday's attack south of Yemen's capital Sanaa was ordered by the CIA and killed three people, one of whom was reported to be a child aged between 12 and 15. This contrasts sharply with covert drone operations inside Pakistan where there have been no confirmed civilian deaths since 2012.

Did Obama's Drone War Help Cause Yemen's Collapse?
(Joshua Keating / Slate)

It's not unreasonable to ask whether US attacks in Yemen over the past six years -- and the civilian casualties they have caused -- have helped to hasten the Yemeni government's fall, contributing to the headache now confronting US counterterrorism efforts. In 2011, Obama ordered the extrajudicial killing of a US citizen and his son in Yemen. In 2013, 15 civilians were accidentally killed by US drones when their wedding procession was mistaken for an al-Qaida convoy.

How "Guantanamo Diary" Escaped the Black Hole and Got Past the Censors (Mostly)
(Cora Currier / Firstlook @ The Intercept)

In his remarkable new book, "Guantanamo Diary," detainee Mohamedou Ould Slahi tells of his odyssey through overseas prisons and his torture and abuse by the US and its counterterrorism allies. The book was not a complete victory for "freedom of speech," however. "Guantanamo Diary" is pockmarked with blacked-out sections -- redactions inserted by military censors.

My Post Cyberpunk Indentured Servitude
(Political Prisoner Barrett Brown / The Daily Beast)

Journalist Barrett Brown looks back in anger at the government's trumped up charges against him as he starts a 63-month prison sentence. In a message from prison, he writes: "I will not only serve additional prison time, but have also been ordered to pay .[$800,000] ... to an amoral private intelligence firm that's perhaps best known for having spied on Bhopal activists on behalf of Dow Chemical."

Guns in Schools: Gun Control Debate Heats Up in the States
(Naureen Khan / Al Jazeera America)

A December report by two gun control advocacy groups, Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, counted 99 school shootings since the Sandy Hook massacre, including shootings at college campuses. In 23 of those incidents there was at least one fatality. According to the Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., that compiles data on gun violence, there were 12,569 gun deaths in the United States in 2014.

Bill Would Allow Texas Teachers To Shoot Students in Self-defense or to Protect Property
(Catherine Thompson / Talking Points Memo & Lauren McGaughy / The Houston Chronicle & The Daily Kos)

Legislation filed last week in Texas would allow teachers to use deadly force in order to protect school property. The Teacher's Protection Act by Rep. Dan Flynn, R-Van, would allow educators to use force or deadly force if they feel they need to protect themselves against a student or anyone else on school grounds. Teachers would be able to use deadly force against students and would be safe from prosecution under the proposed legislation.

Toddler Maimed by SWAT Flash Grenade Sparks Georgia Bills on 'No-Knock' Warrants
(Liz Fields / Vice.com)

Bounkham "Bou Bou" Phonesavanh was sleeping the sound slumber of a 19-month-old in the early hours of May 28, when a Georgia SWAT team burst in unannounced through his relative's front door and tossed a flash bang grenade into his playpen that blasted off most of his nose, collapsed his left lung, and tore his face and body down to muscle and bone. Police staged a no-knock raid after an informant's tip that a meth dealer lived at the home, but the officers raided the wrong house.

A Survey of Global Human Rights -- and Wrongs -- for 2014
(Kenneth Roth / Human Rights Watch 2015 World Report)

The world has not seen this much tumult for a generation. The once-heralded Arab Spring has given way almost everywhere to conflict and repression. Islamist extremists commit mass atrocities and threaten civilians throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa. Cold War-type tensions have revived over Ukraine, with even a civilian jetliner shot out of the sky. Sometimes it can seem as if the world is unraveling.

Killing Ragheads for Jesus: The American Culture of War
(Chris Hedges / Information ClearingHouse)

Commentary: The movie and the book, "American Sniper," lionize the most despicable aspects of US society -- the gun culture, the blind adoration of the military, the belief that we have an innate right as a "Christian" nation to exterminate the "lesser breeds" of the earth, a grotesque hypermasculinity that banishes compassion and pity, a denial of inconvenient facts and historical truth, and a belittling of critical thinking and artistic expression.

The American Sniper You Didn't Hear About
(Carl Gibson / Reader Supported News)

One American sniper called Iraqi natives "savages," compared them to American welfare recipients, and bragged about looting their homes after killing them. Another American sniper became so disgusted by what he had done that he started the first-ever antiwar blog, and is actively encouraging his fellow soldiers to use their First Amendment rights to speak out against what he calls an "illegal occupation" in Iraq. Guess which one had a blockbuster movie made about him, and which one got ignored?

US Drone Strike Kills Three in Yemen, Raising Questions of Authorization
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Helene Cooper and Mona El-Naggar / The New York Times)

Reports last week of a halt to US drone strikes in Yemen, in as much as Yemen doesn't have a government anymore, didn't last long, with a drone strike today killing three people in the central Maariv Province. The US has long claimed permission from Yemeni presidents for the drone war, but since there isn't a president since the resignation of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, they can't even claim a secret understanding, as they have in Pakistan.

The Bhopal Clause: Obama's Nuclear Deal with India Gives US Companies Immunity in the Event of Accidents
(Andrea Germanos / CommonDreams)

India is one of the few nations that do not exempt nuclear suppliers from accident liability. The reason can be found in the central Indian city of Bhopal, where more than 10,000 people were killed or injured in a 1984 chemical leak from a Union Carbide Corp. pesticide plant. President Obama has changed all that. The new US/India trade agreement appears to shield US companies from liability from nuclear accidents, leaks, meltdowns and explosions.

"We Murdered Some Folks" -- in Guantanamo
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & Letter to the EPA)

"Murder at Camp Delta" is a new book by Joseph Hickman, a former guard at Guantanamo. It's neither fiction nor speculation. When President Obama says, "We tortured some folks," Hickman provides at least three cases -- in addition to many others we know about from secret sites around the world -- in which the statement needs to be modified to "We murdered some folks."

In Ukraine, It's Kiev's Forces -- Not Russia -- Attacking Civilians
(Stephen Lendman / Global Research & George Eliason / Global Research)

A little over a week ago, Petro Poroshenko ordered an assault on the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Faced with massive losses, Poroshenko has unsuccessfully tried to get both republic's listed as terrorist organizations by the EU and UN. Previous Kiev false-flag attacks suggest the shelling of Mariupol is its latest. Kiev has repeatedly sought to blame Donbass self-defense forces for Kiev's war crimes -- including gruesome atrocities, the use of cluster bombs, chemical and other illegal weapons.

Thousands Protest in Tokyo Against US Marine Base
(The Japan Times & RT News & Robert Avery / RA Films & The Asahi Shimbun)

Japanese demonstrators have staged rallies in the country's southernmost prefecture of Okinawa and in Tokyo to express their outrage over a controversial plan to relocate a US Marine Corps Air Station in Futenma. Protesters chanted anti-US slogans and carried placards reading, "No new base." They also demanded that American troops be moved completely off the island. The latest protest rally also comes amid the high number of sexual assaults by US military personnel in Japan.

ACTION ALERT: US (and UK, France and Israel) Refuse to Sign UN Resolution of Use of Radioactive Weapons
(Ben Griffin / Change.org & The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

Last few days of Change.org petition calling on UK and US to take responsibility over the cleanup of radioactive weapons damage in Iraq. Please sign and share. UK veteran Ben Griffiths and CADU will be handing this petition to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London tomorrow. This is your last chance to sign and share.

ACTION ALERT: Militarism in the Air We Breathe
(David Swanson / War Is a Crime & Letter to the EPA)

If there is a group of Americans to whom Iraqis struggling with the health effects of depleted uranium, cluster bombs, white phosphorous, and all the various poisons of war can relate, it might be the mostly black and largely poor residents of Gibsland, in northern Louisiana. The EPA recently announced plans to burn 15 million pounds of toxic M6 munitions on open 'burn trays' at nearby Camp Minden, a disposal process that is so fraught with health risks that it has been outlawed in other countries.

CIA Report Found Value of Brutal Interrogation Was Inflated
(Mark Mazzetti / The New York Times)

Years before the December release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing the CIA's use of torture and deceit in its detention program, an internal CIA review found the agency had repeatedly overstated the value of intelligence gained during the torture of prisoners. The 1,000-page internal report, came to be known as the Panetta Review (named after the CIA's director who ordered that it be done in 2009). The Panetta Review remains classified the CIA refuses to reveal its contents.

Casey vs. Kyle: A Mother's Reflectons on American Sniper
(Cindy Sheehan / Cindy Sheehan's Soapbox)

This is something that I don't want to revisit -- I never want to relive the worst experience of my life. However, with the 11th anniversary of my son's death in Iraq on 04/04/04 approaching and the new "blockbuster" infecting movie screens around the world, I really must get this off of my chest. . . I despair that a movie like American Sniper grossed over 105 million during the same weekend we were supposed to be honoring the birth of a man of peace, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Israel's Attacks, Killings Inside Syria Threaten to Ignite a Wider War
(21st Century Wire & Global Research & Fars News Agency)

The Syrian conflict continues to develop into a proxy war, pitting various foreign 'national interests' against one another, including Israel vs. Iran. On Sunday, January 18, Israel launched its sixth airstrike inside Syria in the last 18 months, in what the local media are describing as a 'targeted killing' that killed at least six members of Hezbollah and al Quds Iranian Guard who were fighting ISIS. This was not the first time Israel had intervened on the side of the ISIS fighters.

ICC to Probe Possible War Crimes in Palestine; Netanyahu Condemns ICC
(Al Jazeera & Herb Keinon / Jerusalem Post)

Prosecutors at the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) will open a preliminary inquiry into possible war crimes in the Palestinian territories, the first formal step that could lead to charges against officials there and in Israel, the court has said. In Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lashed out at the announcement, characterizing the ICC’s decision to begin a preliminary investigation as the "height of hypocrisy and the opposite of justice."

The Triple Whopper: The Environmental Impact of Global Meat Production
(Bryan Walsh / TIME Magazine)

It's time we focus on the #1 cause of human: disease, death expense and cause of global warming: meat-eating! Studies have confirmed that livestock production may have a bigger impact on pollution and planetary warming than anything else. A new study from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science shows how the effects vary from country to country -- and points the way toward a more sustainable future.

Police Charged With Murder in Killing of Homeless Man
(Joseph J. Kolb and Rick Rojas / The New York Times & Russell Contreras / Associated Press)

In court documents filed Monday, prosecutors said the two Albuquerque police officers acted with "deliberate intention" in the killing of a homeless man, James Boyd, 38, who was camping in the foothills of the Sandia Mountains. A video of the March 16 shooting taken by a police helmet camera and widely posted online prompted a series of protests against what appears to be an unjustified murder on the part of the police.

If Terrorists Can Target a Humor Magazine, Imagine the Damage They Could Do if They Targeted a Nuclear Reactor
(Harvey Wasserman / EcoWatch)

We have seen four American-designed reactors explode and three melt at a single Japanese site. We have seen an entire continent -- and more -- irradiated by Chernobyl. The accused 9/11 attackers contemplated hitting the reactors at Indian Point, 35 miles up the Hudson from Manhattan. Neither US military nor local police forces could have stopped such an attack. Every serious student of terrorism knows that such an attack is merely a matter of time.

Pro-Gun Group's Replay of the
(Emily Greenhouse / Bloomberg & CBS Local News)

After the attack on Charlie Hebdo last week in Paris, a Texas-based group called The Truth About Guns found itself wondering about an armed counter-response: "Could any or all of the victims have survived if they had guns?" Truth About Guns staged a re-enactment but, alas, in none of the simulations were the volunteers able to take out both shooters. In all but one scenario, the volunteers all died. Not exactly reassuring about arming civilians as a security measure.

Ukraine Conflict: Shell Hits Bus, Killing 12 Civilians in Buhas
(BBC News & Associated Press & C. J. Chivers / The New York Times)

A shell has hit a bus in eastern Ukraine, killing at least 12 civilians and wounding many more, Ukraine's military says. A statement said the incident happened at a government checkpoint in Buhas, about 22 miles southwest of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk. Donetsk regional officials blamed pro-Russian rebels but a report said rebel leaders had denied involvement. Fighting has intensified recently, despite a truce agreed in September.

US Airstrike in Syria May Have Killed 50 Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Roy Gutman and Mousab Alhamadee / McClatchy Foreign News Service)

The Syrian Network for Human Rights has documented the deaths of at least 40 civilians in airstrikes in the months between the start of US bombing in Syria Sept. 23 through the Dec. 28 strike on Al Bab. The deaths are seen by US-allied moderate rebel commanders as one reason support for their movement has eroded in northern Syria while support for radical forces such as al Qaida's Nusra Front and the Islamic State has gained.

Are Free Speech 'Martyrs' Worthier Victims Than War Casualties?
(Lucy Steigerwald / AntiWar.com)

Commentary: Nothing justifies slaughtering a bunch of cartoonists and editors, or police officers trying to save lives. Let's get that essential, should-be-obvious truth out of the way first and foremost. There is something fundamentally (pun intended) terrifying about killing people over words and images. Yet, there's something frustrating about the response to the tragic murders in Paris. This is because the miserable muck that is the war on terror reminds us, as do all wars, that some animals are more equal than others.

The Orphans of Gaza
(Megan O'Toole / Al Jazeera America )

The rooms of the al-Amal Institute for Orphans in Gaza City could belong to any child, with stuffed teddy bears arranged in rows upon tidy bedspreads. But the brightness is a facade: These children draw war. They sketch rockets and Israeli fighter jets, pictures of people shattering into pieces, because this is what they know. Israel's 51-day war in 2014 created more than 1,500 new orphans, in addition to tens of thousands already living in Gaza.

Pentagon Agrees to Investigate Whether US Bombs Are Killing Civilians
(Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

In a significant reversal from its previous position, the US military has announced it is investigating "credible reports" that the US bombing campaign directed at targets inside Syria has caused significant civilian casualties in its campaign against Islamic State militants. The US-led coalition has carried out about 1,400 airstrikes since August 8, including some in urban areas. Despite the bombardment of urban targets, the Pentagon had claimed it had no knowledge of civilian deaths.

UN Confirms Palestinians Will Be ICC Member on April 1
(Reuters & Robert Fisk / The Independent)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has confirmed the Palestinians will formally become a member of the International Criminal Court on April 1 and the court's registrar said on Wednesday that jurisdiction would date back to June 13, 2014. This means the court's prosecutor could investigate the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip in July and August 2014, during which more than 2,100 Palestinians, 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel were killed.

Washington Investigates Reports of Civilian Deaths in US Bombings of Syrian Cities -- After Obama 'Loosens Standards on Killing Civilians'
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Richard Sisk / Military.com & Reuters)

Pentagon spokesman Admiral John Kirby has confirmed that the military is investigating multiple "credible" incidents of civilian casualties in US airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. The Pentagon previously insisted all reports of civilian casualties were false, despite mounting evidence to the contrary. The Obama Administration's previous promises not to launch drone strikes unless there is a "near certainty" that the strike won't kill any civilians, doesn't apply to US strikes in Iraq or Syria.

Pentagon Acknowledges US Bombs in ISIS War May Be Killing Civilians
(Kate Brannen / Foerign Policy & Chris Woods / Foreign Policy & Al Jazeera America)

Given the number of strikes launched in Iraq and Syria -- about 1,400 at this point -- civilians have clearly faced risks of accidental death. But for the last several months, the Pentagon has dismissed reports of civilian deaths caused by US bombs. Now, for the first time, the Pentagon has acknowledged that it is investigating whether US airstrikes against ISIS have killed civilians in Iraq and Syria.

Germany Files War Crimes Against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld And Other CIA Officials
(Ryan Denson / Addicting Info.org & Democracy Now!)

The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin, has begun the process of indicting members of the Bush Administration by filing criminal complaints against the architects of the Administration's torture program. Calls for an investigation by the German human rights group was prompted by outrage over the abduction of a Germany citizen, Khalid El-Masri, who was seized by CIA agents in 2004 because of a mistaken identity mix-up and tortured at a secret CIA prison.

