We begin with a real source of InSecurity, via the Independent:
Britain’s divided decade: the rich are 64% richer than before the recession, while the poor are 57% poorer
The gap between richest and poorest has dramatically widened in the past decade as wealthy households paid off their debts and piled up savings following the financial crisis, a report warns today.
By contrast, the worst-off families are far less financially secure than before the recession triggered by the near- collapse of several major banks. They have an average of less than a week’s pay set aside and are more often in the red.
Younger workers have fallen behind older people while homeowners – particularly those who have paid off their mortgages – have become increasingly affluent compared with their neighbours who are paying rent.
From the New York Times, more real InSecurity:
U.N. Finds ‘Alarmingly High’ Levels of Violence Against Women
The evidence is ubiquitous. The gang rape of a young woman on a bus in New Delhi sets off an unusual burst of national outrage in India. In South Sudan, women are assaulted by both sides in the civil war. In Iraq, jihadists enslave women for sex. And American colleges face mounting scrutiny about campus rape.
Despite the many gains women have made in education, health and even political power in the course of a generation, violence against women and girls worldwide “persists at alarmingly high levels,” according to a United Nations analysis that the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is scheduled to present to the General Assembly on Monday.
About 35 percent of women worldwide — more than one in three — said they had experienced physical violence in their lifetime, the report finds. One in 10 girls under the age of 18 was forced to have sex, it says.
From the Guardian, Netanyahu’s acolytes:
Republicans threaten Iran nuclear deal may not survive Obama tenure
- Letter from 47 senators says nuclear accord needs congressional backing to last
- White House accuses Republicans of ‘rush to war’ with Iran
Forty-seven Republican senators warned on Monday that any agreement the Obama administration strikes with Iran to limit Tehran’s nuclear programme may be short-lived unless Congress approves the deal. The White House accused the Republicans of advocating a “rush to war”.
In an open letter to Iranian leaders, freshman Senator Tom Cotton and 46 other Republicans said that without congressional approval any deal between Iran and the US would be merely an agreement between President Barack Obama and Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
“The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen,” they wrote, “and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time.”
From StarAfrica, plumbers summoned:
S/Africa probes leaking of spy docs to Al Jazeera
South Africa’s State Security Agency (SSA) has launched a full investigation into the leaking of documents detailing its operations following the recent leakage of sensitive documents to the Qatar-based Al Jazeera TV news network, APA learnt on Sunday.
“A full investigation has been launched into the purported leakage, its veracity and verification will be handled in terms of the protocols governing the management of classified information,” State Security Minister David Mahlobo said.
The probe follows the web of dealings between the South African spy agency and several foreign agencies which have been revealed through hundreds of documents leaked to Al Jazeera, which broadcast the items last week.
Among other issues the documents, dated from 2006 to 2012, included an alleged assassination plot against African Union (AU) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, Iran’s efforts to use Pretoria to work around its international sanctions imposed by Western powers and the flawed capabilities of the country’s intelligence, according to the Al Jazeera, which did not reveal who leaked the documents to it.
From Deutsche Welle, did you Hope™ for this Change™?:
US deploying 3,000 troops to the Baltics
- The US announced it is deploying 3000 troops to the Baltics to take part in military exercises over the next three months. The Baltic states and other eastern European nations are wary of renewed Russian aggression.
The United States is sending 3,000 troops to the Baltic states to partake in joint military exercises with NATO partners in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania over the next three months, US defense officials announced Monday.
The mission, part of “Operation Atlantic Resolve” is designed to reassure NATO allies concerned over renewed Russian aggression amid the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Around 750 US Army tanks, fighting vehicles and other military equipment arrived in Latvia Monday, and US ground troops are expected to begin arriving next week, US Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters.
According to a US military source speaking on condition of anonymity, the military equipment will remain in the Baltics even after the US troops return to base.
From the Guardian, suppression:
Saudi Arabia accused of blocking criticism of human rights record
- Sweden’s foreign minister, Margot Wallström, has said the kingdom stopped her addressing an Arab League meeting
Sweden’s foreign minister has reportedly accused Saudi Arabia of blocking her speech at an Arab League meeting to stop her highlighting human rights cases such as the imprisonment of a blogger for insulting Islam.
Speaking in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on Monday, Margot Wallström told the TT news agency: “The explanation we have been given is that Sweden has highlighted the situation for democracy and human rights and that is why they do not want me to speak.
“It’s a shame that a country has blocked my participation.”
An Arab diplomat confirmed to Agence France-Presse that Riyadh had stopped her making the speech.
A sharp Saudi response to flogging condemnation, via the Independent:
Raif Badawi: Saudi Arabia accuses western media of attacking its sovereignty
Saudi Arabia has finally responded to the international outcry over the treatment of jailed blogger Raif Badawi, accusing the western media of launching an unjustified attack on its sovereignty under the “pretext of human rights”.
In its first official statement on the case, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it would not allow outside interference with Saudi Arabia’s judicial system and that pressure from the media and human rights groups would have no impact on his punishment.
Mr Badawi has been sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes – of which so far only 50 have been carried out – for using his liberal blog to criticise Saudi Arabia’s clerics. Judges in the country’s criminal court want him to undergo a retrial for apostasy, which carries the death sentence.
From the Guardian, Indian free speech suppression:
Activist arrested for showing rape documentary in Indian village
- Ketan Dixit used borrowed equipment and bedsheets to screen India’s Daughter, which has been banned by the authorities, to 60 people
A young activist who defied the Indian government’s ban on the documentary India’s Daughter and screened the film for a village audience near the northern city of Agra has been apprehended by police.
Ketan Dixit was quoted on Monday as saying he was ready to “face any action that was initiated” after showing the documentary on Sunday on a makeshift screen made of white bedsheets in the compound of a journalist’s family home in Roopdhanu, around 30km from the Taj Mahal.
Around 60 men, women and children watched the film, which has been the subject of furious controversy since the Indian authorities’ decision to pull it from the air last week. The film, by British documentary-maker Leslee Udwin, is about the fatal gang rape of a young woman in Delhi in December 2012.
From BBC News, a German mayor resigns facing xenophobic agitation:
German Mayor Markus Nierth resigns over NPD protest fears
A village mayor in eastern Germany has resigned after threats to march on his house from far-right protesters angry about plans to house asylum seekers.
Markus Nierth, who was honorary mayor of Troeglitz in Saxony-Anhalt, south of Berlin, said he quit because local authorities refused to ban the march. He said he would not expose his family to “racist and hate-filled chants”.
Saxony-Anhalt’s Interior Ministry said it opposed “all forms of xenophobia and racism’‘.
After the jump, Netanyahu adopts a harder line as a former spy boss declares him the country’s biggest threat, on to the ISIS war, first with advances in the battle for Tikrit, and fears of retribution if ISIS withdraws, Germany mulls an Islamist military checkup, on to Africa and an advance on Boko Haram, Islamist oil field kidnapping in Libya, Pakistan extends its nuclear missile reach to all of India, on to Japan as Shinzo Abe pushes for rapid legislative realization of his remilitarization agenda, Merkel urges Abe to hold to the traditional apology for World War II actions, and Tokyo issues a testy response, and Abe wins metadata enabling legislation. . . Continue reading