IOTD …. “🇵🇷 ‘Image of the Day, Very Special Edition – #RebuildAreciboObservatory – Shero’ 🇵🇷 …. “!!

European Union-paid Sudanese anti-refugee violence

This 24 June 2019 video says about itself

When mass demonstrations in the spring led to the downfall of Sudanese dictator Omar al-Bashir, protesters hoped for a peaceful transition to civilian rule.

But since then, the backlash has been brutal. Hundreds have died or gone missing. One man has tightened his grip on power through the most brutal arm of the state, known as the Rapid Support Forces. What’s most surprising is that Hemedti seemingly built up his power with the help of money from the European Union. A warning: this report contains images that viewers may find disturbing.

Translated from Dutch daily Trouw, 31 October 2020:

This notorious Sudanese militia is receiving “security training” paid for by the European Union

For years, the EU and the Dutch government refused financial or material support to Sudan’s most feared paramilitary group. But money from an EU fund against irregular migration is now used for training for this particular group.

Klaas van Dijken, Nouska du Saar and Aziz Alnour, 31 October 2020, 1:00 am

… The men are members of Sudan’s most feared and most powerful paramilitary group, the Rapid Support Forces (RSF). …

RSF was involved in war crimes in Darfur

The EU has always said that the RSF will not receive direct or indirect support because of its involvement in war crimes in Darfur. The Dutch Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag also spoke out against this last year. But internal and public documents show that the EU is indeed co-financing this training project, and that EU countries gave their consent in July. …

The money for it comes from the EU Emergency Trust Fund for Africa, which has been set up to combat irregular migration.

Internal documents show that 5 million euros has been budgeted for the program, which also includes training of the RSF. The militias are awaiting training in … recognizing and identifying refugees … and using firearms, says an insider. ..

“For years we have asked the European Commission not to support the RSF and they have pledged to do so time and again. But it seems that anything is possible at the EU if the ultimate goal is to keep refugees out of Europe, ”said Miguel Urbán Crespo, MEP.

“Training the RSF is shortsighted and morally wrong”

Kenneth Roth, director of Human Rights Watch, is also critical: “Training the RSF is shortsighted and morally wrong,” he says. “When not linked to trials of the leaders of the RSF, this kind of training is a nice facade and irrelevant.”

Free imprisoned Israeli anti-militarist woman, protest today

This 22 October 2020 video from Israel says about itself:

Hallel Rabin – I Refuse

Hallel Rabin, a conscientious objector, spent two terms in Prison 6

That military prison is near Atlit, on Oren Junction.

for refusing to serve in the army. A few days before returning to the ICRC to refuse for a third time, she was interviewed by Social TV and justified her decision to refuse in public, after the IDF Conscience Committee was not persuaded to dismiss her.

For more interviews with other Israelis who refuse military service in Israel: here.

From Israeli peace movement Gush Shalom today:

Stand with Conscientious objector Hallel Rabin – demonstration at the Israeli Army’s Military Prison 6

Conscientious objector Hallel Rabin was sent to the military prison because of her refusal to join an army of occupation which oppresses the Palestinians.

She has asked – and fully deserves – for public support for her struggle.

The army’s method of dealing with refusers and conscientious objectors (male or female alike) is incremental sentences of a month at a time,

After each term the objector is again ordered to enlist, refuses again and is sent again to prison.

Hallel Rabin is now undergoing the third such one-month term, and many more can follow.

Using this method enables the army to avoid a court-martial which would be held in public and where the defendant can be represented by a lawyer and call witnesses.

Instead, the cumulative one-month terms are issued at “instant trials” held in camera at an officer’s bureau and lasting about five minutes.

‘Mesarvot’ and ‘Yesh Gvul’ invite the public to attend a protest vigil in support of Hallel and decrying her incarceration,

Today, Saturday October 31st, 2020 at 12:30

On the mountainside facing Military Prison 6, from where protesters are visible – and audible – to prisoners (and to their guards).

For those coming from the Tel-Aviv/Gush-Dan or Jerusalem areas, transportation is available; register here.

Contact: Yishai Menuchin +972-(0)54-3355373 +972-(0) 54-4860050.

War criminal Tony Blair also coronavirus spreader

This 30 July 2020 video says about itself:

As European countries expand protection measures like quarantines and mask-wearing for Covid-19 patients, courts are being left with the job of interpreting and enforcing the new laws. In Austria, a woman has been sentenced to a suspended jail term for visiting a supermarket while under quarantine – a move the judge slammed as ‘dangerous’.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

British former Prime Minister Tony Blair has discredited himself by allegedly violating the coronavirus rules. According to The Sunday Times, he did not go into home quarantine after a two-day trip to the United States. People entering Great Britain from that country are required to go into isolation for two weeks.

