Peers launch a scathing attack on the government’s War Crimes Immunity Bill

Peers in the House of Lords are giving the government’s controversial war crimes immunity bill a rough ride, with one peer describing it as “indefensible”. Another warned that it was among the worst pieces of legislation they had ever seen, while a third peer said it would put service personnel on a “different legal basis” to the society they defend. The Overseas Operations Bill aims to stop so-called ‘vexatious’ allegations being pursued against UK troops for abuse and even murder during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It has been championed by former army officer turned veterans’ affairs minister Johnny Mercer. Criticisms Former generals, veterans, human rights groups,…

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ACLU Warns a Domestic War on Terror Could Unfairly Harm People of Color More Than White Supremacists

Outrage continues to build as more evidence emerges about participants in the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which included members of violent white supremacist groups, including some who were on a terror watchlist. Leading Democrats, including President-elect Joe Biden, have called for new domestic terror laws to crack down on white supremacist violence, but civil liberties groups warn that law enforcement agencies already have the powers they need to disrupt violent far-right groups and that new domestic terrorism laws will ultimately harm marginalized groups. “We cannot find our solutions in systems that ultimately harm us, particularly Black and Brown people,” says Manar Waheed, senior legislative and…

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Judge’s ruling in Assange’s extradition case could be seen as a declaration of war on journalists

On 4 January 2021, judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange shouldn’t be extradited to the US. Her decision was based on the likelihood that Assange would take his own life once incarcerated in the merciless US supermax prison system. However, Baraitser refused bail for Assange, arguing he could abscond while awaiting an appeal by the prosecution. But there’s been scant attention to the implications of the bulk of Baraitser’s ruling, which equates to a ringing endorsement of the US prosecution case. Attack on journalists Regarding Baraitser’s ruling, UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer commented: I am gravely concerned that the [Baraitser] judgement confirms the…

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John le Carré (1931-2020) on the Iraq War, Corporate Power, the Exploitation of Africa & More

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: John le Carré was the pen name for David Cornwell. He died on December 12th at the age of 89. Let’s go back to that conversation with John le Carré in 2010. I interviewed him with Democracy Now!’s Denis Moynihan. AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. We are on the road in London, just along the Thames, not far from Parliament, not far from MI5 and MI6, the international and domestic spy agencies here, so it is most relevant to bring you John le Carré, this hour we…

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“The United States of America Has Gone Mad”: John le Carré on Iraq War, Israel & U.S. Militarism

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.AMY GOODMAN: In this special broadcast, we spend the hour remembering the world-renowned British novelist John le Carré. He died on December 12th at the age of 89. Le Carré was a master writer of spy novels, in a career that spanned more than half a century. He worked in the British Secret Service from the late 1950s until the early '60s, at the height of the Cold War, which was the topic of his early novels. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, became an international best-seller. Le Carré's gritty depiction…

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Thousands are facing famine in Yemen due to continuing war and lack of foreign aid

Thousands of people in Yemen are on the brink of famine, as a shortfall in aid donations leaves them without secure access to food. According to the Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), 13.5m people in Yemen are facing high food insecurity. From analysis during October to December, the IPC found that about 16,500 people are facing a “catastrophe” level of food insecurity. The IPC projected this to increase in 2021, leading to around 47,000 people enduring the highest level of food insecurity by June. The projection comes after Yemen received less than half the aid donations it required for 2020. This has led to criticism of the…

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Law Prof: I Nominated Ethiopian PM Abiy Ahmed for the Nobel Peace Prize. Then He Started a Civil War

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for ending the two-decade “state of war” between Ethiopia and Eritrea, with many hailing a new era of peace in the region. Just one year later, Ahmed’s military has displaced tens of thousands of civilians in an ongoing military campaign in the northern Tigray region. Thousands have died since Ethiopia declared war on the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in early November, and at least one massacre has been reported. Ethiopia has admitted federal troops fired at and detained U.N. workers in the northern Tigray region for attempting to enter areas they say are forbidden. Awol…

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In Blow to Drug War, House Backs Decriminalizing Pot as Voters OK Legalization Ballot Initiatives

We look at how the House of Representative voted Friday to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level and “address the devastating injustices caused by the War on Drugs,” as voters in Arizona and New Jersey approved ballot measures in November that legalize the possession and use of recreational marijuana for adults aged 21 and up. Oregon also became the first state to decriminalize low-level drug possession while legalizing the recreational use of psychedelic mushrooms under Measure 110. Ronald Newman, national political director for the American Civil Liberties Union, says the overall trend toward undoing the drug war is positive. “We are developing a collective consensus that we need…

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Former PM says Boris Johnson will spark ‘economic war’ if he fails to get Brexit deal

The UK will face an “economic war” with Europe and America if Boris Johnson fails to negotiate a Brexit deal, Gordon Brown has warned. The former prime minister said Johnson’s confrontational approach will make him the “most isolated prime minister in peacetime history” in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Negotiations between British and EU negotiators are set to resume today, 6 December, in Brussels in an attempt to secure a post-Brexit trade deal. “A path of confrontation” Warning of “huge international implications” if no agreement is reached, Brown said: We would be in an economic war with Europe that would cost us very dearly. Food, drugs and…

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Ethnic Cleansing Feared as Ethiopia Wages War on Tigray Region Amid Communication Blackout

The United Nations has reached a deal with Ethiopia’s government to allow humanitarian access to the northern Tigray region and start providing aid. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed launched military action against regional forces one month ago, setting off a bloody conflict and adding to the already alarming number of displaced people and refugees in the country and neighboring nations. Ethiopia has declared victory after announcing it took control of the capital of Tigray, but the Tigray People’s Liberation Front says they are continuing to fight. CNN senior international correspondent Nima Elbagir says what is happening Ethiopia is “a conflict over power that has descended into potentially a…

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