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'Drone bases in Africa' - US secret drone bases

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'US builds secret drone bases in Africa'

United States is to build a series of new secret drone bases in Africa and the Arabian Peninsula, in an attempt to target suspected militants in Somalia and Yemen.

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Iran

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نوروز و فروردین Image

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نوروز و فروردین

نوروز و فروردین نویسنده و گوینده: نیک پاکپورفرارسیدن فروردین و نوروز این فرادیس فروهر ها یا فره وش های فرهنگ فروزینه و فروزندهٔ آریايی زادگاه و زایشگاهٔ زیبنده زروان و زرتشت، این زایا و زایندهٔ مهر و میترائیسم، بر همه فرزندان فرهنجیده و فرهیخته ایران زمین، فرخنده و فرخجسته باد!امید است که فرارسیدن فروردین امسال، رویش و رهایش یا رستاخیز رُخشان، تاریخی باشد که بتوانند ایرانیان یکبار دیکر با همت همبستگی و همبودگی، همسانی و هم گرائی هوشیارانه و هوشمندانه، به همراه تمرین تلاش و تُخشای تهمتن گونه، بدون تفرقه و تفکیک ملی ـ میهنی، با غرور و غیرت، با غیظ ناشی از هویت و حیثیت ملی، با سلاح و سپر تجّدد و تمدن، تحول و تعقل، تتمه و ته ماندهٔ تفالهٔ تحجر با تاول تعفن، باقی مانده از فرهنگ فژاگن فرودستان تازی تعزیرگر، در حال تلاشی و تباهی را با ترکش و تکانی تاریخی به تکفینی ابدی رهسپار سازنند!گوینده این ویدئو را با آفرین و فریشی پارسایانه و پیام رسانه به پیشگاهٔ همه ماندگان و یادماندگان اصیل، با عاطفه و اخلاق ایرانی ـ آریائی که بیش از سه دهه دهشتناک تاریخی ایست که بخاطر باورمندی به ملیت و منتهای مدنیت ملی به همراه فرمان ستیزی سزنده و سزاوار علیه عبودیت و عفن عملهٔ عمال عمامهٔ عرب تازی، از مشاهده منظره زرین و زرفام سرزمین مزدای بی همتای مهر و میترائی ملک ایران زمین باز نگه داشته شده اند، تقدیم می نمایم.

Islamic Execution of Iranian woman (Full Video) Image

1,106 views

Islamic Execution of Iranian woman (Full Video)

Islamic Execution of Iranian woman by velayat-e faqih regime

(Full Video) آئینی ابلیسانه و آدمکشانه Image

1,443 views

(Full Video) آئینی ابلیسانه و آدمکشانه

آئینی ابلیسانه و آدمکشانه

نویسنده و گوینده: نیک پاکپور

گفتگوئی آشورنده و آژیرنده، بصیرنده و بسیجنده پیرامون کشتار و گردن زدن بیست و یک کارگر مسیحی ـ مصری به سبک سبعانه و سفاکانهٔ آئین اسلام اصیل تازی در کرانه و کنارهٔ سواحل دریائی لیبی.

اگر بخواهیم با سنبه یا سُوندی سنباننده و سگالنده به سفتن و سوراخ کردن مدخل و مجرای کارنامه کژین و کینه توزانه یا ترازنامهٔ تعفن بار و تبهکارانهٔ تاریخ سراسر توحش و ترور، تحجر و تخلف، تحقیر و توهین، آئین ابلیسانه و آدم خوارانهٔ قوم و قبایل قتالگر و قصاصگر قشری قمه کشان و قطع اندام گران ام القرائی، یعنی بادیه نشینان یا برزخیان بهیمه، بربر و بیابانی شریر و شیطانی، را بر اساس آیات و احادیث، قرائن و قوائد قصابانهٔ قرآنی، باز کنیم.

Europe

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IS Defector:

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IS Defector: 'I Saw Jihadi John Kill Hostage Kenji Goto'

Sky News speaks exclusively to a former member of Islamic State who claims he witnessed the man known as Jihadi John murder Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.The former translator, "Saleh", said Mohammed Emwazi's murderous influence among the group is feared and respected, and that foreign hostages are routinely subjected to mock executions.SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel for more great videos: http://www.youtube.com/skynewsFollow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/skynews and https://twitter.com/skynewsbreakLike us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/skynewsFor more great content go to http://news.sky.com and download our apps: iPad https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/Sky-News-for-iPad/id422583124iPhone https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/sky-news/id316391924?mt=8Android https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bskyb.skynews.android&hl=en_GB

CrossTalk: West vs RT? Image

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CrossTalk: West vs RT?

Media wars have entered new territory: Secretary of State John Kerry, members of the EU and the military alliance NATO all have singled out this television station - RT - as some kind of security threat. Since when is holding and broadcasting a different opinion or narrative a threat to global media freedom?CrossTalking with Anthony Salvia, Martin McCauley, and Don DeBar.Listen to CrossTalk+ here: https://soundcloud.com/rttv/sets/crosstalk_plusWatch all CrossTalk shows here:http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL75A81D67D2955F81 (2009 - 2011)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K12YqkZDcnaHfDd5cptKhs9 (2011 - 2012)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K1wI7Kcpxfq6NviCKYKjXAn (2012 - 2013)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K1wI7Kcpxfq6NviCKYKjXAn (2013 - 2014)http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLPszygYHA9K3a4mGdkQSwXklDHLWrB8uz (2015 - Current)RT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Germanwings co-pilot crashed plane deliberately - prosecutor Image

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Germanwings co-pilot crashed plane deliberately - prosecutor

The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn’t let the captain inside the cabin, with the “intension to destroy” the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference. READ MORE: http://on.rt.com/al8dujRT LIVE http://rt.com/on-airSubscribe to RT! http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?add_user=RussiaTodayLike us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/RTnewsFollow us on Twitter http://twitter.com/RT_comFollow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/rtFollow us on Google+ http://plus.google.com/+RTListen to us on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/rttvRT (Russia Today) is a global news network broadcasting from Moscow and Washington studios. RT is the first news channel to break the 1 billion YouTube views benchmark.

Middle east

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Pakistan: Protesters urge support for Saudi air strikes on Yemen Image

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Pakistan: Protesters urge support for Saudi air strikes on Yemen

Members of the Jamaat-ud-Dawa (JuD) held a protest in Islamabad on Friday, were they announced their support for Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen. During the protest, Sheikh Abdul Rehman Makki gave an address where he pledged support to Saudi Arabia, stating that "tens of thousands of youth from the Jamaat-ud-Dawa are waiting for the call from their president. If God permitted, they will break the barriers, they will ride over all those countries on the way and they will give their blood to save Saudi Arabia."------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------To use this footage please contact the Ruptly Client Desk: cd@ruptly.tvVideo ID: 20150327-023----------------------------------Twitter: http://twitter.com/RuptlyVK: https://vk.com/ruptlytvFacebook: http://www.facebook.com/RuptlyLiveLeak: http://www.liveleak.com/c/RuptlyVine: https://vine.co/RuptlyInstagram: http://www.instagram.com/RuptlyGoogle Plus: http://google.com/+RuptlyTVYouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/RuptlyTVDailyMotion: http://www.dailymotion.com/ruptlyVideo on Demand: http://www.ruptly.tv

Inside Story: Yemen conflict - Velayat-e faqih. war or words? Image

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Inside Story: Yemen conflict - Velayat-e faqih. war or words?

Saudi Arabia has carried out air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen.It's heading a coalition of 10 Gulf partners and other allies.The Houthis, backed by Iran, staged a coup in January.Will the offensive force them to negotiate, or fuel a bigger fight?

