Prominent Honduran radio journalist and critic of the country’s 2009 military coup Felix Molina has been wounded after suffering an assassination attempt on the eve of World Press Freedom Day and the two-month anniversary of the murder of another renowned Honduran figure, Indigenous leader Berta Caceres.
“I declare myself a survivor of the insecurity that the majority of the country faces,” Molina said in a statement released by the local human rights organization Cofadeh on Tuesday from the University School Hospital in Tegucigalpa where he is being treated for injuries from the attack.
Molina was the victim of a double attempt on his life on Monday. In the second attack, he suffered four bullet wounds, two in each leg, while taking a taxi in the capital city. … continue
A senior Iranian legislator has called on those who have sustained losses as a result of US hostile moves over the past decades to sue Washington in retaliation.
The US Supreme Court ruled last month Iran’s assets frozen in a bank account to be turned over to the American families of those killed in a 1983 bombing in Beirut and other attacks blamed on Iran.
Iran has denied any role in the attack, and the money confiscated under the US court ruling belongs to the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The assets have been blocked under US sanctions.
MP Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Iranians should sue the US over losses during the 1953 coup by the CIA and during the years after the 1979 Islamic Revolution
“We expect all those who have suffered losses during the Mordad 29 coup and years after the Islamic Revolution to file a lawsuit so that we can give a befitting response to the recent US encroachment,” he said. … Full article
The UN Security Council on Tuesday unanimously adopted the resolution condemning the attacks on medical, humanitarian personnel of hospitals in war-torn countries, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported.
The resolution has been prepared by Egypt, Japan, New Zealand, Spain and Uruguay, which are the UNSC non-permanent member states.
The resolution calls on all the parties to armed conflicts to fully comply with the international humanitarian law and to provide the humanitarian personnel with protection.
Former UK diplomats are cashing in on their contacts and experience and advising despots, venture capitalists and Gulf regimes, according to a new investigation.
Britain’s ex-ambassadors to Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia and Iraq, as well as former MPs, are legally profiting from conflict zones and poor countries in the Global South, according to the Daily Mail.
It has led to concerns that former diplomats are using their years of exposure to state secrets and their enviable contact lists to win lucrative paydays with big corporations. … continue
When Vice President Joseph Biden traveled to Iraq a few days ago, he did it, as always, under a shroud of secrecy. The mainstream press was asked in advance to keep the trip secret and dutifully complied. Biden declined to spend the night in Iraq, staying only 10 hours before whisking away to Italy, where presumably he slept safe and sound.
Why all the secrecy? Why didn’t Biden stay in Baghdad a few days, walk the streets, do a little shopping, visit with the people, and tour the country? … continue
Yemen’s Houthi leader has criticized delegates loyal to Saudi-backed former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi for abandoning UN-brokered Yemen peace talks in Kuwait.
Abdel Malek al-Houthi said Monday that his Ansarullah movement had already signed a ceasefire deal, accusing the other side of stonewalling peace efforts and not abiding by the truce.
He said a political solution to the Yemen conflict is close at hand, but the obstinacy of the invading countries is an impediment to that goal.
Yemen has seen almost daily military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March 2015, with internal sources putting the toll from the bloody aggression at more than 9,500. … Full article
The British try out a new version of free speech
Political purges are not new. Trotsky was purged from the Soviet Communist Party and Ernst Rohm was purged by the Nazis. Currently we are witnessing the spectacle of “progressive” groups ostensibly dedicated to the cause of Palestinian rights turning on long time advocates of that cause because they are not viewed as sufficiently engaged in demonstrating that they are not anti-Semitic. Indeed, demonstrating one’s anti-anti-Semitic credentials seems to have become a sine qua non for establishing the bona fides of any friend of Palestine, apparently more important than actually doing anything for the Palestinians, who have been losing land continuously to the Israelis and regularly getting killed whenever they resist. … continue
Gaza, Occupied Palestine – After more than six months risking their lives while ploughing, planting seeds and weeding their land, and after investing a large amount of money on seeds and on renting a tractor, the Qudaih family from the village of Khuzaa were finally ready to start harvesting their barley and the wheat two days ago.
