EAW's Breaking News archive
ACTION ALERT: Revoke President's Unilateral "Right" to Launch a Nuclear War
(NBC News & Robert Weissman / Public Citizen)
Only one person on Earth can unilaterally launch America's nuclear arsenal. He doesn't need anyone's approval to trigger a global thermonuclear cataclysm; he doesn't even need a congressional declaration of war. He is the president of the United States. When it comes to nuclear war, there are no "checks and balances." This must change.
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."
White House War on Industrial Safety: Why Did Trump Target the CSB?
(George Zornick / The Nation)
It's a safe assumption that most Americans have not heard of the US Chemical Safety Board. Donald Trump is certainly banking on that, since he proposed scrapping it in his recent budget proposal. But if the small agency is indeed defunded, the results could be catastrophic -- and we might be left wondering, as the bodies are counted after some large chemical disaster, why nobody was angry when the CSB went away.
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.
The Latest Round in the GOP's War on Wildlife
(Colin Dwyer / National Public Radio)
By a largely party-line vote Tuesday, the Senate approved a bill that repeals Obama-era hunting restrictions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The House already voted last month to abolish those restrictions -- which were instituted by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 to protect predator species from hunters -- and so the bill now heads to the desk of President Trump, who is widely expected to sign it.
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.
NATO Sends Unprecedented Weaponry to Estonia to Threaten Russia
(AlWaght News & Analysis & Defense News & RT News)
In an act unprecedented since the end of the Cold War, the US-led NATO military alliance has been deploying a massive array of weaponry along the Russian border. Scores of tanks, self-propelled artillery guns and other military hardware have been moved to Estonia from the Britain and Germany. NATO has justified the aggressive show-of-force as a response to hypothetical "Russian aggression."
Team Trump Welcomes Six New Far-Right Figures -- One with Pro-Nazi Links
(Sam Kestenbaum / The Forward & Lili Bayer and Larry Cohler-Esses / The Forward)
The far right is getting closer to the Trump White House. While Stephen Bannon, former editor of the "alt-right" Breitbart News, is a top Trump adviser, a new flock of far-right figures is making inroads in the White House. According to The Forward, a historic New-York-based Jewish daily, Trump's top counter-terrorism adviser, Sebastian Gorka, is a member of a far-right Hungarian group listed by the State Department as having been "under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany" during WWII.
Trump Has No Idea How to Tend His Garden: We Are All in Danger
(Garrison Keillor / The Washington Post)
Commentary: "Is this president able to put a pencil to paper and write a succession of thoughts? It would seem not. He has impressions but there is not much thinking going on. He hears things that please him and repeats them, like a magpie making a nest. He has no idea how to grow vegetables. We are all in danger."
Trump Team Wanted to Militarize the Inaugural Parade: Pentagon Balked
(Jessica Schulberg / The Huffington Post)
The Presidential Inaugural Committee was "seriously considering adding military vehicles to the Inaugural Parade," a Pentagon official wrote in an email dated Dec. 13, 2016. "Such support would be out of guidelines," another Pentagon official wrote. Critics noted the idea of sending tanks and missile launchers down Pennsylvania Avenue would evoke comparisons with the massive military parades in China and North Korea. They were also concerned that the heavy tanks could damage D.C. roads.
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.
Radioactive Theft in Iraq Raises 'Dirty Bomb' Concerns in Crimea
(TASS & Sputnik News & Reuters & The Independent )
"For the first time in the Russian army's history" the Airborne Forces' three large units have been simultaneously alerted in the Crimea due to an "increased terrorist threat." The alert followed warnings that radioactive materials were detected aboard an Armenian aircraft en route to Bulgaria. The radioactive signature suggested the presence of Ir-192. In 2016, a case containing deadly Ir-192 was stolen from a base in Iraq, stoking fears that it could be used to make a dirty bomb.
New Zealand River Wins Historic "Human Right" to Exist and Thrive
(Eleanor Ainge Roy / The Guardian)
After 140 years of negotiation, New Zealand's Maori tribe has won legal protection and recognition for Whanganui river, the country's third-largest river. Under the new ruling, the Whanganui must be treated as a living entity.
Audit the Pentagon: Revive the Defense Board Plan to Cut Pentagon Waste and Save $125 Billion
(Thomas Hedges / The Guardian & Craig Whitlock and Bob Woodward / The Washington Post)
Donald Trump has proposed a $52 billion hike in military spending -- while reports of waste and abuse pile up. America's new commander-in-chief won't release his taxes and the Pentagon -- the most expensive part of Donald Trump's reimagined war-and-surveillance society -- has never been subjected to an audit. No wonder the Pentagon's budget -- and its legendary wastefulness -- continues to rise. Meanwhile, the Defense Business Board has published a detailed plan to save $125 billion in DoD costs.