The newspaper says it has photos of Blair showing him leaving a London restaurant ten days after his return from Washington. The Sunday Times reports that Blair filed for an exemption but was not granted it.

Why is this war criminal, responsible for killing over a million Iraqis, many Afghans, etc. not yet in a prison cell in The Hague? Why can he fly to the USA, world coronavirus epicentre ‘thanks’ to Donald Trump, and fly back to Britain, bringing the virus with him? Are war criminal politicians only put on trial in The Hague if they are black Africans?

US presidential elections, Pence, fascism, militarism

This 8 October 2020 video from Latin America says about itself:

Neither U.S. candidate supports cutting the Pentagon budget, despite polls results

Foreign policy is not a priority in this election, neither Biden nor Trump show a good neighbor policy towards Latin America.

PENCE, HARRIS CLASH ON COVID The vice presidential debate between Republican Mike Pence and Democrat Kamala Harris started with a clash on the COVID-19 pandemic ― one in which Pence, head of the White House coronavirus task force, repeatedly misrepresented the truth. Harris countered: “The American people have witnessed what is the greatest failure of any presidential administration in history,” Harris said. “210,000 dead people in our country. … Over 7 million people have contracted this disease. One in five businesses closed… Frontline workers… treated like sacrificial workers.” At the end of the night, Karen Pence, apparently in deference to her husband’s attitude, refused to wear a mask on stage, flouting the debate rules. [HuffPost]

LEADING MEDICAL JOURNAL CALLS FOR END TO TRUMP In a rare political statement from a scientific journal, the New England Journal of Medicine released an editorial Wednesday lambasting the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and calling on Americans to vote Trump out of office next month. November’s election will have life-or-death consequences for people regardless of party alignment, the journal’s editorial board said. This is the first time in the journal’s 208-year history that the editors have ever published an editorial about elections. [HuffPost]

PENCE REFUSED TO SAY IF HE’D ACCEPT ELECTION RESULTS In the final question of Wednesday’s debate, moderator Susan Page asked Pence what he would do if President Donald Trump refused to peacefully transfer power if Democrat Joe Biden wins the election. Pence responded by insisting that his boss would win reelection — and by falsely claiming that mail-in voting creates a high risk of voter fraud, which is a largely nonexistent problem that Trump and the Republican Party have hyped as part of their efforts to sow doubt in the outcome of the election. [HuffPost]

Don’t believe Trump’s cynical lies: He is not the protector of Jews but our greatest threat/

NO ONE WANTED TO DISCUSS THEIR BOSS’S HEALTH Neither Pence nor Harris wanted to talk about the health of the septuagenarians at the top of their party’s respective tickets last night. When asked if the American people deserved more information about the health of both Trump, 74, and Biden, 77, their running mates quickly pivoted to other topics. Pence attacked Harris over her skepticism toward Trump’s effort to rush a coronavirus vaccine to market. Harris said Biden has been more transparent than Trump when it comes to health records as well as his tax returns. [HuffPost]

From Our Revolution in the USA today:

Mike Pence spent tonight’s debate lying and avoiding responsibility for the over 210,000 Americans who died on his watch as head of Trump’s COVID-19 task force.

Pence is a fascist with deep connections to the Koch network and other right-wing oligarchs who want to crush social programs, destroy worker rights, and replace our democracy with a perverse new era of corporate feudalism.

Unfortunately, the Democratic establishment isn’t taking this danger seriously enough — that’s why Our Revolution’s work to counter their lies in the critical Midwestern pivot counties that flipped from Obama to Trump is so crucial.

If we don’t beat Donald Trump and Mike Pence, the United States could descend into an era of corporate-authoritarian rule that will make progressive organizing close to impossible. Rush a donation here to help Our Revolution counter Trump and Pence’s lies and save our country!

In Ohio, Michigan and other critical battleground states, Our Revolution members are unmasking the false pro-worker populism peddled by Trump and Pence by organizing laid-off workers to call-out their failure to bring back manufacturing jobs to the once-strong industrial heartland.

The path to the White House goes through the Midwest, and our deep organizing in the factory towns that Hillary Clinton should have won is critical to avoid a repeat of 2016. Contribute now so we can ramp up our ground game in the final 26 days before the election!


The whole team at Our Revolution

British military-industrial complex kills in Yemen

This music video about the British Conservative government’s role in the Yemen war is called Declan McKenna – British Bombs (Official Video)

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Britain’s decade as world’s second largest arms exporter a ‘source of great shame’

Peace campaigners remind government that weapons sales are ‘not just numbers on a spreadsheet’ while Labour’s Zarah Sultana says Britain has become a world-leader in aiding and abetting horrific wars and repression

BRITAIN has remained the globe’s second-largest arms exporters for a decade — with the majority of its weapons sold to fuel devastating conflicts in the Middle East.

