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Current News and Analysis

Mississippi’s All Up in Your Google Activity

By Samia Hossain, William J. Brennan Fellow & Esha Bhandari | ACLU | August 3, 2015

An overzealous attorney general is trying to police online speech by capitalizing on the reams of data Google stores about its users.

James Hood, Mississippi’s attorney general has issued a whopping 79-page subpoena to Google asking for a massive amount of data about the identities, communications, searches, and posts of people anywhere in the United States who use its services, including YouTube and Google+.

The kicker? The state is asking for all this information for anyone speaking about something “objectionable,” “offensive,” or “tangentially” related to something “dangerous,” which it defines as anything that could “lead to physical harm or injury.” You read that right. … continue

New York Times Pushes False Narrative on the Wall Street Crash of 2008

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens | Wall Street On Parade | August 3, 2015

William D. Cohan has joined Paul Krugman and Andrew Ross Sorkin at the New York Times in pushing the patently false narrative that the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999 had next to nothing to do with the epic Wall Street collapse of 2008 and the greatest economic calamity since the Great Depression.

The New York Times has already admitted on its editorial page that it was dead wrong to have pushed for the repeal of Glass-Steagall but now it’s dirtying its hands again by publishing all of these false narratives about what actually happened. … continue

Shame on UK for Sham Litvinenko Trial

By William DUNKERLEY | Oriental Review | Aug 3, 2015

What started off as a massive fabrication in 2006 just received a great boost from a complicit British government. The mysterious polonium death of reputed former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko is the focus.

An inexplicably long series of official UK hearings on this nearly 9 year old case has just concluded. That’s prompted a new flurry of sensational media reports.

A recent Daily Mail headline reads “Putin ‘personally ordered Litvinenko’s murder.’” The Irish Independent said, “Vladimir Putin should be held responsible for the murder of Alexander Litvinenko.” BBC reported, “Vladimir Putin ‘ordered killing’, Litvinenko [official UK] inquiry hears.

They support a premise that’s been around since the beginning. It implicates Russian president Vladimir Putin in the yet-to-be explained death.

You might think that reliable evidence has been presented to back up all the accusations. But careful examination shows the reports are no more than unsubstantiated allegations. No reliable facts are reported. Meanwhile, there is an abundance of evidence that this has been a nefarious witch hunt all along. … continue

Time for the western media to send real journalists to Russia & Ukraine

By Bryan MacDonald | RT | August 3, 2015

… This weekend, in the pages of The Times of London and Newsweek, we saw exactly what happens when media concerns use greenhorn stringers in sensitive situations. Instead of sending an experienced staffer to Ukraine, both have recently collaborated with Maxim Tucker. Tucker, a former Amnesty International activist, who doesn’t hide his pro-Maidan credentials, published the same story in both. The Times version was headlined, “Ukraine rebels ‘building dirty bomb’ with Russian scientists.” Meanwhile, Newsweek went for “Ukraine Says Pro-Russia Rebels Are Building a Dirty Bomb.”

Incendiary stuff. If true, it could feasibly ignite a major diplomatic, perhaps even military, stand-off. Luckily, the story is fiction. This is blindingly obvious to anyone with even a minute comprehension of the region. Newsweek and The Times have embarrassed themselves. At the same time, Tucker has exposed himself as being seriously out his depth. Even his hack-pack colleagues are distancing themselves from this nonsense. Tucker, either knowingly or unwittingly, has fallen hook, line and sinker for Ukrainian Security Service (SBU) disinformation. Unsophisticated misinformation at that. In fact, typically Soviet in its execution, going for the big lie. … Read full article

Do The Math: Global War On Terror Has Killed 4 Million Muslims Or More

118554By Nafeez Ahmed | MintPress | August 3, 2015

WASHINGTON — A study released earlier this year revealed the shocking death toll of the United States’ “War on Terror” since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, but the true body count could be even higher.

Published in March by Physicians for Social Responsibility, the study, conducted by a team that included some Nobel Prize winners, determined that at least 1.3 million people have died as a result of war since Sept.11, 2001, but the real figure might be as high as two million.