We arrived at the fields, located around 100 metres from the fence, at 7am. Around 9am one jeep from the Israeli occupation forces stopped in front of the farmers and a group of soldiers emerged. After a few minutes they fired several shots in the air, then returned to the jeep and left.
45 minutes later another jeep arrived. This time the soldiers fired shots on the ground next to the farmers and the ISM activists that were with them. The shots were near misses, just a few centimetres from their feet. As if this was not terrifying enough, next they fired shots close to the farmers’ and activists’ heads. At that moment most of the farmers started to run away from their fields terrified by the whistling sounds of the bullets flying around them: One Bedouin man that was picking herbs for his animals laid down on the ground hiding behind his donkey, while the soldiers fired shot more than five times just a few centimetres from him. The shooting didn’t even stop when everyone started to run away, preventing the farmers to secure their horse cart holding what little harvest they had collected until they were attacked.
These families now have to choose between losing all the money invested as well as their main sustenance for the year, or continue trying to harvest the crops on their land – despite the risk of someone getting killed or disabled.
As the world marks World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, Palestinian journalist Omar Nazzal, member of the General Secretariat of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate and president of the Association of Democratic Journalists, was ordered to four months in Israeli administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial on the basis of “secret evidence.”
Nazzal’s order to administrative detention came alongside the imprisonment of journalist, human rights defender and media and communications officer of Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Hassan Safadi, in a dawn raid on Monday, 2 May.
The Israeli military made vague accusations that Nazzal is linked to the Palestinian leftist political party and resistance organization, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. “His lawyer, Mahmoud Hassan, said he believes his client, a leading member of the Palestinian journalists’ union, is being targeted because of his political activism. Hassan noted that under the system of administrative detention, the defence is not shown any alleged evidence against them,” reported the Guardian following the order against Nazzal on Monday, 2 May in Ofer Military Court. All major Palestinian political parties are labeled “prohibited organizations” by the Israeli occupation. […]
Nazzal was arrested on 23 April 2016 as he attempted to cross the al-Karameh crossing to Jordan in order to participate in the General Meeting of the European Federation of Journalists, part of the delegation of the Palestinian Journalists’ Syndicate. … Full article
Prominent Palestinian astrophysicist Imad Barghouthi, a professor of theoretical space-plasma physics at Al-Quds University, was ordered by the Israeli occupation military to three months in administrative detention – imprisonment without charge or trial – on Monday, 2 May.
Barghouthi, who marked his 54th birthday in Israeli prison, joins nearly 750 fellow Palestinians held without charge or trial under administrative detention. Detention orders are indefinitely renewable on the basis of “secret evidence” to which both Palestinian detainees and their lawyers are denied access. The scientist, from Beit Rima near Ramallah, was arrested by Israeli occupation forces at a military checkpoint in Nabi Saleh on 24 April.
Barghouthi, a former employee of NASA in the United States, is a prominent figure in the Palestinian scientific community and his work is internationally known. He received his BS in physics from the University of Jordan in 1985, followed by his masters’ degree in nuclear physics in 1988. In 1994, he completed his Ph.D. at Utah State University in the United States. … continue
Antisemitism Inquisition shifts up a gear in bid to wreck Labour’s election chances and remove the “loose cannon”.
With important local government elections a few days away the campaign against alleged antisemites reached a crescendo over the weekend, with the press and TV corps in full cry.
Their main quarry was former mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, now suspended from the party; their instrument a Labour MP bully-boy called John Mann, who happens to be chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group against Antisemitism. But no-one is in any doubt that the ultimate aim of this operation is the downfall of Labour’s new leader, Jeremy Corbyn.
Zionists have a serious problem with Corbyn. His election to the leadership was a surprise brought about by a sudden influx of new supporters weary of sterile and corrupt politics. They had no time to groom him, not that he’s capable of being tamed like previous leaders. Corbyn has a long record of support for the Palestinians and other justice causes. As a loose cannon in a carefully controlled political battlefield he has to be disabled. One way to do that is to pick off his allies one by one and, with the help of a compliant media, derail his party’s election prospects. … continue
Britain’s Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn has refused to give in to calls from Israeli officials and British Jewish figures to denounce Islamic resistance movements Hamas and Hezbollah, vowing to continue talking to the two groups.