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.
US Furious over Another Scathing UN Report on Israeli Abuses
Just days after a UN report accusing Israel of apartheid was pulled because of US pressure, another UN agency issued a new criticism charging Israel with "the subjugation of humanity" in Palestine and intensifying a crackdown on human rights campaigners. The report also pointed to how the illegal settlement building is accompanied by "high rates of demolition of Palestinian homes in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem." In response, the Trump White House has threatened to cut funding to the UN.
Budget Experts Wary of Trump Military Buildup Long-term Impact
(Joe Gould and Aaron Mehta / Defense News)
Donald Trump's proposed 2018 budget is billed as the initial investment on his planned military buildup, but Pentagon officials are worried about the long-term costs -- and whether Congress can be counted on to keep paying. John Roth, the acting comptroller for the Pentagon, acknowledged the budget office is keeping a nervous eye on the costs for increasing the force. Official estimates suggest it will cost about $80 billion more than Obama's last budget plan to fully realize Trump's planned buildup.
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.
Trump May Already Own A First: Most Corrupt POTUS. Ever.
(S.V. Date / The Huffington Post)
As President Donald Trump enters his third month in office, he has already established at least one record, however dubious: the president most open and willing to use the prestige of the White House to enrich himself and his family. "He should not use his official position to promote his businesses. That doesn't make him a good businessman. That makes him a bad president," said Richard Painter, the former top ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush's White House.
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 Expands Special Forces Deployments to Africa, Mideast
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Eric Schmitt / The New York Times & MintPress News Desk)
Reports from that Pentagon has been increasing deployments of Special Forces around the Middle East and Africa appears to be continuing apace, with the most recent reports suggesting that Donald Trump has expanded these deployments into Central Africa. The US military already already has been expanding its massive military footprint in Africa and elsewhere to the tune of "several million dollars" a year and thousands of troops.
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 Wages a Strategic War on Truth (While He Continues to Spread 'Fake News')
(Robert Reich / The San Francisco Chronicle)
Commentary: Donald Trump and his White House don't engage in dialogue. Instead, they attack the institutions that uncomfortable cite facts the Trump Team doesn't like. Trump's big lies subvert truth and sow confusion. These attacks on the institutions we rely on as sources of the truth are even more dangerous, because they make it harder for the public to believe anything. In a democracy, the truth is a common good but Trump is actively destroying the truth-telling institutions on which our democracy depends.
Rare Atomic Bomb Test Footage Reveals Weapons Are Deadlier than Believed
(Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory & Peter Fimrite / The San Francisco Chronicle)
The US conducted 210 atmospheric nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962, with multiple cameras capturing each event at around 2,400 frames per second. Over the decades, around 10,000 of these films remained scattered across the country in high-security vaults, gathering dust and slowly decomposing. Greg Spriggs, a weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, is hoping to preserve and share as many as 10,000 deteriorating films known to have been taken of the atmospheric blasts.
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.
ACTION ALERT: As US Invades Syria, Tell Congress: No Endless War in Syria
(CREDO Action & PressTV)
Donald Trump recently escalated US involvement in Syria by sending in hundreds of Marines to risk their lives in combat. Rep. Barbara Lee's House bill would prohibit the Department of Defense from deploying soldiers or hiring private contractors to engage in ground combat in Syria. Meanwhile, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has correctly called the US troops in Syria "invaders." Under international law, foreign governments cannot deploy troops to fight inside sovereign countries without that nation's consent.
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."
Rex Tillerson's Threatened 'Preemptive' US Attack on North Korea Would Be an International War Crime
(Mark Sumner / The Daily Kos & Tim Hume / Vice News)
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson cut short his visit to South Korea because of "fatigue," according to Korean officials. Tillers declared "the policy of strategic patience has ended," and revealed that a pre-emptive military attack was "on the table." So far, history has shown that issuing threats to North Korea (or any other country) only provokes increased belligerence from the threatened nation. Sounding more like a general than a Secretary of State, Tillerson declared: "Talk is not going to change the situation."
China Suggests a Sensible Plan to Head off US-Korea Clash: Washington Refuses
(Ben Blanchard / Reuters & Chris Buckley and Somini Sengupta / The New York Times)
China, fearing an escalation of tension on the Korean Peninsula, called on North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile tests and for South Korea and the US to stop their provocative military drills on the North's border and seek talks instead. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi warned that the priority in the dispute over North Korea’s nuclear program was "to flash the red light and apply brakes." In response, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is loudly gunning his engine and threatening to put his foot on the gas pedal.
