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‘Mumia Bill’ signed in Pennsylvania lets prisoners be sued over speech

RT | October 22, 2014

thPrisoners serving time in the state of Pennsylvania can now be sued for speaking up from behind bars after Governor Tom Corbett signed into law this week the Revictimization Relief Act that legislatures rushed to approve only days earlier.

The bill, signed on Tuesday by Corbett, a Republican, allows victims of “a personal injury crime” to sue the perpetrator if that offender “perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.”

State Rep. Mike Vereb, a Republican and a co-author of the act, announced earlier this month that he’d be rallying lawmakers to support the bill after former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal was allowed to record a commencement speech that was played for graduates of Goddard College during an October 5 ceremony.

Abu-Jamal, 60, is currently serving a life sentence at a prison facility in Frackville, PA for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia cop, Officer Daniel Fulkner, but he has maintained his innocence throughout his incarceration, including three decades spent awaiting execution before prosecutors agreed in 2011 to drop the death penalty. Prior to the start of his prison sentence, Abu-Jamal was considered a renowned activist and journalist, and has since published several books and thousands of essays from behind bars.

“The nation is in deep trouble, largely because old thinking, both domestically and globally, has led us into the morass that the nation now faces, which may be encapsulated by references to place-names that ring in our minds: Gaza; Ferguson; and Iraq—again!” a group of 21 graduating students from Goddard, Abu-Jamal’s alma matter, were told in the tape-recorded commencement speech. “These are some of the challenges that abide in the world, which it will be your destiny to try and analyze and resolve. As students of Goddard, you know that those challenges are not easy, but they must be faced and addressed.” … continue

Yucca Mountain Radioactive Waste Dump Not Dead Yet

By JOHN LAFORGE | CounterPunch | October 22, 2014

Just in time for Halloween, a real zombie.

Although the Obama Administration cancelled the Yucca Mountain project for disposing high-level radioactive waste (uranium fuel rods) in 2009, the scheme stays amazingly undead.

Last Thursday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued the third in a series of reports in which it declared that the deep, engineered cavern inside the mountain — 90 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada — meet the commission’s ever-changing (Eric Pianin, “Rules changed for Nevada nuclear waste site plan,” Wash. Post, Dec. 12, 2001) requirements.

Still pending are two more reports and a final NRC ruling on the site’s suitability. Actual operation of the dump also requires approval from the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Transportation and Energy (DOE). Of course, lawsuits by the State of Nevada and dozens of environmental groups would follow a decision to start burying waste. … continue

What submarine in Sweden?

By Jan Oberg | Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research | October 22, 2014

You have heard that Sweden is hunting a ”submarine” and that it is ”presumed to be Russian”. Here is an example, Financial Times of October 21 – which incidentally also announces that the Swedish Prime Minister vows to increase defence spending.

Not the slightest evidence

There are only three problems with this:

1) There is not the slightest evidence of there being anything military, neither that it is a submarine nor that, whatever the object might be, it is Russian.

2) Even with CNN, BBC and AlJazeera this is nothing but speculative low-grade yellow press journalism. This is possible in the field of defence, security and peace because much less is required of journalists when they write about these matters than when they write about, say, domestic politics, economics, sports, books or food and wine. In these fields you are expected to have some knowledge and media consumers are able to check.

3) It serves other purposes than bringing you information: either to increase further the negative image of Russia, push Sweden into full NATO membership – see the remarkable offer by NATOs former Allied Supreme Commander, Stavridis – for NATO to come and help Sweden – or to scare the Swedes into feeling that it is necessary to pay even more to the Swedish military (a mechanism also called fearology).

Virtually every aspect of the media hype is based on prejudices… continue

New Yorkers Demand Investigation of Basketball Game Hate Crime

By Caleb Maupin | Press TV | October 22, 2014

In New York City, the police are currently investigating hate crimes which occurred when the Israeli basketball team played in the city. At an arena where the team played, a Muslim woman was assaulted for wearing hijab and says she wants justice.

