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Kalima On November - 20 - 2015







Good Morning Everyone and welcome to the 6th anniversary edition of Morning Blog.

I hope that when and if you have the time, MB will be the place where you will come to catch up with the latest international news from around the globe.

I will bring you the latest international news stories, breaking news stories, opinion pieces and human interest stories, hoping that you will find something of interest in each update.

MB is open to all 24/7, and I’ll have my updates posted by 3 am PST and 6 am EST in the morning. You can read or comment at any time during your day or night.

Please drop by anytime, you are always welcome here. Looking forward to meeting you in your mornings, afternoons and evenings. Enjoy, and thank you for stopping by to read.

Written by Kalima

Long time resident of Tokyo --- "Where is this woman I once knew so well? Memories fading or hurtling by like a howling wind at a speed I can't fathom or define. A star hangs like a teardrop from her eye, quivering but never falling. I search the empty corridors of my soul in hopes of catching just another glimpse of who she once presumed herself to be. Where is this woman who trod with such certainty, where is she now? I mourn her passing as another dawn breaks in my restless heart."

247 Responses so far.

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  1. Kalima says:

    Well, 3 more days to go. Won’t be easy, but neither is your upcoming election. Be brave, you can do this.

    See you after I get back.

    Peace and justice always.

    Take care gentle souls and be well.

    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, hope your trip goes very well!

      There’s a whole Planet that will miss you while you’re gone…and celebrate you when you return!

      Take care of yourself too, have safe and comfortable travels. We’ll be looking forward so much to your return. And as a homecoming gift, we will end the election and discard Trump to the trash heap of losers while you’re gone so you can come home to a clean house!

      We’ll miss you big time! Hurry back!

      • Kalima says:

        Thanks AdLib, I will miss all of you too as I slog along in the cold November days.

        If you could banish trump and his contingent of frothing haters, the world will thank you, and it will be one of the bestest Christmas presents ever. I won’t have internet connection during the election, but I plan to do a lot of praying.

        Do you think the hacker bots will miss me too? Maybe. They seem to enjoy coming back for some of the same.

        Take care and sorry to leave you with all the work. See you mid November unless we take the wrong turn and end up in Siberia. Never know, I’ve spoken my mind about Putin without restraints very often here.

  2. Kalima says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    With less than a month left before we return to England, planning is well on the way. Tiring but will be meaningful after our journey back to Tokyo.

    Have a good day wherever you may be. Take care, be safe, stay cool/warm and comfy.

    Sayonara from my evening corner of Tokyo. Mata ne.


    The cat man of Aleppo -- BBC News


    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Japan urged to ratify climate change accord before November deadline



    Japan, U.S. to sign pact limiting SOFA coverage of U.S. base workers



    Fire destroys Fukushima nuclear disaster evacuee housing



    Why Are Chinese tourists so badly behaved?




    Olympic parade



    Jeremy Corbyn promotes women and ethnic minority MPs to build ‘most diverse shadow Cabinet ever’
    The Labour leader is rebuilding his top team after a series of resignations



    The Tories lurch left and right without a clue where they really stand
    Gaby Hinslif

    Theresa May’s response to Brexit has taken ministers beyond their comfort zones. And that’s an opportunity for their opponents



    Fracking is not the answer to the question of how we power our nation
    Overturning the ban imposed by local councillors on fracking in Lancashire isn’t in the national interest



    Poland’s parliament rejects near-total ban on abortion after protests

    Proposals that would have limited terminations to cases where mother’s life is in danger rejected by 352 votes to 58



    Latest on Hurricane Matthew



    What About the Planet?

    Why is the media not raising climate change as part of the presidential race?



    Trump in Deep Trouble on Eve of Second Debate



    Donald Trump’s Slip in Polls Has G.O.P. Worried About Congress

    With Mr. Trump’s support plunging in swing states, Republican congressional candidates are faced with openly fleeing the nominee to save their own campaigns.



    NYTimes: Donald Trump’s Ventures Began With a Lot of Hype. Here’s How They Turned Out.

    Of roughly 60 ventures started or promoted by Mr. Trump, a third did not work out, a third had some success and some problems, and a third met expectations.



    ‘New York Times’ compiles a complete list of people and things Donald Trump has insulted on Twitter
    The newspaper began compiling the list earlier this year



    The 273 People, Places and Things Donald

    Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List



    Must have been trump before he started to tweet in the early morning.

    Giant Putin banner appears on New York’s Manhattan Bridge



    Hurricane Matthew: Hundreds dead in Haiti storm disaster



    UN envoy warns east Aleppo faces ‘total destruction’

    Staffan de Mistura offers to personally escort rebel fighters out of Aleppo to help save 275,000 trapped civilians.



    A Tale Of Two Cities: Satelitte



    Syria: Under Russia’s Fist

    We investigate the horrifying consequences for civilians under Russian air strikes in Syria.