GunFAIL LXXXII: Three Months of Ludicrous and Tragic Gun Deaths and Injuries in the US -- October-December 2014
(David Waldman / GunFAIL & The Daily Kos)

39 of our 100 GunFAIL incidents involve people accidentally shooting themselves. In our last post, there were 41. This time, there were 17 fatalities. Last time, 15. This time, 22 kids accidentally shot. (Including the youngest in some time, but not the youngest of the year, a 9 month old shot and killed by his father while cleaning a still-loaded gun. ) Last time, 20. The exact circumstances, though, are often varied and unpredictable.

Iraq Violence Killed 15,000 in 2014, Worst in Seven Years
(Agence France-Presse)

Violence in Iraq killed more than 15,000 civilians and security personnel in 2014, government figures showed Thursday, making it one of the deadliest years since the 2003 US-led invasion. Figures compiled by the health, interior and defence ministries put the death toll at 15,538, compared with 17,956 killed in 2007 during the height of Sunni-Shiite sectarian killings.

Dozens Killed as US Escalates Strikes Against ISIS in Syria
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Deutsche Welle)

More than 200,000 people have been killed in Syria since March 2011 when Syria's complex conflict began. Last year was the deadliest so far. more than 76,000 people there were killed in violence in 2014, the highest annual toll so far. Iraq also had its worst death toll in seven years, the government says. 17,790 of this total were civilians, including 3,501 children.

The Demon in Darren Wilson's Head
(Thandeka / Tikkun)

Commentary" "It's almost Armageddon time. The premeditated slaying of two New York Police Officers by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, followed by the fatal shooting of yet another black teenager by police in Missouri, has brought us to the brink of urban chaos and race riots. We may be headed toward a world in which racists turn our streets into killing fields, cops go on killing sprees beyond their current rate of killing one black American every 28 hours, and more cops are slayed by avenging black men."

The Mysterious Case of Prisoner 212
(Cora Currier and Margot Milliams / The Intercept)

Researchers and reporters had long counted the total number of Guantanamo prisoners at 779, but the Senate intelligence committee's report on CIA torture revealed a previously unknown detainee, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi (aka prisoner 212), who was held at a secret black site at Guantanamo Bay. This would bring the total number of detainees to 780. Al-Libi's hitherto unknown presence at Guantanamo underscores how much remains unknown about the total number of detainees and their fates.

US Aids Mining Corp by Sending SWAT Team to Harrass Navajo Shepherds
(Shannon Speed and Hallie Boas / A Jazeera America)

In late October in a remote area of Arizona called Black Mesa, federal SWAT teams wearing military flak jackets and wielding assault rifles set up roadblocks and detained people as helicopters circled overhead. They weren't targeting terrorists, however, they were detaining impoverished Navajo elders accused of owning too many sheep. If Washington really wants to improve its relationship with American Indian tribes, it should start by ending its historical collusion with energy corporations.

The Real Meaning of the 1914 Christmas Truce
(Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity & AntiWar.com)

One hundred years ago last week, on Christmas Eve, 1914, German and British soldiers emerged from the horrors of World War One trench warfare to greet each other, exchange food and gifts, and to wish each other a Merry Christmas. What we remember now as the "Christmas Truce" began with soldiers singing Christmas carols together from in the trenches. How amazing to think that the celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace could bring a brief pause in one of the most destructive wars in history. How sad that it was not to last.

Iraqi Woman, Displaced by US Invasion Sues George W. Bush for the Crime of Aggression
(Bob Egelko / The San Francisco Chronicle)

Sundus Saleh, a teacher and jewelry storeowner in Iraq, was driven from her home during the 2003 US invasion. As a refugee in Jordan, she filed a proposed class action suit on behalf of other displaced Iraqis, accusing Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and other US officials of illegally waging an unprovoked war of aggression in violation of international law. In December 2014, a federal judge dismissed the suit in a ruling that appears to preclude other suits by foreigners harmed by America's wars.

Okinawa: The Small Island Trying To Block the US Military's 'Pivot to Asia'
(Christine Ahn / Foreign Policy in Focus & AntiWar.com)

In November 2014, the citizens of Okinawa delivered a landslide victory to Takeshi Onaga, who ran for mayor on a platform opposing the construction of a new US Marine Corps base in northern Okinawa. Onaga pledged "to stop construction using every means at my disposal." Opposition to the US military's presence and negative impacts is bolstered by new studies that confirm US military violence against Okinawan women and girls is not just a case of a few bad apples, but rather structural.

Behind the Senate's 'Torture Report': Washington's 'Global Assassination Campaign'
(Debra Sweet / The World Can't Wait & Alan Goodman / Revolution Newspaper)

Last week Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill of The Intercept, and Pardiss Kebriaei, from The Center for Constitutional Rights, spoke about the Senate's Torture Report. Scahill grounded the discussion in the developments since Bush, saying that "some parts of the CIA and military are getting away with a global assassination campaign led by Obama." Pardiss pointed out that the US has killed at least 4,000 people in targeted drone strikes, yet we know the names of only five.

The Other Torture Report: The Secret CIA Document That Could Unravel The Case For Torture
( Ali Watkins / The Huffington Post)

As the public grapples with the gruesome realities revealed in the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on the CIA's torture program, the agency has dug in to defend itself, claiming its torture tactics were legal and saved American lives. Despite what the Senate study alleges, the agency insists it never lied about the torture program. One internal CIA document, the "Panetta Report ," could be key to discrediting this defense. But it remains out of reach, tucked away in a Senate safe.

WikiLeaks Reveals 2009 CIA Report Admitted Drone Strikes Are Counterproductive
(TeleSUR & Reader Supported News & Yazan al-Saadi / Al Akhbar)

Controversial US drone strikes may be helping rather than hindering the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to a leaked 2009 CIA document released by Wikileaks. Independent estimates suggest US forces have conducted more than 1,000 drone strikes over Afghanistan since invading the country over a decade ago. Human rights groups say hundreds of civilians have been killed or maimed by drones, and that the strikes are widely unpopular on the ground.

War Has Damaged All but One of Syria's World Heritage Site
(Huge Naylor / Al Jazeera America & Elahe Izadi / Al Jazeera America)

Syria's vast archaeological sites have suffered extensive damage because of bombing by government warplanes and the demolition of religious shrines by Islamic State militants. But there is an increasing, perhaps more menacing problem: old-fashioned plunder. A new report has found evidence of "widespread looting" at locations that Syria has nominated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Top 7 Ways Assassination Fails USA as Policy
(Juan Cole / JuanCole.com)

Wikileaks has released a government assessment of drone strikes aimed at assassinating top leaders. The document urges such strikes, but is amazingly frank about the drawbacks.

Want to Know the Reality of US Torture? Ask Shaker Aamer
(Clive Stafford Smith / The Guardian)

Beaten, force-fed and kept in solitary confinement, Shaker Aamer, a British Guantanamo prisoner, is in no doubt about the truth of the CIA report on the torture of detainees. But Shaker Aamer cannot read the report because he is still imprisoned in Washington's notorious Guantanamo prison.

UN: Tens of Thousands Dead in South Sudan War
(Al Jazeera America)

Tens of thousands of people have died in South Sudan during one year of war and the country's leaders are putting their "personal ambitions" ahead of the young nation's future, the UN secretary-general has said. Ban Ki-moon called on the country's leaders to agree to an inclusive power-sharing arrangement that would address the root causes of the conflict and ensure accountability for any crimes committed on the battlefield.

CIA Chief John Brennan Is Still Lying
(Andrew Sullivan / The Dish)

You cannot move past the CIA's torture scandal without reckoning with it, without facing up the the facts, and bringing accountability to government. President Obama and CIA Chief Brennan refuse to do it. And by refusing to come to terms with the facts, they have left this as some kind of open debate, when it is, in fact, closed. And that opening is all we need to see torture return.

CIA Vets Call for Prosecution of US Officials Who Condoned Torture
(Ray McGovern / Consortium News & AntiWar.com & Scott McPherson / Open Post & Melvin A. Goodman / Consortium News)

According to two CIA intelligence veterans, the Senate Intelligence Committee report on sadistic torture meted out to "war on terror" detainees has shredded the credibility of CIA apologists. Ray McGovern and Melvin A. Goodman have added their voices to a growing chorus demanding the CIA and White House officials who authorized torture should be put on trial for criminal acts.

World's Leading Economists Conclude: 'Trickle-down Economics' Creates Inequality, Not Growth
(Larry Elliott / The Guardian)

A report by the Paris-based Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development has rejected the theory of "trickle-down economics," noting the "sizeable and statistically negative impact" of income inequality that such policies produce. Given the economic failure and negative social fallout of Ronald Reagan's "trickle-down" economics, the OECD has proposed the imposition of higher taxes on the rich and policies aimed at improving the lot of the bottom 40% of the population.

British Medical Journal Concludes: 'Men Are Idiots; Men Do Stupid Things'
(Brigid Schulte / The Washington Post & Medical News Today )

It's a long-held sexist stereotype. Now, the prestigious British Medical Journal suggests the evidence shows that there may be truth to it: Men really can be idiots. Anne Campbell, a psychologist who studies evolution and sex differences at Durham University, said the evolutionary argument goes like this: "Males (of many species) engage in far more risk-taking behavior" while "female mammals need to stay alive to ensure their infants' survival (and thus their own reproductive success)."

Space Technology, War and Corporate Full Spectrum Dominance
(Bruce Gagnon / Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space)

Today 59% of every federal discretionary tax dollar goes to fund the war machine. Our communities have become addicted to military spending as our physical and social infrastructure continues to deteriorate. There is no money for anything else these days as we witness austerity cuts in social programs around the globe. We won't have conventional jobs making things useful to our communities; instead we will build weapons for endless war and send our kids overseas to die for the oil corporations.

22 Years after the Earth Summit in Rio, 'We're Still on a Course Leading to Tragedy'
(David Simpson / Planet Drum Foundation )

Commentary: If rhetoric were effective action, the world would indeed have been saved on day seven of the 2014 UN climate change COP 20. This was officially the first day of the High Level negotiations and it was peppered by brief impassioned speeches from leaders of many nations, especially smaller ones. Plus: Secretary of State John Kerry's complete December 11 speech to the COP2 summit in Lima, Peru.

22 Years after the Earth Summit in Rio, 'We're Still on a Course Leading to Tragedy'
(David Simpson / Planet Drum Foundation )

Commentary: If rhetoric were effective action, the world would indeed have been saved on day seven of the 2014 UN climate change COP 20. This was officially the first day of the High Level negotiations and it was peppered by brief impassioned speeches from leaders of many nations, especially smaller ones. Plus: Secretary of State John Kerry's complete December 11 speech to the COP2 summit in Lima, Peru.

Electromagnetic War on Humans, Insects and Wildlife
(Katie Singer / Electronic Silent Spring)

Scientists have discovered that electromagnetic radiation emitted by cellular antennas potentially cause the decline of animal populations, reduction of some species' useful territory, and deterioration of plant health. Some species may experience reduction of their natural defenses, problems in reproduction and aversive behavioral responses. Here are summaries of studies about the effects of RF signals on trees, insects and birds.

ACTION ALERT: Release the Report; Jail the Torturers
(CODEPINK: Women for Peace & Meteor Blades / The Daily Kos & Dennis Kucinich / Kucinich Action)

On the release of the US Senate Report on Torture, we call for the prosecution of those who planned, coordinated and ordered the criminal acts, detailed in the report, committed by officials and agents of the United States government -- including George W. Bush himself and Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and including their lawyers Alberto Gonzalez, Douglas Feith, William Haynes, Jay Bybee, David Addington, and John Yoo.

CIA Torture Report Sparks Worldwide Condemnation
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jeff Stein / Newsweek & The Huffington Post)

CIA defenders, criminals and accomplices have denied that any of their detainees was subjected to torture but, if they were the extreme actions were a response to the 9/11 threat. But according to the Senate Intelligence Committee report,"The CIA [had] historical experience using coercive forms of interrogation." Indeed, it had plenty, said the committee's report released Tuesday: about 50 years' worth -- including the 1963 KUBARK torture manual.

UN Official Wants US Administrators Involved in Torture to Be Prosecuted
(Samuel Oakford / Vice News & Office of the United Nations Commissioner on Human Rights)

Following publication of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on Bush-era CIA interrogation practices, a top UN expert has called for US officials involved in torture to be prosecuted. Ben Emmerson, UN special rapporteur on counter-terrorism and human rights, declared. "The individuals responsible for the criminal conspiracy . . . must be brought to justice, and must face criminal penalties commensurate with the gravity of their crimes." He noted that they can be tried in any country.

Instead of Prosecuting Torturers, Obama Prosecuted the Guy who Revealed the Program
(Timothy B. Lee / Vox & Charlie Savage / The New York Times)

The details in the Senate report on Central Intelligence Agency torture are shocking. But don't expect anyone to be held responsible. The only person the Obama administration has prosecuted in connection with the torture program is John Kiriakou, a former CIA official who revealed its existence to the media. In 2012, the Obama administration charged Kiriakou for leaking classified information related to the torture program to reporters. He was condemned to 30 months in jail.

Senate Torture Report: Sen. Feinstein's Speech and Executive Summary
(United States Senate Intelligence Committee)

Senate Intelligence Chair Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) today released the executive summary of the committee's five-year review of the CIA's detention and interrogation program. The executive summary is backed up by a 6,700-page classified and unredacted report (with 38,000 footnotes) that can be released if necessary at a later time. The report released today examines the CIA's secret overseas detention of at least 119 individuals and the use of coercive interrogation -- in some cases amounting to torture.

To Deter US from Torturing Again, Those Involved Should Be Prosecuted
(Kenneth Roth / Reuters & Joseph Margulies / Al Jazeera America & Mark Fallon / Politico)

With the truth now told about this blatantly illegal policy, President Barack Obama has a chance to reverse his misguided refusal to prosecute the officials who authorized the torture, ending the impunity that sets a horrible precedent for future United States presidents and governments worldwide. Prosecution should include the senior Bush officials who authorized torture and oversaw its use.

Botched US Hostage Rescue Kills 13, Including Woman and Child; South African Hostage Was Within 24 Hours of Being Released to His Family
(Daily Mail & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf / Reuters & Agence France-Presse)

Pierre Korkie, a South African teacher who was taken hostage by Al-Qaeda militants in Yemen more than a year ago, was killed Saturday in a failed rescue bid just a day before he was due to be released. A woman and a 10-year-old boy were among at least 11 people killed alongside two Western hostages when US-led forces fought Islamist militants in a failed rescue mission in Yemen.

Over 150 Countries Gather in Vienna for World Conference on Banning Nuclear Weapons
(The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons & Celine Nahory / Peace Boat)

In a show of overwhelming support from the global community, representatives from more than 150 countries met in Austria,for the Third International Conference aims to examine the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons. More than 500 activists are participating in the largest gathering of civil society on a treaty to ban nuclear weapons. believing "We are confident that governments have the will to undertake a diplomatic process to develop a new international treaty to ban nuclear weapons."

"The Courage to Ban Nuclear Weapons": ICAN Civil Society Forum Opens in Vienna
(John Loretz / Peace and Health Blog: International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War)

More than 600 civil society campaigners from around the world filled Austria's Hall of Sciences for the first day of the ICAN Civil Society Forum in Vienna. "The courage to ban nuclear weapons," is both the theme of the two-day campaign gathering, and also the message that campaigners intend to bring to the third Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons hosted by the Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Risk of Nuclear War Rising: Russia Launches 3 ICBMs; US Launches 3 ICBMs
(Ian Johnston / The Independent & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge & SputnikNews)

Urgent action is needed to minimise the risk of a nuclear war, more than 120 senior military, political and diplomatic figures from across the world have warned. Ahead of the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, the experts wrote that the danger of such a conflict was "underestimated or insufficiently understood" by world leaders.

Will Suppressed CIA Torture Report Finally Be Released?
(Tom Kutsch / Al Jazeeera America )

After a long, drawn-out process involving multiple branches of the US government, the summary of a 6,000-plus-page report detailing Bush-era CIA detention and interrogation policies could be released as early as Monday. The report examines the CIA's use of torture and casts doubt on the efficacy of such intelligence-gathering methods.The CIA fiercely debates its conclusions and has attempted to halt its release. The White House, while supportive, warns it could harm national security.

