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April 4, 2003
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EAW's Breaking News archive

Trump to Cut Red Tape on Overseas Sales of US Weapons
(Carlo Muboz / The Washington Times & The White House)

The Trump administration is taking aim at another US industry it says it being held back by overregulation and government red tape, moving to reduce federal rules and restrictions governing overseas sales of weapons and armament, in a bid to accelerate American arms deals to a growing international clientele eager to field the latest generation of US-made weaponry. US diplomats and military attaches will be tasked with talking up and promoting the sales of US military-industrial products abroad.

A Model for US Activists: British Protesters Challenge UK Arms Sales to Saudis
(Campaign Against the Arms Trade)

Saudi Arabia is the UK's biggest arms customer and most shameful relationship. One of the world's most authoritarian regimes, its repression at home and aggression abroad is propped up and supported by UK arms sales. The UK's military support for the Saudi regime makes us complicit in its wrongs. The UK must end all arms sales and military support to Saudi Arabia.

After US False Missile Alarm: Koreas Meet to Talk Peace and Pentagon Plans to Launch War
(AntiWar.com & The New York Times )

A war with North Korea would be "catastrophic" still, about two dozen current and former Pentagon officials and senior commanders insist that planned US attack exercises largely reflect the military's instructions to be ready for any possible military action on the Korean Peninsula. Meanwhile, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard -- long an advocate of diplomacy -- says that America's long history of wars of regime change is the reason North Korea feels the need to have nuclear armed missiles as a deterrent.

ACTION ALERT: Help Create the Largest Protected Area on Earth: The Antarctic Ocean Sanctuary

On December 1, 2017, the Ross Sea Marine Protected Area -- a land sanctuary covering 1.5 million square kilometers -- came into force. Now the Antarctic Ocean needs protection. Greenpeace writes: "We are calling for the creation of the biggest ocean sanctuary in the world, to protect the fragile and amazing wildlife in the Weddell Sea, like the irreplaceable penguins, whales and seals that call it home. But we simply can't do it without your help. And we want you to come along for the journey!"

Hawaii's Fake Missile Alert versus a Real Existential Threat
(Robert Reich & Jon Letman / The Daily Beast<)

Commentary: "I know this could be the end of my life. Or not. The tub is filling with water. My wife and son are seated on the bathroom floor, the most protected room in the house, I suppose. But the thought this wooden could protect us is laughable but I know there is no time to go anywhere. ""Something must be done. Not just about the flawed warning system in Hawaii, but about a world in which nations are poised to destroy each other with barely a moment's notice.:

Israel Has Already Killed Three Palestinian Children in 2018
(Maureen Clare Murphy / The Electronic Intifada & The International Middle East News Center)

With the second week of 2018 not yet over, Israeli occupation forces had killed three Palestinian children. Fourteen Palestinian boys and girls under the age of 18 were killed by soldiers and police in all of 2017. Two children were shot and killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip on Thursday. A third child was seriously injured. Amir Abd al-Hamid Abu Musaad, 15, died immediately after being hit in the chest with a live bullet during a protest along the Gaza-Israel boundary.

New York City Just Declared War on the Oil Industry
(Bill McKibben / The Guardian UK & Naomi Klein / The Intercept & Suzanne Goldenberg / The Guardian)

New York City, the home of Wall Street, announced on Wednesday that it will be divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels. That hits fossil fuel giants where it hurts. Five years after the ravages of Hurricane Sandy, New York announced it was divesting its massive pension fund from fossil fuels -- and suing the five biggest oil companies for damages. Our planet's most important city is now at war with its richest industry.

Will I Die at Guantanamo Bay?
(Sharqawi Al Hajj / Newsweek)

Commentary: "I was captured when I was in my 20s and brought to Guantanamo Bay in 2004, after more than two years in secret prisons. I have been imprisoned here without charges since then. I am now 43. I feel like an old man. I am one of the last remaining prisoners at Guantanamo. I wonder if I am going to spend the rest of my life here."

ACTION ALERT: Stop Trump's Destructive EPA Budget Cuts
(Rhea Suh / NRDC Action Fund)

Donald Trump and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, along with their anti-environment allies in Congress, are pushing for bone-deep cuts to EPA funding that would make critical environmental cleanups nearly impossible. Congress must pass a new spending bill by January 19 to keep the government running -- and Trump and his cronies are using this deadline as an excuse to force their extreme anti-environment agenda into law. Ask your representatives to stand up for environmental protections.

It's Time to Bury the Monroe Doctrine
(David Swanson /World Beyond War & No Foreign Bases)

The US policy of antidemocratically and often violently seeking to dominate the nations to its south, in the name of preventing some other force from doing so, has seen its shelf-life expire. The Monroe Doctrine -- as evolved and abused over the centuries -- ought to be buried.

UN Sanctions Iran but Not US for Yemen Weapons
(Cesar Chelala / CommonDreams & Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Agence France-Presse)

While the US actively supplies weapons that kill civilians in Yemen, Iran has been accused of failing to halt the transfer of "component." Health facilities in Yemen continue to be hit by Saudi bombs and health and humanitarian workers are increasingly targeted. In a scene out of Guernica, one survivor described a Saudi airstrike killed at least 63 civilians: "It was like something out of Judgment Day. Corpses and heads scattered, engulfed by fire and ashes."

Militarism: Escaping the Trap
(Washington Newsletter / Friends Committee on National Legislation)

Militarism permeates US society. Our budget is skewed towards the Pentagon, local towns depend on military industries for revenue, Washington gives surplus military gear to local police to use against their own citizens. Martin Luther King, Jr. called for a shift from a "thing-oriented" 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, materialism, and militarism are incapable of being conquered."

