Aletho News

ΑΛΗΘΩΣ

Current News and Analysis

ISIS 101

What’s really terrifying about this threat

By John Chuckman | Aletho News | March 1, 2015

ISIS certainly is not what a great many people think that it is, if you judge what they think by what our corporate press proclaims incessantly.

Judging by what ISIS actually does and whom its acts benefit, its clandestine associates, and the testimony of some witnesses, ISIS is a complex intelligence operation. Its complexity reflects at least in part the fact that it serves the interests of several countries and that it has more than one objective. Its complexity reflects also the large effort to reinforce a false image with disinformation and staged events such as a video of a beheading which could not have been a beheading unless they’ve discovered a bloodless method until now unknown to science. … continue

Total Mainstream Media Blackout of Chicago Secret ‘Black Site’ at Homan Square

Nick Bernabe | ANTIMEDIA | February 28, 2015

B-9vTsKVAAEzK4mChicago, IL — As the nation continues to react to the newly discovered ‘black site’ operated by Chicago Police, the mainstream media continues to bury it’s head in the sand.

National media outlets like Fox, MSNBC, and CNN are unsurprisingly refusing to touch this story, driving even further suspicion that the corporate media has become nothing more than a mouthpiece for big government and corporate America.

As we reported earlier this week, local corporate media was literally running stories about Homan Square that were direct copies from CPD’s public relations statements.

According to interviews conducted by The Atlantic, local mainstream reporters often agree with these disappear and torture tactics, so they refuse to do their jobs at uncovering what is going on there;

“I think that many crime reporters in Chicago have political views that are right in line with the police,” Tracy Siska said. “They tend to agree about the tactics needed by the police. They tend to have by one extent or the other the same racist views of the police — a lot of urban police (not all of them by any stretch, but a lot of them) embody racism.”

Meanwhile, a campaign we launched to shed light on Homan Square, #Gitmo2Chicago, trended nationwide last night on Twitter and today on Facebook — showing that the public at large is generally disgusted by these CIA-style tactics.

So while the corporate media posts 3 million stories about the color of a dress, the country is questioning the police state in a big way.

As I write this, a large protest is taking place in Chicago at Homan Square to shut it down, with more protests being planned across the country in the coming weeks.

But keep in mind, the Revolution will not be televised on Cable TV, but it will be on the internet. Watch live video from the protests here.

Google modifying algorithm in attempt to become the Internet’s Ministry of Truth

By Doug Owen | Blacklisted News | March 1, 2015

Google is looking at rolling out yet another revision to their search engine algorithm by curtailing your results to sites it considers to be the most “trustworthiness.”

New Scientist Explains:

Google’s search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.

A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. “A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the team (arxiv.org/abs/1502.03519v1). The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score. […]

The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. … more

Cuba to Be Removed from US’ List of Sponsors of Terrorism

teleSUR | February 28, 2015

The United States responded positively to Cuba’s call to be taken off from the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism, a condition put forward by Havana before embassies could be opened in their respective capitals.

Roberta Jacobson, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, said on Friday during a press conference that her country is reviewing the terror list and will remove Cuba from it before April to pave the way for better ties between both nations.

“We are going to do that as quickly as we can in accordance with the requirements of the law, but we see that and the establishment of diplomatic relations as separate processes,” Jacobson said.

The Cuban government has insisted that diplomatic relations cannot exist while one country has the other one on a list of sponsors of terrorism. … Full article

Champion of the poor president: Uruguay’s Mujica steps down with 65% approval rating

RT | March 1, 2015

Uruguay’s president, Jose “Pepe” Mujica, a former guerrilla who lives on a farm and gives most of his salary to charity, is stepping down after five years in office, ending his term as one of the world’s most popular leaders ever.

Mujica, 79, is leaving office with a 65 percent approval rating. He is constitutionally prohibited from serving consecutive terms.

“I became president filled with idealism, but then reality hit,” Mujica said in an interview with a local newspaper earlier this week, according to AFP.

Some call him “the world’s poorest president.” Others the “president every other country would like to have.” But Mujica says “there’s still so much to do” and hopes that the next government, led by Tabare Vazquez (who was elected president for a second time last November) will be “better than mine and will have greater success.”

Mujica said he succeeded in putting Uruguay on the world map. He managed to turn the cattle-ranching country, home to 3.4 million people, into an energy-exporting nation, Brazil being Uruguay’s top export market (followed by China, Argentina, Venezuela and the US.)

