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Thursday, 27 November 2014


The Syrian Electronic Army (SEA) is causing a mass media outage after the group hacked a comment system used by a number of high profile news websites across the globe. Websites affected include The Independent, Chicago Tribune ,Italian newspaper Repubblica, CNBC, Forbes and the Telegraph. Users are met with a notification saying "You've been hacked by the Syrian Electronic Army (SEA)" and then are blocked from visiting the page. It is believed that websites using the popular Gigya comment platform are being affected by the outage after the hackers posted a picture of service, which is owned by American Israeli company, on its Twitter page. However, it is not just media outlets being affected - sports websites are being taken down by the SEA too. French football club Toulouse FC, the NHL's website and Canadian broadcaster CBC are all reporting problems. PC World has also been hit by SEA hacking. According to the SEA's website, the collective describes itself as "a group of young Syrians, not belonging to any governmental entity." LINK:

Friday, 21 November 2014


Plans by the West Australian government to close more than 100 remote and primarily Indigenous communities is the “biggest threat to our people since the shocking events of the 1960s”, traditional owners and native title holders of the Fitzroy Valley have said in a joint statement. The statement, released on Tuesday by a number of groups representing people in Fitzroy Crossing and 35 surrounding communities, said they were “appalled” by the recent announcement by the premier, Colin Barnett, that between 100 and 150 of the state’s 274 remote communities face closure. More than 1,300 Aboriginal people live in 174 of the smallest communities, according to the ABC. “We are deeply fearful about the potential impact of such a move on our people and communities, and the township of Fitzroy Crossing. We see this as the biggest threat to our people since the shocking events of the 1960s, and we believe the impact of such a move could be almost as devastating,” it said, referring to the devastating social impacts when Aboriginal people moved off stations and into townships after the equal wage case. “We assert the right of people to live in and on their traditional country, for which they have ancient and deep responsibilities. To be talking of relocating people off their traditional country does indeed take us back 50 years in a very ugly way.” Barnett has said there is no other option but closure of between 100 and 150 communities which it has described as “unviable”, and cited “high rates of suicide, poor education, poor health [and] no jobs”. “[The smaller remote communities] are not viable and the social outcomes, the abuse and neglect of young children, is a disgrace to this state ... This is the biggest social issue this state faces,” he said. The Fitzroy Valley groups rejected the link between suicide and other social issues with closure as “nonsense”. “We acknowledge that there are serious social and health issues in our communities. But we also assert on the basis of evidence and our direct knowledge that, on balance, the people in the smaller bush communities are healthier and happier,” it said. It said forcing people out of the communities would just relocate and intensify underlying problems of poverty, disadvantage and unemployment. In parliament last week Barnett acknowledged the closures would cause “great distress” to Aboriginal people and cause problems in the towns they move to, but said he had no other choice after the federal government announced it would withdraw its two-thirds share of the funding of power, water and services from the communities, and hand control over to the state from July next year. However, the federal minister for Indigenous affairs, Nigel Scullion, denied there was any link between the two and said the state had been discussing closures “well before” the transfer of responsibilities was announced. Aboriginal advocates and social service workers are also anticipating a drastic fallout if the closures go ahead. Priscilla Collins, chief executive of the North Australian Aboriginal justice agency (NAAJA), told Guardian Australia the WA government’s decision was “extremely disappointing”. “Where do they expect these people to go? Where is their housing? Where are their services, their families? Are they just trying to split up Aboriginal people in communities?” she said. “I just don’t understand the logic behind it. These people are entitled to essential services just like in the urban areas.” David Cole, chairman of Darwin-based youth suicide prevention program, the Balunu Foundation, said the closures were “point-blank genocide” and he was anticipating devastating consequences among the affected populations. “It’s genocide, it’s land dispossession,” Cole told Guardian Australia. “People being removed, pushed off, forced off the land and pushed into small communities is a recipe for social challenges on every level. Not to mention the cultural lore challenges that creates for our communities.” Wyndham, in Western Australia, experienced an influx of displaced residents when a nearby community, Oombulgurri, was closed in 2011 by the WA government, citing high levels of violence, suicide and sexual assault. The remaining residents were evicted from the town, and services shut off or closed down. It is being demolished. The transition for residents was “terrible”, Amnesty International Australia’s Indigenous campaign manager, Tammy Salonec, told Guardian Australia, and Amnesty fears the same mistakes could be made. “There was no integration strategy in place, people were forcibly evicted,” Salonec said. “Eventually most were rehoused, but some still don’t have suitable housing, some are still homeless. “It was a tragic case of error upon error upon error, with no consideration for how traumatic it would be for these people. We want to ensure that when the government is looking at this sort of thing now, that they do it in a better way.” Since Barnett made the announcement to parliament a week ago, no plan has yet been put forward, and no target list of communities or services drawn up. “Consultation with affected parties is essential and will occur,” a spokeswoman for the premier told Guardian Australia. “However, it’s early days and the government is just beginning the work to determine a path forward. This process will be comprehensive and will not be rushed.” She said the closures would not stop anyone returning to country, but there would be no government-funded services there when they did. A spokesman for Scullion said the future of remote communities was “largely a matter for the Western Australian government”. “Providing essential and municipal services in towns and cities across Australia has always been the responsibility of state and local governments and it should be no different in Indigenous communities,” he said.