Trump Secretly Readies Nuke Bombers as Talks Begin in Korea
(Jason Ditz /AntiWar.com & Dan Lamothe / The Washington Post)

During the bilateral talks between North and South Korea, the US Air Force deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 Spirit bombers to Guam, along with some 200 airmen. The troubling fact is that, while the US never formally objected to the Korean peace talks, there were reports that Trump was considering a "limited" sneak attack against North Korea. Deployment of B-2s during the Winter Olympics -- and shortly after Trump tweeted that his "Nuclear Button" was bigger -- was seen as inflammatory.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's New Nuclear Policy: More Nukes, Including Smaller,
(Ashley Feinberg / The Huffington Post & International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons & Win Without War)

On the order of President Trump, the US Department of Defense is currently concluding a sweeping review of the United States' nuclear policy -- a "nuclear posture review" -- expected to be released at the end of this month. But already now, the text has leaked and shows that the Trump administration will loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons and develop more "usable" nuclear warheads.

ACTION ALERT: Vancouver Women's Forum on Peace and Stability on the Korean Peninsula
(Nobel Women's Initiative, Women Cross DMZ, WomenPeaceKorea, et al.)

On January 16, 2018 Foreign Ministers from 20 nations will gather in Vancouver to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula. Research clearly shows that the participation of women's movements in peace processes leads to far better outcomes. Women must be at the table! An international delegation of 16 woman leaders representing peace, environment, women's and social justice movements from across Asia, Europe and North America is ready to participate in the discussions.

The Pentagon's Sprawling Empire of Bases: A US Military Land and Sky Grab
(Carol Miller / Space Alert! )

How many new and expanded military bases is the Pentagon building and why is it so difficult to answer this question? While the media has paid some attention to global base relocation and expansions around the world, the massive military expansion within the US has remained mostly under the radar. There are many land, air, and sea space expansions underway in the US itself and every expansion destroys fragile and important ecosystems, harms protected species, range animals, wildlife and people.

Poll: Americans Finally Tiring of Costly, Endless, Unwinnable Foreign Wars
(Center for Citizen Initiatives & James Carden / The Nation)

For years, the US media has consistently supported a militaristic mindset presenting wars as exciting, brave and all-American. But a new polls reveals that a majority of Americans -- particularly the younger business and professional class -- are now "largely skeptical of the practicality or benefits of military intervention overseas, including both the physical involvement of the US military and also extending to military aid in the form of funds or equipment as well."

Breaking News: A Major Step Forward as Leading Dutch Bank Drops Nuclear Investments
(Selma van Oostwaard / PAX for Peace & Maaike Beenes / Don't Bank of the Bomb & Susi Snyder / Don't Bank on the Bomb)

"We received great news today: the largest pension funds in the Netherlands has decided to end its investment in nuclear weapon producers! We had a big campaign against ABP planned, which is not needed anymore :). ABP mentioned the shifts in national and international context and the ban treaty as strong arguments to make this decision." And, in October, the Nobel Foundation announced its intention to divest from nuclear-weapon-producing companies.

Trump's Wars Mean Big Profits for Oil Companies
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Sharon Cho / Bloomberg)

In the last three and a half years, crude oil prices fell precipitously and have languished at prices rarely seen in the post-9/11 era. Citigroup analysts say they expect that to reverse in 2018, as the Pentagon's mounting wars once again drive prices higher. Citigroup says that Donald Trump "looms large" as a potential wildcard whose various overseas wars are likely to drive the price of oil to $80 a barrel within the next year.

January 12-15 Conference: Close All US Military Bases on Foreign Soil
(Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)

The Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases is focused on closing all US military bases abroad. This campaign strikes at the foundation of US empire, confronting its militarism, corporatism and imperialism. Foreign nations that allow US bases on their soil serve as client states of Washington and are controlled through the economic power of the US, World Bank and International Monetary Fund. The US has used regime change tactics, including assassination and military force, to keep its empire intact.

US Special Ops Now at War in 149 Countries -- from Afghanistan to Somalia
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)

There is no persuasive security rationale for having US Special Operations forces involved in an astonishing 149 countries, given that the results of these missions are just as likely to provoke greater conflict as they are to reduce it, in large part because a US military presence is too often used as a recruiting tool by local terrorist organizations.

Israeli Planes Attack Damascus; Children Die as Syria Attacks Rebel Strongholds
(Al Jazeera)

Israel has launched a series of predawn air strikes then followed up with artillery fire on an army base near the Syrian capital, Damascus. After the air raids, Israel also launched rockets from the occupied Golan Heights. Syria wrote a letter to the UN Security Council demanding that it condemn Israel's cross-border strikes. Meanwhile, ten children were killed in Syrian strikes on a rebel enclave in Ghouta, near the Syrian capital. Warning: Graphic videos of airstrike aftermath.

When a Terrorist Is a White Supremacist, the DOJ Stays Quiet
(Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post & Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash at Truthout)

Usually, when the FBI arrests a terrorist, it's a big deal. But the Trump Justice Department's quiet handling of the federal terrorism case against Taylor Michael Wilson -- an armed White Supremacist -- is indicative of the government's approach to domestic terrorism. On October 22, 2017, Wilson hijacked an Amtrak train and took hundreds of passengers hostage. The failure to publicize this brazen attack suggests an attempt to obscure a terrorism case that doesn't fit into Trump's broader agenda

Police 'Gun-buys' Don't Work When the Police Turn Around and Offer the Guns for Sale
(Martha Bellisle / Associated Press)

After the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives declined to release tracking information on guns associated with crimes, the Associated Press created a database of almost 6,000 firearms sold by law enforcement since 2010 and found more than a dozen firearms sold by police in Washington state since 2010 ended up as weapons seized in the commission of new crimes.

ACTION ALERT: Words and Deeds: Challenging War -- on Billboards and in Baltimore
(World Beyond War & The Coalition Against US Foreign Military Bases)

The US maintains a costly global empire of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world. The annual cost of these bases to the American taxpayers is approximately $156 billion. The support of US foreign military bases drains funds that can be used to fund human needs and enable our cities and States to provide necessary services for the people. Devoting just 3% of US military spending could put an end to starvation everywhere on Earth.

