Tamiflu | Ukraine | Africa | Korea | MAI/TTIP/TAFTA/TPA | Palestine

Rob sent these links:
James Gallagher: Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major report (BBC)

Hundreds of millions of pounds may have been wasted on a drug for flu that works no better than paracetamol, a landmark analysis has said.
The UK has spent £473m on Tamiflu, which is stockpiled by governments globally to prepare for flu pandemics.
The Cochrane Collaboration claimed the drug did not prevent the spread of flu or reduce dangerous complications, and only slightly helped symptoms.

Michel Chossudovsky: Who Owns the Rights on Tamiflu: Rumsfeld To Profit From Bird Flu Hoax (Global Research)

Rob also sent these links on Ukraine:
Jim Maceda: Tour of Ukraine-Russia Border Finds No Signs of Military Buildup (NBC)
Alastair Jamieson: NATO: No Sign of Russian Troop Withdrawal From Ukraine Border (NBC)

I read that Russia says the images of the Russian military buildup were taken last year:
Florian Rötzer: Was beweisen Satellitenbilder? (Telepolis)
Generalstab: NATO präsentiert alte Satellitenbilder russischer Truppen an ukrainischer Grenze (RIA)
Florian Rötzer: Nächste Etappe im Streit um die Bilder (Telepolis)
In English:
NATO’s Russian troop build-up satellite images ‘show 2013 drills’ (RT)
More on Ukraine:
Jack Rasmus: Ukraine’s IMF Deal: Heading Toward a Greece-like Depression? (CounterPunch)
Emmanuel Dreyfus: Ukraine beyond politics / En Ukrainujo, la ekstremistoj de naciismo (Monde Diplomatique)

The Ukraine parliament has promised elections, after the president was swept away in a brief burst of revolution in Kiev. Can the former opposition, including the far right, unite to form a viable future government?

Tariq Ali: How Vladimir Putin became evil (Guardian)

The US and UK condemn him for Crimea but supported him over the war in Chechnya. Why? Because now he refuses to play ball.

Samir Amin: Russia and the Ukraine Crisis: The Eurasian Project in Conflict with the Triad Imperialist Policies (MRzine)
David Mandel: Ukraine Between “Popular Uprising for Democracy” and “Fascist Putsch” (MRzine)

Lori M. Wallach: The corporation invasion (Monde diplomatique)

A new treaty being negotiated in secret between the US and the EU has been specifically engineered to give companies what they want — the dismantling of all social, consumer and environmental protection, and compensation for any infringement of their assumed rights.

Serge Halimi: A trade agreement nobody should want / Transatlantika kaptilo (Monde diplomatique)

You can safely bet that the Transatlantic Partnership Agreement (TPA) will not feature as much in the forthcoming European elections as the extradition of illegal immigrants or the (alleged) teaching of “gender theory” in French schools. The TPA will affect 800 million affluent people and almost half the world’s wealth. The European Commission is negotiating this free trade agreement with Washington on behalf of the EU’s 28 member states, and the European parliament elected this May will be expected to ratify it. Nothing is settled as yet, but on 11 February the French president François Hollande, during his state visit to Washington, proposed to speed things up, saying: “We have everything to gain by moving quickly. Otherwise, as we know all too well, there will be a build-up of fears, threats and tensions.”

Chris Gilbert: Don’t Pray for Venezuela: The Struggle Against Contemporary Fascism (MRzine)

The fascists who operate today in Venezuela — to say nothing of those active in the Ukraine, Greece, or Colombia — are by no means a historical aberration. Only if we take one of capitalism’s key myths at face value must we imagine that our current society is the wondrous culmination of a teleological evolutionary process and cannot just as well contain a host of violent and irrational elements that, far from being “atavistic,” are simply part and parcel with capitalist modernity. In fact, capitalism’s historical tendency, if any such thing exists, is not toward growing enlightenment but rather toward increasing barbarism.

