Charlie Rangel says the House-Senate negotiations on the final healthcare bill are going badly. "We've got a problem on both sides of the Capitol. If these negotiations blow up and the Democrats somehow don't pass this legislation at this point, they are done as a political party for the foreseeable future. The Republicans are already done--despite the tea party enthusiasm, GOP poll numbers overall are in the toilet. The party has no solutions, no ideas, nothing. It's great at daily political combat. And that's all.
Beijing yet to respond to search engine's move apparently prompted by hacking of human rights activists' Gmail accounts. Google has thrown down the gauntlet to China by saying it is no longer willing to censor search results on its Chinese service. The world's leading search engine said the decision followed a cyber-attack that it believes was aimed at gathering information on Chinese human rights activists. It also cited a clampdown on the internet in China over the past year. Its statement raised the prospect of closing Google.cn and potentially its offices in China.
The British government is attempting to curb arrest warrants for war crimes. It is seeking to curtail the petitioning of courts to issue “universal jurisdiction” arrest warrants for suspected war crimes committed anywhere in the world. New legislation effectively giving the attorney general—the UK’s highest law official—the power to veto particular arrest warrants, such as those against foreign politicians, now seems likely.
With popular opposition to the administration’s health care plan growing, President Obama held a private White House meeting with leaders of the US trade unions Monday to shore up support for corporate-backed measure, which will roll back health care for tens of millions of working and retired people.
The Obama administration has promised to overhaul immigration detention. But a scathing report in the New York Times last weekend reveals that federal officials used their role as overseers to prevent media from reporting deaths and abuses inside the nation’s immigration prisons. Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE now admits 107 immigrants died in ICE custody since October 2003 but for years the deaths went uncounted in the public record.
Locals say troops of the US-led alliance have killed at least eight Afghan civilians at a demonstration organized to protest against the alliance forces' desecration of the Holy Quran. The mortalities were caused by fire from the alliance forces during the demonstration, which about 2,000 people attended, in the southern province of Helmand, locals said on Tuesday, the German news agency DPA reported.
Democratic leaders negotiating a compromise health care bill appear likely to reject a House provision requiring employers to offer generous coverage to their workers or else pay a steep payroll tax, specialist say. Killing off the strong employer mandate in the House version would represent a substantial victory for business lobbies, who last year confronted the possibility that large Democratic majorities in the House and Senate could stick businesses with heavy regulations and fines.
Just months after rushing to order enough swine-flu vaccine to protect their citizens, European governments are canceling orders and trying to sell or give away extra doses as they sit on a glut of the vaccine. The main reason: European health officials decided that only one shot per person was needed, instead of the two originally planned. Low demand is also to blame. Many Europeans believe the pandemic has turned out to be fairly mild, and don't see a reason to get vaccinated. Some are also concerned that they will suffer side effects from the shots, despite assurances otherwise from global health officials. "The population is not running to get the vaccination," says Roland Jopp, a spokesman for Germany's health ministry.
New revelations about the failed Christmas Day attack on Northwest Airlines Flight 253 continue to emerge as does evidence of a systematic cover-up. With the White House in crisis mode since the attempted bombing, President Obama met for two hours January 5 with top security and intelligence officials. Obama said that secret state agencies "had sufficient information to uncover the terror plot ... but that intelligence officials had 'failed to connect those dots',"
The Underwear Bomber case indicates that whoever is behind these bomb scares is laughing at our gullibility. How realistic is it that al-Qaida, an organization that allegedly pulled off the most fantastic terror attack in world history, would in these days of heightened security choose for an attack on an airliner a person who is the most conspicuous of all? Umar Farouk Mutallab had a one-way ticket, no luggage, no passport, and his father, reportedly a CIA and Mossad asset, had reported him to the CIA and Mossad. Does anyone really believe that al-Qaida would choose as an airliner bomber a person waving every red flag imaginable? Obvious questions about the Underwear Bomber have escaped the US media, which is now little more than a marketing aid for full body scanning machines for airports.
A financial scandal has erupted that implicates Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner in efforts to conceal the funneling of $62 billion in taxpayer funds to 16 large banks as part of the government bailout of the insurance giant American International Group (AIG).
Dozens of people have died in house fires in the southern US, a consequence of the severe cold weather of the past two weeks and the dilapidated and hazardous housing stock in the region. In the worst fire, nine people died, including six young children.
Post-9/11 arbitrariness and blind revenge by the USA lay behind acts of counter-vengeance by Al-Qaeda and likeminded groups, the latest of which was the attempt by a Nigerian man to bomb an American airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day 2009. ”What was the post-9/11 madness but blind revenge? What were the lockups at Guantanamo but revenge? What is joining Al-Qaeda but revenge? Is revenge a legitimate response to an attack on America? Why isn't it equally appropriate for those who have suffered sadistic American brutality?”