Terror or Entrapment? How the FBI Creates Terrorist Plots and Provides the Bombs
(Darwin BondGraham / The East Bay Express)

Five recent Bay Area terrorism cases by the FBI raise questions as to whether the bureau has enticed young, troubled Muslim men to attempt acts they wouldn't have otherwise committed. All of the terror suspects were young and Muslim, each of them had been struggling with mental health issues and family problems, and each was heavily assisted by undercover FBI agents who posed as terrorists and provided money, drugs, vehicles and even bombs.

Open Letter to the American People from the Former President of Honduras
(Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales / Socialist Project and The Bullet)

Former Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya Rosales writes: The people of the United States, have been sold the idea that your government defends democracy [but the US is] supporting blatant electoral fraud fin Honduras. At least one opposition protester has died in shootings in Honduras after the country announced a curfew and suspended constitutional rights in the face of protests over a disputed election.

Mega-Dams May Be History in the Brazilian Amazon!
(Christian Poirier / Amazon Watch)

Hydroelectric dams have caused great damage to indigenous and traditional communities and the environment, but they are only one of many serious Amazon threats -- new roads, railways, waterways, mines and other infrastructure all result in great destruction. While the just-announced shift in hydropower policy is important, experts agree that major changes are needed before one can talk of a real conservation breakthrough in the Brazilian Amazon.

Trump to Order Diplomats to Pimp for Pentagon Weapon Makers
(Mike Stone and Matt Spetalnick / Reuters)

The Trump administration is nearing completion of a new "Buy American" plan that calls for US military attaches and diplomats to help drum up billions of dollars more in business overseas for the US weapons industry, going beyond the limited assistance they currently provide. One senior administration official described the proposal as a "180-degree shift" in the current arms-length approach to foreign weapons sales.

Guam's Military Perspective: Let The Public Be Damned
(Harry Brill / The Berkeley Daily Planet)

Guam, which is a possession of the United States, has been making the news in response to military threats by North Korea. North Korea's warning was triggered by military threats from President Trump. It is probably unlikely that either nation will attack the other. On the other hand, Trump does not need the approval of Congress to launch an assault even with the deployment of nuclear weapons.

Energy Agency Rejects Trump Bid to Boost Coal, Nuclear Power
(Matthew Daly / Associated Press)

An independent energy agency on Monday rejected a Trump administration plan to bolster coal-fired and nuclear power plants, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump's efforts to boost the struggling coal industry. The decision by the Republican-controlled Federal Energy Regulatory Commission was unexpected and comes amid repeated promises by Trump to revive coal as the nation's top power source.

Western Complicity Is Fuelling Yemen's Humanitarian Crisis
(Stephen McCloskey / Open Democracy)

The United Nations Humanitarian Co-ordinator for Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, has described the conflict in Yemen as "absurd" and "futile," characterised by "the destruction of the country and the incommensurate suffering of its people." A besieged and starved population has been pushed to the brink of famine. The UK, US and France need to re-evaluate their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

ACTION ALERT: Israel Implements a Deliberate Policy to Terrorise Palestinian Children
(Kamel Hawwash / Middle East Eye)

Israel's founding father David Ben-Gurion once said about the Palestinians: 'The old will die and the young will forget.' How wrong was he about the Palestinian people. There are currently some 450 Palestinian children who have been placed in detention by Israel. Warning: Contains graphic video of an armed soldier shooting a Palestinian child.

War on America's Poor: Why Sessions (and the Prison Industry) Needs Pot Laws
(Harvey Wasserman / Op-Ed News)

There are two main reasons behind the US Attorney-General's plan to pursue federal pot prosecutions: power and money. The Republican Party is vested in America's vast private prison system. Every new arrestee means money in the pockets of the investors who own and operate them. Keeping those cells and beds occupied is the essence of the industry and of Pot Prohibition. The Drug War is a giant cash cow for the prison owners, cops, guards, lawyers, judges, bailiffs and others.

Pollution and Global Disease: Washington's War on Americans' Health
(Christopher Ingraham / The Washington Post & Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange & Sophie Haigney / San Francisco Chronicle)

American lives are shorter on average than those in other wealthy nations, and the gap is growing -- owing to electromagnetic radiation, pollution, and chemical addictions. In 2016, US life expectancy dropped for the second year in a row. Children with low birth-weights -- less than 5 pounds 8 ounces -- are at increased risk for diabetes, heart disease and hypertension in later life.

The World's Policeman Comes Home: US Policing Abroad and Military Tactics at Home
(Danny Sjursen / Tom Dispatch & The Nation)

Commentary: As in Baghdad, so in Baltimore. It's connected, you see. Scholars, pundits, politicians, most of us in fact like our worlds to remain discretely and comfortably separated. That's why so few articles, reports, or op-ed columns even think to link police violence at home to our imperial pursuits abroad.

ACTION ALERT: Tell Twitter to Revoke Donald Trump's Twitter Account
(CREDO Mobile & Jack Moore / GQ Magazine)

Donald Trump has used Twitter to demean religions, other countries, immigrants, and world leaders. Now he is using Twitter to threaten a nuclear crisis. Ordinarily an online comment like that would send the CIA and FBI scrambling into action to track down and immobilized the "terrorist threat." It's time to demand that Twitter revoke Donald Trump's Twitter account for violations of the terms of service and institute safeguards to prevent a single tweet from sparking armed conflict.

The CDC Promotes Trump's Threat of a Nuclear War
(Brett Molina / USA TODAY & Tyler Durden / ZeroHedge.com)

As tensions between North Korea and the US rise, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention want Americans to be prepared in case of a "nuclear event." The CDC's traditional role involves preventative intervention -- hygiene and vaccinations. Teaching the public "how to survive a nuclear detonation" is like teaching the public how to survive an influenza epidemic -- after stepping aside and allowing it to happen. If the CDC took nuclear war as seriously as the flu, it would be working on ways to prevent war.

