... We don't have the answer, we know what it's not
'Cause the people will keep pushin' 'til they get a shot
Your money's no good there, we wouldn't cash you a check if we could ...
'The Comin' Round Is Going Through', Bonnie Raitt 
Question Everything - George Carlin
Clinton emails give away German Minister of Finance's plans in 2012 - exclusive commentary by Yanis Varoufakis [The Press Project - 22/3/16]
The world's most famous economic hitman confesses – they're coming for your democracy [Zero Hedge - 26/3/16]
US court to hear Argentine debt injunction appeal on April 13 [Reuters – 26/3/16]:
... The date of the appeal court hearing is one day before the April 14 deadline established for Argentina to deliver a $4.65 billion payout to key "holdout" creditors, as agreed in a February deal that could allow the country to return to international debt markets after almost 15 years. ...
Bolivian President Evo Morales said his country has decided to file suit against Chile at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over a water dispute.
Bolivia argues it owns the Silala spring waters originating in its southwest department of Potosi and that it is not being compensated for Chile's use of the water, which flow across their shared border. ... [Yahoo - 26/3/16]
The parliamentary committee considering the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will hit the road in the next couple of weeks to hear from the public.
More than 330 people have asked to give their views on the controversial trade treaty to the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Committee in person.
The committee will hold hearings in Christchurch on 31 March and 1 April, and in Auckland the following week, before returning to Wellington, where it has already heard some submissions. ... [RNZI - 27/3/16]
journalist jailed over war crimes court contempt
[BBC - 26/3/16]:
A former official at the UN war crimes tribunal at The Hague is being kept in isolation with lights permanently on, her lawyer says.
French journalist Florence Hartmann, once a court spokeswoman, was arrested over a 2009 conviction for contempt for disclosing confidential documents.
She was initially sentenced to a fine, but this changed to seven days' jail when the court ruled she had not paid.
Hartmann, 53, had insisted the money was deposited in a French account.
She was arrested on Thursday in The Hague, where she had gone for the verdict against former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic.
Her lawyer, Guenael Mettraux, told AFP news agency she was being kept "under suicide watch conditions, meaning with light in her cell 24-hours a day and that she is being checked on every 15 minutes by the guards" in a detention unit at the Hague tribunal.
"She is isolated from other detainees and so far has only been visited by the French consul," he said.
He had filed applications for the conditions of detention to be changed and for her early release. But he said there was literally no-one available to deal with them until after the Easter break.
Mr Mettraux told UK daily the Guardian that his client had said she was in the bizarre position of "watching Gen Ratko Mladic [the Bosnian Serb military leader accused of war crimes] walking around the yard and associating with other prisoners while I'm locked away in a cage".
Hartmann worked for the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia from 2000 to 2006.
She wrote a book, Peace And Punishment,
and an article in which she disclosed the existence of confidential documents on
the Serbian government involvement in the Bosnian war of the 1990s.
Ex-Yougoslavie : une ancienne porte-parole du Tribunal pénal international arrêtée à La Haye [Le Monde - 24/3/16]
A conversation on privacy featuring Edward Snowden, Glenn Greenwald and Noam Chomsky [VIDEO - The Intercept - 25/3/16]
@nonukesday_jp [26/3/16] #326NONUKESDAY No NUKES! [Tokyo]
@nonukesday_jp [26/3/16] 渋谷コース次々ゴールしてます！
TEPCO says 5.3 tons of tainted water leaked at Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant [The Asahi Shimbun - 24/3/16]
Resolute acts of defiance and resistance "a bit too newsy" for Australia's political, media and human rights establishment
Omission is the most powerful form of lie.
Nauru protest Day 8
Refugee Action Coalition, Sydney [27/3/16]:
... For the last two days, Immigration and Broadspectrum [Transfield] have erected a fence across the road to prevent protests reaching, and blocking, the main gate to the family camp, RPC 3.