Uruguay’s $55 billion economy has grown an average 5.7 percent annually since 2005, according to the World Bank. Uruguay has maintained its decreasing trend in public debt-to-GDP ratio – from 100 percent in 2003 to 60 percent by 2014. It has also managed to decrease the cost of its debt, and reduce dollarization – from 80 percent in 2002 to 50 percent in 2014.

“We’ve had positive years for equality. Ten years ago, about 39 percent of Uruguayans lived below the poverty line; we’ve brought that down to under 11 percent and we’ve reduced extreme poverty from 5 percent to only 0.5 percent,” Mujica told the Guardian in November. … continue

More US colleges boycott Israeli goods

Press TV – March 1, 2015

A decade-old movement for boycotting Israeli goods in the United States is gaining momentum at American universities, a report says.

An increasing number of American students are now joining the Boycott-Divestment-Sanction movement … with student governments at some universities taking divestment votes, the Associated Press reported on Saturday.

Student governments at five of the 10 University of California campuses have voted for divestment with two more doing the same which include Santa Cruz and Davis.

In addition, divestment has gained, since December, the support of the labor union UAW2865 which represents thousands of teaching assistants and workers for the entire UC as well as the UC Students Association representing student government bodies statewide. … Full article

Israeli Occupation Forces opens fire at Palestinian farms east of Khan Younis

113767895Palestine Information Center – March 1, 2015

KHAN YOUNIS – Israeli Occupation Forces (IOF) opened machinegun fire at agricultural lands to the east of Khan Younis in southern Gaza Strip on Sunday morning.

Local sources told the PIC reporter that the IOF soldiers based on the borderline of the Israeli security fence fired machineguns at Palestinian farmers and bird hunters with no casualties reported.

Israeli indiscriminate fire and limited incursions into Gaza Strip breach the ceasefire agreement signed with Egyptian mediation late August.

Israel asks US for additional $300mn for missile defense – report

RT | March 1, 2015

Israel reportedly bypassed the White House and asked the US Congress for an extra $317 million to be added to President Barack Obama’s budget for the next fiscal year in order to fund Israeli missile defense programs, Bloomberg reported. […]

The new allocation will allegedly finance the ‘David’s Sling’ and ‘Arrow-3′ programs – designed to intercept medium- to long-range missiles – as well as provide an anti-ballistic missile system.

According to Bloomberg’s report on Friday, the director of Israel’s missile defense organization Yair Ramati “visited lawmakers and aides to the congressional defense committees on February 2 and 3 to outline the case for more money and thank them for past assistance.” … continue

Israeli Navy Opens Fire on Gaza Fishermen

56641_345x230IMEMC News & Agencies | March 1, 2015

The Israeli navy, Saturday, again opened machine gun fire on Palestinian fishermen offshore the al-Sudaniya, to the northwest of Gaza.

According to WAFA correspondence, Israeli naval boats indiscriminately opened heavy gunfire on fishermen sailing within the unilaterally-imposed six-nautical-miles fishing zone offshore al-Sudaniya, causing damages to at least one boat.

No injuries were reported among the fishermen who fled the scene for fear of being injured, killed, or arrested. … Full article

Ban suggests Israeli attack on UNIFIL post was deliberate

Press TV – February 28, 2015

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has suggested that the Israeli regime deliberately targeted a base of UN peacekeeping forces along Lebanon’s southern border last month, in which a peacekeeper was killed.

“The incident happened at a UNIFIL base which is known perfectly by Israeli forces,” Ban said, using the acronym for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

According to Lebanon’s An-Nahar daily on Saturday, Ban also censured the killing of the Spanish peacekeeper who died in the Israeli shelling of the UNIFIL post in January.

During the Israeli raid on the Lebanese border, the observation tower of a Spanish UNIFIL position in Abbasieh, one kilometer east of Ghajar, was directly struck by an artillery shell, killing Cpl. Francisco Javier Soria Toledo.