Saudi Arabia and allies hit Houthi positions for second night Image

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Saudi Arabia and allies hit Houthi positions for second night

Saudi Arabia and its allies have hit Houthi rebel positions in Yemen for the second night.  This time, they've targeted the Houthi's main stronghold -the province of Saada in Northern Yemen.  There've also been air strikes on the Yemeni capital Sanaa, the central city of Taiz and the Southern port city of Aden.  Al Jazeera's Osama bin Javaid reports.

United state

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Google "Bill Clinton rape" Image

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Google "Bill Clinton rape"

SHOW NOTES: https://www.corbettreport.com/?p=13934Bill Clinton, exactly like Bill Cosby, is a multiply-accused rapist with allegations stretching back decades. And exactly like Cosby, Clinton has settled a sexual harassment lawsuit out of court. But unlike Cosby, Clinton continues to enjoy the adoration of the public and the benefits of his personal fortune. Why? Because we haven't made it an issue yet. Let's start: Google "Bill Clinton rape."

The Fed Sits on Interest Rates Waiting Greater Recovery Image

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The Fed Sits on Interest Rates Waiting Greater Recovery

Professor Robin Hahnel of E3 Network says Yellen is acting in the public interest and does not want to derail slow and tepid recovery

The Fed Sits on Interest Rates Waiting Greater Recovery
Professor Robin Hahnel of E3 Network says Yellen is acting in the public interest and does not want to derail slow and tepid recovery - March 20, 2015

Robin Hahnel is Professor Emeritus in the Economics Department at American University and a Research Associate at Portland State University. He is author of Green Economics: Confronting the Ecological Crisis (2011) as well as numerous academic journal articles on climate change policy. He is best known as co-creator of the alternative to capitalism known as "participatory economics." His most recent books are Economic Justice and Democracy (2005), Of the People, By the People: The Case for a Participatory Economy (2012), The ABCs of Political Economy (2014), and Alternatives to Capitalism: Proposals for a Democratic Economy (2014) with Erik Olin Wright.
Transcript
The Fed Sits on Interest Rates Waiting Greater RecoverySHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to The Real News Network. I'm Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.
The Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, on Wednesday once again sent out signals that the Fed is considering raising interest rates, but for the moment she would keep it hovering at the low levels of below 0.5 percent, where it has been for the last six years. Let's have a look at what she had to say.
~~~
YELLEN: Well, it's still the case that we consider it unlikely that economic conditions will warrant an increase in the target range at the April meeting. Such an increase could be warranted at any later meeting depending on how the economy evolved. Slacken in the labor market continues to diminish. Meanwhile, the labor force participation rate, the percentage of working-age Americans either working or seeking work, is lower than most estimates of its trend. And wage growth remains sluggish, suggesting that some cyclical weakness persists.
~~~
PERIES: Now to decipher all of that Fed talk I'm joined by Robin Hahnel. He is professor emeritus at the American University and research affiliate of Portland State University and codirector of the economics for equity and the environment, the E3 network.
Thank you so much for joining us, Robin.
ROBIN HAHNEL, PROFESSOR EMERITUS, ECONOMICS, AMERICAN UNIVERSITY: Very good to be with you today.
PERIES: So, Robin, tell us what the key strokes were in the announcement in plain English, if you may.
HAHNEL: Yes. Translating from Fed speak, Janet Yellen is doing everything within her power to slow down the pressure that she's under to start raising interest rates here in the United States. We actually have a news network that today sort of asked the question, is Janet Yellen too socialist? And I think that's actually a good way for people to sort of understand what's going on.
As much as any chairperson of the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States can be, she is actually trying the best she can to act in the interests of the general public, which is quite unusual. And so she is trying to delay as long as possible raising interest rates in the United States, mostly because she doesn't want to derail the sort of slow and tepid recovery that's going on and she understands that raising interest rates prematurely and too rapidly would have the significant danger that it would slow our recovery. And she's pointing out that there is no sign that there is inflation on the horizon, that the only reason the Fed should have to be raising interest rates really is if there is inflationary pressure and if there is a danger of inflation. And the people trying to convince the Fed to raise interest rates keeps claiming that we need to do this to prevent inflation, but they have no evidence on that side.
PERIES: Robin, you were saying earlier that she's under pressure to raise interest rates. Under pressure from whom? And how does raising interest rates actually address inflation?
HAHNEL: Well, she's under pressure from the Republican Party. They would probably criticize her no matter what she did at this point, since she was appointed by Obama. And she's under pressure from people who are not really interested in having the unemployment rate go down any further and who certainly are not interested in having wage rates go up. And that's what's not happened. There's been improvement in unemployment, but there's still no sign that wage rates are actually improving and benefiting from an improving labor market. So, clearly employers don't want to wages go up and they'd like to see the Fed start to tightening on interest rates.
Now, the way it works is that if the interest rates are higher, then businesses will borrow less and invest less. You will basically take some steam out of business investment and hiring.
HAHNEL: The interest rates that the Fed sets at lower than 0.5 percent, hovering around there, is really the interest rates that it lends to other banks or offers to other banks. This is not the interest rate that's transferred to us when we, as a small business owner, wants to go out and borrow some money.
HAHNEL: That is correct. The Fed controls the interest rate at which they lend the banks. But if that interest rate goes up, then the interest rate the banks will be charging consumer customers and business customers and borrowers will also go up. So it is true that the Fed doesn't set the interest rate that consumers pay, the Fed doesn't set the interest rate, the prime rate that businesses pay when they borrow from banks. Nonetheless, when the Fed is making it cheaper for the banks to borrow, then that makes it cheaper for--then the banks will also be lending at lower interest rates.
Now, what they're talking about is the Fed's going to raise the interest rates that they charge the banks, and then predictably the banks will be raising the interest rates that they charge others.
The other thing that comes to play here that's important is that when interest rates in the United States rise, then that will have an effect that will strengthen the value of the dollar as a currency against other currencies. And that has a big effect on lots of actors in the global economy, and it particularly would have an effect on the ability of U.S. businesses to export products. So when you raise interest rates, you dampen business investment, and that slows down recovery. And when you raise interest rates and that increases the value of the dollar and reduces exports, well, then fewer exports means fewer jobs creating those goods and producing those goods for export. So that's the concern that she has. She doesn't want to dampen exports and dampen investment while the economy in the U.S. is still in a very tepid recovery and in particular wages have yet to really see any benefit.
PERIES: And you agree with that move?
HAHNEL: Yes. I think--yes. The fact that the powers that be are criticizing her as being maybe you're being too much of a socialist as the chair of the Fed is an excellent signal to the rest of us that she's actually doing what we would like her to do that was best for most of us.
PERIES: Apparently the market is now dealing with several other investment bubbles that are going on. Can you tell us more about that? And how does that impact the decisions she made today?
HAHNEL: I mean, the truth of the matter is that what the Federal Reserve Bank the United States does, I mean, has tremendous impacts all of the world. And one of the things that I think that chairwoman Yellen is concerned about is the fact that the low interest rates for the long, long period of time that have been necessary because there was very little fiscal stimulus in the United States--we haven't had fiscal stimulus since 2009, and there's not any sign that we're going to have any fiscal stimulus with Republicans controlling Congress.
So what's happened in that context is that the Federal Reserve, first under Bernanke and now under Yellen, they were the ones that had to do something to pull us out of the Great Recession, and they did that by basically just flooding the banks with cheap money.
Now, one of the problems with that is--and I think that chairwoman Yellen is aware of this--that can also create bubbles. It can create a stock market bubble. It can create housing bubble. And I think my own guess would be that besides the fact that she has to get other people on the board to vote with her, to delay the raise in the interest rates--I mean, she can't just do this by herself. She sort of--it's a delicate political game, where there's votes that she has to be sure that she can get. Besides just trying to delay as long as she can raising of interest rates, I think the one thing that would make her want to raise interest rates is if she sees a housing bubble that's going to get out of control again. And having all that cheap money out there in the housing market I think has started to create--there is some--whereas there's no indication that we're having inflation yet, I think you can begin to see the signs of another asset bubble. And that would concern Yellen, and it should concern all of us.
PERIES: And this is largely in the housing market or elsewhere?
HAHNEL: Well, it could be in the stock market. One of the amusing things of today's story was that she's being accused of being a socialist, and yet the response from--the stock market response was to say, oh, we're so glad you're not raising interest rates yet, so stock prices went up. So maybe socialism is good for the stock market. Who knows? It's not really, but it's rather interesting.
The other place that rising interest rates and a rising value of the dollar has a big effect--and the chairwoman of the IMF was talking about this recently--that in Third World countries, there's been a lot of borrowing--private borrowing, not government borrowing, in Third World economies during this past year, two, three, four years. And that private borrowing is in dollars sometimes. And the interest rate has been very low. Now, if interest rates go up and if the dollar goes up in value and the people who have to pay off those loans get their income in foreign currencies, this could create a sort of wave of bankruptcies in Third World economies. And the IMF, as it should be, is quite concerned with that. So that's another implication of a change in Fed policy that might trigger a situation in important parts of the global economy that would be very unfortunate.
PERIES: Robin, thank you so much for joining us today.
HAHNEL: It's very good to be with you.
PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
End

