Category Archives: World

Russia’s Favored Outlet Is an Online News Giant. YouTube Helped.

When the state-backed Russian news channel RT became the first news organization to surpass one billion views on YouTube in 2013, it marked the achievement with a retrospective of its most popular videos and a special guest — one of the Google-owned site’s senior executives.

Robert Kyncl, a YouTube vice president who has since become its chief business officer, joined an RT anchor in a studio, where he praised RT for bonding with viewers by providing “authentic” content instead of “agendas or propaganda.”

But now, as investigators in Washington examine the scope and reach of Russian interference in United States politics, the once-cozy relationship between RT and YouTube is drawing closer scrutiny.

YouTube — the world’s most-visited video site, owned by one of the most powerful and influential corporations in America — played a crucial role in helping build and expand RT, an organization that the American intelligence community has described as the Kremlin’s “principal international propaganda outlet” and a key player in Russia’s information warfare operations around the world.

More from The New York Times

Posted by the NON-Conformist

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Guns and Profit – Why We’ll Do Absolutely Nothing New After This Las Vegas Shooting

Wake up, America.

We are not the land of the brave or the home of the free.

We are the land of the gun and the home of the free market.

Stephen Paddock’s killing spree last night in Las Vegas will not change anything – except the bottom line for numerous gun manufacturers.

Ca-ching, people!

Scores of American companies are going to clean up over this!

That’s what happens every time we get a high profile mass shooting.

Not new gun regulation. Not additional services for the mentally ill. Not stricter guidelines against fake news on social media.

More from Common Dreams

Posted by Libergirl

Mexico, Donald Trump, Hurricane Maria: Your Wednesday Briefing from The New York Times

Powerful quake kills hundreds in Mexico.

Rescue crews are scrambling to pull survivors from the rubble after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1 struck on Tuesday, killing more than 200 people.

At least 21 children died when a school collapsed, and the toll across the country is expected to rise. We mapped the extensive damage in Mexico City, and have video from the moment the quake hit.

It struck less than two weeks after an 8.1-magnitude temblor in the south of the country, which killed at least 90.

Image: Pedro Pardo/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Trump brings America First to the U.N.

It was President Trump’s first address to the General Assembly. He used the world’s most prominent stage on Tuesday to threaten to “totally destroy North Korea” and to denounce Iran as a “rogue state.”

More from Apple News

Posted by Libergirl

 

American Tourist Gets Beaten Up In Germany After Giving Nazi Salute

A drunken American tourist was assaulted over the weekend after repeatedly raising his arm to give the Nazi salute outside a bar in the German city of Dresden.

Dresden police said the 41-year-old man, who didn’t get too banged up in the attack, is being investigated for violating the law against the use of symbols from certain banned groups. Public displays of Nazism, such as the swastika symbol and gestures like the “Heil Hitler” salute, have been outlawed in Germany since the end of WWII, The Guardian reported.

The incident unfolded early Saturday, Aug. 12, when the tourist, “who was strongly under the influence of alcohol,” exited a bar in the city’s Neustadt area and proceeded to give the Nazi salute in the street, according to the newspaper.

“An unknown passerby then beat up the man and slightly injured him,” the police said in a statement.

More from  Atlanta Black Star

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Mattis rips Pentagon officials for $28M wasted on Afghanistan camouflage

Defense Secretary James Mattis ripped Pentagon officials for their “cavalier” spending following a recent report that the Defense Department spent $28 million on camouflage uniforms for Afghan soldiers that don’t match up with the country’s terrain.

In a July 21 memo released to reporters on Monday, Mattis addressed a June Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) report. The document found that DOD began buying the forest-patterned uniforms in 2007, after a former Afghan defense minister saw them online and liked them.

The uniforms were purchased without testing to be used in a country that’s just 2 percent woodland.