Keeping the protests back from the main gate also hampers photographs and videos of the protests reaching the outside world.
But asylum seeker protesters have marched to the fence chanting, "Three years in detention; shame on you shame on you."
"The first boat people cannot tell the second boat people to leave"
Murrandoo Yanner, director of the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation and Gangalidda man of the Gunamulla clan
THIS IS NOT AN OPEN CAMP
"Today they locked us up ...and they wouldn't let the refugees to get photos of us" #Nauru
Image: @childrennauru [26/3/16]
Woman talks about police trying to take her phone during Nauru... [AUDIO - 26/3/16]
... Poverty, homelessness, hunger and war
I said 'With such a past, what future's in store?' ...
'Never Give In', Gary Shearston 
In the 1960s, the Australian singer-songwriter Gary Shearston, who has died after a stroke aged 74, recorded a run of highly regarded and influential albums mixing his original compositions and Australian folk tunes, and became known as the "Aussie Dylan".
One of his songs, Sometime Lovin', became a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary; and in 1974 Gary had a worldwide hit with his cover version of Cole Porter's I Get a Kick Out of You (arranged by Jim Parker).
Gary was born in Inverell, New South Wales. When his father was away serving in the second world war, he lived for a while with his mother and grandparents in Tenterfield, in a house that Gary later bought and lived in until his death.
After stints as a journalist, a puppeteer and a kids' TV presenter, he began writing and singing songs on the Sydney folk scene in the early 60s.
He signed a contract with Warners in 1968, at exactly the same time as Van Morrison; recently, Gary contributed to my book on Morrison, Hymns to the Silence (2010), discussing life, music and matters arising, and it was my good luck to remain in regular contact with him.
A move to New York at the end of the 60s was marred for Gary when US immigration refused him a work permit because of his anti-Vietnam and pro-Aboriginal activities in Australia; and although he recorded an album for Warners, it was never issued. ... [Guardian - 31/7/13]
An interview with Gary Shearston [Simply Australia]:
... GARY: The Anglo-French historian, essayist and novelist, Hilaire Belloc, once wrote, “It is the best of all trades, to make songs, and the second best to sing them.” I've always appreciated that observation. If I were to expand on it, I would probably say, “lit is the best of all trades, to make songs that inspire hearts, minds and souls to make the world a better place for every single human being inhabiting it, and the second best to sing them and hear others singing them.” That's probably a bit long-winded, but you may get my general drift. Songs born of struggle invariably inspire ways of resolving the struggle that gave them birth. 'Songs of protest' can reveal hidden agendas, stamp them clearly in the' consciousness of people from all walks of life, and lead them to consider, or re—consider, all sorts of ideological positions adopted by one crew or another. The truth will always out and, more often than not, the truth rings truest when carried on the wings of song.
JIM: Even when you were overseas for so long, many of the songs you wrote continued to reflect your feelings for and interest in Australia. Can you comment on this?
GARY: I took Australia, and things Australian, with me. 'Aborigine' was written in New York, in response to American enquiries regarding Australian Aboriginal culture. Similarly, 'Baiame, the Greatest Stone on Earth' was written in London for the same sort of reason. I sought to bring things Australian to the different scenarios in which I became involved. In early 1970s London, for example, I devoted considerable time and energy getting British and Jamaican musicians to listen to Aboriginal music — sometimes to advantage, sometimes to no avail. Some of the results can be heard on 'The Greatest Stone on Earth & Other Two—Bob Wonders', my second English album.
