Int’l peace delegation to tour Russia on ‘bridge-building mission’

first_imgThe Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space (GN) is organizing a delegation to Russia to help “build a peace bridge between people of their nations” from April 25 to May 10. Twenty-four peace activists from Canada, England, Nepal, Sweden and the U.S. will participate in a “bridge-building mission.” Most of the group will be members of GN and Veterans For Peace. GN Coordinator Bruce K. Gagnon said, “Our primary goal is to stand against the constant demonization of Russia, which is being used to justify U.S.-NATO military expansion up to Russian borders.”Members of the delegation are scheduled to arrive in Moscow April 25. They will fly to Crimea on April 30 and then to St. Petersburg on May 5. They will meet with experts to discuss such topics as culture, economics, foreign policy, military policy and more.  Chair Dave Webb of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (U.K.) said in a statement, “We want to see and hear for ourselves what Russia is really like.“We want to meet with Russian citizens, teachers, students, political leaders, journalists and others in order to listen and ask questions, so we get unfiltered information.” GN was founded in 1992 to “stop the militarization of space” and has around 150 affiliated organizations. The idea for the tour originated last spring in Oxford, England, at the GN annual meeting, which takes place in a different country each year. Hostility to USSR and RussiaHostility against the Soviet Union was a keystone in U.S. political life. As journalist Louise Bryant wrote in 1918, “We have here in America an all-too-obvious and objectionable prejudice against Russia,” one that was “born of fear.” U.S. hostility has now returned, despite the downfall of the USSR and the restoration of capitalism in Russia.The U.S. government and its NATO allies have now ratcheted up tensions with Russia through sanctions, arming nations such as Ukraine (where a Russophobic regime was elevated into power by a U.S.-backed coup in 2014), saber-rattling rhetoric on the world stage and other means of intimidation. According to an April 5 GN news release, “Not since the height of the Cold War in the 1980s have tensions been so great between Russia and the U.S. Washington now regularly blames Russia for nearly every ill in the world.”Continuing down the dangerous path of his predecessors, the administration of Donald Trump has further endangered the world by pulling out of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty and the Iran Nuclear Deal.Swedish Peace Council vice chair Agneta Norberg, another delegation member, said, “The U.S. has 1,000 military bases around the world and a dozen nuclear-armed Trident submarines patrolling. We are trapped in a very dangerous situation, and none of the presidents seem to understand the danger.” Hostility to Russia and its people is widespread, not just in the West but also in Asian-Pacific NATO partner countries like Japan and Australia. Norberg said the U.S. is “twisting the arms” of countries such as Sweden and Finland to join “an ever-expanding NATO and allow war games and bases aimed at Russia onto our lands.”Gagnon dispels the myth of NATO being a defensive alliance. “The U.S. used NATO to attack Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and more. The U.S. wants to turn NATO into a ‘global alliance’ and is signing up ‘partner’ nations in South America and the Asia-Pacific.”According to Gagnon, “The U.S. finds it difficult to get many of its regime-change wars supported at the United Nations and, thus, is attempting to have an expanding and aggressive NATO replace the U.N. as endless-war supporter.”It should be noted that while U.S. military coffers continue to swell (with a budget of $716 billion for 2019), Russia’s military budget ($66.3 billion last year) has been reduced in the last couple of years, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.Gagnon said, “We should recognize that the corporate-dominated media has one intention — to justify the military encirclement of Russia and China. This obviously benefits the weapons production corporations and the politicians they control in Congress.”The delegation will make its findings available to the public in the near future. Gagnon said one of the hopes for the tour is to “make friends with the Russian people, who are not our enemies.”FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni free at last

first_img RSF joins Middle East and North Africa coalition to combat digital surveillance News Organisation News Receive email alerts June 8, 2021 Find out more October 17, 2019 Moroccan journalist Hajar Raissouni free at last NSO Group hasn’t kept its promises on human rights, RSF and other NGOs say Reporters Without Borders (RSF) welcomes the release of Hajar Raissouni, a Moroccan journalist held since 30 August who was sentenced on 30 September to a year in prison for seeking an “illegal abortion” and for “sexual relations outside marriage.” The Moroccan justice ministry announced yesterday that Raissouni has been pardoned by King Mohammed VI.Raissouni has always insisted that the charges were “fabricated” and “politically motivated” and that they were above all prompted by her articles about persons detained in connection with the so-called “Hirak” protests in Morocco’s northern Rif region in 2016 and 2017.“We are relieved by Hajar Raissouni’s release and we hope that no more Moroccan journalists find their private lives being exploited for political ends,” said Souhaieb Khayati, the head of RSF’s North Africa desk.Morocco’s pro-government media outlets subjected Raissouni to an intense smear campaign focusing on her private life.Taoufik Bouachrine, a newspaper owner and editorialist who was arrested in February 2018, was sentenced in November 2018 to 12 years in prison on charges of human trafficking, abuse of power for sexual purposes, rape and attempted rape. Now prosecutors are trying to get his sentenced increased on appeal to 20 years in prison and a fine of 1 million dirhams (100,000 euros).Morocco is ranked 135th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2019 World Press Freedom Index. Hunger strike is last resort for some imprisoned Moroccan journalists Follow the news on Morocco / Western Sahara News Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources ImprisonedWomenFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment News to go further Morocco / Western SaharaMiddle East – North Africa Condemning abusesProtecting journalistsOnline freedomsMedia independenceProtecting sources ImprisonedWomenFreedom of expressionJudicial harassment RSF_en April 28, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information April 15, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Val’s wonderful windows are a Limerick tradition

