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Metrics of Domestic Security

Lizzie Dearden in the Independent (29 July 2017),’Undercover police officers have been deployed to spy on more than 1,000 groups, political organisations and gangs, an inquiry into the shadowy operations has found. The figure, disclosed for the first time in an email to lawyers representing targeted activists, could rise dramatically as investigations continue to gather responses from…

hunza

Pakistan’s water resources scenario

It is not just cricket and the Nawaz Sharif corruption drama that should focus Pakistanis’ attention. Hamish Pritchard, writing in Nature (11 May 2017) warns, The high mountains of  Asia – encompassing the Himalayas, the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, Pamir Alai, Kunlun Shan, and Tian Shan mountains – have the highest concentration of glaciers globally, and…

egypt_sisi

Lessons from Egypt

Handover  of Red Sea islands Al Jazeera reports (14 June 2017), ‘Egyptian protesters opposed to a 2016 agreement to transfer two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia clashed with police in downtown Cairo, just hours after a parliamentary committee approved the deal. Witnesses said plainclothes policemen moved late on Tuesday to disperse dozens of protesters soon after…

quotes

Reckless Scare Tactic!

The Samson Option was the name Israel has given to its nuclear arsenal, according to veteran investigative journalist Seymour Hersh in his book of the same name – the title referring to the Biblical figure Samson, killed when by pulling on the support pillars of the Philistine Temple in Gaza. It conveyed the desperate measures the Israeli political leadership…

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Tales from the Past: How information is suppressed

I. How the Guardian censored Nafeez Ahmed on Gaza Nafeez Ahmed writes in medium.com/insurge-intelligence, ‘By late 2014, I saw firsthand how an outlet as reputable as The Guardian was capable of indulging in grievous censorship. I produced a story on how Israeli military operations in Gaza were, according to a past policy paper by the…

crows (Custom)

WoT & the deeper malaise

John Pilger in Counterpunch.org.31 May 2017, ‘In the current election campaign, the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has made a guarded reference to a “war on terror that has failed”. As he knows, it was never a war on terror but a war of conquest and subjugation. Palestine. Afghanistan. Iraq. Libya. Syria. Iran is said to be…

crown1

In these sceptered isles . . .

Every now and then, a scrutiny of the Catholic press provides indications of a super-sensitivity – but perhaps it is glib to dismiss these as a  post-Reformation sense of victimhood! For example, it is incredible that the first Catholic to hold the chair of divinity at the University of Cambridge since the bloody and dramatic events of the 16th Century,…

fire-mau

Archives’ sorry tales

An unhappy catalogue of lost (or concealed) archives…. Steve Kerensky in a letter to the Guardian, 19 April 2017 It is hard to see why Tariq Ali (Top 10 books about the Russian revolution, 12 April) still celebrates the epic scale of Lenin’s programme of rape, torture and murder. Just as hard to understand is that…

begumbhopal

The Begum of Bhopal: wise judgement

From a report appearing in the Azad of Lucknow, 20 March 1891 … in Bhopal a Hindu woman, who had an intimacy with a Musalman, appeared before the Qazi and expressed a desire for her conversion to the Muhammadan religion. The Qazi reported the matter through the Prime Minister to Her Highness the Begam, who…