The study was an attempt to “close the gaps” in existing research, including studies like the Iraq Body Count,” which puts the number of violent deaths in that country at about 219,000 since 2003, based on media reports of the time period. … continue

Our “Merciful” Ending to the “Good War”

How Patriotism Means Never Having To Say You’re Sorry

By Christian Appy | TomDispatch | August 4, 2015

“Never, never waste a minute on regret. It’s a waste of time.” — President Harry Truman

Here we are, 70 years after the nuclear obliteration of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and I’m wondering if we’ve come even one step closer to a moral reckoning with our status as the world’s only country to use atomic weapons to slaughter human beings. Will an American president ever offer a formal apology? Will our country ever regret the dropping of “Little Boy” and “Fat Man,” those two bombs that burned hotter than the sun? Will it absorb the way they instantly vaporized thousands of victims, incinerated tens of thousands more, and created unimaginably powerful shockwaves and firestorms that ravaged everything for miles beyond ground zero? Will it finally come to grips with the “black rain” that spread radiation and killed even more people — slowly and painfully — leading in the end to a death toll for the two cities conservatively estimated at more than 250,000?

Given the last seven decades of perpetual militarization and nuclear “modernization” in this country, the answer may seem like an obvious no. Still, as a historian, I’ve been trying to dig a little deeper into our lack of national contrition. … continue

Japan to temporarily halt preparation work on new US base

Press TV – August 4, 2015

Japan is set to suspend preparation work for the construction of a new US military base on the southern island of Okinawa, a government official says, amid widespread local protests against the facility’s relocation.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told a news conference that Tokyo had decided to halt the work for a month starting August 10, Japanese Kyodo News reported on Tuesday.

Suga further said that during the month-long period, Tokyo plans to hold “intensive consultations” with the regional government in Okinawa Prefecture in an attempt to settle the standoff over the controversial plans to relocate the military base. … continue

More proof that Western bombing in Syria and Iraq is massacring civilians

Stop the War Coalition | August 4, 2015

syria_us_airstrike_460The bombing campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria has killed at least 459 civilians, including 100 children, in 52 air strikes, according to a new report by Airwars, a project by a group of independent journalists.

Commenting on the supposed precision of air strikes against Isis, the Airwars project leader Chris Woods has told the Guardian that this “hasn’t been borne out by facts on the ground”.

This is one of the first reports examining the number of civilian casualties which have resulted from the savage bombing campaign against Isis militants. The lack of official interest in and support for investigating these casualties means that their number may actually be far higher. The violence on the ground also greatly impedes the verification of casualties. … continue

Senior Iranian cleric proposes conference between top Shia and Sunni scholars

Press TV – August 4, 2015

Senior Iranian cleric Ayatollah Nasser Makarem Shirazi has welcomed a call by the Grand Imam of the al-Azhar Mosque, Egypt’s top Muslim authority, for a unity meeting of leading Sunni and Shia scholars.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi has sent a letter to al-Azhar’s Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, proposing a conference between top Shia and Sunni scholars “to review the most important obstacles in the way of Islamic unity” and “to set forth the most significant, necessary measures for reinforcing Islamic unity,” the Iranian cleric’s international affairs adviser Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Qazvini told reporters on Monday, without specifying the date the letter was sent.

The call by Tayeb had been aired on Egypt’s state TV on July 22 at the end of a series of programs during the holy month of Ramadan.

Stressing the necessity of “coexistence and peace” between Shia and Sunni Muslims, Tayeb had urged Sunni scholars to issue a fatwa (religious decree) prohibiting the killing of Shia Muslims.

He had also called on Shia scholars to issue a similar fatwa banning the killing of Sunni Muslims.

Clashes erupt at Aqsa after extremist attempts to raise Israeli flag

aksaMa’an – August 4, 2015

JERUSALEM – Clashes broke out between Palestinian worshipers and and Israeli police at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound on Tuesday after an Israeli extremist attempted to raise the Israeli flag over the holy site, witnesses said.

