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Australian war crimes and racist fantasies in Afghanistan

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Australian and British troops stand at attention during an ANZAC day ceremony at Camp Armadillo in Afghanistan on April 25, 2008 [Reuters/Omar Sobhani] Last week the distressing details of a four-year inquiry into the Australian Defence Force’s war crimes in Afghanistan were finally released to the public. The country grappled with the scale of the violence: at least 23 deadly incidents; 39 Afghan civilians, including children, killed; at least 25 Australian soldiers of the Special Air Service Regiment (SAS) involved. The report described a savage practice of “blooding”, where young special forces soldiers were instructed by senior commanders to make their “first kill” and a “culture of secrecy”, where witnesses remained silent and murderers covered up their crimes by planting weapons and radios on dead bodies. While the details of the crimes have been widely reported on, there has been a curious reluctance in Australia to explain the violence and trace its racist origins. The local me

We are in trouble, Nigeria’s unity questionable – Goodluck Jonathan

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Former President of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan, has said the unity of Nigeria is questionable. Jonathan stated this while speaking during an exclusive command performance by the Port-Harcourt Male Ensemble International tagged ‘Peace for All Nations’ at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abuja. He stated that Nigerian youths sometimes engaged in all kinds of confrontation, recalling his conversation with one of his friends. “And I was discussing with somebody, one of my friends and I said look, in Nigeria, they appear not to even have a national youth body. Because in most cases, the regional youth bodies are stronger than the national youth body. “Ordinarily, the national youth body is supposed to be stronger than the regional youth body. If you go to my state, Bayelsa state for example, if I am a national member of the Nigerian Youth Council, the IYC, Ijaw Youth Council, feels that they are your boss. “If you go to the Southwest and to the North, the Arewa Youth Group, they feel they a

US Imposes Visas Restrictions on More Chinese Citizens

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(Dreamstime) The State Department said Friday that the U.S. will impose visa restrictions on Chinese citizens engaged in overseas influence operations. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the restrictions would apply to Chinese Communist Party officials or anyone else taking part in propaganda or influence campaigns linked to the United Front Work Department. The United Front has been involved in efforts to put pressure on people who criticize China for human rights abuses in the Uighur region, Tibet and elsewhere. Its “coercive tactics” have included publicly releasing personal details about critics and their family members online as a means of intimidation, Pompeo said in announcing the new restrictions. The measure is intended to show that “those responsible for actions that contravene the rules-based international order are not welcome in the United States,” he said. The restrictions are the latest punitive measure taken against China’s leadership and economy in response to sharpen

Pence Comes to Georgia as Calm Before Potential Trump Storm

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Vice President Mike Pence is trying to help Republicans project a unified front in two high-stakes Senate runoffs as he campaigns in Georgia a day ahead of President Donald Trump’s potentially volatile visit to the state that will determine which party controls the Senate in January. The vice president is campaigning Friday with Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, with the GOP roiled by Trump’s continued denial of his own defeat and his assertion that Republican officials in Georgia, including the governor and secretary of state, enabled widespread voter fraud on behalf of Joe Biden. Pence navigated Trump’s refusal to concede as he rallied Republicans two weeks ago alongside Perdue and Loeffler. At two north Georgia rallies, he promised to fight for “every legal vote” but spent more time emphasizing the stakes of Senate control. But this time, Pence arrives as Georgia completes another recount of presidential ballots. The vice president's visit also comes on the same day that fo

Rep-elect Barry Moore to Challenge Electoral College Votes in January

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Rep.-elect Barry Moore, R-Ala. (Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images) Barry Moore, the recently elected Representative from Alabama, told  Fox News   this week he will try to challenge Electoral College votes once he enters Congress next year. Moore said he wants to look into "election integrity" while in Congress "regardless of who wins the election." He added, "We got to get it right. We got to make sure that either 70 or 80 million people don't feel disenfranchised and feel like it was stolen, regardless of which direction it goes. You don't need to have somebody over here voting that's not necessarily legal or even it's not, they don't even exist. They just duplicate ballots and cancel you out or cancel me out." He went on to say, "We're governed by the consent of the people . . . and their consent is their vote and they consent to give us power. What if that power is not transferred ethically? Then it's an illegitimate election

Trump Campaign Files Lawsuit in Georgia to Overturn Result

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President Donald Trump (Evan Vucci/AP Photo) President Donald Trump has filed suit in Georgia claiming the election process was filled with “significant systemic misconduct, fraud and other irregularities” resulting in “many thousands of illegal votes” being cast and counted. The suit was filed in Georgia on Friday on behalf of Trump and David Shafer, a presidential elector pledged to the president. The suit named Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger and a slew of local elections officials. It is asking the court to prevent certification of the results and order a new presidential election. The suit claims: The election code mandates that those wishing to vote by absentee ballots may apply for a mail-in ballot “not more than 180 days” prior to the election. But it alleges the officials permitted at least 305,701 people to illegally vote who applied for absentee ballots more than 180 days prior to the election and then improperly counted the illegal votes. Officials allowed at

House passes legislation to decriminalize marijuana at federal level

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The  House of Representatives  voted 228-164 to pass the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement Act on Friday, the first time either chamber of Congress has ever voted to decriminalize marijuana. Marijuana legislation has been largely stagnant on the federal level, but more states have moved toward legalization in recent days. Arizona, Montana, New Jersey and South Dakota voted to legalize marijuana in election referendums, bringing the total to 15 states where the drug will be legal. In addition, 38 states allow medical marijuana. “We’re not rushing to legalize marijuana. The American people have already done that. We’re here because Congress has failed to deal with a disastrous war on drugs and do its part for the over 15 million marijuana users in every one of your districts,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer, D-Ore., a key player behind the bill, said on the House floor before the vote. “It’s time for Congress to step up and do its part. We need to catch up with the rest of th