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."
How To End the Korean War
(Justin Raimondo / AntiWar.com)
North Koreans insist their test missile launches are a logical reaction to the fear of imminent military action by the US and South Korea. Pyongyang's fear is not unfounded. The joint US-South Korean "Foal Eagle" military exercises are a dress rehearsal for all-out war with the North. In addition to the USS Carl Vinson and a strike-force of two guided missile destroyers and a cruiser, the US sent in a squadron of stealth fighter jets as well as B-52s and B-1Bs -- these latter capable of carrying nuclear payloads.
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.
Naval Exercises Add Trillions of Bits of Plastic to the World's Oceans
(Dahr Jamail / Truthout)
For the next two decades, the US Navy will inject hundreds of thousands of pounds of flares and billions of metal-coated glass fibers into ocean waters off Washington and Oregon. By 2037, the Navy will have left behind more than half a million pounds of flares and trillions of microfibers of chaff (a radar countermeasure dropped by aircraft) in the world's oceans. And a single, upcoming naval exercises will inject 20,000 tons of heavy metals and explosives into the seas.
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.
Noam Chomsky on Trump's Muslim Ban and the Use of Nuclear Weapons
(David Gibbs and Noam Chomsky / Sri Lanka Guardian)
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has emphasized the extreme danger that Trump poses, due to the augmented risk of nuclear war and uncontrolled climate change. After inauguration, the Bulletin's metaphoric clock has been repositioned at two and a half minutes to midnight, with "midnight" signifying catastrophe. Regarding the threat of nuclear war, Prof. Noam Chomsky is concerned that Donald Trump's "personality is frightening, he's a complete megalomaniac. You never know how he's going to react.?
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.
17 House Republicans Try To Make Donald Trump Care About Climate Change
(Marina Fang / The Huffington Post & Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
The White House wants to cut one-quarter of the Environmental Protection Agency's funding and eliminate 1 in 5 EPA employees but 17 House Republicans have done something Donald Trump and most members of their party have refused to do: acknowledge that climate change is real and commit to finding solutions to combat it.
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.
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. Navy "testing and training events" fire missiles, torpedoes, guns and other explosive firings into US waters biennially. Explosive "sonobuoys" are dropped from planes and never recovered.
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.
Trump's Secret Team to Take Down Latin America's Left
Trump has filled about 520 positions through a process that avoids Senate confirmation. Most picks have no prior experience -- some just graduated from high school or college -- but were picked for working on the Trump campaign. Of the 400 hires secretly made by Trump, several have a record of messing with Latin American affairs -- these include a Hugo Chavez alarmist and two ambassadors to El Salvador who have conspired to topple elected progressive governments in Latin America.
Trump's Generals Want to Escalate the Afghanistan War
(Mehdi Hasan / The Intercept)
You remember Afghanistan, right? The longest war in US history and the most unpopular one, too? The ongoing conflict that's been ignored by politicians and pundits alike, despite 2,400 US dead and a whopping $1 trillion price tag? Afghanistan hardly got a look in during the election campaign. The decade-and-a-half-long war was mentioned only once in the three presidential debates. Now Trump's generals, backed by GOP hawks in Congress, want to drag it out for a few more years. "When in doubt, double down."
Winning WW II in the Twenty-First Century
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Michael Klare / TomDispatch)
If you are an American male of a certain age -- Donald Trump's age, to be exact -- you are likely to have vivid memories of Victory at Sea, an award-winning NBC series about the US Navy in World War II. It aired from October 1952 to May 1953. Why do I mention this? Because I'm convinced that Trump's talk of rebuilding the US military and "winning wars again" has been deeply influenced by the conography that was commonplace in Victory at Sea and the war movies of his youth.
US Warned of Mounting Civilian Casualties in Mosul
(Suleiman Al-Khalidi / Reuters)
A prominent Iraqi Sunni politician on Monday warned Washington the acceleration in a military campaign in western Mosul to drive out Islamic State jihadists was causing a sudden surge in civilian casualties that threatened to undermine the effort to crush the militants. Khamis Khanjar said at least 3,500 civilians have been killed since the push into the western side of the side last month.
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.
Meteorologists Debunk EPA Chief's Climate Change Denial
(Mark Moore / The New York Post)
The nation's top meteorological organization debunked Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt's claim that carbon dioxide is not a main factor in climate change, saying it's a fact based on "indisputable findings." In an interview last week, Pruitt said carbon dioxide is not the pollutant it's made out to be. The meteorologists said he's flat-out wrong.
