Meldungen (Feeds)

Die Helden von Kobane im türkischen Krieg

Rationalgalerie - πριν από 7 λεπτά 28 δευτερόλεπτα
Volker Kauder an der Seite von Recep Tayyip Erdoğan : UNSERE Kurden! Das waren die tapferen Frauen und Männer, die Ende 2014 dem Islamischen Staat, in der Schlacht um Kobanê, eine ganze Region entrissen hatten! TV-Sendungen und Zeitungs-Seiten wussten sich vor lauter virtueller Schlachtenbummlei nicht lassen: UNSERE KURDEN! Wenn aber...

Der Aufstand als Tatsache - der Schmock des Monats

Rationalgalerie - πριν από 7 λεπτά 28 δευτερόλεπτα
Wie die TAGESSCHAU Sprache regelt : Wetten, dass die TAGESSCHAU-Macher schon mal gesehen haben, wie einer aufsteht? Das muss ein Aufständischer gewesen sein. Tatsache! Aber wenn er sich dann wieder setzt, ist er dann widersetzlich oder aber sogar im Widerstand? Fragen über Fragen, die jüngst in...

Wie man Jihadisten fördert

German Foreign Policy - πριν από 2 ώρες 7 λεπτά
(Eigener Bericht) - Unter Nutzung deutscher "Leopard"-Panzer und begleitet von erklärten "Sympathien" der Bundesregierung setzt Deutschlands NATO-Verbündeter Türkei seinen Krieg auf syrischem Territorium fort. Bereits der Einmarsch türkischer Truppen am vergangenen Mittwoch ist Berichten zufolge mit deutschen Kampfpanzern erfolgt. Die Bundesregierung drückt ausdrücklich ihre Zustimmung zu den türkischen Operationen aus. Diese zielen weniger auf die Ausschaltung des "Islamischen Staats" (IS/Daesh) als vielmehr darauf, mit der Errichtung der schon lange geplanten "Schutzzone" auf syrischem Territorium das Entstehen eines zusammenhängenden Gebietes "Westkurdistan" zu verhindern. Berlin unterstützt Ankara, obwohl die türkische Regierung auch bei ihren aktuellen Operationen in Nordsyrien insbesondere islamistische, teils sogar jihadistische Milizen fördert und ihnen damit zum Aufbau entsprechender Herrschaftssysteme verhilft.

Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery

The Intercept - Engl. - Κυρ, 28/08/2016 - 21:08

Before a preseason game on Friday, San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the playing of the Star Spangled Banner. When he explained why, he only spoke about the present: “I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. … There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Twitter then went predictably nuts, with at least one 49er fan burning Kaepernick’s jersey.

Almost no one seems to be aware that even if the U.S. were a perfect country today it would be bizarre to expect African American players to stand for the Star Spangled Banner. Why? Because it literally celebrates the murder of African Americans.

Few people know this because we only ever sing the first verse. But read the end of the third verse and you’ll see why the Star Spangled Banner is not just a musical atrocity, it’s an intellectual and moral one, too:

No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

The Star Spangled Banner, Americans hazily remember, was written by Francis Scott Key about the Battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore during the War of 1812. But we don’t ever talk about how the War of 1812 was a war of aggression that began with an attempt by the U.S. to grab Canada from the British Empire.

However, we’d wildly overestimated the strength of the U.S. military. By the time of the Battle of Fort McHenry in 1814, the British had counterattacked and overrun Washington, D.C., setting fire to the White House.

And one of the key tactics behind the British military’s success was its active recruitment of American slaves. As a detailed 2014 article in Harper’s explains, the orders given to the Royal Navy’s Admiral Sir George Cockburn read:

Let the landings you make be more for the protection of the desertion of the Black Population than with a view to any other advantage. … The great point to be attained is the cordial Support of the Black population. With them properly armed & backed with 20,000 British Troops, Mr. Madison will be hurled from his throne.

Whole families found their way to the ships of the British, who accepted everyone and pledged no one would be given back to their “owners.” Adult men were trained to create a regiment called the Colonial Marines, who participated in many of the most important battles, including the August 1814 raid on Washington.

Then on the night of September 13, 1814, the British bombarded Fort McHenry. Key, seeing the fort’s flag the next morning, was inspired to write the lyrics for the Star Spangled Banner.

So when Key penned “No refuge could save the hireling and slave / From the terror of flight or the gloom of the grave,” he was taking great satisfaction in the death of slaves who’d freed themselves. His perspective may have been affected by the fact he owned several slaves himself.

With that in mind, think again about the next two lines: “And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave / O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

The reality is that there were human beings fighting for freedom with incredible bravery during the War of 1812. However, the Star Spangled Banner glorifies America’s “triumph” over them — and then turns that reality completely upside down, transforming their killers into the courageous freedom fighters.

After the U.S. and the British signed a peace treaty at the end of 1814, the U.S. government demanded the return of American “property,” which by that point numbered about 6,000 people. The British refused. Most of the 6,000 eventually settled in Canada, with some going to Trinidad, where their descendants are still known as “Merikins.”

Furthermore, if those leading the backlash against Kaepernick need more inspiration, they can get it from Francis Scott Key’s later life.

By 1833 Key was a district attorney for Washington, D.C. As described in a book called Snowstorm in August by former Washington Post reporter Jefferson Morley, the police were notorious thieves, frequently stealing free blacks’ possessions with impunity. One night one of the constables tried to attack a woman who escaped and ran away — until she fell off a bridge across the Potomac and drowned.

“There is neither mercy nor justice for colored people in this district,” an abolitionist paper wrote. “No fuss or stir was made about it. She was got out of the river, and was buried, and there the matter ended.”

Key was furious, and indicted the newspaper for intending “to injure, oppress, aggrieve & vilify the good name, fame, credit & reputation of the Magistrates & constables of Washington County.”

You can decide for yourself whether there’s some connection between what happened 200 years ago and what Colin Kaepernick is angry about today. Maybe it’s all ancient, meaningless history. Or maybe it’s not, and Kaepernick is right, and we really need a new national anthem.

 

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The post Colin Kaepernick Is Righter Than You Know: The National Anthem Is a Celebration of Slavery appeared first on The Intercept.

O triunfo tucano na Ponte (de volta) para o Futuro

The Intercept - Engl. - Κυρ, 28/08/2016 - 16:00

No último fim de semana, foi anunciada uma maior participação do PSDB no governo provisório de Michel Temer. O anúncio soou como piada, já que este é um governo essencialmente tucano, que só chegou ao poder graças ao apoio tucano, conta com vários ministros tucanos e já está em estágio avançado na implementação do plano de governo tucano – aquele que foi derrotado nas urnas.

Uma participação maior que essa, só se Temer entregar a faixa presidencial para Aécio e voltar a decorar algum canto do Planalto como vice-presidente. Bastaria dar um driblezinho a mais na Constituição, contratar Janaína Paschoal para oferecer aquele parecer jurídico camarada e aguardar as manchetes favoráveis. Temer já está com a mão na massa, acabou de adquirir o know-how necessário, não seria tão trabalhoso.

Depois de se amarem loucamente nos anos 90, PMDB e PSDB romperam por mais de uma década e voltaram recentemente em grande estilo, quando iniciaram um processo de desestabilização do governo Dilma – um governo que, por ruindade própria, já andava desestabilizado. Agora, que os pombinhos tomaram o poder e estão num relacionamento estável, surgem as primeiras briguinhas e ameaças de rompimento. Mas é puro charme. Estão no auge da paixão, e nada vai lhes separar tão cedo. Há muita estatal pela frente pra vender, baby.

No Congresso, comandados por Eduardo Cunha, as duas bancadas boicotaram todas as tentativas de ajuste fiscal de Dilma através de pautas-bomba, além de tumultuarem e adiarem votações com o objetivo claro de atrasar a saída para a crise e enfraquecer o governo.

O velho novo casal também inflamou as ruas financiando grupos de militantes a favor do impeachment – aqueles que se dizem apartidários, mas que recebem dinheiro de um lado e só batem panela contra o outro.

