BOGOTA, Colombian civil society organisations gathered more than two million signatures to ask Congress to hold a referendum on a constitutional amendment that would make access to water a fundamental human right.
On Tuesday the US Coast Guard expanded the ban on fishing to nearly one fifth of US Gulf waters and began analyzing tar balls washed ashore on Florida’s Key West, some 600 miles from the spill location.
BP, the company in charge of the rig that exploded last month in the Gulf of Mexico, hasn't publicly divulged the results of tests on the extent of workers' exposure to evaporating oil or from the burning of crude over the gulf, even though researchers say that data is crucial in determining whether the conditions are safe. Moreover, the company isn't monitoring the extent of the spill and only reluctantly released videos of the spill site that could give scientists a clue to the amount of the oil in gulf.
Some of Italy's most senior police officers have been given jail sentences of up to five years for what the prosecution called a "terrible" attack on demonstrators at the 2001 G8 meeting in Genoa and an attempted cover-up. Victims of the attack, who included several Britons, expressed delight at the ruling, which overturned many of the conclusions reached by the judges at the original trial in 2008. Mark Covell, aged 42, from Reading, who was beaten into a coma, said: "This is beyond my wildest expectations. The Italian judiciary has recognised the truth of what happened. Human rights have finally been respected here. Italians will now recognise their cops do not have immunity. But it has taken nine years, and I was at the end of my tether."
Throughout Glenn Beck's meteoric rise to become king of all right-wing media, a once-obscure Santa Monica peddler of gold coins called Goldline International has been along for the ride. The support of Beck and other radio hosts -- mainly conservatives like Mark Levin and Fred Thompson -- who spend 55 minutes creating fear of an economic collapse and then five minutes telling you why coins from a company like Goldline are the only safe haven has helped Goldline become a $500 million company.
Mention the name of the corporation BP to Scott West and two words immediately come to mind: Beyond Prosecution. West was the special agent in charge with the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) criminal division who had been probing alleged crimes committed by BP and the company's senior officials in connection with a March 2006 pipeline rupture at the company's Prudhoe Bay operations in Alaska's North Slope that spilled 267,000 gallons of crude oil across two acres of frozen tundra - the second largest spill in Alaska's history - which went undetected for nearly a week.
A Pakistani court Wednesday ordered authorities to block Facebook temporarily over a competition encouraging users to post caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed on the social networking site. The depiction of any prophet is strictly prohibited in Islam as blasphemous and Muslims across the world staged angry protests over the publication of satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in European newspapers in 2006. Controversy erupted in the conservative Muslim country last month when a Facebook user set up a page called "Draw Mohammed Day", inviting people to send in their caricatures of the Muslim prophet on May 20.
Oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill is being picked up by a strong ocean current that will take it to Florida in days and possibly on up the Atlantic coast, experts warned Wednesday. The Loop Current has started sweeping leaking crude from the giant slick off Louisiana towards Florida's popular tourist beaches and fragile coral reefs, threatening a whole new dimension to the unfolding environmental disaster.
Many reported that Noam Chomsky was recently stopped from entering Israel. This is false. Totally false. He was prevented from going to the Palestinian city of Ramallah by Israeli forces. This important distinction highlights among other things that Israel controls the borders into occupied Palestinian areas, a large part of the problem.
People all over America are discussing freedom’s future. In short, they are worried. In fact, many are actually talking about State secession. In coffee shops and cafes, and around dining room tables, millions of people are speaking favorably of states breaking away from the union. Not since the turn of the twentieth century have this many people thought (and spoken) this favorably about the prospect of a State (or group of states) exiting the union. In my mind, this is a good thing.
After last night’s election results, there’s no doubt that the electorate has contempt for Washington incumbents and the political establishment. Virtually every media account dutifully recites the same storyline — that these results reflect an “anti-incumbent” mood — but virtually none of these stories examines the reasons for that “mood.” Why do Americans, seemingly regardless of party affiliation or geographic location, despise the political establishment?