Outside of Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York City, friends and supporters of Nerden Mohsen Kiswani gathered to speak out about the recent incident, and say they want justice for what they call a “cowardly hate crime” perpetrated against her at Barclays Center earlier this month.

383147_Nerdeen-Mohsen-KiswaniKiswani was attacked by a group of Israeli men as she watched the basketball game. She was targeted because she was wearing hijab. After she was attacked, the police seemed under-interested, and let her attackers escape. Amin Hussein, a Palestinian-American lawyer, said that the atmosphere inside of Barclays Center, with Jewish fans gathering to support the Israeli team, was very frightening. Kiswani’s attorney, Lamis Deek, pointed out that the ring-leader of the group that assaulted her was Leonard Petlakh, a well known Zionist activist and college professor. At the press conference, it was pointed out that after the incident Leonard Petlakh claimed Palestine protesters had assaulted him, and his allegations were widely circulated in the press. However, the New York City Hate Crimes Task Force determined after investigation that no hate crimes against Petlakh had taken place.

Israel sells cemetery with Al-Qassam’s grave to a construction company

MEMO | October 21, 2014

A cemetery in Haifa where the body of the martyr Sheikh Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam is buried has been sold to a private construction company, sparking fears of the outbreak of a third Intifada.

grave-of-sheikh-izz-ad-din-al-qassam-in-haifaAl-Qassam is considered one of the most important icons of Palestinian resistance. He was immortalised when he became the first to lay the foundations for organised revolution against the British Mandate’s forces and Zionist settlers in the mid-1930’s.

Hamas named its military wing the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades in recognition of the heroic role he played in defence of Palestine.

The construction company noted that, according to their contract with the Israeli government, the area must be examined and the graves must be moved to another area.

Mustafa Bara, the lawyer representing Palestinians who are strongly opposed to the Israeli government’s decision, warned against taking this measure, as it would elicit harsh reactions from the Palestinian masses. … continue

The Israeli Solution

By Hasan Afif El-Hasan | Palestine Chronicle | October 18, 2014

I tried to explore the long term plans of the ruling elite of Israel regarding the Palestinians. But since no Israeli government ever publicly revealed its long term vision other than maintaining the status quo, I sought to examine their thoughts through one of their surrogates, Caroline Glick. I read her book “The Israeli Solution” that has been published recently. Caroline Glick is a right wing Israeli and a strong supporter of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu policies. She is American born Israeli journalist, the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and she writes for the Israeli daily newspaper, Makor Rishon. In her book, she covers many topics that reflect the right wing Zionists views on Palestine, and she also promotes a one state plan in Palestine.

Glick argues that the two-state-solution is not acceptable because it falls short of meeting the Zionists’ goals. She writes: “The Jewish people’s rights to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria [West Bank]—as with their rights to the rest of the Land of Israel—are overwhelming from historical and political perspective.” She calls for creating an ethnic religious Jewish majority state that includes the West Bank “Judea and Samaria” and Jerusalem, but the one-state she is advocating does not include Gaza Strip and she rejects the refugees’ right of return. … continue

Israel bars travel of Palestinian journalist

Palestine Information Center – 22/10/2014

DataFiles-Cache-TempImgs-2014-2-images_News_2014_10_22_amer_300_0AL-KHALIL – The Israeli occupation authorities have barred the travel of Palestinian photojournalist Amer Abu Arafa from the West Bank city of al-Khalil to Jordan.

Abu Arafa, 28, said on his Facebook page that after a long wait at the King Hussein Bridge on Tuesday afternoon, the Israeli intelligence officer told him that he was banned from travel and that he has to return his hometown al-Khalil.

He said that he was planning to attend a media conference in the Jordanian capital Amman.

Abu Arafa works as a photographer and freelance correspondent for a number of media outlets. He was previously arrested by the Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatuses.