    Syria’s war: The hypocrisy of US-Russian cooperation

    With no other military or political solution on offer, the Syrian conflict will nestle back into a disastrous stalemate.



    Syria conflict: Life under siege in rebel-held Aleppo



    Syria death toll: UN envoy estimates 400,000 killed

    Staffan de Mistura’s estimate, which far exceeds those given by UN in the past, is not an official number.



    Walking the streets of Istanbul, Erdogan’s crackdown lingers heavy in the air

    Erdogan has extended Turkey’s state of emergency by 90 days and the Turkish lira has fallen – I guess that’s what ‘normalisation process’ means



    Meet Turkey’s Assad supporters

    Even after five years of brutal civil war, members of Antakya’s Alawite community stand behind the Syrian president.



    White House rails against Israel’s settlement project in West Bank

    Obama administration warns that decision jeopardizes the already distant prospect of Middle East peace as well as Israel’s own security



    Gaza’s women flotilla ‘challenging Israel’s blockade’

    As the flotilla approaches Gaza shores, one crew member reflects on the journey.



    Attack on Niger refugee camp kills 20 soldiers



    Yazidis hope to rescue ISIL-held family members

    Yazidi families hoping to free relatives from ISIL fighters face grim prospects as the battle for Mosul nears.



    Pakistan adopts new law to tackle ‘honour killings’

    New legislation mandates life imprisonment of “honour” killers -- even if victim’s relatives forgive the murderers.



    Activity at North Korea nuclear site fuels test fears


    The final part.

    The Caliph -- Part 3: Decline


    How firearm-loving Maine could defeat the gun lobby



    In numbers: Has Britain really become more racist?



    What every New Yorker knows about Donald Trump



    How Ethiopian prince scuppered Germany’s WW1 plans



    How to make the perfect cheese scones



    The most beautiful libraries in America – in pictures



    2016 National Geographic Nature Photographer Of The Year: Animals in pictures



    Pictures of the day: 6 October 2016



    Best photographs of the day: Hurricane Matthew and Christmas toys

    The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including a Donald Trump rally and young Japanese Formula One fans


    • AdLib says:

      Hey Kalima! Love the NYT list of people Trump has insulted on Twitter! They left out though that the one most insulted is the American public…and Trump himself!

      Russia is truly evil under Putin, the happy collaboration with Assad in mass murder of innocent civilians is horrifying. And Trump and Pence praise him!

      Glad to see Corbyn is doing a great job in diversifying his shadow cabinet. I’ve been tough on him over Brexit but he deserves props for this.

      Sadly, it is the case that nationalism is spreading around the globe, including the UK and with it comes greater racism and hate crimes. Thank goodness Trump has sabotaged himself or it might have been a justified concern on election night if the US would collapse into a racist and sexist dictatorship-like nightmare or not.

      Your picture of the day reminds me of how much I love growing sunflowers…and living in the universe!

      Thanks Kalima!!!

      • Kalima says:

        Hey, great to find you here!

        As I always say, is there anyone left that trump hasn’t insulted?

        This was always Putin’s goal and the reason he jumped in so quickly to control the so called surrender of Assad’s chemical weapons. He’s firmly in cahoots with Assad and his killer squad. Posted an article recently about billions of Assad’s stolen money now in a Russian bank. The last thing I read was Russia threatening U.S. planes if they try to interfere.

        I think that Corbyn is finally finding his feet. He won the last Labour vote again by a landslide. Good for him, he’s a sincere man for a change.

        There were a lot of hate crimes when we lived in London. The skinheads roamed the streets until more bobbies were dispatched. Then the Tories and Farage built up the case against immigrants lying about them taking away jobs and living the good life on welfare handouts. All debunked by experts of course but the die was cast.

        Love sunflowers and eat the seeds. Such happy looking flowers that always look as if they are smiling to me. :)

        You are very welcome!

        • AdLib says:

          Kalima, yes, Putin’s seeming “peacekeeping” in Syria when Assad used the WMDs was very manipulative and calculated to protect Assad and pave the way for them to step in heavily and profit from it.

          Hate to say it, though I thought Obama was great to get the WMDs removed without force, turns out it only helped Putin and Assad in the end because they exploit peace and reason like the monsters they are. No question, we’re pretty much back in a Cold War with Russia, especially after the US has formally charged Russia with hacking our election.

          It may be that the Brexit debacle has had an impact on him, spurring him on as a leader. Sure hope so, we need for Labour to make a comeback and kick those Tories out of power.

          Farage is Trumpian level evil. And UKIP is in complete disarray now. What happens when the dog finally catches the car? It doesn’t know what to do with it. As Brexit continues to damage the UK’s economy, I think UKIP will continue to implode. But will the bigotry increase as the economy weakens? Afraid that could be the case.

          I’ve grown them a number of times, haven’t for a while but will definitely grow sunflowers again this next Spring! They are happy plants and I bake up the seeds when I grow them…mmm!