President Obama met with 37 Jewish members of the House and Senate Tuesday to soothe concerns over recent rough spots in U.S.-Israeli relations. "It was a good meeting, but it was not a feel-good meeting - everyone spoke their minds and from the heart," said Eliot Engel (D-Bronx). Press Freedom, Sure. But No Questions There was some rich irony at the White House today -- President Obama signed the Press Freedom Act, and then promptly refused to take any questions.
Obama sought Tuesday to reassure Jewish lawmakers of his support for Israel, detailing plans to boost Israeli security and his administration's backing of sanctions on Iran.
Ann Wright, retired U.S. Army Reserve Colonel and former U.S. diplomat who resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to Bush’s war on Iraq, will join the 8-ship Free Gaza boat flotilla that will break the Israeli government naval siege/blockade of Gaza and bring reconstruction materials and humanitarian assistance items to the Palestinians of Gaza. The Blockade of Gaza is three years old and is suffocating the Palestinians of Gaza. After the 22 day Israeli attack on Gaza in December, 2009 through January, 2010 that killed 1440, wounded 5,000, left 50,000 homeless and destroyed most of the civilian infrastructure-water, sewage and electrical systems. No reconstruction materials have been allowed into Gaza by the Israeli or Egyptian governments.
LIMA, Peru's armed forces are gearing up for an unprecedented offensive against a surviving faction of the Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) Maoist guerrilla organisation, which began an armed struggle to seize power in the country 30 years ago.
Debt woes in Greece have sent bond yields soaring and increased the prospect of sovereign default. A restructuring of Greek debt will deal a blow to lenders in Germany and France that are insufficiently capitalized to manage the losses. Finance ministers, EU heads-of-state and the European Central Bank (ECB) have responded forcefully to try to avert another banking meltdown that could plunge the world back into recession. They have created a nearly-$1 trillion European Stabilization Fund (ESF) to calm markets and ward-off speculators. But the contagion has already spread beyond Greece to Spain, Portugal and Italy where leaders have started to aggressively cut public spending and initiate austerity programs. Belt-tightening in the Eurozone will decrease aggregate demand and threaten the fragile recovery. We are at a critical inflection point.
The U.S. Senate is moving forward with a 59-billion-dollar spending bill, of which 33.5 billion dollars would be allocated for the war in Afghanistan. However, some experts here in Washington are raising concerns that the war may be unwinnable and that the money being spent on military operations in Afghanistan could be better spent.
An article in Monday's New York Times underscores an observation we have made before: one of the biggest predictors of who gets sentenced to death has nothing to do with relevant factors such as the heinousness of the crime, the culpability of the accused, or the life history of the accused. Rather, the quality of the lawyer representing the accused very often predicts who lives and who dies.
Nicolas Sarkozy has said that "veils are not welcome in France" The French cabinet has approved a draft law to ban the wearing of full-face veils in public spaces, opening the way for the text to go before parliament in July. The bill calls for $185 fines and, in some cases, citizenship classes for women do not comply with the ban.
Buildings across the Thai capital, Bangkok, have been set ablaze by red shirt protesters after the military stormed a protest camp in the centre of the city. Six important leaders of the red shirt movement surrendered to police after soldiers breached barricades surrounding the camp early on Wednesday.
Contacts in Louisiana have given me numerous, unconfirmed reports of cameras and cell phones being confiscated, scientists with monitoring equipment being turned away, and local reporters blocked from access to public lands impacted by the oil spill. But today CBS News got it on video, along with a bone-chilling statement by a Coast Guard official: "These are BP's rules. These are not our rules." But wait ... isn't that a public beach? From my viewpoint, it looks as if the Coast Guard* has been given direct orders to protect BP's PR interests above safety concerns over air and water quality, above the outcries of local governments in need of aid, and (worst of all) above the need for the American public to be informed...
The Obama administration has started using special law enforcement and intelligence teams to interrogate suspected militants in the United States and abroad, including the Pakistani-American arrested in the Times Square bombing plot, a top official said on Tuesday.
