Mayor Michael Bloomberg recently announced plans to implement a series of cuts in order to close New York City’s $4.9 billion budget deficit, part of the growing wave of fiscal crises affecting state and local governments throughout the country. Bloomberg’s answer to this crisis is slashing the jobs and wages of municipal employees and cutting vital social services for the city’s residents.
Last year PhRMA was employing 165 lobbyists, 137 of which were former employees of either the legislative or executive branches. More than a million spectators gathered before the Capitol on a frosty January afternoon to witness the inauguration of Barack Obama, who promised in his campaign to change Washington’s mercenary culture of lobbyists, special interest influence and backroom deals.
The German government has now reclassified its military mission in Afghanistan as intervening in a civil war or, as they say in legal jargon, a “non-international armed conflict.” The recasting of the mission has far-reaching legal consequences.
Police in Dubai are to issue arrest warrants for 11 "agents with European passports" suspected of assassinating a top Hamas official last month.
In my current series I have written about the military aspects of any attack on Iran by the US and or Israel. I again repeat that Israel cannot carry out this attack without the help of the US.
Coalition forces continued to advance into Taliban-held areas in the violent southern Afghan province of Helmand yesterday on the third day of a major offensive aimed at breaking the insurgents' control over hundreds of thousands of local people.
Haiti’s wealthy ruling elite and US corporations are looking forward to increased riches and big profits off of post-earthquake reconstruction as millions of working class and poor people face the threat of starvation and infectious epidemics.
The arrest of the 10-member church group trying to "rescue" 33 Haitian children from the aftermath of the earthquake by smuggling them across the border to the Dominican Republic has wider implications for U.S. foreign policy. The group’s besmirching of the substantial and laudable American humanitarian effort in Haiti is regrettable. But the arrogance of simply ignoring the rule of law in foreign countries is a rich American tradition, practiced by the U.S. government as well as missionaries such as these.
After a record year for Wall Street profits, details of the multi-million dollar salaries and bonuses paid to hundreds of individuals at financial firms have begun to trickle out. The New York Times compiled a list of 19 of the most highly-paid Wall Street figures, whose combined compensation in 2009 amounted to an estimated $226.8 million
At least 18 people have been killed in a train crash outside the Belgian capital, Brussels, with officials warning that the death toll may rise further. Two packed commuter trains collided head-on at rush hour near Buizingen, about 15km southwest of Brussels, on Monday, after one reportedly missed a red stop signal
CAIRO, Feb 15, 2010 (IPS) - A salty, crunchy salad herb known to gourmands as samphire could revolutionise agriculture in the Middle East by providing food, fodder and fuel without using a single drop of freshwater. Salicornia, a succulent plant that can grow in either fresh or salt water, has traditionally been seen as a source of food. However, with rising energy prices and increasing concern over global warming, the halophyte (salt- tolerant plant) is now prized for its other properties.
In what is likely to be the first of many such atrocities, two US military rockets slammed into a house near Marjah, the target of the current offensive, killing 12 people. US military authorities admitted that the victims were innocent civilians sheltering in their own home, as they had been advised to do by US and NATO officials.
It all started with a phone call I received in early May/2009. The caller sounded troubled, as so many are these days. He told me he had spent several days researching his options.
The Federal Reserve Board faces a delicate task. Having pumped $2.2 trillion into the economy to fight the recession, it must start pulling that money back. It would have to sop up over half of that liquidity to get back to pre-recession levels. The problem: Do it too quickly and the Fed might cut off or curtail the recovery. Wait too long and risk setting off a punishing round of inflation.
Something about 12-year-old Bassam caused two Israelis to smile. Two
Palestinians noticed, but did not remember their smiles as being disparaging or arrogant. On the contrary. The Palestinians regarded the smiles as a rare moment in which two Israelis - and not just any Israelis, but military judges - realized how ridiculous the situation was. There were three other Israelis present, who held back their cries as they watched the boy enter, faltering - the chains around his legs clanging against each other, the prisons service coat he wore much too big for him. These three women, of their own accord, go regularly to the caravans that house the Ofer military tribunal and take notes. Were it not for these three women, who eventually shared his story, Bassam would have become yet another hidden detail of a non-event. A non-event of the sort that takes place countless times, all the time. Without those non-events, it is impossible to comprehend what life is like under hostile rule.