Israeli forces fire “heavily” at Gaza fishermen, detain seven

Al-Akhbar | October 22, 2014

Israeli naval forces detained seven Gaza fishermen off the coast of Gaza City early Wednesday, the head of the Gaza fishermen syndicate confirmed, in a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement that ended a bloody 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza.

“The Israeli navy arrested seven fishermen from one family in Sudaniya in the sea off northern Gaza,” Nizar Ayash, told AFP.

According to Ma’an news agency, the Israeli naval forces opened fire “heavily” on a group of Palestinian fishermen.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the arrest of seven fishermen on two boats, saying that “two vessels sailed beyond the permitted fishing zone” and that one of the fishermen was “very lightly” wounded by the “rubber bullets” fired by Israeli forces.

Ayash accused Israel of constantly violating the terms of the agreement.

“Since signing the truce, the Israeli army has violated (the agreement) eight times, arresting fishermen and destroying a giant fishing boat, in addition to firing at fishermen on a daily basis,” he said.

The August 26 agreement stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually. … Full article

US resupplies ISIS with arms airdrop

Iran does not trust anti-ISIL coalition: Ayatollah Khamenei

Press TV – October 21, 2014

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran has no trust in the sincerity of governments claiming to be fighting the ISIL Takfiri militants.

“We have no trust and confidence in the honesty of those making these remarks (against ISIL) and believe that the issue of ISIL and terrorism should be resolved by regional countries,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran on Tuesday.

The Leader said Iran attaches great significance to security, welfare, might and dignity of Iraq as an important country in the Middle East region, adding that the Islamic Republic firmly and seriously supports the new Iraqi government.

“The present circumstances in the region, including in Iraq, are the outcome of irresponsible policies adopted by transregional powers and certain regional countries in Syria,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.

“We believe that the Iraqi nation and government, particularly the country’s youths, are capable of overcoming terrorists and establishing security and there is no need for the presence of foreigners,” the Leader added. … Full article

Obama’s Ebola Czar Thinks There’s Too Many People in Africa

Administration hires another overpopulation fanatic

Article

Polish ex-foreign minister backtracks on scandalous claim that Putin offered to divide Ukraine

RT | October 21, 2014

Radoslaw Sikorski — the speaker of the Polish Parliament and that nation’s former foreign minister — was forced to apologize after claiming that he overheard Vladimir Putin in 2008 suggest that Ukraine should be divided between Russia and Poland.

A bombshell report published by Politico Magazine over the weekend called “Putin’s Coup” alleged that Sikorski heard that the Russian president told Donald Tusk, then the Polish prime minister, that Poland should “become participants in the divide of Ukraine” during a Polish delegation’s 2008 visit to Moscow.

“He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine… This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow,” Politico’s Ben Judah quoted Sikorski as saying following an interview that formed the basis of the Sunday article. … continue

Ukrainian Government Used Cluster Bombs Against Civilians

teleSUR | October 21, 2014

The Ukrainian army used cluster bombs against civilian populated areas in Donetsk, a report published by The New York Times on Monday claims.

According to the newspaper’s reporters on the ground, physical evidence and interviews with witnesses and victims have confirmed the use of such weaponry, banned in most of the world.

Evidence recovered by the newspaper such as munition fragments also indicates the use of cluster bombs. … continue

Protesters challenge Israeli basketball tour in Ohio, Oregon

By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC News | October 21, 2014

Basketball fans joined with human rights supporters in several U.S. towns to call for a boycott of Israeli sports teams, and to challenge what they call a ‘public relations tour’ by Israeli teams in the U.S. They gathered outside and inside the exhibition games to try to bring attention to the ongoing Israeli military occupation of Palestine.

In Cleveland, Ohio, dozens of protesters chanted and held signs outside the exhibition game last week, and a similar protest took place on Friday in Portland, Oregon.

According to organizers, “These teams represent the injustice and occupation of Palestine. While this team travels freely, Palestinian athletes are denied that same right.