Witnesses said that Palestinian worshipers asked Israeli police to stop the extremist but they were ignored.

Palestinian worshipers and compound security guards then stopped the extremist themselves and tore up the flag, witnesses said.

They added that the Israeli extremist assaulted the worshipers with a sharp implement, injuring two Palestinians identified as Muammad Badran and Suliman abu-Mayyala. … Full article

293 US universities and Methodist church to join BDS

MEMO – August 4, 2015

BDS in the United States is preparing to launch the widest campaign for the boycott of Israel which will include student councils from 293 American universities and a renowned church, local Palestinian news agency Quds Net reported yesterday.

Activists preparing for the campaign said in a statement that they are aiming to turn universities and churches to platforms that support Palestinian rights.

BDS members expect the Methodist Church, which represents about eight million Americans, to join the movement next year.

Illegal Israeli settler threatens to kill international activists

On Sunday the 26th, Israeli settlers gathered at the end of Hebrons occupied Shuhada Street, preparing to go on a march through the H1 area, which is the Palestinian administrated part of the city. Three international activists were present, documenting the behavior of the settlers and Israeli soldiers. At one point a settler walked up to the activist, and openly issued threats on their lives, telling them “Remember this face, because it will be the last thing you see on this earth” and “I am going to find each and every one of you”. This is not the first time that settlers has threatened the safety of international activists, and activist has in the past been subjected to severe physical attacks and harassment from settlers.

Statement from Palestinian Activist Amer Jubran on Being Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison by Jordan’s State Security Court

Amer Jubran Defense Campaign

On Wednesday, July 29, Amer Jubran was sentenced by Jordan’s State Security Court along with 8 other defendants. The rest of the defendants were given sentences of 2-3 years; for his refusal to cooperate, he was singled out for excessive punishment, and given a 15 year sentence (reduced by his lawyers to 10 years). The verdict comes after 15 months in detention–the first 3 months without charges.

He was able to get a call out of the prison where he is being held in Jordan to make a statement about his trial and sentencing. … continue

Obama May Finally Succeed!

By Willis Eschenbach | Watts Up With That? | August 3, 2015

… Currently, we get about 4% of our electricity from wind and solar. He wants to jack it to 28%, meaning we need seven times the installed capacity. Currently we have about 231 kW/capita of installed wind and solar (see Figure 1). So Obama’s plan will require that we have a little less than seven times that, 1537 kW/capita. And assuming that we can extend the relationship we see in Figure 1, this means that the average price of electricity in the US will perforce go up to no less than 43 cents per kilowatt-hour. (This includes the hidden 1.4 cents/kW cost due to the five cents per kilowatt-hour subsidy paid to the solar/wind producers).

Since the current average US price of electricity is about 12 cents per kilowatt-hour … that means the true price of electricity is likely to almost quadruple in the next 15 years.

And given that President Obama famously predicted that under his energy plan electricity prices would necessarily “skyrocket” … it looks like he finally might actually succeed at something. … Read full article

Corbyn: the antidote to the Blairite ‘virus’ and Zionist snake-bite

Many certainly can see Jeremy Corbyn as Prime Minister – a very different and totally new style of PM. He’s astute and has a track record of honesty and openness, laced with a burning sense of justice.

Jeremy_Corbyn_ParliamentBy Stuart Littlewood – My Catbird Seat – August 2, 2015

Some polls are showing Jeremy Corbyn forging ahead in the Labour Party leadership race by as much as 20 points. The political Establishment is shaken and quite definitely stirred.

Dave Ward, general secretary of the 200,000-strong Communication Workers Union, is reported saying:

There is a virus within the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn is the antidote.

The grip of the Blairites and individuals like Peter Mandelson must now be loosened once and for all.

This has ruffled a good many feathers among Labour diehards. … continue

Outrage, Protests Grow in Mexico Over Photojournalist Murder

teleSUR | August 2, 2015

​Outrage among journalists has spread across Mexico since the Sunday’s confirmation by the attorney general’s office that the body found in an apartment in Mexico City on Friday belongs to the photojournalist Ruben Espinosa.

