Aug 14 2014

Daily News Flash with Arun Gupta on White House Review of Arms to Israel, US Claims of Freeing Iraqis, and Apple’s Removal of 2 Harmful Chemicals

Uprising’s guest expert Arun Gupta, Independent Journalist and regular contributor to the Guardian, In These Times, The Progressive, and Truthout, and co-founder of the Occupied Wall Street Journal and the Indypendent, analyzes today’s news headlines:

The US military did not seek the approval of the White House in sending the latest shipment of arms to Israel. The Pentagon sent a major shipment of weapons to Israel on the same day that Israeli forces hit a UN shelter filled with Palestinian refugees. Apparently President Obama and his team were caught by surprise upon learning of the shipment. According to the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, “the White House and the State Department are now demanding to review every Israeli request for American arms individually, rather than let them move relatively unchecked through a direct military-to-military channel.” In a related story, the Pentagon is also defying Congress on insisting that it buy Russian made helicopters to send to Afghanistan rather than US-made, in spite of a slew of Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis. Click here for a Ha’aretz article about the Israel story, and here for an article about the Afghanistan story.

And in Iraq, the US is claiming military success in breaking the ISIS siege of the Sinjar Mountain, enabling thousands of internally displaced Iraqis to escape. US Special Forces and Marines worked with Kurdish Peshmerga forces and, along with airdrops of food, are claiming a successful mission. President Obama justified the military operation last week citing the imminent “genocide” of the Yazidi ethnic group but the New York Times this morning reported, “far fewer Yazidis on the mountain than expected, and that those still there were in relatively good condition.” In fact, according to the Times, “Some of the people on Mount Sinjar indicated to American forces that they considered the mountain to be a place of refuge and a home and did not want to leave.” Click here for a New York Times article about the story.

Apple announced this week that it would no longer use two harmful chemicals, Benzene and n-Hexane, in the final stages of production of its iPhones and iPads. The move came on the heels of a petition urging Apple to stop using chemicals that as many as half a million mostly Chinese workers are exposed to. Factory workers in Brazil, Ireland, and even Texas and California, were also being exposed to the chemicals. Click here for a article about the story.

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