Essential reading compiled by staff and subscribers – if you have any interesting links please email us or add via the comments box.

London bombing
Two-thirds believe London bombings are linked to Iraq War, Common Dreams

A leading psychiatrist argues that the last thing Londoners need now is trauma counselling, Simon Wessely, Spiked

Read Spiked editor Mick Hume’s Notebook in The Times (London).

Myths about the Second World War won’t help us understand what is happening today. James Heartfield, Spiked

Iraq/War on Terror
25,000 Civilians Killed Since Iraq Invasion, Says Report, Common Dreams

“On Sunday, George W. Bush’s war against terror was turned upside down – and this time the president might even notice. That’s because when “our guys” in Iraq start firmly allying with an “axis of evil” nation, it’s got to ring some warning bells, no?” Robert Scheer, LA Times

More than two years into our occupation of Iraq, there is still no official record kept of the civilian dead. Judith Coburn,

“The election clock was running down, and people were panicking,” said one of Hersh’s inside sources. “The polls showed that the Shiites were going to run off with the store. The Administration had to do something.” Seymour M. Hersh, Truthout

“This is about the credibility of the president of the United States,” said Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid. “He said he would fire anyone who was involved in leaking this sensitive information. Now, he’s changing his tune.” Bush Raises Threshold for Firing Aides in Leak Probe

The key issue in the affair has little directly to do with former US Ambassador Joseph Wilson; or his wife, Valerie Plame; or Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby; or even President George W. Bush’s alter ego, Karl Rove. White House v. Wilson/Plame is about Iraq, where our sons and daughters – and many others – are daily meeting violent death in an unwinnable war. And it’s about manipulation. Ray McGovern, Truthout

In public, he was masterminding President Bush’s reelection and brushing off suggestions he had played any part in an unfolding drama: the unmasking of CIA operative Valerie Plame. In private, the senior White House adviser was meeting, on five occasions, with federal prosecutors to tell what he knew about the matter. Truthout

Karl Rove’s America, Paul Krugman, Truthout

As liberal and conservative groups and pundits debate the future of the Supreme Court, a large but often overlooked group is being left out of the conversation: moderate Republicans. Rose Aguilar, AlterNet

It was created 40 years ago to provide health care for the poorest New Yorkers, offering a lifeline to those who could not afford to have a baby or a heart attack. But in the decades since, New York State’s Medicaid program has also become a $44.5 billion target for the unscrupulous and the opportunistic. New York’s Medicaid program, once a beacon of the Great Society era, has become so huge, so complex and so lightly policed that it is easily exploited. Truthout

The number of immigrant day laborers is rising fast on the heels of the construction boom. Immigrants who lack permanent employment, relying instead on jobs that may change from one day to the next, are a fixture of the US economy, numbering as many as one million nationwide, according to advocacy groups. A substantial number of these workers – no one knows how many – are in the US illegally. Now, the issue is becoming a magnet for activist groups on both sides of the broader political debate over immigration. Truthout

While unemployment rates look low, the figures leave out millions of Americans who have no jobs. Paul Krugman reports.

Hewlett-Packard Co. today said it will slash 14,500 jobs, freeze retirement benefits and reorganize its major business units as one of Silicon Valley’s pioneering technology companies struggles to compete against low-cost rivals. The deep job cuts – which amount to about 10% of HP’s worldwide workforce – and other measures are expected to eventually save the company $1.9 billion annually and make it more competitive, according to the Palo Alto, California-based high tech firm. Truthout

An FEC commissioner’s comments flame through the blogosphere, mobilizing bloggers and questioning the role of ‘citizen journalists.’ Kelly Hearn, AlterNet

FBI Builds Huge File on Antiwar, Rights Groups, Truthout

Notice of Revocation of American Independence by John Cleese – here

Third World
An Indian photographer has been threatened with legal action by beverage giant Coca-Cola for displaying one of his photographs – depicting water shortages against a backdrop of the company’s ubiquitous logo – on a giant billboard. Haksar, who rents a billboard on a busy arterial road in the southern city of Madras to showcase his work by often highlighting a social issue, said he would not remove the billboard and will go to court if necessary. Truthout

Lacking a Channel for Grievances, Garment Workers Opt to Strike in Xizhou, China. It was a shocking first for Xizhou, a raw industrial zone on the northeastern edge of the city of Guangzhou, in southern China’s muggy Pearl River Delta. But across China there are thousands of such explosions every year – by farmers who lose their land, workers who get laid off and villagers who feel cheated by corrupt officials. The protests have become a major concern for the Communist Party government in Beijing at a time of meteoric economic growth and massive migration from villages to factories, raising the prospect of broad instability that could potentially undermine the party’s grip on power. Truthout

The riots in Xinchang are a part of a rising tide of discontent in China, with the number of mass protests like these skyrocketing to 74,000 incidents last year from about 10,000 a decade earlier, according to government figures. In Xinchang, as with many of the recent protests, the initial spark involved claims of serious environmental degradation. Truthout

Ten years ago, a group of women established the village of Umoja, which means unity in Swahili, on an unwanted field of dry grasslands. The women said they had been raped and, as a result, abandoned by their husbands, who claimed they had shamed their community. What started as a group of homeless women looking for a place of their own became a successful and happy village. Truthout

Selina, her husband, and four children are among the 1.2 billion people in the world living on less than a dollar a day — what the United Nations calls ‘extreme poverty.’
Xanthe Scharff, Christian Science Monitor

The British elite seems almost as fearful of the white working class as it is of the terrorists, Josie Appleton, Spiked

The BBC’s latest bout of white, middle-class self- flagellation won’t do anything for quality. Dolan Cummings, Spiked

Australia hung out to dry on climate change, Martin Callinan reports

The G8 declaration blows apart Green delusions. Philip Stott, Spiked

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.