ACTION ALERT: Police Killings: State-sanctioned Violence with a Racial Twist
(Monique Teal / Daily Kos & Harvey Wasserman / Solartopia)

Every 28 hours a black man, woman, or child is murdered by police or vigilante law enforcement. These un-prosecuted killings of African-American men go way beyond racial prejudice -- they are the calling card of an Orwellian state. The ultimate message is clear: police can kill American citizens without cause and face no public trial. the ultimate cancer we face is the rise of an all-powerful corporate state and its iron grip on a violent, unaccountable private army licensed to kill.

Activists Demand Sweeping Reforms to NYPD after Garner Death
(Ned Resnikof / Al Jazeera America & Ranjani Chakraborty & Sheila MacVica / AL Jazeera America)

Following the chokehold death of Eric Garner at the hands of a New York Police Department officer, activists are demanding wide-reaching institutional changes to the way the department does business. Six weeks after Michael Brown's death, a police officer killed a black teen in Louisiana with no explanation. Cameron Tillman, a high school freshman and talented athlete, with a 3.7 grade point average and no reputation for trouble, was shot dead.

Report Says US Drones Kill 28 Unidentified Victims for Every 1 Target
(Democracy Now! & Lee Fang / The Nation)

While the Obama administration has claimed its drone strikes are precise, the group Reprieve found that US drone strikes kill 28 unidentified people for every intended target. The CIA killer drones programme is the death penalty without trial, and the new face of state lawlessness in the name of counter-terrorism. Reprieve is assisting victims' families to seek legal accountability for drone attacks, with the goal of exposing the programme to scrutiny and restoring the rule of law.

Child Landmine Victims Rise, Afghanistan and Colombia Rank Worst
(Anastasia Moloney / Thomson Reuters Foundation)

Afghanistan has the world's highest number of children killed or wounded by landmines and other explosive remnants of war, followed by Colombia. The International Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Munition Coalition reports the number of recorded casualties of mines and other explosive remnants of war has decreased to the lowest level since 1999, but child victims have risen. In 2013, children made up almost half of the 2,403 civilian landmine casualties worldwide.

Five Ugly and Uncanny Parallels between Lynchings and Police Killings
(Shaun King / The Daily Kos)

While these lynchings are most commonly remembered as hangings from trees, the lynchings in this statistic include men, women, and children who were shot, burned, and beaten to death in every tortuous way imaginable. At its core, to be lynched is not a method of killing, but it is to be murdered without due process. What is often overlooked is that police, during the height of lynching, were complicit in most lynchings.

US Ally Frees Dictators, Sentences 188 Protesters to Death
(Glenn Greenwald / First Look: The Intercept)

It seemed like just yesterday that US media outlets were pretending to be on the side of the Tahrir Square demonstrators (while failing to note that the dictator against whom they were marching was one of the Washington's closest allies). Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton once had occasion to remark: "I really consider President and Mrs. Mubarak to be friends of my family." All of that has been washed away. The US is right back to acting as stalwart ally to a repressive and incredibly violent dictator sitting in Cairo doing its bidding.

Former VA Official: Burn Pits Could Be the New Agent Orange
(Sameen Ami / America Tonight; Al Jazeera America)

The Department of Defense and, by extension, the Department of Veterans Affairs do not acknowledge that toxic exposures from burn pit smoke could have sickened servicemembers. That's left veterans fighting for compensation and recognition that they believe is owed to them. As a result of the lobbying efforts of advocacy groups like, Burn Pits 360, the VA started an online registry for people who feel they are sick from burn pits. After opening in June, 25,000 people have signed up so far.

Obama's Conflict Minerals Law Has Destroyed Everything, Say Congo Miners
(Sudarsan Raghavan / The Washington Post)

US legislation aimed at damaging Congolese militias has inadvertently propelled millions deeper into poverty. An obscure measure passed by US lawmakers, villagers call it "Loi Obama" -- Obama's law. The legislation compels US companies to audit their supply chains to ensure they are not using 'conflict minerals' -- particularly gold, coltan, tin and tungsten from artisanal mines controlled by Congo's murderous militias. But the legislation has sent millions of miners and their families deeper into poverty

COP20 Lima Climate Summit Report #1
(David Simpson/ Planet Drum Foundation)

Despite a veritable barrage over the past few months of harsh scientific news about global warming, hope seemed to be springing anew on the first of December in the exotic soil of Peru's vast military training facility aptly referred to as the Pentagonito. It is there under the shadow of the fortress-like intelligence headquarters that the United Nations' enormous and complex annual initiative for dealing with climate change has been relaunched.

Deescalation: Eight Ways to Rein in Our Out-of-Control Police State
(Gene Johnson and Eric Tucker / Associated Press & Carl Gibson / Reader Supported News & Color of Change)

Departments around the country have stepped up their training in "de-escalation" -- the art of defusing a tense situation with a word or a gesture instead of being confrontational or reaching for a weapon. The solution won't come from one specific policy, but from a wide array of reforms that will address the systemic issues that result in police acting with impunity. One policy change would require all armed officers wear and use "body cams" to record encounters with the civilian population.

Hottest Year on Record as Climate Talks Start in Lima
(United Nations News Center & Alex Morales / Bloomberg)

With 2014 on track to be the world's hottest on record, United Nations officials pressed for urgent action to prevent the most damaging impacts of climate change at the opening of an annual summit on global warming in Lima. "There has never been so much scientific evidence of the severe and irreversible social and natural effects of climate change," said Peru's environment minister. "Never has it been so clear that the window of opportunity to reduce emissions is closing quickly."

UN Investigators Urge Obama to Release CIA Report
(Robert Evans / Reuters & David Segal / DemandProgress & The Bill of Rights Defense Committee, et al.)

While the CIA is trying to block Americans from learning the full scope of the torture conducted during the Bush administration, UN human rights investigators have called on the White House to live up to principles preached by the US around the world and release a long suppressed report on CIA interrogation methods. There is another option: More than 100,000 people have urged anti-torture advocate Senator Mark Udall to release the report -- as is his Constitutional right -- before he leaves office in January.

Disillusioned Soldiers in the US and Israel Are Refusing to Serve
(Travis Lupick / Al Jazeera America & Joseph Dana / Al Jazeera America)

Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in Gaza war face brief jail sentences, but they believe their small number will slowly grow as more young men and women refuse to be part of an army of occupation. Meanwhile, in Canada, former US soldier Rodney Watson has lived as a prisoner or more than five years, confined to a church that has granted him sanctuary for refusing to serve in the US occupation of Iraq.

Cautious Hope for Strong Draft Text Ahead of Peru Climate Summit on December 1
(Betwa Sharma / Al Jazeera America)

The two-week United Nations climate conference in Peru, which begins Monday, is the final stop before Paris in 2015, where climate negotiators will aim to strike a deal that will, for the first time, require all countries to combat climate change. Climate activists heading this critical global meeting have warned that developed nations' commitments are not in line with goal of keeping planetary warming below 2 degrees Celsius, after which, climate disaster would become "irreversible."

UN Report Criticizes US for Police Shootings, Torture
(Michael Muskal / The Los Angeles Times & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)

In a damning 16-page report, its first such review since 2006, the UN Committee Against Torture has condemned US policies in handling how police dealt with issues of brutality against blacks and Latinos. Since 2009, 20 investigations have been opened by the US Justice Department into systematic police abuses against minorities and more than 330 police officers have been prosecuted for brutality.

Utah Police Shootings Outnumber Homicides From Gang Violence, Drug Deals and Child Abuse Combined
(Jen Hayden / Daily Kos & Erin Alberty / The Salt Lake Tribune)

In the past five years, more Utahns have been killed by police than by gang members. Or drug dealers. Or from child abuse. And so far this year, deadly force by police has claimed more lives -- 13 (including a Saturday shooting in South Jordan) -- than has violence between spouses and dating partners. As the tally of fatal police shootings rises, law enforcement watchdogs say it is time to treat deadly force as a potentially serious public safety problem.

ACTION ALERT: Require All Armed Police to Wear Body Cameras
(Daily Kos Action & Robert Gammon / The East Bay Express)

Police shootings of unarmed citizens in Ferguson, Missouri and Oakland, California provide strong evidence as to why every police officer in the country should be wearing video-recording devices. Any police officer working the street should be wearing a body camera. Evidence shows both cops and civilians act more positively when there is a camera present. Implementing this policy is the first step to ending police brutality.

The Moral Trauma of "21st Century Warriors"
(Edward Tick / Truthout Op-Ed )

Service in the US military is being reshaped into the profession of arms. This means that fewer people are serving and more is being asked of them. Though stationed far behind the front lines, drone operators are among those on the front lines of these changes. These are the women and men who sit at electronic consoles stateside and operate unmanned drones from safe havens in the United States to monitor, spy on, attack and slay antagonists on the far side of the planet.

Chief Prosecutor Leaves Air Force for Nonprofit to Defend Victims of Military Rape
(Nancy Parrish / Protect Our Defenders & Robert Draper / The New York Times)

Former Chief Prosecutor of the US Air Force, Col. Don Christensen has retired from the military and has announced he will be joining Protect Our Defenders, serving as the new President of a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting the lives of service members who have been victims of sexual assault while serving in the ranks of the US military.

UK Female Jihadists Run ISIS Sex-slave Brothels
( Al Arabiya English & Mail Online & Russell Myers / The Mirror & Khaleda Rahman / Mail Online)

Startling details have surfaced of British female jihadists forcing captured Iraqi women into sexual slavery at brothels run by militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), British media have reported. According to the Daily Mirror, the brothels, operated by the female "police force" called the al-Khanssaa Brigade, have been set up for the use of ISIS militants,

US Police Kill 12 Teens in the Week before the Furguson Verdict
(Ehab Zahriyeh / Al Jazeera America & The Daily Beast)

Since Michael Brown's death, at least 14 other teenagers – at least six of them African-American -- have been killed by city police. In the week before the Grand Jury verdict in Missouri, police killed 12 citizens in cities across the US. Young African Americans are killed by cops 4.5 times more often than people of other races and ages. The FBI claims police killed 461 citizens in 2013 but independent monitors put the death toll "closer to about 1,400 a year" and "at least 9,000 from 2000 to 2014."

US Drone Strike in Pakistan Kills Five 'Suspected' Taliban Fighters
(Al Jazeera America & Peter Moskowitz / Al Jazeera)

A US drone strike on Wednesday killed five suspected militants in northwest Pakistan, a government official said, as an anti-Taliban offensive by the Pakistani military grew in intensity. The deadly strike comes one day after a human rights group issued a report drawing international attention to the number of innocent lives claimed by US drone strikes. The Government of Pakistan condemned the drone strike.

Why Is Shaker Aamer Still Imprisoned at Gitmo?
(Andy Worthington / Al Jazeera America)

At Guantanamo men held for nearly 13 years -- for the most part without charge or trial -- do not know when, if ever, they will be released. George W. Bush freed 532 detainees. Barack Obama has released only 66. The United States has approved Shaker Aamer's release and the United Kingdom has been calling for his return since August 2007. Shaker Aamer has been cleared for release for more than seven years. Shaker Aamer should be freed immediately.

How the Pentagon's Skynet Would Automate War
(Nafeez Ahmed / Motherboard: Vice)

Pentagon officials are worried that the US military is losing its edge compared to competitors like China, and are willing to explore almost anything to stay on top -- including creating watered-down versions of the Terminator. The Department of Defense anticipates the dawn of a bold new era of automated war within just 15 years. By then, they believe, wars could be fought entirely using intelligent, autonomous robotic systems armed with advanced weapons.

ACTION ALERT: End the Killing of Students Now: Peace, Justice and Democracy for Mexico
(The Campaign for Peace and Democracy)

A Statement of Solidarity: "We send our solidarity to the parents of the dead and missing students, to the millions of student protesters, and to the Mexican people! We condemn the murders and human rights violations by the Mexican government and the drug cartels. And we condemn the US and Canadian governments for their support of the Mexican state."

A General's Expose: War Is Not Worth It
(Jim Hightower / Other Words & Daniel P. Bolger / The New York Times)

Commentary: "As a senior commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, I lost 80 soldiers. Despite their sacrifices, and those of thousands more, all we have to show for it are two failed wars. This fact eats at me every day, and Veterans Day is tougher than most.... If insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, I think we're there."

US Airstrikes Kill Civilians Syria Iraq
(Reuters & Sameer N. Yacoub / Associated Press)

Air strikes by US-led forces in Syria have killed 910 people, including 52 civilians, since the start of the campaign against Islamic State and other fighters two months ago. Meanwhile, local residents in the Iraqi town of Hit said civilians were killed by an airstrike on a house that took place just after noon prayers on Saturday, allegedly killed a family of four, including two children. It was not immediately clear which country was responsible for dispatching the jet fighters behind the strike.

Washington's Launches 500th Drone Strike: 3,674 'Suspects' Killed Worldwide
( Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Jeff Bachman / The Hill)

A US drone destroyed a house in North Waziristan today, killing six and wounding three others. None of the slain were identified. Since 1980, the US has engaged in aggressive military action in at least 13 countries in the Greater Middle East. Every president in the past 34 years has invaded, occupied, bombed, or gone to war in at least one country in the region. The number of invasions, occupations, bombings, drone assassination campaigns, and cruise missile attacks easily runs into the dozens.

Jailing the Poor and Powerless for Profit: Stopping Prison Privatization
(Quaker Action / American Friends Service Committee)

Current US prison and immigrant detention practices violate basic human rights and dignity. Private companies that profit from incarceration are working to expand the detention and surveillance industries, but people with experience behind bars are helping AFSC expose the realities of privatizing these already inhumane systems.

The Collective Punishment of Home Demolitions
(Dalia Hatuqa / Al Jazeera & Gregg Carlstrom / Al Jazeera)

Home demolitions of Palestinian homes have not stopped attacks against Israel. Now, rights groups claim, in the aftermath of savage attacks on Israeli citizens, Jerusalem's most disenfranchised residents are being targeted in a 'draconian' crackdown with Israeli troops arriving in the middle of the night to drive families from their homes before demolishing the structures. Palestinians say their long-simmering frustrations over Israel's oppressive measures are finally boiling over.

Congress Commits an Act of War Against the Great Sioux Nation
(The Daily Kos & The Summit County Voice)

When Congress voted to approve the Keystone Pipeline they committed an act of war against the Great Sioux Nation. Apparently they completely forgot to check with the Sioux who live on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, who in February adopted tribal resolutions opposing the Keystone XL project.

ISIL Inc.: Three 'Islamic State' Employees Speak Out
(Nick Schifrin / Al Jazeera America Tonight)

The self-declared Islamic State may claim to fly the flag of Islam, but the heart of ISIL is corporate. Many of its rank and file are lured far more by gaining a slice of ISIL's oil money than by the prospect of visiting death on foreign infidels. In this Al Jazeera video, a former ISIL smuggler, salesman and social media maverick explain the business of terrorism.

The 'Grand Theft Auto' Question
(Lori Jane Gliha / Al Jazeera's America Tonight)

Last year, Grand Theft Auto V become the highest-selling video console game in North America, Latin America and Europe. As a player inside the video game, 11-year-old Nico Frank has discovered anything goes. "I kind of like doing some things that I know I can't do in real life," Nico said. "Like, for example, in real life, you can't kill people. In this game you can."

On Media Outlets That Continue to Describe Unknown Drone Victims As "Militants"
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept )

Most large western media outlets continue to describe completely unknown victims of US drone attacks as "militants" -- even though they (a) had no idea who those victims were or what they had done and (b) were well-aware by that point that the term had been "re-defined" by the Obama administration into "Alice in Wonderland"-level nonsense. Like the US drone program itself, this deceitful media practice continues unabated.

Dueling Narratives: Responsibility for Shoot-down of MH17 Still Unclear
(Frank Coletta / Daily Mail & Tom Parfitt / The Telegraph)

The Bellingcat Investigation has concluded that the Russian military supplied separatists with a Buk missile launcher prior to the July 17 shooting down of Malaysia Airlines MH17. Russian state television, meanwhile, has produced a "satellite image" that allegedly shows Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 being shot down by a Ukrainian fighter jet.