 Se Dilma foi merecidamente acusada de praticar estelionato eleitoral, Temer está indo além ao instalar o projeto tucano Na prática, a grosso modo, Temer está substituindo o programa da chapa pelo qual foi eleito pelo da chapa derrotada nas eleições. Sem mais nem menos. Se Dilma foi merecidamente acusada de praticar estelionato eleitoral, Temer está indo além ao instalar o projeto tucano – um neoliberalismo-ostentação rejeitado por quatro eleições seguidas. O povo brasileiro assiste atônito a este estelionato com duplo twist carpado e sem a chancela das urnas.

Vejamos como Temer vem cumprindo com louvor o programa de governo tucano:

Composição dos ministérios

Logo de cara, Temer nomeou três tucanos de alta plumagem para ministérios estratégicos: Justiça, Relações Exteriores e Cidades. Dos 24 ministros nomeados, apenas 6 apoiaram a candidatura de Temer. Quase todos os outros apoiaram Aécio, com destaque para os mais habitués do ninho tucano: Jungmann (PPS), Mendonça Filho (DEM), Geddel (PMDB), Osmar Terra (PMDB) e Picciani (PMDB).

Corte drástico de ministérios

Uma promessa da campanha do PSDB. E qual foi a primeira coisa que o interino fez ao sentar no trono? Mandou cortar diversos ministérios! Pastas caras à chapa pela qual ele foi eleito foram ceifadas sem nenhum pudor. Extinguiu o Ministério das Mulheres, da Cultura, da Igualdade Racial e dos Direitos Humanos, a Controladoria Geral da União, entre outros. Fosse eleito, não sei se Aécio demonstraria tamanha competência na execução do plano de governo tucano.

Mudança na regra da partilha do pré-sal

José Serra, flagrado pelo WikiLeaks em conversas bastante amistosas com uma concorrente da Petrobrás, a Chevron, há tempos vem demonstrando enorme interesse em vender o pré-sal para empresas estrangeiras. O interino não pensou duas vezes e o colocou justamente nas Relações Exteriores. Além disso, permitiu que Cunha influenciasse decisivamente a Comissão Especial da Petrobras e Exploração do Pré-Sal, que concretizou o sonho tucano ao abrir as porteiras para o feirão do petróleo. Essa revisão do regime de partilha era uma das promessas do candidato Aécio. As petroleiras estrangeiras agradecem a graça alcançada.

Intensificação das privatizações 

Outro sonho dourado tucano prestes a se realizar no interinato-machocrata de Temer. E ele tem pressa. Em reunião com ministros, mandou um recado claro: Senhores, tudo que puder ser transferido à iniciativa privada, façam. Não temos preconceitos!. A ordem expressa deve ter surpreendido o PSDB, que sempre preferiu disfarçar essa sua tara nas campanhas por conhecer a rejeição popular.

 A coisa é tão surreal que até Pedro Simon, companheiro de partido de Temer, se disse “chocado”O impeachment de Dilma ainda não foi decretado, ainda há chances de ela voltar para o cumprimento integral do seu mandato. Remotas, mas existem. Se por um milagre isso acontecer, o país ficará ainda mais tempo paralisado, já que o copiloto que assumiu o comando resolveu mudar o destino do voo sem consultar os passageiros.

Além de imoral e antidemocrático, há juristas que afirmam que essas ações do interino são ilegais, porque ferem a Constituição. Tecnicamente, Dilma continua sendo a presidenta da República até o fim do julgamento e, portanto, Temer não possui legitimidade pra formar um novo governo durante a sua suspensão.

A coisa é tão surreal que até Pedro Simon, companheiro de partido de Temer, se disse “chocado” com o comportamento de quem deveria respeitar a transitoriedade do cargo.

Esta era uma questão importantíssima para se debater durante o processo de impeachment, mas em nenhum momento virou pauta na imprensa. A cobertura do noticiário narrou todos esses acontecimentos acriticamente, com certa naturalidade, como se fosse normal um presidente interino alterar tão profundamente as estruturas do governo de uma presidenta afastada de maneira provisória.

Parece óbvio, mas não custa lembrar que, numa democracia, o que confere legitimidade aos governantes ainda é o sufrágio universal, não as pesquisas do DataFolha e os editoriais do O Globo. Não se constrói pontes para o futuro sem sustentação democrática. Ao que parece, a tão falada Ponte (de volta) para o Futuro do PMDB deu uma passadinha em 64 e estacionou nos anos 90, em Higienópolis, não é mesmo?

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The post O triunfo tucano na Ponte (de volta) para o Futuro appeared first on The Intercept.

Leaflet Prague Spring 2 Network for WSF in Montreal 2016

No to NATO - Κυρ, 28/08/2016 - 08:42

Read the leaflet prepared by the Prague Spring 2 network for the World Social Forum in Montreal August 2016: PragueSpring2WSF2016.pdf

Download the leaflet prepared by the Prague Spring 2 network for the World Social Forum in Montreal August 2016: PragueSpring2WSF2016.pdf

Statement on Ukraine

No to NATO - Κυρ, 28/08/2016 - 08:06

Dear friends for peace

As we agreed I forward this draft for an Ukrainian statement negotiated by participants at the Ukraine session at the Peace meeting in Warsaw 10th of July 2016.

Statement on Ukraine

We participants at the NATO Alternative Summit “No to War – No to Militarism – Yes to Refugees” are inspired by the reports from opponents of war in Ukraine. We demand an end of the systematic violations of human rights in Ukraine often directed against anti-war activists.There must be an end of the killing, sending to prison and silencing peace opnion by governmental or far right violence. We demand an end to selective defence of human rights and stress the need of addressing violations equally in any country.

We call especially upon support for civil society dialogue across the frontline in the Ukrainian conflict. This needs much more attention together with humaintarian aid efforts supporting all victims. Economic links and humanitarian contacts across the present-day frontline should be restored. War mongering interference of different kinds by foreign powers should be replaced by peace building!

Dear friends for peace,

As we agreed I forward this draft for a common declaration, where I tried to integrate nearly all of the suggestions that came up during today´s discussion. I did not find any adequat term to substitute “Truth”, which as it is used is not a philosophical term, but a scientific one the historians use all the time.

With many thanks for all your attention

in solidarity yours

Leo Gabriel

Proposal for a DECLARATION OF WARSAW

For all of us, participants from 18 countries in the counter summit against NATO in Warsaw, it became clear throughout these last days that NATO beyond its interventionist and somehow neocolonial goals has the ambition to become also a political force ready to dominate not only the military, but also the political world order.

The undersigned therefore are taking up this new challenge by launching a CAMPAIN OF HISTORICAL TRUTH in order to counteract the historic lies of NATO by revealing

– that NATO lied when it promised the dismantling of its alliance together with the Warsaw-pact at the end of the cold war;

– that NATO lied when it presented and still presents the war in the Ukraine as a consquence of the territorial ambitions of Russia when in reality it had prepared already before, together with the European Union, to break the constitutional order using forces from the extreme right of Ukraine;

– that NATO lies when it presents the upsurge of Al Qaida and the so called “Islamic State” as a historical accident, when in reality these terrorist forces owe their existence to the historic crime of an interventionist war of the leading forces of NATO based on the lie that the Iraqi government disposed of weapons of mass destruction;

– that NATO lies when it presents their operations in the Mediterranean Sea implemented in alliance with the European Union as a war against human trafficking when in reality it is a war on refugees

All these facts and many others more should be revealed counteracting the biggest of all lies which is telling that NATO guarantees world wide security when in reality it has become the most destabilizing force threatening world peace and the existence of hundreds of millions through their waste of money and resources, like it has been shown during the NATO-summit in Warsaw.