Dan Beeton: Violent Protests in Venezuela Fit a Pattern (MRzine)

Ali Behran Özçelik: Poulantzasian Themes for Understanding Turkey’s Political Crisis (New Left Project)

On 17 December 2013, the sons of three Turkish cabinet members, the head of a state-owned bank and the mayor of a municipality in Istanbul were taken into custody in a wave of raids sparked by allegations of corruption and bribery. The Prime Minister responded by a move which ‘effectively stalled the probe’. Since then, the political turmoil in the country has only deepened. ‘Almost every evening since Dec. 17’, writes the journalist Kadri Gürsel, ‘Turks have been listening to audio recordings leaked on YouTube, starring Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’. We have seen the police and a state prosecutor stop a truck on suspicion of carrying weapons to Syria which was in fact being escorted by the intelligence organisation of the same state. Turkey is without a doubt passing through what even the bourgeois media outlets quickly and rightly called a ‘political crisis’.

Nick Turse: America’s Non-Stop Ops in Africa (TomDispatch)

The numbers tell the story: 10 exercises, 55 operations, 481 security cooperation activities.
For years, the U.S. military has publicly insisted that its efforts in Africa are small scale. Its public affairs personnel and commanders have repeatedly claimed no more than a “light footprint” on that continent, including a remarkably modest presence when it comes to military personnel. They have, however, balked at specifying just what that light footprint actually consists of. During an interview, for instance, a U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) spokesman once expressed worry that tabulating the command’s deployments would offer a “skewed image” of U.S. efforts there…
U.S. troops carry out a wide range of operations in Africa, including airstrikes targeting suspected militants, night raids aimed at kidnapping terror suspects, airlifts of French and African troops onto the battlefields of proxy wars, and evacuation operations in destabilized countries. Above all, however, the U.S. military conducts training missions, mentors allies, and funds, equips, and advises its local surrogates.

AFP: South Korea recovers suspected North Korean drone (Guardian)

South Korea says it has recovered an unidentified drone that crashed on one of its border islands the same day that North and South Korea exchanged artillery fire across their disputed maritime boundary.
The wreckage was discovered on Baengnyeong island, which lies just south of the maritime border.

Paengryŏng-do 白翎島 is actually disputed territory, the island is controlled by south Korea, but also claimed by the DPRK. This is the area where the south Korean warship Cheonan sank in 2010; south Korea accused the DPRK to have fired a torpedo at the Choenan from a “midget submarine.”
Tania Branigan: South Korea fires back at North after artillery shells land in disputed waters (Guardian)

Ramzy Baroud: Palestinian leaders’ showdown turns ugly (Asia Times)

The ongoing Abbas-Dahlan spat is confirming all the suspicions of Fatah’s detractors regarding the Fatah leadership’s role in conspiring with Israel to destroy the resistance and its leaders. Strangely, both Abbas and Dahlan continue to present themselves as the saviors of Palestinians, while each accuses the other of being an Israeli collaborator and an American stooge.

Gabrielle Chan: Bill Shorten speech on Israeli settlements stirs Palestinian group (Guardian)

Serge Halimi: Quel cap pour la Tunisie ? / Tunisia: change, but no change (Monde diplomatique)

Tunisia has taken the most hopeful direction after its Arab Spring. But none of the entrants in the forthcoming election seems to have the valid and drastic economic plans that will be needed to fulfil the aspirations of Tunisians.

Noam Chomsky: The Week the World Stood Still (TomDispatch)

The world stood still 50 years ago during the last week of October, from the moment when it learned that the Soviet Union had placed nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba until the crisis was officially ended — though unknown to the public, only officially.

John Pilger: The Forgotten Coup: How the Same Godfather Rules from Canberra to Kiev (CounterPunch)

On 11 November [1975] — the day [the Australian president Gough] Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia — he was summoned by [the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John] Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The problem was solved.

USAid doing the CIA’s work:
AP: US secretly created ‘Cuban Twitter’ to stir unrest and undermine government (Guardian)
Paul Lewis, Dan Roberts: White House denies ‘Cuban Twitter’ ZunZuneo programme was covert (Guardian)