In the South Pacific, I found a case study in modern censorship, as Fiji’s three-year-old military government collides with a once free local press, an emerging blogging culture and an ambivalent international community. Some basic facts are contested, but it is clear that free expression in Fiji is under intense pressure, in a sharp departure from Fijian cultural and political tradition. I talked over email with journalist and media academic Shailendra Singh, based in capital of Suva, about the future of free expression in Fiji.
Monday, January 11, marks eight years since the Bush administration transferred the first prisoners to the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay. Ever since, human rights groups have pushed for the closure of Guantánamo and they’re pushing harder now for the Obama administration to implement its plans to transfer or release detainees and shut the place.
US officials today rejected the latest North Korean call to sign a peace treaty, saying that they are “not going to pay North Korea to come back to the six-party talks.” North Korea abandoned the talks in early 2009 after the US pressed an additional round of condemnations against them through the UN Security Council. Shortly thereafter, North Korea successfully tested a nuclear weapon.
A 62-year-old Iraqi grandmother was tortured and executed by British soldiers after her family home was raided three years ago... The Army's involvement in the death and abuse of Sabiha Khudur Talib is one of the most serious charges to be made against Britain during its six-year occupation of southern Iraq. Mrs Talib's body was dumped on a roadside in a British body bag in November 2006. There was a bullet hole in her abdomen and her face had injuries consistent with torture, police reported.
Our knee-jerk, tunnel-visioned, democratic and republican voters must develop some peripheral vision, or they will be taught some lessons of life that could more more easily be learned by viewing outside of the central areas of corporate media focus. And perhaps, the best place to begin seeing on the edges of one's usual visual field is the corporate media itself. Let us begin by asking ourselves, "Who owns the corporate-mainstream media?" And of course, the answer is large, very large, corporations own the corporate media. But, who owns the controlling stock of these large corporations, and controls their "news" and aired content? The answer is the foreign, privately owned International Monetary/Banking Cartel, that controls the money and credit of the world. Make sense?
The Federal Reserve asked a U.S. appeals court to block a ruling that for the first time would force the central bank to reveal secret identities of financial firms that might have collapsed without the largest government bailout in U.S. history. The U.S. Court of Appeals in Manhattan will decide whether the Fed must release records of the unprecedented $2 trillion U.S. loan program launched after the 2008 collapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. In August, a federal judge ordered that the information be released, responding to a request by Bloomberg LP, the parent of Bloomberg News.
The Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has claimed that over 125,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem could eventually have been stripped of the right to live in their city because of the separation wall and the Judaisation policies adopted by successive Israeli governments. JCSER warns that Jerusalem is being subjected to the most dangerous Judaisation process, which is demographic in nature and is designed to control, as much as possible, what remains of Palestinian citizens’ lands.
On the eighth anniversary of the opening of the "War on Terror" prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the implications of a ruling last week in the Court of Appeals (PDF) have added another layer of uncertainty to the prisoners’ future, in a week that was notorious for a barrage of lies and misinformation, and a promise by President Obama that he was freezing the release of all Yemeni prisoners until further notice.
Protestors are walking confidently down a street a street in the southern Yemeni port of Aden when there is a rattle of gunfire as the security services shoot into the crowd and people run panic-stricken seeking cover. A man in a check shirt is left lying face down in the dust in the empty street, a stream of blood flowing from a bullet wound in his head.
It was a Christmas and New Year’s from hell for American intelligence, that $75 billion labyrinth of at least 16 major agencies and a handful of minor ones. As the old year was preparing to be rung out, so were our intelligence agencies, which managed not to connect every obvious clue to a (literally) seat-of-the-pants al-Qaeda operation. It hardly mattered that the underwear bomber’s case -- except for the placement of the bomb material -- almost exactly, even outrageously, replicated the infamous, and equally inept, “shoe bomber” plot of eight years ago.
The child Maisara Ibrahim Moussa, 3 years, passed away on Monday which rises the number of people who died as a result of the Israeli siege on Gaza to 368.
On the eighth anniversary of the opening of Guantánamo, the fate of the 198 prisoners still held is, in many ways, no clearer than it was a year ago. President Obama has released 42 men since taking office on January 20, 2009, but has already admitted that he will miss his self-imposed deadline for the prison's closure on January 22.
Joseph Stiglitz says that Wall Street is hyping up the economy to sell more stock. Has it worked? Well, the stock market certainly has rocketed up from its March lows. But many investors are still avoiding equities. As Vincent Deluard - a strategist for TrimTabs Investment Research (25% of the top 50 hedge funds in the world use TrimTabs' research for market timing) - says: We've never seen this before – such a huge rally, and the little guy is out.
Take Action Write a Letter Subscribe Now Text SizeAAAOne of the stars of the widely acclaimed Iraq war film The Hurt Locker has claimed that the filmmakers hired the mercenary firm Blackwater while shooting the film in the Middle East, including in Palestinian refugee camps in Jordan.