Friday, 7 November 2014


A column of 32 tanks has crossed into Ukraine from Russia as a ceasefire between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists becomes closer to collapse. In a televised briefing, military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said that a convoy of 32 tanks, 16 howitzer cannons and 30 trucks of troops and equipment had crossed into the rebel-held area of Luhansk. "The deployment continues of military equipment and Russian mercenaries to the front lines," he said. The move by Russia comes just a day after five Ukrainian soldiers were killed in fighting with rebels in the country's restive eastern regions. Ukraine's military spokesman Andriy Lysenko said: "Over the past day we lost five Ukrainian soldiers and 16 were wounded." Rebels in eastern Ukraine have claimed that President Petro Poroshenko has broken the peace agreement signed between Kiev and the separatists in September by proposing to cancel autonomy for the eastern regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. Poroshenko had this week stated that the rebel elections had jeopardised "the entire peace process" following a conflict which has taken the lives of more than 4,000 people since April. The European Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has warned that the "bloodletting" in the country is continuing despite the ceasefire with many incidents of shelling, including one which killed two children in Donetsk. LINK:

Wednesday, 5 November 2014


IN NEW ZEALAND, THERE ARE NOW DIFFERENT GROUPS IN THE WHITE POWER MOVEMENT. SOME OF THEM ARE WHAT WE COULD CALL 'OLD SCHOOL'. They remind me of 80s and 90s ACTIVISM. They are active on the ground and give value to the action in their communities. NATIONAL FRONT and RWR belong to this 'OLD SCHOOL'. They blame what they see as an INTERNET SKIN WAVE of activists, who prefer creating their own groups online rather than fighting on the ground. INTERNET is really a powerful instrument and allows any Skinhead creating their own community online in an easy and international way. It looks like the old boys (NF and RWR) are losing members or finding it hard to get new ones. Sign of the times. A new Hamilton-based organization of Skinheads is Division 88 NZ, co-created in June 2014 by a former RWR High Officer. NF, RWR and DIV 88 are atm the main orgs in NZ. Other groups are minor or not easy to find online. To find out more about this matter, please check these websites:


