If the Iraq war is not about oil, somebody forgot to tell the editors of the New York Times and, it seems, the leadership of the People's Republic of China. On June 27, the Times runs a front-page story on the current $18.5 billion bid to purchase Unocal by the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC), which the Bush administration is considering barring on national security grounds. Drawing an unsettling analogy "with Japan in the 1930's," the Times says China's bid for control of a US oil major is also seen by Beijing explicitly in terms of national security—an inexorable result of growing Chinese energy consumption combined with US military control of the Persian Gulf:
A friend writes from Philadelphia, scene of the recent anti-biotech protests (where, as we noted, a police officer died of a heart attack):
Please donate bail money!
A dozen or so protesters were arrested at the Biodevestation protests in Philadelphia this weekend. They are all still in jail, and need your help to get out. Only 3 people have been arraigned - it's $960 for each one of them to get bailed out. There is at least 1 other person facing felonies - one from Quebec who is facing 2 counts of felony assault. Everyone else is facing misdemanors - disorderly conduct and misdemanor. Thier bails should be set over the next 12 hours, but we know we'll need a lot of money to get them out. Every little bit helps, so please send money. You can Western Union it to Cynthia Pitt,Philadelphia. You can also paypal it to email@example.com. Or just bring it to the jail support vigil at 8th and Race Streets in Philadelphia.
Freedom's on the march. That's why a South Asian man gets detained by the police for taking photos on the streets of New York. Gotta love the irony. Thanks to the Independent Press Association's Voices That Must Be Heard, "the best of New York's ethnic and immigrant press," for passing this along.
Excerpt from a report by Moroccan news agency MAP (via M&C News):
Laayoune, 19 June: Hundreds of citizens today Sunday held a protest at the Hassan I Airport in Laayoune against the scheming intentions and provocative attempts of the Spanish pro-separatist activists who are trying to visit the town despite the Moroccan authorities' refusal to let them step on national soil.
From the Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA), June 20:
The local leader of Hamas was arrested in an often lawless frontier area where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet. Brazilian and Paraguayan news agencies confirmed June 17 that Saiel Bashar Yahya Al Atary and 21 others described as Islamic terrorists had been arrested by Brazilian federal police in the city of Foz de Iguazu. The men were charged with being part of an international ring that committed credit card fraud, counterfeited documents and was involved in drug trafficking.
The Inuit of Alaska and Canada's far north, whose traditional way of life depends on hunting seals and polar bear—and therefore on cold—are not so sanguine about global warming. Thanks to TruthOut for passing on this interesting June 16 Reuters story:
Inuit to File Anti-US Climate Petition
Oslo - Inuit hunters threatened by a melting of the Arctic ice plan to file a petition accusing Washington of violating their human rights by fuelling global warming, an Inuit leader said on Wednesday.
Thank goodness the New York Times put this on the front page, above the fold yesterday. We have excised out two information-free propaganda paragraphs about the "implicit gamble" that anti-terrorist aid to authoritarian states "can backfire"--as if keeping down the populace of Uzbekistan was not part of (or even primarilly) what the aid is intended for. Admittedly, the May repression in Andijan does seem to have been rather too indiscrete for Washington's sensibilities...
We get very little new about the new intifada in Western Sahara, and here's one of the reasons why: Morocco is effectively barring journalists from the occupied territory. This from
Reporters sans Frontières via allAfrica.com, June 17:
Journalists in Western Sahara Face Assaults, Arrests And Harassment
RSF has called on the Moroccan authorities to put an end to the harassment of local and foreign media in Western Sahara and allow them to work normally.