          • Kalima says:

            They’re so into peacekeeping that they bomb northern Kurdish towns and a UN aid convoy heading to help trapped civilians in Aleppo. I don’t believe for a second that Assad handed over all of his chemical weapons stash to Russia, or that Russia is there to only get rid of ISIS. Putin is a thief and a murderer, so they have that in common, and Russia has been waiting a long time to get a foot inside the ME. In the meantime, over 400,000 deaths, and 100 children dying every day.

            Who is winning? No one. Who is losing? The civilian population of Syria.

            The Tories escalated the immigration hate, while Farage massaged the egos of the Far Right and planned the f’up that Brexit leaves behind and is still to come for taxpayers and ordinary workers. Then the instigators and weak leaders step down to run away like the useless cowards they really are.

            Cheers for happy sunflowers!!

    • Nirek says:

      Hi Kalima.
      Climate change may well be the biggest problem the entire world is facing. Fraking is only making the problem worse.
      I don’t understand why people can’t see that we are destroying our habitat. Science has proven that man is destroying this planet with carbon.

      Are you returning to England permanently? Or is it a visit? Either way, enjoy yourself.

      • Kalima says:

        Good morning, Nirek. Of course they have been told how dangerous fracking is, but they are conservatives who care only about profits and not about the people whose health will suffer as a result of the fracking. The thing is that profits will take a long time, and by then the environmental damage will be irreversible. They don’t care. They don’t have to live there.

        We are just going for a week and it’s a duty trip not a holiday. I have to settle my father’s estate, and try to sell my house. Have to meet all his neighbours and friends, sort out his stuff and visit the double grave. Only have 4 days to do it in before we go back to London for our trip back home. Think I will sleep for the rest of November.

        Take care. Thanks for stopping by. See you.

        Peace always.

  3. Kalima says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    Sorry for the delay in posting new updates but I’ll just say that planning a first trip for the first time in 30 years, and being healthy the last time is not easy. Last time I was fully mobile. This time I’m not.

    Getting things booked on the internet was a week long nightmare. Hanging on hold when I called long distance at ungodly hours in my early morning, was responsible for many sleepless nights. Trying to fit in Herculean tasks in just four days will deserve an Olympic medal for endurance.

    Have a good day wherever you may be. Take care, be safe, stay cool, dry and comfy.

    Sayonara from my still hot and humid afternoon corner of Tokyo. Mata ne.

    In my last updates, I posted Part 1 of this very interesting documentary. Today I post Part 2:

    The Caliph -- Part 2: Division


    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    Prime Minister Abe criticizes North Korea for conducting fifth nuclear test



    Sakai puts park off-limits after finding high levels of hexavalent chromium, cyanide in soil



    Tokai nuclear waste reprocessing plant to take 70 years to dismantle: JAEA



    G-20 summit yields hopes for better China-Japan relations




    Paralympics open in Rio



    Poorest developing countries could lose up to £323 million per year without UK trade deals post-Brexit
    Poorer countries save huge sums due to their preferential access to the UK market



    For something half of the country didn’t even want, with the other half mostly not knowing what the EU was, now they are being robbed twice.

    Lawyers paid £33,000 of taxpayers’ money a week to advise Government on Brexit negotiations

    Department for Exiting the European Union spends an estimated £268,711 in eight weeks



    German church network shelters Afghan deportees

    The network of church organisations has helped hundreds of refugees to avoid deportation to dangerous destinations.



    Paris police arrest three women in connection with Notre Dame incident

    Interior minister says there had been a ‘race against time’ to catch the women after car packed with gas cylinders found near cathedral



    French Alps cable cars rescue bid resumes



    Conditions for Greece’s migrant children shocking, says Human Rights Watch

    They are being made to live in filthy, bug-and-vermin-infested cells, sometimes without mattresses or access to showers, claims report



    No wonder Putin pushed to interfere in Syria.

    WikiLeaks Release Excludes Evidence of €2 Billion Transfer from Syria to Russia



    Barack Obama says Americans will reject Donald Trump’s ‘wacky’ ideas



    Bernie Sanders fundraises for Senate candidates, plans campaign stops --




    We recommend Hillary Clinton for president | Dallas Morning News



    How many Trump products were made overseas? Here’s the complete list



    Donald Trump accidentally declares himself ineligible for the presidency



    The ugliest, most appalling spectacle in American politics



    Donald Trump Is Lying in Plain Sight

    The media applies an entertainment standard to the Republican candidate.



    Introducing a New Series: Trump and the Truth



    Trump and the Truth: Immigration and Crime



    ‘What is Aleppo?’ US presidential candidate stuns with ignorance



    Mexican finance minister steps down after helping arrange Trump visit



    Syria conflict: Government helicopters ‘drop chlorine’ on Aleppo



    Syria conflict: Senior militant leader ‘killed’ near Aleppo



    Aid groups suspend cooperation with UN in Syria because of Assad ‘influence’

    Exclusive: Coalition withdraws from information-sharing programme, saying regime is manipulating relief effort



    Losing ground, fighters and morale – is it all over for Isis?

