China Accuses Apple, Foxconn Of Breaking Chinese Labor Laws


09-09-19 08:23:00,

If the US-China trade war is supposed to be in a ceasefire phase following last week’s main news that trade talks will resume in October, Beijing may not have gotten the memo, because late on Sunday futures slipped and Treasury futures jumped after a Bloomberg report that Apple, and its Taiwanese manufacturing partner, Foxconn, had violated a Chinese labor rule by using too many temporary staff in the world’s largest iPhone factory; the Chinese report also alleged – wait for it – harsh working conditions.

For all those whose heads are shaking, stunning if what they read is true, let us help you – yes, China – that global paragon of equitable labor laws – is accusing the US and Taiwan of substandard labor practices. The claims came from China Labor Watch, which picked a great time to issued its report: just ahead of Apple’s upcoming iPhone reveal slated for Tuesday. The non-profit advocacy group investigates conditions in Chinese factories, and says it has uncovered other alleged labor rights violations by Apple partners in the past.

“Our recent findings on working conditions at Zhengzhou Foxconn highlights several issues which are in violation of Apple’s own code of conduct,” CLW wrote in its report. “Apple has the responsibility and capacity to make fundamental improvements to the working conditions along its supply chain, however, Apple is now transferring costs from the trade war through their suppliers to workers and profiting from the exploitation of Chinese workers.”

CLW said undercover investigators worked in Foxconn’s Zhengzhou plant in China, including one who was employed there for four years. One of the main findings: Temporary staff, known as dispatch workers, made up about 50% the workforce in August. Chinese labor law stipulates a maximum of 10%, CLW noted according to Bloomberg.

The biggest surprise, however, is that China appears to be right. When contacted by Bloomberg, Apple said that, after conducting an investigation, it found the “percentage of dispatch workers exceeded our standards” and that it is “working closely with Foxconn to resolve this issue.” It added that when it finds issues, it works with suppliers to “take immediate corrective action.” Foxconn Technology Group also confirmed the dispatch worker violation following an operational review.

To be sure, this isn’t the first time Apple’s supply chain has faced criticism over poor labor standards for years.

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Iran accuses Europe of failing to honor nuclear deal, says accord is ‘not a one-way street’


08-09-19 10:26:00,

Published time: 8 Sep, 2019 10:08

Tehran has accused European signatories of failing to abide by their obligations under the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, warning that the Islamic republic would not be taken advantage-of.

“The deal is not a one-way street and Iran will act accordingly, as we have done so far, by gradually downgrading our commitments,” said Ali Akbar Salehi, director of Iran’s nuclear energy agency.

After meeting with the acting head of the UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA), Cornel Feruta, Salehi stated that Tehran still hopes that the deal can be salvaged and that all parties would uphold the agreement.

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Iraq Accuses Pentagon Of “Extremely Exaggerating” Numbers Of ISIS Fighters


13-08-19 08:09:00,

The US Department of Defense Inspector General released a formal report last week which claimed ISIS retains between 14,000 and 18,000 members in Iraq and Syria, which Pentagon officials used to argue for a continuing US troops presence in Syria. They touted the report as “verification” that a US draw down in Syria had enabled a a resurgent ISIS.

The Iraqi military, however, which partners with US forces, has rejected the report, calling it “extremely exaggerated”. 

“The figure announced by the Pentagon is extremely exaggerated,” the spokesman for the Joint Operations Command, Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, said in a press statement, as quoted by Iraqi news agency Malouma and regional outlet Kurdistan24.

Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces in Iraq near the border with Syria. Image source: Reuters

The general added that Iraqi national forces are in their third and final phase of an operation meant to clean out final pockets of Islamic State sleeper cells. 

Last Tuesday’s Pentagon report presented to Congress asserted that ISIS terrorists are “growing again in power” in Syria and Iraq, and painted a general picture that to the extent American troops leave the region, the Islamic State will correspondingly reestablish itself. 

“Despite losing its territorial ‘caliphate,’ the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) solidified its insurgent capabilities in Iraq and was resurging in Syria this quarter,” the report says.

It should be remembered that it’s precisely the same argument Syria hawks have repeatedly used to stymie previous plans voiced by President Trump to “bring the troops home”. Baghdad officials themselves have also increasingly seen little need for the unpopular US troops presence on Iraqi soil. 

Like Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda in the post-9/11 years, the constantly inflated “ISIS threat” is the new bogeyman that keeps on giving: neocons and hawks will cling to it so long as in enables expanding American presence in the Middle East. 

