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Marx’s last stand: Eastern Ukraine

The “Ukrainian Spring” has been a popular subject for all people. Various perspectives have been exhibited: US and Russian, Ukrainian and European. When not viewed as the manifestation of Vladimir Putin’s megalomania, or US overreach, the conflict has been interpreted as the rebirth of the Cold War, as Russia’s belated attempt at empire restoration, or as Western expansion.

Some basic categories were invoked, be they of national character, or morality, good and evil, Nazi vs democratic. Some saw the events as the clash between a corrupt political system that is failing to stop the march of liberal democracy; others as US-driven globalism hitting against the rock of some backward particularism, informed by Orthodoxy and an outdated political system. More sophisticated and informed concepts such as historical development or complex make-up of the Ukrainian nation were also invoked.

via Marx’s last stand: Eastern Ukraine — www.aljazeera.com.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Europe

 

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‘Massive and unprecedented’ US drone strikes in Yemen in pursuit of al-Qa’ida lead to retaliatory assassinations of four Yemeni security officers — www.independent.co.uk

An intensive bombing campaign carried out jointly by US drones and Yemeni government forces has left a reported 68 people dead in a three-day-long operation against al-Qa’ida suspects in the south of the country.

via ‘Massive and unprecedented’ US drone strikes in Yemen in pursuit of al-Qa’ida lead to retaliatory assassinations of four Yemeni security officers — www.independent.co.uk.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Middle East

 

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Not Time to Turn Virtual War Into a Real One

The assumption now widely held about Vladimir Putin’s intentions concerning Ukraine are that his Spetsnaz infiltration forces, and the troops attached to Russian military intelligence (the old MVD), will continue to spread disorder and anxiety in Eastern Ukraine, encouraging pro-Russian separatists to go on seizing and fortifying municipal and other official buildings in eastern Ukraine towns.

via Not Time to Turn Virtual War Into a Real One: William Pfaff — www.truthdig.com.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Europe

 

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The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External

This is a story about bad timing.

One of the most disturbing ways that climate change is already playing out is through what ecologists call “mismatch” or “mistiming.” This is the process whereby warming causes animals to fall out of step with a critical food source, particularly at breeding times, when a failure to find enough food can lead to rapid population losses.

via The Change Within: The Obstacles We Face Are Not Just External — www.thenation.com.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Reportages

 

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Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Gordian Knot

The annexation of Crimea by Russia and the continued crisis in Ukraine has stirred the Western policy community to rethink other unresolved conflicts in the post-Soviet space, such as those in Moldova and Georgia. Among these conflicts is the Nagorno-Karabakh conflictbetween Armenia and Azerbaijan. The dispute has been “frozen” since a ceasefire in 1994 to end the war which had broken out during the dissolution of the Soviet Union over the territory formerly known as “Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast” in Soviet Azerbaijan.

via Crimea, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Gordian Knot — www.aljazeera.com.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Europe

 

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Can you put a price on the beauty of the natural world?

George Orwell warned that “the logical end of mechanical progress is to reduce the human being to something resembling a brain in a bottle”. This is a story of how it happens.On the outskirts of Sheffield there is a wood which, some 800 years ago, was used by the monks of Kirkstead Abbey to produce charcoal for smelting iron. For local people, Smithy Wood is freighted with stories. Among the trees you can imagine your way into another world. The application to plant a motorway service station in the middle of it, wiping out half the wood and fragmenting the rest, might have been unthinkable a few months ago. No longer.

via Can you put a price on the beauty of the natural world? — www.theguardian.com.

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2014 in Europe, Reportages

 

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Too big to jail?

How the mighty have fallen. Once known as “Obama’s favorite general,” James Cartwright will soon don a prison uniform and, thanks to a plea deal, spend 13 months behind bars. Involved in setting up the earliest military cyberforce inside U.S. Strategic Command, which he led from 2004 to 2007, Cartwright also played a role in launching the first cyberwar in history — the release of the Stuxnet virus against Iran’s nuclear program. A Justice Department investigation found that, in 2012, he leaked information on the development of that virus to David Sanger of the New York Times. The result: a front-page piece revealing its existence, and so the American cyber-campaign against Iran, to the American public. It was considered a serious breach of national security. On Thursday, the retired four-star general stood in front of a U.S. district judge who told him that his “criminal act” was “a very serious one” and had been “committed by a national security expert who lost his moral compass.” It was a remarkable ending for a man who nearly reached the heights of Pentagon power, was almost appointed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and had the president’s ear.

via TomDispatch.com — www.tomdispatch.com.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in North America

 

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Overcoming the Arab-Persian divide: Who owns the Gulf?

As an Ahvazi I am the product of the multicultural fact of that magnificent city, and in fact our province and by extension the entire northern and southern shores of the Gulf are at the crosscurrents of no less than four cultural forces: Iranian from north, Arab from the west, Indian from the east and African from the south. False and falsifying Arab-Persian divide first and foremost has categorically ignored, and dismissed the fact that we have a profound and enduring Indian and African presence in our region.

via Overcoming the Arab-Persian divide: Who owns the Gulf? — www.aljazeera.com.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Middle East

 

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Overcoming the Arab-Persian divide: On bigotry and racism

“An Arab-Iranian poet and human rights activist, Hashem Shaabani,” according to a report published on Al Jazeera, “has been executed for being an ‘enemy of God’ and threatening national security”. The report further added that, “The Islamic Revolutionary Tribunal [had] found Shaabani and 13 other people guilty of ‘waging war on God’ and spreading ‘corruption on earth’.”

These are standard, now almost cliche, charges based on Shia jurisprudence that the judiciary branch of the Islamic Republic has regularly brought against people they consider a threat to their state security. In this particular case, Hashem Shaabani and his fellow defendants were charged with “separatist terrorism”. In a follow-up report, Huffington Post identified Shaabani as “a member of the Arabic-speaking Ahvazis ethnic minority”.

via Overcoming the Arab-Persian divide: On bigotry and racism — www.aljazeera.com.

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2014 in Middle East

 

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Continuing Nuclear Proliferation

The United States and Iran are in the midst of difficult negotiations about the possible acquisition by Iran of nuclear weapons. The likelihood that these negotiations will result in an agreed-upon formula seems relatively low, since there are powerful forces in both countries that are strongly opposed to an accord, and are working very hard to sabotage any agreement.

via Continuing Nuclear Proliferation — zcomm.org.

 

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