1--Chemical Weapons Used by Saudi Arabia in Yemen Kill Scores of Civilians, sputnik
2--Not so quiet on the eastern front
3--Top Yemen scholars in the West condemn Saudi Arabia’s war, WA Post
The targets of the campaign include schools, homes, refugee camps, water systems, grain stores and food industries," warns the letter. "This has the potential for appalling harm to ordinary Yemenis as almost no food or medicine can enter."
The Saudi intervention followed the steady collapse of the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who came to power with Saudi backing in 2012. A rebellion led by the Houthis, a Shiite political movement, seized Yemen's capital Sanaa last year. Hadi fled his sanctuary in the southern city of Aden last month as Houthi forces approached and is now in Riyadh.
We write as scholars concerned with Yemen and as residents/nationals of the United Kingdom and the United States. The military attack by Saudi Arabia, backed by the Gulf Cooperation Council states (but not Oman), Egypt, Jordan, Sudan, the UK and above all the US, is into its third week of bombing and blockading Yemen. This military campaign is illegal under international law: None of these states has a case for self-defense. The targets of the campaign include schools, homes, refugee camps, water systems, grain stores and food industries. This has the potential for appalling harm to ordinary Yemenis as almost no food or medicine can enter. Yemen is the poorest country of the Arab world in per capita income, yet rich in cultural plurality and democratic tradition. Rather than contributing to the destruction of the country, the US and UK should support a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and use their diplomatic influence to strengthen the sovereignty and self-government of Yemen. As specialists we are more than aware of internal divisions within Yemeni society, but we consider that it is for the Yemenis themselves to be allowed to negotiate a political settlement.
4--Navy has seven combat ships around Yemen as Saudi-led blockade continues, WA Post
US provides support for Saudi massacre of Yemen civilians.
5--Yemeni Army Tries to Safeguard Oil Fields as Qaeda Fighters Advance, NYT
Qaeda fighters have seized the airport, government buildings and a refinery around Al Mukalla, establishing themselves as the most powerful local force. In an effort to win popular support, they have begun calling themselves the Sons of Hadhramaut and have promised to quickly return control of the city to local civilian leaders. When they seized a major army base outside of the city on Friday, they allowed the soldiers inside to leave unharmed, according to a local tribal leader....
The United Nations, citing Yemeni Health Ministry reports, said at least 767 people had been killed and more than 2,900 wounded in recent weeks, and Mr. Schweizer said he had heard some estimates of more than 1,000 people killed. Intense fighting has kept medical teams from collecting the dead in some places, he said...
“All the signs are that things are worsening,” said Adrian Edwards, a spokesman for the agency. “Basic services are on the verge of collapse. It’s just getting worse by the day.”
6--ISIL responsible for Jalalabad deadly attacks: President, press tv
8--‘Saudi princes planned to down Air Force One with missile’: 9/11 terrorist gives damning testimony, RT
A former Al-Qaeda member has revealed a strong connection between the terrorist group and the Saudi Royal family in the 1990s. More notably, he alleges that Saudi princes and terrorists discussed a plan to shoot Air Force One out of the sky.
The revelations came in the form of a testimony, delivered from a maximum-security prison, where Zacarias Moussaoui is incarcerated.
According to the New York Times, Moussaoui submitted the claim on his own initiative. He sent a letter to the judge presiding over the lawsuit filed by family members of 9/11 victims against the government of Saudi Arabia.
The meeting discussing the plan to down Air Force One allegedly took place at the kingdom’s embassy in Washington DC....
“My impression was that he was of completely sound mind — focused and thoughtful,” said a Philadelphia lawyer questioning him.
It should be noted that allegations of ties between top Saudi businessmen, the political elite and Al-Qaeda are nothing new. They have been substantiated by evidence in the past. Bin Laden himself was the son of a Saudi construction magnate, and the money trail existed before the 2001 attacks.
At the same time, it’s also known that the Saudi family had collaborated with the US as well to finance Islamic militants, many of whom ended up in what would later become Al-Qaeda. This was during the Soviet campaign in Afghanistan in the 1980s
9--Markets face new threat as US Federal Reserve ponders interest rate rise
Janet Yellen’s decision will have global consequences - and the end of ultra-low rates could mean meltdown for indebted countries , guardian
For much of Washington and the world’s economic leaders, China’s creation of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank crystallized the choice policy makers face. Earlier this month, Lawrence Summers, who was a top economic adviser for both President Bill Clinton and Mr. Obama, declared that China’s establishment of a new economic institution and Washington’s failure to keep its allies from joining it signaled “the moment the United States lost its role as the underwriter of the global economic system.”