The leader of the opposition has come under pressure from a number of Labour lawmakers, Israeli Ambassador to London Mark Regev and Jewish leaders in the UK to distance himself from Labour politicians’ recent remarks condemning Israeli crimes against Palestinians, as well as groups fighting against the Tel Aviv regime’s occupation of the Palestinian lands. … continue
The Labour Party has suspended a councilor for anti-Israel comments he posted on Facebook two years ago.
The opposition party said on Monday that Nottingham City councilor Ilyas Aziz was suspended until further investigation.
Aziz posted a number of comments condemning Israel’s polices against Palestinians on his social media page in 2014 that were disclosed on the Guido Website.
One post suggested Israel should be relocated to the US, echoing similar comments posted by Naz Shah, a Labour MP who was suspended last week by the party.
Aziz wrote on his page that Israel is an illegal state and called Israelis as “Zionist invaders.”
“Jews and Muslims lived together in the Middle East in peace pre 1948,” one of his posts read.
“Perhaps it would have been wiser to create Israel in America. It is big enough. They could relocate even now,” another post said.
He also posted a link to an article about Nazi Germany and wrote “a reminder of the treatment and suffering of Jews in Nazi Germany. Are there any similarities to how Israel is treating Palestinians.” … Full article
GAZA CITY – Several Israeli military vehicles and bulldozers leveled lands inside the southern Gaza Strip Monday morning, as Israeli forces also opened fire on Palestinian fisherman in the northern Gaza Strip.
Witnesses told Ma’an that four armored military bulldozers and three digging machines escorted by Israeli military vehicles stormed the Gaza Strip buffer zone east of Rafah.
The convoy entered through a gate in the security fence near the Sufa military base, and pulled back outside of Gaza territory shortly after the bulldozers leveled land, witnesses said.
In a separate incident, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Gaza fishermen off the coast of Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported. … Full article
The Obama administration and Israel are locked in a curious negotiation over how many billions of dollars the U.S. will send to Tel Aviv, a demonstration of Israel’s political clout, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar. – Read article
Even as May Day protests were expected in cities across the world on Sunday, as economic crises and a rise in unemployment have fuelled anti-government sentiment, Brazil saw some radically different scenes.
Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Brazil’s main cities on International Workers’ Day in a show of support for the embattled President Dilma Rousseff.
Protests were seen in 16 of the country’s 27 states, called by Central Union of Workers (CUT) and numerous other labor and left-wing organizations.
The support for the embattled leftist leader Rousseff in Brazil was in sharp contrast to France which was on high alert after protests against planned labour changes this week sparked a frenzy, with cars set on fire and dozens of police officers being injured in Paris in clashes with protesters. … continue
ODESSA — Eight foreign reporters were prohibited from entering the southern Ukrainian city of Odessa to cover the events commemorating the second anniversary of the massacre in the city, a lawyer representing one of the people accused of involvement in the deadly events said Monday.
“About eight journalists were not allowed to enter [the city],” Kirill Shevchuk told RIA Novosti.
He added that the reporters, including those from Poland, France, the Netherlands and Germany, were turned back at passport control in Odessa’s airport.
On May 2, 2014, pro-Kiev radicals blocked anti-government protesters in Odessa’s House of Trade Unions and set the building on fire by hurling Molotov cocktails inside. According to the official data, 48 people died and more than 250 were injured in the fire. No perpetrators have been brought to justice.
The mourning rally was scheduled for 2 p.m. local time (11:00 GMT), but because of an alleged bomb threat local authorities blocked the access to the tragedy site for people who wanted to commemorate the victims of the massacre.
Survivors of a fatal US airstrike on a hospital have called for those responsible to stand trial, dismissing the Pentagon’s recent probe that claims the bombardment did not amount to a war crime.
“This report is an absolute insult to the victims of MSF hospital in Kunduz,” said Esmatullah Esmat, who works as a doctor for the charity Doctors Without Borders, also known by its French acronym MSF.