Sickened Vets Sue Military Contractor for Burn-Pit Pollution
(Gwen Ifill & Hari Sreenivasan / PBS NewsHour)

Throughout the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, all kinds of things -- batteries, paint, plastic, electronics, even whole vehicles -- were disposed of in so-called "burn pits" by the US military. Some veterans have filed a class action lawsuit against a defense contractor claiming toxic smoke from burning waste caused lung disease and cancer. Hari Sreenivasan and NewsHour producer Dan Sagalyn report.

Soldier-turned-Humanitarian Abdul-Rahman Kassig Murdered by IS Executioner
(BBC & The Telegraph)

US President Barack Obama has condemned the killing of US aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig as "an act of pure evil". Mr. Kassig, 26, was taken while working for a refugee group. He is the fifth Western hostage to be killed by IS, which controls parts of Syria and Iraq. Mr. Kassig's parents, Ed and Paula, from Indiana, said in a statement they were heartbroken by his death. "We are incredibly proud of our son for living his life according to his humanitarian calling," they said. "We will work every day to keep his legacy alive as best we can."

Transcript of IS Executioner's Statement
(Jihadist News / Site Intel Group)

The 16-minute English-subtitled video was distributed on Twitter and jihadi forums. Despite the importance of "understanding the enemy," the contents of the video have not been widely published in the US media. The video contains a warning directed at the US: "You have not withdrawn. Rather, you hid some of your forces behind your proxies and withdrawn [sic] the rest. Your forces will return, greater in number than they were before. You will return, and your proxies will not benefit you."

US Nuclear Missile Mismanagement Results in $10 Billon Bonus!
(The New York Times & The Washington Times & 60 Minutes)

Two separate Pentagon studies have concluded that the Pentagon's nuclear "Doomsday Machine" is plagued by "systemic problems across the nuclear enterprise." Nearly 450 of these giant Minuteman-3s are tucked away in underground silos, ready to launch on the president's command. Instead of dismantling these apocalyptic weapons (as required by international treaty), the president has called for a $1 trillion, 30-year expansion. And now, Chuck Hegel has called for $10 billion to correct current failures.

Police Appeal Restrictions on Use of Violent Tactics
(Renee Lewis / Al Jazeera America & BBC World News)

Dozens of Seattle police officers have appealed the dismissal of a federal lawsuit in which they had tried to throw out new rules restricting use of force on the grounds that it endangered both them and the public. A Seattle police department internal email said officers needed to use even more force against citizens. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, a white police officer was fired and arrested after his shooting of an unarmed African-American that he had pulled over for a seat-belt violation.

The Lessons of Libya: How the West Turned a Peaceful, Prosperous African Country into a 'Failed State'.
(Dan Glazebrook / Answer Coalition)

Three years ago, the world witnessed the final defeat of the Libyan 'State of the Masses' in the face of a massive onslaught from NATO, its regional allies and local collaborators. It took seven months for the world's most powerful military alliance -- spending nearly $1 trillion per year -- to destroy a state with a population the size of Wales. 10,000 strike sorties were rained down on Libya, tens of thousands killed and injured, and the country left a battleground for hundreds of warring factions.

Police Appeal Restrictions on Use of Violent Tactics
(Renee Lewis / Al Jazeera America & BBC World News)

Dozens of Seattle police officers have appealed the dismissal of a federal lawsuit in which they had tried to throw out new rules restricting use of force on the grounds that it endangered both them and the public. A Seattle police department internal email said officers needed to use even more force against citizens. Meanwhile, in South Carolina, a white police officer was fired and arrested after his shooting of an unarmed African-American that he had pulled over for a seat-belt violation.

Navy Plans Electromagnetic War Games Over National Park and Forest in Washington State
(Dahr Jamail /Truthout)

Washington's Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest are two of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the US. And this is where the US Navy aims to conduct an Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program, wherein it will fly supersonic warplanes 1,200 feet above the ground to conduct war games. Enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted to melt human eye tissue, cause breast cancer, trigger leukemia, damage human fetuses, and disturb and disrupt wildlife in the area.

Remembering Anti-war Veteran Tomas Young
(Karin Kamp / Bill Moyers.com & Democracy Now!)

raq war veteran Tomas Young, one of the first vets to publicly oppose the war, has died at the age of 34. Young was paralyzed in 2004 shortly after arriving in Iraq. He went on to become one of the nation's most prominent antiwar US veterans speaking out against the invasion and occupation of Iraq. He was featured in Phil Donahue and Ellen Spiro's documentary, "Body of War."

ICC: Israel Guilty of War Crimes but... Nevermind
(Gordon Duff / PressTV & Al-Akhbar & TeleSur TV)

Prosecutors of the International Criminal Court at The Hague have ruled that Israel was guilty of "war crimes" for attacking a Turkish aid ship for Gaza in 2010 and killing nine peaceful activists, including an American citizen, in international water. But, although the ICC determined that though Israel is "most likely guilty of war crimes" in their attack on an unarmed aid convoy, court refused to move forward stating the crimes "would not be of 'sufficient gravity' to justify further action by the ICC."

Four Key Reasons to Understand the Irresistible Attraction of Radical Islam
(Roberto Savio / Other News & Human Wrongs Watch)

The October 23, 2014 attack on the Canadian Parliament building by a Canadian who had converted to Islam should create some interest in why young people are willing to sacrifice their lives for a radical view of Islam. When you have over 2,000 people who blow themselves up, it is time to look at this growing reality. There are four historical reasons to understand how the anger and frustration now all over the Muslim world leads to attraction to the Islamic State (IS) in poor sectors.

ACTION ALERT: US Airstrikes Kill Four Children in Syria
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Reuters & The World Can't Wait)

The United Nations says that more than 190,000 people have been killed in Syria's three-year-long civil war. More than 2,000 children under nine are among those killed. Now, thanks to President Obama's newest bombing campaign, the US is now killing children in Syria. President Obama's high profile May 2013 pledge that no airstrikes would be authorized without "near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured" simply doesn't apply to the new war, according to the White House.

US Troops in Iraq Exposed to Chemical Weapons CIA Supplied to Saddam Hussein
(C. J. Chivers / The New York Times & William Lowther / The Daily Mail)

Since 2003, more than 600 US soldiers reported being exposed to chemical warfare agents in Iraq but the Pentagon failed to recognize the scope of the exposures or offer adequate tracking and treatment. This previously untold chapter of the occupation became public after The New York Times revealed that -- although troops find noactive weapons of mass destruction -- they did encounter degraded chemical weapons from the 1980s: weapons provided to Saddam Hussein by the CIA.

Climate Change and Conflict: Afghans on the Front Line
(Joe Dyke / IRIN News & Scott Neuman / WAMC Public Radio)

In northern Afghanistan, the residents describe how increasingly extreme weather patterns are making their lives harder every year as they map out many of the symptoms of climate change. Floods are not the only weather making the residents' lives harder. Long droughts, poor harvests and flash floods have been a growing trend for the people of northern Afghanistan as climate grows more extreme. Afghanistan as one of 11 countries at extreme risk of both climate change and food insecurity.

West Accused of a 'Cover-up' over Downing of MH17 Passenger Jet
(Will Stewart / MailOnline)

Retired Russian secret service chief Lt. Gen. Nikolai Pushkarev insists the evidence shows Ukrainian forces shot down MH17 and claimed Western governments knows Ukraine shot MH17 and is 'using this to blame Russia.' Meanwhile, Kiev has frozen State subsidies and assistance intended for rebel areas to avoid 'funding terrorists.'

An Election -- and a Nation -- Lost in Vietnam and Afghanistan
(Harvey Wasserman/ Solartopia)

Commentary: "he GOP/corporate coup d'etat is nearly complete. The Republicans now control the major media, the Supreme Court, the Congress and soon the presidency. Think Jeb Bush in 2016. Throughout America -- right down to the local level, buried in a tsunami of cash and corruption -- our public servants are being morphed into corporate operatives. Our electoral apparatus is thoroughly compromised by oceans of dirty money, Jim Crow registration traps, rigged electronic voting machines, gerrymandering, corrupt secretaries of state."

Amnesty International Accuses Israel of War Crimes
(Al Jazeera and The Associated Press & Amnesty International & Mark Perry / Al Jazeera America)

On November 5, 2014, Amnesty International accused Israel of committing war crimes during its 50-day military operation in Gaza this summer, saying Israeli forces had displayed "callous indifference" in attacks on family homes in the densely populated coastal strip. Israel's "Operation Protective Edge" left more than 2,100 Palestinians dead, the majority civilians. Israel's government dismissed the report, the latest in a series by human rights organizations questioning Israeli tactics in Gaza.

The GOP Victory = Approval of the XL Pipeline, Profits for the Koch Brothers, Climate Catastrophe
(Victor Menotti / IFG Action - International Forum on Globalization)

Of the $500 million the oli-billionaire Koch brothers vowed to "raise" for the midterm elections, we have tracked more than $90 million in what we believe is the only effort to track the Koch network's record spending to take over Congress. The Kochs control "close to two million acres" in Alberta (more than Exxon, Chevron and Conoco combined). As oil prices drop, the Kochs will be more aggressive than ever in pushing for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline -- and igniting a global Climate Bomb.

ACTION ALERT: UN Called to Ban Depleted Uranium as the US Deploys DU-ready Aircraft in Middle East.
(The World Can't Wait & David Swanson / Al Jazeera & Roots Action & The Center for Constitutional Rights & Carol Dudek / The World Can't Wait)

Because antiwar activists and medical humanitarians are pushing the issue, the United Nations will be discussing the US use of depleted uranium in weapons, particularly in Iraq, even as the US military makes plans to use them again in the new campaign of bombings. This month, the US has deployed a type of aircraft to the Middle East responsible for more Depleted Uranium contamination than any other platform. Twelve 'A-10's have arrived in the region along with 300 US airmen.

Israel Cuts off Access to Gaza -- After Destroying 18,000 Civilian Homes. Declares New Sentence: '20 Years for Throwing Stones'
(RT News & Super News Planet)

Israel is shutting the only two operating Gaza border crossings indefinitely. This comes a day after a projectile hit Israel, but caused no damage. Border closures threaten to isolate already devastated Gaza completely. The damage caused by the Israeli military operation in Gaza makes it impossible for thousands to return home, despite the ceasefire, due to lack of services, water and electricity. As anger grows, Israel has voted to increase penalties ten-fold on people convicted of throwing stones at vehicles -- from two to 20 years.

UN Climate Report Underscores Necessity of Swift Carbon Cuts
(Al Jazeera America & Karl Ritter / Associated Press & Bill DiBenedetto / TriplePundit)

Climate change is happening, it's almost entirely man's fault and limiting its impacts will require reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero this century, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said in a report published Sunday. "Science has spoken. There is no ambiguity in their message. Leaders must act. Time is not on our side," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned. The world has until 2100 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to zero or face 'irreversible' consequences.

Ban Ki-moon: World Leaders Are Ready to Sign Climate Deal
(Sophie Yeo / RTCC & Associated Press)

World leaders are ready to sign an international agreement to combat climate change, says UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. In contrast to their failed efforts five years ago in Copenhagen, politicians will head to Paris in 2015 prepared to sign a meaningful climate deal, said Ban, speaking at the launch of the UN's latest climate science report.

Blackwater Founder Stays Free and Rich While His Employees Go Down on Murder Charges
(The Nation & Jeremy Scahill / The Intercept)

On September 16, 2007, employees of the military contractor Blackwater, USA opened fire and killed at least 14 Iraqis in the infamous Nisour Square massacre. The youngest victim was Nine-year-old Ali Kinani, who died from a gunshot wound to the head. Finally, a federal jury in Washington, D.C., has returned guilty verdicts against four Blackwater operatives charged with killing more than a dozen Iraqi civilians and wounding scores of others in the unprovoked attack.

Biggest Threat to US Homeland: 20,000 'No-knock' Raids by Militarized Police
(Dara Lind / Vox,com )

Most of the time, when a person kills an intruder who breaks into his home, dressed in all black and screaming, the homeowner will avoid jail time. But what happens when the break-in was a no-knock SWAT raid, the intruder was a police officer, and the homeowner has a record? A recent pair of cases in Texas are an example of how wrong no-knock raids can go, for both police and civilians, and how dangerously subjective the SWAT raid process can be.

America's Drones Are Still Killing Scores of Innocents
(Rep. Alan Grayson & Robert Greenwald / Brave New Films & AlterNet)

Mamana Bibi was a 67-year-old Pakistani grandmother and midwife, killed by a US drone strike on October 24, 2012. One year ago, the family of Mamana Bibi came to Washington,, D.C., to share their sad story with Members of Congress. Only five Members of Congress came to hear this family's testimony. Only five listened to the real impact of one of America's most ruthless, extrajudicial, error-laden and enemy-producing war policies.

Robots, Nature and The Singularity: The Rise of the Machines and the Fall of Humanity
(Gar Smith / Environmentalists Against War & the International Forum on Globalization)

Why do humans build robots? The history of human automatons. The construction of robotic wildlife in an age of extinction. The development of military robots and the approach of the Singularity -- when human bodies and minds are surpassed by artificial intelligence and machines.

Synthetic Biology: The Risks of Treating Life as a Machine
(The ETC Group & the Bioeconomies Media Project)

It has been referred to as extreme genetic engineering and the new frontier of biotechnology. What is "SynBio", and how will it affect the food we eat and the world we inhabit? As thousands of scientists, students and vendors converge at the International Genetically Engineered Machines Jamboree in Boston to share the latest advancements in a multi-billion-dollar industry based on "industrializing life at the molecular level," ETC Group and the BMP are launching an education capping to challenge the "SynBio" industry.

ACTION ALERT: Tell President Obama: 'No to Torture'
(Credo Action & Charlie Savage / The New York Times & The New York Times Editorial Board)

On President Obama's second day in office he banned torture in the interrogation of terror suspects by executive order, ending a shameful legacy of the George W. Bush administration which embraced waterboarding and other forms of torture in secret CIA prisons and black sites around the world. Now, with just two years left in his second term in office, key members of President Obama's "legal team" are debating an about-face on torture.

The Ghosts of Gaza: Israel's Soldier Suicides
(Creede Newton / The Daily Beast)

Were Israeli soldiers so haunted by what they saw and did in the last Gaza war that they took their own lives? What role did their zealous commander play? In the weeks after an open-ended ceasefire, three Israeli soldiers decided to end their lives with their own weapons.All served in the Givati Brigade, which had a reputation for its ruthless ferocity and the use of Old Testament religiosity to justify the merciless operations of its commander, Colonel Ofer Winter.

Peace Prize Winners to Obama: US Must 'Come to Terms' with Its Use of Torture
(The Community & Al Jazeera America)

In a plea to President Obama, 12 Nobel laureates urge the US leader to hold himself and his country accountable for a history of egregious torture. The laureates hope the Obama administration might begin the process of "realigning the nation to the ideals and beliefs of their founders -- the ideals that made the United States a standard to be emulated."

Could Bhopal Happen Here?
(Anna Lappe / Al Jazeera America)

At 10 p.m. on Dec. 2, 1984, a gas leak started at Union Carbide's pesticide plant in Bhopal, releasing more than 40 tons of methyl isocyanate and other chemicals. Within half an hour, nearby residents were coughing, experiencing burning eyes and having difficulty breathing. Thirty years after the world's most dangerous chemical plant disaster, we're not much safer.

Child Poverty Rates Soar in World's Richest Countries
(Al Jazeera America)

According to UNICEF, the United Nations' children's aid agency, at least 2.6 million children have fallen below the poverty line in the world's richest nations since the 2008 economic crisis.

How Israel Is Turning Gaza into a Super-max Prison
(Jonathan Cook / The National )

It is astonishing that the reconstruction of Gaza, bombed into the Stone Age according to the explicit goals of an Israeli military doctrine known as "Dahiya", has tentatively only just begun two months after the end of the fighting. According to the United Nations, 100,000 homes have been destroyed or damaged, leaving 600,000 Palestinians -- nearly one in three of Gaza's population -- homeless or in urgent need of humanitarian help.

