Author: Friends of TFC

US: Dawn of Dangerous New Era

(HRW) – Donald Trump takes office today having vowed to enact policies that would threaten rights at home and abroad if actually implemented, Human Rights Watch said today. Human rights advocates, elected officials, and members of the public should press Read More

CIA chief warns Trump against torture

torture

The director of the CIA, John Brennan, has warned President-elect Donald Trump against resuming the use of torture.

Mr Brennan told the BBC, in an interview broadcast this morning, that “the overwhelming majority of CIA officers would not want to get back into” the use of torture such as waterboarding. He added: “Without a doubt the CIA really took some body blows as a result of its experiences.”

President-elect Trump has said he would “bring back waterboarding” and “a hell of a lot worse.” Last week, he told the New York Times that “if [torture] is so important to the American people, I would go for it.” Trump’s choice to succeed John Brennan as CIA chief, Mike Pompeo, has incorrectly suggested that torture is legal.

Drone strike victim asks Obama for apology ahead of federal court hearing

A Yemeni civilian who lost two innocent relatives to a 2012 covert drone strike has written to President Obama to ask for an apology – in return for which he will drop a court case, due to be heard in Washington DC tomorrow.

Faisal bin ali Jaber lost his brother in law – a preacher who campaigned against Al Qaeda – and his nephew, a local policeman, in an August 29, 2012 strike on the village of Kashamir in Yemen.

Mr Jaber – an environmental engineer – will tomorrow (Tuesday) travel to Washington DC to attend what will be the first ever US appellate court hearing in a case brought by a civilian victim of the covert drone program.

On the Japan-China “Rail Wars”

There were several important outcomes of the previous three-day visit made by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Japan (from November 10 to November 12, 2016), but it is the Cooperation Agreement on the development of high-speed railway transport that attracts particular attention.

It, alongside other facts that have emerged over the past few years, has led to Bloomberg publishing a thesis by American Orientalist Jeffrey Kingston on the expansion of the “rail wars” between Japan and China, which is taking on an almost global nature. This time it has manifested itself in the territory of India. The participants of the so-called “war” are resorting to methods that include both political influence on the leadership of the country that announces a tender for the construction of transport infrastructure, as well as the financial and technology attractiveness of the proposed projects.

China and Japan, the two global leaders in the construction of high-speed railways, have used these tools in full in the course of the first such tender announced by Indonesia last summer. A year ago, we briefly described the dramatic development of the Japan-China struggle to win the order to develop and implement the construction project of the 140-km long Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway on the island of Java worth more than 5 billion dollars. The government of Indonesia found itself in a situation that can only be described as “dramatic” as it had to choose the winner out of the two leading Asian powers.