Archive for January, 2015


Current issue: January 2015

Cuba in from the cold; drugs companies’ hard sell special report; rise and rise of Boko Haram;Darfur: the trouble with UN sanctions; Turkey: farewell to post-Ottoman dreams, Romaopening; Central Asia’s shifting plates; US special report: the meaning of Ferguson, is Iraq the new Vietnam? Australia courts the Chinese dragon; India’s car workers fight for rights… and more…


“I detest what you write, but I would give my life 

to make it possible for you to continue to write…”

 Francois-Marie Arouet de Voltaire, Letters, 1770.

Maybe most Moslems peaceful, but until they recognize and destroy their growing jihadist cancer they must be held responsible. (07/01/15)

Big jihadist danger looming everywhere from Philippines to Africa to Europe to US. Political correctness makes for denial and hypocrisy. (10/01/15)

Saudi Arabia lashes a liberal blogger 50 times in public, despite widespread international outrage and calls for clemency from human right groups…


Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch, said on twitter that blogger and activist, Raif Badawi, was lashed outside a mosque in the Red Sea coastal city of Jeddah on Friday, (09/01/15).

Badawi is due to undergo 50 lashes every week after Friday prayers, which will continue for 20 weeks until his punishment is complete.

Amnesty International says Badawi, who started the “Free Saudi Liberals” website, was sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes on charges related to accusations he insulted Islam on the online forum.

He was also ordered by Jeddah’s Criminal Court to pay a fine of $266,000.

::: more @ AL Jazeera :::



Synthesis Report (2014) – IPCC

The Synthesis Report distils and integrates the findings of the three working group contributions to the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Fifth Assessment Report — the most comprehensive assessment of climate change yet undertaken, produced by hundreds of scientists — as well as the two Special Reports produced during this cycle.

Summary for Policymakers
SPM + Longer Report
Headline Statements
Quick link to report PDFs









“…Earlier this month, the British Broadcasting Corporation, which sees itself as still the best broadcaster in the world, gave a well-bred expression of fear. Peter Horrocks, who has just stepped down as head of the BBC World Service, said “we are being financially outgunned by Russia and the Chinese (broadcasters) … the role we need to play is an even handed one. We shouldn’t be pro one side or the other, we need to provide something people can trust.”

Horrocks was saying that people could trust the BBC; they couldn’t trust the Russians and the Chinese; but that the latter were now real competition.

The Russian broadcaster, Russian Today (RT) found that offensive. In a bad tempered exchange with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, RT’s presenter Anissa Naouai (who is American) said that her channel’s job was “closing the holes” in mainstream Western channels’ coverage — holes of misrepresentation, unchecked assertion and bias. She admitted – indeed proclaimed – that the Kremlin funded the channel: but it’s reason for doing so is that President Vladimir Putin “wants … Russia to be respected, mutually respected on an equal playing base, and he wants dialogue to prevail.”

RT has denied that it gets more funding than the BBC, and in a feisty reply to the charge, the broadcaster said that money did not account for its growing popularity; that is “happening because audiences around the world, including in the UK, have become inundated with the same talking points from the mainstream media and are looking for something fresh.”

But money isn’t the point. The Russian and Chinese English-language channels – RT and CCTV News – are provided by state broadcasters of the world’s two leading authoritarian states. The news and analyses they give to their own populations cannot do other than conform closely to the policies and priorities of the rulers of these states…”

::: click for piece in full + open access @ :::

John Lloyd co-founded the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism at the University of Oxford, where he is Director of Journalism. Lloyd has written several books, including “What the Media Are Doing to Our Politics” (2004). He is also a contributing editor at FT and the founder of FT Magazine.

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