US Army Withheld Promise from Germany that Ebola Virus Wouldn't Be Weaponized
(RT News)

The United States has withheld assurances from Germany that the Ebola virus -- among other related diseases -- would not be weaponized in the event of Germany exporting it to the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases. "The delivery would place the recipient in the position of being able to create replicating recombinant infectious species of these viruses," a leaked cable notes.

Evidence: Pentagon and US Interests Behind Ebola Experiments in West Africa
(Paul Craig Roberts / Information Clearinghouse & Professor Francis A. Boyle & Dr. Cyril Broderick)

Could Ebola Have Escaped From US Bio-warfare Labs? American law professor Francis A. Boyle -- who was responsible for drafting the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989 -- reveals that the US Pentagon -- along with US corporations and academic research units -- have been using West Africa as an "offshore asset" in order to circumvent the Convention on Biological Weapons and do bio-warfare work with lethal weapons -- including the Ebola virus.

Global Poll: US Voted World's "Leading Terrorist State"

An international poll has found that the United States is ranked far in the lead as "the biggest threat to world peace today" -- far ahead of second-place Pakistan, with no one else even close.

UN and Israel Investigating Israel's Illegal Acts During Gaza Attacks
(RT News)

The UN has announced the coming start of an investigation into attacks on UN-operated facilities in the Gaza Strip and the use of UN sites to store weapons during Israel's summer military operation. At the same time, the Israeli Defense Forces are launching criminal probes into five cases of alleged misconduct and breach of international law by their own soldiers in the summer operation in the Gaza Strip. This will be part of a series totaling 99 investigations.

Cluster Bombs in Donetsk? Ukraine Accused of War Crime
(Andrew Rothoct / The New York Times & Al Jazeera America)

The Ukrainian Army appears to have fired cluster munitions on several occasions into the heart of Donetsk, unleashing a weapon banned in much of the world into a rebel-held city with a peacetime population of more than one million, according to physical evidence and interviews with witnesses and victims. In response, Ukraine's armed forces have denied allegations that they have indiscriminately used banned cluster bombs in the war against pro-Russian insurgents in the separatist east.

This 7-Year-Old Afghan Child's Father Was Killed by a US Drone
(Dr. Hakim / AntiWar.com)

Imal, a 7-year-old Afghan student in the 2nd grade, came to visit us in Kabul. As Imal grew up, he kept asking his mother where his father was. His mother finally told Imal that his father had been killed by a drone when he was still a baby. If Imal were a white American kid, this tragedy would not have befallen his father.

Edward Snowden and the Golden Age of Spying
(Tom Englehardt and Laura Poitras / A TomDispatch Interview )

How many Americans have security clearances? The answer: 5.1 million? Imagine the kind of system needed just to vet that many people for access to our secret world. About 1.6% of the US population is now paying on the other 98.4%. The majority are meant to be left in the dark. (For our own safety, of course. That goes without saying.) Edward Snowden's revelations about government spying changed the way the people see the world. Now Laura Poitras speaks about the impact of her new film.

Costs of War Set to Rise as US Starts Killing Civilians in Syria
(Jerusalem Post & Reuters & Jim Lobe / Inter Press Service )

US-led forces, which are bombing Islamic State militants in Syria, killed ten civilians in two recent air strikes, a group monitoring the violence said. Washington said there was no evidence to back up the report. Meanwhile, despite the public's persistent war weariness, the US defense budget -- the world's biggest by far -- may be set to rise again, according to a new study released here this week by the Center for International Policy.

The Middle East Needs a Marshall Plan
(Judith Barnett / Al Jazeera America)

On Oct. 12, international donor countries meeting in Cairo pledged $5.4 billion to help reconstruct Gaza after nearly two months of war between Hamas and Israel this summer. Washington pledged $212 million, doubling US aid to the Palestinians this year. But after three wars in six years, pouring money into Gaza without a long-term plan will not provide a solution. International reconstruction and counterterrorism efforts must include a long-term economic development plan.

The US Air-power Lobby, Botched Bombing Missions, and Deaths from 'Friedly Fire'
(Andrew Cockburn / Harpers Blog)

President Obama's war against the Islamic State will represent, by a rough count, the eighth time the US air-power lobby has promised to crush a foe without setting boot or foot on the ground. Yet from World War II to Yemen, the record is clear: such promises have invariably been proven empty and worthless. Such realities, however, are of little concern to the lobby, which measures success in terms of budgets and contracts. The choice of weapons will be dictated by Pentagon politics, not the requirements of the battlefield.

US 'Hid Iraq Chemical Weapons Incidents' from Poisoned Troops
(BBC News & Associated Press & C. J. Chivers / The New York Times)

The American government did not find what it had been looking for at the war's outset, then it failed to prepare its troops and medical corps for the aged weapons it did find. From 2004 to 2011, American and Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and at times were wounded by, chemical weapons that were hidden or abandoned years earlier.

Costs of War Set to Rise as US Starts Killing Civilians in Syria
(Jerusalem Post & Reuters & Jim Lobe / Inter Press Service )

US-led forces, which are bombing Islamic State militants in Syria, killed ten civilians in two recent air strikes, a group monitoring the violence said. Washington said there was no evidence to back up the report. Meanwhile, despite the public's persistent war weariness, the US defense budget -- the world's biggest by far -- may be set to rise again, according to a new study released here this week by the Center for International Policy.

CIA Whistleblower Gary Webb's Ghost: Mainstream Media Still
(C. Roberts / SF Weekly & James DiEugenio / Consortium News)

Investigative reporter Gary Webb, committed suicide in 2004 after he was drummed out of the news business, after he exposed the CIA's role in assisting Nicaraguan drug dealers who smuggled tons of cocaine into California virtually unmolested. Webb is back in the news thanks to Jeremy Renner, who plays the old-school investigative reporter in a new Hollywood film called "Kill the Messenger." The film is mostly an honest rehash of the story Webb told and the price he paid to tell it.

Malala's Missing Message: Peace Prize Winner's Criticism of Obama's Drones Removed from US Media Reports
(Peter Hart / Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting)

On October 10, Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai -- who received worldwide attention after being attacked by the Taliban for her advocacy for girls' education -- was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi. Yousafzai's work on educational equity is well-known. But less well-known is what she said to Barack Obama about how his wars were undermining the fight against terrorism.

Hanford's Nuclear Workers Dying from Radiation Poisoning
(Lori Jane Gliha & Serene Fang / Al Jazeera America)

Former nuclear workers at Hanford hope to receive compensation from the life-threatening illnesses they're suffering as a result of exposure to Hanford's toxic chemicals. Thousands of people in Washington State have applied for medical benefits after working at the contaminated weapons site. About 49 percent of the 26,025 Hanford-related claims have been approved with payouts totaling $723 million as of Oct. 5. But the government wouldn't reveal the average number of times a claimant is denied before being approved.

Israel Damages 15,671 Housing Units, Bars Re-Building Materials from Gaza
(Middle East Monitor & Global Research & Rania Khalek / Electronic Intifada)

During a recent 51-day onslaught, the Israeli army damaged 15,671 housing units across the Gaza Strip, including 2,276 that were totally destroyed. The Israeli authorities have delayed indefinitely the entry of 60 truckloads of building materials into the Gaza Strip. The move came despite Israeli "promises" to allow the entry of the construction supplies into the blockaded enclave. More than 2,150 Gazans, meanwhile, mostly civilians, were killed -- and 11,000 injured -- in unrelenting Israeli attacks.

65 Iraqi Civilians -- Mostly Women and Children -- Killed and Wounded in US-led Coalition Attack
(National Iraqi News Agency & AntiWar.com & The Los Angeles Times)

Witnesses in Iraq announced international coalition aircraft killed 22 civilians (including 5 women and 4 children) and wounded 43 others during the bombing of a popular market in the Hit District. The Pentagon called the claim of civilian deaths "false" and that they had seen no evidence of any civilians killed -- the same blanket statement Pentagon officials have made for every other airstrike in Iraq and Syria, even after civilian deaths have been confirmed.

A Momentous Victory for Justice and Transparency at Guantanamo
(Alka Pradhan / Al Jazeera America)

'Fairness' is not a word often associated with Guantanamo Bay, with its hope-starved prisoners who have sat in steel cells, away from their families, for 12 years. But, hunger-striking inmate Abu Wa'el Dhiab -- with the help of an engaged public -- has managed to win victories for both openness and fairness at Guantanamo. In a pitched court battle, Dhiab's lawyers stopped a last-minute bid by the government to hold the first-ever trial of abusive force-feeding at the prison almost entirely in secret.

US Signs Afghan Troop Deal, Kills Four Civilians, Loosens Rule on Killing Innocents
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Michael Isikoff / Yahoo News)

Newly inaugurated Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has signed a troop deal with the US, keeping occupation forces in the country "through 2024 and beyond." The ink wasn't even dry on the document when the latest US drone airstrike destroyed a carload of civilians, killing four. The Obama Administration's promise not to launch drone strikes unless there is a "near certainty" that the strike won't kill any civilians, does not apply to US strikes in Iraq or Syria.

US Signs Deal to Keep Troops in Afghanistan; Loosens Rules on Killing Civilians
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Michael Isikoff / Yahoo News)

As Afghan President Ashraf Ghani signed a deal with the US, to keep nearly 10,000 occupation forces in the country "through 2024 and beyond," a US airstrike killed four Afghan civilians. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration has indicated that its previous promise not to launch drone strikes unless there is a "near certainty" that the strike won't kill any civilians is now conditional -- it doesn't apply to US strikes in Iraq or Syria -- or, apparently, Afghanistan.

New War Raises Concerns over US Use of Radiological Weapons in Iraq
(John Keyser / The Hill & The Center for Constitutional Rights & The International Coalition to Ban Uranium Weapons)

As the US launches new attacks in the Middle East, detailsabout the military's use of DU in weaponry and its long-term effects remains more urgent as ever. According to a report by PAX, Iraq has suffered the largest use of DU munitions of all areas of conflict -- conservatively estimated to be at least 440 metric tons while the UN estimates are five times that amount. Iraqi civilians exposed to DU have suffered high rates of cancer and birth defects and US veterans report unexplained illnesses.

As Before: US/Iraqi Bombs Kill Civilians, Enrage Population, Spur Rebel Recruiting
(Tessa Manuello / Rudaw & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

"Indiscriminate" Iraqi air force attacks meant to wipe out Islamic State forces have killed dozens of civilians, including 24 refugee children housed at a school near Tikrit at the start of this month, according to Human Rights Watch. The International Red Cross has warned that the US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have "compounded the humanitarian consequences" in both countries. Since President Obama announced his intention to strike Syria on September 10, ISIS has gained more than 200 new fighters in Aleppo Province alone.

Evidence Ukraine Troops May Have Killed, Beheaded Woman
(RT News)

Russia is calling for an international investigation into the discovery of burial sites with signs of execution at locations where the Ukraine National Guard forces were stationed two days earlier. The burial sites near the Kommunar mine, 60 kilometers from Donetsk, were first discovered on Tuesday by self-defense forces. Four bodies have been exhumed, including those of three women. Their hands were tied, at least one of the bodies was decapitated, self-defense fighters said.

As Before: US/Iraqi Bombs Kill Civilians, Enrage Population, Spur Rebel Recruiting
(Tessa Manuello / Rudaw & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

"Indiscriminate" Iraqi air force attacks meant to wipe out Islamic State forces have killed dozens of civilians, including 24 refugee children housed at a school near Tikrit at the start of this month, according to Human Rights Watch. The International Red Cross has warned that the US-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria have "compounded the humanitarian consequences" in both countries. Since President Obama announced his intention to strike Syria on September 10, ISIS has gained more than 200 new fighters in Aleppo Province alone.

Hundreds of Gaza Children Permanently Disabled by this Summer's Conflict
(Lena Odgaard / Al Jazeera America)

This summer's 51 days of fighting between Israel and Hamas took a heavy toll on Gaza's children, killing 501 and injuring an additional 3,374. though the bombs have stopped, hundreds of children face an uncertain future as they have been left orphans permanently disabled. According to the Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, 1,064 homes were targeted by the Israeli army, and 17,000 were damaged or destroyed. Many children who sustained permanent injuries also lost one or both parents.

Why ISIL Wants to Be In a War With America
(Paul Waldman / The American Prospect & The London Daily Mail)

On September 19, the Islamic State posted a 55-minute video titled 'Flames of War' on YouTube. The video was quickly removed. Only a short trailer remains. Those who saw the censored video report it bears the hallmarks of previous IS propaganda -- including bloodthirsty, call-to-arms language. At end of the tape, a masked jihadist speaks directly to the camera in an American accent and captured Syrian soldiers are seen being ordered to dig their own shallow graves before being shot.

YouTube Bans 'Flames of War' but VICE Posts a Remarkable Inside Look at the People and Ideology of the Islamic State
(Medyan Dairieh / VICE News & Polly Mosendz / The Wire & Bill Gertz / Counter Jihad Report)

A 55-minute propaganda film posted by the Islamic State has been removed by YouTube. Some elements have been posted on foreign Websites. Meanwhile, an extraordinary inside look into the people and ideology that is driving the Islamic State has been made available by VICE News. VICE reporter Medyan Dairieh spent three weeks embedded with the Islamic State, gaining unprecedented access to the group in Iraq and Syria as the first and only journalist to document its inner workings.

Ebola Response: Cuba Sends Doctors, US Sends Troops
(Smitha Mundasad / BBC News & BBC News & David Martosko, Political Editor / The Daily Mail Online)

Cuba is sending 165 doctors, nurses and infection control specialists to Sierra Leone to help tackle the Ebola outbreak. The health workers will stay for six months. The US plans to send 3,000 troops to Liberia to "oversee building new treatment centers and help train medical staff." Meanwhile, US AID will spend more than $89,000 to purchase and ship 5,000 cadaver bags to Liberia. In response to warnings about the impact of Ebola in the US, Washington has allocated more than $100 million in resources.

Navy Nurse Punished for Refusal to Torture Prisoners; Military Lawyer Resigns to Protest Gitmo Torture
(RT News)

A Navy nurse who refused to force-feed hunger-striking Guantanamo detainees was threatened with court-martial and could now lose his career. The nurse, a Navy lieutenant who has never been publicly identified, refused to force-feed hunger strikers -- becoming the first known US military conscientious objector during the 18-month-long hunger strike. Meanwhile, Maj. Jason Wright resigned on Aug. 26, accused the government of "abhorrent leadership" on human rights and due process at Gitmo.

Rewarding Israel for its War Crimes: $6 Billion Gaza Reconstruction Aid Will Be 'Made in Israel'
(EurActive & The Ecologist)

As the world gears up to finance Gaza's $6 billion reconstruction after Operation Protective Edge, an EU source has revealed that Israel will earn billions of euros by making sure that all the steel, concrete and other materials and other aid are sourced in Israel and benefit Israeli companies.

Sacrificing the Vulnerable, from Gaza to America
(Chris Hedges / TruthDig )

Chris Hedges gave this speech before a crowd of about 2,000 during The Fighting Bob Fest, an annual event that brings together progressive speakers from around the country and honors Robert "Fighting Bob" La Follette (1855-1925), a US senator from Wisconsin who opposed the United States' entry into World War I. Parts of this talk were drawn from Hedges' past columns.

Israeli Intelligence Veterans Refuse to Serve in Palestinian Territories
(Peter Beaumont / The Guardian )

Forty-three veterans of one of Israel's most secretive military intelligence units have publicly refused to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories because of the widespread surveillance of innocent residents. The signatories -- officers, former instructors and senior NCOs from the country's equivalent of America's NSA -- allege that the "all-encompassing" intelligence Unit 8200 gathers is used to create divisions in Palestinian society and for the "political persecution" of innocent Palestinians.

Desperate Refugees from Gaza Drown in Mediterranean
(Renee Lewis / Al Jazeera America & Peace Now)

As political instability widens in the Middle East and North Africa, increasing numbers of undocumented migrants have attempted to reach Europe in boats and makeshift rafts -- many drowning along the way. Fifteen Palestinian migrants attempting to flee the besieged and war-torn Gaza Strip died Saturday after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of northern Egypt, media sources said.

