Leftnews.org | News and Views from the Left

by Editors — last modified 2016-05-07T14:44:47-04:00
Contributors: Faiz Ahmed, JBB, Graham H. Cox, R. Dubois, JA Cox

The Million Dollar Dissident: NSO Group’s iPhone Zero-Days used against a UAE Human Rights Defender | Citizen Lab

by Graham H. Cox — last modified Aug 26, 2016 10:06 AM
"Ahmed Mansoor is an internationally recognized human rights defender, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and recipient of the Martin Ennals Award (sometimes referred to as a “Nobel Prize for human rights”). On August 10 and 11, 2016, Mansoor received SMS text messages on his iPhone promising “new secrets” about detainees tortured in UAE jails if he clicked on an included link. Instead of clicking, Mansoor sent the messages to Citizen Lab researchers. We recognized the links as belonging to an exploit infrastructure connected to NSO Group, an Israel-based “cyber war” company that sells Pegasus, a government-exclusive “lawful intercept” spyware product. NSO Group is reportedly owned by an American venture capital firm, Francisco Partners Management."

How Not To Fund Infrastructure

by JBB — last modified Aug 25, 2016 11:13 AM
by Michal Rozworski | Socialist Project | Recycling is supposed to be a good thing, so when the federal Liberals quietly announced that 'asset recycling' would be part of their strategy for meeting their much-ballyhooed infrastructure promises, not many eyebrows were raised. They should have been. Asset recycling is an obscure code word for selling our public goods for private profit. It's privatization by another name.

Colombia: Peace in the Shadow of the Death Squads

by JBB — last modified Aug 25, 2016 11:02 AM
by Daniel Kovalik | CounterPunch | As the Colombian government and left-wing FARC rebels near the signing of a comprehensive peace accord, and though they have already signed a bi-lateral ceasefire which is largely holding, Colombia is still suffering from the worst human rights abuses in the Western Hemisphere. These abuses are being carried out by right-wing paramilitary groups (aka, death squads), which the U.S. and Colombian governments conveniently deny even exist.

British Muslims marched off Easyjet flight after WhatsApp messages mistaken for 'Isis material' | The Independent

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 25, 2016 10:34 AM
"Maryam Dharas said she had been sending Whatsapp messages to their father while on board but that they were were about Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn. She said she told the officers that if there had been Arabic text on their phones it was "part of the Quran, our religious text, so even if we did have it, it wouldn't signify that we're a part of Isis at all"."

Bolivia opens 'anti-imperialist' school to counter US | BBC

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 25, 2016 10:24 AM
"Speaking at the opening ceremony, Bolivia's Defence Minister Reymi Ferreira said: "The School of Anti-Imperialism is a school that seeks to preserve life, unlike the School of the Americas, which brainwashed military officers into believing that the enemy was our people." ... In Latin America, some officers trained at the US-based School of the Americas went on to commit some of the worse human rights abuses in the region."

Farc peace deal: rebels and Colombian government sign accord to end war | The Guardian

by Faiz Ahmed — last modified Aug 25, 2016 10:20 AM
"“The war is over,” declared Humberto de la Calle, chief government negotiator, after signing the deal in Havana, where talks have been held since November 2012. “It is the time to give peace a chance." Iván Márquez, the Farc’s top negotiator, said: “We have won the most beautiful of all battles: [the battle] of peace for Colombia. The battle with weapons ends and the battle of ideas begins.” ... Under the agreement, the government commits to development programmes and addressing gross inequalities in the country’s long-neglected rural sector. It also agrees to widen the opportunities of political participation to smaller political movements, including the party that a demobilised Farc may create."
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