Dozens of people are conducting protests across Mexico to demand justice in Espinosa’s case, but also to demand the government to take action and halt the attacks against journalists.

According to local press, Espinosa — whose body was identified by his relatives, authorities say — was killed along with his three female roommates and also the maid. The victims had been tied up and were shot in the head. The bodies showed signs of torture.

Espinosa had previously spoken out against the threats and harassment he received when working in the Mexican Gulf state of Veracruz, which is considered to be one of the most dangerous states for journalists. … continue

How Humberside police, CPS & UK govt conspired to cover up racist killing of Christopher Alder

By Dan Glazebrook | RT | August 2, 2015

55be1e18c461889c1f8b45c2Every obstacle will be put in the way of a successful outcome of this struggle, and those who seek justice are likely to find themselves subject to a vindictive campaign by the police. Nothing illustrates this more clearly than Janet Alder’s almost two-decade long campaign to establish what happened to her brother Christopher.

On April 1, 1998, Christopher Alder was on a night out in Hull. The 37-year-old was a former paratrooper who had served in the Falklands and Northern Ireland, and had been decorated for his service; he had two children, and was in training for a new career in computer programming. Later that night, however, outside the Waterfront nightclub, he got into a fight. After being punched in the face, Christopher was briefly knocked unconscious and lost a tooth. An ambulance was called, and Christopher was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary, accompanied by police officers. His injuries were not deemed life-threatening, and he was discharged, after which the police drove him to the police station.

Exactly what happened in that police van during the short one-mile journey remains shrouded in mystery; indeed it has never properly been investigated. What we do know is that by the time he arrived in the police station, he was unconscious again, had lost another tooth, and had received two additional injuries (a cut to the lip and a cut above the eye). He was then dragged into the custody suite with his trousers round his ankles and his belt missing, and left face down and handcuffed on the floor. No attempt was made to put him into the recovery position, and CCTV footage shows officers standing around chatting as he gasps for breath, still unconscious. Within 12 minutes he would be dead, with officers making racist comments and monkey noises over his corpse. It was a level of contempt that has characterized the state’s attitude towards Christopher and his family ever since. … continue

Prosecutor declines to bring charges against Cincinnati cops who lied to protect killer of Samuel DuBose

By Evan Blake | WSWS | August 1, 2015

The University of Cincinnati put police officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt on paid administrative leave Thursday for the course of an internal investigation into their reports of the July 19 killing of Samuel DuBose by officer Ray Tensing.

The family of DuBose has demanded that Kidd be charged for making false statements on a police incident report, claiming that he saw DuBose’s car dragging Tensing. This came after the release of the two officers’ body camera footage, in which they can be heard corroborating Tensing’s false claim that he only shot DuBose after being dragged by his car. … continue

The Case of Alison Weir: Two Palestinian Solidarity Organizations Borrow from Joe McCarthy’s Playbook

By Jack Dresser | CounterPunch | August 3, 2015

From the outbreak of the Second Intifada, Journalist Alison Weir has tirelessly investigated and reported on the history and realities of Israel’s dispossession and occupation of Palestine through her organization and website, If Americans Knew.  Now, she has come under guilt-by-association attack by two umbrella organizations of the Palestinian Solidarity movement, Jewish Voice for Peace and US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, for granting interviews to “white supremacist, anti-Semitic” and “vile” radio shows, specifically Clayton Douglas and American Free Press.  Judged as tarred by a common brush for not using her limited air time to challenge their objectionable ideologies, her offenses include being called a “patriot” by her defenders.

Alison’s politically incorrect policy has been to disseminate salient facts to anyone, anywhere to achieve the broadest possible reach among American citizens, without political discrimination.  The expelling organizations undoubtedly fear that the knowledge will feed anti-Semitism. Maybe it will, but the appropriate remedy would be a collective demand by the Jewish diaspora to end the Zionist project, make reparations to its victims, and establish a democratic state, not to withhold information from people who might use it to make Jewish Americans uncomfortable.