    The self-styled caliphate has been in rapid decline since Turkey joined the war in northern Syria. But if the jihadis refocus their efforts on acts of terrorism in the west, victory may be short lived



    Saudi Arabia cannot pay its workers or bills – yet continues to fund a war in Yemen

    In Saudi Arabia itself, the government seems unable to cope with the crisis. The ‘Arab News’ says that 31,000 Saudi and other foreign workers have lodged complaints with the government’s labour ministry over unpaid wages. On one occasion, the Indian consulate and expatriates brought food to the workers so that their people should not starve



    Mugabe’s Zanu-PF ‘blocking food aid’ amid Zimbabwe drought



    Afghanistan: Taliban pushes into Uruzgan’s Tarinkot

    Senior officials abandon government buildings and flee to outer edges of Tarinkot, the capital of Uruzgan province.



    Australian boy wins ‘best dressed’ prize for Hitler costume



    Live North Korea conducts ‘biggest atomic test yet’ as Pyongyang hails ‘nuclear warhead explosion’



    Kim Jong-un bans sarcasm in North Korea fearing people will only agree with him ‘ironically’


    President Barack Obama Biography Years In White House



    Obama the Conservationist



    Life and death on the lost streets of Chicago


    Born a refugee: Syria’s war babies



    Mexican mother, American daughter: Did immigration pay off?



    This photo of an officer comforting a baby went viral. But there’s more to the story.



    The woman who discovered India’s first HIV cases



    Oscar Wilde’s De Profundis – one of the greatest love letters ever written



    How The Donald Got His Hair: a Just-So Story (with ‘pologies to Rudyard Kipling)



    Loved this!!

    This Gardener Regularly Grows 100-Pound Vegetables


    London’s lonely streets: moments in a silenced city – in pictures

    Street photographer Nicholas Goodden takes us on an urban expedition to map the subtle space between loneliness and solitude



    Pictures of the day: 8 September 2016



    Best photographs of the day: a baby rhino in Germany and a fashion show in New York

    The Guardian’s picture editors bring you a selection of photo highlights from around the world, including surfers in Japan and the Dalai Lama


  4. Kalima says:

    Those houses weren’t built to withstand earthquakes. Tragic loss of lives.


    Italy quake: Emergency declared as hopes for more survivors fade


    • Nirek says:

      Kalima, it is sad. Is Italy in an earthquake zone?

      • Kalima says:

        Good Morning, Nirek. Italy’s first recorded quake was the Pompeii earthquake in the year 62. Since then they have had about 75, so although they do have them, the last one was in 2009 when over 300 people died.

        Japan has them every day. Some you feel and some you don’t. If energy corporations keep drilling to deeper depths for profits, there will be more earthquakes in places and countries that have hardly had any in the past.

        We are expecting another typhoon here over the next few days. Never a dull moment.

        Take care and peace to you and yours.

        • Aquarius 1027 says:

          Hi, Kalima -- Thank you for the article, the earthquake in Italy was indeed tragic. That one aerial view certainly showed the dramatic difference in damages between the older and newer construction.

          As for those typhoons in Japan, my older daughter is in Tokyo now for one month. She was delayed a few hours leaving San Diego last Sunday because of the first one. She was so excited, they had just started non-stop flights between San Diego and Tokyo! After customs, she found out there were no trains available and she waited in long lines to get a bus. She said there were trees down across some of the roads.

          I just found the news a few hours ago about the second typhoon that may make landfall near Tokyo on your Tuesday. -- I wonder if Japan has a typhoon season like we have a hurricane season with the Atlantic Ocean.

          Stay safe with this next typhoon and hope it is not a strong storm. -- Take care. :)

          • Kalima says:

            Hello, Aquarius.

            Yes, our Pacific Typhoon season is from May to October, with the peak from August to the end of September. Some pack winds of 150mph and Japan experiences about 3 hits in a season.

            Early Tuesday has been given here too. It’s raining but the heavy rain and wind start tonight.

            We are safe as hubby comes back from work outside of Tokyo tonight by Shinkansen train. We always have enough supplies in case of any emergency. Thank you for your good wishes.

            Those poor people in Italy didn’t stand a chance. The buildings looked old and certainly could not withstand an earthquake of that magnitude. The problem with earthquakes is that you never know they are coming until the earth starts to shake, and for some unfortunately, depending on where you are, it can be too late.

            Thanks again for stopping by.

            Take care.

    • kesmarn says:

      This was such a tragedy for this town — which I gather is not all that easy for rescuers and supplies to get to. And then — as you in Japan know all too well — there were the inevitable aftershocks that interfered with people’s efforts to dig survivors out of the rubble. Really, really sad.

      • Kalima says:

        Yes, looks like the rescue team were being rescued when an aftershock sent up a cloud of dust where they were trying to dig in the rubble. I think it’s on the video in the link.