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US Accuses Syria Of More Chemical Attacks Just As Chemical Weapons Narrative Crumbles


22-05-19 07:49:00,

The Institute for Public Accuracy published a report today about the leaked engineering assessment from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons investigation into an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria which directly contradicts the findings of the official OPCW report on the matter. Until the unauthorized release of this internal document the public was kept entirely uninformed of its existence, despite the serious military consequences of the questions it raises; the official story that the Syrian government had dropped chemical weapons in Douma was used to justify an airstrike on Syria days later.

MIT professor Theodore Postol provided IPA with a basic analysis of some of the data in the engineering assessment, adding that he “will have a much more detailed summary of the engineering report later this week.”

“A second issue that is raised by the character of the OPCW engineering report on Douma is that it is entirely unmentioned in the report that went to the UN Security Council,” Postol concludes after his analysis. “This omission is very serious, as the findings of that report are critical to the process of determining attribution. There is absolutely no reason to justify the omission of the engineering report in the OPCW account to the UN Security Council as its policy implications are of extreme importance.”

“A leaked OPCW document challenges claim that Assad used chemical weapons in Douma in April 2018, the basis for US military strikes,” tweeted journalist Aaron Maté of the new IPA report. “So far, Western media has ignored it, w/ only exceptions at the margins. Ted Postol is a leading expert; this should be impossible to ignore now.”

Hours later, the US State Department issued a statement once again accusing the Syrian government of using chemical weapons, and now when you search Google for information on chemical weapons in Syria, the results you get look like this:

So that’s convenient.

The State Department’s release actually reads like a government trying to regain control of an important narrative. It begins with an unsubstantiated allegation of a chlorine gas attack by the Syrian government this past Sunday, and warns that the US and its allies will respond militarily if chemical weapons have been used.

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Syria Accuses US Stole 40+ Tons of Its Gold


08-03-19 01:04:00,

Syria Accuses US Stole 40+ Tons of Its Gold

The Syrian National News Agency headlined on February 26th, “Gold deal between United States and Daesh” (Daesh is ISIS) and reported that,

Information from local sources said that US army helicopters have already transported the gold bullions under cover of darkness on Sunday [February 24th], before transporting them to the United States.

The sources said that tens of tons that Daesh had been keeping in their last hotbed in al-Baghouz area in Deir Ezzor countryside have been handed to the Americans, adding up to other tons of gold that Americans have found in other hideouts for Daesh, making the total amount of gold taken by the Americans to the US around 50 tons, leaving only scraps for the SDF [Kurdish] militias that serve them [the US operation].

Recently, sources said that the area where Daesh leaders and members have barricaded themselves in, contains around 40 tons of gold and tens of millions of dollars.

Allegedly, “US occupation forces in the Syrian al-Jazeera area made a deal with Daesh terrorists, by which Washington gets tens of tons of gold that the terror organization had stolen, in exchange for providing safe passage for the terrorists and their leaders from the areas in Deir Ezzor where they are located.”

ISIS was financing its operations largely by the theft of oil from the oil wells in the Deir Ezzor area, Syria’s oil-producing region, and they transported and sold this stolen oil via their allied forces, through Turkey, which was one of those US allies trying to overthrow Syria’s secular Government and install a Sunni fundamentalist regime that would be ruled from Riyadh (i.e., controlled by the Saud family). This gold is the property of the Syrian Government, which owns all that oil and the oil wells, which ISIS had captured (stolen), and then sold. Thus, this gold is from sale of that stolen black-market oil, which was Syria’s property.

The US Government claims to be anti-ISIS, but actually didn’t even once bomb ISIS in Syria until Russia started bombing ISIS in Syria on 30 September 2015, and the US had actually been secretly arming ISIS there so as to help ISIS and especially Al Qaeda (and the US was strongly protecting Al Qaeda in Syria) to overthrow Syria’s secular and non-sectarian Government.

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UN Report Accuses Israel of High Crimes in Gaza – Global Research


01-03-19 02:27:00,

There’s no ambiguity about longstanding Israeli high crimes of war, against humanity, and slow-motion genocide in Gaza – similar crimes committed throughout the Territories for over half a century, accountability never forthcoming.

An entire Palestinian population is held hostage to Israeli apartheid.

On February 28, the UN Independent Commission of Inquiry (COI) report into (peaceful) Palestinian protests in Gaza weekly since last March 30 presented its damning findings – saying the following:

“No justification (has existed during the past 11 months) for Israel to shoot (Palestinians threatening no one) with live fire.”

According to COI chair Santiago Canton,

“(t)he Commission has reasonable grounds to believe that during the Great March of Return, Israeli soldiers committed violations of international human rights and humanitarian law. Some of those violations may constitute war crimes or crimes against humanity, and must be immediately investigated by Israel.”

In May 2018, weeks after Great March of Return protests began, the COI was formed “to investigate all alleged violations and abuses of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in” Gaza.