Jeff Gates analyses Zionism as “a strategy for targeting thought and emotion as a means to influence behaviour” and “a mental state that manifests as a dispersed form of internalized nationalism—a diaspora—that binds to an extremist enclave those who may never set foot there”. He argues that Zionism "relies for its success on deception and self-deceit". ”Law is irrelevant to those who consider themselves above the law. Morality and conscience are of no concern to those who consider themselves The Chosen—by a god of their own choosing. Such a nationalist ideology has no place in a system of nation states dedicated to the rule of law.”
The economic elite have robbed us all. The amount of suffering in the United States of America is literally a crime against humanity. "The American oligarchy spares no pains in promoting the belief that it does not exist, but the success of its disappearing act depends on equally strenuous efforts on the part of an American public anxious to believe in egalitarian fictions and unwilling to see what is hidden in plain sight." -- Michael Lind, To Have and to Have Not We all have very strong differences of opinion on many issues. However, like our founding fathers before us, we must put aside our differences and unite to fight a common enemy.
The United States should break Israel's blockade of Gaza and deliver badly needed supplies by sea, a US congressman told Gaza students yesterday. Rep. Brian Baird, a Democrat from Washington state, also urged US President Barack Obama's Middle East ambassador to visit Gaza to get a firsthand look at the destruction caused by Israeli's military offensive last year.
Surviving the Middle Class Crash - During the Bush administration, Monsanto illegally won USDA approval for its genetically engineered (GE) alfalfa by convincing regulators to bypass a mandatory environmental review. In response to a lawsuit by consumer groups, the courts then stepped in and banned GE alfalfa until the USDA followed the law.
Whether they choose to light up their first cigarette on their own or are unwitting victims of passive smoking, Filipino youth are increasingly at risk from tobacco exposure. "The younger a child starts to smoke, the greater the chances of becoming a regular smoker," said Dr Maricar Limpin, executive director of the non- government group Framework Convention on Tobacco Control Alliance Philippines (FCAP), during a media forum on tobacco use in the Philippines, held on Feb. 12 in the Philippine capital Manila. "The youth are being specifically targeted by the tobacco industry as future customers."
Tens of thousands of Haitians have been taking part in prayers religious ceremonies marking the final day of public mourning for the victims of last month's deadly earthquake.
More than 200 masked demonstrators have staged protests in the Canadian city of Vancouver as the 2010 Winter Olympics officially got under way.
The line of black-clad protesters was stark against the sugar-white sand. Hands clasped, they stood shoulder-to-shoulder, staring out to sea.Just over 250 people showed up for the "Hands Across the Sand" demonstration on Pensacola Beach. On Saturday afternoon, more than 250 people gathered at Casino Beach near the Pensacola Beach Gulf Pier to participate in "Hands Across the Sand." The 30-minute demonstration was part of a statewide endeavor to show opposition to proposals to permit oil and gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico.
The Battle of Marjah was supposed to be the centerpiece of the Obama escalation, showcasing NATO’s firepower against the farming community while emphasizing strategic changes designed to limit civilian casualties. This has failed on both fronts, with troops encountering heavy resistance and making slow progress in occupying the town, and even more importantly an embarrasingly high profile mishap involving US forces.
A Russian inventor has designed what he says is the key to human survival in the event of an apocalypse. It's an armoured pod that Evgeny Ubiyko says can house around four people for days and endure extreme temperatures, including lava. To him, the contraption is a modern day Noah’s Ark. Al Jazeera's Neave Barker reports from Moscow
For all the power and spectacle of the Olympic Games, the down-sides may seem to some a necessary evil. But not to all."The Olympics have a history of leaving host cities in debt, and relocating the poor and homeless away from the sanitized corridors of host cities," The Christian Science Monitor noted on Friday. "Vancouver is no exception."
MARJA, AFGHANISTAN -- U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers encountered pockets of stiff resistance and extensive minefields as they sought to press into this Taliban sanctuary in southern Afghanistan on Saturday. Numerous gunfights with insurgents and painstaking efforts to clear roads of makeshift bombs slowed the advance of many coalition units and delayed them from reaching some key destinations in this farming area of 80,000 people. The operation was further complicated by the challenge of fording irrigation canals that ring the area and traversing a landscape covered in knee-deep mud.