“We do not feel safe after this report, if we go to work, we fear the hospital might come under attack another time,” he said. […]
Witnesses have told MSF that the US airstrike precisely targeted the main central block of the facility, where the intensive care unit was located, and that many of the patients were burnt to death in their beds. … Full article
A report says US Special Forces have arrived in Yemen to fight alongside Emirati forces in alleged operations against al-Qaeda militants in the country’s south.
Yemen’s al-Masirah TV on Sunday quoted Tom Bawman, the National Public Radio’s Pentagon reporter, as saying that the troops had arrived in Yemen on April 25.
Saudi Arabia and the UAE last year provided financial and military support to militants to confront Houthis and the Yemeni army units that had taken over the security of the country after president Abd Rabbuh Manur Hadi resigned. … Full article
Last week the House Armed Services Committee approved an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act requiring women to register with Selective Service. This means that if Congress ever brings back the draft, women will be forcibly sent to war.
The amendment is a response to the Pentagon’s decision to allow women to serve in combat. Supporters of drafting women point out that the ban on women in combat was the reason the Supreme Court upheld a male-only draft. Therefore, they argue, it is only logical to now force women to register for Selective Service. Besides, supporters of extending the draft point out, not all draftees are sent into combat.
Most of those who opposed drafting women did so because they disagreed with women being eligible for combat positions, not because they opposed the military draft. Few, if any, in Congress are questioning the morality, constitutionality, and necessity of Selective Service registration. Thus, this debate is just another example of how few of our so-called “representatives” actually care about our liberty. … continue
Our corporate and state media deliberately fails to report what is happening daily in Palestine. This account from Reuters three days ago was not used in any British mainstream media… continue
BETHLEHEM – The Israeli who shot and killed a pregnant Palestinian woman and her teenage brother at the notorious Qalandiya checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday was a private security contractor, not a member of the police forces, Israeli media revealed on Sunday.
The Israeli Justice Ministry released a report on Sunday, which revealed that Maram Salih Hassan Abu Ismail, 23, and her brother Ibrahim, 16, had been shot and killed by a privately contracted security guard, and not a police officer as had previously been thought, Israeli Channel 10 reported, noting that the police officer only fired warning shots into the air.
As a result, newspaper Haaretz wrote, the Justice Ministry’s police investigation unit won’t be opening a probe into the killings. … continue
NAZARETH – The Israeli occupation police refused to release a video documenting the murder of a young Palestinian lady and her brother who posed no threat to the occupation troops, Hebrew press said on Sunday.
According to the Israeli police version, 23-year-old Maram Saleh Abu Ismail and her 16-year-old brother Ibrahim refused their order to stop and posed a threat to officers.
The Israeli police further claimed that Maram wielded a knife before she was shot along with her brother, who was walking behind her, by the Israeli police.
Eyewitness accounts, however, contradict such Israeli claims, saying the two casualties posed no threat and were at a distance from the occupation troops, who talked to them in a Hebrew language which they did not understand.
Haaretz newspaper quoted Israeli police sources as stating that videos documenting live scenes cannot be released during the investigation phase.
According to the newspaper, similar recordings legitimizing police use of force were released in the past. Israeli police claimed, after searching the casualties’ bodies, that Ibrahim was holding a knife, which was discredited by eyewitness accounts. … continue
The camp of Yemen’s resigned president Abd Rabbuah Mansour Hadi has suspended its participation in the ongoing direct talks with representatives from Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Sources close to the Saudi-backed Hadi delegation said on Sunday that the talks were suspended in protest against a recent takeover of the Umaliqa military base province of Amran by Ansarullah and allied army units. […]
This is while Yemen’s official SabaNet news agency has accused Saudi Arabia and pro-Saudi militants loyal to Hadi of violating the truce 4,000 times, saying shelling, bombing raids and airstrikes had raised tensions.
The development comes as UN mediator had recently expressed optimism about the ongoing round of negotiations between Yemeni warring sides as long drawn-out peace talks. … Full article
… The court pointed out that years of case law “demonstrate the present fallacy of Defendants’ argument that the court must decline jurisdiction because the case falls within the realm of war and foreign policy.”