Silicon Valley Democrats Pursuing High-Skill Immigration Reform Image

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Silicon Valley Democrats Pursuing High-Skill Immigration Reform

Republicans along with many progressive groups oppose the reform, arguing that it's a front for keeping wages low in the Information Technology sector by bringing in cheap labor from abroad

Silicon Valley Democrats Pursuing High-Skill Immigration Reform
Republicans along with many progressive groups oppose the reform, arguing that it's a front for keeping wages low in the Information Technology sector by bringing in cheap labor from abroad - March 19, 2015

THOMAS HEDGES, TRNN PRODUCER: On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee met to discuss immigration reform concerning high-skilled foreign workers. Many in Congress want to increase the number of H1-B visas it issues for immigrants seeking tech industry jobs in particular. While most Democrats support the measure, Republicans oppose the legislation, because they say it would put American jobs and wages at risk.
SENATOR CHARLES GRASSLEY (R-IOWA): Most people believe that employers are supposed to recruit Americans before they petition for an H1-B worker, or that they're supposed to hire a U.S. worker if that person is equally or better qualified. And of course, we've found out that's just not true. Over the years the program has become a government-assisted way for employers to bring in cheaper foreign labor.
HEDGES: Progressive groups like the Economic Policy Institute are siding this time with Republicans, arguing that reform is a ploy to reduce employee wages. Last month that argument became reality when the electric utility company Southern California Edison replaced some five hundred of its IT workers with H1-B workers from India. Ron Hira of the Economic Policy Institute said in his testimony before the committee that the massive layoff was emblematic of the issue at large.
RON HIRA, ECONOMIC POLICY INSTITUTE: And we see this again in the Southern California Edison case. This is a perfect definitive case study of H1-B workers being paid below what American workers were being paid. The Southern California Edison IT workers, American workers, were being paid $110,000 a year. Their H1-B replacements are being paid $70,000 a year. And Southern California Edison is not alone. It's not an isolated case. It's Disney, it's Harley Davidson, it's Northeast Utilities. It's Xerox up in Rochester, New York.
HEDGES: Reform efforts for high-skill workers began two years ago when Silicon Valley leaders like Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg launched a fierce lobbying campaign to push Washington Democrats to open the floodgates for additional labor. They argue that America's tech industry has seen a shortage of applicants in the last decade. However, in a report from PBS News Hour from 2013, Rutgers professor Hal Salzman, who also testified on Tuesday, found that assertion to be false. He found instead that U.S. colleges graduate far more scientists and engineers than find employment in those fields every year, about two hundred thousand more, while the IT industry fills about two thirds of its entry-level positions with guest workers.
Jay Palmer is a whistleblower who in 2012 stepped forward over the process of training those guest workers. He told the committee on Tuesday that as a consultant for an IT company called Infosys he saw how the driving factor behind recruiting H1-B visa workers was not about immigration rights, but rather an effort to degrade wages within the country by exploiting not only foreign workers, but the middle class Americans who were training them and then subsequently being replaced.
JAY PALMER: We brought in H1-B workers, didn't matter if you had skills or not. We brought them in, I set them in cubicles and watched the Americans train them, only in the name of the dollar. I'm here to day to talk a little bit about who can't be here today and talk. I am the displaced American worker that can't speak out due to being harassed, blackballed, or possibly sued. The one who is forced to sign the non-disparaging marks agreement in order to get a severance package. The employee that my company chose not to invest in, but in order to replace me with cheaper labor. Cheaper labor that I had to train. Train to do my job, that I learned over the past fifteen or twenty years. They call it knowledge transfer, but we all know that's an illusion. It's all about cheaper labor. I read a statement that companies had come to certain senators and said we don't have enough skilled workers. Send me the companies. I'll send you workers.
In closing, I watched this on a daily basis, of Americans being displaced. I sat in the offices in meetings with companies that displaced American workers, only because the Americans that had been there fifteen or twenty years were being paid too much money. I stayed at night and helped these people that came over on H1-Bs learn skills. They're not skilled workers. These companies bombard our system with H1-B applications, and whoever gets them, they're sent over no matter their skill level. I know, I watched it.
HEDGES: For The Real News, Thomas Hedges, Washington.
End

