Aug 12 2014

Daily News Flash with Robert Jensen on HRW Report on Egyptian Massacres, Iraq’s New Prime Minister, and Report on Keystone Impact

Uprising’s guest expert Robert Jensen, an author and a professor of Journalism at the University of Texas at Austin, analyzes today’s news headlines:

Human Rights Watch has condemned the killings of hundreds of protesters in Egypt by security forces last year. The organization, in its 195-page report asserts that Egyptian security forces, “systematically and intentionally used excessive lethal force in their policing, resulting in killings of protesters on a scale unprecedented in Egypt.” The killings took place over the months of July and August 2013 in five incidents, resulting in more than 1,150 deaths. The massacres were primarily of activists from the Muslim Brotherhood, who demonstrated in large numbers on the streets of Egyptian cities after President Mohammad Morsi was ousted. Human Rights Watch has likened the killings to China’s infamous Tiananmen Square massacre. Click here for a Guardian newspaper article about the report, and here to download the actual report.

And in Iraq, President Fuad Masum, has named a new Prime Minister to replace the controversial Nuri Al Maliki. Sixty two year old Haider al-Abadi, who is being described in the media as a “veteran Shiite politician,” ostensibly has 30 days to form a new Iraqi government. The decision was praised by the Obama Administration which has pressured Iraq for months to replace Maliki. Except that Maliki has decided he wants to remain Prime Minister, and announced that the naming of his replacement was an “error” that would be corrected. Iraq’s northern region is being overrun by Sunni militants and the US has initiated a military operation to deter them. Click here for a Washington Post article about the story.

A new report has concluded that the building of a cross-country oil pipeline from Canada to the US could have even more far reaching impacts than previously thought. The Keystone XL pipeline could exacerbate climate change by dropping the price of oil, leading to greater consumption, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. The study, conducted at the Stockholm Environment Institute in Seattle, Washington found that “for every barrel of increased production, global oil consumption would increase 0.6 barrels owing to the incremental decrease in global oil prices.” Click here for a Commondreams article about the report.

And the legendary comedian Robin Williams passed away this week at the age of 63. His death is being investigated as a possible suicide. The iconic actor had struggled for years with addiction. He left behind four completed films that will be released over the next couple of years.

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