A report submitted to the UN Security Council on Friday by the UN’s Special Coordinator for Lebanon Sigrid Kaag held the Israeli regime “fully liable for the death of the peacekeeper.” … continue

Four Palestinians and one female German demonstrator shot with live ammunition at “Open Shuhada Street” protest

International Solidarity Movement | February 28, 2015

Hebron, Occupied Palestine – On February 27 in occupied Al-Khalil (Hebron), Israeli forces fired live ammunition towards nonviolent protesters participating in the annual Open Shuhada Street demonstration, injuring five including four Palestinian activists, one of them 17 years old, and one German citizen. More were also injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and stun grenades as soldiers and Border Police blocked the roads leading towards Shuhada Street and attacked the protesters.

OS-sniper-front-view-better-2-600x450Close to a thousand Palestinians, accompanied by Israeli and international supporters, marched towards one of the closed entrances to Shuhada Street carrying flags and signs and chanting. They called for the opening of Shuhada Street, whose closure to Palestinians has become a symbol of Israel’s Apartheid system, and for an end to the occupation. The march was turned back by stun grenades, rubber coated steel bullets and live ammunition fired by the Israeli military. Around twenty demonstrators were injured in total; Hebron Hospital reported that at least six were admitted and two required surgery. One Palestinian activist, Hijazi Ebedo, 25, was arrested at the demonstration; all he had been doing was chanting and holding a sign.

Issa Amro, coordinator and co-founder of Youth Against Settlements (YAS) stated: “The protest, which was joined by groups from all over Palestine, marked the twenty-first anniversary of the Ibrahimi Mosque Massacre. Israeli occupying forces shot live ammunition towards peaceful protesters, which is against international law. The Israeli military should be held accountable in international court for their actions.”

“Julia was standing and filming next to me when suddenly she fell to the ground,” stated Leigh, a Canadian activist who was standing next to Julia when she was shot. … continue

Obama Regime Proposes Ridiculous Anti-Consumer Plan for GMO Labeling

By | February 26, 2015

Despite polls showing overwhelming support for labeling for genetically engineered foods, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack proposed yesterday that consumers should use their smartphones to scan bar codes on food packages to find out whether their food contains GMOs.

Vlisack’s idea is sure to cheer the food industry, while denying Americans the right to know what is in our food.

Why not just enforce our right to know what is in our food? Why does the Obama administration stand up for Big Food and not consumers?

A fancy smart phone and a pricy data plan should not be prerequisites for knowing if your food has been genetically engineered.

In 2007, as a presidential candidate, then-Senator Obama promised mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods. He said: “Here’s what I’ll do as president … We’ll let folks know if their food has been genetically modified, because Americans should know what they’re buying,” Obama has yet to keep his promise.

In 2001, then-Governor Vilsack was named Governor of the Year for the Biotechnology Industry Organization.

A January 24 statement published in the journal Environmental Sciences Europe — signed by 300 scientists, physicians and scholars — asserts there is no scientific consensus on the safety of GMOs.

Rich get richer from fewer labor unions, study says

RT | February 28, 2015

A study by the International Monetary Fund tracked three decades of income and found that as unionization declined, the wealth of the richest 10 percent in advanced countries showed a continuous increase.

More specifically, the study’s authors found that when researching income levels during the period of 1980-2010, the decline in unionization explained about half of the rise in incomes for the richest 10 percent, and half of the increase in the Gini coefficient (a measure of income inequality).

“While some inequality can increase efficiency by strengthening incentives to work and invest, recent research suggests that higher inequality is associated with lower and less sustainable growth in the medium run, even in advanced economies,” argued the paper’s authors, Florence Jaumotte and Carolina Osorio Buitron.

The authors said traditional research has argued that the rise of inequality in advanced economies can be attributed to skill-based technology changes – such as new technology displacing workers – and globalization. They found that these developments led to some inequality changes at different rates and magnitudes, but not enough to account for the consistent increase in inequality that was being measured.

Researchers looked for answers in recent studies that made the claim that financial deregulation and lower taxes were another factor – but again, that wasn’t showing the steady increases that researchers were charting.

“… A rising concentration of income at the top of the distribution can reduce a population’s welfare if it allows top earners to manipulate the economic political system in their favor,” they wrote, referring to things such as lower taxes and business subsidies. … continue

Making the World Safe for Atrocity

By Nick Alexandrov | CounterPunch | February 27, 2105

Commentators marked World War I’s centenary last year with cloudy references to its “dreadful lessons” and “emotional legacies.” And the victor countries’ leaders stressed the “profound sacrifice” (Barack Obama) the conflict’s “generation…made for us” (David Cameron). But if these recollections are any guide, one of the war’s dark chapters has been largely forgotten.

