What was that Turkish F-4 Phantom II up to when the Syrians shot it down? … According to the Financial Times, Turkey’s Foreign Minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, told the newspaper “the jet was on a test and training mission focused on Turkey’s radar defense, rather than Syria.” Translation: the F-4 was “lighting up” a radar net. It is a common—if dangerous and illegal—tactic that allows one to probe an opponent’s radar system. Most combat radar is kept in a passive mode to prevent a potential enemy from mapping out weaknesses or blind spots that can be useful in the advent of an attack. … “Lighting up” radar was what the US Navy EP-3E Aries II was doing near China’s Hainan Island when it collided with a Chinese interceptor in 2001. … It is doubtful that Syria indentified exactly what the Turkish plane was, just that an unidentified warplane, flying low—generally the altitude one takes when trying to avoid radar—was in Syrian airspace. Paranoia? In 2007 Israeli warplanes—US-made F-16s, not Phantoms—slipped through Syria’s radar net and bombed a suspected nuclear reactor. … Turkey says the F-4 was 13 nautical miles from Syria when it was attacked—which would put it in international waters—but it crashed in Syrian waters. Damascus claims the plane came down less than a mile from the Syrian coast.
Heiko Khoo: The crisis of European capitalism (China.org.cn)
Last week’s crisis summit of European leaders resulted in defeat for the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who capitulated to the demands of the French, Spanish and Italian leaders. Financial support for Italy and Spain can now take the form of funds going directly to their banking system. This means a relaxation of the imposition of swingeing austerity measures. Italy and Spain will not be humiliated like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus have been in the recent past. … The Greek government will now demand that they be treated in the same way as the Spanish and Italians and that present austerity measures should come to a halt. They will warn Chancellor Merkel that the alternative will be a revolutionary upheaval in Greece. All this confirms that, had Syriza, the leftist electoral coalition, won the elections in Greece, their demand to remain in the Euro and simultaneously cancel austerity measures was by no means utopian.
Bertil Lintner: Burma 2012: Democracy and Dictatorship (JapanFocus)
Piers Williamson: Largest Demonstrations in Half a Century Protest the Restart of Japanese Nuclear Power Plants (JapanFocus)
On 29 June, Japan witnessed its largest public protest since the 1960s. This was the latest in a series of Friday night gatherings outside Prime Minister Noda Yoshihiko’s official residence. Well over one hundred thousand people came together to vent their anger at his 16 June decision to order a restart of Units 3 and 4 at the Oi nuclear plant.
Justin McCurry: Fukushima reactor meltdown was a manmade disaster, says official report (Guardian)
Last year’s accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was a manmade disaster caused by poor regulation and collusion between the government, the operator and the industry’s watchdog, a report has said.
National Diet of Japan: The official report of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC)
Because this is a clear case of an attack on press freedom and on the public’s right to know important truths about U.S. foreign policy, and because the threat to his health and well-being is serious, we urge you to grant Mr. Assange political asylum.
UKPA: Poison found on Arafat’s clothes (Google News)
The body of former Palestinian president Yasser Arafat may be exhumed after the discovery of traces of a radioactive agent on clothing he reportedly wore in his final days reignited a cauldron of conspiracy theories.
An Israeli university on the West Bank would be a university for the occupation sciences; it must not happen.
אוניברסיטה ישראלית בגדה תהיה אוניברסיטה למדעי הכיבוש; אסור שהיא תקום.
Jimmy Johnson: A Primer on Settler Colonialism (CounterPunch)
Jeremy Kuzmarov: Police Training, “Nation-Building,” and Political Repression in Postcolonial South Korea (JapanFocus)
Philip J. Cunningham: Red and Yellow: Thailand’s Future in Check and Balance (JapanFocus)