“Buying uniforms for our Afghan partners, and doing so in a way that may have wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars over a 10-year period, must not be seen as inconsequential in the grand scheme of the Department’s responsibilities and budget,” Mattis wrote in the memo that was addressed to the undersecretaries for policy, comptroller and acquisition, technology and logistics.

“Cavalier or casually acquiescent decisions to spend taxpayer dollars in an ineffective and wasteful manner are not to recur,” Mattis continued in the memo.

More from The Hill

Posted by Libergirl

“Staggering” civilian deaths from U.S.-led air strikes in Raqqa – U.N.

Intensified coalition air strikes supporting an assault by U.S.-backed forces on Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa in Syria are causing a “staggering loss of civilian life”, United Nations war crimes investigators said on Wednesday.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group of Kurdish and Arab militias supported by a U.S.-led coalition, began to attack Raqqa a week ago to take it from the jihadists. The SDF, supported by heavy coalition air strikes, have taken territory to the west, east and north of the city.

“We note in particular that the intensification of air strikes, which have paved the ground for an SDF advance in Raqqa, has resulted not only in staggering loss of civilian life, but has also led to 160,000 civilians fleeing their homes and becoming internally displaced,” Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the U.N. Commission of Inquiry told the Human Rights Council.

Pinheiro provided no figure for civilian casualties in Raqqa, where rival forces are racing to capture ground from Islamic State. The Syrian army is also advancing on the desert area west of the city.

Separately, Human Rights Watch expressed concern in a statement about the use of incendiary white phosphorous weapons by the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, saying it endangered civilians when used in populated areas.

In its speech to the 47-member forum in Geneva, the U.S. delegation made no reference to Raqqa or the air strikes. U.S. diplomat Jason Mack called the Syrian government “the primary perpetrator” of egregious human rights violations in the country.

Pinheiro said that if the international coalition’s offensive is successful, it could liberate Raqqa’s civilian population, including Yazidi women and girls, “whom the group has kept sexually enslaved for almost three years as part of an ongoing and unaddressed genocide”.

“The imperative to fight terrorism must not, however, be undertaken at the expense of civilians who unwillingly find themselves living in areas where ISIL is present,” he added.

Pinheiro also said that 10 agreements between the Syrian government and armed groups to evacuate fighters and civilians from besieged areas, including eastern Aleppo last December, “in some cases amount to war crimes” as civilians had “no choice”.

Syria’s ambassador to the U.N. in Geneva, Hussam Edin Aaala, denounced violations “committed by the unlawful U.S.-led coalition which targets infrastructure, killing hundreds of civilians including the deaths of 30 civilians in Deir al-Zor.”

By Stephanie Nebehay/Reuters

Posted by The NON-Conformist

Palestinian Rights Not a Topic of Discussion During Trump’s Visit

Palestinians See Trump’s Talk of Peace as Empty Promises

President Donald Trump’s visits with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas come with a lot of expectations, at least from Trump’s perspective, that he can make some progress in advancing the peace process between the two sides.

There are a lot of topics that are off limit, however, and perhaps none more glaringly so, at least on this leg of the visit, than the subject of basic Palestinian rights, which Trump is eager to avoid bringing up, knowing the implications that even a tacit recognition of such rights would have for Israel’s far-right government.

Trump styles himself the greatest deal-maker in the world, and has embraced the idea of making a deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians since taking office, but also remains determined to protect his status as a “pro-Israel” president, with a collection of aides to match.

That has done much to temper Palestinian excitement about Trump’s talk of peace, as they see the talk of peace, with no plan, and a US Ambassador to Israel that is openly supporting settlements in occupied Palestine, and conclude the talk of peace is as empty as ever.

As Israel celebrates 50 years of military occupation of the Palestinians, it’s impossible not to figure that the moment the peace process becomes inconvenient to US-Israeli relations, it will again be cast off, to wait for another administration’s half-hearted efforts.

by Jason Ditz/AntiWar

Posted by The NON-Conformist