The COI report way understated the casualty count by live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, toxic tear gas, and other forms of Israeli violence against peacefully demonstrating Gazans threatening no one.

Around 250 Gazans were killed, over 25,000 others injured, many seriously, including women, children, and clearly identified paramedics and journalists.

The COI report claimed

“(m)ore than 6,000 unarmed demonstrators were shot by (unthreatened IDF) snipers, another 3,098 injured by “bullet fragmentation, rubber-coated metal bullets or by hits from tear gas canisters.”

No Israeli soldiers were killed or injured by Palestinians during demonstrations. The COI cited four IDF soldiers wounded (perhaps by friendly fire), another killed “outside the protest sites.”

Palestinian protests were peaceful, ineffective stone-throwing and incendiary balloons alone used, harming no one.

In flagrant violation of international law, Israeli soldiers use live fire against nonviolent Palestinians when demonstrations are held.

On last Friday’s 48th Great March of Return protest, the Gaza-based Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR), based on field worker evidence, said the following:

“…Israeli forces…stationed in prone positions and in military jeeps along the fence with Israel continued to use excessive force against the demonstrators by opening fire and firing teargas canisters at them.”

“As a result,

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Here We Go Again: US Accuses Iran of Hiding Chemical Weapons – Global Research


01-12-18 05:14:00,

CNN reports last week that: “The Trump administration is set to accuse Iran of violating the international treaty that bars the use of chemical weapons.

The White House notified lawmakers on Friday that it would declare Iran is violating the 1997 Chemical Weapons Convention because it has kept the equipment and facilities needed to produce them, not because it is actively making or using such weapons.

Two senior US officials tell CNN that the charge will not trigger immediate penalties, but could be used as justification to file claims against Iran with international organizations going forward.”

P News Washington also reports that the announcement:

is part of the administration’s effort to isolate Iran after withdrawing from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal in May and earlier this month re-imposing all U.S. sanctions that had been eased under the accord. President Donald Trump and his top national security aides have vowed to impose a “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran to force it to halt destabilizing activities in the Middle East and beyond.”

For those of you that have read the newspapers and watched the horrors of America’s middle east slaughter, this comes straight out of the standard Washington regime change playbook.

Like Iraq and Syria before it, first comes the outraged human rights violations rhetoric we have become so used to, then the debilitating sanctions and international “pariah status” afforded to them – absolutely free of charge. For the final push comes unfounded chemical attack claims, a charge now being formally prepped and set in motion against Tehran by America and the West.

We have heard all this before, haven’t we?  There is no doubt that Iran is attempting to assert itself in the Middle East. There should be no doubt it has used some terrible strategies and tactics in its aims to do so, but still, don’t most countries do that?

After the AP first revealed a week ago that the U.S. is set to accuse Iran of violating international bans on chemical weapons, an American diplomat has told the global chemical weapons agency in The Hague that Tehran has not declared all of its chemical weapons capabilities.

In Britain,

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Here We Go Again: US Accuses Iran Of Hiding Chemical Weapons


23-11-18 02:59:00,

In a trite refrain straight out of the standard Washington regime change playbook, the United States has lodged a formal complaint alleging Iran is developing nerve agents “for offensive purposes”.

Like Syria before (and Russia), first comes the “outraged!” human rights violations rhetoric, then come crippling sanctions and international “pariah status”, and for the final push comes unfounded chemical attack claims, a charge now being formally prepped and set in motion against Tehran by the West. 

After the AP first revealed a week ago that the U.S. is set to accuse Iran of violating international bans on chemical weapons, an American diplomat has told the global chemical weapons agency in The Hague that Tehran has not declared all of its chemical weapons capabilities. 

On Thursday Ambassador Kenneth Ward told a meeting of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) that Iran was in violation of an international non-proliferation convention.

“The United States has had longstanding concerns that Iran maintains a chemical weapons program that it has failed to declare to the OPCW,” Ward said at an OPCW conference.

“The United States is also concerned that Iran is also pursuing central nervous system-acting chemicals for offensive purposes,” he added. He connected this with the general White House charge and theme that Iran and Russia had “enabled” Syria in attacking civilians with nerve agents, according to claims of officials in the West. 

Specifically Amb. Ward claimed Iran has been hiding a production facility for filling aerial bombs while simultaneously maintaining a secret program to procure banned toxic munitions, include nerve agents. 

While a number of commentators acknowledged the sheer lack of evidence to back the claims something that’s never stopped US officials from making the charge whether it was Iraq, Libya, or Syria — Ward merely cited historical information from the 1980s alleging Iran had transferred banned chemical munitions to Gaddafi’s Libya.

Of course, ironically the US had been supplying Saddam Hussein with chemical productions equipment and capability during that very period of the 1980s, according to recently unearthed CIA files


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