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UK government attacks press freedom everywhere
Dec 5th, 2013 by Warren Swil

Public lynching of

Guardian editor

an ominous sign

Edward Snowden provided much of the material to The Guardian, for which it was attacked Tuesday in the British Parliament.

THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT struck a blow against press freedom everywhere on Tuesday with its public inquisition of the editor of The Guardian newspaper.
Alan Rusbridger was hauled before parliament because his paper has fearlessly published information of vital public interest that embarrassed the government of David Cameron.
If this could happen in the cradle of western democracy, with the entire world watching, embarrassed politicians everywhere will feel they can do the same thing with impunity.
It’s a horrendous example, though the courage on display in The Guardian’s response is one that might serve as a lesson to the public about the value of exposing government wrongdoing through investigative reporting.


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GIGANTIC MISCALCULATION: As rats flee sinking ship, GOP will cave on impasse

UNNECESSARY EXTENDED NATIONAL NIGHTMARE NEARS AN END
The long national nightmare over the government shutdown brought on by House Republicans is nearing an end
No wonder the GOP is caving under the pressure.
It is coming from its own base, the very constituency it thought it was serving by bringing the United States government to its knees – and threatening a global economic calamity.
What a gigantic miscalculation.


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Elizabeth Warren emerges as Clinton challenger in 2016 (with video)

FRESHMAN SENATOR’S FRONT-PAGE ‘ANOINTMENT’ SECURES HER SPOT – IF SHE WANTS IT
With a front-page story in The New York Times on Monday, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has emerged as a leading challenger to the presumed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential race.
What a wonderful development.
Sen. Warren seems to truly care about the interests of the voters, whereas the Clintons’ top priority – for both of them – has always been their own political interests.
The entry of Sen. Warren into the presidential sweepstakes would be the best development for the Democratic Party in decades.


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Post-Ottoman map of Middle East must be dumped

STRIFE IN SYRIA THREATENS REGION’S ARTIFICIAL NATION-STATES
It seems as if the remnants of the Ottoman empire created by the British and French colonialists a century ago are imploding as nationalism fails and each country’s internal divisions fissure into armed conflict.
Either the west can stand by idly and watch the region implode, with the death, destruction and global economic fallout that entails, or we can try to contain the damage through cajoling, threats and diplomacy.
Men and women of good conscience everywhere should begin a serious discussion of this vitally important, globally significant development of historic proportions. It is not too late to start the debate.


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CRISIS OVERLOAD: Debt ceiling fight may cause financial meltdown, constitutional turf war

GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN A MAJOR HEADACHE FOR MILLIONS, BUT WORSE MAY LIE AHEAD
If you think the shutdown of the federal government is bad, take a deep breath.
In a couple of weeks it could go from bad to worse – much worse!
According to most, on Oct. 17 the U.S. Treasury will hit its legal debt ceiling.
If Congress remains in it’s petulant temper tantrum, that could spell financial Armageddon.
And, it could lead to a third crisis: a constitutional one.


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GROSS MISMANAGEMENT: World’s only superpower lurches from crisis to crisis

US GOVERNMENT – AND PEOPLE – HELD HOSTAGE BY LUNATIC FRINGE
Few people on the planet can be unaware that the American federal government is on track to shut down in a few hours.
It’s all the fault of a crazy radical fringe group that has seized control of Congress.
What an embarrassment. Even worse, what an unnecessary calamity for the entire country, all its 330 million people, and the global community.
It is beyond pathetic. It is gross mismanagement on a massive scale.


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Obama Administration fights back on health care reform

PRESIDENT LAUNCHES PR OFFENSIVE TO DEFLECT CRITICISM
The White House has launched a major public relations campaign to counter the opposition to the president’s signature accomplishment in office, reform of the nation’s healthcare system.
It doesn’t come a moment too soon.
Recent opinion polls show approval of the president’s performance slipping to a two-year low.
The president is going to have to show uncommon leadership and tireless energy to reverse this trend.


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US foreign policy at crossroads: public has no appetite for conflict

OBAMA INHERITS DEBRIS LEFT BY BUSH WARS AND SCANDALS
President Obama has a huge foreign policy problem.
At home and abroad, he is facing stiff headwinds. But they are not of his own making.
After the disastrous Bush/Cheney foreign policy, it is no wonder Americans are tired of foreign misadventures and wary of any involvement in what seem to be intractable problems engulfing the Middle East.
The president will have to use all of the power and prestige of his office over the coming months to bring the American people on board with his program of constructive, diplomatic intervention.


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Coup becomes final as Egypt court bans Brotherhood

MOVE CEMENTS MILITARY CONTROL AFTER 3-MONTH CRACKDOWN
While the world was preoccupied with the crisis in Syria the military junta that took over Egypt three months ago was cementing its control over that country.
Monday was the final nail in the coffin of the promising experiment in democracy.
In a sweeping ruling, an Egyptian court banned the Muslim Brotherhood, whose leader Mohamed Morsi was duly elected in an election widely regarded as fair in 2012.
All these signs point to the lights going out on Egypt’s short-lived attempt at democratic rule. It is a tragic development.


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Future of newspapers brightens as some adapt to digital era (with video)

BEST NEWS OF THE WEEK: NYT CO. TO PAY DIVIDEND
The Thursday announcement that The New York Times Co. is restoring its dividend is the clearest signal yet that the Gray Lady is successfully adapting its business model to the new realities of publishing in the Internet age.
It comes after a decade of stern warnings that the end of print media in general – and daily newspapers in particular – was approaching rapidly.
It is becoming increasingly obvious that those who provide “indispensable journalism” and find a way to monetize their online content are those that will survive this wrenching transition.
It was definitely the best news of the week.


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