George Bernard Shaw discussed this episode nearly a century ago, in July 1919. “We are at present at a climax of national exultation over the most magnificent military triumph in our long record of victory,” he observed. “But the splendour of the end,” he added, “had better not blind us to the grimness of the means, which were the work of our hands.” Shaw meant that England had “starved the children of Germany, and of many other lands as well.”

The starvation campaign’s centenary is next month. It was on March 1, 1915, that “Britain and France announced that they intended to expand the objectives of the naval blockade of the Central Powers to include the interdiction of food,” Alexander Downes writes in Targeting Civilians in War. This declaration followed Germany’s, on February 4, signaling the start of submarine warfare, but merely exploited the Kaiser’s pronouncement as “an excellent pretext to interdict German food imports in a way that avoided offending neutral opinion,” Downes explains.

Depicting the blockade as a response to German aggression deflected attention from British criminality. … continue

Nemtsov Killed to ‘Destabilize’ Russia

teleSUR | February 28, 2015

Russia’s president and opposition figures alike have described the killing of Boris Nemtsov as a “provocation.”

Russian president Vladimir Putin has expressed condolences to the family of one of his staunchest political rivals, who was gunned down in Moscow late Friday.

Prominent opposition figure Boris Nemtsov may have been shot at as many as eight times from a passing vehicle while crossing a bridge in central Moscow. At least four bullets struck him in the back, killing him almost instantly. […]

One of Nemstov’s political allies Irina Khakamada has described the killing a “provocation” carried out to destabilize Russia.

“It is definitely not beneficial to Putin and it is aimed at destabilizing everything,” Khakamada told RT. … Full article

Washington supplying Kiev with satellite intelligence of conflict in east – report

RT | February 28, 2015

The US is supplying Kiev with spy satellite imagery of enemy positions in eastern Ukraine, but does so by deliberately reducing the quality, apparently so as not to anger Russia too much, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A debate has been on in the US for some time on whether the Obama administration should provide the Kiev government with actionable intelligence. As with providing “defensive” weapons, the disagreements are similar.

However, imagery reduced in quality has apparently been green-lighted, but only arriving to the Ukrainians 24 hours late at the least. This step is apparently to ensure the US isn’t in any way thought of as a participant in the conflict, the newspaper said, referencing its own sources.

Another reason for why the images are somewhat degraded is in the event of the photos accidentally ending up with the Russians, who as a result would learn more about American spy satellite capabilities. … continue

Israel Secretly Arrests Golani Druze, Accusing Him of Exposing Syrian Rebel-Jewish State Collaboration

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | February 28, 2015

Israel’s Shin Bet rearrested Golani Druze Sedki al-Maket (age 48). Until his release in 2012 (Hebrew), he’d been the longest serving Israeli security prisoner, having spent 27 years detained. News of his arrest is under gag order by Israeli media. The gag is laughable since the arrest has been reported not only by Syrian media, but in a Hebrew Facebook post.

Though Israeli security services haven’t offered any reason for his arrest, it’s likely they’re angered because a week ago he followed Syrian rebels to a meeting inside Israeli-occupied territory. The rebels met with Israeli forces who’ve previously been shown to receive logistical and intelligence support from Israel in previous reports here and in Israel and foreign media. Al Maket filmed a video  while the meeting was underway, in which he described what he saw and offered it to Syrian TV.  It was aired to the entire nation and likely monitored by Israeli security.

The Shin Bet doesn’t want any further leaks about such collaboration because it allows the Syrian regime to paint the rebels as Israeli stooges. It also gives the lie to those Israeli intelligence figures and journalists who’ve spoken falsely about Israel remaining neutral regarding the two sides fighting in Syria. Despite numerous air attacks against Syrian government facilities, assassinations of Syrian, Hezbollah and Iranian military, and security cooperation with rebels, Israel continues to maintain the fiction it hasn’t chosen sides. … continue

Israeli troops ‘violently’ attack Palestinian teen at border crossing

Ma’an – 28/02/2015

JENIN – A teenage Palestinian boy from the northern West Bank says he was violently assaulted by Israeli soldiers at al-Jalama crossing north of Jenin while he was trying to cross into Israel.

Muhammad Asri Fayyad, 17, told Ma’an Saturday that on Thursday morning he arrived at the crossing along with a busload of young men and teenagers who had organized a trip to Israel and obtained the needed permits from Israeli authorities.