The court also explained that contractors do not qualify for immunity unless they “merely acted at the direction of the Government” in carrying out lawful government contracts. Mitchell and Jessen went far beyond carrying out orders. They designed, sold, and implemented an unlawful torture program (and earned tens of millions of dollars in the process). … Read full article
The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that NATO is preparing to deploy four battalions — approximately 4,000 troops — to Russia’s western border. US Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work was in Brussels today to announce the Western military escalation on Russia’s border, which he claimed was in response to Russian military exercises near the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.
According to Deputy Secretary of Defense Work, two of the battalions would come from the United States, with one each coming from the UK and Germany. This announcement might come as news to German lawmakers, as such a significant German military presence on Russia’s borders has not been approved by Berlin. Although German Chancellor Angela Merkel has given Washington reason to believe that Germany would join the escalation, the move is considered highly controversial in a Germany growing weary of following US foreign policy dictates. In fact, according to recent polling, only one in three Germans supports the idea of the German military defending the Baltics even if there were a Russian attack. A clear majority of Germans oppose NATO military bases on Russia’s border.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the UK government has not agreed to send the troops either, despite the claims of unnamed “Western officials.”
The US deputy secretary of defense explained in Brussels that the US must send these thousands of troops thousands of miles from the US because Russia is conducting military exercises on its own soil and the US finds that intolerable. … continue
Donald Trump’s long-awaited, much-discussed speech on foreign policy has been praised by some and slammed by others, but the more neocons recoil in horror over his ideas, the more those who are not otherwise inclined to support him might warm up to the Republican frontrunner’s ‘radical’ ideas.
Trump’s exploratory speech on foreign policy had its bright moments, with the candidate emphasizing that US foreign policy disasters in the Middle East threw the region into chaos, and saying that the cycle of hostility between Washington and Moscow must come to an end (“from a position of strength only” on the US’s part, naturally).
At the same time, long-standing non-interventionists including Ron Paul Institute political analyst Daniel McAdams weren’t as enthusiastic about Trump’s proposals, McAdams telling Sputnik that Trump’s proposals are a mixed bag, since his advisors appear to be realists, and “that is not super satisfying to a non-interventionist and an anti-war person because realists… lack the philosophy… of avoiding war and avoiding entangling alliances.”
Nevertheless, the neocons’ incessant bashing of Trump has created the potential to make the candidate appealing to those Americans sick of aggressive policy against Russia, and those opposed to never-ending wars in the Middle East. … continue
Aleppo now continues to be the focus of a renewed and nasty propaganda war, with US and Western officials claiming the Syrian regime has been bombing civilian or moderate opposition targets in breach of the ceasefire. Both points – firstly that these are ‘moderate’ opposition targets, and secondly that the Syrian regime has been breaching the cease fire agreement – are refuted, meaning essentially that there’s no real way to know the truth of the matter.
More than 200 civilians, including 35 children, are reported to have been killed as violence erupted again this week, apparently leaving the ceasefire agreement in doubt.
We all know the drill by now, however. When Western officials and corporate media report that an MSF hospital has been destroyed by unknown aircraft, this is basically code for ‘We Did It – But We’re Going to Blame Assad’. We’ve seen all of this strategy before, with the Houla massacre or with the chemical attacks in 2013. … continue
The Permanent Representative of China to the United Nations Liu Jieyi has called for consideration of the North Korean proposal to stop its nuclear testing program in exchange of cessation of joint military exercises by the US and South Korea.
According to Liu Jieyi, “anything, anything, any proposal, no matter where the proposal comes from, so long it is conducive to a negotiated solution that will contribute to denuclearization and to peace and stability on the Korean peninsula should be studied very carefully.”
According to Jieyi, sanctions and military exercises won’t reduce tensions with North Korea. It would take a wider, “multidimensional” approach, if the parties are to resolve the issue.
Earlier, Pyongyang proposed stopping its nuclear test if the US and South Korea cancel their joint military exercises. The proposal has been denied by President Obama, who said that Pyongyang would “have to do better than that” … Full article
Another Turkish journalist was detained in Istanbul by the country’s counter-terrorism police over social media posts, local media reported.
According to the Hurriyet newspaper’s Saturday report, the incident happened Saturday. Hamza Aktan, 33, working for IMC TV broadcaster, was detained following a raid into his home and was interrogated.