For years, China had threatened to establish institutions to rival those dominated by the West, like the I.M.F., World Bank and Asian Development Bank — or even to establish its currency, the renminbi, as a reserve currency to rival the dollar.
In 2010, Mr. Obama brokered a deal to raise China’s stake in the I.M.F. to 6 percent from 3.8 percent, still far below the United States’ vetoing share of 16.5 percent but enough to give Beijing a larger say. Congress has blocked the proposed adjustment.
Meantime, China’s international lending has soared. Fred P. Hochberg, who heads the Export-Import Bank, said that in the last two years alone, Chinese state-run lenders have lent $670 billion. Ex-Im has lent $590 billion since it was created during the Depression of the 1930s.
With nearly $4 trillion in foreign exchange reserves, China has plenty of resources to project its rising economic power. For example, China’s president, Xi Jinping, plans to offer $46 billion to Pakistan for infrastructure assistance that would open new transportation routes across Asia and challenge the United States as the dominant power in the region
“The United States has lost its way and is rapidly forfeiting claims to global financial, economic, political and moral leadership,” Kevin Rafferty, a former World Bank official, wrote recently in two leading English-language newspapers in Asia. He blamed the White House: “Not for the first time, Obama has shown he can talk eloquently, but does not have a political clue how to get things done
Political responsibility for the killings rests with the imperialist powers that oversaw and backed the Kiev putsch. They have encouraged Kiev to wage a bloody civil war against pro-Russian regions of eastern Ukraine and covered up its reliance on fascistic, anti-Russian forces. In the resulting political atmosphere, opponents of the Kiev states can be murdered without investigation and with political impunity.
Stock prices in the US, Europe and Asia have hit record highs and global corporations have amassed a cash hoard of some $1.3 trillion, fuelled by cheap credit from central banks and government-corporate attacks on workers’ wages and living standards. Yet the IMF warns in its updated World Economic Outlook published this week that the world economy will remain locked in a pattern of slow growth, high unemployment and high debt for a prolonged period.
In a marked shift from previous economic projections, the IMF acknowledges that there is little prospect of a return to the growth levels that prevailed prior to the 2008 financial crash, despite trillions of dollars in public subsidies to the financial markets. This amounts to a tacit admission that the crisis ushered in by the Wall Street meltdown nearly seven years ago is of a fundamental and historical character, and that the underlying problems in the global capitalist system have not been resolved.
A sample of headlines from articles published in the past week by the Financial Times gives an indication of the deepening malaise. They include: “An economic future that may never brighten,” “IMF warns of long period of lower growth,” “Europe’s debtor paradise will end in tears,” “QE raises fears of euro zone liquidity squeeze,” and “Global property bubble fears mount as prices and yields spike.”...
The policies of austerity that have already thrown countless millions into poverty are not temporary. They will continue as long as capitalism continues.
The IMF’s updated Global Financial Stability Report, also released this week, acknowledges that central bank policies of holding interest rates close to zero and pumping trillions of dollars into the banking system by means of “quantitative easing,” i.e., money-printing, are having little impact on the real economy. Rather, they are increasing financial risk. According to the report, financial risks have risen in the six months since the last assessment in October 2014.
The IMF’s World Economic Outlook devotes an entire chapter to the slump in private investment. It notes that private investment in the major capitalist economies—the fundamental driving force of global growth—remains at historic lows. As a percentage of gross domestic product, it is below the level experienced in the aftermath of any recession in the post-war period.
But the report, setting the tone for the discussions this weekend among world finance ministers, central bankers and their myriad economic advisers, skirts the colossal role of financial speculation and parasitism in the investment slump and the crisis as a whole. All over the world, banks and corporations are using their massive profits and cash holdings to increase stock dividends and jack up their share prices by buying back their own stock, rather than investing in production. The speculative frenzy is compounded by near-record levels of corporate buybacks and mergers.
All of these activities are entirely parasitic