Warsaw July 10th, 2016

Signatures: Leo Gabriel Coordinator of www.peacinsyria.org Member of the IC of the World Social Forum

 

Please have also a look to the leaflet prepared by the Prague Spring 2 network for the World Social Forum in Montreal August 2016: PragueSpring2WSF2016.pdf

Obamacare’s Faltering for One Simple Reason: Profit

The Intercept - Engl. - Σάβ, 27/08/2016 - 17:05

There have been dozens if not hundreds of news articles about Aetna leaving the Affordable Health Care Act’s online marketplaces in eleven states, and whether this signals serious problems for Obamacare down the road.

But none of them have truly explained that what’s happening with Aetna is the consequence of a flaw built into Obamacare from the start: It permits insurance companies to make a profit on the basic healthcare package Americans are now legally required to purchase.

This makes Obamacare fundamentally different from essentially all systems of universal healthcare on earth. (There is one tiny exception, the Netherlands, but of the four insurance companies that cover 90 percent of Dutch citizens, just one is for profit.)

Why does this matter? The answer is complicated but extremely important if Obamacare is going to avoid collapsing.

Insurance companies like Aetna complain that fewer young people than anticipated are buying insurance on the exchanges. The Obama administration was aiming at over 38 percent of the exchange pool being between 18 and 35 years old, but right now that number is just 28 percent. That means insurers have to pay more in health costs for customers who are older and sicker than anticipated, making those insurers more likely to abandon the exchanges. So a big swath of the U.S. now has just one insurance company offering Obamacare plans, and one county in Arizona has none.

The failure of young people to sign up in expected numbers is connected to the weakness of the Obamacare mandate. The amount that people who don’t buy health insurance must pay in penalties started off very low, and while it’s increased, it’s still usually significantly less than the cost of even the cheapest plan on exchanges.

By contrast, in other countries with private health insurance, the government response is ferocious if you don’t buy the basic package. Switzerland will seize your wages to pay for the necessary insurance. If you get sick in Japan without buying insurance you have to come up with all your back premiums before your insurer will pay your medical bills.

It is, of course, technically feasible to set up something similar in the U.S. But it will never be politically feasible. That’s because there would, rightfully, be an intense political backlash if the government started garnishing our paychecks and sending the money to Aetna, whose CEO made $28 million last year.

In Healing America, probably the best book ever written about how different countries provide universal healthcare, T.R. Reid explains that functioning systems have a huge variety of characteristics but several “standard building blocks” — and one is that “financing healthcare must be a nonprofit endeavor.”

As Reid writes, other countries have made it work with many different kinds of healthcare providers — doctors can work directly for the government, as in the U.K., or not, as in most other rich countries. Hospitals can be for-profit or not. But no one has been able to create a viable system of universal healthcare based on citizens being forced to help insurance companies make a profit.

Moreover, the political ramifications of non-profit healthcare financing go far beyond making it feasible to have a strong individual mandate to buy insurance. It also is a key reason why such systems have much lower costs: “When Aetna or WellPoint declines to pay for a drug or a procedure, the money saved goes to enhance the insurer’s profit, not to pay for another person’s treatment,” Reid points out. “So people are less willing to tolerate cost controls.”

So either Obamacare will include a universally-available, non-profit public option — which in turn would likely eventually become the only option — or it will eventually expire. There is no third way.

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The post Obamacare’s Faltering for One Simple Reason: Profit appeared first on The Intercept.

Private Prison Involved in Immigrant Detention Funds Donald Trump and His Super PAC

The Intercept - Engl. - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 23:43

Geo Group, the second largest private prison company in the U.S., and a major player in for-profit immigrant detention, filed a disclosure this month revealing that it provided $50,000 through its political action committee to Rebuilding America Now, the Super PAC backing the presidential campaign of Donald Trump.

While Trump has not used his campaign to purchase campaign advertisements, an unusual dynamic noted by many in the campaign press, Rebuilding America Now has become his de facto paid media voice, with $2 million in recent anti-Hillary Clinton ad buys.

Trump has promised sweeping policies to detain and deport millions of undocumented immigrants, a policy platform that he routinely references at rallies across the country.

“You’re going to have a deportation force, and you’re going to do it humanely,” Trump explained on MSNBC last year. He also called for tripling the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and ending birthright citizenship, a right enshrined in the 14th Amendment to the Constitution.

In its filing, Geo Group also disclosed that its PAC has donated to mostly Republican-leaning groups, including $45,000 to the Trump Victory fund, a joint fundraising committee between Trump and various state Republican Party groups; $50,000 to the Florida First Project, a new Super PAC backing the re-election campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; and $1,500 to the Southwestern Border Sheriff Coalition, an organization supporting sheriffs that backs tough immigration enforcement policies.

Geo Group operates several immigrant detention policies on behalf of the government, such as the Adelanto Detention Facility in California, a prison widely criticized for overcrowding and alleged medical neglect, among other complaints.

Geo Group has a long history of donating to politicians behind an enforcement-first approach to immigration policy. Though the firm claims that it does not attempt to directly influence immigration issues, the firm disclosed that it lobbied on the comprehensive immigration reform bill debated in Congress in 2013 and openly concedes in regulatory statements that immigration laws are central to the company’s bottom line.

“Immigration reform laws which are currently a focus for legislators and politicians at the federal, state and local level also could materially adversely impact us,” the Geo Group’s 2011 annual report, filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, states.

The statement specifically cited the “relaxation of criminal or immigration enforcement efforts.”

Earlier this month, in a move widely perceived as a response to a number of investigations and political pressure highlighting problems at private prisons, the Department of Justice announced that it would be phasing out use of such prisons by the federal Bureau of Prisons. The decision will impact firms such as Geo Group and Corrections Corporation of America.

But as The Intercept noted it is not clear if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency involved with contracting out immigrant detention centers, will follow suit.

Top photo: A guard escorts an immigrant detainee from his “segregation cell” back into the general population at the Adelanto Detention Facility on Nov. 15, 2013, in Adelanto, California. 

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The post Private Prison Involved in Immigrant Detention Funds Donald Trump and His Super PAC appeared first on The Intercept.

Sheriff’s Raid to Find Blogger Who Criticized Him Was Unconstitutional, Court Rules

The Intercept - Engl. - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 23:09

An appellate court in Baton Rouge ruled Thursday that a raid on a police officer’s house in search of the blogger who had accused the sheriff of corruption was unconstitutional.

The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals argued that Sheriff Jerry Larpenter’s investigation into the blog ExposeDAT had flawed rationale: the alleged defamation was not actually a crime as applied to a public official.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel comes after police officer Wayne Anderson and his wife Jennifer Anderson were denied assistance in local and federal court.

“I love it when justice is tangible,” Jerri Smitko, one of the Andersons’ laywers, told The Intercept.

“With that piece of paper it says that what they did was unconstitutional — that’s a great feeling because you’re holding it in your hand and it’s vindication for people that they intended to oppress,” she added.

The raid was sparked by the sheriff’s investigation into who was behind the anonymous blog that accused local officials, including him, of corruption and fraud. Through a blog and a Facebook page called “John Turner,” ExposeDAT used public records to show conflicts of interest.

The sheriff sought warrants when Tony Alford, a local business owner, filed a criminal complaint about the blog. On August 2, Larpenter and his deputies raided the Andersons’ house after they traced the IP address of the John Turner Facebook page through a warrant to AT&T.

The information AT&T provided, according to an affidavit, gave the sheriff an address and a name: Wayne Anderson.

The court found that the raid on the Andersons’ house was unjustified. “Anthony Alford, the supposed victim, is president of the Terrebonne Parish Levee and Conservation Board of Louisiana, and a public official,” the decision read. “Consequently, the search warrant lacks probable cause because the conduct complained of is not a criminally actionable offense.”

The ruling said that when applied to public officials, like Alford, the criminal defamation statute is unconstitutional.

Smitko said she now plans to go to the Terrebonne Parish Court and retrieve Anderson and his family’s electronic devices.

“I certainly believe that my clients have been damaged by this unconstitutional action,” Smitko said. “They’ve been deprived of their rights, and I anticipate that we’ll be meeting shortly to discuss pursuing a claim for damages against the parties involved.”

The electronic devices were being held for an investigation that was in the hands of the Louisiana attorney general. Now, the case is closed.