“The Israeli basketball tour is a PR campaign to cover up the horrific massacre of the past summer that killed over 2,100 people in Gaza, including over 500 children. In some cities the games are being used as a fundraiser for the Israeli military. That is the same military that continues to occupy Palestine, kill indiscriminately, and deny Palestinian citizens the right to live freely and with justice. … continue

Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma receives guilty verdict from military court

Abdallah-Abu-Rahmah-copyInternational Solidarity Movement | October 21, 2014

Bil’in, Occupied Palestine – On October 21st, Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”.

“Demonstrating against the occupation cannot be a criminal offence. Finding Abdallah guilty only shows that the [Israeli] military force is a tool to perpetuate the occupation.” Stated Gabi Lasky, lawyer of Abdallah Abu Rahma, to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

Abdallah spoke to the ISM about his recent conviction. “Yesterday the military court ruled that I was guilty, showing once again that they stand on the side of the occupation, and not that of truth and justice. … continue

Israeli army razes Palestinian homes and agricultural stores near Jordan Valley

Palestine Information Center – 21/10/2014

ARIHA – The Israeli occupation army on Monday demolished some Palestinian homes and agricultural structures near the Jordan Valley in the eastern part of the West Bank.

According to Palestinian local sources, Israeli military bulldozers escorted by soldiers knocked down a number of Palestinian-owned homes and structures used for agricultural purposes in Jiflik and Fasayel towns, north of Ariha.

The sources explained that the bulldozers demolished two houses belonging to Mohamed Abu Aram and his son Ihab in Jiftlik in addition to four agricultural stores owned by three other citizens.

Another agricultural store belonging to Hussein Rashaydeh in the nearby village of Fasayel was also razed by the Israeli army.

In a later incident, the Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday morning confiscated three agricultural tractors during a campaign in Wadi Baziq area in the Jordan Valley.

Farmer Mousa Haroub told the Palestinian Information Center that Israeli troops forcibly took the three tractors from their owners and loaded them on huge trucks, without giving reasons for their action. He added that the owners of the tractors were handed written orders asking them to go to the Israeli authorities in the area, while other citizens were questioned by Israeli officers about their jobs.

The Israeli army also notified today Palestinian Bedouins of its intention to demolish two tents and a cattle shed in Fakheet hamlet to the east of Yatta.

The IOF claimed that the structures to be removed are located in a closed military zone.

Bolivia’s Evo Morales re-elected, but important challenges lie ahead

By Richard Fidler | Life on the Left | October 19, 2014

As expected, Evo Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) government won a resounding victory in Bolivia’s national presidential and parliamentary election October 12. [...]

Almost half of the ALP members will now be women, as the new Constitution requires each party slate to include gender parity.

image_thumb%255B1%255DAmong the four major opposition parties, all to the right of the MAS, the most votes went to Democratic Unity (UD), a coalition of the parties headed by millionaire businessman Samuel Doria Medina and Ruben Costas, the governor of Santa Cruz department. Doria Medina, the ex-minister in charge of many privatizations in previous neoliberal governments, made his fortune in cement production and is also the Bolivian owner of the Burger King chain. Costas was a leader of the 2008 failed insurrection.

The UD took about 25% of the vote, considerably more than the 18% it registered in pre-election public opinion polling. It was followed by the Christian Democrats led by former conservative president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, with about 9%. Trailing far behind were the Movimiento Sin Miedo (the Fearless Movement) led by former La Paz mayor Juan del Granado, and the Partido Verde (Greens), led by Fernando Vargas, a lowlands indigenous leader of the 2011 TIPNIS march. With less than 3% each, the latter two parties risk losing their official status under Bolivia’s election law.

Almost three million Bolivians live outside the country, mainly in neighboring Argentina and Brazil, as well as Spain and the United States. In this election these economic exiles had the right to vote, and in the 33 countries where this was possible the vote abroad went heavily in favour of the MAS, which took 72%. Last year was the first in many years in which more Bolivians returned to take up residence in the country than left to find work elsewhere, a reflection of the relative prosperity the country is enjoying under the Morales government. … Full article

UN Human Rights Head Defends Venezuelans Accused of Political Violence

teleSUR | October 20, 2014

The United Nations’ top human rights official Monday came to the defense of the alleged mastermind of a wave of political violence that shook Venezuela earlier this year.