$406 Billion for Trouble-plagued F-35 Jet but Healthcare "Too Costly" -- as Jets Endanger Childrens' Health
(Ashley Curtin / NationofChange & Reuters & James Marc Leas / Truthout)

Members of Congress say the US is "too broke" to increase spending on programs that intend to improve education and healthcare, but $27 billion more could go to F-35 jet program. Meanwhile, the health of children in a working-class neighborhood of Vermont is suffering from exposure to the roar of jet fighters overhead. This jet noise is set to sharply increase in two years when the Air Force plans to replace the F-16s with four-times-louder F-35 fighter bombers.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's War on Independent Investigations
(March for Truth & MoveOne.org & Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch / New York Times)

"Why did Mr. Trump repeatedly seek to do deals in a notoriously corrupt police state that most serious investors shun?" That's a question posed by the founders of Fusion GPS in a new op-ed for The New York Times.

Trump's Articles of Impeachment: A Greatest Hits Collection
(David Swanson / FireDonaldTrump.org & Let's Try Democracy)

Although several potential articles of impeachment against Trump stand very strongly on their own, the strongest case for impeachment is a cumulative one. Because I cannot predict which articles, if any, will gain the most popular or Congressional support. I am have collected the strongest ones at FireDonaldTrump.org and will add more as the crime wave rolls on. I pushed for impeaching Bush and Obama for some similar offenses but many of Trump's high crimes and misdemeanors are unprecedented.

Psychiatrist Who Briefed Congress on Trump's Mental State Says: This Is
(Eliza Barclay / Vox & Donald Trump / The New York Times)

The longer Donald Trump is in office, the more he shocks and alarms us with his strange and extremely unpresidential behavior. From the incoherent, fallacious interview he gave the New York Times on December 28 to Tuesday's tweet about his "nuclear button" to his smearing of Steve Bannon, the incendiary remarks keep getting more menacing and portentous of disaster. As Vox's Ezra Klein recently wrote: "The president of the United States is not well."

The Pentagon's Kadema Air Base Called "World's Most Dangerous Airport"
(The Peace Report / Veterans for Peace & Jon Mitchell / The Japan Times)

The Kadema Air Base on Okinawa Island is the largest US Air Force installation in Asia. Equipped with vast runways and thousands of hangars, homes and workshops, the base and adjoining arsenal cover 46 square kilometers. Over the years, accidents and neglect have polluted local land and water with hazardous chemicals -- including arsenic, lead, polychlorinated biphenyls, asbestos and dioxin -- while US officials hid this information, putting at risk the health of US service members and 184,000 civilians living nearby.

Is Rebuilding after "Victory" Possible? Restoring Mosul Will Take Time, Money, and Will

Nearly every city or town in formerly ISIS-occupied territory needs repair. The longer it takes, the longer many of those who fled the fighting remain uprooted. While 2.7 million Iraqis have returned to lands seized back from the militants, more than 3 million others languish in refugee camps. Worst hit is Mosul. The UN estimates 40,000 homes there need to be rebuilt or restored. Returning residents face billions in construction costs and decades of rebuilding, but the source of financial aid remains uncertain.

Donald Trump's War Crimes
(War Criminals Watch & Marjorie Cohn / TruthOut)

Since World War II, the United States has greatly expanded its global military presence and interventions around the world in order to protect overseas investments and to exploit global resources, including human labor, to establish itself as the dominant superpower. Just two and a half months into his presidency, Donald Trump quickly distinguished himself as a war criminal. His administration stands accused of killing unusually large numbers of civilians, in violation of US and international law.

A Deadly Legacy of Pollution Haunts Overseas US Military Bases
(Whitney Webb / Mint Press & John Lindsay-Poland and Nick Morgan / The Institute for Policy Studies)

Producing more hazardous waste than the five largest US chemical companies combined, the US Department of Defense has left its toxic legacy throughout the world in the form of depleted uranium, oil, jet fuel, pesticides, defoliants like Agent Orange and lead, among other pollutants.

Three-day Conference on US Foreign Military Bases Begins January 12
(Coalition Against Foreign Military Bases)

The United States maintains the highest number of military bases outside its territory, estimated at almost 1000 (95% of all foreign military bases in the world). There are US military bases in every Persian Gulf country except Iran. US foreign military bases are NOT in defense of US national, or global security. They are the military expression of US intrusion into the lives of sovereign countries on behalf of the dominant financial, political, and military interests of a Western ruling elite.

ACTION ALERT: Trump's Un-American War on Immigrants
(Mom's Rising / Mamas Con Poder & Nicole Prchal Svajlenka, Angie Bautista-Chavez, and Laura Muñoz Lopez / Center for American Progress)

The Trump administration is ripping away Temporary Protected Status status from thousands of families. This is un-American. Lives are in grave danger. TPS beneficiaries are integral to the US economy and American society: They have lived in the US for an average of 19 years and are employed at high rates, ranging from 69.2 to 83.5 percent. The contributions made by TPS holders will only continue to grow in the future, as they are collectively raising families that include nearly 275,000 US-born children.

Is Rebuilding after "Victory" Possible? Restoring Mosul Will Take Time, Money, and Will

Nearly every city or town in formerly ISIS-occupied territory needs repair. The longer it takes, the longer many of those who fled the fighting remain uprooted. While 2.7 million Iraqis have returned to lands seized back from the militants, more than 3 million others languish in refugee camps. Worst hit is Mosul. The UN estimates 40,000 homes there need to be rebuilt or restored. Returning residents face billions in construction costs and decades of rebuilding, but the source of financial aid remains uncertain.

36,898 Reported Killed in Iraq in 2016 -- And Probably More Have Died
(Margaret Griffis / AntiWar.com)

At least 36,898 people were killed, and 8,753 were wounded in Iraq during 2017. These figures should be considered lowball estimates, especially considering that the number of casualties being reported publicly was reduced. During 2016, 52,369 people were killed 21,795 were wounded. The Iraqi government censored information about security casualties and perhaps even civilian ones. Consequently, at the end of 2016, the UN was hectored into limiting the number of casualties it was allowed to compile.