Once, in a remote shanty in the wilds of County Donegal, on the west coast of Ireland, I sang the assembled Saturday night crew Sally Sloane's version of The Wild Colonial Boy. They'd never heard it before. Sung as a lament, it's very different to the usual Irish rendition, which is more of a knees—up, rebel—rouser. Three weeks later, when I turned up at the Tradition Club in Slattery's pub in Dublin, where I'd been booked to do a gig, I was asked if I was the same Australian who'd sung an unusual version of The Wild Colonial Boy in Bridget McShane's Crossways Inn, Glencolumbkille, County Donegal recently. I pleaded guilty. News travels fast in Ireland —one side of the country to another. Traditional music news seems to travel fastest of all. …
UN extends mandate of special rapporteur [Myanmar Times - 25/3/16]:
... Despite a speech delivered by the current special rapporteur for Myanmar Yanghee Lee which identified a slew of pressing and extant rights abuses in the country, Australia pressed the council to drop Myanmar from the list of countries of concern with serious rights issues.
In her latest report delivered to the council, Ms Lee provided eight recommendations for the new government to adopt within the first 100 days of assuming power on April 1.
Several of the recommendations concerned improving conditions for Muslim Rohingya in Rakhine State including access to basic rights like health care, education and freedom of movement.
She also urged that the Rakhine and Rohingya communities be reintegrated to avoid fuelling further communal tensions in the restive state.
“How can we expect communities to recreate bonds if they continue to be segregated?” Ms Lee asked the council.
Director Rachael Maza on The Secret River: 'That’s not the story I want to be telling my kids' [Guardian - 24/3/16]:
... All but one of the Dharug chracters are dead by the play’s end, which Maza saw as playing on a trope frequently perpetuated in Australian popular culture that “the real Aboriginals died out”.
She also said the work frames Indigenous Australians as “the other”.
“So we’re dressed in potato sacks and do a lot gesticulating,” Maza said.
Maza said such tropes fit neatly into another piece of Australian folklore “that somehow our history was a means to an end, a fait accompli; Darwin’s theory that somehow we were all part of another primitive people that were meant to have died out a long time ago anyway”.
In contrast, audience members were given “absolute access” to the “complex, moral, ethical dilemmas” of the Thornhills, Maza said.
“You’re absolutely on the ride with that young, white couple, feeling everything.”
At a recent Melbourne performance Maza said the audience was “obviously massively moved and there were a lot of tears and an instant standing ovation”.
And while she understood it was a “really important story to be telling”, it was not the story she wanted to be telling her kids.
“I do not want to be telling the story to my kids that we all died out. I want to know the story about how we won and about how we’re still here and how we’re resilient and how we’ve adapted. And in fact we’re one of the most adaptive people in the universe – 100,000 years of adaptation.”
The disease of disadvantage forcing Indigenous children to have open-heart surgery [Guardian - 26/3/16]:
... RHD is caused by infection with the highly contagious group A streptococcus bacterium, which leads to a condition known commonly as “strep throat”.
Most Australian children acquire strep throat at some point but are usually only exposed to the infection once or twice and, when they are, receive fast treatment with antibiotics.
But, in disadvantaged communities, where overcrowding and substandard housing is common, children are exposed to group A streptococcus bacterium constantly and often suffer from recurrent bouts of disease.
Treatment with antibiotics is often delayed or non-existent due to woeful access to health services. This repeated and prolonged infection and exposure to strep can lead to a condition called acute rheumatic fever, an inflammatory disease that can involve the heart.
As the immune system attempts to destroy the streptococcus bacterium, it can also destroy the heart, which contains similar looking proteins to those of the strep bacterium.
These attacks can damage the heart’s aortic and mitral valves.
Without antibiotic treatment to stop the bouts of acute rheumatic fever, the heart can be left permanently damaged and it is this severe and irreversible heart damage that is known as RHD.
Without open-heart surgery to repair or replace the damaged heart valves, proper flow of blood through the heart is diminished, the heart becomes enlarged, clots can form and children are at risk of dropping dead from stroke at any time.
An important new report makes clear the principal cause of the water crisis in Flint, Mich.: the state government’s blatant disregard for the lives and health of poor and black residents of a distressed city.
The report released Wednesday by a task force appointed last year by Gov. Rick Snyder to study how Flint’s drinking water became poisoned by lead makes for chilling reading.
While it avoids using the word “racism,” it clearly identifies the central role that race and poverty play in this story.