“We respect the First Circuit decision, we have no plans to appeal, and as far as the attorney general is concerned, the case is closed,” Ruth Wisher, press secretary for the attorney general, told The Intercept.

This week’s ruling comes after a tumultuous month of legal back and forth.

On August 5, following the raid, a post appeared on John Turner’s Facebook page. “Rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated,” he wrote, telling readers to “stay tuned.”

That same day, Judge Randall Bethancourt — the judge who signed the warrant ruled that it was within his jurisdiction to allow the search.

Anderson’s attorneys disagreed with the ruling but were initially unsuccessful in seeking relief. Arguing that their First-, Fourth-, and 14th-Amendment rights had been violated, Anderson and his wife sought intervention in federal court., asking for a temporary restraining order against Larpenter.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey denied the request.

“The judge could very well have erred in concluding that probable cause existed to believe that a crime was committed. But unless Larpenter lied to obtain the warrant, an error of law is not attributable to him,” Zainey wrote.

“I’m just very dismayed and actually aghast that this happened in the first place, and I am hopeful that our state appellate court will right the wrong,” Smitko told The Intercept after Zainey’s ruling.

While there have not been any new blog posts, the writer has taken to Facebook. On August 15, in a post that his since been taken down, the pseudonymous John Turner wrote: “Why is Sheriff Larpenter so angry about people exposing facts that are part of the public record?”

He went on to write a post similar in nature to his previous articles, outlining business ties among Parish officials.

Over the month of August, Larpenter had publicly defended his position. “They need to upgrade [criminal defamation] to a felony,” he recently said on local television station HTV10.

“The media come and all the different outlets, even our local media, wrote unsatisfactory accusations about me like, ‘Oh, they got freedom of speech. They can say what they want.’ Well that’s not true,” he said.

After the court of appeals decision, Larpenter told Houma Today, “we have to live with that ruling.”

On August 15, Larpenter was supposed to be honored for his service to the community by being inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame. The ceremony was rescheduled because of flooding.

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The post Sheriff’s Raid to Find Blogger Who Criticized Him Was Unconstitutional, Court Rules appeared first on The Intercept.

Konflikt um EU-Flüchtlingspolitik

Hintergrund.de - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 17:55

Merkel stößt in Prag und Warschau auf Widerstand –

Von HUBERT BEYERLE, 26. August 2016 –

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel ist auf ihrer Reise durch Mittelosteuropa in der tschechischen Hauptstadt Prag gestern mit einem Pfeifkonzert empfangen worden. „Merkel muss weg“, war zu hören und auf Transparenten zu lesen. Immerhin Dutzende Demonstranten waren zusammengekommen, um gegen die Flüchtlingspolitik der Bundesregierung zu demonstrieren.

Die Haltung der tschechischen Regierung in der Flüchtlingsfrage ist ebenso klar. „Wir können keinem System zustimmen, das auf verpflichtenden Quoten zur Umverteilung von Flüchtlingen besteht“, betonte Ministerpräsident Bohuslav Sobotka. Zuvor hatte er der Zeitung Pravo gesagt: „Wir haben hier bei uns keine starke muslimische

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Proibição do ‘burquíni’ funciona como propaganda do Estado Islâmico

The Intercept - Engl. - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 17:03

Fotos e um vídeo da polícia francesa emitindo multas a mulheres muçulmanas por violação da nova regulamentação local de mais de dez cidades da Riviera francesa espalharam-se pelas redes sociais na quarta-feira (24), gerando indignação e piadas por parte dos críticos à lei – que impede o uso de roupas mais comedidas por considerá-lo uma ofensa aos “bons costumes e ao secularismo”.

O tribunal administrativo mais poderoso da França, o Conseil d’Etat, determinou, na sexta-feira (26), que as proibições eram ilegais, mas o dano à reputação da nação já estava feito.

Let's stop pretending France is the land of "liberté" and "egalité" – when it allows something like this #WTFFrance pic.twitter.com/txSN4vw4In

— ?? Elena Rossini ?? (@_elena) August 24, 2016

“Vamos parar de fingir que a França é a terra da “liberdade” e da “igualdade” quando permite que algo assim aconteça”

L?i?b?e?r?t?é?, égalité, fraternité pic.twitter.com/QwzXfLBKFK

— Karl Sharro (@KarlreMarks) August 24, 2016

“Liberdade, igualdade, fraternidade”

Un dessin du Soudanais Khalid Albaih sur la polémique française du #Burkini pic.twitter.com/YSntEP3rAT

— David Thomson (@_DavidThomson) August 24, 2016

“Uma ilustração do sudanês Khalid Albaih sobre a polêmica francesa”

In my world, when men with guns tell a woman to undress, that's an extremely serious assault, not a secular value. #Burkini #WTFFrance

— Amy Lawton (@socialchangeftw) August 24, 2016

“No meu mundo, quando homens armados fazem uma mulher se despir, isso é uma agressão seríssima, e não um valor secular.”

Arrêté anti-burkini: une nouvelle photo de femme voilée verbalisée à Nice https://t.co/XRxe18g0WV pic.twitter.com/R3Q5bJoj7r

— L'Express (@LEXPRESS) August 24, 2016

“Parem com o antiburquini: nova foto de mulher com véu sendo multada em Nice”

Voici la vidéo des deux jeunes filles se faisant sortir de l'eau par la police à #Nice06 Sans porter de burkini… pic.twitter.com/NoY6i6V7bK

— Feiza Ben Mohamed (@FeizaK) August 22, 2016

Verbalisées pour un simple voile : la dérive des arrêtés "anti-burkinis" https://t.co/C8DVNAl12t pic.twitter.com/NOkIdO9s7i

— L'Obs (@lobs) August 24, 2016

"Madam i have to ask you to get off your clo…."
"Ah it is ok , i confused u w/ someone else" #France pic.twitter.com/NkMHZ6Lrln

— Ali Shoaib (@CoolGrumpy) August 24, 2016

“Senhora, preciso pedir que retire suas rou…” “Ah, não têm problema, eu a confundi com outra pessoa”

It’s like Martin Luther’s 95 theses, it’s so courageous. #nice06 #Burkini arrête, posted at every beach. pic.twitter.com/Nwjq3b2yIl

— carpetblogger (@carpetblogger1) August 23, 2016

“É como as 95 teses de Martinho Lutero. Tão corajoso. Postado em todas as praias.”

Mas as mesmas imagens foram recebidas com satisfação pelos extremistas que defendem que muçulmanos praticantes não têm lugar nos países europeus. Uma série de fotos publicadas pelo Daily Mail — mostrando policiais armados abordando uma mulher vestida com um véu, calça leggings e camisa de manga comprida em uma praia em Nice na terça-feira (23) — foram elogiadas pelo político holandês anti-islamismo Geert Wilders.

Fantastic.

Armed police order Muslim woman to remove burkini on packed Nice beach https://t.co/NmjWt5Y8Lw via @MailOnline

— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) August 24, 2016

“Fantástico. Policiais armados forçam mulher a remover burquíni em praia cheia em Nice.”

David Thomson, um jornalista francês que acompanha a atividade jihadista on-line, disse à Radio France que simpatizantes do Estado Islâmico nas redes sociais pareciam surpresos com policiais em Nice “criando propaganda em nome deles” e, dessa forma, criando o exemplo perfeito para o argumento de que a França humilha muçulmanos.

“Para eles, isso foi um presente divino”, disse Thompson. “A narrativa jihadista insiste há anos que é impossível ser muçulmano e praticar sua religião com dignidade na França;” O analista contou que minutos depois da publicação, as fotos se tornaram um dos assuntos mais debatidos na “jihadosfera” on-line.

“Essas fotos de Nice”, acrescentou, “vão alimentar anos de propaganda jihadista”.

A ironia, observou Thompson na semana passada, é que a vestimenta que foi banida, o traje de banho que cobre todo o corpo, conhecido como “burquíni”, é considerado indecente por teóricos islâmicos. Essas vestimentas, explicou, são o tipo de adaptação à cultura ocidental que mulheres muçulmanas nas colônias francesas no norte da África foram estimuladas a adotar.