        As we know, there have been a few people who survived for days under collapsed houses, but it doubt that there are many spaces under these old structures. You would think that there would be more people and rescue equipment coming from surrounding larger towns and cities wouldn’t you?

    • AdLib says:

      It’s awful, Kalima. Apparently, a school that collapsed was supposed to have been retrofitted to be earthquake-resistant but wasn’t. I don’t know that Italy has taken earthquake safety very seriously despite the history of earthquakes there. Japan is just the opposite as is CA, blinding yourself to the certainty that a big earthquake will come is just crazy, the earthquakes will come anyway.

      Still, so sorry for all those who have been hurt.

      • Kalima says:

        Well somebody will be fired I’m sure but how will that help the dead and missing? Unless they make earthquake proofing a law, it will continue to happen. Here in Japan for many years now, you can’t build anything new without fortified specifications. Building our new house was an eye opener, our ward was very strict. At least we feel safer in this land of the shifting earth now.

        Yes, the videos coming out of the devastation are heartbreaking. They never stood a chance. Most of the houses looked to be built from stones and in some places there seemed to be very little holding them together.

  5. Kalima says:

    Good Morning Everyone!

    Still recovering from our Tuesday’s 37.8C temps.

    Today because of much unvalidated and unnecessary hate against Muslims and fear mongering about Islam, it would be beneficial to remember how we in the West have gained so much knowledge from ancient Muslim scholars and the meticulous information they discovered and recorded from cultures all over the world as well as in their own. We are by no means superior, and there would have been no maths, time telling as we know it, or many medical discoveries and medicine to cure the ills of millions without their documented knowledge. This is a wonderful BBC documentary and if like me you are sick and tired of hearing about trump, well worth spending the hour it takes to watch it. Thanks!

    Have a good day wherever you may be. Take care, be safe, stay cool and dry.

    Sayonara from my muggy, late afternoon corner of Tokyo. Mata ne.


    A few stories and opinions from around the globe.

    As Japan marks atomic bombings, Abe condemned for inaction



    Shikoku Electric fires up Ehime plant MOX reactor amid protests



    31st anniversary of JAL crash on Mount Osutaka remembered



    Body of last person missing in Kumamoto quake likely found



    Japan, Philippines urge China to respect law for Asian stability




    Golden girl



    Farage’s fascist past? Nigel boasted about his NF initials and sang ‘gas them all’, claims schoolfriend

    Exclusive: ‘I knew you – I remember your interest in the National Front. I want the nation to see you as I do.’ New claims of former Ukip leader’s ‘dark’ past



    There’s a huge sign of a looming Brexit jobs disaster



    David Cameron accused of taking ‘cronyism’ to new heights as full resignation honours list is revealed

    George Osborne is one of several people close to the former Prime minister to be awarded honours



    Dual nationals who fight for terror groups to be stripped of German citizenship



    Russia and Ukraine step up security amid tension over Crimea

    Putin boosts ‘anti-terror’ measures at Ukraine frontier with annexed Crimea as Poroshenko puts troops on combat alert



    The Sanders movement is only just beginning



    Emails Renew Questions About Clinton Foundation and State Dept. Overlap



    From Refugee Camps To The Statehouse: Two Groundbreaking Primary Victories In Minnesota.

    Fue Lee and Ilhan Omar both spent time in refugee camps.



    BREAKING: North Carolina’s Racial Gerrymander Struck Down



    NYTimes: The Millions of Americans Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton Barely Mention: The Poor

    While their economic platforms are markedly different, both candidates promise to create jobs but have said little about helping people while they are not working.



    Donors for Bush, Kasich and Christie Are Turning to Clinton More Than to Trump



    My son was murdered in a mass attack. Trump’s talk of gun violence horrifies me

    As the father of a student shot and killed in California, Trump’s callous comments about Clinton and others make him at best incompetent – and at worst ev


    A must read! Explains trump as far back as 2007.

    Even under oath, Trump struggled with the truth



    Is a Crook Hiding in Donald Trump’s Taxes?



    Trump and Putin: A Love Story



    This campaign could get worse — a lot worse. Here’s why



    Pieces of Silver by Paul Krugman

    Why the G.O.P. establishment still backs Trump.



    An Even Stranger Donald Trump

    Mr. Trump’s latest unfounded charge, that President Obama and Hillary Clinton are linked to ISIS, further fuels his supporters’ rage.



    Inside Donald Trump’s Meltdown



    Canada extremist Aaron Driver ‘was planning attack’



    Rio chefs use leftover Olympic food to feed the poor



    Syria conflict: Footage shows ‘chlorine attack’ aftermath



    Fighting rages in Aleppo despite Russian lull pledge

    No sign of aid windows promised by Russia as clashes between army and rebels continue in southern Aleppo.