“Flint residents, who are majority black or African-American and among the most impoverished of any metropolitan area in the United States, did not enjoy the same degree of protection from environmental and health hazards as that provided to other communities,” the report said. ... [New York Times - 25/3/16]
Hundreds mourn Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces in Hebron [Maan - 26/3/16]
Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian farmers and shepherds in the Gaza Strip Saturday morning, forcing them to leave their fields, witnesses said.
Witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli military forces deployed east of Juhr al-Dik in the central Gaza Strip opened fire on the workers while they were in their agricultural fields, forcing them to leave the area. ... [Maan - 26/3/16]
Pro-Israel group targets CUNY professor over Palestine activism [Electronic Intifada - 26/3/16]
Mohammad Anwar Rahmani, head of central Ghazni province's court, was shot dead by insurgents in central Wardak province on Saturday, Ghazni police said in a statement. ... [TOLO News - 27/3/16]
At least 73 militants were killed in an airstrike conducted by U.S troops in southern Helmand province, officials said Saturday.
Commander of Bost's 505 Zone in Helmand, Ismatullah Dawlatzai, said the air raids targeted Taliban militants in parts of Nad Ali district.
He added that six Pakistani rebels were among the dead. ... [TOLO News - 26/3/16]
At least 10 Taliban insurgents were killed and 27 others were wounded during the ongoing operations in northern Kunduz province of Afghanistan.
The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the militants were killed or wounded during the military raids being conducted as part of Thunder-1 clearance operations.
A statement by MoD said the shadow district governor of the Taliban group was also among those injured during the operations. ... [Khaama - 26/3/16]
Six armed men killed in clash with security forces in Nooristan [Khaama - 26/3/16]
Brussels attacks: 'Man in the hat' charged with terrorism and murder as nuclear facility security guard killed [Telegraph - 27/3/16]
Brussels terror suspect was jailed over Ahmad Shah Massoud assassination [Khaama - 26/3/16]:
The coordinated terror attacks in Brussels has unveiled new information regarding the assassination of a key jiahdi leader in Afghanistan as a terror suspect who was arrested by police in Brussels after a dramatic stand-off at a tram stop is believed to have previously been jailed for helping to assassinate an Afghan leader just days before 9/11.
The suspect has been identified as Abderaman A who was shot in the leg at the tram stop in Schaerbeek because he was carrying a rucksack police believed contained a bomb.
Massoud was the arch rival of the Taliban group and was holding the last strategic stronghold in northern Panjsher province as he was assassinated in a suicide attack during an interview by militants who had disguised themselves as journalists.
He was killed shortly before the deadly terrorist attack on New York and Washington and shortly after he paid a visit to Brussels where he issued warnings regarding the terror attack plots by al-Qaeda terrorist network.
In his speech in European Parliament in April 2001 Massoud “warned the US government” about bin Laden as he was on a diplomatic trip to Europe seeking financial support for his cause from the EU and individual countries.
The UK-based MailOnline newspaper reported today that the latest revealations was made as the investigation continued into Tuesday terror attacks in Belgium at Brussels Airport and a metro station in the city, which left 31 people dead.
The report further added that passports found on Mr Masood’s killers were linked to a Brussels-based militant cell run by Tarek Maaroufi.
Ameroud was handed a sentence of seven years when he went on trial for his part in the assassination at a court in Paris in 2005, according to the report.
Massoud was conferred the title of national hero following his assassination by the Taliban militnats in a bid to take control of Panjshir province which has always remained a stronghold against the foreign invasions.
Twenty military personnel have been sent to the United States for training in the aviation sector in an effort to strengthen the Afghan Air Force (AAF), says Resolute Support mission.
A statement on the NATO mission’s website saidthat one of the military students from Afghanistan would be attend the Ordnance Basic Officer Leadership Course. ... [Pajwhok - 26/3/16]
A former Afghan military interpreter has been granted asylum – in a major victory for a Daily Mail campaign.
