Top 5 News Headlines Monday 19th October



5: Obama Indefinitely Extends Afghanistan War, Longest in U.S. History
President Obama has officially reversed course and announced he has halted the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. Speaking at the White House Thursday, Obama described the Afghanistan War as “vital to our national security interests” and said U.S. forces will continue to go after al-Qaeda.

President Obama: “First, I’ve decided to maintain our current posture of 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through most of next year, 2016. Their mission will not change. Our troops will continue to pursue those two narrow tasks that I outlined earlier: training Afghan forces and going after al-Qaeda. But maintaining our current posture through most of next year, rather than a more rapid drawdown, will allow us to sustain our efforts to train and assist Afghan forces as they grow stronger, not only during this fighting season, but into the next one.”

Across the United States, military families reacted to the news. In Oceanside, California, the father of an active-duty soldier expressed concern over the prolonging of occupation.

Charles Edwards: “I was truly, truly hoping, because my son has less than a year to complete his 20 years. I was truly, truly hoping that he would be getting out, but he signed on for two more years prior to this announcement. He and I have some talking to do.”


4: Corrections failing trans prisoners – lawyer
An advocate for transgender prisoners says Corrections is not doing enough to protect their safety.

Since last year, prisoners have been able to apply to be moved to a prison which fits their gender identity.

In August, Corrections apologised to prisoner Jade Follett, whose application to be moved to a women’s jail was lost.

And earlier this month, a transgender prisoner in the Corrections Facility in Wiri was allegedly beaten and raped by other prisoners.

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Lawyer Kelly Ellis said these cases showed Corrections wasn’t following its own rules.

“It’s all very well having the changed regulations and the new protocols there, but ultimately, the prisons do not seem to be applying these.

Radio NZ

3: Exxon’s climate change denial warrants federal inquiry, congressmen say
Members of Congress have asked for a federal investigation into whether ExxonMobil broke the law by intentionally obscuring the truth about climate change.

The two members of Congress wrote to Loretta Lynch, the attorney general, on Wednesday, saying they were concerned by the results of two separate investigations by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times, which found that ExxonMobil scientists confirmed fossil fuels were causing climate change decades ago, but publicly embarked on a campaign of denial.

“ExxonMobil’s apparent behavior is similar to cigarette companies that repeatedly denied harm from tobacco and spread uncertainty and misinformation to the public,” Ted Lieu and Mark DeSaulnier, both Democratic members of Congress from California, wrote. “We ask that the DoJ similarly investigate Exxon for organizing a sustained deception campaign disputing climate science and failing to disclose truthful information to investors and the public.”

The  Guardian

2: TPP Treaty: Intellectual Property Rights Chapter – 5 October 2015

WikiLeaks releases the final negotiated text for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) Intellectual Property Rights Chapter. The TPP encompasses 12 nations representing more than 40 per cent of global GDP. Despite a final agreement, the text is still being withheld from the public, notably until after the Canadian election on October 19.

The document is dated four days ago, October 5th, or last Monday, the same day it was announced in Atlanta, Georgia that the 12 member states to the treaty had reached an accord after five and a half years of negotiations.

The IP Chapter of the TPP has perhaps been the most controversial chapter due to its wide-ranging effects on internet services, medicines, publishers, civil liberties and biological patents. “If TPP is ratified, people in the Pacific-Rim countries would have to live by the rules in this leaked text,” said Peter Maybarduk, Public Citizen’s Global Access to Medicines Program Director. “The new monopoly rights for big pharmaceutical firms would compromise access to medicines in TPP countries. The TPP would cost lives.”


The Intercept has obtained a cache of secret documents detailing the inner workings of the U.S. military’s assassination program in Afghanistan, Yemen, and Somalia. The documents, provided by a whistleblower, offer an unprecedented glimpse into Obama’s drone wars.

The Intercept


  1. Obama is keeping soldiers in Afganistan hoping to temp Putin into spreading forces and resources into Afganistan ,so that Obama can lay some more blame on Russia.Obama dost take into account the cost to families,hes lost face in Syria , he cant afford to lose any more useless causes.

    • Afghanistan is stratigically important to China’s Silk Road. I view these new U.S. Troop deployments as part of the U.S. Pivote towards Asia.

      Russia’s involvement in wider conflicts is dependant on a fund Putin has been digging into since the Georgian conflict. The Russian parliament recently rejected increasing military operations budget so no new money will be put into a wider conflict until Putin is finished in Syria.

  2. Maybe the headline ‘The TTP will cost lives’ on the front page of our dearly beloved daily Herald would make some sit up and take notice…maybe.

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