How It May Soon Be Possible to Prosecute War as a Crime
(David Swanson / World Beyond War & Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)

War is a crime. The International Criminal Court has just announced that it will finally treat it as a crime, sort-of, kind-of. But how can war's status as a crime effectively deter the world's leading war-maker from threatening and launching more wars, large and small? How can laws against war actually be put to use? How can the ICC's announcement be made into something more than a pretense?

Palestinian Refugee Camp Is the Most Tear-Gassed Place on Earth, According to New Study
(brahim Husseini and Liam O'Hare / Al Jazeera)

Refugee camps are among the most vulnerable to tear-gas exposure. A recent report finds that one Palestinian refugee camp in the occupied West Bank may be the most tear-gassed community in the world. While tear gas is usually composed of synthetic or naturally occurring gases, including pepper spray, the specific chemical utilized "is unknown" although Israel is obligated to disclose the composition of the tear gas it uses so medical professionals can treat the symptoms the chemicals cause.

Wars of Aggression to Become Global Crimes; Leaders Could be Held for Trial
(Coalition for the International Criminal Court)

Marathon diplomatic negotiation at 16th Assembly of States Parties in New York achieves consensus on activating ICC jurisdiction over leaders who wage aggressive war -- with conditions.

Trump Mulls His Own Private Army
(Jefferson Morley / The Progressive Populist)

President Trump is maneuvering to establish his own intelligence service to do what the CIA cannot or will not do for him. According to BuzzFeed, Trump is considering a proposal for a private company, the Amyntor Group, "to set up a large intelligence network and run counterterrorist propaganda efforts." The Intercept reports the plan was developed by Erik Prince, founder of the Blackwater private security firm, with help from Oliver North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal of the 1980s.

Pop Quiz! How Much Do You Know About the Korean War?
(Refuse Facism)

Donald Trump has threatened "fire and fury" against people living on the Korean Peninsula. Many people fear and hate Trump but do not know the history of Korean-US relations including the Korean War of the 1950s. Take this test and RefuseFascism will email you the results of your quiz and publish overall responses as soon as the quiz generates at least 1,000 submissions.

The Iranian Protests and Washington's Opportunism
(Daniel Larison / The American Conservative & teleSURtv & Juan Cole / Informed Content)

Many of the problems racking Iran stem from long-standing US pressures, including an array of punishing economic sanctions. The near seven decades of US interference in Iran have included the orchestration of a military coup against a democratically elected government. The key thing that US politicians and policymakers need to keep in mind is that Iran's internal protests are not about us, nor are they an "opportunity" for us to exploit. Trump doesn't really care about Iran's troubled citizens.

Honduran Election Fraud Follows Decades of Corruption Funded By US Drug War
(Danielle Marie Mackey / The Intercept)

Olancho is gorgeous, with elevated cloud forests flush with orchids and fresh water that tumbles down majestic cliffs, spilling into lowland rainforests or emerald rolling pastures and valleys. But a sinister history lies below the surface and reveals itself only indirectly. A satellite image of a preserved rainforest that traverses the Rio Platano Biosphere Reserve reveals a cemetery of hacked trees. The extent of the carnage was almost certainly too big and had happened too fast to be funded by anything other than drugs.

Washington's Earlier Wars: The Anti-Imperialist League and the Battle Against Empire
(Thomas E. Woods, Jr. / The Mises Daily<)

In April 1898 the US went to war with Spain for the stated purpose of liberating Cuba from Spanish control. When the war had ended, Cuba had been transformed into a US protectorate, and Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines had become American possessions. When the US government failed to grant independence to the Philippines, the result was a brutal guerrilla war that stretched on for years and claimed the lives of some 200,000 Filipinos.

ACTION ALERT: Ekecheiria! An Olympic Peace Week for Korea
(Roots Action & the United Nations)

The United Nations has asked its member states to observe an Olympic truce during the upcoming February 9-25 Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, and for one week on either side. That would be February 2 to March 4. South Korea has asked the United States to delay its war rehearsal flights over South Korea until after the truce. If the world can prove that it can refrain from war during a sports competition, it will have proved that it can do so after the competition as well.

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.

Earth Anthems: Imagine a New National Anthem: One that Celebrates Peace and Not War
(Stephen Longfellow Fiske, Michael Jackson, et al.)

In 1931, Congress officially designated "The Star-Spangled Banner" as the US National Anthem. Now, in the ongoing folk tradition of adding new verses to old songs, visionary singer, songwriter Stephen Longfellow Fiske (descendant of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) brings the evolution of the song to the global perspective of the 21st century, blending democratic ideals, peace, and environmental harmony with his Earth Anthem.

The 10 Most Ridiculous Things Media Figures Said About Climate Change and the Environment in 2017
(Kevin Kalhoefer / Media Matters for America / Research)

When it comes to climate change denial, various pundits and media sources unleashed a storefront of fake news during 2017. Here is a short-list of some of the most outlandish whoppers.

How Dick Cheney and His Allies Created the Korea Crisis
(Gareth Porter / AntiWar.com & Julian Borger / The Guardian)

The Trump administration has been telling people for months that the crisis with North Korea is the result of North Korea's relentless pursuit of a nuclear threat to the US homeland and past North Korean cheating on diplomatic agreements. However, North Korea reached agreements with both the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations that could have averted that threat, had they been completed. Instead, a group of Bush administration officials led by then-Vice President Dick Cheney sabotaged both agreement.

Ellsberg's The Doomsday Machine: The Madness of America's Nuclear Weapons
(William J. Astore / AntiWar.com)

Daniel Ellsberg's new book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner, is a shattering portrayal of the genocidal nature of US nuclear planning during the Cold War -- and that threat of worldwide genocide (or omnicide, a word Ellsberg uses to describe the death of nearly everything from a nuclear exchange that would generate disastrous cooling due to nuclear winter) persists to this day.