first_imgNewsCommunityVal’s wonderful windows are a Limerick traditionBy Bernie English – December 3, 2018 3107 Val Holmes checking his handiwork at Brown Thomas.Photo: Cian ReinhardtIF THERE is an opposite to the Grinch who stole Christmas, it is Val Holmes.For 44 years, Val has been creating whimsical worlds of wonder to delight generations of children who have stood at the windows of Todds and now Brown Thomas, their eyes aglow, all words lost in a tumble of teddies, lights, fairies and snow scenes.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Val took up work as the store window dresser on December 16, 1974 and that has been his job ever since, the Christmas windows the highlight of his – and his team’s – year.This year will be his last window as he is retiring with every intention of travelling the world.“The year we did all the windows fully animated is the one I remember best,” Val tells the Limerick Post. “That was Christmas, ’79, the Year Of the Child. We usually had one animated window but people thought we were doing especially for that year but that was luck.“There was a great buzz about those windows. People come night and day to look at the Christmas windows because there’s something very special about the windows after dark and they just stand and look for ages”.Working in retail wasn’t originally his idea of an easy life, Val admits.“When I got the job and I was told that I would work Monday to Friday I thought all my birthdays had come together – no Saturdays. I was delighted. And I’ve loved every minute since – you couldn’t do this and not love it”.Val and the team are also responsible for all the other window displays during the year and the in-store displays. In the early days, planning for Christmas and the retail year started in April with a trip to London with the manager and merchandising manager to check out the big stores there for inspiration.Then it was on to Warrington, where many of the props for the coming year are bought, no doubt raising a few eyebrows at customs over hammer-wielding ailing and prancing reindeer.More lately, the travelling salespeople come to Dublin where Val and key members of staff from all of the Brown Thomas stores gather to lay plans for the year’s displays.Currently, the themes for the windows travel between the BT stores each year, with each store pulling their individual fashions and merchandise together in a Winter wonderland on the common theme.With no formal training whatever, Val’s eagle eye misses nothing.“You have to go outside and see what the public are seeing. There might be a mannequin posed the wrong way or something that isn’t quite in the right spot and needs to be moved. You just know when it’s right and when it’s not and you keep at it until it’s right”.Do things ever go wrong?Val admits there have been some bumps in the night.“You might come in and find a load of stuff has fallen down but the public never get to see that. The first job in the morning is to check the windows and the last job at night is to do a sweep and make sure everything is okay”.Another of Val’s favourite times are the sales.“At one stage, when it was Todds, the slogan was to wait for the real sale. And we would pile every window high with sale goods – household, fashion, you name it. They would queue from early morning for the 9am specials – it was like Black Friday in America long before that ever came here”.The father of two sons and a daughter and grandad to four boys and a girl is originally from Hyde Road in Prospect and has delighted in bringing his own family to see his handiwork at Christmas over the years.A spot of ill-health has seen Val off work in recent months but as well as being the man who puts Christmas front and centre in BTs he is is also the store ambassador, meeting and greeting customers during the Christmas period with a tilt of his top hat.“I’m looking forward to coming back for Christmas to do that – everyone knows me from the windows because at one time, there weren’t any blinds and people would wave to you when you were in the window getting a new display ready.“Now, being the ambassador as well is great. One woman asked me ‘are you the real Mr Brown Thomas?’Val is the longest-serving member of staff to hold the same position in the store. “Both my sisters worked here before me and we’re like a big family here in BTs,” he says.“I don’t think of myself as being in charge of windows – I’m part of a great team”.Val clearly has passion for his job, but does he have another passion, the Limerick Post wonders?“Rugby. What else?” Advertisement Print Population of Mid West region increased by more than 3,000 in past year Twitter Unstoppable Sean shows that all things are possible Previous articleWATCH: Andrew Conway believes there is plenty more to comeNext articleWATCH: Dreams snippet – reaction to Nickie’s save against Cork Bernie Englishhttp://www.limerickpost.ieBernie English has been working as a journalist in national and local media for more than thirty years. She worked as a staff journalist with the Irish Press and Evening Press before moving to Clare. She has worked as a freelance for all of the national newspaper titles and a staff journalist in Limerick, helping to launch the Limerick edition of The Evening Echo. Bernie was involved in the launch of The Clare People where she was responsible for business and industry news. TAGSCommunityFestiveInterviewLimerick City Housing 37 Compulsory Purchase Orders issued as council takes action on derelict sites center_img Facebook Vicky calls for right to die with dignity New parklet changes Catherine Street dining experience RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Linkedin Thefts of catalytic converters on the rise #crimeprevention Email WhatsApplast_img read more