"The body of the Muslim woman has always been a way for the French state to assert power over an entire population" pic.twitter.com/bgTqmkXiaP

— ????? ??????? (@Boutaina) August 22, 2016

“O corpo da mulher muçulmana sempre foi uma forma do governo francês controlar uma população inteira.”

Na quinta-feira (25), ativistas de um partido francês anticapitalista, o NPA, realizaram uma manifestação contra a proibição em uma praia em Leucate, cantando: “C’est aux femmes de décider: trop couvertes ou pas assez!” (“São as mulheres que decidem: cobertas ou nem tanto!”)

pic.twitter.com/e1JJ1mUEsX

— NPA (@NPA_officiel) August 25, 2016

Em Londres, manifestantes trouxeram areia para a Embaixada da França, em um protesto contra a proibição chamado “Vista o que quiser”.

NOW: #WearWhatYouWant beach outside French Embassy to say NO to controlling women's bodies #BurkiniBan pic.twitter.com/TSCBVCe7jf

— India Thorogood (@indiathorogood) August 25, 2016

“AGORA: Praia #VistaOQueQuiser na embaixada francesa (em Londres) para dizer NÃO ao controle dos corpos femininos”

Na sexta-feira (26), o Conselho de Estado explicou a sentença em que suspende a ordem emitida pelo prefeito de Villeneuve-Loubet, uma cidade próxima à Nice, alegando que os policiais excederam os limites de suas autoridades. A restrição do acesso de certas pessoas à praia, disse o conselho, ameaça liberdades fundamentais garantidas pela lei francesa, como a livre circulação e a liberdade de consciência, algo que só poderia ser justificado por uma ameaça grave à ordem pública. “Na ausência de tais riscos”, determinou a corte, “emoções e preocupações em função de ataques terroristas, incluindo os cometidos em 14 de julho em Nice, não são suficientes para justificar em lei a proibição contestada”.

Embora as autoridades de Nice tenham confirmado o incidente relatado pelo Daily Mail — e que pelo menos 23 outras mulheres foram multadas em 38 euros (R$ 138) esta semana — defensores da proibição do “burquíni” acusaram a mulher não identificada de participar de uma “provocação” armada.

Jérémie Boulet, membro do partido xenofóbo Front National, declarou que a mulher poderia estar tentando atrair as autoridades francesas para abordá-la por usar a vestimenta em um dia tão quente. Ele também sugeriu, de forma incorreta, que ela estava sentada em uma toalha quando foi abordada pelos policiais.

– Photo de bonne qualité
– Sans serviette sur des galets
– Habillée sous 36°
La provocation est réussie! #WTFFrance pic.twitter.com/ON7L1lauRt

— Jérémie Boulet (@BouletJeremie) August 24, 2016

Christian Estrosi, ex-prefeito de Nice e agora presidente regional de Côte d’Azur, publicou uma nota na quarta-feira (24) em que qualifica o comportamento de mais de vinte mulheres multadas por suas vestimentas como “provocações inaceitáveis” com o objetivo de “prejudicar os policiais da cidade”. Entrosi também alertou que as pessoas compartilhando as imagens da polícia emitindo multas às mulheres nas redes sociais poderiam ser processadas por colocar em risco a segurança dos policiais.

O vice-prefeito de Nice, Rudy Salles, declarou em uma entrevista polêmica com Razi Iqbal da BBC que as mulheres usando os trajes em questão para ir à praia devem ter sido coagidas a fazê-lo por radicais islâmicos.

ICYMI: interview with Dep Mayor Nice #rudysalles #burkiniban #france #islamaphobia @BBCNewshour @bbcworldservice https://t.co/7mr3d1uAFT

— razia iqbal (@raziaiqbal) August 24, 2016

“Entrevista com vice-prefeito de Nice”

Dep mayor of Nice defends burkini ban on basis of extremism. Mate, if you've got armed police ordering women to strip, you're the extremist.

— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) August 25, 2016

“Vice-prefeito de Nice defende a proibição do burquíni devido ao extremismo. Amigo, se você coloca homens armados para despir mulher, você é o extremista.”

Uma agência de fotografias da França que adquiriu os direitos sobre as imagens contou ao jornal Libération que as fotos “definitivamente não tinham sido armadas, como alegado”, e que foram tiradas por um fotógrafo independente “que estava na praia por acaso” em busca de imagens da proibição sendo aplicada. Ele estava a aproximadamente 100 metros da mulher, quando observou a abordagem dos policiais e fotografou o encontro com uma lente teleobjetiva.

“O freelancer testemunhou a cena, que ocorreu às 11hs da terça-feira (23) e durou aproximadamente 10 minutos”, declarou em nota a agência Best Image. “A mulher recebeu uma multa e deixou a praia poucos minutos depois” Isso foi tudo que o fotógrafo presenciou”.

A especulação de que a situação poderia ter sido armada foi alimentada pelo fato do nome do fotógrafo não ter sido divulgado, mas o incidente ocorreu no mesmo dia que uma jornalista francesa, Mathilde Cusin, testemunhou algo ainda pior: uma mulher em Cannes sendo multada por policiais e hostilizada por curiosos. A mãe de 34 anos, identificada como Siam, contou à Agence France-Presse que recebeu a multa por sentar na praia com sua família usando um véu e calça leggings. “Eu não pretendia nadar”, contou.

Em uma entrevista para a revista semanal Le Nouvel Observateur, a mulher contou que ficou perplexa quando os policiais disseram que os frequentadores da praia eram obrigados a “vestir-se adequadamente”, de acordo com a nova regulamentação. Ao perguntar aos oficiais o que isso significava, foi comunicada que somente poderia permanecer na praia se concordasse em amarrar o hijab como uma bandana.

“Meus filhos estavam chorando por conta da humilhação”, contou Siam à revista. “Nem eu conseguia parar de chorar. Eles nos humilharam”.

Durante o impasse com a polícia, uma multidão de curiosos se aproximou. Alguns deles a defenderam, alegando que ela não estava fazendo mal a ninguém e não estava usando um “burquíni”. Outros, porém, dirigiram insultos racistas a mulher. “Eu fiquei chocada”, admitiu. “Ouvi insultos que nunca tinha ouvido antes, como “Vai para casa””. Siam, que nasceu em Toulouse e tem pais franceses, contou que alguém acrescentou: “Somos católicos aqui”.

“As pessoas exigiram que ela fosse embora ou removesse o véu. Foi muito violento”, Cusin contou à revista. “Tive a impressão de assistir a um bando perseguindo uma mulher sentado no chão às lágrimas com sua filha pequena.”

“O que mais me chocou foi que as pessoas, em sua maioria, tinham em torno de 30 anos, não eram mais velhos como se poderia imaginar”, acrescentou Cusin.

“No país dos direitos humanos, não vejo vestígios dos princípios de liberdade, igualdade e fraternidade”, disse Siam. “Estou indignada que isso pôde acontecer na França.”

Na quinta-feira, em entrevista em inglês à BBC, Siam disse sentir-se “uma estranha em seu próprio país”.

“Hoje, fomos banidas das praias,” contou em entrevista ao programa AJ+ da Al Jazeera. “Amanhã seremos banidos das ruas.”

This Muslim woman was forced to undress by armed French police. Social media reacted with #WTFFrance.https://t.co/RcC5mMIfX9

— AJ+ (@ajplus) August 24, 2016

“Esta muçulmana foi forçada a se despir por policiais franceses armados.”

“Somos mulheres. Somos adultas,” acrescentou. “E se o véu for uma opção pessoal, e as mulheres quiserem usá-lo, por que impedi-las?”

Foto principal: O texto de uma regulamentação que proíbe mulheres de usar trajes de banho que cobrem todo o corpo em uma praia de Nice, França. Tradução por Inacio Vieira

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BAE Systems Sells Internet Surveillance Gear to United Arab Emirates

The Intercept - Engl. - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 16:59

A Danish subsidiary of British defense contractor BAE Systems is selling an internet surveillance package to the government of the United Arab Emirates, a country known for spying on, imprisoning, and torturing dissidents and activists, according to documents obtained by Lasse Skou Andersen of the Danish newspaper Dagbladet Information.

