Aung San Suu Kyi has effectively been barred from becoming Burma’s next president as the army, which ruled the nation with an iron fist for half a century, made clear it is still very much in charge.
The Nobel Peace Prize-winner, who remains the most popular political leader in Burma, has been trying since her election as an MP three years ago to cajole President Thein Sein into reforming a constitution which guarantees that the army retains an iron grip on power.
Her party amassed five million signatures to a petition demanding change to the constitution. But after convening a single meeting of all the major constitutional players, the President, himself an ex-general, refused to get involved any further. Now parliament has spoken, with a deafening “No”.
The head of the organization hosting a major Iranian dissident rally in Paris says the circumstances are ripe for regime change in Tehran, but Washington and other Western governments are standing in the way by legitimizing the regime of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei through nuclear negotiations.
Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran hosted a major rally on the outskirts Paris. This council is an umbrella organization including more than 300 Iranian opposition groups stationed across 24 countries.
Over 100,000 supporters joined the rally along with hundreds of prominent American and European dignitaries voicing hopes of regime change in Iran.
Mrs. Rajavi trumpeted a simple but aggressive message: “The religious dictatorship ruling Iran based on the doctrine of velayat-e faqih, or ‘absolute clerical rule’ serves as the stimulus and epicenter of the menace of fundamentalism masquerading as Islam in the region and the rest of the world.”
Western governments have made a mistake by drawing a distinction between Shiite fundamentalism and Sunni fundamentalism, and thinking that Shiite Iran can be trusted to confront the recent rise of Sunni extremism in Syria, Iraq and Libya.
This year’s gathering brought together a senior bipartisan figures consisting of former high-level U.S. officials and political players. Howard Dean, John Bolton, Bill Richardson and Newt Gingrich all took part in the rally, emphasizing on their real and passionate support for the Iranian democratic opposition. This also showed the variety of support this movement enjoys from very different perspectives.
The Paris rally is significant for its timing, just weeks before U.S. and other world powers face a June 30 deadline for a final nuclear deal. Mrs. Rajavi argued the deal will fail because Washington and its allies have simply doled out too many “concessions to Iran” that leave open its path toward a nuclear weapon. Under the terms of a framework agreement reached in April, Iran will still be allowed to enrich uranium at low levels, even as Western sanctions are eased. The only way for a deal to truly block Tehran from developing nuclear bombs, according to Mrs. Rajavi, would be to completely halt uranium enrichment, totally dismantle Iran’s nuclear sites and guarantee that snap inspections can be held by U.N. officials “anywhere, anytime inside Iran.”
The Iranian regime only responds to the language of power and firmness, Mrs. Rajavi said. Western governments are incredibly oblivious to this reality. The Obama administration and its European partners, she said, are responsible for triggering more aggressive and more militarized Iranian interference around the Middle East during the past year.
Mrs. Rajavi expressed outrage that U.S. and Europe appear to be trying to placate Tehran after years of aggressive posturing toward her own exiled organization.
Rajavi asserted if the NCRI were in power in Tehran, the group would break down the Iranian regime’s grip on the media and freedom of speech and hold free elections in pursuit of the establishment of a democratic government based on popular vote and the separation of religion and state.
“We want a pluralist system, freedom of parties and assembly,” she said. “We respect all individual freedoms [and] we underscore complete freedom of expression and the media, along with unconditional access by all to the Internet. “This is something that is completely attainable in Iran,” said Mrs. Rajavi.
A celebrated Texas-born hunter was crushed to death by a baby elephant in Zimbabwe as he tried to measure its ivory tusks for an American client.
Ian Gibson, 55, was a lauded figure among U.S. safari enthusiasts, who would commission him to slaughter prized animals near his home in South Africa.
On Wednesday, he was tentatively approaching the young bull elephant in Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley when the animal charged, and knelt on Gibson until he died.
Eleven million people were uprooted by violence last year, most propelled by conflict in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine and Afghanistan. Conflict and extreme poverty have also pushed tens of thousands out of parts of sub-Saharan Africa and Southeast Asia. Here’s a look at the international response to what has become the worst migration crisis since World War II, according to the United Nations.
In St. Petersburg, formerly Leningrad, an international mélange of Holocaust deniers, Hitler apologists, white nationalists and Russian ultra-nationalist met in March at the Holiday Inn. They pressed the case for Russian opposition to American foreign policy and American multi-racial democracy, they supported the rebels in the eastern reaches of the Ukraine, and they opposed the European Union. Jared Taylor from American Renaissance was the fourth speaker up. Notably, he said things from that Russian platform that he has not quite said from any American dais. As such, this Russian event may signal some changes among American white nationalists.
Taylor told the crowd that his family had been living on American shores for 350 years. But he preferred to think of himself as European; European “as much as you are,” he told the crowd of Russians, Finns, Greeks, Germans and Brits. He then described America as the font of evil in the contemporary world, spewing immigration, diversity, and worthless ideas” that were the “greatest enemy and murderer of authentic tradition.”
To understand what this small shift means, please remember that Taylor presented himself in his first book in 1990, Paved with Good Intentions, as a disappointed liberal who has finally “figured out” that black people cannot make it in contemporary white society. In the mid-1990s, he no longer positioned himself as a disappointed liberal. Instead, he insisted that the key to his future success is for white people to develop a case of explicit white self-consciousness. At the same time, he was working with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. At that time, Taylor was enmeshed in American whiteness, trying to bring it to self-conscious fruition, and hoping to turn the entire society over to white ownership, control, and, in the view of this reporter, racist depravity.