Researchers say the BP oil spill has very likely been picked up by a powerful Gulf current known as the “loop current,” which moves from the area south of the Mississippi Delta to the southern tip of Florida.
Yes, the oil spewing up from the floor of the Gulf of Mexico in staggering quantities could prove one of the great ecological disasters of human history. Think of it, though, as just the prelude to the Age of Tough Oil, a time of ever increasing reliance on problematic, hard-to-reach energy sources. Make no mistake: we're entering the danger zone. And brace yourself, the fate of the planet could be at stake.
"I wanted to destroy everything beautiful I'd never have," wrote Chuck Palahniuk in his novel,"'Fight Club." "Burn the Amazon rain forest. Pump chlorofluorocarbons straight up to gobble the ozone. Open the dump valves on supertankers and uncap offshore oil wells. I wanted to kill all the fish I couldn't afford to eat, and smother the French beaches. I wanted the whole world to hit bottom ... I wanted to breathe smoke. I wanted to burn the Louvre. I'd do the Elgin Marbles with a sledgehammer and wipe my ass with the Mona Lisa. This is my world, now." This is our world now, indeed. The Boston Globe web site put together a series of pictures detailing the inexorable advance of spilled petroleum in the Gulf.
A telephone call between a financial adviser in Beverly Hills and a trader in New York was all it took to fleece taxpayers on a water-and-sewer financing deal in West Virginia
As an Obama administration official acknowledged lax regulation prior to the Gulf oil spill, Senate Democrats on Tuesday were foiled in their bid to dramatically lift a cap on oil companies' economic liability for spills. President Barack Obama said he was disappointed that the proposal had stalled in the U.S. Senate, and blasted Republicans he said had stopped it.
New York University economist Nouriel Roubini is the author of, most recently, "Crisis Economics: A Crash Course In The Future Of Finance." He is considered one of the most prominent and respected economists in the world. When both Wall Street bankers and Bush administration policymakers were insisting that everything was just fine, Roubini was warning about the most dire financial crisis since the Great Depression. In 2007, the financial elite laughed him off, but Roubini was vindicated by the crash of 2008. AlterNet economics editor Zach Carter recently spoke with Roubini about the financial crisis, the subsequent bailout, the financial reform bill moving through Congress, and the global economic outlook.
Debt woes in Greece have sent bond yields soaring and increased the prospect of sovereign default. A restructuring of Greek debt will deal a blow to lenders in Germany and France that are insufficiently capitalized to manage the losses. Finance ministers, EU heads-of-state and the European Central Bank (ECB) have responded forcefully to try to avert another banking meltdown that could plunge the world back into recession. They have created a nearly-$1 trillion European Stabilization Fund (ESF) to calm markets and ward-off speculators. But the contagion has already spread beyond Greece to Spain, Portugal and Italy where leaders have started to aggressively cut public spending and initiate austerity programs. Belt-tightening in the Eurozone will decrease aggregate demand and threaten the fragile recovery. We are at a critical inflection point. From American Banker: "Bank stocks plunged last week under the theory that banking companies will take large losses in Europe. The theory is correct. Banks will get hurt," Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities LLC wrote in a research note. Bove wrote in a separate report last week that "big American banks have a bigger stake in this drama than thought." He estimates that JPMorgan Chase has $1.4 trillion of exposure across all of Europe alone, while Citigroup Inc. has $468.4 billion.
The best comment so far about the brilliant diplomatic coup engineered by Brazil, Turkey, and Iran yesterday comes from the Turkish ambassador to the United Nations, who said, in reacting to the smarmy, negative reaction from Washington: "I would have expected a more encouraging statement. We don’t believe in sanctions, and I don’t believe anyone can challenge us, certainly not the United States. They don’t work.” Despite the huffing and puffing from the Obama administration, there are other powers reaction positively to the dramatic development. President Sarkozy of France called it a “positive step,”
If you thought the German government was going to be a lapdog for Sarcozy, or worse, was going to fellate Brussels and the ECB, you got a rude shock today. It appears that the German Government has just plain had enough of the crap that the banksters have tried to pull, and has decided to do what Barack Obama should have done in early 2009.