Another Brutal Beheading in Retribution for US Decision to Bomb ISIS
(Steve Robson / The Daily Mirror)

Islamic State militants have released footage claiming to show the beheading of British hostage David Haines. The aid worker was captured by ISIS in Syria in March 2013. After carrying out the brutal killing, the masked ISIS militant parades another British hostage ISIS has threatened to kill foreign hostages in retaliation for the West's decision to start bombing ISIS fighters. While the British press published Haines' final words, in full the US media either ignored or only quoted parts of Haines final words.

Human Rights Watch Accuses Israel of War Crimes in Gaza
(Jeffrey Heller / Reuters & Jodi Rudoren / The New York Times)

Human Rights Watch accused Israel of committing war crimes by attacking three UN-run schools in the Gaza Strip in July and August, killing civilians who had sheltered there. "Three Israeli attacks that damaged Gaza schools housing displaced people caused numerous civilian casualties in violation of the laws of war," HRW reported, based on interviews with witnesses and field research in the Islamist-dominated enclave. Israeli government and military spokesmen declined immediate comment.

CIA 'Tortured al-Qaeda Suspects Close to the Point of Death
(Deborah Sweet / The World Can't Wait & Peter Foster / The Telegraph)

As the Senate prepares to release a report documenting US torture program after 9/11, the London Telegraph reveals new details about the CIA excesses. When the long-delayed report on CIA torture comes out this month, it will be a cover-up, designed to forestall further accountability. It won't name names. But it will nevertheless be a significant exposure of what was done by the Bush regime across the globe, in contravention of international law, and with the support and participation of both political parties. Stay tuned for plans to respond to it.

Did Washington Want James Foley Dead? Reporter's Family Cites Government Threats
(James Nye / The Daily Mail)

In his Wednesday night White House speech, the president justified his call for military escalation in Iraq by citing ISIS' "acts of barbarism -- they took the lives of two American journalists -- Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.' Foley's parents have complained to the press that their attempts to bring their son home did not 'seem to be in [Washington's] strategic interest.' Throughout the 20-month ordeal, Mrs. Foley she came to see her family's efforts to rescue James as 'an annoyance' to the administration. At one point the Foleys were threatened with prosecution if they attempted to pay a ransom to free their son.

A State of Extreme Planetary Emergency
(Malcolm Light / Arctic News Blogspot & University of Utah News)

President Obama must declare a State of Extreme National Emergency and cease orchestrating a war with Russia. He must recall his entire army and navy personnel to the United States to begin a massive conversion of the US energy system to solar and wind power. All 600 coal power stations and nuclear stations must be completely shut down in the next 5 to 10 years. If this is not done, humanity will be facing total extinction in an Arctic Methane Firestorm between 2040 and 2050.

Occupation and the Environmental Destruction Of Palestine

Over the last 40 years occupied Palestine has witnessed a catastrophic decline in biodiversity. Loss of habitat, desertification and pollution of water sources have all been linked to the occupation by Israeli forces.

Don't Ever Whisper:The Story of Darlene Keju, Pacific Nuclear Activist
(Book Review / Red Dirt Report)

"Don't Ever Whisper" is the powerful story of a woman from the Marshall Islands who championed the cause of nuclear weapons test survivors when others were silent, and who implemented innovative community health programs that gave hope to a generation of troubled youth.

Report Reveals US Air Force Has Killed More Americans than ISIS
(Robert Burns / Associated Press)

A "friendly fire" incident in Afghanistan that killed five US soldiers and one Afghan was caused by a series of "avoidable miscommunications" among air and ground forces, according to a military investigation report released three months after the deadly June 6 attack.

Islamic State's Execution Videos Are Sly Propaganda Written in Blood
(Rob Crilly / Al Jazeera America)

Analysis: The made-for-media ritual murder of Steven Sotloff is designed to send a series of carefully crafted messages. The message is clear: This is a ritual. We've done it before, and we'll do it again. And again. This is the underlying message: Here is an organization willing to taunt the commander-in-chief of the world's most powerful military with a brazen act of symbolic violence designed to strike fear into their enemies and instill a sense of invincibility among followers and potential recruits.

How the NSA Helped Turkey Kill Kurdish Rebels
(Laura Poitras, Marcel Rosenbach, Michael Sontheimer and Holger Stark / Der Spiegel & The Intercept)

On a December night in 2011, a terrible thing happened on Mount Cudi, near the Turkish-Iraqi border. One side described it as a massacre; the other called it an accident. Several Turkish F-16 fighter jets -- sent into the sky on the basis of reports from a US drone -- bombed a caravan of villagers that night, apparently under the belief that they were guerrilla fighters. They turned out to be smugglers, not PKK fighters. Some 34 people died in the attack.

Obama's Escalation in Iraq Costs the Life of a Second ISIS Hostage
(William Maclean / Reuters & ITV.com)

The US resumed air strikes in Iraq in August for the first time since the pullout of US troops in 2011. In a video released last month, two weeks after the bombing resumed, the Islamic State declared it was beheading US reporter James Foley in retaliation for US air strikes on its fighters. ISIS also threatened to kill Steven Sotloff if the US continued its new air attacks inside Iraq. Also: a transcript of what is claimed to be the last words of Steven Sotloff, taken from the footage released by Islamic State.

HRW Report: US-backed Ukraine Govt. Committing War Crimes in Rebel-held East
(Human Rights Watch)

Unlawful government and insurgent attacks in and around Luhansk are contributing to rising civilian casualties. According to a morgue doctor in Luhansk, explosive weapons have killed more than 300 civilians in the city since May. Many of the attacks appeared to be indiscriminate, in that they did not or could not distinguish between civilians and combatants, Human Rights Watch said. Indiscriminate attacks violate international humanitarian law, or the laws of war.

No Justice for Thousands of Afghan Civilians Killed in US/NATO Operations
(Amnesty International)

The families of thousands of Afghan civilians killed by US/NATO forces in Afghanistan have been left without justice, according to "Left in the Dark," a report from Amnesty International. "Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces ... but the US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings." The Amnesty report discovered that even apparent war crimes have gone uninvestigated and unpunished.

500,000 Gaza Children Lose Their Schools: 504 Gaza Children Lose Their Lives
(UNESCO Press Release & )

Nearly half a million children in Gaza will not be able to return to primary and secondary schools on Sunday as the new academic year starts, UNESCO, Save the Children and UNICEF said on 25 August 2014. Meanwhile, the Al-Mezan Centre for Human Rights has compiled a list of 504 children who will never return to school. They died in Gaza, comprising almost quarter of the total number of Palestinians killed by Israel's bombs and missiles.

From Gaza with the Worst News: Orphaned While at College in America
(Sara Hassan / Al Jazeera America)

It began as a normal day for Iman Abu Aitah, a Palestinian student going to college in the United States. A rising junior, she was making plans to visit her relatives back in Gaza for the first time in two years. But as she did her routine Facebook check, she knew something was off. The news was the worst it could be. Abu Aitah's parents had been killed in an Israeli airstrike, along with her two eldest brothers and a 4-year-old nephew. Suddenly, she was an orphan.

Why Israel's Bombardment of Gaza Neighborhood Left US Officers 'Stunned'
(Mark Perry / Al Jazeera America)

Analysis: Though the Pentagon shies from publicly expressing judgments that might fall afoul of a decidedly pro-Israel Congress, senior US military sources speaking on condition of anonymity offered scathing assessments of Israeli tactics. In one 24-hour period, Israeli operations directed fire from11 Israeli artillery battalions -- a minimum of 258 artillery pieces, that pumped at least 7,000 high explosive shells into one Gaza neighborhood.

Russia Has Not 'Invaded' Ukraine. Instead, Russia Has Opened its Borders to Defecting Ukrainian Soldiers
(Dr. Paul Craig Roberts / Global Research & Paula Slier / RT News)

Commentary: The latest Washington lie, this one coming from NATO, is that Russia has invaded Ukraine with 1,000 troops and self-propelled artillery. It follows a previous lie that a Russian armored convoy entered Ukraine and was destroyed by the Ukrainian military. Russian leader Vladimir Putin has invested heavily in diplomacy backed by unprovocative behavior. He would not risk his bet on diplomacy by sending in troops too few in number to have a decisive effect on the outcome.

Pentagon's New Military Robots Will Decide Who Lives, Who Dies
(UN High Commissioner on Human Rights & World Military Tech)

Lethal autonomous robots (LARs) can operate without human intervention. While drones are operated by humans, these new weapons systems, not currently deployed, can make decisions about targets on their own. Drawing attention to the global treaty to ban landmines, the Special Rapporteur poses the question: is it inherently wrong to let autonomous machines decide who and when to kill? "This is an overriding consideration: if the answer is negative, no other consideration can justify the deployment of LARs."

UN's Human Rights Commissioner Slams World's 'Paralysis' As Syria Toll Hits 191,000
(NBC World News & Al Jazeera America & OHCHR)

After six years as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay's term ends on August 30. In a parting statement she rebuked the UN Security Council for putting short-term geopolitical concerns and narrowly-defined national interests ahead of stopping mass atrocities and grave breaches of global peace and security. Noting the deaths of more than 10,000 children in Syria's war, Pillay declared: "Greater responsiveness by this council would have saved hundreds of thousands of lives."

Sale of Hellfire Missiles Makes US Complicit in Israel's War Crimes
(Sudarsan Raghavan and Ruth Eglash / The Washington Post)

An Israeli missile attack that killed 10 civilians sheltering in a UN school here early this month prompted a call for restraint from the US government over what the State Department described as a "disgraceful" act. Yet what Israel used in that August 3 strike, according to the UN, was a US-made Hellfire missile. While Spain and Britain have announced plans to review their exports of arms to Israel, US officials have said in recent days that a new transfer of Hellfires will not be delayed.

Israel Turns Gaza into a "Killing Field"; Attacks Humanitarian Mission; Destroys 12-story Apartment Building
(Geetika Rudra / ABC World News & Global Research News & Anthony Bellchambers / Global Research)

In the killing fields of Gaza where heavily-armed Israeli troops in Merkava tanks and US-supplied F16 strike aircraft, fire high-explosive missiles into a civilian population in acts of collective punishment. To date, over 2,000 lives, the majority of which are unarmed civilians -- including hundreds of women and children -- have been taken. Since the fighting erupted on July 8, Israel has launched some 5,000 airstrikes at Gaza, while Gaza militants have fired close to 4,000 rockets and mortars.

The Unprotected: A Gaza Family Destroyed by Israeli Bombs
(Julia Amalia Heyer and Juliane von Mittelstaedt / Der Spiegel)

For an entire week, eight people -- women, children and an elderly man -- were trapped in their house in Gaza. They couldn't leave and nobody could help. An hour before the cease-fire, the family was wiped out by Israeli bombs.

Why It's Hard to Believe Israel's Claim That It Did Its Best to Minimize Civilian Deaths
(Idan Barir, Israeli Artillery Corps / The Huffington Post)

Commentary: "Among the difficult reports streaming in from Gaza over the past few weeks, two especially painful events have captured my attention. The first was the shelling of a UN school building in Jabaliya.... The second was the bombing of a bustling market in the Shuja'iya neighborhood. Israel defended its actions, arguing that it was targeting militants and doing its best to avoid civilian casualties. I served as a crew commander in the Israeli artillery corps at the beginning of the Second Intifada, and I feel compelled to counter this claim."

Israel Bars Amnesty, Human Rights Watch Workers from Gaza
(Amira Hass / Haaretz)

Israel has been refusing to allow employees of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to enter the Gaza Strip in order to conduct their own independent investigations into the fighting, using various bureaucratic excuses. Both human rights organizations have been trying to obtain permission from the Civil Administration to enter Gaza since July 7.

Activists Plan Port Shutdowns To Block Israeli Ship in US and Canada
(JP Massar / Daily Kos & Rebecca Bowe / The Guardian & KTVU.com & Renee Lewis / Al Jazeera America & Global Witness)

In solidarity with Palestinians, thousands of activists in Oakland, Seattle and Vancouver are aiming to prevent a commercial Israeli cargo vessel from docking on the West Coast. The actions come in response to a call from Palestinian and South African unions to hold Israel accountable for violations of Palestinians' human rights -- particularly during Israel's latest offensive in the Gaza Strip, an operation that has killed more than 1,900 Palestinians.

Nothing Says "Sorry Our Drones Hit Your Wedding Party" Like $800,000 And Some Guns
(Gregory D. Johnsen / Buzzfeed.com )

On December 12, 2013, a drone struck and killed 12 members of a wedding party in Yemen. If the US, which claims the strike was clean and justified, didn't pony up the $800,000 in cash and guns as reparations, then who did?

The Militarization of the Police on Display
(Jamelle Bouie / Slate)

In his book "The Rise of the Warrior Cop," journalist Radley Balko notes that since the 1960s, "law-enforcement agencies across the US, at every level of government, have been blurring the line between police officer and soldier. Driven by martial rhetoric and the availability of military-style equipment -- from bayonets and M-16 rifles to armored personnel carriers -- American police forces have often adopted a mindset previously reserved for the battlefield."

Pentagon-armed Police Shoot and Kill Another Unarmed American
(Jerry White / World Socialist Web Site & Shirley Li / The Wire)

Another unarmed young man has been shot to death, execution style, by police on the streets of a US city. The victim this time was 18-year-old Michael Brown, riddled with a dozen bullets from the gun of a cop in the St. Louis, Missouri suburb of Ferguson. In response to demonstrations of popular outrage, riot police have attacked protests with Pentagon-supplied weapons -- including tear gas and rubber bullets. A pregnant woman says she was thrown on the ground, maced and held at gunpoint.

Gaza Lies in Ruins: UN Appoints Commission to Investigate War Crimes
(Anthony Bellchambers / Global Research & Andrea Germanos / Common Dreams & Gareth Porter / Inter Press Service)

As world media attention shifts to another war crime massacre, this time in Northern Iraq, much of Gaza lies in ruins. The UN Human Rights Council announced the appointment of experts to carry out an independent commission charged with investigating possible war crimes during the month-long assault on Gaza that killed nearly 2,000 Palestinians and 67 Israelis. UN officials and human rights groups have characterised Israeli attacks on civilian targets in Gaza as violations of the laws of war.

Ukraine Applies the 'Gaza Solution': Opens Fire on Civilian Populations
(RT News & Vladimir Astapkovich / RIA Novosti )

The number of killed and wounded in eastern Ukraine has doubled to 2,086 over the last two weeks, according to the UN's "very conservative estimates." Throughout the Ukraine crisis, the US State Department and mainstream media have downplayed the role of neo-Nazis in the US-backed Kiev regime -- an inconvenient truth that is surfacing again as right-wing storm troopers fly neo-Nazi banners as they attack in the east.

HRW Report: Egypt's Mass Murder of 1,000 Civilian Protestors Ruled a 'Crime against Humanity'
(Al Jazeera America & Human Rights Watch)

A new report claims Egyptian security forces' killing of at least 1,000 protesters at the Rab'a al-Adawiya Square in Cairo "most likely amount to crimes against humanity." Human Rights Watch called the murders "one of the world's largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history" and concluded the killings were planned at highest levels of government as "part of a policy to use lethal force against largely unarmed protesters."

US Implicated in Israeli War Crimes? A Legal Analysis
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun Magazine & Marjorie Cohn / Consortium News)

For decades, argues Marjorie Cohn, Israel has slaughtered Palestinians with impunity, always protected by the US government and its veto at the UN Security Council. But the latest bloody assault on Gaza has prompted more open talk about Israeli war crimes -- and US complicity.

The Dishonorable Tradition:
(John Marciano / CounterPunch)

Our President, a former law professor and Noble Peace Laureate, recently acknowledged the CIA resorted to torture after 9/11: "We did some things that were wrong [and] we tortured some folks. We did some things that were contrary to our values," the president said. Obama implied that the CIA tortured people only because they were under "enormous pressure" to prevent further attacks. But international law is clear: "No exceptional circumstances ... may be invoked as a justification for torture."