Germany Generates Such a Huge Excess of Wind Energy Consumers Are Paid to Use It!
(Josie Cox / The Independent & Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent)

In Germany -- thanks to the growth of clean, renewable energy -- demand for energy has been outstripped by supply on weekends. This year, when factories across the country powered down and many offices closed, wind power generated such a glut of energy that customers were paid to use it. Germany aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 95 percent by 2050. Meanwhile, in Britain, the latest government figures show 'record high' for electrical power produced from sources like wind and solar.

Why Doesn't Congress Care When Israel Kills American Citizens?
(Alex Kane / The Forward)

When Americans of Palestinian descent are shot dead by Israeli soldiers, no Senators or Congressmen rush to press for accountability from Israel's army, or put the names of Palestinian victims on legislation that would tie US aid to Israel to policy changes. On February 26, 2016, Mahmoud Shaman, a 16-year-old teenager from Florida who had moved to his family's village near Ramallah, was fatally shot an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint. Witnesses said the boy's hands were raised when he was shot.

The Impact of Global Warming in the Land of Santa Claus
(Josh Gabbatiss / The Independent)

Lapland occupies a happy space in the popular imagination as a winter wonderland, occupied by reindeer, elves and Father Christmas. The real life Lapland, however, is increasingly facing up to the grim reality of global warming. Research has revealed the disproportionate impact of climate change in the Arctic, where temperatures are currently rising at double the rate of the global average. The far north is bearing the brunt of global warming.

The International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons Is Honored With a Nobel Peace Prize
(Alice Slater / The Nation & Beatrice Fihn / ICAN & Setsuko Thurlow / ICAN)

It has been just 10 years since ICAN first launched its astonishing campaign to ban nuclear weapons, just as chemical and biological weapons have been banned as well as land mines and cluster bombs. The Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons has now closed a legal gap in the 1970 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) that only requires "good faith efforts for nuclear disarmament" by the then-five existing nuclear weapons states -- the United States, Russia, UK, France, China.

Trump Inauguration Protesters Acquitted: Victory for the First Amendment
(Alexandra Jacobo / NationofChange & Ryan J. Reilly / The Huffington Post)

During a protest of Donald Trump's inauguration, police arrested nearly 200 people, charging them with conspiracy to riot, engaging in a riot, and five counts of criminal property destruction -- simply based on the fact that they participated in the protest. A jury has now acquitted the first six defendants to be tried on these charges. This key First Amendment case could determine the fate of others arrested during the protests who found themselves facing "guilt-by-association felonies."

The GOP Tax Bill: How the Environment Lost
(Lorraine Chow / EcoWatch)

The Republican tax bill has major repercussions for our precious environment. While the electric vehicle industry and the wind and solar sector can breathe a little easier that the sweeping legislation preserves their tax credits, fossil fuel producers are likely cheering the opening of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling. Environment America notes that the bill continues massive incentives for fossil fuel production amounting to tens of billions of dollars over the next decade.

There Is No Military Solution to End War in Yemen
(Al Jazeera & Daniel Larison / The American Conservative)

Every day that the US continues to provide arms and fuel to the Saudi-led coalition is another day that the administration shows that it is not serious about addressing the causes of the humanitarian catastrophe engulfing Yemen. The Red Cross reports that there are now more than a million cases of cholera in Yemen.

ACTION ALERT: Federal Court Invalidates Trump's Call to Allow Trophy Hunting
(Endangered Species Coalition & The Humane Society & Care2 Petitions)

The US Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has ruled that the US Fish & Wildlife Service did not follow the law in its recently-announced decision to allow the importation of elephant and lion "trophies" from Zimbabwe and Zambia. Meanwhile, the Pentagon routinely mutilates and kills animals in military exercises designed to train medics to deal with "battlefield injuries."

Pentagon Confirms 'Multiple' US Ground Operations in Yemen
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Hans Nichols and Mosheh Gains / NBC News)

While the Pentagon has been very secretive about what they've been doing in Yemen all year, on Wednesday officials confirmed that they have carried out "multiple ground operations," as well as 120 airstrikes in 2017. Before Wednesday's statement, the extent of the US counterterrorism operations in Yemen was unknown under the Trump administration, with only sporadic acknowledgement of US military operations there.

US Plans for a 'Bloody Nose' Attack on North Korea Could Trigger Massive Deaths
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Ben Riley-Smith / The Telegraph & Dr. Laura Grego / Union of Concerned Scientists)

According to a new report in the Daily Telegraph, the concerns about a US attack on North Korea are very well-founded, and the White House has "dramatically" stepped up plans for what it is calling a "bloody nose" attack on North Korea. Apparently ignoring months of analyst warnings that there is no way to have a "limited" war with North Korea, the White House envisions a quick, damaging attack.

France to Ban Oil and Gas Extraction: US Bank Breaks Vow to Ban Oil Pipeline Investments
(Ruth Milka / NationofChange & Sharon Kelly / DeSmogBlog)

In a major victory for the planet, French parliament has passed a law that bans all exploration and production of oil and natural gas by 2040 within France and all its overseas territories. Meanwhile, US Bank (which announced it would be the first large American bank to completely halt loans for oil and gas pipeline projects) has quietly offered a $4 billion loan to the company behind the Dakota Access pipeline project.

ACTION ALERT: For the Sake of a Single Tree
(Neil Cohen / Solartopia.org)

When we found the unedited report from the arborist hired by the city, we were stunned to discover that he actually wrote a GLOWINGLY SUPPORTIVE report about this tree -- but that the city's staff for some reason chose to cut, paste, and rearrange the arborist's written narrative in order to HANG the tree.