According to the latest official figures, Britain holds almost a fifth (16 per cent) of the global arms trade, falling behind only the United States, which had an estimated 47 per cent share in 2019.

Of the weapons sold since 2010, almost 60 per cent were imported by Middle Eastern countries, the vast majority to Saudi Arabia.

COVID-19 disaster news update

This 22 September 2020 video says about itself:

Trump mocks 200,000 dead from coronavirus. John Iadarola and Emma Vigeland break it down on The Damage Report.

THE PLAGUE STATES OF AMERICA: 200,000 DEAD More than 200,000 people have now died from the coronavirus in the United States. The U.S. reached the grim pandemic milestone on Tuesday — amid growing concerns among medical professionals of a potential “perfect storm” for both COVID-19 and influenza infections as temperatures begin to dip in the Western Hemisphere. Doctors have been advising that adults and children older than 6 months get a flu vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the risk of catching the flu and to reduce the severity of symptoms if a person does get infected. [HuffPost]

You can get COVID-19 and flu at the same time – and it can be deadly.

PENTAGON GAVE $1 BILLION IN PANDEMIC AID TO DEFENSE CONTRACTORS In March, when Congress allocated $1 billion dollars from its first coronavirus relief package to go to the U.S. Department of Defense, the expectation was that the funds would be spent on essential medical supplies needed for the department to help combat the deadly disease. At the time ― and even now ― the United States was facing a shortage of critical items like N95 masks. A new Washington Post report, however, reveals the Trump administration gave a majority of the Pentagon’s billion-dollar coronavirus aid package to defense contractors to make things like Army uniforms, body armor and jet engine parts. [HuffPost]

How to politely decline social invitations in the pandemic.

‘Significant concern’ about COVID-19 rise in largely Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods in New York City.

Boris Johnson’s early Christmas present to Britain: Six months of coronavirus gloom.

Donald Trump-International Criminal Court conflict

This 12 June 2020 video says about itself:

ICC says Trump sanctions attack the court, victims of atrocities

The International Criminal Court has rejected the US president’s plans to impose sanctions on some of its officials.

Donald Trump is trying to stop an investigation into allegations of American war crimes in Afghanistan.

But the ICC says the move will undermine its efforts to ensure accountability for mass atrocities.

Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan reports from Washington.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 3 September 2020:

International Criminal Court hits back at ‘unprecedented’ and ‘unacceptable’ US attacks

THE International Criminal Court (ICC) condemned sanctions imposed by the US on its court’s prosecutor and a member of her office as “unprecedented” yesterday.

It warned that the latest measures announced by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday were “another attempt” to interfere with its work in addressing grave crimes and humanitarian atrocities.

“These coercive acts, directed at an international judicial institution and its civil servants, are unprecedented and constitute serious attacks against the court, the Rome Statute system of international criminal justice and the rule of law more generally.”

No to Turkish-Greek oil war!

This 12 August 2020 video says about itself:

Turkey: Greek warship seen off island of Kastellorizo following Turkish oil search

Footage filmed from the Turkish town of Kas looking out upon Greek island of Kastellorizo in distance purportedly shows a Greek warship, on Tuesday.

The sighting came a day after Turkey sent one of its oil-and-gas research vessels Oruc Reis escorted by Turkish warships to carry out a seismic survey, used primarily for oil and gas exploration, off the Greek island.

Greece has reportedly responded by bringing in a large portion of its fleet to the area.

Athens considers the Turkish research to be contrary to international law stating that the sea areas belong to the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Greece according to the rules of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.

From daily News Line in Britain, 31 August 2020:

No War! Greek And Turkish Workers Must Unite – Their Enemy Is At Home

WHILE President Trump is celebrating the Israel-UAE alliance against Iran and Palestine, and planning to extend it throughout the region, his NATO allies are getting ready to cut each other’s throats in the Med.

Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu yesterday warned Greece that its plans to extend its territorial waters would be taken by Turkey as a declaration of war.

Turkey’s discovery of major gas deposits in waters surrounding Crete and Cyprus has further escalated tensions between the two states.

Cavusoglu has now warned France against supporting Greece, saying that Paris wants to create a security force of the EU against NATO. Turkey is signalling to the USA its willingness to help the USA curb the EU. ‘NATO is one of the goals of the current escalation,’ Cavusoglu added.

The Turkish military has launched fresh war games in the eastern Mediterranean region, as tensions between Ankara and Athens mount over maritime borders and gas drilling rights.