The complaint itself is strongly bigoted against the presumptively “white” political “right-wing” of America and the evidence is extremely thin, so what might really – and so suddenly – be behind this? … continue

The Atomic Era Turns 70, as Nuclear Hazards Endure

By Joseph Mangano and Janette D. Sherman | CounterPunch | August 3, 2015

August 6 marks 70 years since the bomber Enola Gay flew over the Japanese city of Hiroshima, with the atomic weapon “Little Boy” aboard. The mission unleashed devastation never witnessed before, changing history forever. … continue

The Soft Power Hoax

Consortium News | August 2, 2015

U.S. officials love the idea of “soft power,” a concept that applies non-violent means – from propaganda to culture – to induce foreign countries to conform to Washington’s wishes. But the arrogance of the approach has alienated, rather than attracted, many people around the world, writes Mike Lofgren. – Read article

‘Bodies were shredded’: Anti-ISIS airstrikes killed hundreds of civilians, report claims

RT | August 3, 2015

Over 400 civilians have been killed in in the first year of US-led anti-ISIS airstrikes, including 58 non-combatants who were being held in an Islamic State prison for offenses such as buying cigarettes, a major study claims.

The study was carried out by the Air Wars transparency group and written by former BBC Panorama and Newsnight journalist Chris Woods.

The study cites 57 incidents where there is publicly available evidence of civilian deaths by coalition military action.

“Despite claims by the US-led coalition that its airstrikes in Iraq and Syria are ‘the most precise and disciplined in the history of aerial warfare,’ there are clear indications from the field that many hundreds of non-combatants have been killed,” Woods writes in the report’s key findings.

According to Air Wars, the largest single death toll was that of 58 non-combatants on December 28, 2014, in Al Bab, Syria, when an airstrike hit an Islamic State headquarters which doubled as a prison.

Among the dead at Al Bab are believed to be four women and a number of teenagers, with some of those killed thought to have been imprisoned for buying cigarettes. … continue

Israel opens pub on Islamic cemetery lands in Jerusalem

MEMO | August 3, 2015

Israeli authorities yesterday opened a new coffee shop and pub build on part of the land belonging to the historical Islamic cemetery of Ma’manillah in the old city of Jerusalem, Quds Press reported.

In a statement, Al-Aqsa Organisation for Waqf and Heritage said that an Israeli coffee network is running the new facility while the building is managed by the Israeli municipality in Jerusalem.

The group condemned the “violation” against the cemetery, noting that opening this pub and coffee shop came as part of a series of violations against this historic cemetery.

Only 20 of the 200 dunams of the original total area of the cemetery has not been destroyed, the organisation said. However, it reiterated that this area is desecrated on a daily basis.

Ma’manillah is a historic Muslim cemetery that contains the remains of figures from the early Islamic period. It includes several historic shrines and tombs. Muslims stopped using it in 1927 when the Supreme Muslim Council decided to preserve it as an historic site.

Freedom Flotilla: Eyewitness tells how Israel seized ship illegally, tasering and holding activists

By Richard Sudan | RT | August 2, 2015

Just a few weeks ago, an act of piracy took place on the high seas, whereby a group of international activists taking part in a humanitarian mission including a member of the Israeli parliament, were captured and detained.

The story didn’t attract much coverage in the MSM. Coverage elsewhere among alternative media outlets ranged from being accurate to downright disingenuous. At best, those taking part were described as what they were – aid workers, artists, journalists and politicians working toward a shared aim of reaching Gaza – and, at worst, were described as terrorists and “agitators.” … continue

Israel denies West Bank-based football team entry to Gaza

Ma’an – August 3, 2015

JERUSALEM – The Israeli authorities on Sunday denied Palestinian footballers from the occupied West Bank visa permits to enter Gaza to face a rival team in the first leg of a cup competition, the Palestinian Football Association said.

The Israeli authorities denied the players and managers of Ahli al-Khalil, based in Hebron, visas to enter Gaza to play Ittihad al-Shujaiyeh at the Yarmouk stadium for the first leg of the Palestine Cup. … continue

Six Palestinians Injured After Israeli Attack on Their Bus

IMEMC News & Agencies | August 3, 2015

A Palestinian bus, filled with residents from Hebron, was attacked, Sunday, by Jewish extremists living in illegal colonies in the occupied West Bank, leading to six injuries.