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  • Saudis pledge to continue Yemen bombing campaign
    Supporters of the Shia Houthi rebels protest in Sana’a against air raids by Saudi Arabia-led forces against the group in the capital and other cities in Yemen. Photograph: Xinhua News Agency/Rex By The Guardian Coalition says it has established air superiority over Yemen and accomplished initial goals of destroying air defence systems under Houthi control The Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen has vowed to continue its air campaign as bombing entered a second day.The Shia rebels’ northern stronghold and other key military installations were targeted and heavy air strikes hit Sana’a, the capital, in waves throughout the night. Officials at the rebel-controlled health ministry in the city said at least 39 civilians had been killed so far.The Saudi defence minister’s adviser, Brig Ahmed bin Hassan Asiri, said at the campaign’s first press briefing late on Thursday night that the Saudi-led coalition had established air superiority over Yemen and accomplished its initial goals of destroying air defence systems under Houthi control.He said a ground campaign was not planned, but he did not rule out the possibility. “At these current stages there is no planning for operations by ground forces, but if the situation necessitates it the Saudi ground forces are ready and the forces of friendly states are ready and any form of aggression will be answered,” he said.Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni-led allies in the Gulf and the Middle East view the Houthi takeover in Yemen as an attempt by Iran to establish a proxy on the kingdom’s southern border. The campaign, operation Decisive Storm, threatens to spark a regional confrontation between Iran and its Arab rivals, who are increasingly anxious at the Islamic republic’s growing influence in Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.Arab officials still hope the air campaign – launched late on Wednesday and backed by the US, Gulf states, Egypt and Turkey – will weaken the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who are attempting to overthrow President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and avoid the need for a ground offensive.Asiri said air strikes targeted surface-to-air missile batteries, anti-aircraft guns and Houthi command and communications centres. The Dulaimi air base was also hit, destroying aircraft hangars and runways as well as weapons, ammunition and maintenance depots. “The operations will continue as long as there is a need for them to continue, until all their goals are achieved,” he said. “The goal is to prevent the Houthi militias from harming the Yemeni people and its neighbours led by the Kingdom [of Saudi Arabia], and we will not allow the Houthi rebellion to receive any supplies until the end of the operation,” he said.The possibility of a ground offensive in Yemen grew significantly on Thursday when Egypt declared its readiness to send troops into the country “if necessary”.Three senior Egyptian security and military officials told the Associated Press that Saudi Arabia and Egypt would lead a ground operation in Yemen after a campaign of air strikes to weaken the rebels, saying the forces would enter by land from Saudi Arabia and by sea from the Red Sea and Arabian Sea. They said on Thursday that other nations would also be involved.Hadi, who fled to Aden earlier this month, arrived in Riyadh on Thursday, Saudi state television reported.The Gulf states have intervened on the ground before in recent years, with Saudi troops moving in to quell the uprising in Bahrain in 2011 in support of the Sunni Khalifa monarchy, which rules over a Shia majority. But a ground campaign in Yemen would pose major challenges, pitting the coalition against an insurgent movement backed by Iran with important redoubts in the north of the country.
  • Germanwings co-pilot 'hid illness,' medical leave note from employers - prosecutors
    German police officers leave the house believed to belong to the parents of crashed Germanwings flight 4U 9524 co-pilot Andreas Lubitz in Montabaur, March 26, 2015.(Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach) By RT Police have found a torn sick leave note for the date of the crashed Germanwings flight in the home of Andreas Lubitz, suspected of voluntarily bringing the plane down, Dusseldorf prosecutors say.Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on investigation into Germanwings plane crashProsecutors believe Lubitz could have been concealing his illness from the company."Documents with medical contents were confiscated that point towards an existing illness and corresponding treatment by doctors," said the Prosecutors' Office in Dusseldorf, Reuters reports."The fact there are sick notes saying he was unable to work, among other things, that were found torn up, which were recent and even from the day of the crime, support the assumption based on the preliminary examination that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and his professional colleagues," it said.It was not specified what medical condition exactly prompted Lubutz’s doctor to issue him a medical certificate.Prosecutors say evaluation of the documents will take some days. Prosecutors said Lubitz did not have political or religious motives for deliberately crashing the plane.They found no suicide note among his belongings.Police earlier said they had recovered a “significant clue” following searches in Lubitz’s apartment and his parents’ home. “We have found something which will now be taken for tests,” Markus Niesczery from Dusseldorf Police told the Daily Mail. “We cannot say what it is at the moment, but it may be a very significant clue to what has happened.”German daily Bild reported earlier on Friday that Lubitz had spent 18 months overall under psychiatric treatment. The newspaper also claimed it got access to Lubitz’s profile, indicating the pilot had “psychological problems” and required a "special, exemplary regular medical examination".Bild also cited sources familiar with the investigation, saying that Lubitz was suffering from a "personal life crisis," following a recent breakup with a girlfriend. Germanwings flight 4U 9525 was on its way from Barcelona to Dusseldorf on Tuesday, when it crashed in the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.The data from a voice recorder found at the crash site suggests German co-pilot Andreas Lubitz, 28, likely brought the plane down voluntarily, French Prosecutor Brice Robin announced on Thursday.
  • The world is going to university
    By The Economist More and more money is being spent on higher education. Too little is known about whether it is worth it “AFTER God had carried us safe to New England, and we had builded our houses, provided necessaries for our livelihood, reared convenient places for God’s worship and settled Civil Government, one of the next things we longed for and looked for was to advance learning and perpetuate it to posterity.” So ran the first university fundraising brochure, sent from Harvard College to England in 1643 to drum up cash.America’s early and lasting enthusiasm for higher education has given it the biggest and best-funded system in the world. Hardly surprising, then, that other countries are emulating its model as they send ever more of their school-leavers to get a university education. But, as our special report argues, just as America’s system is spreading, there are growing concerns about whether it is really worth the vast sums spent on it.The American way The modern research university, a marriage of the Oxbridge college and the German research institute, was invented in America, and has become the gold standard for the world. Mass higher education started in America in the 19th century, spread to Europe and East Asia in the 20th and is now happening pretty much everywhere except sub-Saharan Africa. The global tertiary-enrolment ratio—the share of the student-age population at university—went up from 14% to 32% in the two decades to 2012; in that time, the number of countries with a ratio of more than half rose from five to 54. University enrolment is growing faster even than demand for that ultimate consumer good, the car. The hunger for degrees is understandable: these days they are a requirement for a decent job and an entry ticket to the middle class. There are, broadly, two ways of satisfying this huge demand. One is the continental European approach of state funding and provision, in which most institutions have equal resources and status. The second is the more market-based American model, of mixed private-public funding and provision, with brilliant, well-funded institutions at the top and poorer ones at the bottom.The world is moving in the American direction. More universities in more countries are charging students tuition fees. And as politicians realise that the “knowledge economy” requires top-flight research, public resources are being focused on a few privileged institutions and the competition to create world-class universities is intensifying.In some ways, that is excellent. The best universities are responsible for many of the discoveries that have made the world a safer, richer and more interesting place. But costs are rising. OECD countries spend 1.6% of GDP on higher education, compared with 1.3% in 2000. If the American model continues to spread, that share will rise further. America spends 2.7% of its GDP on higher education.If America were getting its money’s worth from higher education, that would be fine. On the research side, it probably is. In 2014, 19 of the 20 universities in the world that produced the most highly cited research papers were American. But on the educational side, the picture is less clear. American graduates score poorly in international numeracy and literacy rankings, and are slipping. In a recent study of academic achievement, 45% of American students made no gains in their first two years of university. Meanwhile, tuition fees have nearly doubled, in real terms, in 20 years. Student debt, at nearly $1.2 trillion, has surpassed credit-card debt and car loans.None of this means that going to university