The EU is taking the side of Greece, with France last week deploying its naval forces to hold joint military exercises with Greece along with Italy and Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.

Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay has attacked as ‘hypocritical’ a threat by the EU to impose sanctions on Ankara, saying that: ‘We are proficient in the language of peace and diplomacy, but will not hesitate to do the necessary thing when it comes to defending Turkey’s rights and interests. France and Greece know that better than anyone,’ he added.

EU Foreign Policy Chief, Josep Borrell, who said that the bloc was preparing to slap sanctions on Turkey to curtail Turkey’s ability to explore for natural gas in the contested waters of the region, and could, according to Borrell, target individuals, Turkish ships and the use of European ports.

‘We can go to measures related to sectoral activities … where the Turkish economy is related to the European economy,’ Borrell told a news conference recently in reference to the possible sanctions.

On Friday, August 28, Turkey declared that it would hold military drills off northwest Cyprus in the coming weeks.

Following that, the Turkish military issued a warning to mariners, known as a Navtex, which said it would be holding a ‘gunnery exercise’ from Saturday, August 29th until September 11th. Before that, on August 12th, Greek and Turkish frigates that were following one of Ankara’s oil and gas survey ships, the Oruc Reis, collided.

Turkish and Greek F-16 fighter jets have already engaged in a mock ‘dogfight’ over the Mediterranean as Ankara dispatched its planes to intercept six Greek jets as they returned from war games in Cyprus. The Med region was not always a powder keg ready to be exploded by the NATO alliance, and the EU.

It was Colonel Gadaffi who warned the UK and NATO that if it moved to remove him through military action, then Libya would be carved up by Islamists and the whole region would be propelled into a massive oil war.

The Middle East and the Med region is set to explode and end the US plans for a signing ceremony in Washington of the normalisation deal with the United Arab Emirates in which the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia was due to participate, to seal the anti-Palestine and anti-Iran alliance.

Israeli minister Ofir Akunis said yesterday that the date for the signing ceremony could be decided by senior aides to Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump in Abu Dhabi today.

In fact, the fear of Arab and Muslim leaders of the consequences of making a deal with Israel and selling out Palestine is very great. The Sudan leadership told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo ‘NO’ and rejected a major financial bribe, such is the fear of the Arab revolution.

What is required in the Med region are not imperialist wars but socialist revolutions. The Greek and Turkish workers must unite to prevent any war in the Med. Their enemy is at home. It is the EU capitalists that have destroyed Greece, not the Turkish workers nor any other section of the working class.

Japanese right-wing Prime Minister Abe, buh bye?

This 28 August 2020 Singapore TV video says about itself:

Japan PM Shinzo Abe to resign due to health concerns: National broadcaster NHK

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to resign due to health concerns ahead of his tenure ending next September, according to public broadcaster NHK on Friday (Aug 28). CNA’s Michiyo Ishida gives more details on Mr Abe’s health condition, and who are the possible successors if he does step down. Read here.

Translated from Dutch NOS radio today:

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will resign, Japanese media report. The right-wing conservative government leader will give a press conference this morning (Dutch time) in which he presumably will announce that he is not serving his term.

According to Japanese media, Abe is quitting for health reasons. He is struggling with chronic intestinal inflammation and had to go to a hospital for the second time in a short time on Tuesday.

His term of office would expire in September next year. Abe, 65, has been Japan’s head of government since 2012 and the longest-serving prime minister in the country. He also became prime minister in 2006, but then he retired after a year


Little is left of the support for the once-popular Japanese prime minister, says correspondent Kjeld Duits to the NOS Radio 1 News. “Abe’s popularity has collapsed recently. People are especially very unhappy with his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Abe was virtually invisible in the big second coronavirus wave we had in Japan in recent months.”

The prime minister has also been criticized for his economic policies. “Abe had a very aggressive monetary policy, … but little of his economic reforms has come to fruition. He said repeatedly that he wanted to empower women, but that has not been successful,” says Duits.

Abe’s main empowerment of women was making female fans of Adolf Hitler ministers.

“It was Abe’s big dream to remove pacifism from the Japanese constitution, but there was a lot of resistance, also within his own party.” The adjustment would also allow Japan to deploy the armed forces if, eg, an ally is attacked.

Meaning the USA of Abe’s buddy Donald Trump; if Trump’s Pentagon would claim there was an ‘attack’ like the lies-based Gulf of Tonkin incident.

Power struggle

Abe is expected to remain PM officially until his Liberal Democratic Party has elected a new leader. “This will be a power struggle within the party,” said Duits. “In recent weeks, rumors have also been growing that there is a chance of early elections. With that in mind, two major opposition parties recently merged. It is difficult to predict who will eventually become the new prime minister.”