He says he entered the crossing and complied with the instructions Israeli officers were giving through loudspeakers. The instructions included “that we shove our mobile phones in one place and we cross from a different place which we did.”

“Everybody received back their mobile phones except me. The soldiers asked me to pass through a path under a bridge on top of which stood a number of soldiers pointing their guns at me.

“They then asked me to enter a room which has several doors and I obeyed the orders. All the doors were immediately locked before the officers started to shout through loudspeakers demanding that I take off my clothes and my shoes.” … continue

Hamas slams ‘terrorist’ label by Egypt court

MEMO | February 28, 2015

dr-sami-abu-zuhri-3Palestinian faction Hamas on Saturday denounced as “shocking” an Egyptian court decision to designate the movement a “terrorist organisation”.”Labeling Hamas as a terrorist organisation is a dangerous decision that represents a shift in Egyptian-Palestinian relations,” Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri told Anadolu Agency.

“Unfortunately, the situation has been turned upside down: Israel the enemy has become a friend of Egypt while Hamas – which is an integral part of the Palestinian people – has become a terrorist,” Abu Zuhri said.

The spokesman, however, said that Hamas will not be affected by the Egyptian court verdict as it came to “export Egypt’s domestic problems.”

Earlier Saturday, an Egyptian court designated Hamas as a “terrorist” group over claims that the group had carried out terrorist attacks in Egypt through tunnels linking the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip.

In March 2014, the same court outlawed Hamas’ activities in Egypt and confiscated its offices. … continue

Egypt Sentences 4 Brotherhood Members to Death, 14 to Life in Prison

Al-Akhbar | February 28, 2015

An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced four Muslim Brotherhood members to death and 14 leading members to life in prison, over charges of inciting violence that led to the killing of protesters demonstrating outside the group’s headquarters in 2013.

Muslim Brotherhood top leader Mohammed Badie and his two deputies Khairat al-Shater and Rashad Bayoumi were among those sentenced to life in prison.

Two of those sentenced to death and three sentenced to life were tried in absentia. Saturday’s verdicts were subject to appeal.

The charges relate to violence that erupted on June 30, 2013 outside the Brotherhood’s headquarters in Cairo’s Moqattam district, during which nine people were killed and 91 injured, days before then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted President Mohammed Mursi.

Badie and the other defendants present in court for the verdict denounced the sentence and shouted: “Down with military rule.”

Once the top leader of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, Badie has already been sentenced to multiple life terms.

He was also one of 182 given the death sentence in a mass trial in connection with violence that erupted in the southern town of Minya following the Mursi’s ouster. The trial drew international criticism of Egypt’s judicial system. … Full article

Autopsy contradicts police accounts of fatal Denver shooting

Press TV – February 28, 2015

An autopsy result counters Denver police officers’ accounts of their fatal shooting of a 17-year-old American girl while she was driving a stolen car.

On January 26, Jessica Hernandez was shot three times by officers Daniel Greene and Gabriel Jordan who claimed the victim was driving the car toward them.

545905cc-1cae-4fd2-aece-4bd8322ef04eThe officers found the girl and four other teenagers inside the car in an alley and asked the teens several times to get out of the vehicle. But they opened fire after Hernandez allegedly drove toward one of the officers.

According to the autopsy report released by the Denver medical examiner’s office on Friday, one bullet entered the left side of Jessica’s pelvis and traveled to her right tight.

The two other bullets entered through the left side of the victim’s chest and passed right through her body, which according to her family’s lawyer, suggests that Hernandez was shot from the driver’s side of the car.

“These facts undermine Denver Police Department’s claim that Jessie was driving at the officers as they shot her,” Mohamedbhai said in a statement. “The wound path and trajectory of the bullet that likely killed Jessica Hernandez undermines the version of events as indicated by the Denver Police Department.”

He said the “objective evidence” contradicts officers’ claims that “Jessie was to blame for her own death”. … Full article

“How Dare you Say Peace is the Answer.” … Fear is a Much Better Alternative

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky | Global Research | February 28, 2015

The following email was sent to me by a Global Research reader, widow of an American serviceman, an unspoken victim of  America’s wars.

Her response shows how effective war propaganda has become, in turning concepts up side down.

Western civilization is threatened, the ISIS bogeyman seeks World domination. Our American way of life is threatened.