is a bad investment for a student. A bachelor’s degree in America still yields, on average, a 15% return. But it is less clear whether the growing investment in tertiary education makes sense for society as a whole. If graduates earn more than non-graduates because their studies have made them more productive, then university education will boost economic growth and society should want more of it. Yet poor student scores suggest otherwise. So, too, does the testimony of employers. A recent study of recruitment by professional-services firms found that they took graduates from the most prestigious universities not because of what the candidates might have learned but because of those institutions’ tough selection procedures. In short, students could be paying vast sums merely to go through a very elaborate sorting mechanism.If America’s universities are indeed poor value for money, why might that be? The main reason is that the market for higher education, like that for health care, does not work well. The government rewards universities for research, so that is what professors concentrate on. Students are looking for a degree from an institution that will impress employers; employers are interested primarily in the selectivity of the institution a candidate has attended. Since the value of a degree from a selective institution depends on its scarcity, good universities have little incentive to produce more graduates. And, in the absence of a clear measure of educational output, price becomes a proxy for quality. By charging more, good universities gain both revenue and prestige.What’s it worth? More information would make the higher-education market work better. Common tests, which students would sit alongside their final exams, could provide a comparable measure of universities’ educational performance. Students would have a better idea of what was taught well where, and employers of how much job candidates had learned. Resources would flow towards universities that were providing value for money and away from those that were not. Institutions would have an incentive to improve teaching and use technology to cut costs. Online courses, which have so far failed to realise their promise of revolutionising higher education, would begin to make a bigger impact. The government would have a better idea of whether society should be investing more or less in higher education.Sceptics argue that university education is too complex to be measured in this way. Certainly, testing 22-year-olds is harder than testing 12-year-olds. Yet many disciplines contain a core of material that all graduates in that subject should know. More generally, universities should be able to show that they have taught their students to think critically.Some governments and institutions are trying to shed light on educational outcomes. A few American state-university systems already administer a common test to graduates. Testing is spreading in Latin America. Most important, the OECD, whose PISA assessments of secondary education gave governments a jolt, is also having a go. It wants to test subject-knowledge and reasoning ability, starting with economics and engineering, and marking institutions as well as countries. Asian governments are keen, partly because they believe that a measure of the quality of their universities will help them in the market for international students; rich countries, which have more to lose and less to gain, are not. Without funding and participation from them, the effort will remain grounded.Governments need to get behind these efforts. America’s market-based system of well-funded, highly differentiated universities can be of huge benefit to society if students learn the right stuff. If not, a great deal of money will be wasted.
  • Gulf coalition launches airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen LIVE UPDATES
    Civil defence workers and people search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by an air strike near Sanaa Airport March 26, 2015. (Reuters / Khaled Abdullah) By RT Saudi Arabia and its allies have launched airstrikes in Yemen against rebel Shiite Houthi forces gaining more ground. The mainly Gulf coalition, which also includes the US, is trying to help embattled President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.Friday, March 2701:39 GMT:Airstrikes targeted Al-Samaa military base north of the Yemeni capital Sanaa, which is used by army units believed to be loyal to Ahmed Ali Saleh, AFP reported. A camp at al-Istiqbal – at the city’s western entrance – is said to have been bombed earlier.Meanwhile, clashes were reported in the southern port of Aden – the stronghold of deposed President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi – with airstrikes also targeting Houthi rebel positions there, including Al-Anad airbase.  
  • Lies and Deceptions on the Left: The Politics of Self Destruction
    By Prof. James Petras Greece, France, Brazil Over the past year, what appeared as hopeful signs, that Left governments were emerging as powerful alternatives to right-wing pro-US regimes, is turning into a historic rout, which will relegate them to the dustbin of history for many years to come.The rise and rapid decay of left-wing governments in France, Greece and Brazil is not the result of a military coup, nor is it due to the machinations of the CIA. The debacle of left governments is a result of deliberate political decisions, which break decisively with the progressive programs, promises and commitments that political leaders had made to the great mass of working and middle class voters who elected them.Increasingly, the electorate views the leftist rulers as traitors, who betrayed their supporters at the beck and call of their most egregious class enemies: the bankers, the capitalists and the neo-liberal ideologues.Left Governments Commit Suicide The self-destruction of the Left is an unanticipated victory for the most retrograde neo-liberal political forces. These forces have sought to destroy the welfare system, impose their rule via non-elected officials, widen and deepen inequalities, undermine labor rights and privatize and denationalize the most lucrative sectors of the economy.Three cases of Left regime betrayal serve to highlight this process: The French Socialist regime of President Francois Hollande governing in the second leading power in Europe (2012-2015); Syriza, the left regime in Greece elected on January 25, 2015, portrayed as a sterling proponent of an alternative policy to ‘fiscal austerity’; and The Workers Party of Brazil, governing in the biggest Latin American country (2003-2015) and a leading member of the BRICS.French ‘Socialism’: The Great Leap Backward In his Presidential campaign, Francois Hollande promised to raise taxes on the rich up to 75%; lower the retirement age from 62 to 60 years; launch a massive public investment program to reduce unemployment; vastly increase public spending on education (hiring 60,000 new teachers), health and social housing; and withdraw French troops from Afghanistan as a first step toward reducing Paris’ role as an imperialist collaborator.From 2012, when he was elected, to the present (March 2015), Francois Hollande has betrayed each and every political commitment: Public investments did not materialize and unemployment increased to over 3 million. His newly appointed Economic Minister Emmanuel Macron, a former partner of Rothschild Bank, sharply reducedbusiness taxes by 50 billion euros. His newly appointed Prime Minister Manuel Valls, a neo-liberal zealot, implemented major cuts in social programs, weakened government regulation of business and banking and eroded job security. Hollande appointed Laurence Boone from Bank of America as his top economic adviser.The French ‘Socialist President’ sent troops to Mali, bombers to Libya, military advisers to the Ukraine junta and aided the so-called Syrian ‘rebels’ (mostly Jihadist mercenaries). He signed off on billion-euro military sales to the Saudi Arabian monarcho-dictatorship and reneged on a contracted sale of warships to Russia.Hollande joined with Germany in demanding that the Greek government comply with full and prompt debt payments to private bankers and maintain its brutal ‘austerity program’.As a result of defrauding French voters, betraying labor and embracing bankers, big business and militarists, less than 19% of the electorate has a positive view of the ‘socialist’ government, placing it in third place among the major parties.. Hollande’s pro-Israel policies and his hardline on US- Iranian peace negotiations, Minister Vall’s Islamophobic raids in French Muslim suburbs and the support of military interventions against Islamic movements, have increasingly polarized French society and heightened ethno-religious violence in the country.Greece: Syriza’s Instant Transformation From the moment in which Syriza won the Greek elections on January 25, 2015, to the middle of March, Alexis Tsipras, the Prime Minister and Yanis Varoufakis, his appointed Finance Minister, reneged in rapid order on every major and minor electoral program. They embraced the most retrograde measures, procedures and relations with the ‘Troika’, (the IMF, and European Commission at the European Central Bank), which Syriza had denounced in its Thessaloniki program a short time earlier.Tsipras and Varoufakis repudiated the promise to reject the dictates of the ‘Troika’. In other words, they have accepted colonial rule and continued vassalage.Typical of their demagogy and deceit, they sought to cover up their submission to the universally hated ‘Troika’ by dubbing it ‘the Institution’ – fooling nobody but themselves– and becoming the butt of cynical cackles from their EU overseers.During the campaign, Syriza had promised to write off all or most of the Greek debt. In government, Tsipras and Varoufakis immediately assured the Troika that they recognized and promised to meet all of their debt obligations.Syriza had promised to prioritize humanitarian spending over austerity – raising the minimum wage, rehiring public employees in health and education and raising pension payments. After two weeks of servile groveling, the ‘re-formed’ Tsipras and Varoufakis prioritized austerity – making debt payments and ‘postponing’ even the most meagre anti-poverty spending. When the Troika lent the Syriza regime $2 billion to feed hungry Greeks, Tsipras lauded his overseers and promised to submit a multi-billion euro list of regressive ‘reforms’.Syriza had promised to re-examine the previous rightwing regime’s dubious privatization of lucrative public enterprises and to stop on-going and future privatizations. In government, Tsipras and Varoufakis quickly disavowed that promise. They approved past, present and future privatizations. In fact, they made overtures to procure new privatization ‘partners’, offering lucrative tax concessions in selling-out more public firms.Syriza promised to tackle the depression level unemployment (26% national, 55% youth) via public spending and reduced debt payments. Tsipras and Varoufakis dutifully met debt payments and did not allocate any funds to create jobs!Not only did Syriza continue the policies of its rightwing predecessors, but also it did so in a ludicrous style and substance: adopting ridiculous public postures and demagogic inconsequential gestures:One day Tsipras would lay a wreath at the gravesite of 200 Greek partisans murdered by the Nazis during WW II. The next day he would grovel before the German bankers and concede to their demands for budget austerity, withholding public funds from 2 million unemployed Greeks.One afternoon, Finance Minister Varoufakis would pose for a photo spread for Paris Match depicting him, cocktail in hand, on his penthouse terrace overlooking the Acropolis; and several hours later he would claim to speak for the impoverished masses!Betrayal, deceit and demagogy all during the first two months in office, Syriza has established a record in its conversion from a leftist anti-austerity party to a conformist, servile vassal of the European Union.Tsipras’ call for Germany to pay reparations for damages to Greece during WW II –a long overdue and righteous demand– is another phony demagogic ploy designed to distract the impoverished Greeks from Tsipras and Varoufakis sellout to German contemporary austerity demands. A cynical European Union official tells the Financial Times(12/3/15, p. 6), “He’s (Tsipras) giving them (Syriza militants) a bone to lick on”.No one expects German leaders to alter their hardline because of past injustices, least of all because they come from interlocutors on bended knees. . No one in the EU takes Tsipras demand at face value. They see it as more empty ‘radical’ rhetoric for domestic consumption.Talking up 70-year German reparations avoids taking practical action today repudiating or reducing payments on illegitimate debt to German banks and repudiating Merckel’s dictates. The transparent betrayal of their most basic commitments to the impoverished Greek people has already divided Syriza. Over 40% of the central committee, including the President of the Parliament, repudiated the Tsipras –Varoufakis agreements with the Troika.The vast majority of Greeks, who voted for Syriza, expected some immediate relief and reforms. They are increasingly disenchanted. They did not expect Tsipras to appoint Yanis Varoufakis, a former economic adviser to the corrupt neo-liberal PASOK leader George Papandreou, as Finance Minister. Nor did many voters abandon PASOK, en masse, over the past five years, only to find the same kleptocrats and unscrupulous opportunists occupying top positions in Syriza, thanks to Alexis Tsipras index finger.Nor could the electorate expect any fight, resistance and willingness to break with the Troika from Tsipras’ appointments of ex-pat Anglo-Greek professors. These armchair leftists (‘Marxist seminarians’) neither engaged in mass struggles nor suffered the consequences of the prolonged depression.Syriza is a party led by affluent upwardly mobile professionals, academics and intellectuals. They rule over (but in the name of) the impoverished working and salaried lower middle class, but in the interests of the Greek, and especially, German bankers.They prioritize membership in the EU over an independent national economic policy. They abide by NATO, by backing the Kiev junta in the Ukraine, EU sanctions on Russia, NATO intervention in Syria/Iraq and maintain a loud silence on US military threats to Venezuela!Brazil: Budget Cuts, Corruption and the Revolt of the Masses Brazil’s self-styled Workers Party government in power an unlucky 13 years, has been one of the most corruption-ridden regimes in Latin America. Backed by one of the major labor confederations, and several landless rural workers’ organizations, and sharing power with center-left and center-right parties, it was able to attract tens of billions of dollars of foreign extractive, finance and agro-business capital. Thanks to a decade-long commodity boom in agro-mineral commodities, easy credit and low interest rates, it raised income, consumption and the minimum wage while multiplying profits for the economic elite.Subsequent to the financial crises of 2009, and the decline of commodity prices, the economy stagnated, just as the new President Dilma Rousseff was elected. The Rousseff government, like her predecessor, Lula Da Silva, favored agro-business over the rural landless workers’ demands for land reform. Her regime promoted the timber barons and soya growers encroaching on the Indian communities and the Amazon rain forest.Elected to a second term, Rousseff faced a major political and economic crises: a deepening economic recession, a fiscal deficit, and the arrest and prosecution of scores of corrupt Workers’ Party and allied congressional deputies and Petrobras oil executives.Workers’ Party leaders and the Party’s campaign treasury received millions of dollars in kickbacks from construction companies securing contracts with the giant semi-public petroleum company. President Rousseff promised “to continue to support popular social programs”, and “to root out corruption”, during her election campaign. However, immediately after her election she embraced orthodox neo-liberal policies and appointed a cabinet of hard-right neo-liberals including Bradesco banker Joaquin Levy as Finance Minister. Levy proposed to reduce unemployment payments, pensions and public salaries. He argued for greater de-regulation of banks. He proposed to weaken job protection laws to attract capital. He sought to achieve a budget surplus and attract foreign investment at the expense of labor.Rousseff, consistent with her embrace of neo-liberal orthodoxy, appointed Katia Abreu, a rightwing senator, a life-long leader of agro-business interests and sworn enemy of land reform, as the new Agricultural Minister. Crowned “Miss Deforestation” by Greenpeace, Senator Abreu was vehemently opposed by the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST) and the labor confederation to no avail. With Rousseff’s total backing Abreu set out on a course of ending even the minimal land redistribution carried out in Rousseff’s first term in office (establishing land settlements benefiting less than 10% of the landless squatters). Abreu endorsed regulations facilitating the expansion of genetically modified crops, and promises to forcefully evict Amazonian Indians occupying productive land in favor of large-scale agro-business corporations. Moreover, she promises to vigorously defend landlords from land occupations by landless rural workers.Rousseff’s incapacity and/or unwillingness to fire and prosecute the Workers Party Treasurer, involved in a decade long billion-dollar kickback and bribery scandal, deepened and widened mass opposition.On March 15, 2015 over a million Brazilians filled the streets across the country, led by rightist parties, but drawing support from the popular classes demanding immediate anti-corruption trials and stern sentences, and the revocation of Levy’s cuts in social expenditures.The counter demonstration in support of Rousseff by the CUT labor confederation and the MST drew one-tenth that number – about 100,000 participants.Rousseff responded by calling for ‘dialogue’ and claimed to be ‘open to proposals’ on the issue of corruption but explicitly rejected any changes in her regressive fiscal policies, neo-liberal cabinet appointments and her embrace of their agro-mineral agenda.In less than two months, the Workers Party and its President has indelibly stained its leaders, policies and backers with the brush of corruption and socially regressive policies.Popular support has plummeted. The right wing is growing. Even the authoritarian, pro-military coup activists were present in the mass demonstrations, carrying signs calling for ‘impeachment’ and a return of military rule.As in most of Latin America, the authoritarian right in Brazil is a growing force, positioning itself to take power as the center-left adopts a neo-liberal agenda throughout the region. Parties dubbed ‘center-left’, like the Broad Front in Uruguay, the pro-government Party for Victory in Argentina, are deepening their ties with agro-mineral corporate capitalism.Uninformed claims by leftist US writers like Noam Chomsky that, “Latin America is the vanguard against neo-liberalism” is at best a decade late, and certainly misleading. They are deceived by populist policy pronouncements and refuse to acknowledge the decay of the center –left regimes and thus fail to recognize how their neoliberal political actions are fostering mass popular discontent. Regimes, which adopt regressive socio-economic policies, do not constitute a vanguard for social emancipation…Conclusion What accounts for these abrupt reversals and swiftly broken promises by recently elected supposedly ‘left parties’ in Europe and Latin America?One has come to expect this kind of behavior in North America from the Obama Democrats or the New Democratic Party in Canada . . . But we were led to believe that in France, with its red republican traditions, a Socialist regime backed (‘critically’) by anti-capitalists leftists; would at least implement progressive social reforms. We were told by an army of progressive bloggers that Syriza, with its charismatic leader, and radical rhetoric, would at least fulfil its most elementary promises by lifting the yoke of Troikadomination and begin to end destitution and provide