In Greece- China Finds an Ally Against Human Rights Criticism – The New York Times

“GENEVA — China has long won diplomatic allies in the world’s poor countries by helping them build expensive roads and ports. Now, it appears to have similarly won over a needy country in Europe.At a meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Council this month in Geneva, the European Union sought to draw renewed attention to human rights abuses in China — only to be blocked by one of its member countries, Greece.

A spokesman for the Greek Foreign Ministry in Athens called it “unproductive criticism.” ”

Is the question now how to punish Greece?     Maybe not. Nicholas Kistof’s op-ed Sunday, about the black man in California on death row, though many are sure he was framed by the Sheriff’s office, suggests that we are in need of focusing on our own human rights abuses.

Unfortunately, I have just seen the play Titus Andronicus, by William Shakespeare, in its movie form of 1999, and have much to digest about the cruelty and evil of human kind.

One can love China and the United States, and yet, want to hold both to a high level of moral and political leadership. Shakespeare writes in Titus Andronicus about the fragility of leadership, and the abundance of evil and corruption in human centers of power. I do not advocate surrender to evil and corruption. We need to sharpen our weapons, even if only pencils and keyboards, and prepare multiple scenarios for how to attack an army of windmills.

A Rare Survivor of a Philippine Drug Raid Takes the Police to Court – The New York Times

MANILA — The drug raid ended like so many others in the Philippines, with all the suspects shot by the police.But one of them, Efren Morillo, a 28-year-old fruit and vegetable vendor, did not die.As the only known survivor of a so-called buy-bust operation, Mr. Morillo has provided a chilling first-person account that challenges the government’s assertion that the thousands of suspects killed in President Rodrigo Duterte’s antidrug campaign were killed by the police in self-defense. And his testimony lies at the heart of the first court case to challenge that campaign.According to his sworn affidavit, none of the five suspects were drug users and none were armed.The police took two of them, including Mr. Morillo, inside a house, handcuffed, Mr. Morillo said. Three others were lined up at a clearing near a ravine, ordered to kneel, their hands tied behind their backs.There was begging and crying as the police shot each man at close range, Mr. Morillo said.

Russia’s Brutal Bombing of Aleppo May Be Calculated, and It May Be Working – The New York Times

by Max Fisher.

“The effects of Russia’s bombing campaign in the Syrian city of Aleppo — destroying hospitals and schools, choking off basic supplies, and killing aid workers and hundreds of civilians over just days — raise a question: What could possibly motivate such brutality?Observers attribute Russia’s bombing to recklessness, cruelty or Moscow’s desperate thrashing in what the White House has called a “quagmire.”

But many analysts take a different view: Russia and its Syrian government allies, they say, could be massacring Aleppo’s civilians as part of a calculated strategy, aimed beyond this one city.The strategy, more about politics than advancing the battle lines, appears to be designed to pressure rebels to ally themselves with extremists, eroding the rebels’ legitimacy; give Russia veto power over any high-level diplomacy; and exhaust Syrian civilians who might otherwise support the opposition.”

Source: Russia’s Brutal Bombing of Aleppo May Be Calculated, and It May Be Working – The New York Times