Trump: Pursuing a Defense Spending Hike and a Pentagon Audit at the Same Time?
(Curt Mills / The National Interest)

Left unmentioned in the president's speech on Monday regarding the National Security Strategy is that, under his direction, the Pentagon is undergoing its first audit in history. It's not referenced in the document itself, either, though "restraining Federal spending" and "making government more efficient" are mentioned. The National Interest pointed out last week how little attention the audit is getting.

ACTION ALERT: South, North Korea Hope for Peaceful Olympics Games. Will US Cancel Military Exercises?
(Roots Action & Nam Hyun-woo / The Korea Times & Doug Bandow / The American Conservative)

South Korea wants to delay the joint military drills with the United States during the PyeongChang Olympic Games. For the past two months, North Korea has been acting within this concept. Unfortunately, the US has not scaled down its drills and plans to add another exercise. In order to bring the North to the discussion table, some action from the US should be seen. Does the US want to exacerbate or defuse the crisis?

The US Is Building Its Biggest Overseas Base -- In South Korea
(Jon Letman / The Diplomat)

Now in the final stage of a massive base expansion, when completed around 2020, Humphreys will have tripled in size to nearly 3,500 acres -- roughly the size of central Washington, D.C. -- making it the largest overseas American military base in the world, capping off over a dozen years of transformation and consolidation of the US military footprint in South Korea.

The Boys Who Said "No": The Story That Was Missing in the Ken Burn's Vietnam Documentary
(Judith Ehrlich / The Boys Who Said No and Robert Levering / Waging Peace)

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick's PBS series, "The Vietnam War," deserves an Oscar for its depiction of the gore of war and the criminality of the warmakers. But it also deserves to be critiqued for its portrayal of the anti-war movement. Millions joined the struggle against the war. Any semblance between the peace movement I experienced and the one depicted by the Burns/Novick series is purely coincidental. A new documentary, "The Boys Who Said 'No'", hopes to set the record straight.

US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in Yemen Kill 136 Civilians in 11 Days
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & The Associated Press)

Saudi Arabia's airstrikes against targets across northern Yemen have continued since the early 2015 invasion, and civilians have borne the brunt of the strikes. Escalating attacks suggest a disturbing trend, with the UN High Commission for Human Rights expressing deep concern. Not only are the civilian death tolls mounting, but the nature of the strikes has been increasingly troubling. Recent strikes have hit a hospital, a prison, a TV station, and a carload of women returning from a wedding.

Trump's 'National Security Strategy' Is the Opposite of National Security
(Thomas Knapp / AntiWar.com)

Commentary: The Goldwater-Nichols Act requires the president to submit a "National Security Strategy" report each year. Every president since Ronald Reagan has failed to comply with the law in one or more years of his administration, but on December 17 Donald Trump issued his report. Unfortunately, Trump's offering is of a piece with his prior displays of economic illiteracy and foreign policy jingoism. It's a dog's breakfast of policy pronouncements.

ACTION ALERT: 1000 Days of War: Stop the Humanitarian Disaster in Yemen
(Win Without War)

December 20, 2017 marks 1000 days of Saudi Arabia's intervention into Yemen's civil war. Thanks to this disastrous war -- that is waged with the support of the US, UK, and France -- millions of Yemeni civilians are on the brink the largest famine the world has seen in decades as millions more face outbreaks of preventable diseases like cholera and diphtheria, and indiscriminate violence. Add your name to a statement on the need to end the war and find a political solution to this man-made disaster.

Three Administrations, One Standard Playbook
(Danny Sjursen and Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)

Commentary: In a Washington politically riven in ways not seen since the pre-Civil War era, take hope. Despite everything you've read, bipartisanship is not dead. On one issue, congressional Democrats and Republicans, as well as Donald Trump, all speak with a single resounding voice, with, in fact, unmatched unanimity and fervor as they stretch hands across the aisle in a spirit of cooperation. Perhaps you've already guessed, but I'm referring to the Pentagon budget.

Carbon Colonialism: The Failure of Carbon Offset Projects in Uganda
(Anuradha Mittal / The Oakland Institute)

As the One Climate Summit began in Paris, the Oakland Institute's new report, Carbon Colonialism: Failure of Green Resources' Carbon Offset Project in Uganda, exposed the false solutions to climate change promoted by some Western corporations and institutions in Africa. In Uganda, one major carbon-offset project -- supported by a number of international financial institutions -- illustrates how climate change is increasingly misused as a pretext for imposing a new form of "carbon colonialism" in Africa.

ACTION ALERT: Why Is Tellerson Backtracking on Korea Diplomacy?
(Tulsi Gabbard / US House of Representatives & AntiWar.com & Ron Paul / The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity)

Commentary: It seems pretty reasonable to open talks with North Korea after a period of "good faith" gestures between Washington and Pyongyang. Why not agree on no US/South Korean joint military exercises for six months in exchange for no North Korean missile launches for the same period and then agree to a meeting on neutral ground? How could it possibly hurt, particularly considering the alternative?

Is Trump Building His Own Global Private Spy Agency?
(Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash & TruthOut)

What could be more exciting for a chickenhawk president who bullies, boasts and brags, then to have his own private spy network at his beck and call? According to The Intercept, that's exactly what Erik Prince is proposing: "to provide CIA Director Mike Pompeo and the White House with a global, private spy network that would circumvent official US intelligence agencies, according to several current and former US intelligence officials and others familiar with the proposals."

Call for a Ban as Pentagon Explores Genetic Extinction Warfare
(Arthur Neslen / The Guardian)

A US military agency is investing $100 million in genetic extinction technologies that could wipe out entire species. The technology could be used to wipe out malaria-carrying mosquitos or other pests, but UN experts say fears over possible military uses and unintended consequences strengthen case for a ban. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is debating whether to impose a moratorium on the gene research next year and several southern countries fear a possible military application.

