Donald Trump has become known for so-called "alternative facts" which are, to everyone else, lies, half-truths and delusions. In Hillary Clinton's terms, they are what happens when she "mis-speaks." But in his first speech to the US Congress, that is the combined Houses of Representatives and the Senate, Trump wheeled out some numbers. Some, such as that "nearly 4,000 people were shot last year alone" are startling. To realise that that was in just one US city, and that not one that has a reputation for violence, is frightening. Were the numbers right? Prepare to go from startled, to frightened to terrified.
As Malaysians unite against a range of issues, there is one man who is determined to try to develop racial tensions, using any means at his disposal including, allegedly, vigilantism, as the leader of a gang that vociferously, and forcefully, defends the current government, setting the authorities at odds with their political masters.
There's an interesting story developing in the UK about the making of a grant from local taxpayer's money to a distressed law corporation (it's not a firm, despite the use of the term in the reporting). There are swirls of questions surrounding the entire subject
There's a really cute little bird, a kind of weaver finch, that lives in Africa. The government of Tanzania has tried to kill 5.6 million of them in a single operation, and they think they have got about 5 million. It's a fraction of the continent's population but it's the bulk of the flock that has swarmed, locust-like, onto crops. Their destructive power is biblical and in a country where food is always a challenge, "the world's most abundant wild species," can easily turn feast into famine for millions. It's not migratory: it's spreading, an alien invasive species that lays waste to vast tracts of land, like a feathered locust.
According to a report in an Israeli blog, Da'esh (it calls it ISIS) is "terrified" of a 39 year old woman who leads group that identifies Da'esh members and kills them. Of itself, the primary interest should be that the gang is led by a woman who is standing up to a misogynistic and brutal force of oppression. But it is not: the article is about what she does with the bodies. Our interest is the nature of the comments made on the report and the degree of support her brutality has obtained.
Israel's illegal occupation of a significant amount of Palestinian territory is only part of the story of the oppression of the Palestinians. There is also a a blockade of airspace and sea, even in international air and waters. Incredibly, this story is not merely untold: it is actively ignored by major news media.
This month, global TV networks based in the USA are pushing memorial and revised analysis of the bringing down of the twin towers of the World Trade Center (sic) in New York on 9/11, as they have branded the 11 September, 2001. News outlets including the BBC carry stories about memorial services, etc. But the focus on that single event means that other, equally and in some cases more important, events have not been widely reported and have been forgotten.
Shafi Alotifi spent his adult life as a police officer in Baghdad, Iraq, a job that has been a political football for politicians and even states but he just got on with it, until 28th July 2016 when even his previously dangerous way of life turned especially nasty. His story should be widely recognised, and with it the realisation that he may be unusual, but he is not unique. His is the true story of what Jihad means.
The USA has hundreds of prisoners sentenced to die in jail. But they don't end up on death row and they don't get campaigners petitioning the governor and, equally importantly, within days of being sentenced, the media loses interest in them. This is the story of the USA's oh-so-quietly implemented alternative to the death penalty which is ignored by those arguing for human rights.
In June 2015, a Bill was introduced to the House of Lords. It had not been put before the House of Commons. It proposes to increase the age at which children are expected to know right from wrong from 10 years to 12 years. It is a very short Bill, reproduced below. The idea makes no sense and it diminishes child protection.
As UK politicians prepare their arguments against and, largely, for continued membership of the European Union, two important issues are being overlooked. First, this is not the UK's first referendum on membership of the European project. Secondly, the trenches are in very different places.
The real Malaysia is a country divided not by race or religion or by the attitudes of the vast majority of its people but by what Singapore's former Prime Minister LEE Kwan Yew called "creeping Arabisation," under which a small number of policy makers and opinion formers are pushing the country in the direction of exactly the divisions the people have long resisted. Now the country has seen its first attack by someone claiming to represent the ideals of, if not actually represent, Islamic fundamentalist group Da'esh (aka ISIS or Islamic State).
20130613 Few really willing to fight child marriages - IPP Media
This story - which may actually be a thinly disguised re-write of an article from elsewhere, opens the door to a much wider debate - and many more sources of information of varying degrees of reliability
and credibility. But there is an overall thrust....