    Syria conflict: ‘Russian air strikes’ cut water supply to IS capital Raqqa



    Isis ranks dwindle to 15,000 amid ‘retreat on all fronts’, claims Pentagon

    Top commander says Islamic State thought to have lost 45,000 combatants in Iraq and Syria, with many of those remaining ill prepared for battle



    Isis has not radicalised young Muslims, it has infantilised them – and that is why it is so powerful and dangerous

    Isis has broken down the precious wall which separates childhood from adulthood, innocence from guilt. This, far more than mass murder, is its final dark achievement



    Netanyahu slammed for claiming to care for Palestinians

    Israeli PM said on Thursday that he cares more about the Palestinian people than their leaders do.



    Gaza Happy video: Two years later, the joy has faded

    The light-hearted video was meant to show another side of Gaza, but the territory’s crisis only deepened amid 2014 war.



    Reports of family violence widespread amid despair of Nauru detention

    Nauru files cite several examples of allegations of domestic violence and child abuse by people held on island



    Four killed and at least 20 injured in string of explosions in southern Thailand


    Part 1 of a recommended three part documentary from aljazeera.

    The Caliph


    Fears about Muslim refugees settling in the American West



    Why does Wisconsin send so many black people to jail?



    Cultural Revolution: A People’s History 1962-1976 by Frank Dikotter – review

    A timely reminder of the human cost and miscalculations of Mao’s last experiment, fifty years on


    The women who never leave home

    Israel’s mysterious Druze women are beginning to open their craft circles, kitchens and homes to travellers.



    Baghdad’s oldest street a reminder of Iraq diversity



    Ebola crisis: Pregnant women in Guinea still avoid hospital



    A girl was found dead in a landfill 49 years ago. She has finally been identified.



    Pictures of the day: 11 August 2016



    Best photographs of the day: white lion cubs and wildfires in France


    • kesmarn says:

      Good evening/morning, Kalima! At last — a moment to sit down and respond to this great collection of news stories on Morning Blog.

      I’m hoping you and the rest of Tokyo get a break from this heat wave in the near future. We had a batch of the same weather and it was really miserable. Things are a bit cooler now — but also very rainy. A much needed break, but it still feels “swampy”!

      I just have to start out by saying how much I loved the BBC documentary on the historical role of Islam as a sort of curator of history, culture and learning over the centuries. If it weren’t for Islamic civilization’s conscientious efforts to preserve the learning of earlier eras (including Greek philosophy, medicine and math) we might just be emerging from the dark ages even as we speak! Thanks so much for linking to the film.

      But — going from the sublime to the ridiculous — then we have Nasty Nigel Farage of Britain. With his unenviable history going back to early adolescence of being a racist bigot. To hear him speak now, you’d think he was still 12 years old, trying to shock his classmates and teachers with his absurd babbling. In fact, his recent speech at the EU Conference sounded just like a junior high student cackling over a perceived temporary victory: “You laughed at me before; but you’re not laughing now!” Really, Nigel. Grow up.

      And then we have another adolescent with delusions of grandeur — David Cameron. Nothing like raiding the bank and the PM’s little box of medals and trinkets to reward every lackey who functioned as one of his enablers while he demolished the British economy. Even public relations hacks are suddenly worthy of the Order of the British Empire — as long as David doesn’t have to pay for any of it.

      On a happier note — some more mature (and more optimistic) reflection on the fact that the Sanders campaign ideals live on in the continuing movement that he’s supporting. A movement that will encourage young progressives to run for office, be active in their local communities and engage in public service. Long after November, those ideals will shine on, thanks to Bernie. He’s left an enduring mark in history.

      I thought Robert Reich had a very interesting comment on the latest developments with the Clinton email story, so I’ll include it here:

      This is the kind of thing I worry about. And it didn’t even come via wikileaks. It’s from the State Department.

      A new batch of emails released yesterday by the Department shows sometimes overlapping interests between the Clinton Foundation and the State Department when Hillary served as secretary of state, raising new questions about whether the Foundation rewarded its donors with access and influence at the Department. In one such communication, a Clinton Foundation executive in 2009 sought to put a billionaire donor in touch with the United States ambassador to Lebanon because of the donor’s interests there. In another, the Foundation appeared to push aides to Mrs. Clinton to help find a job for a Foundation associate. Her aides indicated that the department was working on the request.

      The State Department turned the new emails over to a conservative advocacy group, Judicial Watch, as part of a lawsuit that the group brought under the Freedom of Information Act. But why weren’t these emails released before? Why weren’t they included in the 55,000 pages of emails Hillary previously gave the State Department, that she said represented all her work-related emails?

      What do you think?

      I think he raises some great points.

      I really appreciated the N Y Times article on the way that both the Trump and Clinton campaigns tend to avoid mentioning a large and growing group in the American population: the poor. There’s a lot of rhetoric about helping the middle class. But the poor seem to be invisible to both mainstream candidates.