The Palestinians were heading back home, after their solidarity visit to Douma village, near Ramallah, to provide their condolences, and express their support, to the family of the slain Palestinian infant Ali Dawabsha , 18 months of age, who was burnt to death when Israeli terrorists attacked their home with firebombs.

Dawabsha was burnt to death, while his four-year-old brother, mother and fathers, suffered serious burns.

The six Palestinians suffered mild injuries, while windows of the bus were shattered in the attack, in addition to other damages.

Wounded Dawabsha Family members Still in Critical Condition

IMEMC News & Agencies | August 3, 2015

Palestinian Health Minister Jawad Awwad said that the wounded father, mother and brother of the 18-month old baby who was burned to death Thursday are still facing life-threatening injuries from the 3rd degree burns that they suffered in the Israeli terrorist attack against their home.

Awwad said that the father Sa’ad, his wife Reham, and their son, Ahmad (4), are still in the Intensive Care Unit, and that despite a slight improvement in the condition of the child, they all remain in life-threatening conditions.

The father suffered excessive burns to nearly 80% of his body, while the excessive burns covered around 90% of his wife’s body. All three are still on life-support. … Full article

Zionist Extremists Attempt to Kill Palestinian Man in Lod

IMEMC News & Agencies | August 3, 2015

A Palestinian man, Emad Abu Sharekh, was seriously injured when he was brutally attacked on Sunday by three Israelis while returning from Fajr prayers at al-Kabeer Mosque, in Lod City.

lodalrayAbu Sharekh, who lives in the city, explained that three Israeli extremists were waiting for him at the entrance of his residence, where they attacked him with sticks and sharp tools.

According to Al Ray, he went on to say that, when they saw him fall to the ground, they thought he was dead, so, they fled. At this moment, some of his neighbors took him to the hospital. His head and face were bleeding, in addition to several other parts of his body.

He called the Israeli police but they did not come.

The daughter of Abu Sharekh said, while sitting at Asaf Harofe Israeli hospital, that most of the injuries are concentrated in the head.

“My father did not receive an appropriate medical treatment in the hospital, just because he is Palestinian. Israeli physicians do not care,” she added.

She noted that the ambulance did not arrive until an hour after the incident.

Obama authorizes airstrikes ‘to defend’ US-trained rebels

RT | August 3, 2015

The US president has reportedly authorized the Air Force to protect Syrian rebels trained by Washington to fight against Islamic State by bombing any force attacking them, including Syrian regular troops.

Thus the US may become involved in the Syrian civil war on the rebel side.

The change was first reported by US officials speaking on condition of anonymity with the Wall Street Journal Sunday. The first airstrikes to protect American trainees in Syria have already taken place on Friday, July 31, when the US Air Force bombed unidentified militants who attacked the compound of the US-trained rebels. … continue

60 Minutes Provides Platform for US Military to Hype Imaginary China and Russia Threat

By Matt Peppe | Just the Facts | August 2, 2015

The CBS news program 60 Minutes on Sunday aired an extended segment titled “The Battle Above” that relayed the concerns of various US military personnel that China and Russia could pose a threat to the vast system of American satellites that are used for military purposes and for commercial use by banks, telecommunications companies, farmers and others.

“Top military and intelligence leaders are now worried those satellites are vulnerable to attack. They say China, in particular, has been actively testing anti-satellite weapons that could, in effect, knock out America’s eyes and ears,” said correspondent David Martin.

Gen. John Hyten, head of the 38,000-person Space Command unit of the US Air Force, tells all his troops that there is a “contested environment” in space with multiple countries not allied with the U.S. possessing capabilities that could potentially threaten American satellites. “It’s a competition that I wish wasn’t occurring, but it is. And if we’re threatened in space, we have the right to self-defense, and we’ll make sure we can execute that right,” Hyten says.