She blames the enemy for the death of her husband, rather than the US government.

I offered to send her my book regarding the impacts of nuclear war. I signed my email with the words “For Peace”.

She responded by saying:  ”How dare you think peace is the answer.”

War is the solution, she says. “total annihilation is the answer. .. What we have to do is to teach nations to fear us”continue

US fails to take Cuba off list of state sponsors of terrorism

Press TV – February 28, 2015

The United States and Cuba have held another round of talks to reestablish diplomatic relations and explore the possibility of opening embassies in Washington and Havana.

However, the Friday talks left a serious issue unresolved as Washington has failed to remove Cuba from its list of “state sponsors of terrorism” so far.

The US said it was still reviewing Cuba’s place on the list maintaining that the issue is separate from the talks and won’t affect the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.

However, the head of the Cuban delegation, Josefina Vidal, said that the removal from the terror list was a “very important issue” and a priority for Havana. … continue

Cuba: the Weight of a Long History

200 Years of US Interventionism

By MANUEL R. GÓMEZ | CounterPunch | February 27, 2015

The U.S. and Cuba are meeting again this week for their second round of normalization talks. When asked by the media what she expected from the first round, Roberta Jacobson, the senior diplomat leading the U.S. team, said that she was “not oblivious to the weight of history.” She was right on target: There is a very long history that begins well before the Revolution, deserves careful analysis, and will impact the talks.

As far back as 1809, Jefferson tried to purchase Cuba. In 1820 he went further; he told Secretary of War J.C. Calhoun that the U.S. “ought, at the first possible opportunity, to take Cuba.” As President, John Quincy Adams predicted that Cuba would fall “like a ripening plum into the lap of the union.” These are but two of many prominent examples of a widespread ambition to annex Cuba, or at least to control its destiny, from very early in U.S. history. After “the West,” Cuba figured as a prominent second place in U.S. expansionist aims from the beginning of the Republic.

In subsequent decades, support for annexing Cuba shifted tactically to Southerners who saw Cuba as a potential new slave state, though “manifest destiny” continued to be the fundamental driving force. Presidents Polk, in 1848, and Pierce, in 1854, offered unsuccessfully to buy Cuba. John Louis O’Sullivan, the newspaper editor who coined the phrase “Manifest Destiny” in 1845, supported Cuba’s best known “annexationist,” taking him to Polk’s White House in search of support for his armed expeditions. And even Walt Whitman—no advocate of slavery—wrote in 1871 that, “‘manifest destiny’ certainly points to the speedy annexation of Cuba by the United States.”

President McKinley again unsuccessfully offered to buy Cuba in 1898, shortly before declaring war on Spain. … continue

Virginia to Compensate Forced Sterilization Victims

teleSUR | February 27, 2015

Legislators in the U.S. state of Virginia voted Thursday to allow compensation for victims of forced sterilization, though few survivors are alive today.

“I think it’s a recognition when we do something wrong we need to fix it as a government,” said Democrat delegate Patrick Hope. “Now we can close this final chapter and healing can begin.”

Close to US$400,000 is available in a fund earmarked for compensation payments, though only around 11 sterilization victims in the state are known to be alive today. However, Hope stated if any new victims come forth, they too could be eligible for compensation.

From 1924 to 1979, over 8,000 people were forcibly sterilized in Virginia. The victims ranged from people with psychiatric disorders to people considered social misfits. While most victims were patients at state mental institutions, some were homeless people who were sterilized to reduce poverty figures. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, 22 percent of victims were African-Americans, and 66 percent were women. At the time of sterilization, most victims were misled, being told they were undergoing surgical procedures for miscellaneous health issues. … continue

I’m Still Not Charlie!

By ANDRE VLTCHEK | CounterPunch | February 27, 2015

I am an atheist, but I am not Charlie Hebdo!

My disgust with Western imperialism and fascism is much stronger than my aversion towards religions. And I don’t think that “all religions are equally evil.” I mainly hold Christianity responsible for most of the crimes committed in modern human history. I hold it responsible for “derailing” and radicalizing traditionally much more peaceful religions, like Buddhism and yes, like Islam.

Therefore, I am definitely not Charlie!

I don’t want to quarrel with dead people. Journalists at Charlie Hebdo should have never died in that terrible way. I actually don’t know exactly who is responsible for their demise, although I am well aware of the fact that there are many sound theories, not only the official one.