      Paul Krugman nailed it again in his “Pieces of Silver” article. His main point being that now is the time for the GOP to denounce Trump and his ideas. Waiting until after he loses the election to say: “Oh well, we never did approve of him,” is not going to cut it. The bottom line of the piece is that there’s a large subset of the Republican Party that is willing to sell out its principles totally — for the promise of tax cuts for the wealthy. Shameful.

      The story of the conditions of refugees on the Island of Nauru is horrifying. Australia has to recognize what is going on here and remedy it. To say “Oh well… both major parties agree that there’s no solution to the problem” (which I have heard) is a huge moral evil. No matter how they deny it.

      On a final note: I really recommend that if folks get the chance they watch the film: “The Caliph.” It’s a really well-made summary of the history of Islamic Civilization. I wish it had been available back in the dark ages when I was in college. I loved my Islamic Civ classes, but this would have made them even better!

      • Kalima says:

        Hello, kes. Finally I get enough brain cells coordinated to attempt a reply to your wonderful comment.

        Yes we are getting a break from the heat but not the humidity with 3 typhoons attacking Japan from the south, the north and the middle, our region. Heavy rain, strong winds and miserable days.

        So glad you enjoyed the BBC documentary, I found it fascinating, and the first part of “Caliph” was equally noteworthy.

        Well now we know where the “Nasty Little Nigel” came from and it was hardly surprising that he was a racist pr--k as a kid too.

        Most of the Cameron cabinet were cronies from way back who should never have been placed in those posts but I imagine they wanted to privatise everything as much as he did, especially the NHS. So he gives Osborne who created millions more poor people a medal of honour because they have no qualms about messing up the country with millions safely in their banks. The circle is complete and the country is f’up conservative style once again. They are baron robbers.

        Yes, Bernie Sanders has done a lot for America even without the nomination. How many people can say the same thing?

        Reich’s comment is spot on, and the recent babble by Bill saying that if Hillary is elected, they will no longer accept donation from foreign interests, just proves it. What does that even mean? If she loses it will be the unethical Clinton Foundation business as usual?

        The NYT article about neither nominee talking about the poor needed to be said. I haven’t heard either of them mention the millions living below the poverty line either. Those people vote too.

        It is disgraceful that more repubs haven’t condemned trump. Don’t they realise that their party is in the toilet as more voters, including many repub women and military families will not vote for their nominee?

        Then the black vote stands firm at 0% in many important states. No they can’t say they didn’t agree with him after he loses, it’s already too late.

        Thanks for your reply, and as always I’m delighted that you found so many articles that hit the spot.

        Take care and see you soon.

    • Nirek says:

      Good morning, Kalima. We are having a heat wave here in Vermont, yesterday the temp. was 96 F today high eighties and still very humid. Yuck.

      Trump is going to implode sooner or later. He is a failure in all things he attempts. At least in my opinion.

      Thanks for all the reading material. It will take me a while to wade through all the stories.

      Stay cool and have a peaceful day.

  6. Kalima says:

    He should be allowed to step down. Over the last few years he has become physically weak and has been hospitalised a few times, once for cancer. He wants to spend the years he has left quietly with his wife. His wish should be upheld.


    Emperor worries age may make it tough to perform his duties



    Japan’s Emperor Akihito hints at wish to abdicate


  7. Kalima says:

    One dead, several hurt in central London knife attack


    • kesmarn says:

      The news sources are saying tonight that this one appears to be untreated mental illness rather than terrorism, Kalima. Still tragic, but at least the Muslim community in London won’t have to cope with even more mistrust and potential hostility, I hope.

      I hear that the woman who was killed was an American who was due to leave for home the following day. Now a grieving family won’t be anticipating a homecoming — but a funeral instead. So sad.

  8. Kalima says:

    Will this madness never end?

    Care home. 2:30 am. 15 dead, 45 injured. 26 year old former employee gave himself up to the police.


    Japan Sagamihara knife attack: At least 15 dead, reports say


    • kesmarn says:

      These poor people! They were totally unable to fight back. This was a home for the disabled! And I’m sure many of them were sleeping at 2:30 a.m. and had no idea what was happening.

      Prayers for them all and their grieving and heartsick relatives.

      • Kalima says:

        I had to turn off the news because the thought of helpless wheelchair bond and bed-ridden people being murdered as they slept was just too overpowering. That is why there was such a high number of casualties.

        Thank you for your prayers as some lie in critical condition in Tokyo hospitals. It made me fear for my mother-in-law’s safety at the rehabilitation center. Just horrific.


        19 dead, 20 seriously injured, ages from 19 to 70 years old. The largest mass killing here since the end of the war. The last one was 2008, before that 2001, and the underground train sarin gas attack in 1995 which killed 13 people.

    • kesmarn says:

      Horrible. The fact that this one is not assumed to be related to terrorism doesn’t make it any the less awful.

      Prayers for the victims and their families.

  9. Kalima says:

    Another attack in my country. This is crazy and might turn some against helping refugees. The only winners are the Far Right propaganda machine.