“I call on the Venezuelan authorities to act on the opinions of the (U.N.) working group and immediately release Mr. Lopez and Mr. Ceballos, as well as all those detained for exercising their legitimate right to express themselves and protest peacefully,” U.N. high commissioner for human rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein stated.

The working group referred to by Zeid ruled in September that far-right opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez and former opposition mayor Daniel Ceballos were arrested by Venezuelan authorities arbitrarily.

Ceballos was found guilty in March of disobeying an order from Venezuela’s High Court to dismantle barricades used by right wing groups to block streets in the city of San Cristobal, where he was mayor.

San Cristobal was the epicenter of a campaign by opposition groups to pressure President Nicolas Maduro to resign.

Opposition groups described as “peacefully” protesting by Zeid are alleged to have killed at least 20 people nationwide, and hundreds more wounded.

One victim was decapitated by a wire trap near a barricade, while a handful of others were gunned down by armed groups operating barricades. … Full article

Alaska National Guard allowed recruiters to rape, embezzle, sell steroids: report

By Travis Gettys | Raw Story | October 16, 2014

A top commander for the Alaska National Guard was recommended for “other than honorable” discharge earlier this year following an investigation that found he allowed recruiters to sexually assault and harass women.

Lt. Col. Joseph Lawendowski failed to act on multiple complaints of serious misconduct, including rape, against four noncommissioned officers under his command, according to an Army investigation.

The Anchorage Press obtained a copy of the Army Regulation 15-6 report that found Lawendowski, a former pornography company owner and co-founder of an “end times” fundamentalist group, violated the National Guard code of conduct on multiple occasions. … continue

High-Level NSA Official Tied To Husband’s Private Signals Intelligence Business, Has A Second Business That Owns A Plane

By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | October 21, 2014

… Perhaps it’s indicative of nothing at all, other than the overwhelming gravitational pull of the Beltway. But then, there’s this timeline:

1984 – Teresa Shea joins the NSA as an engineer working in SIGINT issues.

1990 – James Shea sets up Sigtek, Inc., which goes on to receive “hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts with the federal government, according to a federal contracting database.”

1999 – Teresa Shea registers Oplnet, using their home address.

2000 – James Shea sells Sigtek, Inc. for $20 million to a British firm, while remaining listed as President of the company.

2007 – James Shea sets up Telic Networks, his newest SIGINT-focused company. This too is “based” at the Sheas’ shared home address.

2010 – Teresa Shea is promoted to Director of SIGINT. Nearly simultaneously, James Shea is named vice president of major SIGINT contractor DRS Signal Solutions. … Read full article

The Troubling Arguments from the Government in Smith v. Obama

By Nadia Kayyali | EFF | October 20, 2014
  • Call Detail Records Don’t Actually Identify People
  • We Have to Collect Everything for the Program to Work. But We’re Not Collecting Everything.
  • Bulk Telephone Records Collection Isn’t Necessary to Protect Us—But Is Still Allowed Under the “Special-Needs Doctrine”

Read article

More Police Departments than Previously Thought Use Portable Surveillance Systems to Spy on almost Everyone

By Steve Straehley and Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | October 21, 2014

More U.S. police departments are employing electronic surveillance technology that can collect information from cell phones and laptop computers belonging not just to criminal suspects but also law abiding citizens.

The Charlotte Observer found the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have for eight years used such equipment, which goes by many names: Stingray, Hailstorm, AmberJack and TriggerFish.