While the Pentagon admits spending $10 billion per year on space, 60 Minutes reports that when you add in other indirect costs the actual total reaches $25 billion. And Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James says the Pentagon plans to spend an additional $5 billion over the next 5 years on protecting its satellites.

Hyten describes the ambitions and activities of foreign actors in space as essentially an existential threat not just to the U.S. military but to the American economy. This is a useful narrative for an agency that is seeking billions of dollars to extend its current dominance. … continue

What the epidemic of TV and movies about zombies and doomsday viruses is really trying to tell us

By Craig McKee | Truth and Shadows | August 2, 2015

28_weeks_later_movie-t2Be afraid. Be very afraid. Of what may come. Of each other.

If movies and television in the last few years are any indication, we have so much more to fear in this world than losing a job or a relationship or our health. Our “entertainment” is telling us that a terrifying future could arrive at any time in the form of a doomsday virus that threatens to wipe out civilization and all of us with it.

Over the past decade, the sheer number of movies and television shows that have focused on killer contagions that threaten humanity with death or some kind or horrible transformation is reaching—forgive me for this—epidemic proportions. And there are more being made all the time. There are so many that it has become impossible to see these shows and movies as being made simply because the topic is “popular.” Something else is going on. It’s downright weird. … continue

The Right to the Truth about the Mass Killings of 11 September 2001

By Elias Davidsson | Dissident Voice | August 2, 2015

A gross violation of human rights gives rise to a set of state obligations, including that of providing remedies to the victims. Among such remedies is the duty to establish the true circumstances surrounding the violation and ensuring the identification and punishment of those responsible for it. The mass killings of 9/11 were, apart of being a huge crime, also a gross violation of the right to life of approximately 3,000 people. Yet legal literature has not dealt with this event from that perspective. Thus, the right of the victims to have the truth established and the perpetrators identified and punished has not been subject to scrutiny. This study is meant to remedy this failure by applying existing human rights norms to the investigation of 9/11 by the U.S. authorities and assessing, more generally, the adequacy of these norms. … continue

Vox’s “Plutonium Plant”: Explainer Site Still Doesn’t Understand Arak

By Nima Shirazi | Wide Asleep In America | July 17, 2015

On the heels of the recently announced historic multilateral agreement over Iran’s nuclear program, self-described explanatory journalism outlet has posted a number of infographics to explain certain parameters of the deal. The images were produced by Vox‘s graphics editor Javier Zarracina, who previously worked at the Los Angeles Times and the Boston Globe. The text accompanying the graphics, however, appears to derive largely from previous Vox posts, most likely ones penned by the site’s content manager Max Fisher.

While the post is not as error-laden as some of the site’s previous articles and supposedly explanatory maps, one mistake is glaring and deserves both attention and correction.

In its copious coverage of the Iranian nuclear program, Vox – and Mr. Fisher in particular – routinely refers to Iran’s heavy water research reactor at Arak as a “plutonium plant,” a description that is not only factually inaccurate but also deliberately alarmist. The new post is unfortunately no different. … continue

Vaccines and National Security

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 04.05.2015

One can easily see in the emerging information and cyber war that a nation having its own IT infrastructure, its own hardware, and its own versions of social media platforms is quickly becoming a matter of national security. Without control over these assets, a nation must depend on foreign suppliers for their computers, peripheries and software. Already, this dependence has opened nations up to now evident threats including malware embedded into hardware and software that is otherwise impossible to detect until the damage is already done.

Likewise, a nation’s food supply can and has throughout history, been a source of vulnerability in times of conflict. The inability to grow one’s own food invites blockades and their modern equivalent, sanctions, undermining a nation’s strength and stability and eventually setting the stage for its ultimate demise. Iraq is an example of this.

In the long-term, a nation’s food supply controlled by foreign corporations, particularly in the realm of genetically engineered organisms, can have disastrous effects.  As a nation’s wealth is slowly drained from their shores and into the coffers of corporations like Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta, inferior, expensive and environmentally devastating crops wreak havoc on the very socioeconomic fabric of a nation. India is increasingly becoming an example of this.