The Trump Administration's Human-Rights Dilemma
(Doug Bandow / The National Interest)
Donald Trump has demonstrated little interest in promoting human rights abroad. He was a dealmaker, focused on achieving concrete economic and security ends. Worrying about whether other peoples can, say, protest against their government doesn't seem to concern him. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reinforced this point by skipping the release of the annual human-rights report. Past secretaries typically have appeared to claim support for the universal values that Washington claims to hold dear. Not this time. Presumably, Secretary Tillerson was "busy."
The Surge Delusion: An Iraq War Anniversary to Forget
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Danny Sjursen / TomDispatch)
On the 10th anniversary of the original "surge" in Iraq, Major Danny Sjursen, TomDispatch regular, former history instructor at West Point, and the author of Ghost Riders of Baghdad: Soldiers, Civilians, and the Myth of the Surge, offers a personal look at the building of a legend, which helped make careers, including those of Trump's top generals, and kept a disastrous war going.
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.
Trump Escalates War in Syria Kuwait: US 'Advisors' Armed with Howitzers
(Alex Emmons / The Intercept & The Ron Paul Liberty Report & Fox News)
The Pentagon has deployed several hundred marines to Northern Syria equipped with M777 howitzers, which can fire GPS-guided explosives up to 25 miles. That's a big change from the "train, advise and assist" role US forces have been playing so far -- although as with many previous troop deployments to Iraq and Syria, it was not debated, let alone authorized, by Congress.
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.
Escalation Nation: Trump Puts US Boots on Ground in Syria
(Joe Macaron / Al Jazeera)
Opinion: Interventionism is addictive, it starts with a simple task and one thing can lead to another. Eradicating ISIL without a political horizon or expanding intervention without a clear endgame merely postpone the looming confrontations across Syria.
Trump Targets DoE's Successful Energy Star Conservation Program
(Alexander C. Kaufman / The Huffington Post)
Over the past 25 years, the federal government's Energy Star program has become a valuable marker for all kinds of industries. Real estate agents upsell buildings that have been Energy Star-certified as energy efficient. Homeowners seek out its blue logo on electricity-guzzling appliances and devices. But the White House has proposed eliminating funding for Energy Star and privatizing the $57 million program, which could upend entire industries and kneecap cities' efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
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 Army Seeking New Bases for Deployments in Europe
(AntiWar.com & Army Times & The Local / Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.)
While US Army officials insist no specific decision has been made on any new deployments, officials familiar with the situation say that the Army has begun seeking sites for new bases in Europe, with a pair of locations in Northern Germany having already been scouted.
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.
ACTION ALERT: Trump's War Has Just Started
(Stephen Miles and Richard Allen Smith / MoveOn.org & Hon. Barbara Lee / House of Representatives)
On March 8, Donald Trump sent hundreds of Marines to risk their lives in combat in Syria. Please see the urgent message below from Afghanistan War Veteran Richard Allen Smith and take action by joining him -- along with US Representative Barbara Lee -- in taking action to oppose this dangerous escalation of war. Rep Lee has introduced a bill that would prevent Trump from sending more troops into Syria.
House Passes $578 Billion Military Spending Bill
(Jason Ditz / AntiWar.com & Richard Lardner / Associated Press)
With massive majorities in both parties, Congress has voted in favor of a massive $578 billion military spending bill to cover the remainder of fiscal year 2017. The bill now moves on to the Senate, where it is expected to pass. The exact meaning of the figures is a little difficult to understand because Congress had already passed a FY2017 military spending bill for $611 billion back in December. Adding to the war-pork: Donald Trump hopes to add another $30 billion and has promised an overall 9% spending hike in FY2018.
US Rejects China's Call to Halt Provocative War Exercise if N. Korea Halts Provocative Missile Tests
(AntiWar.com & Al-Jazeera & The Associated Press)
The US on Wednesday rejected China's proposal for a halt to joint US-South Korean military exercises if North Korea suspends its nuclear and missile activities. It called North Korean leader Kim Jong Un irrational and demanded "positive action" before the US can take his regime seriously. Meanwhile, the US military added to regional tensions by beginning to deploy its THAAD anti-missile system in South Korea. China opposes the THAAD system, which it sees as a provocative military threat to its security.