But the technology, which mimics cell towers, is also used by other law enforcement around the country. It’s just not clear which departments, the newspaper says, because the federal government has helped to shield police from disclosing their owning and operating the spy hardware. In fact, the Obama administration “has ordered cities not to disclose information about the equipment,” the Observer’s Fred Classen-Kelly reported. … continue

Chile Arrests Ex-Pinochet Minister over Killings of Political Prisoners

teleSUR | October 20, 2014

On Monday, Chilean authorities arrested Col Cristian Labbe, a former cabinet minister under General Augusto Pinochet, for his involvement in the killings of 13 political prisoners and disappearance of dissents in the 1970s, during the military dictatorship.

Labbe was detained in Santiago on charges of criminal association as well as suspicion of being involved in the “hierarchical organization” of the Directorate of National Intelligence – the Chilean secret police that operated the Tejas Verde detention center. The prison was responsible for some of the worst human rights violations in the first years of Pinochet’s rule (1973-1990). [...]

An estimated 3,095 people were killed during Pinochet’s dictatorship, and another 38,000 tortured and 1,200 disappeared. – Full article

Obama considers [officially] allowing torture overseas

RT | October 20, 2014

The White House is reportedly wrestling over how to interpret a ban on “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment” ahead of a meeting in Geneva next month concerning the United Nations charter on torture.

According to the New York Times, the Obama administration remains divided over what stance a Washington delegation will officially take at the UN-sponsored Committee Against Torture panel early next month in the Swiss city.

chair-bananaAlthough Barack Obama said before and after being elected to the White House that United States officials should never engage in torturous activity, Times national security journalist Charlie Savage reported on Sunday this week that administration officials might formally adopt another stance — one on par with the policies of Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush — when the panel convenes in a couple of weeks.

The Times reported that the attorneys who answer to the president are conflicted over whether or not the White House should revisit the Bush administration’s interpretation of a UN treaty, the likes of which authorized the use of enhanced interrogation tactics, like waterboarding and sleep deprivation, on individuals detained by military and intelligence agencies in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks at facilities such as the Guantanamo Bay detention center and CIA so-called “black sites.” … continue

Prepare Your Children for “a Lifetime of Surveillance”

By Diane Ravitch | October 18, 2014

The data mining company inBloom died, killed off by parent opposition, but the data mining industry is not dead. Far from it. It is growing and metastasizing as investors see new opportunities to profit from the data surreptitiously collected while children are using computers, taking tests online, chatting online, and practicing for state tests online.

According to this article in Model View Culture, investors have poured billions of dollars into new technologies to track students’ movements. … continue

Kiev denies German intel claim that militia captured BUK missile from Ukraine army

RT | October 20, 2014

The Ukrainian Defense Ministry rejected a report by Germany’s foreign intelligence agency that E. Ukraine militia shot down flight MH17 with a BUK missile captured from a Ukrainian base. The report also accused Kiev of falsifying intelligence.

“The Command of the Air Force of Ukraine officially states that information about the capture of anti-aircraft missile system Buk-M1 from a military unit of the Air Force of Ukraine by militia is not true,” the country’s Defense Ministry said in a statement.

The ministry has responded to a recent report published by the German daily Der Spiegel. It revealed that on Oct. 8 BND President Gerhard Schindler announced at a secret meeting that there is “ample evidence” that militia in Donetsk captured BUK defense missile system from a Ukrainian base and fired a rocket from it. The alleged launch on July 17 resulted in deadly crash of civilian MH17 flight by Malaysian Airlines, with 298 passengers and crew on board, the report claims.

The Ukrainian Ministry insists that the BND’s finding cannot be true because “personnel, military equipment and armament stationed in the Donetsk region” was “quickly” relocated on June 29, more than two weeks before the tragedy.

“At the time when rebels entered the territory of that military base, only old and unusable vehicles were left there,” the Ministry said. … continue

Germany’s BND ‘evidence’ on MH17 tragedy looks like another disinformation operation

RT | October 20, 2014

German BND’s “evidence” that E. Ukrainian rebels are behind the MH17 crash is an attempt to muddle the waters and to throw more propagandistic mud at Russia’s door rather than to find the truth, foreign affairs expert Srdja Trifkovic told RT.

