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Showing posts from March 20, 2014

Violent Video: Ukraine TV Boss Beaten Up, Forced To Resign By Far-Right Svoboda MPs

The head of Ukraine's state TV company has been attacked by at least three MPs from the far-right Svoboda party and forced to resign.

Members of Svoboda barged their way into the offices of Aleksandr Panteleymonov, the acting president of the National Television Company of Ukraine on Tuesday night.

They were angry that public broadcaster, First National Channel, had broadcast the Russian Parliament signing a treaty with Crimea on Tuesday.

Yelling and beating Panteleymonov around the head, the men accused him of serving Putin, while there were Ukrainians "dying at the hands of Russian occupiers" and called him "Moscow trash."

They then forced him to sign a letter of resignation.

Ironically, one of the men involved in the assault was the deputy head of Ukraine's committee on freedom of speech.

Why Was Gaddafi Overthrown?

PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: Welcome back to The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay in Baltimore.

March 19 will be the third anniversary of the NATO intervention into Libya. Looking back, what were NATO's objectives? What Libya did they hope to find after the overthrow of Gaddafi? And what in fact is today's Libya?

Now joining us from Syracuse University is Professor Horace Campbell. He teaches African-American studies there and political science. He's written extensively on African-American politics. And his new book is called Global NATO and the Catastrophic Failure in Libya.

Thank you very much for joining us, Horace.

HORACE CAMPBELL, PROF. AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, SYRACUSE UNIV.: Thank you for inviting me to discuss the failures of the U.S. foreign policy in Africa and the failure of NATO in Africa.

NOOR: So it was only a day or two ago, Navy SEAL sailors boarded a Libyan-North Korean boat carrying oil coming from a rebel-held oil port in Libya.…

Unknown Snipers Once Again Stir Up Violence … This Time In Crimea

By Washingtons Blog

 - "Washingtons Blog"- After a Ukranian soldier at a base in Crimea was killed, Ukraine announced that the murder was a “war crime”, and that Ukranians could use live fire to protect themselves.

Fair enough.

But no one know who actually pulled the trigger. The Independent reports:


However, there were indications that it was the separatist Crimean government’s recently created “Self Defence Forces” who had actually carried out the fatal attack. Local officials, meanwhile, claimed that “fascist snipers” had fired the first shot from a residential building and one of the injured was one of the defence force members.

***

Local authorities presented a different version of what had taken place. A police officer said: “There were snipers who were using peoples’ homes to start shooting, that was the provocation. One of those injured was from the Self Defence Forces.”

Associated Press confirms:


A Ukrainian serviceman and a member of a local self-defense brigade were kill…

Libya's Power Centers and Energy Infrastructure

Unlike its eastern neighbor, Egypt, Libya does not enjoy a feature similar to the Nile River to break up its broad Saharan expanses or offer water that could organize its various tribal constituencies into a more unified agricultural society. Historically, this has been Libya's challenge: Unifying the various local populations and settlements of a vast and rugged geography. These divisions have helped to ensure that Libyan society's inherently tribal nature remains, even as Libya's neighbors have developed strong national identities.
This breakdown in central authority has had serious implications for Libya's own domestic stability. The political transition process has largely ground to a halt, as competing factions both within the transitional political authority -- the General National Congress -- and outside the political process have been unable to emerge as a singular authority. Oil production and exports, the lifeline of the Libyan economy, have fluctuated wildl…

European Nationalist Parties Respond to the Ukraine Crisis

Ukrainian protesters form a human chain while holding EU and Ukrainian flags during a November 2013 protest in Kiev. (SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/Getty Images)

Summary


The European Union has responded to the Ukraine crisis by applying some sanctions on Russia, but some European nationalist parties look at the efforts of Russians in Crimea and see a struggle for self-determination not so different from their own. These parties are not necessarily pro-Russian, but they view good relations with Moscow as a counterweight to the European Union at a time when the union is politically fragmented and Russia is becoming more assertive.

Some of these parties are also developing ties with one another ahead of European Parliament elections in May. Political and ideological differences will limit their ability to form a cohesive bloc in the EU Parliament, but their rising popularity will force mainstream parties to adopt some of their views and to make some compromises at the EU level.

Analysis


Some of Europe…

China Expands Its Footprint in Tibet

Workers carry out track maintenance along a segment of the Qinghai-Tibet railway in December 2008. (China Photos/Getty Images)

Summary


Recently announced plans to extend the Qinghai-Tibet railway to the southern Tibetan city of Xigaze, located less than 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the border with India, highlight the Chinese government's continuing efforts to tighten its control over the country's disparate and often restive borderlands. This process will likely gain momentum and significance in the coming years as Beijing grapples with potentially destabilizing social, economic and possibly political transformations in China's ethnic Han core.

The railway extension, which authorities expect to be operational by October, is ostensibly intended to improve access for Tibetans and other Buddhist pilgrims to the Beijing-installed Panchen Lama -- the highest reincarnated lama after the Dalai Lama and the highest recognized by Beijing -- whose official seat is in Xigaze. At th…

Libya's Instability Threatens Regional Borderlands

Summary

Libya's desert geography flows smoothly beyond its artificial, post-colonial borders. Poorly demarcated boundaries give way to broad swathes of desert that extend seamlessly into Tunisia, Algeria, Niger, Chad, Egypt and Sudan. After a relatively idiosyncratic few decades of strong centralized authority under former leader Moammar Gadhafi's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya government, Libya is poised to return to its previous status as a collection of local authorities loosely organized by a weak and distant central government in Tripoli.

This kind of existence for Libya -- once an accepted reality in this part of the world -- now bears significant risks for North Africa and beyond. Libya now forms a central node connecting a vast network of organized crime, smuggling routes and militant flows that stretches for thousands of miles, from the Maghreb through the Sahel and to Egypt and beyond. In Libya, routes from the Atlantic coastlines of Morocco and Mauritania in northwest Africa …