The 'American Dream' an 'illusion,' Says UN. US Now 'World Champion' of Inequality
(United Nations News Centre & Ed Pilkington / The Guardian)

United Nations special rapporteur Philip Alston, fresh from two-week, fact-finding tour, has issued a devastating critique of US society that condemns "private wealth and public squalor . . . . The face of poverty in America is not only black or Hispanic, but also white, Asian and many other colors. 'American Dream' quickly becoming an 'illusion.' The persistence of extreme poverty is a political choice made by those in power. With political will, it could readily be eliminated."

Costly New US-Russia Nuke Arms Race Features New, More Dangerous Weapons
(Scot Paltrow / Reuters)

President Barack Obama rode into office in 2009 with promises to work toward a nuclear-free world. His vow helped win him the Nobel Peace Prize that year. He promised that America would develop no new types of atomic weapons. Instead, Obama initiated a $1 trillion modernization program that is making nearly all of the Pentagon's nuclear weapons more accurate and deadly. And Russia, its weapons badly degraded from neglect after the Cold War, has begun its own costly modernization program.

War Against Equality: Over the Past Year, the Income of the USA's Top .001% Increased by 636%
(teleSUR & The Huffington Post)

Global Economic Inequality is surging, further widening the pay gap between the haves and have-nots, according to a new World Inequality report. The report, which highlights the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, was compiled by five economists, including scholars Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. Average annual income for the bottom 50 percent has remained basically unchanged at $16,000 over the past 40 years. In 2016, the richest one percent held 39 percent of the country's wealth.

The Planet's Shrinking Wilderness -- Ignored at Our Peril
(Wildlife Conservation Society & Science Daily)

The majority of remaining wilderness areas are in the deserts of Central Australia, the Amazon rainforest in South America, the Tibetan plateau in central Asia, and the boreal (snow) forests of Canada and Russia. These ecosystems play a key role in regulating local climates, sequestering and storing large amounts of carbon and supporting many of the world's most culturally diverse and marginalized communities. Maps of these critically important wilderness areas are now freely available online.

US Allegations of Iran Missiles in Yemen Met With Skepticism
(AntiWar.com & Reuters & Moon of Alabama)

US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley presented what she called "irrefutable" evidence that a Yemen-fired missile was of Iranian origin on Thursday, but there remains substantial speculation about what, if anything, she actually proved in the presentation. Haley's presentation was very light on specifics. France was very clear about how skeptical they are of the Haley comments, noting that the UN has not drawn any conclusions.

War on the First Amendment: Medics, Observers and a Journalist Face 50 Years in Prison for Trump Inauguration Protests
(Amy Goodman / Democracy Now! & The Huffington Post)

Final arguments are underway today in Washington, DC, in a case that could shape the future of free speech and the right to protest in the US: the first trial of the nearly 200 people arrested during Donald Trump's inauguration. The first so-called trial to go to a jury involves six people, including one journalist, Alexei Wood, a freelance photojournalist. The defendants face multiple felony and misdemeanor charges, including multiple counts of destruction of property. Evidence against the defendants has been scant.

Privatize the Wars: Erik Prince Is On the Move
(Bill Berkowitz / Buzzflash @ TruthOut & Charles Pierce / Esquire)

Erik Prince, the founder of the notorious Blackwater (now known as Academi) private army that wreaked havoc during the Bush-era military adventures in Iraq, the chair of Frontier Services Group, an aviation, logistics, and security firm, brother of education secretary Betsy DeVos, and close friend to Steve Bannon, is not letting any grass grow under his mercenary and entrepreneurial feet. Prince is looking to franchise FSG operations in China.

Donald Trump and Rupert Murdoch Have Set Our Future on Fire
(Mark Hertsgaard / The Nation & Climate Nexus / EcoWatch)

Commentary: The fires of hell roared through the City of Angels, dispatched by the lords of darkness. Blasted by 80-mile-an-hour winds that turned palm trees into giant torches. In one of those ironies so glaringly obvious that fate seems to be commanding that humans pay attention, one of the properties scorched by the LA fires belonged to Rupert Murdoch, the founder of Fox News, a lavish donor to the GOP, a close confidant of Donald Trump, and a major purvey of "fake news" about the "hoax" of global warming.

War Against Equality: Over the Past Year, the Income of the USA's Top .001% Increased by 636%
(teleSUR )

Global Economic Inequality is surging, further widening the pay gap between the haves and have-nots, according to a new World Inequality report. The report, which highlights the growing gulf between haves and have-nots, was compiled by five economists, including scholars Emmanuel Saez and Thomas Piketty. Average annual income for the bottom 50 percent has remained basically unchanged at $16,000 over the past 40 years. In 2016, the richest one percent held 39 percent of the country's wealth.

ICC Rules Aggression Is a War Crime: Will Washington Be Held to Account?
(Coalition for the International Criminal Court)

Marathon diplomatic negotiations at 16th Assembly of States Parties in New York have achieved consensus on activating International Criminal Court jurisdiction over world leaders who wage aggressive wars -- with conditions. "For the first time since the post-WWII trials in Nuremburg and Tokyo, an international court may be able to hold leaders individually criminally responsible for the crime of aggression."

Trump's World of War: US Special Ops Commandos to 149 Countries
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch & Nick Turse / TomDispatch)

Since 9/11, the US has expanded the size of its force by almost 75%. In terms of geographic sweep, since 2001, the activities of US Special Operations forces have grown in every conceivable way. On any given day, about 8,000 special operators -- from a command numbering roughly 70,000 -- are deployed in approximately 80 countries around the world. This year, US special operators were killed in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Niger and Mali.

US Weapons Industry Bombs the World for Profits but the Pentagon Is Not a Sacred Cow
(teleSUR & The Editorial Board of the New York Times)

In 2016, global arms producers saw $375 billion in profits, with the US weapons industry claiming more than half the global sales. Meanwhile, back in the US, the Pentagon continues to waste about one in five of the dollars it receives. Health care, Social Security, Medicare and other social programs are all on the chopping block as Republicans race to write tax bill that benefits large corporations (including arms makers) but the Pentagon remains a sacred cow, destined to receive yet more taxpayer dollars.

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