The documents from the Danish Business Authority reveal an ongoing contract between the defense conglomerate, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence A/S, and the Middle Eastern oil federation dating back to at least December 2014.

The contract describes an internet surveillance product capable of deep packet inspection — “IP monitoring and data analysis” for “serious crime” and “national security” investigations. That could include capabilities like mapping a target’s social networks and extracting personal information and communications from devices including voice recordings, video, messages, and attachments.

According to the company’s contract, revealing any details about the agreement could have extreme consequences for its relationship with the “End User,” presumably the UAE government.

In a written statement, BAE Systems said, “It is against our policy to comment on contracts with specific countries or customers. BAE Systems works for a number of organizations around the world, within the regulatory frameworks of all relevant countries and within our own responsible trading principles.”

The Danish Business Authority told Andersen it found no issue approving the export license to the Ministry of the Interior of the United Arab Emirates after consulting with the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, despite regulations put in place by the European Commission in October 2014 to control exports of spyware and internet surveillance equipment out of concern for human rights. The ministry told Andersen in an email it made a thorough assessment of all relevant concerns and saw no reason to deny the application.

According to Edin Omanovic, a research officer with Privacy International, this is one of the first tests of the commission’s new export controls, which are due to be updated next month.

“This comes at a crucial time, just before the European Commission is set to decide whether or not it proposes updates to regulations regarding the export of surveillance technologies,” he wrote in an email to The Intercept. “The fact that the export license was granted by the Danish authorities to the UAE, where human rights abuses are well established, and that this information was not publicly available, underlines why these reforms are urgently needed.”

“Without such safeguards, the current assessment criteria used by European governments to approve license applications will only serve as a rubber stamp,” he continued.

The disclosure of the BAE Systems deal comes after researchers from the University of Toronto’s Citizen Lab reported that a prominent human rights activist in the UAE was the target of an attempt to install potent spyware on his iPhone in an attack linked to the Israeli company NSO Group.

Human Rights Watch writes that the UAE “often uses its affluence to mask the government’s serious human rights problems,” which include arbitrary detention, torture allegations, threats to free speech, labor exploitation, and more. The UAE has led a systematic crackdown on members of the Muslim Brotherhood and other dissidents. Reporters have written about the UAE developing an emirate-wide surveillance program, while security researchers have uncovered weaponized malware attacks targeting Emirati activists and journalists.

And it’s not the first time the subsidiary, formerly known as ETI, has sold spyware to repressive regimes. Before being acquired by BAE Systems, the company sold surveillance equipment to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Information previously reported, as well as the corrupt Zine El Abidine Ben Ali regime in Tunisia prior to the Arab Spring uprisings.

Following Bloomberg’s exposé on the sale to Ben Ali and the acquisition by BAE Systems, representatives from BAE told a Danish documentarian, Mads Ellesøe, that the company has since “enhanced” the subsidiary’s export control process to comply with its human rights policies — drawing the new sale to the UAE into question.

A spokesperson for BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, also known as BAE Systems Detica, said in an emailed statement that “Since acquiring ETI in March 2011, we have enhanced its processes including introducing the BAE Systems Code of Conduct and associated policies on ethical conduct which are now integrated into the processes that govern all aspects of the day-to-day business. … BAE Systems Detica has instituted a further formal process, governed through a business conduct committee, which assesses relevant opportunities on the basis of responsible trading risks, ethical concerns and reputational risks.”

Some surveillance companies have suffered after being exposed for selling equipment to repressive regimes, like Hacking Team — the Italian firm whose internal emails were leaked last summer. Hacking Team also sold spyware to the UAE, reportedly to help the government spy on pro-democracy activists. However, Hacking Team may be bouncing back, as it’s due to present new “cutting edge” surveillance tools at the trade surveillance show ISS Latin America in October.

The U.S. government’s National Security Agency hosts some of the top hackers and surveillance tools in the world, capable of “touching” more of the internet than Google through deep packet inspection. Its XKeyscore program, first revealed by The Guardian, feeds off of a truly massive stream of worldwide online traffic from the backbone of the internet and automatically analyzes and inspects that traffic as it flows in.

Top photo: U.K. Prime Minister Gordon Brown visits the London offices of BAE Systems Detica, now BAE Systems Applied Intelligence, in 2009.

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Democratic Pundits Downplay Serious Ethical Issues Raised by the Clinton Foundation

The Intercept - Engl. - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 16:16

The Associated Press story this week revealing that as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton frequently met with donors to the Clinton Foundation, set off a firestorm in the media. Many Democrats and sympathetic pundits are criticizing the article — and have made the sweeping claim that, contrary to many deeply reported investigations, there is no evidence that well-heeled backers of the foundation received favorable treatment from the State Department.

While there are some legitimate criticisms of the AP story — its focus, for instance, on a Nobel Peace Prize winner meeting with Clinton distracts from the thesis of the piece — it is nonetheless a substantive investigation based on calendars that the State Department has fought to withhold from the public. The AP took the agency to court to obtain a partial release of the meeting logs. Other commentators took issue with a tweet promoting the AP piece, which they said might confuse readers because the AP story reflected private sector meetings, not overall meetings.

But in challenging the overall credibility of the AP story, Clinton surrogates and allies are going well beyond a reasoned critique in an effort to downplay the serious ethical issues raised by Clinton Foundation activities.

One frequent line of attack heard this week is that stories concerning the Clinton Foundation, at best, only reveal that some foundation donors received help at the State Department with visa problems:

  • Vox writer Matthew Yglesias argued that “however many times they take a run” at the Clinton Foundation, journalists “don’t come up with anything more scandalous than the revelation that maybe billionaire philanthropists have an easier time getting the State Department to look into their visa problems than an ordinary person would.” The Vox piece was circulated widely by the Clinton campaign.
  • ThinkProgress editor Adam Peck wrote that “aside from an occasional assist with acquiring a visa, or meeting with executives from a cosmetics company to talk about ways to curb gender-based violence in South Africa,” there were no “shady dealings” conducted by the Clinton Foundation. He added, “If Hillary Clinton was abusing the power of her office by running an international multi-million dollar pay-for-play scheme, she did a lousy job of it.”
  • DailyKos writer Mark Sumner, in a piece shared by Blue Nation Review, a website owned by Clinton campaign operative David Brock, claimed that “extensive reviews haven’t found any evidence — any evidence — that [the Clinton Foundation] affected a single action at the State Department.”

The assertions above obscure the problems unearthed through years of investigative reporting on the foundation. Journalist David Sirota, who has reported extensively on the Clinton Foundation, rounded up a sample of the stories that provide a window into Clinton Foundation issues:

  • The Washington Post found that two months after Secretary Clinton encouraged the Russian government to approve a $3.7 billion deal with Boeing, the aerospace company announced a $900,000 donation to the Clinton Foundation.
  • The Wall Street Journal found that Clinton made an “unusual intervention” to announce a legal settlement with UBS, after which the Swiss bank increased its donations to, and involvement with, the Clinton Foundation.
  • The New York Times reported that a Russian company assumed control of major uranium reserves in a deal that required State Department approval, as the chairman of the company involved in the transaction donated $2.35 million to the Clinton Foundation.

The Intercept has also reported on the Clinton Foundation and the conduct of the State Department under Clinton. Leaked government documents obtained by The Intercept revealed that the Moroccan government lobbied Clinton aggressively to influence her and other officials on the Moroccan military occupation of Western Sahara, which holds some of the world’s largest reserves of phosphate, a lucrative export for the kingdom.

As part of its strategy for influence, the Moroccan government and companies controlled by the kingdom donated to the Bill Clinton presidential library, the Clinton Foundation, and hired individuals associated with the Clinton political network. Despite a statement by the Obama administration that suggested it would reverse the previous Bush administration support for the Moroccan government and would back a U.N.-negotiated settlement for the conflict in Western Sahara, Clinton announced there would be “no change” in policy — and has gone on to praise the Moroccan government’s human rights record.

