Mar 26, 2013

Democracy Now! Headlines March 26, 2013 - Afghanistan, Arms, Microsoft, FBI, Spying, Drones, War


U.S. Criticized for Weakening Draft of Global Arms Treaty     
Human rights groups are criticizing the United States and other countries for acting to weaken a draft of what could be the first-ever global arms treaty. Negotiations began at the United Nations in New York City last week for a treaty to regulate the $70 billion trade. Earlier talks collapsed last year when the United States — which leads the world in global arms exports — as well as Russia and China said they needed more time. On Monday, Anna MacDonald, head of arms control for Oxfam, said the new draft is too weak.
Anna MacDonald: "This treaty is not good enough. This is not the treaty that we have been campaigning for, for 10 years. This is not the treaty that’s going to save lives and protect people. The loopholes must be closed, and the president of the conference must listen to the voices of the majority, who have been saying repeatedly during this first week of negotiations — and indeed in informal sessions continuing discussions over the weekend — what they want to see in the treaty and why this must be a treaty with a very comprehensive scope of weapons covered and very tough and clear rules by which governments assess whether or not to authorize an arms transfer."

Study: African Americans 10 Times More Likely to Be Shot Dead Than Whites 

A new study confirms how deeply gun deaths in the United States are shaped by race. The Washington Post reports African Americans are more than 10 times as likely to be shot dead as white people. Whites are five times more likely to commit suicide with a gun than to be killed with a gun. But for each African American who uses a gun to commit suicide, five are shot dead by other people. Meanwhile, a poll by The Washington Post and ABC News says three-quarters of African Americans support stronger gun control versus half of white people.

NATO Researchers: U.S.-Israeli Cyber-Attack on Iran Was Illegal "Act of Force" 

A new study commissioned by NATO says a joint U.S.-Israeli cyber-attack launched on Iran’s nuclear facilities was an "act of force" that likely violated international law. A group of 20 international researchers reportedly agreed unanimously that the launch of the cyberworm Stuxnet several years ago constituted an act of force, which is prohibited under the United Nations Charter except in cases of self-defense. Some even thought the worm constituted an "armed attack," which would mark the start of a conflict and entitle Iran to use force to defend itself.

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