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Asia is in the grip of a transnational crime crisis – but governments look away

The immense demand for methamphetamine (ice), ecstasy and new psychoactive substances among the wealthy urban residents of East Asia and beyond has revitalised organised crime in the region. The scale of recent drug seizures in underground laboratories in China’s Guangdong province alone is staggering – and it’s jumped by 50% in the last year. In January 2015, for instance, 2.2 …

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Deepening the Culture of Fear – The Criminalization of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia

Malaysia’s use of criminal laws to arrest, question, and prosecute individuals for peaceful speech and assembly has deepened in the year since Human Rights Watch published Creating a Culture of Fear: The Criminalization of Expression in Malaysia in October 2015.[1] The Malaysian authorities have moved forward with the prosecutions of many of those featured in that report, and continue to …

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Robert Parry – Troubling Gaps in the New MH-17 Report

The key conclusion of the Dutch-led criminal inquiry implicating Russia in the 2014 shootdown of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 relied heavily on cryptic telephone intercepts that were supplied by the Ukrainian intelligence service and were given incriminating meaning not clearly supported by the words. The investigators also seemed to ignore other intercepts that conflicted with their conclusions, including one conversation that appeared to be …

U.S. army soldiers are seen marching in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York, March 16, 2013.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY)

William J. Astore – Military Dissent Is Not an Oxymoron

The United States is now engaged in perpetual war with victory nowhere in sight.  Iraq is chaotic and scarred. So, too, is Libya. Syria barely exists. After 15 years, “progress” in Afghanistan has proven eminently reversible as efforts to rollback recent Taliban gains continue to falter. The Islamic State may be fracturing, but its various franchises are finding new and horrifying ways to replicate themselves and …

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Robert Parry – MH-17: The Dog Still Not Barking

The Dutch Safety Board report concludes that an older model Buk missile apparently shot down Malaysia Airline Flight 17 on July 17, 2014, but doesn’t say who possessed the missile and who fired it. Yet, what is perhaps most striking about the report is what’s not there – nothing from the U.S. intelligence data on the tragedy. The dog still …

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Prof Jason Kissner – Malaysian Airlines MH370 and MH17. A Criminologist Questions: Whatare the Probabilities? Is it a Mere Coincidence?

Both the MH17 and the MH370 crashes are currently in the news. While MH17 is the object of the UN Security Council Resolution, US officials confirm that debris of MH370 have been found in the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean. This incisive July 2014 article by Criminology Professor Jason Kissner of California State University analyzes the …

Deforestation in Asia and Africa: Palm Oil Giant Wilmar Resorts to “Dirty Tricks”

World’s largest palm oil trading company, Wilmar International Ltd., under scrutiny as communities accuse its suppliers of harassment, deception and rights abuses. Oil palm giant Wilmar International Ltd. (F34.SI / WLIL.SI) stands accused of resorting to ‘dirty tricks’ in its dealings with communities. The allegations come from community leaders and non-Governmental organisations who have tracked the company’s operations on the ground in Borneo, Sumatra, …

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Fake Evidence Blaming Russia for MH-17? – Robert Parry

An Australian television show claims to have solved the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 shoot-down mystery – the Russians did it! – but the program appears to have faked a key piece of evidence and there remain many of the same doubts as before, along with the dog-not-barking question of why the U.S. government has withheld its intelligence data. The basic point …