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, the BND has blamed rebel forces in east Ukraine for the MH17 plane crash in July, Der Spiegel reported. According to the weekly magazine the BND has “ample evidence”, including satellite images that the militia forces in east Ukraine used the BUK missile system to bring down the Malaysian passenger plane. However, so far the intelligence agency has not made any of that “evidence” public. … continue

US Army withheld promise from Germany that Ebola virus wouldn’t be weaponized

RT | October 20, 2014

The United States has withheld assurances from Germany that the Ebola virus – among other related diseases – would not be weaponized in the event of Germany exporting it to the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

German MFA Deputy Head of Division for Export Control Markus Klinger provided a paper to the US consulate’s Economics Office (Econoff), “seeking additional assurances related to a proposed export of extremely dangerous pathogens.”

Germany subsequently made two follow-up requests and clarifications to the Army… continue

Perry’s Priorities: Photo-Op at Auschwitz More Important Than Combating Ebola Outbreak in Texas

By Doug E. Steil | Aletho News | October 20, 2014

It is an established and well-known fact, at least among the many hundreds of thousands of health care professionals and local politicians tasked with securing public health in the United States, that the legal jurisdictional responsibilities for dealing with potential or actual pandemic emergencies lie at the state level, not with any agency or department of the federal government. Thereby, the Governor of a particular state of the Union leads the chain of command in such instances, as in the recent Ebola outbreak in Texas, which subsequently spread beyond the initially impacted individual, who has subsequently died.

Elaborate procedures for dealing with such contingencies were developed years ago, and implementing the appropriate procedures, in case a disaster strikes, have been rehearsed periodically. Therefore, alleged Incompetence, such as not knowing exactly what to do in such a situation, cannot be a credible explanation or excuse. … continue

Macy’s stops stocking SodaStream

Alternative Information Center | October 19, 2014

The department store chain Macy’s has stopped carrying Israeli settlement products of SodaStream, according to the Wall Street Journal. Macy’s has been targeted the past year by pro-Palestinian activists, who have called on it and other major chains to stop carrying the SodaStream home carbonation system and soda flavourings due to the company’s role in the military occupation of Palestine.

This news comes amidst sinking share prices of the company, which earlier this month announced preliminary results for the fourth quarter. It projected $125 million in revenue in the quarter and operating income of $8.5 million. That’s well short of the $154.4 million of revenue and $17.6 million in operating income expected by analysts. In the third quarter of last year, the revenue was about the same, but operating income of $18 million was more than double what it expects this year. Its shares have dropped by 45% so far this year.

Jim Charnier, an analyst at Monness Crespi Hardt, told the Wall Street Journal that he had been expecting a poor quarter when he learned early in September that Macy’s had stopped carrying SodaStream and saw other negative figures from the market. … continue

Israeli occupation forces kidnap Aqsa channel reporter from his home

Palestine Information Center – 20/10/2014

DataFiles-Cache-TempImgs-2014-2-images_News_2014_10_20_Khawaja-0_300_0RAMALLAH – Israeli occupation forces kidnapped Palestinian journalist Mustafa Al-Khawaja, who works as a reporter for Al-Aqsa satellite channel in Ramallah, from his house in Ni’lin town at dawn on Monday.

Khawaja’s family told the Palestinian Information Center that Israeli troops stormed the house at an early hour today and ransacked it.

The soldiers, then, isolated Khawaja from the rest of his family members and interrogated him about his job at the channel. They also collected documents related to his work as well as all his awards and certificates of honor which he had received from the channel and put them inside a box before they took Khawaja blindfolded and handcuffed into one of their vehicles and drove away, the family explained. … Full article

How money from pro-Israel donors controls Westminster

By Alastair Sloan | MEMO | October 20, 2014

Around this time last year, parliamentary records show, the retired property developer and hugely generous Labour party donor, Sir David Garrard, had given a modest £60,000 towards the party’s election campaign for 2015. It came in addition to around half a million he had already given since 2003.