    Ansbach blast: Syrian asylum seeker kills himself and injures 12 in Germany | World news


  10. Kalima says:

    My heart is heavy today. Home grown, far right extremists are not being ruled out.


    Munich shooting: Police say nine dead as manhunt continues


    • Nirek says:

      My heart is heavy for Munich, Kalima. I lived in Munich from mid 1950 to mid 1954 while Dad was stationed there. This kind of thing is happening too often and anyplace in the world.


      • Kalima says:

        It doesn’t appear as if this was a terrorist attack, Nirek. Still, 10 people are dead including the 18 year old shooter, and many injured.

        Interesting to know that you lived in Germany. It is unfortunate that there are so many sick souls in the world. Two attacks in less than a week and it looks as if our world has gone mad.


    • kesmarn says:

      Kalima, I can’t bring myself to hit the “thumbs up” button on this sad story. Poor Germany! The teenager who was wielding a knife on a train was the horrifying story just a few days ago and now this.

      The days when people all over the world could safely gather in public for celebration, vacationing, travel, shopping or even mourning seem to be drifting further and further into the past. Now it seems the whole world is afflicted with fear and anger that lead to violence.

      I wish there were a clear, simple path to peace, but I don’t have the wisdom to understand how we can find it.

      Prayers for Germany. And the world.

      • Hey Homie, don’t feel bad. Nobody seems to know that bit of wisdom.
        Man is an aggressive animal, when all is said and done. We are also greedy and covetous. Of course not all of mankind is this way, but I do think it’s in far too many of us. Jealousy is also a big factor.

        I think education and the empowerment of women around the world would go a long way towards making this world a better place, but for the aforementioned factors inherent in our species, it’s gonna be a long, long time from now.

      • Kalima says:

        Hello, kes. The latest is that they found no connection to any terrorist group, but that he was obsessed with mass killings, and think he was suffering from depression. The way he shouted out to someone on a nearby balcony, ” I am German, I was born here” was odd. I was wondering if he had recently encountered some remarks about his appearance, apparently he had a beard. So do millions of other men but with the recent ISIS attacks in Europe, someone might have said that he “looked” like a terrorist. Who knows what sets people off these days?

        My German friend here is from München, her sister still lives there, and we have a friend there too, so this morning’s news was shocking.

        I have no idea how to stop this either, and believe that every child should have a good education because the more you learn about the world, the less you will hate.

        Stay cool and take care.

  11. Kalima says:

    If this attempt at a military coup is to restore democracy and human rights, then what they are doing goes against their goals. Only an election can bring what they are demanding.

    Considering the instability of neighbouring Syria and the threat of ISIS, this is an extremely dangerous time to attempt this chaotic situation for the whole region.


    Looks like the coup has failed in Istanbul.


    Turkey army group announces takeover on TV


    • AdLib says:

      Kalima, sure looks similar to what happened in Egypt when an opportunistic military leader used the excuse of popular outraqe to stage a coup and steal power in the name of populism.

      A pattern sure seems to be forming in that region, sort of a corruption of the Arab Spring to exploit the resentment of dictators to erase democracy.

      • Kalima says:

        It doesn’t look like the top military brass is involved, and it all depends on Erdogan’s response. Will he strong-arm and blame outside influences as usual, or will he leave it to the civilian courts?

        Well, I have on the BBC and he’s blaming the cleric who lives in the U.S., and calling the attempted coup, treason. I suppose we will have to wait until tomorrow to find out who is involved and who organised it. So close after the terrible terror attack in Nice, it seems as if the world has gone mad.

  12. Kalima says:

    The inevitable nonsense from the repubs begins.


    Detrimental to your sanity.


    On terrorism, Republicans reach for new heights of stupidity and moral repugnance


  13. Kalima says:

    Cowardly, murdering bastards!


    Nice ‘terrorist attack’: truck hits Bastille Day crowd killing 84 people – live updates

    Police say a vehicle which struck crowds celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice contained ‘arms, loaded with grenades’



    Many dead as lorry hits crowd in Nice


    • kesmarn says:

      If we could only get through one week…just a week.

      Without something horrible like this happening. Murder on a massive scale.

      So utterly disheartening!

      Prayers for the suffering people of France.

      • Nirek says:

        Kes, you and I are on the same page. I fear copycats of this truck attack all over the world.

        Kalima is right that some countries are numb to this kind of thing. Iraq and Syria and others have this kind of thing happen on a daily basis. I think “w”‘s invasion just made things much worse.

      • Kalima says:

        There were attacks killing over 200 people in Baghdad last week but it didn’t get that much coverage. In some countries it’s daily. The world is sick and we need to find a way to cure it.

        The problem is that attacks like this will strengthen the popularity of the Far Rught who will run on security issues and promises of keeping the country safe; and in France a presidential election is close. Lies of corse because no one can predict the type of terrorist attack carried out in the city of Nuce.

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