Aktan’s lawyers and the broadcaster claimed that he was questioned regarding his tweets posted in 2015, the newspaper reported. The police also interrogated the journalist over him sharing media reports on civilians killed in Turkey’s conflict with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group. … Full article
The “Observer view” wants Obama to “knock heads together” and sort out the Syria crisis. The anonymous editorial is not just a government issued press release, and you are a cynical so-and-so for thinking it. … continue
Yesterday, I noted the special relish the Guardian and Haaretz, erstwhile liberal publications, are taking in savaging the UK Labor Party’s left, in the person of one-time London mayor, Ken Livingstone. Given the hundreds of thousands of words and gallons of ink spilled in the vain effort to turn the Labor left into anti-Semites, the current atmosphere in England strikes me as the Night of the Long Knives, when the SS took its revenge on its enemies within the Nazi movement and solidified its hold on the Party.
Now, the Guardian’s Israel correspondent, Peter Beaumont, has gotten into the act. He’s written an odd article that continues the attack on Livingstone, calling his argument “dubious history.” But it does so from a strange angle. Beaumont reviews one of the major pieces of historical evidence raised by Livingstone in his fateful interview, in which the latter said that “Hitler supported Zionism.” I refer to the Haavara Agreement, by which the Yishuv negotiated the ransom of German Jews in return for the Reich confiscating their property and using it to fuel Germany’s pre-World War II military buildup. Beaumont’s purpose seems to be to both acknowledge the validity of the argument that the Zionists collaborated with the Nazis, while at the same time undercutting it. He calls Livingstone’s invocation of it a “twisted kernel of historical truth.” … continue
Former mayor of London Ken Livingstone has pointedly refused to apologize to Jews for his comments linking Zionism to Nazism, saying “I can’t bring myself to deny the truth.”
In an interview with radio station LBC on Saturday, Livingstone defended his comments as “historical facts,” and denounced critics who have called the remarks anti-Semitic.
Britain’s opposition Labour Party suspended Livingstone on Thursday after he denounced Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people and argued that Adolf Hitler was a supporter of Zionism. […]
“I’m sorry if anyone was upset by what I said, I’m sorry for that. But it happens to be a statement of fact.”
“I never regret saying something that is true,” he said. … Full article
Supporters of Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have stormed Baghdad’s highly fortified, US established Green Zone, also home to the US Embassy, uninvited, the biggest in the world.
All staff of the Japanese, French, British, Australian, Jordanian, Emirates and Saudi Arabia Embassies have moved in to into the American Embassy, it is being reported.
Entrances have been reported sealed and tight security imposed to protect the Iraq Central Bank and other government banks, says an unconfirmed report. However, the Guardian contradicts stating that: “A guard at a checkpoint said the protesters had not been searched before entering. About ten members of the armed group loyal to Sadr were checking protesters cursorily while government security forces who usually conduct careful searches with bomb-sniffing dogs stood by the side.”
Moreover: “Rudaw TV showed protesters chanting and taking selfies inside the parliament chamber where moments earlier MPs had been meeting.” … continue
America considers civilians legitimate targets in all its wars of aggression. Fundamental laws of war prohibit attacking them – ignored in all US combat operations.
CENTCOM lied, calling its October 3, 2015 bombing of the Kunduz, Afghanistan Doctors Without Borders (MSF) hospital a “tragic incident.”
It turned truth on its head, claiming “personnel involved did not know that they were striking a medical facility. The intended target was an insurgent-controlled site which was approximately 400 meters away…”
CENTCOM commander General Joseph Votel willfully lied, claiming US forces “had no idea” they were attacking a medical facility.
False! CENTCOM knew it was an MSF hospital, yet ordered the attack anyway, falsely claiming it was used as a Taliban command and control center – before acknowledging otherwise. … continue
There is a dangerous radiological threat to the West Coast of the United States that puts the health of millions of Americans at risk. It includes dangers to public health, dangers to the food supply, and dangers to future generations from long-lived radionuclides, including some of the most toxic material in the world. It is not Fukushima, it is Hanford. While radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdowns is reaching the West Coast, carried across the ocean from Japan, the radiation from Hanford is already there, has been there for 70 years, and is in serious risk of catastrophe that could dwarf the effects of Fukushima even on Japan.