electricity to 300,000 candle-lit households. ‘Progressives’ had repeatedly told us that the Workers Party lifted 30 million out of poverty. They claimed that a former ‘honest auto worker’ (Lula Da Silva) would never allow the Workers Party to revert back to neo-liberal budget cuts and embrace its supposed ‘class enemies’. US leftist professors refused to give credence to the crass billion-dollar robbery of the Brazilian National Treasury under two Workers’ Party Presidents.Several explanations for these political betrayals come to mind. First, despite their popular or ‘workerist’ claims, these parties were run by middle class lawyers, professionals and trade union bureaucrats, who were organically disconnected from their mass base. During election campaigns, seeking votes, they briefly embraced workers and the poor, and then spent the rest of their time in pricey restaurants working out “deals” with bankers, business bribe granters and overseas investors to finance their next election, their children’s private school and their mistresses luxury apartments…For a time, when the economy was booming, big corporate profits, payoffs and bribes went hand in hand with wage increases and poverty programs. But when the crisis broke, the ‘popular’ leaders doffed their Party hats and pronounced ‘fiscal austerity was inevitable’ while going with their begging cups before their international financial overlords.In all these countries faced with difficult times, the middle class leaders of the Left feared the problem (capitalist crisis) and feared the real solution (radical transformation). Instead they turned to the ‘only solution’: they approached capitalist leaders and sought to convince business associations and, above all their financial overlords, that they were ‘serious and responsible politicians’, willing to forsake social agendas and embrace fiscal discipline. For domestic consumption, they cursed and threatened the elites, providing a little theater to entertain their plebian followers, before they capitulated!None of the academics-turned-left-leaders have any deep and abiding links to the mass struggles. Their ‘activism’ involves reading papers at ‘social forums’, and giving papers at conferences on ‘emancipation and equality’. Political sellouts and fiscal austerity will not jeopardize their economic positions. If their Left parties are ousted by angry constituents and radical social movements, the left leaders pack their bags and return to comfortable tenured jobs or rejoin their law office. They do not have to worry about mass firings or reduced subsistence pensions. At their leisure they will find time to sit back and write another paper on the how the ‘crisis of capitalism’ undermined their well-intentioned social agenda or how they experienced the ‘crisis of the Left’.Because of their disconnect from the suffering of the impoverished, unemployed voters, the middle class leftists in office are blind to the need to make a break with the system. In reality, they share the worldview of their supposedly conservative adversaries: they too believe that ‘it’s capitalism or chaos’. This borrowed cliché is passed off as a deep insight into the dilemmas of democratic socialists. The middle class leftist officials and advisers always use the alibi of ‘institutional constraints’. They ‘theorize’ their political impotence – they never recognize the power of organized class movements.Their political cowardice is structural and leads to easy moral betrayals: they plead, ‘Crisis is not a time to tinker with the system’.For the middle class, ‘time’ becomes a political excuse. Middle class leaders of popular movements, without audacity or programs of struggle, always talk of change…. in the future…Instead of mass struggle, they run to and fro, between the centers of financial power and their Central Committees, confusing ‘dialogues’ that end in submission, with consequential resistance.In the end the people will re-pay them turning their backs and rejecting their pleas to re-elect them ‘for another chance’.There will not be another chance. This ‘Left’ will be discredited in the eyes of those whose trust they betrayed.The tragedy is that the entire left will be tarnished. Who can believe the fine words of ‘liberation’, ‘the will to hope’ and the ‘return of sovereignty’ after experiencing years of the opposite?Left politics will be lost for an entire generation, at least in Brazil, France and Greece.The Right will ridicule the open zipper of Hollande; the false humility of Rousseff; the hollow gestures of Tsipras and the clowning of Varoufakis.The people will curse their memory and their betrayal of a noble cause.
  • Germanwings co-pilot appears to have crashed plane deliberately – prosecutor
    Reuters / Ina Fassbender By RT The Germanwings co-pilot seemed to have crashed the plane deliberately, killing 150 people on board. The co-pilot wouldn’t let the captain inside the cabin, with the “intension to destroy” the jet, the French prosecutor said at a press conference.Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on investigation into Germanwings plane crashThe Germanwings co-pilot was identified as Andreas Lubitz. PHOTO #4U9525 The co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was 28 years old1:15 PM - 26 Mar 2015 The captain was between 30 and 40 years old, fully qualified, had 10,000 hours of flight, and had worked with Lufthansa for 10 years, while the co-pilot was 28, and commenced working for Lufthansa in 2013.Prosecutor Brice Robin provided the explanation he thought the most likely, judging by the transcript of the black box recording of the last 30 minutes in the cockpit before the crash.The captain left the cockpit to go to the toilet, asking the co-pilot to take over. Then the co-pilot accelerated the plane’s descent, likely voluntarily, the prosecutor said.Someone attempted to break open the door to the cockpit from the outside, he added. Afterwards, demands for the co-pilot to open the door are heard, and the captain “desperately” bangs on the door, but the co-pilot refuses to open it.On the recording, there is the sound of the co-pilot breathing “normally” and “not uttering a single word” until the plane crashes, the prosecutor said.The recording suggested that passengers began screaming just before the final impact.Services on the ground didn’t receive any distress signals from the A320 before the crash, despite several attempts to contact the aircraft.The prosecutor said that there are no grounds to regard the crash as a terrorist act.Robin said that there is a case for premeditated murder to answer as the co-pilot was responsible for the lives of the passengers and crew onboard.Germanwings wrote on its Twitter page on Thursday that it was shocked by the prosecutor’s statement.
  • PayPal fined £5.2m over failure to block users linked to trade in weapons of mass destruction
    By The Independent | News PayPal has agreed to pay a £5.2 million ($7.7 million) settlement over alleged sanctions violations including allegations that it processed payments for a man involved in the black market for nuclear weapons technology.PayPal, which is owned by eBay, is alleged to have facilitated thousands of pounds worth of transactions involving goods and services going to and from Cuba, Sudan and Iran, according of a US Treasury disclosure. The company allowed 94 payments totalling £4000 ($6000) involving UK charity Interpal, which is blacklisted in the US because it is alleged to support Hamas. Palestinian militants from the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigade, the armed wing of Hamas, carry mock-rockets. PayPal allowed 94 payments totalling £4000 ($6000) involving an allegedly pro-Hamas charity, Interpal Nearly 500 PayPal transactions worth almost £30,000 ($44,000) potentially violated US sanctions, according to the Treasury department. PayPal disclosed details of the transactions to the Treasury although it did not admit or deny the allegations under settlement.The allegations relate to £4700 ($7000) worth of transactions involving an account in the name of Kursad Zafar Cire, a Turkish man on a US blacklist for trading weapons of mass destruction. Cire was blacklisted in 2009 for his alleged involvement in a sales network for nuclear technology operated by Pakistani scientist A.Q. Khan. This provided ‘one-stop shopping’ for countries including Iran, Libya and North Korea to develop nuclear weapons, the Treasury said.Read more: Businesses need to wake up and smell the hackersPayPal president Marcus jumps ship to FacebookPayPal founder Elon Musk files lawsuitAll US companies are banned from doing business with people on the blacklist as they are considered enemies of the US. PayPal dismissed six alerts that Cire matched a person on the blacklist after the account became operational in 2009 because a staffer believed the alerts were to confirm his address. PayPal only blocked the account in April 2013, after it had processed 136 transactions. PayPal has a screener which is supposed to catch blacklisted persons. At first this failed, but once it was working again the alerts were dismissed by staff, the Treasury said. It has since taken remedial action and fully co-operated with the investigation, the Treasury said.PayPal chief compliance officer Gene Truono said in a statement that government compliance is a priority but that prior to 2013 PayPal didn’t have a system in place to scan payments in real time, which allowed to blacklisted persons to make transactions
  • The velayat-e faqih of Iran urges immediate end to Saudi attacks on Yemen
