Opposition views are absent at Dyke’s BBC

Greg Dyke, the BBC’s director general, has attacked American television reporting of Iraq. “For any news organisation to act as a cheerleader for government is to undermine your credibility,” he said. “They should be . . . balancing their coverage, not banging the drum for one side or the other.” He said research showed that, of 840 experts interviewed on American news programmes during the invasion of Iraq, only four opposed the war. “If that were true in Britain, the BBC would have failed in its duty.”

Did Dyke say all this with a straight face? Let’s look at what research shows about the BBC’s reporting of Iraq. Media Tenor, the non-partisan, Bonn-based media research organisation, has examined the Iraq war reporting of some of the world’s leading broadcasters, including the US networks and the BBC. It concentrated on the coverage of opposition to the war.

The second-worst case of denying access to anti-war voices was ABC in the United States, which allowed them a mere 7 per cent of its overall coverage. The worst

— source johnpilger.com | john pilger | 8 Dec 2003

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Private donors: the pied pipers of ‘modern slavery’?

As the director of an anti-slavery charity in London at the turn of the century, I would have welcomed a substantial injection of cash to supplement the income we received from our members, from a few private foundations and from several European governments. However, in the year that the UN Trafficking Protocol was adopted (2000), I felt we did not have enough technical expertise (despite being 160 years old) on how to tackle all the patterns of extreme exploitation that we knew to be occurring around the world. Nor did anyone else.

During the first decade of the 21st century, I saw the international community groping along a learning curve. Governments allocated more substantial amounts of money than before to their police in order to enable them to catch traffickers and bring them to trial. Industrialised countries, notably the USA and the European Union bloc, provided substantial amounts to international organisations for what were nominally anti-trafficking activities. They and smaller donors,

— source opendemocracy.net | Mike Dottridge | 29 Mar 2021

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Scots police had access to GCHQ spy programme

The newly released classified documents came from US whistle-blower Edward Snowden and reveal that a previously unknown surveillance unit called the Scottish Recording Centre (SRC) was given access to a classified GCHQ project called MILKWHITE. The SRC was a police project that allowed Scottish forces to access metadata for information about people’s phone calls and emails. MILKWHITE was also storing data on people’s usage of smartphone apps such as WhatsApp and Viber and instant messenger services such as Jabber. GCHQ’s definition of metadata is broad and includes location data that can be used to track people’s movements, login passwords and website browsing histories.

— source theferret.scot | 2016

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Developing countries outspent developed ones on renewable energy last year

In 2015, renewable energy investments hit $286 billion, a five percent increase from 2014. Global investments in renewable energy were double that spent on new coal and natural gas-fired power generation. Thanks to greater spending, a total of 147 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity was added in 2015. China was the biggest spender, accounting for a third of all renewable energy spending, but India, South Africa, Mexico and Chile all had major increases in green energy investments.

— source treehugger.com | 2016

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Over 180 Israeli intellectuals, scientists warn ICC don’t rely on Israel to probe war crimes

More than 180 Israeli scientists and intellectuals have called on chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague not to accept Israel’s conclusions arising from its investigation into alleged war crimes.

Instead, the group of Israelis suggested in a letter addressed to Chief ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda that the court obtain the assistance of Israeli human rights organizations to gather evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Israelis.

The letter was signed by 185 Israelis, including 10 Israel Prize recipients and 35 professors, in addition to senior reserve army officers, authors, intellectuals, left-wing activists and researchers. The letter noted the ICC’s practice of approaching countries potentially subject to an investigation to determine whether they plan to launch their own war crimes investigation of their nationals’ conduct.

— source jfjfp.com | Judy Maltz, Yaniv Kubovich | May 6, 2021

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One State for All: a Palestinian feminist view

African-American artist Nina Simone, also an activist in the American Civil Rights Movement, experienced the most important turning point of her life when the Curtis Institute of Music rejected her application as a student because of the color of her skin. Simone expressed her disappointment at being deprived of the opportunity of becoming the first Black classical pianist in the United States. This racist incident gravely impacted Simone’s life and forced her to work in bars. Later, she decided to write her own song lyrics. Some of those songs became revolutionary icons as they fueled Black people to be proud of who they were, united them against white supremacy, raised their self-confidence, and urged them to discover themselves and cherish their Blackness and culture.

Simone lived long enough to witness the era of many icons of the Black struggle in the United States and worldwide. A little while before she died in 2003, she was surprised to receive a honorary diploma from the same institution that had rejected her in the past. This compels us to pause for a moment and think about the racist structure of the colonial mind: What exactly happened to make the Curtis Institute of Music apologize for their racism against Simone? Why would such a racist power, enjoying superior privileges, reconsider its position vis-a-vis the rights of the oppressed? The answer lies in the legacy of the cumulative resistance of Black people.

— source | Rifka Al-Amya | May 6, 2021

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How the US gov’t cultivated environmental and Indigenous groups to defeat Ecuador’s leftist Correísta movement

The people of Ecuador were hit by a surprise in the April 2021 presidential election: Hard-right banker Guillermo Lasso, one of the richest and most corrupt oligarchs in the country, who had unsuccessfully run in two previous races, scored a narrow victory over leftist Andrés Arauz.

Arauz, a progressive young economist, had served as a minister in the government of Ecuador’s socialist President Rafael Correa, who had declared a “Citizens’ Revolution” that transformed the country during his term from 2007 to 2017.

What was not conveyed in most media reports on Lasso’s surprising victory, however, was that Lasso only won thanks to the support he received, both directly and indirectly, from environmental and Indigenous groups that have been co-opted over that last 15 years by the US government and its soft-power networks.

The leaders of these opportunistic, pseudo-left organizations have benefited from millions of dollars in funding from CIA cutouts like the US Agency for International Development and National Endowment for Democracy. Together, they formed an alliance of convenience with Lasso against the Correísta movement.

Some even endorsed the multimillionaire banker openly, overlooking his well-documented corruption, including offshore bank accounts and tens of millions of

— source thegrayzone.com | Ben Norton | May 4, 2021

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Only 1% of global rivers contribute 80% of riverine plastic pollution to oceans

1000 rivers account for nearly 80% of global riverine plastic emissions into the ocean, according to our study, published in Science Advances. Our model suggests that instead of a handful of large continental rivers contributing the most emissions, a high number of small and medium-sized rivers play a significant role in the influx of plastic from rivers to the ocean. These 1000 rivers can present very different characteristics, including river width, flow dynamics, marine traffic, and urbanization. A wide range of mitigation measures must be applied to these rivers across the globe to substantially decrease the amount of waste entering our oceans from rivers. Our study results are accessible in this interactive map, where you can find and help to address your nearest polluting river. These 1000 rivers account for nearly 80% of global annual emissions, ranging between 0.8 million and 2.7 million metric tons per year, with small urban rivers among the most polluting.

— source theoceancleanup.com | 30 Apr 2021

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