Fast forward to 16 June of this year, Garrard hosts a Labour Friends of Israel event, at which Labour leader Ed Miliband is the main speaker. The prime minister hopeful had, the year before, proclaimed that he was a Zionist. The lobbying group he addressed boasts dozens of Labour peers and MPs amongst its membership, including the Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls.

Despite the atrocities being committed as Miliband spoke – a few thousand miles away during “Operation Protective Edge” in Gaza, he made not one mention of the Palestinian casualties in his speech, though he did take time to note Israel’s own losses. By that point, 172 Palestinian lives had been taken, and over 1,200 were wounded. The newspapers were in outcry, but from Miliband – performing before his party donors – silence.

That same day, the silence was rewarded. Garrard transferred a whopping £630,000 to the Labour party accounts, over ten times his donation from the previous year. … continue

Press TV reporter killed in Turkey car crash after ‘spying accusations’

RT | October 20, 2014

B0Vhqb_CEAErB3JA Lebanese-American reporter working for Iranian channel, Press TV, Serena Shim has been killed in a car crash in Turkey, following her reports of accusations from Turkey’s intelligence agency that she had been “spying.”

“Our correspondent Serena Shim has been killed near the Turkey-Syria border. Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene… their car collided with a heavy vehicle,” a Press TV broadcast stated on Monday. Shim had also been the mother of two young children.

The driver of the vehicle was subsequently arrested, according to Turkish news agency Hurriyet, citing the Turkish Doğan News Agency. Press TV disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle have disappeared. … continue

Key U.S. Income Statistics: Average Family Income is Growing; Median Family Income is Falling

By Steve Straehley | AllGov | October 20, 2014

While the United States economy is no longer in recession, the recovery hasn’t meant American families are back to where they were before the 2008 crash. While the average income is growing, the median income, that is, the point at which half the families make more money and half the families make less money, is falling.

A survey (pdf) by the Federal Reserve Board shows that between 2010 and 2013, the average family income rose 4%, but the median family income fell 5% during that period. That means the income gains have been concentrated among the wealthy, with the poor and middle class still struggling to see a real recovery. … Full article

Obama hits campaign trail, audience heckles, leaves early

RT | October 20, 2014

367484_obama-foreign-policyPresident Barack Obama, whose popularity ratings have hit record lows, failed to rally a crowd for a fellow Democratic candidate, as some audience members heckled and others left the venue in the middle of his speech.

Following a recent string of controversial presidential decisions – including the failure to secure the country’s southern border with Mexico as thousands of illegals are granted amnesty, and the mismanagement of the first deadly Ebola case to hit the mainland – it seems that Obama has even managed to alienate constituents of his own party. … Full article

What Happens When You Talk With Americans About Drone Murders

By Joy First | World Beyond War

Mount Horeb, Wisconsin — Bonnie Block, Jim Murphy, Lars and Patty Prip, Mary Beth Schlagheck, and I were at Rest Area 10 along I- 90/94, about 5 miles south of Mauston, from 10:00 am – noon on Thursday October 9, 2014. We had a model drone and a stack of flyers “6 Things You Should Know About Drones” to help us in reaching the public and so they can learn more about what is going on just up the road at Volk Field Air National Guard Base. We were there in solidarity with others around the country as part of “Keep Space for Peace Week” and global days of actions against drones… continue

Official: PA forces regularly conduct politically motivated arrests

Ma’an – October 19, 2014

BETHLEHEM – Palestinian Authority police regularly detain people in the West Bank due to their political affiliation, an official said Sunday.

Khalil Assaf, a member of the subcommittee on civil liberties formed after the West Bank-Gaza unity government was sworn in in June, told Ma’an that regardless of the committee’s formation, none of its recommendations have been implemented.

“Every day people are being detained in the West Bank because of their political affiliation, though in most cases they are released within days,” Assaf said. … continue

October – 2014


September – 2014


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