ROBERT PARRY – Showing who some in Congress believe is the real master of U.S. foreign policy, House Speaker John Boehner has invited Israelâ€™s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session and offer a rebuttal to President Barack Obamaâ€™s comments on world affairs in his State of the Union speech. Boehner made clear that Netanyahuâ€™s third speech to a joint session of the U.S. Congress â€“ scheduled for Feb. 11 â€“ was meant to counter Obamaâ€™s assessments.
CHOE SANG-HUN – Jan. 10, Seoul, South Korea â€” North Korea said Saturday that it had told the United States that it would impose a temporary moratorium on nuclear tests if Washington canceled its joint annual military exercises with South Korea to help promote dialogue on the divided Korean Peninsula.
KATHY KELLY – From January 4-12, 2015, Witness Against Torture (WAT) activists assembled in Washington D.C. for an annual time of fasting and public witness to end the United States’ use of torture and indefinite detention and to demand the closure, with immediate freedom for those long cleared for release, of the illegal U.S. prison at Guantanamo.
JAN OBERG – Eleven points as a reflection on the terror in Paris and â€“ not the least â€“ the reactions to it:
MINES ACTION CANADA – The Campaign to Stop Killer Robots had a pretty good 2014 but many people view 2014 as a terrible year full of death, war and disease around the world. Fortunately, things are not as bleak as the news makes them look. The humanitarian disarmament world has seen a lot of successes this year and each of these successes is a win for humanity. So letâ€™s recap the good news stories of 2014 in the humanitarian disarmament world.
LAWRENCE S. WITTNER – In the supposedly classless society of the United States, the wealthiest Americans are doing remarkably well. According to Forbes, a leading business magazine, the combined wealth of the 400 richest Americans has now reached the staggering total of $2.3 trillion. This gives them an average net worth of $5.7 billion–an increase of 14 percent over the previous year.
NORMAN SOLOMAN – This [past] week, in a federal courtroom, Iâ€™ve heard a series of government witnesses testify behind a screen while expounding on a central precept of the national security state: The CIA can do no wrong. Those CIA employees and consultants are more than mere loyalists for an agency that soaks up $15 billion a year and continues to loosen the bonds of accountability. The docket says â€œUnited States of America v. Jeffrey Alexander Sterling,â€ but a more discerning title would be â€œNational Security State v. The Publicâ€™s Right to Know.â€
DAVID SWANSON – Since Tuesday and continuing for the coming three weeks, an amazing trial is happening in U.S. District Court at 401 Courthouse Square in Alexandria, Va. The trial is open to the public, and among the upcoming witnesses is Condoleezza Rice, but — unlike the Chelsea Manning trial — most of the seats at this somewhat similar event are empty. The media is mostly MIA, and during lunch break the two tables at the cafe across the street are occupied, one by the defendant and his lawyers, the other by a small group of activists, including former CIA officer Ray McGovern, blogger Marcy Wheeler (follow her report of every detail at ExposeFacts.org), and Norman Solomon who has organized a petition at DropTheCharges.org — the name of which speaks for itself.
DAVE LINDORFF – The Democrats are showing their true colors now that they have lost control of both houses of Congress. Suddenly, with the assurance that they donâ€™t have to worry about being taken seriously, the â€œparty of the peopleâ€ has come forward with a proposal to levy a 0.1% tax on short-term stock trades, particularly on high speed trading.
LAWRENCE WITTNER – Now that the Republican Partyâ€•the conservative voice in mainstream U.S. electoral politicsâ€•has attained the most thoroughgoing control of Congress that it has enjoyed since 1928, itâ€™s an appropriate time to take a good look at modern conservatism.
PATRICK MAZZA – Climate politics is dead-ended. It may seem strange to make such a statement in the wake of the much-heralded U.S.-China climate deal announced November 12. So let me clarify.
JOHN LAFORGE – On December 29, the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor was shut down for good, cancelled 18 years before its license expired. The shutdown comes after thousands of protest actions; widespread uncontrolled leaks of radioactive tritium; the shocking collapse of a cooling tower; operator mismanagement; lying and cover-ups; and the state legislatureâ€™s 2010 passage of a â€œshut-down by 2012â€ law, a statute later voided by a federal court. Entergy Corp.â€™s surrender announcement mentioned only â€œeconomic concerns.â€
CLIFF SLOAN – When I began as the State Departmentâ€™s envoy for closing the detention facility at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, many people advised me that progress was impossible. They were wrong.
SIMEON ARI – If you live in the United States, there is a good chance that you are now living in poverty or near poverty. Nearly 50 million Americans, (49.7 Million), are living below the poverty line, with 80% of the entire U.S. population living near poverty or below it.
RUSS WELLEN – Most people think that, since the end of the Cold War, chances that a nuclear war will break out are slim to none. Though some nervousness has surfaced since the Ukraine crisis, itâ€™s true that, barring an accident, the United States and Russia are unlikely to attack each other with nuclear weapons. Southeast Asia is another matter.
DAVID SWANSON – The U.S.-led NATO war on Afghanistan has lasted so long they’ve decided to rename it, declare the old war over, and announce a brand new war they’re just sure you’re going to love.