Over a thousand people took to the streets of Ciudad Juarez on Sunday to protest the city's record-setting crime wave, which civil rights groups say is made worse by the presence of some 6,000 Mexican soldiers. "The army's presence is anti-constitutional and violates citizens' rights. That's why we're asking them to withdraw," National Front Against Repression leader Javier Contreras bellowed at some 1,300 people taking part in the "March of Anger" in the center of the city.
On Thursday, a Denver news station interviewed Chris Bartkowicz about his medical-marijuana operation in the basement of his home. Bartkowicz, confident of his compliance with state laws, boasted of its size and profitability. “I’m definitely living the dream now,” he told 9News. The following day, the dream was over. Drug-enforcement agents raided his home, placed him under arrest, and carried off dozens of black bags of marijuana plants and growing lights.
Tess Pennington, 33, is a mother of three children, and lives in the sprawling outskirts of Houston, Texas. But she is not taking the happy safety of her suburban existence lightly. Like a growing army of fellow Americans, Pennington is learning how to grow her own food, has stored emergency rations in her home and is taking courses on treating sickness with medicinal herbs.
When a window of opportunity opened to strike the leader of al-Qaeda in East Africa last September, U.S. Special Operations forces prepared several options. They could obliterate his vehicle with an airstrike as he drove through southern Somalia. Or they could fire from helicopters that could land at the scene to confirm the kill. Or they could try to take him alive.
You prefer the populism of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Parties. Your enemy of choice is the "liberal" and government that is too big, that taxes you far too much, and that offers too many services which you say causes all the problems. You say Democrats did all this. You say we need to fight the Arab terrorists who did 9-11. You say the Bible teaches that all who are not on Israel's side will be destroyed when Jesus comes. You say that truth lies with conservatism and libertarianism. And you know you are right and I am wrong because you love the flag and praise the constitution and the 2nd and 10th amendments and start your Tea Sessions with the Pledge of Allegiance and a tribute to John Wayne.
A quote, famously attributed to Rothschild agent Col. Edward House, but rarely understood except by "one man in a million" envisages people as collateral on the national debt: "[Very] soon, every American will be required to register their biological property in a National system designed to keep track of the people and that will operate under the ancient system of pledging. By such methodology, we can compel people to submit to our agenda, which will affect our security as a chargeback for our fiat paper currency. Every American will be forced to register or suffer not being able to work and earn a living.
New studies reveal that the social divide between rich and poor in the US has grown much starker in the current economic crisis, and that even before it hit the country was the most unequal of the advanced economies, with great wealth and extreme poverty having become virtually hereditary conditions.
New studies reveal that the social divide between rich and poor in the US has grown much starker in the current economic crisis, and that even before it hit the country was the most unequal of the advanced economies, with great wealth and extreme poverty having become virtually hereditary conditions. President Barack Obama has done nothing to reverse decades of wage stagnation, mounting poverty, and attacks on the social welfare system. On the contrary, following George W. Bush, he has seized on the crisis to redistribute wealth to a tiny financial elite through the ongoing bailout of the finance industry.
Israel is waging a covert assassination campaign across the Middle East in an effort to stop its key enemies co-ordinating their activities. Israeli agents have been targeting meetings between members of Hamas and the leadership of the militant Hezbollah group, and the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. They are also suspected of recent killings in Dubai, Damascus and Beirut. While Israel’s Mossad spy agency has been suspected of staging assassinations across the world since the 1970s, it does not officially acknowledge or admit its activities.
At least three people have been killed and several more injured in shootings at a science building at the University of Alabama's Huntsville campus, officials say. A female suspected shooter was in custody, a university spokesman and police said on Friday
More international troops die as they launch a major operation against Taliban. As thousands of US-led forces have launched an operation in southern Afghanistan, the number of those foreign troops killed in the assault is rising. According to the latest statement by NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), seven troopers were killed on Saturday.
Baroness Jenny Tonge, a Liberal Democrat frontbencher in Britain, has been sacked as the party's health spokeswoman after urging an inquiry into charges that Israeli forces in Haiti harvested the organs of victims, British media outlets reported Saturday. Tonge, who served as a Liberal Democrat spokeswoman in the House of Lords, has been removed from the post.
The controversial American security company Blackwater is facing new allegations of gross misconduct after two former employees said that it had repeatedly defrauded the US Government, including charging it for the use of a Filipina prostitute in Afghanistan.
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