What is clear and absolutely certain is that for almost two months, their deaths have been politicized by the Western regime, by the Empire. Politicized to a sickening extreme.

Their deaths became a rallying cry of the “liberals,” of apologists who are once again ready to forget and forgive all the crimes committed by Western nations for those long centuries, all over the world. … continue

Video of Man’s Police Interaction Exposes Vast Conspiracy

Always Film Police

By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | February 26, 2015

Washington Parish, LA — A man’s 30-second cell phone video has helped to expose an ominously plotted conspiracy within the Louisiana “justice” system.

Two years ago, Douglas Dendinger, 47, accepted an offer of $50 to act as a process server. All he would have to do is hand an envelope containing a lawsuit alleging police brutality to Chad Cassard, a former Bogalusa police officer.

Everything went smoothly. Dendinger handed the envelope to the former cop in front of a group of police officers and two St.Tammany prosecutors. But then Cassard blew up.

“It was like sticking a stick in a bee’s nest.” Dendinger recalled. “They started cursing me. They threw the summons at me; right at my face, but it fell short. Vulgarities. I just didn’t know what to think. I was a little shocked.”

Although he was shocked, Dendinger was still able to leave and simply drove home.

But things would get worse, much worse.

“Within about 20 minutes, there were these bright lights shining through my windows. It was like, ‘Oh my God.’ I mean I knew immediately, a police car.”

“And that’s when the nightmare started,” he said. “I was arrested.” … continue

Autopsy shows lawyer was tortured to death at Egyptian police station

Mada Masr | February 27, 2015

Recently deceased lawyer Karim Hamdy was tortured to death at the notorious Matareya police station, an autopsy report released on Thursday concluded.

Hamdy is the latest in a string of fatalities at the station, all of which were allegedly caused by torture.

The lawyer was arrested on Sunday with another suspect on charges of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, according to an Interior Ministry statement. Hamdy was found dead on Tuesday after he was interrogated by national security officers, reported the state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.

The autopsy report concluded that Hamdy’s injuries were consistent with those caused by torture. He had broken ribs and bleeding in the brain due to severe trauma to the head, in addition to bruises all over his body, concentrated on the head and abdomen, Al-Ahram said. … Full article

UN Reveals ‘Credible and Reliable’ Evidence of US Military Torture in Afghanistan

By Sarah Lazare | Common Dreams | February 26, 2015

The United Nations revealed Wednesday it has “credible and reliable” evidence that people recently detained at U.S. military prisons in Afghanistan have faced torture and abuse.

The UN’s Assistance Mission and High Commissioner for Human Rights exposed the findings in a report based on interviews with 790 “conflict-related detainees” between February 2013 and December 2014.

According to the investigation, two detainees “provided sufficiently credible and reliable accounts of torture in a U.S. facility in Maydan Wardak in September 2013 and a U.S. Special Forces facility at Baghlan in April 2013.”

The report states that the allegations of torture were investigated by “relevant authorities” but provided no information about the outcome of the alleged probes or the nature of the mistreatment.

This is not the first public disclosure of evidence of torture during the U.S. war in Afghanistan, now into its 14th year. … continue

ExxonMobil admits $1bn lost from anti-Russia sanctions

RT | February 27, 2015

The contracts with Russia’s biggest oil company Rosneft damaged by the West’s anti-Russian sanctions have cost ExxonMobil $1 billion, the company said in its annual report.

“In 2014, the European Union and United States imposed sanctions relating to the Russian energy sector. In compliance with the sanctions and all general and specific licenses, prohibited activities involving offshore Russia in the Black Sea, Arctic regions, and onshore western Siberia have been wound down. The Corporation’s maximum exposure to loss from these joint ventures as of December 31, 2014, is $1.0 billion,” the report said.

Rosneft and ExxonMobil established projects to conduct exploration and research activities in 2013 and 2014. The European Union and United States imposed sanctions relating to the Russian energy sector in 2014, prohibiting any activities that involve offshore work in the Russian Black Sea and Arctic regions, and onshore in western Siberia.