And what of healthcare? Surely the same applies. But even as nations and communities are just now understanding the importance of protecting their food supplies from predatory multinational corporations and the hegemonic ambitions they represent, there seems to be some latency in understanding this likewise in regards to healthcare and in particular pharmaceuticals and vaccines. … continue

Autopsy: Al Khaldi Shot From Behind

IMEMC News & Agencies | August 2, 2015

Minister of Justice Counsel Saleem Saqa, Saturday, announced the results of al-Khaldi’s postmortem report, affirming that he was shot from behind. […]

The minister denounced the killing of al-Khaldi, describing it as an intentional perfidious murder committed in hatred. […]

Laith al-Khaldi, 17, a Palestinian from the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, was shot with a live bullet as Israeli forces violently quelled a march in protest of Friday’s settler arson attack which led to the killing of an 18-month-old toddler, Ali Dawabsha, in the Nablus village of Douma. – Full article

Strong condemnations from Israeli government fall short in Duma fire

By Jessica Purkiss | MEMO | August 1, 2015

… While settlers face near impunity, the story is different for Palestinians living in the same territory, because Israel operates under a dual system of law. Settlers living in the West Bank are subject to Israeli civil law, while Palestinians in the West Bank can be tried by judges in military courts, where conviction rates exceed 99 percent.

This dual system also applies to children: If, for example, a 12-year-old child from Nablus and a 12-year-old child from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar were to have a fight, both would be arrested by the Israeli police. The Palestinian child, however, could be detained for four days before seeing a military judge, whereas the Israeli child would only have to wait for 12 hours before seeing a civilian judge. The Palestinian child could be held for up to 90 days before seeing a lawyer and would have only a 13 percent chance of being freed on bail, whereas the Israeli child would be able to see legal counsel within just two days and would have a 80 percent likelihood of being released on bail.

The Israeli authority’s apparent failure to punish the violent acts of settlers has bred a climate of impunity. … Full article

The Fake War on ISIS: US and Turkey Escalate in Syria

By Eric Draitser – New Eastern Outlook – 02.08.2015

It is late July 2015, and the media is abuzz with the news that Turkey will allow US jets to use its bases to bomb Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria. There is much talk about how this development is a “game-changer,” and how this is a clear escalation of the much ballyhooed, but more fictional than real, US war on ISIS: the terror organization that US intelligence welcomed as a positive development in 2012 in their continued attempts to instigate regime change against the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad.

The western public is told that “This is a significant shift… It’s a big deal,” as a US military official told the Wall Street Journal. What the corporate media fail to mention, however, is the fact that Turkey has been, and continues to be, a central actor in the war in Syria and, consequently, in the development and maintenance of ISIS. So, while Washington waxes poetic about stepping up the fight against the terror group, and lauds the participation of its allies in Ankara, the barely concealed fact is that Turkey is merely further entrenching itself in a war that it has fomented. … continue

Two opponents of Egypt regime die in prison

“95 detainees died in Egyptian prisons in 2014, up by 40 percent from the previous year”

MEMO | August 2, 2015

Two opponents of the Egyptian regime have reportedly died in prison as a result of “medical negligence” following a spate of earlier prison deaths in the Arab world’s most populous country.

Sheikh Ezzat Al-Salamouni, leader of Egypt’s Gamaa Islamiya group, died in a prison hospital, according to the Construction and Development Party, the group’s political arm.

Sources within Gamaa Islamiya said that Al-Salamouni – who had been detained earlier for committing alleged acts of “violence” – had passed away as a result of “medical negligence” by the authorities.

A second detainee, Ahmed Hussein Ghozlan, died in prison in the Nile Delta’s Behira province, also due to “medical negligence” by the authorities, according to defence lawyers.

Ghozlan, 52, had been imprisoned on charges of belonging to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which the authorities designated a “terrorist group” in late 2013.

Egypt has been dogged by instability since the military ousted and imprisoned Mohammed Morsi – Egypt’s first democratically elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader – on July 3, 2013. … Full article

August – 2015

July – 2015


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