As recently as Monday, we learned that after being denied an official meeting with the State Department, Peabody Energy, the worlds largest coal company, used a consultant who donated heavily to the Clinton Foundation to back channel and attempt to set up a meeting with Clinton via her aide Huma Abedin. The consultant, Joyce Aboussie, wrote that “It should go without saying that the Peabody folks” reached out to her because of her “relationship with the Clinton’s [sic].”

Peabody and Aboussie have declined to comment, and it is unclear if the meeting took place.

There may be many other potential influence-peddling stories, but the State Department has not released all of the emails from Clinton’s private server and other meeting log documents, while redacting identifying information that could shed light on other stories. For example, Mother Jones and The Intercept have reported that Clinton used the State Department to promote fracking development across the globe, and in particular her agency acted to benefit particular companies such as a Chevron project in Bulgaria and ExxonMobil’s efforts in Poland. Both ExxonMobil and Chevron are major donors to the Clinton Foundation.

The release of more meeting log documents and emails would certainly reveal a better picture of potential influence.

In further criticizing the AP, Yglesias wrote on Thursday that the Clinton Foundation faces a double standard and that similar charitable groups set up by Republicans were not criticized closely by the press. In fact, Democrats and media figures roundly criticized the public interest foundations set up by Republicans and funded by lobbyists and special interest groups, including nonprofit organizations affiliated with Newt Gingrich and George W. Bush.

Earlier this year, in similar fashion to the questions raised about the Clinton Foundation, Democrats in Arizona raised influence peddling concerns regarding the reported $1 million donation from the Saudi Arabian government to the McCain Institute for International Leadership, a nonprofit group closely affiliated with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. As chairman of the Armed Services Committee, McCain oversees a range of issues concerning Saudi Arabia, including arms sales. But none of the pundits rushing to the defense of the Clinton Foundation defended McCain.

In fact, the more Clinton’s allies have worked to defend big money donations to the Clinton Foundation, the more closely they resemble the right-wing principles they once denounced.

In one telling argument in defense of the Clinton Foundation, Media Matters, another group run by David Brock, argued this week that there was “no evidence of ethics breaches” because there was no explicit quid pro quo cited by the AP. The Media Matters piece mocked press figures for focusing on the “optics” of corruption surrounding the foundation.

Such a standard is quite a reversal for the group. In a piece published by Media Matters only two years ago, the organization criticized conservatives for focusing only on quid pro quo corruption — the legal standard used to decide the Citizens United and McCutcheon Supreme Court decisions — calling such a narrow focus a “new perspective of campaign finance” that dismisses “concerns about institutional corruption in politics.” The piece notes that ethics laws concerning the role of money in politics follow a standard, set forth since the Watergate scandal, in which even the appearance, or in other words, the “optics” of corruption, is cause for concern.

Photo: Goldman Sachs Chairman and CEO Lloyd Blankfein speaks as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton applauds at the Clinton Global Initiative.

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Ventimiglia: „Solidarität ist hier nicht willkommen“

IMI Tübingen - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 12:29
Vor mehr als einem Jahr wurden die Grenzkontrollen zwischen Italien und Frankreich wieder eingeführt. Seitdem prägen sowohl Migrant_innen, die in Italien blockiert sind, als auch die starke Polizei- und Militärpräsenz in der italo-französischen Grenzregion das Alltagsbild an der Côte d’Azur. (…)

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Führen aus der Mitte

German Foreign Policy - Παρ, 26/08/2016 - 00:00
(Eigener Bericht) - Das Berliner Büro eines EU-weit vernetzten Think-Tanks warnt vor zunehmendem "Frust über die deutsche Dominanz" in den Mitgliedstaaten der EU. Die Bundesrepublik sei in den vergangenen zehn Jahren EU-weit zur unbestritten stärksten Macht geworden, heißt es in einer aktuellen Analyse des European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). Die "EU-Partner" müssten nun "entscheiden, wie sie mit Deutschlands Stärke umgehen". Manche äußerten Unmut, andere setzten darauf, "ihre Strategien an Deutschland auszurichten", und suchten nun nach Möglichkeiten, "um die Berliner Polit-Maschinerie zu beeinflussen". Kein Zweifel könne bei alledem daran bestehen, dass "Deutschlands politische Klasse" die EU weiterhin "als den bestmöglichen Rahmen für die Artikulation ihrer nationalen Interessen" betrachte. Während die ECFR-Analyse den Blick vor allem auf das Polit-Establishment anderer EU-Staaten richtet, stellt sich auch darüber hinaus die Frage, wie mit der deutschen Dominanz umzugehen ist, immer dringlicher: Berlin treibt die Militarisierung der Außenpolitik sowie Überwachung und Repression im Innern massiv voran - Maßnahmen, die der Kriegsvorbereitung dienen und alle betreffen.

US-Finanzministerium kritisiert EU-Steuerermittlungen scharf

Hintergrund.de - Πέμ, 25/08/2016 - 23:54

(25.08.2016/dpa)

In den Steuerermittlungen der EU-Kommission kann es für Apple und den amerikanischen Fiskus um Milliarden gehen. Kurz vor der Entscheidung schickt die US-Regierung eine ungewöhnliche scharfe Warnung nach Brüssel.

Die US-Regierung verstärkt den Druck auf die EU-Kommission wegen der Steuerermittlungen gegen Mitgliedsländer, bei denen es unter anderem um eine Milliarden-Nachzahlung für Apple gehen kann. Kurz vor der erwarteten Entscheidung zum Apple-Standort Irland kritisierte das Finanzministerium in Washington das Vorgehen der Brüsseler Behörde in scharfen Worten und drohte mit nicht näher beschriebenen Gegenmaßnahmen.

Die Kommission wies den Vorwurf der Amerikaner, speziell US-Firmen im Visier zu haben, am Donnerstag zurück. „EU-Recht gilt gleichermaßen für

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Embarreiramento de Marcelo Freixo e Luiza Erudina nos debates segue a lei, mas fere a democracia

The Intercept - Engl. - Πέμ, 25/08/2016 - 22:46

(este texto contém atualizações)

O que é, o que é o jogo em que o segundo colocado nas pesquisas de intenção de voto a prefeito fica de fora do primeiro debate realizado pela TV? A democracia brasileira. A brincadeira não tem nenhuma graça, mas foi exatamente o que aconteceu com Marcelo Freixo (PSOL), candidato a prefeito que ocupa o segundo lugar nas pesquisas no Rio de Janeiro, excluído no debate da TV Bandeirantes nesta quinta-feira, dia 25, pelos próprios oponentes.

Essa era a situação, pelo menos, até aproximadamente as 17h desta quinta-feira, 25, enquanto o Supremo Tribunal Federal votava sobre a manutenção da lei eleitoral. A maioria dos ministros defende que a lei não deve ser modificada, mas que candidatos já convidados pelas emissoras não podem ser vetados por seus concorrentes.

Procurado por The Intercept Brasil, Freixo comemorou o resultado do STF: “Toda a minha reclamação e a crítica que eu fazia à lei se confirmou, e o STF mostrou que estávamos corretos. É uma vitória, estaremos presentes nos próximos debates. Neste não será possível por questões burocráticas, não vai mais dar tempo. Manterei minha participação nos moldes de manifestação no Centro da cidade como havia marcado antes.”

Além de Freixo, no maior município brasileiro, São Paulo, sua colega de partido Luiza Erundina, empatada em 3º lugar com outros dois candidatos, também foi embarreirada. As duas situações são frutos de mudanças na legislação eleitoral que acabam beneficiando os interesses dos partidos mais fortes, ao custo de princípios democráticos fundamentais.

Segundo a nova lei eleitoral, para um candidato a prefeito ter presença obrigatória em um debate, seu partido precisa ter pelo menos dez deputados federais, e a presença de candidatos de partidos que não têm o mínimo exigido pode ser vetada pelos que têm lugar garantido no palco.