Ukraine Attacks Civilian Targets, Risks Chemical Disaster
(RT News)

Ukraine is at risk of an environmental disaster as Kiev's army continues to bomb the Donestk region, nearly hitting its largest chemical plant that stores lethal agents, the plant's spokesperson warned. If the toxic chemicals and gases were released, the minimum impact zone would extend at least 186 miles. The ongoing fighting in eastern Ukraine has already led to more than 1,300 people -- both civilians and military troops -- being killed in the conflict.

Amnesty International Report Finds US, NATO Ignored War Crimes against Thousands of Afghan Civilians
(RT News )

"Thousands of Afghans have been killed or injured by US forces since the invasion, but the victims and their families have little chance of redress. The US military justice system almost always fails to hold its soldiers accountable for unlawful killings and other abuses.... None of the cases that we looked into -- involving more than 140 civilian deaths -- were prosecuted by the US military. Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored." -- Richard Bennett, AI.

Left In The Dark: US/NATO Failures of Accountability for Civilian Deaths in Afghanistan
(Amnesty International)

Thousands of Afghan civilians have been killed since 2001 by international forces, and thousands more have been injured. Incidents like the killing of five civilians near Gardez in February 2010, in what appears to have been a war crime, go uninvestigated and unpunished. In the vast majority of cases, even where the available evidence suggests that killings were unlawful, family members of the victims have no means whatsoever of accessing justice.

Gaza War Bill Estimated at $5 Billion: Gaza's Only Power Plant Targeted and Destroyed
(Omar Shaban / Al-Monitor & Charlie D’Agata / CBS Evening News & Human Rights Watch)

The Gaza Strip is perhaps the only place in the world that suffered three devastating wars requiring extensive reconstruction three times in seven years. The latest attack on homes, mosques, schools, hospitals and critical infrastructure has been estimated at $5 billion. Damaging or destroying a power plant -- even if it also served a military purpose -- would be an unlawful disproportionate attack under the laws of war, causing far greater civilian harm than military gain.

ACTION ALERT: Amnesty Int. to Washington: 'Stop Arming Israel'
(The Journal.ei & Amnesty USA & Edith Garwood / Amnesty USA)

The US, as the largest foreign supplier of weapons, munitions, police equipment to Israel, bears a particular responsibility for the use of the weapons it provides. Amnesty International is calling for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations committed on all sides and urges Washington to suspend transfers of munitions, weapons, crowd control devices, and military training to Israel -- until Israel stops violating human rights across the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

ACTION ALERT: No New War in Iraq
(Council for a Livable World & The World Can't Wait & Revolution)

The US has launched airstrikes on targets in northern Iraq in an effort to counter the forces of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. These are the first US bombs dropped on Iraq since the US ended the war in 2011. US involvement in Iraq has gone from a few hundred troops, to a few hundred more, to -- dropping bombs. The White House says it must act to prevent "genocide." But the same White House continues to provide weapons that are being used to kill civilians in Gaza.

Noam Chomsky: The Nightmare in Gaza
(Noam Chomsky / AlterNet.org)

Commentary: Amid all the horrors unfolding in the latest Israeli offensive in Gaza, Israel's goal is simple: quiet-for-quiet, a return to the norm. For the West Bank, the norm is that Israel continues its illegal construction of settlements, meanwhile consigning Palestinians to unviable cantons and subjecting them to repression and violence. For Gaza, the norm is a miserable existence under a cruel and destructive siege that Israel administers to permit bare survival but nothing more.

Fukushima's Children are Dying
(Harvey Wasserman / The Free Press)

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal. More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people -- nearly 200,000 kids -- tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

Richard Nixon's Treason Cost More than 20,000 American Lives

Richard Nixon was a traitor. The release of extended versions of Nixon's papers confirm a long-standing "conspiracy theory" that now has been substantiated by conservative columnist George Will. Nixon's records reveal how, as a presidential candidate in 1968, he conspired with agents of the South Vietnam government, to block a cease-fire agreement brokered by President Lyndon Johnson. Nixon then ran on a promise that he "had a plan to end the war." Instead, 20,000 more US soldiers died.

UN, Amnesty Int., Human Rights Watch Call for War Crimes Investigation over Civilian Deaths
(Dr. Mona El-Farra / CounterPunch & RT News)

From a doctor on duty in Gaza: "We have gone through a lot in Gaza. But this is a new kind of war. Israel is committing new massacres every day. In the Red Crescent clinic we receive at least 200 patients a day. And we are not an emergency clinic. A lot of diseases are appearing in Gaza because of the Israeli destruction of the water systems, the electrical system and ongoing stress and fear from over three weeks of bombings. . . . 'It's raining bombs and shells.'"

Hiroshima Day 2014: How Many Minutes to Midnight?
(Tom Engelhardt / Tom Dispatch & Tom Engelhardt / Noam Chomsky / Tom Dispatch)

General Lee Butler, former head of the US Strategic Command: "By what authority do succeeding generations of leaders in the nuclear-weapons states usurp the power to dictate the odds of continued life on our planet? Most urgently, why does such breathtaking audacity persist at a moment when we should stand trembling in the face of our folly and united in our commitment to abolish its most deadly manifestations?"

Hiroshima Marks Anniversary of Atomic Bombing
(Channel News Asia & Eric Sutphin / Ploughshares & Reid Dennis / Ploughshares)

Tens of thousands were to gather for peace ceremonies in Hiroshima on August 6, marking the 69th anniversary of the US atomic bombing of the city, as anti-nuclear sentiment runs high in Japan. An American B-29 bomber named Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, in one of the final chapters of World War II. It had killed an estimated 140,000 by December that year. Three days later, the port city of Nagasaki was also bombed, killing an estimated 70,000 people.

UN Chief Calls Gaza School Attack a 'Criminal Act'
(Reuters & Harriet Sherwood and Jason Burke / The Guardian)

UN Chief Ban Ki-moon tells Israel to 'end this madness' after bombardment kills at least 10 people and injures dozens. The Secretary-General condemned the deadly attack on a Gaza school on Sunday as a "moral outrage and a criminal act" and demanded those responsible for the "gross violation of international humanitarian law" be held accountable.

Who Is Behind Gaza's Mass Execution?
(Jesse Rosenfeld / The Daily Beast)

In a small bathroom on the edge of the Gaza town of Khuzaa there are the haunting signs of what looks like the summary execution of several Palestinians. Piled in one room in a Gaza home are rotting bodies -- and shell casings marked "IMI," short for "Israel Military Industries."

More Radiation Exposure Won't Hurt You, Says US EPA
(William Boardman / Reader Supported News )

The Environmental Protection Agency is a full-blown oxymoron when it comes to protecting US residents from the danger of increased exposure to ionizing radiation -- the kind of radiation that comes from natural sources like Uranium and the sun, as well as unnatural sources like uranium mines, nuclear weapons, and nuclear power plants. In January 2014, the EPA issued an "Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking" that would consider significantly increasing the "safe" radiation exposure levels.

Leading Economists, Historians, Strategists All Warn: 'WW III Is Coming'
(Zero Hedge.com & Paul Craig Roberts / Paul Craig Roberts.org)

Paul Craig Roberts -- former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury under President Reagan, former editor of the Wall Street Journal, listed by Who's Who in America as one of the 1,000 most influential political thinkers in the world, PhD economist -- has written a chilling article about the build-up of hostilities between the US and Russia. It is titled, simply: "War Is Coming."

Israel's $4 Billion Gas Grab: The Destruction of Gaza Is About Gas Reserves
(Nafeez Ahmed / The Ecologist)

Never mind the 'war on terror' rhetoric, writes Nafeez Ahmed. The purpose of Israel's escalating assault on Gaza is to control the Territory's 1.4 trillion cubic feet of gas -- and so keep Palestine poor and weak, gain massive export revenues, and avert its own domestic energy crisis. Israel's defence minister is on record confirming that military plans to uproot Hamas' are about securing control of Gaza's gas reserves.

Nearly Half of Identified Drone Strike Victims in Pakistan Are Civilians: Report
(Shayan Naveed / The Express Tribune )

An investigative project shows that 323 out of a little over 700 identified victims of US drones in Pakistan are reported to be civilians, including 99 children.The data gathered reveals that at least 2,342 people have been killed in drone attacks in the northern tribal areas of Pakistan. Of those killed at least 416 are reported to be civilians, whereas 323 have been named.

US Holds the World Record of Killings of Innocent Civilians
(Interview: Prof. John McMurtry and Kourosh Ziabari / Information Clearing House)

A world-renowned Canadian philosopher argues that the United States holds the world record of illegal killings of unarmed civilians and extrajudicial detention and torturing of prisoners who are detained without trial. Prof. John McMurtry says that the US government is a gigantic mass-murdering machine which earns profit through waging wars, and is never held accountable over its unspeakable war crimes and crimes against humanity. He also believes that the US has become a police state.

World Stands Disgraced' as Israel Bombs Another UN-Designated Shelter in Gaza
(Jon Queally / Common Dreams & Ali Abunimah / Global Research & Gaza Ministry of Health)

A United Nations school in the northern Gaza Strip, where hundreds of Palestinians were seeking refuge from Israeli bombing, was hit by missile strikes on Wednesday night, killing at least 16 and wounding close to one hundred others. "Last night, children were killed as they slept next to their parents on the floor of a classroom in a UN designated shelter in Gaza," said Pierre Krahenbuhl, the Commissioner-General of UNRWA. "Children killed in their sleep; this is an affront to all of us, a source of universal shame. Today the world stands disgraced."

Is Killing Civilians Part of Israel's Plan?
(Jonathan Cook / Global Research & Tony Seed / Global Research)

Opinion: Israel tells us that the civilian casualties are accidental, caused by Israel's need to wage its war against Hamas in heavily built-up areas of Gaza. Israel is accused of "disproportionality", inflicting unfortunate collateral damage. But here's another possibility: that the people of Gaza, not just Hamas, are the target. That Israel's generals don't see much difference between the two. That is why the power plant was destroyed. That is why Israel has been starving Gaza for years through its siege.

Israel Attacks Third UN School in Gaza, Destroys Gaza's Only Power Plant
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com)

Israeli tanks have attacked yet another UN-run girls' school in the Gaza Strip, killing dozens of civilians. The attacks on UN schools and civilian targets in general have been fueling international outrage at the Gaza onslaught, which is overwhelmingly killing innocent civilians, and large numbers of them children. Israel has attacked the strip's only power plant, knocking out electricity for the 1.8 million Gazans for at least a year.

Sending Gaza Back to the Stone Age: Israel's Plan to Seize 44 Percent of Gaza's Land
(Jesse Rosenfeld / The Daily Beast)

To protect itself from Hamas rockets and tunnels, Israel is forcing tens of thousands of people out of their homes, turning their old neighborhoods into a no-man's land. The power station, the port, government buildings, and private homes have all fallen prey to Operation Protective Edge. In the name of self-defense, Israel's army is driving people from "buffer zone" that, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, will swallow up about 44 percent of Gaza's territory.

Netanyahu Vows 'Lengthy Campaign' as Rockets Hit Hospital, Refugee Camp
(Jason Ditz / Antiar.com & Ayman Mohyeldin, Paul Ziad Nassar and Alexander Smith / NBC News)

This is the seventh "Gaza war" Israel has launched since Hamas took over the strip in 2007, the longest lasted only three weeks. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is suggesting this war will soon be both the longest and deadliest of the bunch. Missiles or rockets struck within yards of Shifa Hospital, Gaza's main hospital, and a nearby refugee camp, leaving at least 10 dead and dozens wounded. Israel and Hamas blamed each other for the civilian deaths.

Nobody Needed to Die to End Rocket and Mortar Fire Out of Gaza
(David Morrison / DavidMorrison.org)

Analysis: "Israel is currently engaged in its third military offensive on Gaza since 2008, ostensibly to bring a halt to rocket and mortar fire out of Gaza into Israel. There was no need for this offensive -- or for the previous two offensives -- for Israel to achieve that objective. Nobody, neither Israeli nor Palestinian, needed to die in order to bring a halt to rocket and mortar fire out of Gaza. All Israel needed to do was to stick to agreements it made with Hamas. But it didn't."

Gaza Pulverised beyond Recognition
(Mohammed Omer / Middle East Eye & Ramzy Baroud / Middle East Eye)

Rescue teams are using masks, but the smell remains strong. Ambulance crews have been shot at, as Israel had barred them from entering this area. Seven medics have been killed, while many others were injured. Homes, hospitals, mosques have been destroyed by Israel's F16's, drones or tank shells and mortars. Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu is not the only leader culpable of Gaza's bloodbath; others in Western capitals should also be held to account -- beginning with the US.

The Ruins of Gaza Laid Bare
(Peter Beaumont / The Observer)

Repeated shelling has inflicted a terrible reality on Palestinians as they try to salvage something from shattered homes and lives. In some places visited by The Observer, whole blocks had been flattened, dozens of buildings reduced to a moonscape from which the smell of death wafted. Where Israeli tanks and bulldozers have been there are sandy roads pushed through gardens, parks and farmland, banks of dirt thrown up from where the tanks fired from.

Who Is Dying in Afghanistan's 1,000-plus Drone Strikes?
(Alice K Ross / The Bureau of Investigative Journalism)

Afghanistan is the most heavily drone-bombed country in the world: the Watapur strike is one of over 1,000 known to have hit the country in the past 13 years. Yet there is no public record of when and where these strikes took place, or who they killed. Strangely, more is understood of the US's secret campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia than about how drone use has evolved in Afghanistan.

European Court of Human Rights Cites Poland for CIA's 'Black Site' Torture Crimes
(Dennis Kucinich / Reader Supported News & Vanessa Gera / Associated Press)

Europe's top human rights court ruled Thursday that Poland violated the rights of two terror suspects by allowing the CIA to secretly imprison them on Polish soil from 2002-2003 and facilitating the conditions under which they were subjected to torture. The torture program has resulted in deaths of prisoners in Afghanistan and Iraq. One Guantanamo inmate who was tortured will soon go on trial before a US military tribunal. No one at the CIA has been prosecuted for torturing suspects.

Human Rights Watch Says Kiev Killing Civilians with Illegal Weapons
(RT News)

The Ukrainian army is using indiscriminate Grad missiles to attack densely populated areas in Donetsk, which violates international humanitarian law, Human Rights Watch alleged. It also blamed militia for taking cover in those areas. Ukrainian troops have on many occasions used incendiary weapons and cluster bombs against militia-held cities, acts that are banned under the international law regulating warfare, the Russian military said.

Israel Attacks UN School as US Cuts Child Refugee Budget to Fund Israeli Military
(PressTV & Reuters & Ian Black / The Guardian)

Israeli forces have attacked a UN school sheltering displaced Palestinians against the Israeli offensive in the besieged Gaza Strip. Israel's tanks shelled the school belonging to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. In the US, Senate Democrats included $225 million for Israel's military in an emergency funding bill while cutting $1 billion from President Barack Obama's request to deal with thousands of undocumented child immigrants.

ACTION ALERT: EPA Preparing to Increase 'Allowable' Radiation Exposure Levels
(Joy Thompson / Enformable)

The US Environmental Protection Agency is considering RAISING the allowable amounts of radioactive emissions into the air and water from nuclear power plants! The EPA is proceeding with potential rule changes despite studies that show higher incidences of childhood leukemia repeatedly occur in children living near or downwind of nuclear power plants. Public comment period ends August 3.

Israel Using Flechette Shells in Gaza; Hospital Attacked
(Harriet Sherwood / The Guardian & Peter Beaumont, Harriet Sherwood and Matthew Weaver / The Guardian & PressTV & Haaretz)

Human rights group accuse the Israel military of using shells that spray out thousands of tiny and potentially lethal darts. Palestinian officials say four killed in hospital as Israel launches fresh air strikes after bloodiest day.