Now he is calling for, in his words: “We support a strong and sovereign Russia that defends its traditions against all attacks. We support a Europe of nations and of regions, each with its own irreplaceable traditions.” And for the United States and its so-called white European traditions, it appeared as if Taylor has given up hope of any American renaissance. Instead, it seemed as if Jared Taylor was throwing his lot in with the Russians.
Really a shame only two companies stood up on this. Anyway Brian Leber is a man I know. We did great biz together for many years. He walks thewalk on sustainable practices, using only post consumer precious metals and the cleanest sources for gems.
A link to his advocacy page.
He was the guy that had the first scientific analysis done on Chinese pet food out of his own pocket. Then he went to Senator Durbin’s staff and got him behind the first big public pushback on that product scandal. IIRC that was truly a trailblazing report, so many product issues followed of Chinese manufacture. Most recently Lumber Liquidators found out the hard way how deceptive practices are over there, and how hazardous it is to play the game like that. It’s telling a guy paid himself where the import officials failed so badly right here in the US.
Brian Leber of Leber Jeweler Inc. in Chicago, one of two companies in the jewelry industry that signed on to a statement asking the Angolan government to drop the charges against the journalist, said that he’s known de Morais for years and that they were pleased to hear that the charges have been dropped.
“It can be seen as a tacit acknowledgment that his reports of human rights abuses in the diamond fields of Angola have merit. This should strongly encourage the jewelry and diamond industry, who have largely remained mute throughout the entire trial, to seriously reflect on any role they may have played, either directly or indirectly, in the documented violence,” Leber said, adding that “In light of Rafael’s reporting, our industry needs to collectively admit the diamond trade has a long way to go before the phrase ‘conflict free’ truly lives up to its claims.”
The other jewelry company that signed that statement supporting de Morais was Tiffany & Co.
De Morais’s trial began in March but was pushed back twice, first to give his lawyers time to review additional charges brought against him on his first day in court.
The Pentagon said Thursday it would expedite delivery of 2,000 anti-tank weapons to Iraq to help security forces there combat the type of vehicle-borne suicide bombs that helped Islamic State fighters take control of Ramadi.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said that the AT4 shoulder-launched missiles are expected to arrive in Iraq as early as next week.
The number of weapons is double what was previewed just one day ago at the State Department, as the Obama administration scrambles to adjust its Iraq strategy in the wake of what it has characterized as a significant setback in efforts to push back the militants. A State Department official had said the weapons would be delivered next month.
President Obama, in an interview published Thursday, said that the United States has to”ramp up not just training, but also commitment” to Iraqi security forces and Sunni tribesmen in Anbar province, where Ramadi is the capital.
The Ramadi defeat, Obama told The Atlantic, “is indicative that the training of Iraqi security forces, the fortifications, the command-and-control systems are not happening fast enough in Anbar, in the Sunni parts of the country.” Anbar is Iraq’s largest province, occupying much of the western part of the country.
PARIS: The gap between the rich and poor in most of the world’s advanced economies is at record levels, according to an OECD study that also found glaring differences between men and women.
In most of the 34 countries in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development the income gap is at its highest level in three decades, with the richest 10 percent of the population earning 9.6 times the income of the poorest 10 percent.
In the 1980s this ratio stood at 7 to 1, the OECD said in a report. The wealth gap is even larger, with the top 1 percent owning 18 percent and the 40 percent only 3 percent of household wealth in 2012.
“We have reached a tipping point. Inequality in OECD countries is at its highest since records began,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria.
The fall of Western Civilization is but minutes away.
DUBLIN (AP) — A Northern Ireland bakery was found guilty Tuesday of discrimination for refusing to make a cake bearing the slogan “Support Gay Marriage,” a verdict welcomed by human rights activists but denounced by Christian conservatives in the British territory.
In her ruling, Belfast Judge Isobel Brownlie called the bakery’s cancellation of the order “direct discrimination for which there can be no justification.” The judge said the bakery was a business, not a religious organization, and therefore had no legal basis to reject an order based on a customer’s sexual orientation or beliefs.
She said the bakers knew the customer, Gareth Lee, was gay and they would have provided him a cake bearing a message that supported traditional heterosexual marriage.
The judge ordered the family-run Ashers Bakery to pay Lee 500 pounds ($775) and legal costs, which have run into the tens of thousands.
Northern Ireland’s Equality Commission pursued the lawsuit on behalf of Lee, who had ordered the cake for a gay rights event. Same-sex marriages were legalized last year in the rest of the United Kingdom but remain unrecognized in Northern Ireland.
Photographs showing a North Korean missile launched from a submarine were manipulated by state propagandists and the country may be years away from developing such technology, analysts and a top U.S. military official said on Tuesday.
North Korea, sanctioned by the United States and United Nations for its missile and nuclear tests, said on May 9 it had successfully conducted an underwater test-fire of a submarine-launched ballistic missile which, if true, would indicate progress in its pursuit of missile-equipped submarines.
On Wednesday, North Korea warned the United States not to challenge its sovereign right to boost military deterrence and boasted of its ability to miniaturise nuclear warheads, a claim it has made before and which has been widely questioned by experts and never verified.