O que o trabalho de deputados que atuam na esfera legislativa federal tem a ver com a capacidade de um candidato agir no executivo em nível municipal?O resultado é que os votos de cidadãos dos demais estados e uma minoria de candidatos dos grandes partidos acabam pesando mais do que a opinião dos eleitores da própria cidade.  

O que o trabalho de deputados que atuam na esfera legislativa federal tem a ver com a capacidade de um candidato agir no executivo em nível municipal? Nem mesmo especialistas conseguem responder com clareza. Mas quem votou pela mudança, é claro, foram os próprios deputados.

Como se não fosse o suficiente, alguns dos mesmos deputados que votaram pela mudança hoje são, justamente, os tais candidatos a prefeito que fazem parte da lista VIP nos debates.

Luiza Erundina durante pronunciamento no Congresso.

Foto: Arquivo/EBC

Para entender a polêmica é preciso, primeiro, entender o que mudou. O texto da Lei 9504 foi alterado na minirreforma eleitoral presidida por Eduardo Cunha em setembro de 2015. Antes, para um candidato a prefeito ter lugar garantido nos debates, bastava seu partido ter apenas um deputado federal eleito. O critério era baseado na  ideia de que o partido do candidato tivesse representatividade política. A alteração subiu para dez o número de deputados necessários, isolando os partidos menores, mais novos ou com foco regional.

Fragmento da lei eleitoral que foi alterada na última minirreforma, aumentando o número de deputados federais necessários ao partido de um candidato.

Outra mudança fez com que o número de participantes nos debates fosse decidido em um acordo feito pelas empresas de comunicação com os candidatos obrigatórios. Para que algum candidato além dos obrigatórios seja convidado, é preciso que dois terços dos obrigatórios aprovem o número.

Mudanças na lei eleitoral permitem que os candidatos de partidos maiores definam o número de participantes de um debate.

O presidente do Tribunal Superior Eleitoral (TSE), ministro Dias Toffoli, diz que a lei “não promove a absoluta exclusão das legendas minoritárias dos debates eleitorais”. Ele afirmou que “os órgãos e os meios de comunicação poderão convidar todos os candidatos, independente do número de parlamentares que tenha (o partido)”.

Na prática, porém, a consequência da mudança é que, para definir quantos candidatos podem participar de um debate, precisa-se resolver um problema de lógica parecido com as questões matemáticas colocadas em provas escolares:

RESOLVA O PROBLEMA: A cidade de Maria tem 11 candidatos a prefeito. Sete deles são de partidos com mais de nove deputados federais no Congresso, por isso, sua participação em debates é obrigatória. Para definir o número de participantes em seu primeiro debate, a emissora de TV de João precisa que pelo menos dois terços dos participantes obrigatórios concordem com o total de convidados. Marcelo é um dos 11 candidatos e está em segundo lugar nas pesquisas eleitorais. Ele quer participar do debate, mas seu partido tem apenas cinco deputados federais. Pedro, Flávio e Antônio estão entre os nove obrigatórios, mas não querem sua presença. Marcelo conseguirá participar?

RESPOSTA: Não.

(Esta é uma obra de ficção, mas qualquer semelhança com nomes, pessoas, fatos ou situações da vida real não terá sido mera coincidência.)

A Associação Brasileira de Emissoras de Rádio e Televisão (Abert) divulgou uma nota pública defendendo que “na falta de consenso, rádio e TV poderão realizar debates eleitorais, bastando convidar todos os candidatos aptos e aqueles não aptos que julguem de maior representatividade”. A Abert explica ainda  que “essa escolha deve observar critérios objetivos, como o da posição nas pesquisas eleitorais”.

Segundo o presidente da Comissão Eleitoral da OAB-RJ, Eduardo Damian, a posição em pesquisas eleitorais não é um critério objetivo. “Por que um deputado bem ranqueado tem mais direito que outro? Um candidato pode liderar as pesquisas e perder a eleição”, explica o advogado, que foi chefe de gabinete do governo Sérgio Cabral (PMDB).

Para ele, convidar um candidato que não se enquadra na determinação da lei, mas é favorito nas pesquisas, é privilegiá-lo em detrimento dos demais: “Se os candidatos possuem os mesmos requisitos segundo a lei, uma emissora não pode convidar apenas um, o correto seria chamar todos”. Foi o que a rede Bandeirantes tentou fazer para o debate no Rio de Janeiro, que será veiculado nesta quinta-feira, 25, às 22h, mas não conseguiu.

O caso carioca ilustra perfeitamente a situação bizarra criada pela alteração da lei. Freixo foi barrado no debate porque três dos sete candidatos obrigatórios vetaram sua participação. A rede televisiva propôs, então, convidar todos os candidatos, mas parte dos políticos da lista VIP decidiu que já havia participantes suficientes.

Freixo tem 12%  das intenções de voto. Os partidos PSOL e Rede entraram na justiça com uma Ação Direta de Inconstitucionalidade (ADI) pedindo para participar dos debates em vários municípios.

Os ministros do Supremo Tribunal Federal votaram pela rejeição dos pedidos dos pequenos partidos, mantendo as regras como estão. Ao todo, foram abertas cinco ações por diferentes partidos, motivados por casos em várias cidades. O cientista político Leonardo Paz Neves, professor do Ibmec/RJ, considera essa uma consequência previsível para a minirreforma: “É possível predizer que o judiciário terá bastante trabalho para julgar o provável avalanche de recursos em função da insegurança regulatória”.  

Levy Fidelix também entrou na justiça pelo direito a participar dos debates.

Foto: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Outros políticos estão sendo prejudicados pela alteração da lei. Em São Paulo, além de Erundina (PSOL),  o PRTB também entrou na justiça pedindo direito de participação nos debates. “Queremos que a população conheça as propostas de todos os candidatos. O debate é uma ferramenta importante para isso”, defende o candidato da sigla à prefeitura, Levy Fidelix.

No Rio, os candidatos que vetaram a participação de Freixo no debate são Flávio Bolsonaro (PSC), Pedro Paulo (PMDB) e Índio da Costa (PSD). Todos pertencem a partidos que votaram a favor da alteração da lei.

Pedro Paulo conquistou 6% dos eleitores até o momento, mas  seu partido elegeu nada menos que 80 deputados federais. Já Bolsonaro tem 11% das intenções de voto. Seu partido, o PSC, elegeu 11 deputados federais, mas hoje possui apenas sete deputados federais em exercício. Entre eles estão seu pai e seu irmão, que votaram a favor da mudança. Índio tem apenas 5% do eleitorado, e seu partido tem 42 deputados federais. Ele mesmo, inclusive, foi um dos deputados de seu partido que votou a favor da mudança que, agora, o privilegia.

Marcelo Crivella (PRB), líder nas pesquisas de intenção de votos para prefeito do Rio de Janeiro.

Foto: YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP/Getty Images

Para Paz Neves, “o fato de termos um sistema que tende a privilegiar os partidos faz com que os candidatos ao executivo sirvam de cabo eleitoral para os candidatos ao legislativo. A mudança da lei irá na realidade reforçar esse laço na medida em que agora as campanhas para prefeito dependem da representatividade do legislativo”.

O primeiro colocado, até agora, na disputa a prefeito carioca é Marcelo Crivella (PRB-PR-PTN), que tem  27% das intenções de voto. Os deputados de sua coligação partidária votaram contra a alteração da minirreforma. Questionado sobre a situação criada, Crivella disse que, ao vetar a participação de Freixo, os três oponentes “não estão pagando mico, estão pagando um gorila”.

ATUALIZAÇÃO: O texto foi atualizado para refletir a votação em andamento no STF. Até o momento, a maioria dos ministros concorda em manter a lei, porém considerando inconstitucional o veto à participação de candidatos já convidados pelas redes de televisão.

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The post Embarreiramento de Marcelo Freixo e Luiza Erudina nos debates segue a lei, mas fere a democracia appeared first on The Intercept.

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