Navy War Games May Be Disrupting More than Just Animals in Hawaii
(Reviving the World's Oceans, Saving Wildlife and Wild Places)

The Navy's day-to-day training activities wreak havoc on the nearby marine life and this is doubly true for their war games. Now, whales and dolphins may not be the only mammals impacted, as the latest exercises in Hawaii may have disturbed humans too. This morning, what may have been intense sounds from the Navy's RIMPAC exercises taking place off of Hawaii, drove divers from at least one dive boat and one sport fishing boat out of the water complaining of intense noise and ear .pain

Indiscriminate Killing of Gaza Civilians Brings Worldwide Condemnation
(Common Dreams & Global Research )

Intense shelling and aerial assaults claimed hundreds of lives over the weekend in the Gaza Strip, pushing the number of Palestinians killed by Israel's 'Operation Protective Edge' beyond 500, with many thousands wounded. A Dutch doctor on the scene reports: "The last night was extreme. The 'ground invasion' of Gaza resulted in scores and carloads with maimed, torn apart, bleeding, shivering, dying -- all sorts of injured Palestinians, all ages, all civilians, all innocent."

US Senate Supports Israel's Attack on Gaza while State Department Refuses to Condemn Killing of Civilians
(Kevin Gosztola / The Dissenter & Chris Carlson / The International Middle East Media Center)

Following a similar resolution passed last week by the US House, the US Senate voted Thursday night to support Israel's ongoing invasion of the Gaza Strip. No dissenting vote was cast, and no mention was made of the hundreds of Palestinian civilians, most of whom are women and children, that have been killed by Israel in the past ten days. Meanwhile, the US State Department blames Hamas for Israel's bombing of four Palestinian children playing soccer on a Gaza beach.

Israel's Assault on Gaza Demand More than Condemnation
(Opinion: Haidar Eid / Global Research)

Opinion: The Palestinians of Gaza, naively, went to the polling station in January 2006, mistakenly believing the Bush doctrine of bringing democracy to the Middle East. People voted, but not for the preferred choice of the Israelis, or their American backers and the Arab dictators. Palestinians, especially those in Gaza, were made to pay a heavy price for this transgression: the imposition of a severe siege described by Israeli historian Ilan Pappe in 2006 as "genocide."

Witnesses Testify Against Ex-Blackwater Colleagues in Case of 2007 Iraq Killings
(Matt Apuzzo / The New York Times)

On September 16, 2007, a car bomb exploded and a Blackwater security team raced to Nisour Square. They stopped traffic and began shooting, killing 17 Iraqi civilians. For years, Iraqis have described running for cover, praying and watching family members die in the shooting. Now, in court testimony that, former Blackwater employees have offered the first public accounts of what it was like inside the security company's trucks that day.

Majority of Deaths from Israeli Attacks Are Civilians and Children
(Agence France-Presse & News24)

Figures provided by the Gaza-based Palestinian Centre for Human Rights show civilians account for more than 80% of the victims of Israel's assault since July 8 and 71 of those killed were under 18. At least 1 920 Palestinians have been wounded. The images of small, bloodied bodies lying face down in the sand triggered harsh international criticism. Israel says it's doing its utmost to spare civilians by urging residents to leave areas that are about to be shelled or bombed as Hamas targets.

Iraq War Crimes in Fallujah: US Aid and Weapons Turned on Civilians, Children, Hospital
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)

Background to the failure of the Iraqi government to retain the loyalty of many of the Iraqi people. Fallujah doctors, residents and NGO workers have accused the Iraqi government of war crimes and crimes against humanity in its ongoing attack against the city -- conducted ostensibly against al-Qaeda affiliate the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The embattled Al-Maliki government's troops are using US weapons and training in these shocking assaults.

New US Push to Frighten Citizens: This Time It's the Fear of ISIS in the American 'Homeland'
(Guy Benson / Townhall & Aaron Blake / The Washington Post)

NBC News' chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel recently reported that America faces an "increased terrorism threat" from ISIS radicals as they establish a stronghold in northern and eastern Iraq. Engles' source? "Multiple US intelligence officials." While mass-murders ascribed to ISIS have received extensive play on US media, there has been scant coverage of equally horrendous massacres of Sunni civilians by Iraq soldiers. Warning: graphic video.

Mourning for the Three Murdered Israeli Teens
(Rabbi Michael Lerner / Tikkun)

Commentary: We are in mourning for the three teens murdered in the West Bank. We know that revenge/retaliation acts will only bring about more acts of violence. "A sadly familiar scene over the past two weeks in occupied Palestine: 10 Palestinians (including a 7- and 15-year-old) and three Israeli settlers (16-19 years old) killed. Dozens of Palestinian homes demolished. Over 570 Palestinians kidnapped, making more than 6,000 abductees languishing in Israeli prisons. 1,500 Palestinian homes invaded."

Palestinians Say Israeli Extremists Killed Teen
(Associated Press & Juan Cole / JuanCole.com & Agence France-Presse & The Guardian & RT News)

The Palestinians accused Israeli extremists of abducting and killing an Arab teenager and burning his body Wednesday, sparking hours of clashes in east Jerusalem and drawing charges that the youth was murdered to avenge the killings of three kidnapped Israeli teens. In Washington, the Obama administration denounced the killing as a "heinous murder" and called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.

UN Rights Agency Comes to Aid of Desperate Detroit Residents
(N Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights & Anna Lappe / Al Jazeera America)

Because of high poverty rates and high unemployment rates, relatively expensive water bills in Detroit are unaffordable for a significant portion of the population. City officials have been disconnection around 3,000 customers per week and some 30,000 households are expected to lose access to water services over the next few months. But water is considered a human right and UN Human Rights officials have taken the side of America's poor, calling on Washington to act swiftly to protect the poor.

US Takes a Small Step to Reduce Outlawed Land Mines
(Hayes Brown / ThinkProgress & Rick Gladstone / The New York Times)

The US has announced that it will no longer produce new anti-personnel land mines, letting its current stockpile of 10-13 million weapons "dwindle." The US will also consider recognizing the 15-year-old global treaty that bans the use of the weapons that have killed an estimated 20,000 people (mostly civilians) annually. In the meantime, one arms control expert notes: "The US is reserving the right to use its 10 million antipersonnel mines anywhere in the world until the mines expire."

Israel Destroys Bedouin Village -- For the 70th Time in Four Years
(Julie Couzinet / Mondoweiss)

The Bedouin village of al-Araqib located in the Naqab desert in southern Israel was destroyed again last Thursday, the 12th of June. It was 70th time the village had been demolished since 2010. Around 350 police surrounded the village as bulldozers destroyed homes and emptied water tanks around the village's cemetery where some of the villagers were living. The village was completely destroyed by noon. Police also demolished the village's minaret and improvised mosque before leaving.

US Blocks UN Vote Criticizing Israel for West Bank Killings
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Times of Israel and Agence France-Presse)

A statement by the UN Security Council deploring the deaths of innocent Palestinians during Israeli military operations in the West Bank ended up blocked by the United States today because it mentioned Israel by name. US Ambassador Samantha Power calls criticism of Israel a 'red line' after Ramallah appeals for Security Council statement; dozens rally against PA cooperation with IDF.

US Atomic Weapons in Iraq Blamed for Cancers, Birth Defects
(RT News )

The US military's use of depleted uranium in Iraq has led to a sharp increase in Leukemia and birth defects in the city of Najaf -- and panicked residents are fearing for their health. Cancer is now "more common than the flu." In cities like Basra and Fallujah, where American and British forces used depleted uranium munitions at the start of the war, it is estimated that over half of all babies conceived after the start of the war were born with heart defects.

Children Fleeing Violence Flood US Borders: Part of 50 Million Refugees Worldwide
(Al Jazeera America & P. J. Tobia / PBS Newshour)

For the first time since the World War II era, the number of people forced from their homes worldwide has surged past 50 million, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. A record number of children from Central America are crossing the Mexico-US border unaccompanied by a parent. Many of them are fleeing drug violence at home, but here in the US, they're faced with a new set of challenges –- a border patrol system unequipped to handle them and a future filled with uncertainty.

Kiev Government Violates Laws of War, Laws of Diplomacy
(RT News & Global Research)

Kiev does not care about civilians in eastern Ukraine, and people have to flee their homes amid daily bombings, Ukrainian refugees told RT at a temporary camp in Russia's Rostov. anti-government activists are being shelled and bombarded with heavy artillery and incendiary bombs. Even in large regional centers like Lugansk, people no longer feel safe, as cases of Ukrainian jets launching missiles at central city buildings in broad daylight.

Fukushima's Children are Dying
(Harvey Wasserman / EcoWatch & VICE Video & Common Dreams)

Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal. More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people -- nearly 200,000 kids -- tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

Why Don't More Soldiers Simply Walk Away?: Understanding Bowe Bergdahl
(Ted Rall / Information ClearingHouse & Fred Reed / Information ClearingHouse)

Commentary: "American news media portrays Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and his apparent decision to simply walk away from the war in Afghanistan as bizarre and incomprehensible. I wonder why it doesn't happen all the time." "To protect [Afghans] from communism, we killed millions of them, only incidentally making McDonnell-Douglass rich. Today we spread a swath of destruction across the planet, this time protecting people from Terror by murdering them with drones."

The Human Impacts of the US Drone War in Yemen
(Michael Shank / The National Review & US News & World Report)

Commentary: "As Washington debates the legal merits of killing American citizens in Yemen via drones, a bigger debate must be addressed: the merits of our Yemen policy generally. Yemenis' opinion of us was already low under President George W. Bush, but it has reached a new low under President Barack Obama. Building a nation after an Arab Spring-like revolution isn't easy, especially when corruption is rampant, the population is starving and the country is running out of water."

47 Years Ago, the 'USS Liberty' Was Attacked in International Waters
(BBC Four Investigative Report & Ray McGovern / Consortium News)

On June 8, 1967, during the Six-Day War, Israel attacked the 'USS Liberty,' killing 34 American servicemen and wounded more than 170 during a two-hour assault by Israeli warplanes and torpedo boats. Israel claimed the attack was a tragic mistake and the US publicly accepted the explanation. More than 30 years later, startling new evidence revealed the truth: the savage assault was a premeditated, unprovoked and cold-blooded attack.

UN Envoy Angelina Jolie to Global Summit: End Sexual Violence in Conflict
(UN News Centre)

Hollywood actress and UN Special Envoy Angelina Jolie has called for action to end the use of rape and sexual violence as a weapon of war."It is a myth that rape is an inevitable part of conflict," Ms. Jolie told the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which opened in London. "There is nothing inevitable about it.... It is a weapon of war, aimed at civilians.... Warzone rape is a crime that thrives on silence and denial."

US Turns Blind Eye to Lugansk Massacre
(Daniel McAdams / Information Clearinghouse)

On June 2, a missile screamed through downtown Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, leaving a trail of craters in a city park before slamming into a regional administration building. At least eight people were killed in the blast, as it struck in a busy pedestrian area. Blood and body parts were strewn throughout the blast zone. Eyewitnesses and security camera footage confirmed the missile was fired from one of the Ukrainian military jets circling the area. The US mainstream media ignored this evidence.

Wikileaks Exposes US Role in 2009 Peru Massacre
(Public Citizen & Amazon Watch / New York Times Op-ed)

On fifth anniversary of Bagua Massacre in Peru, Wikileaks has published State Department cables that reveal the US role in the "Amazon's Tiananmen" -- a bloody military assault that killed at least 32 native Awajun and Wambis who were nonviolently blocking a road to protect their jungles from oil drilling under the US-Peru Free Trade Agreement. Now, the White House is seeking further expansion of the Foreign Investor Privileges (under the Trans-Pacific Partnership Pact).

Ukraine Military Assaults Cities, Hospitals: Journalists Detained, Killed
(RT News & The Air Force Times)

Death and destruction is reported in eastern Ukraine as Kiev's artillery resumed shelling the rebellious city of Slavyansk. Locals tell RT they have been without running water and power for days, and that hope is fading. In recent attacks, shells broke just near the central square. They hit residential houses, a furniture factory, a cafe and communications post. Many people were attending the Pentecost Mass in the nearby church. Four people were killed as a result of the shelling, a small girl among them.

US Turns Blind Eye to Lugansk Massacre
(Daniel McAdams / The Ron Paul Institute)

On June 2, a missile screamed through downtown Lugansk, in eastern Ukraine, leaving a trail of craters in a city park before slamming into a regional administration building. At least eight people were killed. Dozens of videos clearly showed Kiev-sent aircraft firing into cities and civilian centers in eastern Ukraine. The US government and the mainstream media ignored this evidence and continue to repeat the Kiev line that the pro-autonomy forces had again massacred themselves.

Eight Civilians Reported Killed as US-backed Kiev Regime Bombs Public Building in Lugansk
(RT News)

Kiev has admitted showering the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk with dozens of missiles from the air, saying that its Air Force helicopters and jets "fired more than 150 missiles" in Monday's military action. Eight people have been reported killed in an air attack that struck Lugansk's regional administration building. Lugansk officials reported: "Military aircraft made a targeted strike, deploying cluster bombs. The administration building is partially destroyed."

Hundreds of Ukrainians Killed as Obama Pledges More Military Support for Kiev
(Lauren McCauley / Common Dreams & )

Hundreds of Ukrainians were killed this week when government troops launched an "anti-terrorist operation" on rebel strongholds. As the fighting raged in Luhansk and Slaviansk, US President Barack Obama met with Ukrainian President-elect Petro Poroshenko in Poland and pledged his support for the newly elected government by promising $5 million worth of supplies for the Ukrainian military. Meanwhile, Ukrainian armed forces allegedly killed more than 25 wounded people in a hospital near Slavyans.

Kiev Escalates: Air Strikes on Ukraine's Rebel Cities
(Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com )

Commentary: "The reason for the complete failure of Kiev's 'anti-terrorist' offensive is all too clear: the US-supported Ukrainian 'government' forces are all conscripts, and no match for motivated rebel fighters -- who are angry at air-launched rocket assaults targeting civilian areas in rebel-controlled territory. 'How could they use air power in the center of the city, in broad daylight, next to a jungle gym?' asked a Russian literature teacher named Georgy."

Civilians Flee Ukraine's Armed Onslaught as US, UK, NATO Threaten Russia
(AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse )

Reports of fighting yesterday in Slovyansk have continued to grow, with reports that the Ukrainian ground troops that invaded the city are escalating their offensive, and civilians are fleeing en masse. Kiev officials reported all the slain as "pro-Russian militants," with no indications of what the civilian toll in such enormous violence in an urban area would have to be.

Bowe Bergdahl: America's Last Prisoner of War
(Michael Hastings / Rolling Stone Magazine)

In June 2012, fearless Rolling Stone contributing edtior Michael Hastings wrote the definitive first account of Bowe Bergdahl -- the young American soldier who was captured by the Taliban and became the last American prisoner of war. Hastings, the journalist who brought down the career of General Stanley McChrystal in these pages, died in a car accident one year later. Bergdahl was freed this weekend. Hastings' incredible story is available in full here.

What Excuse Remains for Obama's Failure to Close GITMO?
(Glenn Greenwald / The Intercept)

Commentary: "The excuse-making on behalf of President Obama has always found its most extreme form when it came time to explain why he failed to fulfill his oft-stated 2008 election promise to close Guantanamo .. . . But the events of the last three days have obliterated the last remaining excuse. In order to secure the release of American POW Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the Obama administration agreed to release from Guantanamo five detainees allegedly affiliated with the Taliban."

A 30-year Coverup: Two Disastrous D-Day Debacles Cost Hundreds of US Lives
(CBS Evening News & Brittany Shammas / Sun Sentinel)

For 30 years, the Pentagon covered up a military blunder that cost the lives of hundreds of soldiers in an exercise leading up to D-Day. For a long time, what happened that night was kept quiet. The servicemen who lived were ordered not to talk about it. "What irks me more than anything else," says one survivor, "is the uselessness of what happened at Exercise Tiger, all that terrible loss of life when there should have been no loss of life."

New Research Links Iraq Dust to Ill Soldiers
(Kelly Kennedy / USA TODAY )

Titanium and other metals found in dust at a base in Iraq have been linked to the dust found in six sick soldiers' lungs. The dust is different from dust found elsewhere in that human lungs are unable to dispel it through natural immune-system processes. The Iraq dust comes attached to iron and copper, and it forms polarizable crystals in the lungs, Szema said. The particles -- each bit 1/30th the size of a human hair -- have sharp edges. All of the vets came in for help because they were short of breath.