The more I look at this case, the more clear it becomes that Dr. Myhill is being persecuted for holding views outside mainstream corrupt medicine. She is not a full supporter of vaccinations. Pharmaceuticals are not the first thing she considers in treatment. She thinks about what she does, rather than following the party line. Those are unacceptable qualities in modern medicine, and any doctor, no matter how well qualified, can expect to be punished for them.
The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) opened today fire at Palestinian demonstrators in Bait Lahya town, in north of Gaza, who were protest against the Israeli buffer zone around the Gaza Strip.
Do your friends a favor. Tell them to "batten down the hatches" because there's a HARD RAIN coming. Tell them to get out of debt and sell anything they can sell (and don't need) in order to get liquid. Tell them that Richard Russell says that by the end of this year they won't recognize the country. They'll retort, "How the dickens does Russell know -- who told him?" Tell them the stock market told him.
There is 3000 times more natural gas coming out of the leak than oil. The damage of the massive amounts of Gas being released into the gulf is worse than the oil. http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5gIXWYBTpLtSayJtg41LKXpxSxVPAD9FO07J00 Oxygen levels in some areas have dropped 30 percent, and should continue to drop, Joye said. "It could take years, possibly decades, for the system to recover from an infusion of this quantity of oil and gas," Joye said. "We've never seen anything like this before. It's impossible to fathom the impact." The amount of oil leaking into the gulf is 25,000 to 70,000 barrels. a 3000:1 ratio would mean 75 - 210 million cubic feet of gas per day being released. 1,671 to 4,680 metric tons of gas released each day...
Once again, the indigenous peoples of the Xingú valley in the Brazilian Amazon are planning to make the long journey to the town of Altamira, where the Trans-Amazonica highway crosses the Xingú. Their ultimate destination will be the island of Pimental a short distance downriver from the town, where the Brazilian government plans to build a huge hydroelectric dam they call Belo Monte after the nearest Brazilian village. The Indians' bold plan, is to prevent the construction of the dam by building a new village directly on top of the proposed dam site and maintaining their occupation until the government abandons its plans for the dam. The planning for the encampment is being led by the Kayapo, the largest and most politically organized of the indigenous nations of the region, but other indigenous groups are also participating.
Last Thursday, the AP ran a ground-breaking piece of investigative journalism. It spelled out how U.S. taxpayers have financed a $1 trillion "War on Drugs" that, 40 years after its launch, has failed to meet any of its declared goals. That's putting it mildly. While the favored "drug du jour" varies over time, overall illicit drug use in America, by and large, has remained steady at the same time arrests of drug users have skyrocketed. Drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available than ever. Meanwhile, the U.S. is suffering a crisis of mass incarceration fueled most significantly by the War on Drugs.
A former Russian oil tycoon has gone on hunger strike over what he claims is an unfair extension of his prison sentence. Mikhail Khodorkovsky, once Russia's richest man, is serving an eight-year sentence for tax evasion following a trial his supporters described as a farce. Last week his detention in Moscow's notorious Sailor's Rest prison was extended by three months, in a trial that could lead to him being sentenced to an additional 22 years on charges of theft and money laundering.
Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, filed a petition May 13 to limit its liabilities in the disaster to $27 million, despite receiving $560 million in insurance compensation. Framed pictures on display at the funeral of Karl KleppingerAs part of the request, Transocean will be allowed to consolidate all cases against it into federal court, and to put a stay on the over 100 cases being brought against it at the state and local levels. Eleven workers—most employed by Transocean—were killed in the April 20 blast, and at least 17 more were injured. Workers who escaped from the rig have claimed that the horrific event they witnessed caused them post-traumatic stress syndrome.
I have a great deal of admiration and respect for Noam Chomsky, one of the foremost intellectuals of our time, whose work opened my eyes on a great many issues. But like many others, I have been increasingly baffled by the many inconsistencies in his views on Palestine. A few months ago, for example, I responded to his opposition to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement on Khalil Bendib's radio program Voices from the Middle East and North Africa.
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