The scale of the Democrats’ defeat in the US midterm elections became apparent on Wednesday, with the party losing control of the US Senate by a wider margin than predicted and their Republican opponents on the verge of securing their largest majority in the House of Representatives since the 1940s. President Obama’s party awoke to the political equivalent of a pounding hangover with defeats more numerous and deeper than many Democrats had feared, while Republicans rode a wave of victories that gave them significant momentum going into the 2016 presidential elections. Republicans gained seven Senate seats from Democrats, cementing the GOP’s power base on Capitol Hill. They were poised to take an eighth, Alaska, and if they win a runoff in Louisiana, Republicans would command a 54-vote majority in the Senate. On a night of few positives for Democrats, Republicans also outperformed them in most of the 36 governors’ races, clinching stunning victories in Democratic strongholds including Massachusetts, Maryland and Illinois. “This is ugly,” one top Democrat involved in the party’s election strategy told the Guardian in the early hours of Wednesday morning. “It is so much worse than we expected.” The defeat is a significant blow to the president, whose low approval ratings contributed heavily to his party’s electoral drubbing. Obama, an already isolated and unpopular leader, must now see out his remaining two years in the White House with his Republican opponents controlling both branches of Congress. The White House said he would speak at a news conference on Wednesday afternoon. The extent of the rout will also be a cause for concern for Hillary Clinton, the heir-apparent for the Democratic presidential nomination, who, along with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, stumped for several of the party’s Senate candidates who lost badly. By the early hours of Wednesday, Republicans were assured of 52 seats in the upper chamber, making Mitch McConnell – who easily saw off a well-funded challenge in his home state of Kentucky – the new Senate majority leader. “The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together,” Harry Reid said in a statement, shortly after his demotion to Democratic minority leader. “I look forward to working with Sen McConnell to get things done for the middle class.” Prominent Republicans were jubilant. The governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, widely seen as a potential candidate for the party in the 2016 presidential elections, said he was delighted with the result and urged Obama to work with the new political reality in Washington. “The president took a beating last night, and the fact is, you’ve got to sit down then with the folks on the other side and say to them, ‘OK, let’s see what we can agree on together’,” he told ABC. Democrats lost seats in West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa and, perhaps most surprisingly, North Carolina, where Democrats were confident Senator Kay Hagan would hold on. Republicans, in contrast, held on to all the seats they were defending, including close races in Georgia and Kansas. In Louisiana the race was pushed into a runoff election that will take place in December, where the Republican challenger Bill Cassidy is favoured to unseat Democratic incumbent Mary Landrieu. If, as seems likely, Alaska also goes the Republicans’ way, the GOP will have picked up nine seats, a higher tally than even the party’s most optimistic forecasters had expected. In the House, Republicans already enjoyed a comfortable 233-199 majority. That lead has now been extended yet further, with the GOP appearing on course to achieve a net gain of at least 12 seats, which would match or even exceed its largest majority since Harry Truman was president more than 60 years ago. No result will be more unnerving for Democrats with an eye on the 2016 presidential race than Colorado, where the incumbent senator, Mark Udall, was comfortably dispatched by Republican Cory Gardner, a candidate Democrats tried and failed to paint as a rightwing extremist. But in a pattern echoed by Republicans across the country, Gardner disavowed several previous policy stances and mounted a concerted effort to appeal to female and Latino voters. Colorado is increasingly regarded as a bellwether in presidential elections, akin to Ohio; the percentage of voters who supported Obama in the state during the last two presidential elections closely mirrored the nationwide breakdown. Although midterm electorates look very different to presidential years, with lower turnout among young, minority and single-women voters, who tend to lean Democratic, there were worrying signs for the party. There were defeats for Democrats, for example, in two other presidential swing states, Iowa and North Carolina. In Florida, another pivotal state for 2016, Democrat Charlie Crist narrowly failed to dislodge Republican governor Rick Scott. A clutch of other Republican governors in Wisconsin, Maine, Michigan and Kansas also held on to their posts, despite divisive terms in office and fierce opposition that resulted in closely fought races. As they engage in damage limitation, Democrats will in the next few days argue that their defeats in the House and Senate were expected and consistent with historical trends. The party that controls the White House has only gained seats in a midterm election three times since 1862. And in contrast to Tuesday’s poll – where Democrats were defending an unusually large number of Senate seats – the party faces a much more favourable electoral map in 2016 when it will hope to regain seats in the upper chamber. Democrats will also take solace in success in two other states that could be important in 2016: Pennsylvania, where Republican governor, Tom Corbett, was beaten by Democrat Tom Wolf, and New Hampshire, where Democrat Jeanne Shaheen held on to her seat in the face of a challenge from Republican Scott Brown. Yet the scale of Tuesday’s Senate defeat, on a tide of support for Republicans that rippled across House and gubernatorial races, with only a handful of exceptions, will undoubtedly unnerve Democrats. Over the past two decades the party of the incumbent president has lost, on average, four Senate seats during midterms. This year’s Democratic losses in the Senate are likely to be at least double that – a defeat compounded by the Republicans’ huge majority in the House.