The two companies began an exploration project in the Kara Sea in August despite the sanctions. Oil reserves in the Kara Sea could be as high as 13 billion tons, which is more than in the Gulf of Mexico or the whole of Saudi Arabia. … Full article

Settlers spray-paint racist graffiti on Nablus school

Ma’an - 27/02/2015

NABLUS – Settlers on Thursday spray-painted racist graffiti on the walls of a Palestinian school in the village of Urif south of Nablus, a Palestinian official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settler activity in the northern West Bank, told Ma’an that a group of settlers from the illegal Yizhar settlement sprayed anti-Palestinian graffiti on the school.

“Death to Arabs” was also written on the walls. … Full article

Ideological roots of ISIS

By Omar Ramahi · The Independent International Political Research Center · February 26, 2015

With some recent, high-profile crimes committed by people purporting to follow the religion of Islam, the image of Muslims around the globe has largely been manipulated to project extremism, violence and intolerance. This manufactured image was long in the making, beginning as early as the 1980s, and reached epic proportions following the terrorist attacks of 9/11, irrespective of whether or not Muslim individuals, either by faith or birth, were behind it as executors or plotters. The negative propaganda which Muslims found themselves subjected to was done with the intention and precise objective, as the days following 9/11 have proven, to justify war against two predominantly Muslim countries. If the negative portrayal of Muslims was for reasons related to Islam, and not for other motives, then it would be difficult to explain the protective and shielded media coverage of several Middle Eastern monarchies with histories of violence and intolerance not only towards non-Muslims but also Muslims and those monarchies own citizens. Many Muslims throughout the world found themselves defending an unjust campaign portraying Muslims in negative stereotypes and associating Islam with violence and savagery. Mysterious groups alleged to be part of a global Islamic movement emerged with no objective but beheading Westerners and Christians, and distributing the gruesome savagery on YouTube and other media for the world to see.

While it cannot be ascertained who is the mastermind behind the illusive, ghostly and mercurial global al-Qaida organization (if it qualifies for such designation), it is highly likely that it has roots in Saudi and US intelligence establishments. … continue

Report Thy Neighbour: Policing Sisi’s Egypt

By Maha Abdelrahman | Open Democracy | February 23, 2015

A regime bereft of legitimacy, save for its promise to guarantee national security, turns citizens into active players in a new culture of surveillance and reporting.

During his recent visit to Cairo in November 2014, Alain Gresh, former editor- in-chief of Le Monde Diplomatique, met with a couple of Egyptian acquaintances (a journalist and a student) in a downtown Cairo café. During their chat, which unsurprisingly involved Egyptian politics, a middle-class Egyptian woman at the next table became highly alarmed by the exchange. Her anxiety did not stop at shouting at the journalists, accusing them of conspiring to destroy Egypt, but extended to actually calling upon the security personnel guarding the nearby British Embassy to investigate the said conspiracy. The sad saga, which lasted for a few hours, ended with embarrassment for the Egyptian authorities and an apology to the French journalist.

Despite the Kafkaesque tone of the event, the ‘concerned citizen’ had actually behaved in the only logical way expected of her after a relentless, year-long campaign by the regime and dominant pro-regime media to create a state of mass hysteria regarding Egypt’s security. Since the military takeover of 2013, a public discourse has evolved churning out incessant accounts in which enemies of the Egyptian state and its people, external and internal, known and unknown, human and otherwise, are constantly conspiring to plot against the country and target its security as well as the health of its national economy. Against a rich tapestry of intrigue and terrorist discourse, the security apparatus has emerged, in this narrative, as the only national saviour capable of protecting the country from complete chaos. In fact, the legitimacy of the Sisi regime continues to derive largely from his promise to rid the country of terrorists and to restore security and order. In this regard, he makes grateful use of actual violent attacks against military and other targets especially in Sinai. … continue

Egypt Refers 271 Muslim Brotherhood Supporters to Military Court

Al-Akhbar | February 27, 2015

Egyptian prosecutors referred 271 people to a military court on charges of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and attacking court buildings in central Egypt two years ago.

The defendants were charged with ransacking and torching a court building, as well as a prosecution office in the city of Malawi in the Minya province, in August of 2013.

The attack on Malawi’s official buildings happened following the dispersal of two major protest camps staged by supporters of ousted President Mohammed Mursi in Cairo and Giza, during which police and security forces killed more than 1,400 people.

Egyptian prosecutors are legally permitted to refer cases to the military prosecution in cases involving charges of vandalizing government property.

In October of last year, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi issued a law that allows the referral of violations against state institutions to military courts. … continue

February – 2015

January – 2015

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 916 other followers