The 31-year-old, who worked with UK and other coalition forces on the front line against the Taliban for seven years, was this week told he could stay.
Only last April, immigration officials attempted to put him on a plane to Afghanistan. ... [Daily Mail - 26/3/16]
Leak confirms British special forces in Libya since early January [Antiwar - 25/3/16]
... But historians of the 2011 NATO war in Libya will be sure to notice a few of the truly explosive confirmations contained in the new emails: admissions of rebel war crimes, special ops trainers inside Libya from nearly the start of protests, Al Qaeda embedded in the U.S. backed opposition, Western nations jockeying for access to Libyan oil, the nefarious origins of the absurd Viagra mass rape claim, and concern over Gaddafi’s gold and silver reserves threatening European currency. ... [Foreign Policy Journal - 6/1/16]
Trump would consider halting US oil purchases from Saudis: NYT [Reuters - 26/3/16]
Tens of thousands of Yemenis mark a year of war, denounce Saudi-led offensive [Reuters – 26/3/16]
This is what Yemen looks like after a year of airstrikes [Foreign Policy - 25/3/16]
Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Saudi Arabia's defense minister, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, affirmed the importance of the defense relationship between their nations during a phone call today, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
In a statement summarizing the call, Cook said they also discussed the security environment in the Middle East, including ways to work together to strengthen cooperation on counterterrorism efforts.
Carter welcomed Saudi Arabia's contributions to the coalition campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Cook said, and the pair discussed ways to expand their cooperation.
The defense leaders agreed on the need to stay in close communication going forward, he added. [US Department of Defense - 24/3/16]
Florida Governor Rick Scott on Friday signed a law that cuts off state funding for preventive health services to clinics providing abortion and imposes abortion restrictions already being tested before the U.S. Supreme Court.
Florida is among many states adopting new abortion laws as conservatives seek to chip away at the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.
Scott signed 68 new laws and issued statements on some non-controversial bills on Friday but did not comment on the abortion statute. ... [Reuters - 25/3/16]
French parliamentary delegation visits Old Damascus [SANA - 26/3/16]
Russian airstrikes kill over 100 ISIS militants as Syrian army advances inside Palmyra [RT - 26/3/16]
The ceasefire in Syria has been violated nine times over the past 24 hours, the Russian center for reconciliation of opposing sides in Syria said in a statement posted on the Defense Ministry’s website on Saturday.
"The ceasefire agreement largely holds within the territory of the Syrian Arab Republic," the statement said.
"Over the past 24 hours, nine violations have been registered (in the Aleppo province - 3, in the Damascus, Latakia and Homs provinces - two in each)."
In the Damascus province militants of unidentified armed unit opened fire from mortars on the settlements of Hteitet al-Jarash and Zibdin. ... [TASS - 26/3/16]
An online tool created by search giant Google was launched to help Syrian rebels bring down the Syrian regime, in partnership with Qatari-based broadcaster Al Jazeera, leaked emails from Hillary Clinton’s server show.
The open source tool was eventually used in an article by Al Jazeera English's website to track and map defections within the Syrian regime’s leadership.
“My team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from,” wrote Jared Cohen, a Clinton advisor until 2010 and currently President of Jigsaw, formerly known as Google Ideas, the company’s New York-based policy think tank.
“Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition.” ... [Al Arabiya - 23/3/16]
New Zealand's military commitment in Iraq will continue until May next year, after a review found the training of Iraqi troops was working.
Iraqi Army soldiers march during the graduation ceremony of the Iraqi Army's Non- Commissioned Officers' Academy Junior Leaders Course at Taji Military Complex, Iraq.
The Review of Iraq Deployment, presented to Cabinet this week, found the objectives of the mission were being achieved.
The review said more than 4000 Iraqi Army personnel had been trained by the joint New Zealand and Australian taskforce in the first nine months. ... [RNZI - 26/3/16]
27 March 2016