Daring Nighttime Raid Turns to Deadly Trap in Mosul
(Associated Press & Clark Judge / The New York Times & Mona Eltahawy / The New York Times)
There is nothing "daring" about a nighttime raid. A raid in the middle of the day might qualify as "daring." In any case, the planned assault on entrenched forces inside the city of Mosul went disastrously wrong. Apparently the US-trained Iraqi troops were allowed to penetrate the city without resistance, only to walk into a trap when ISIS suddenly appeared and opened fire on the surrounded soldiers. "The plan was stupid," one survivor said. "I don't know why we did that."
The CIA's Bloody Legacy in South America: Plots, Coups and Civil Wars
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.
War Without End: How Endless War Means Endless Profits for Boeing and Lockheed Martin
(Tom Englehardt / TomDispatch & Rebecca Gordon / TomDispatch)
Donald Trump, now preparing to lead the US into the latest series of endless wars, recently reflected on America's military prowess: "We have to start winning wars again." But the only winners are a few large corporations. Military aid to other countries is a windfall for US arms manufacturers. Countries receiving US "foreign aid" are often obligated to spend it on American products. In other words, much of the Pentagon's military "aid" is actually a back-door subsidy to companies like Boeing and Lockheed Martin.
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."
In Response to Trump, EU Considers Alliance-Wide Nuclear Weapons Program
(AntiWar.com & The New York Times )
Initially pushed by Eastern European members, particularly Poland, as another way to challenge Russia, the European Union is now seen warming to the idea of establishing its own alliance-wide nuclear weapons program placed under common European command. The plan is being sold as a response to the risk of Donald Trump dialing back Washington's military support for the EU.
After Trump's Deadly and Disastrous January Attack, More Airstrikes in Yemen
(The Associated Press & AntiWar.com & Reuters & The Daily Times)
In the first direct US military action in Yemen since the disastrous January SEAL Team 6 raid, US warplanes and drones have launched a flurry of attacks against targets across southern and central Yemen. More than 20 distinct airstrikes were reported. The timing of such a large number of strikes has not been officially explained, but raises speculation that Trump hope to make it appear that the January raid produced "actionable" intelligence, and the new action is a result of this unproven allegation.
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.
The Art of the Trumpaclysm: America Reimagined
(Tom Engelhardt / TomDispatch)
Commentary: The Trumpacalypse has been a smash in both the Hollywood and car accident sense of the term -- a phenomenon the likes of which we've simply never experienced. Think of Nero fiddling while Rome burned while the cameras rolled. It's proved, in every way, to be a giant leak. A faucet. A spigot. An absolute flood of non-news, quarter-news, half-news, crazed news, fake news, and over-the-top actual news.
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.
ACTION ALERT: On Centennial of WWI, a Series of Conferences to End All War World Beyond War
(World Beyond War)
This April 4th will mark 100 years since the US Senate voted to declare war on Germany and 50 since Martin Luther King Jr. spoke out against the war on Vietnam (49 since he was killed on that speech's first anniversary). Events are being planned -- in Washington, DC, New York and San Francisco -- to help us try to finally learn some lessons -- to move beyond, not just Vietnam, but all war.
Must It Always Be War? Tales from the Pentagon
(Rosa Brooks / The New York Review of Books)
Societies often go to great lengths to separate war from peace. Wars are declared, sometimes with elaborate ritual. Soldiers wear uniforms and are part of specialized hierarchical organizations. Battlefields are often delineated. Maintaining this distinction is important because what is permissible in wartime is often prohibited in peacetime. Preventing the rules of war from infecting views of moral conduct in times of peace is essential for preserving civilization. But, since 9/11, that line has been blurred.
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.
The Path to Stability: Offer Jobs and Wages Not Bombs and Drones
(Caleb T. Maupin / Mint Press)
The US wars in Iraq, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Afghanistan have failed to stabilize any of these countries. The reach of terrorist groups seems to have expanded since the dawn of the War on Terror. China, on the other hand, is using a different strategy to reduce terrorism. By providing new jobs and better housing in Tibet and Xinjiang, these two unstable and previously terror-ridden regions are now more stable than ever before -- all without the high costs and massive destruction of war.
Trump's "Moderate" Defense Secretary Has Already Brought Us to the Brink of War
(Mehdi Hasan /The Intercept)
Defense Secretary James Mattis has been touted as a "restraint" against his Commander-in-chief. But Mattis has been tied to some of the worst war crimes of the Iraq invasion. In April 2004, he ordered an attack on village that killed 42 civilians -- including 13 children. In November 2004, he lead an assault on Fallujah that reduced the city to rubble, forced 200,000 residents from their homes and resulted in at least 800 civilian deaths. And, we now know, in February of this year, he nearly triggered a war with Iran.
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