    By PressTV The Iranian foreign minister has called on Saudi Arabia to immediately cease its military aggression against Yemen.“We demand an immediate stop to the Saudi military operations in Yemen,” Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an interview with Iran's Arabic-language al-Alam news network on Thursday.Zarif said the military operations constitute a violation of Yemen’s sovereignty and will only lead to bloodshed.“We will spare no effort to contain the crisis in Yemen,” Zarif said. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif He pointed out that the act of aggression will benefit no country, adding that the military campaign will further escalate the tensions in the region.The Iranian foreign minister also urged the regional and western countries to avoid playing into the hands of terrorists such as al-Qaeda and ISIL in Yemen.Strikes will fuel flames Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marziyeh Afkham also strongly condemned the Saudi military campaign against members of the Ansarullah movement in neighboring Yemen, stressing that the move will create an insecure atmosphere in the Middle East.“Resorting to military actions against Yemen, which is already engaged in internal conflict and fighting terrorism, will further complicate the situation, spread the extent of the crisis and squander opportunities to peacefully resolve internal disputes in Yemen,” Afkham said.She also called for the immediate implementation of agreements struck between Yemeni factions, and a quick cessation of Saudi air strikes and operations against Yemen and its nation.Afkham further noted that the ongoing onslaught against Yemen will have no outcome other than the spread of terrorism and extremism, and will undermine security in the Middle East. Yemenis stand at the site of a Saudi air strike against Houthi Ansarullah fighters near Sana’a Airport, Yemen, on March 26, 2015. (© AFP)Saudi strikes to backfireChairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran's Parliament Alaeddin Boroujerdi also denounced the Saudi attacks against Yemen, stating that such an action would eventually backfire. “The fact that Saudi Arabia has waged a new war in the region attests to its disregard and irresponsibility towards issues in the Muslim world. The outcomes of this crisis will boomerang on Saudi Arabia as war is not confined to the borders of one particular region,” Boroujerdi pointed out. Chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran's Parliament Alaeddin Boroujerdi (file photo)He also criticized the United States for fomenting instability in the Middle East, stating that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies have had Washington’s carte blanche in order to launch attacks against Yemen. The ongoing Saudi air strikes on Yemen have so far claimed the lives of 13 civilians with more deaths feared, according to Yemeni sources."Thirteen civilians, including women and children, were killed in the Saudi raids overnight," a civil defense source said on Thursday. According to witnesses, residents are helping civil defense authorities in the search for any more victims under the rubble of houses damaged in the air raids. Following the attacks, forces loyal to fugitive Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi seized control of the international airport in the southern port city of Aden. Troops of the 39th Armored Brigade, who are allied to the Houthi Ansarullah movement, had earlier seized the facility. The Al Arabiya News Channel reported on Thursday that Saudi Arabia has deployed "100 fighter jets, 150,000 soldiers and other navy units" for the military campaign in Yemen. Meanwhile, Yemeni sources say parachutists of Saudi forces have already landed in Aden, located approximately 420 kilometers (260 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a.
  • Pro-Government Forces Recapture Airport in Yemen's Aden From Houthi Rebels
    By Sputnik The Saudi-led airstrikes, targeting the capital Sanaa, have killed over 20 and injured more than 30, local security and medical sources informed Sputnik.MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Pro-government forces regained control over the airport in the southern Yemen city of Aden, seized the day before by forces supporting Houthi rebels, Agence France-Presse reported Thursday.Earlier in the day, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s spokesman said the leader is in Aden and supports the international military operation against the Houthi militia. All Schools in Yemen Capital Close Due to Gulf Airstrikes On Wednesday, Saudi Arabia announced the launch of a military operation against Houthis in Yemen. Several other nations, including Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt, are participating.The Saudi-led airstrikes, targeting the capital Sanaa, have killed over 20 and injured more than 30, local security and medical sources informed Sputnik.The Shiite Houthi group had taken control of large areas in Yemen, forcing President Hadi and his government to resign in late January.Hadi was under house arrest in Sanaa before he fled to Aden in February, disavowing his resignation.
  • War in Yemen:Saudis enter the fray
    The kingdom starts bombing its southern neighbour By The Economist SAUDI Arabia was only going to tolerate the advance of the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in neighbouring Yemen for so long. Early on the morning of March 26th the kingdom said it had launched a military operation to push back the Houthis and reinstate the “legitimate government” of President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi.Initial airstrikes hit the Shia rebel group's positions in Sana’a, the Yemeni capital, including the airport and the group’s political headquarters. They also targeted military bases controlled by loyalists of Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s former president. He was ousted in 2011 and subsequently has been backing the Houthis as they have taken over swathes of the desperately poor country of 24m. Later reports suggested bases of Saleh-loyalist military units in the other areas of the country had also been struck. Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi ambassador to America, says the strikes are an opening salvo in a campaign involving ten countries—mainly believed to be fellow Gulf states. The White House announced shortly afterwards that America would provide logistical and intelligence support. Jordan and Egypt have offered to take part.In 2013 the Houthis burst out of their stronghold in northern Yemen and moved south to Sana’a, eventually seizing it in September last year. Last month Mr Hadi, who is backed by both America and the Saudis, fled Houthi captivity in Sana’a for Aden, a port city that was once capital of an independent South Yemen.By the time the Houthis advanced on Aden this week, after taking an important military installation 60km northwest of the port, Mr Hadi was rumoured to have fled to Riyadh, the Saudi capital. He called for military intervention from the six member-states of the Gulf Co-operation Council.Saudi Arabia has answered his call. But by leading a military campaign to reinstall Mr Hadi as president, Riyadh may catalyse Yemen’s long-predicted collapse into what Jamal Benomar, the UN envoy to Yemen, has described as an “Iraq-Libya-Syria scenario”.The Houthis, a religious revivalist group turned militia, are backed by Iran, a Shia power, with which Saudi Arabia, a Sunni bulwark, competes for regional hegemony. The Houthis, like most of Yemen's Shia, follow the Zaydi sect of Islam, as opposed to the "Twelver" form of Shia which predominates in Iran. Nonetheless a Sunni-led intervention is likely to increase sectarian divisions within Yemen—where the distinctions between Sunni and Shia meant little until recently—and to aggravate them regionally.Militant Sunni groups have already carried out blatantly sectarian attacks. Yemen is home to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda’s deadliest branch, and Islamic State (IS), which claimed responsibility for the suicide bombings of two Zaydi mosques in Sana’a on March 20th, which left more than 140 people dead.The air strikes have already laid bare the divisions caused by the Houthis' rise. In Yemen's south and in the central belt, territories home to mainly Sunni populations, people are cheerleading the Saudi-led campaign. They are hoping it will halt progress of the Houthis, who had looked set to enter oil-rich Mareb, in central Yemen, as well as Aden, until the strikes were launched. The anti-Houthi groups’ interest is not whether or not Mr Hadi—a man who ceded control of the capital without a fight six months ago—has legitimacy; rather that the Houthi menace be brought to heel.In the north of the country many are dismayed by the foreign bombardment, including some of the Houthis' sternest critics: they believe it will only lead to more fighting. “Saudi Arabia is fucking our country,” says a Sunni tribesman who spent the night cowering with his family in Sana’a as blasts echoed through the capital. Many Yemenis believe Saudi Arabia will happily reduce their country to dust to defeat their enemies.For the Houthis, the Saudi-led operation is a public-relations coup. They have long accused Mr Hadi of working for the interests of foreign powers. In a vitriolic and paranoid speech on March 20th their leader, Abdelmalek al-Houthi, accused the Gulf Arab states and America of plotting to destabilise the country in order to reinstall Mr Hadi as a puppet leader.Mr Hadi has struggled to build a constituency since being made interim president in 2012. What support he has found since leaving Sana’a has been based largely on his opposition to the Houthis. From Aden Mr Hadi had been in the process of forming a 20,000-strong Saudi-backed militia. When he went, the country's "legitimate government" left with him.The Saudis’ campaign may not be easy. The Houthis have evolved into a highly effective guerrilla force after a decade of war against Mr Saleh and Saudi Arabia. With the backing of Saleh loyalists they are likely to prove a tough enemy.Last time Saudi Arabia intervened against the Houthis in Yemen, it suffered blowback. In response to Saudi airstrikes against the rebels in and around the northern region of Saada, Houthi fighters crossed over the Saudi border, seizing dozens of towns and villages. (Ironically, those strikes were to support the regime of then-president Mr Saleh, which was struggling in its sixth campaign in as many years against the Houthis.)The Houthis have once again threatened to take the fight across the border. “This will be just like the sixth war in Saada when the Saudis lost Saudi territory,” says a Houthi man in Sana'a, referring to the 2009 offensive. It is not just Yemen that may come to regret the Saudis’ latest foreign adventure.