Hanford, on the Columbia River in Eastern Washington State, is the site where the United States produced the majority of its plutonium for nuclear weapons during the Cold War. These tens of thousands of American nuclear weapons were built as an end product of the high levels of plutonium production at Hanford. The first three nuclear reactors on Earth were built at Hanford, with a total of nine nuclear power plants being built there eventually. Nuclear power plants operated for ten years in this world before they were ever used to generate electricity. Electricity is a secondary purpose for nuclear power plants, they were designed and built as plutonium manufacturing plants.
Hanford was the first of these plutonium production sites. The two worst radiological disasters (besides nuclear weapon detonations) in the first four decades of the Atomic Age were accidents at the plutonium production sites of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union, both in 1957. Military plutonium production sites remain among the most contaminated sites on Earth. During the period of operation more than 67 metric tons of plutonium were manufactured at Hanford. Hanford is home to 60% (by volume) of all of the high level radioactive waste stored in the United States. Nearly 80% of the Department of Energy’s inventory of spent nuclear fuel rods are stored just 400 yards away from the Columbia River. (Statistics taken from Physicians for Social Responsibility webpage)
Here is a very brief review of some of the worst impacts and dangers at the Hanford Site. … continue
… Currently, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) demands a complete and final design from potential nuclear developers. This, combined with expensive reviews that developers pay out of pocket, can deter potential startups with a multimillion dollar price tag with no assurance of ever being allowed to operate. The bipartisan panel’s tenor was that this needs to change. […]
The US’s 99 operational nuclear energy plants provide nearly 20 percent of the country’s power, but approximately 126,000 megawatts of nuclear power generation is set to be retired over the next 15 years. At the same time, the US Energy Information Administration forecasts a need for 287,000 megawatts of new electric capacity by 2040 – on top of replacing the electric capacity that is needed to replace the retired power plants.
This reality, combined with the fact that nuclear power produces no greenhouse gasses, has led to environmentally-conscious lawmakers on the committee making common cause with their innovation-minded colleagues worried about falling behind international competitors. … Read full article
Recently, the US Department of State has submitted to Congress its annual Report on Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments.
Among other things, Washington has chosen Moscow as the target for unsubstantiated insinuations and lies on the issue of Russia’s compliance with the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stockpiling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on their Destruction (BWC). It is becoming ever more obvious that regular verbal attacks against Russia are used to distract attention from the unseemly role that the US plays within the BWC context.
The reality is that it is the US who seriously damaged the BWC regime by single-handedly ruining the long-lasting multilateral talks on the supplementary BWC protocol that were about to come to an end. The microbiological activity of the member states under the developed protocol would have been subject to on-site inspections by an independent authority. Having derailed the protocol, the US now complains of having no possibility to verify compliance with the BWC.
However, it has nobody to blame but itself for this, including the fact that it has blocked any constructive attempts to step up specific work within the framework of the BWC since 2001. … continue
… Google and Facebook are still very much engaged in information warfare for the US government and the special interests that it serves. Likewise, the US State Department is still very much in the business of subverting foreign nations by recruiting, training, equipping and directing collaborators from targeted nations.
Facebook, for example, has expressed plans to get everyone on the planet on the Internet. The seemingly humanitarian mission is in all actuality an attempt to get the world on Facebook, which through its algorithms and ability to censor, ban and delete accounts at will, would virtually control what the world saw and didn’t see. … Read full article
Before the Democrats lock in their choice for President, they might want to know if Hillary Clinton broke the law with her unsecure emails and may be indicted, a question that ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern addresses. – Read article
Although the era of US global hegemony is coming to a close, the Middle East – more than most regions – is still reeling from the nasty last jabs of that Empire in decline.
It is little wonder, then, that the US presidential election season is scrutinized carefully in all corners of the Mideast.
Over here, the debate over the likely victor is less about economic, political and social projects than it is about which candidate is least likely to launch wars against us.
Anecdotally, there seems to be a consensus that Hillary Clinton would be the worst for the region, though of course – like in the United States – that perception changes dramatically when the conversation is with regional elites and ‘liberals.’ … continue
April – 2016