Barack Obama's deceptions over the Afghanistan war should remind people of the lessons of George Orwell's 1984. IN 1984, George Orwell described a superstate, Oceania, whose language of war inverted lies that "passed into history and became truth. 'Who controls the past,' ran the party slogan, 'controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.'" Barack Obama is the leader of a contemporary Oceania. In two speeches at the close of the decade, the Nobel Peace Prize-winner affirmed that peace was no longer peace, but rather a permanent war that "extends well beyond Afghanistan and Pakistan" to "disorderly regions, failed states, diffuse enemies." He called this "global security" and invited our gratitude. To the people of Afghanistan, which the U.S. has invaded and occupied, he said wittily: "We have no interest in occupying your country."
Liberalism's hard-wired propensity always to accept "half a loaf" without even trying to fight for the whole thing has led to a pro-corporate health care "reform" bill. AS HEALTH care reform legislation in Congress limps to what National Nurses United President Rose Ann DeMoro called an "inglorious end," it's remarkable how few liberals feel enthusiastic about a bill that is supposed to represent a crowning achievement for them.
It’s not just the tragedy of 9/11, which most intelligent people realize by now was government-sponsored terror on America, a false-flag operation that continues to this day via Abdulmutallab’s (faux) attempt at terrorism. It wasn’t just the bogus war on terror that was spun out of 9/11’s tragedy by Bush’s neocon administration, which started the war in Afghanistan supposedly to find Bin Laden, the alleged mastermind of 9/11, and to axe the terrible Taliban (who helped the Afghans win the war we started against the Russians). No, it was more.
Corporations, which control the levers of power in government and finance, promote and empower the psychologically maimed. Those who lack the capacity for empathy and who embrace the goals of the corporation-personal power and wealth-as the highest good succeed. Those who possess moral autonomy and individuality do not. And these corporate heads, isolated from the mass of Americans by insular corporate structures and vast personal fortunes, are no more attuned to the misery, rage and pain they cause than were the courtiers and perfumed fops who populated Versailles on the eve of the French Revolution. They play their games of high finance as if the rest of us do not exist. And it is a game that will kill us.
It is incredible, really. When an Israeli dies as a result of a suicide bombing or Qassam rocket, everyone knows. The victims become real people, with stories and families. Their innocence is exaggerated in the press to the point where the reader might feel they were a family member rather than a stranger. The Palestinians, on the other hand, are treated as numbers, statistics, and worst of all, as responsible for their own misery.
One year after Israel’s assault on Gaza, we go back to a deadly attack that took place on one Gazan neighborhood. The Samouni family, who live in an agricultural area in the Zaytoun area of Gaza City, lost twenty-nine members of their family in the attack. Anjali Kamat and Jacquie Soohen visited the surviving members of the family in March. [includes rush transcript]
A pilot's life: exhausting hours for meagre wages$20,000 pay and lengthy commutes to work renew fears for passengers' safetyAnyone waiting for their underpants to be checked knows that the glamour went out of flying years ago. But nowhere has the cachet fallen so far as in the US, where pilots on commuter airlines responsible for more than half the country's flights now earn pitifully low salaries for long, unsocial hours. Many are forced to fly half way around the country before they even begin work. Others sleep in trailers at the back of Los Angeles airport, in airline lounges across the country or even on the floors of their own planes. Some co-pilots, who typically take home about $20,000 (£12,500) a year, hold down second jobs to make ends meet.
An Iranian diplomat who was detained by the US military in Iraq and held for more than two years, says that he was tortured while in American custody. Majid Qaemi-Heydari was among the five Iranian diplomats who were abducted by American forces in a raid on Iran's consulate in Arbil on January 11, 2007.
By stitching together a string of "terrorist" events, Paul Craig Roberts zooms in on a modus operandi of false-flag and cover up operations stretching back to the Cold War period and the NATO/CIA-sponsored Operation Gladio with tentacles across Western Europe, but most famously in Italy. The bombings, which were blamed on communists to discredit them politically, were also used to create a climate of fear prompting the population turn to the state for greater security, in an all but too familiar present-day scenario.
As Egypt stoops to the ultimate collusion with Israel and the West to starve Gaza by banning future humanitarian aid convoys, Stuart Littlewood advises Viva Palestina to deal directly with Gaza: “A large armada of boats led by a multi-faith alliance demanding freedom of the seas and the right to an armed escort, could be the best vehicle." ”Yes, the REAL international community – that’s ordinary folk like you and me and Viva Palestina and everyone and his dog around the globe – are finally beginning to assert themselves against the corrupt power freaks that strut the world stage.”
The labour force contracted by 661,000. This did not show up in the headline jobless rate because so many Americans dropped out of the system. The broad U6 category of unemployment rose to 17.3pc. That is the one that matters. Wall Street rallied. Bulls hope that weak jobs data will postpone monetary tightening: a silver lining in every catastrophe, or perhaps a further exhibit of market infantilism.
The U.S. Army will double the value of emergency military equipment it stockpiles on Israeli soil, and Israel will be allowed to use the U.S. ordnance in the event of a military emergency, according to a report in Monday’s issue of the U.S. weekly Defense News.
Army officials considered the song a warning sign and threat. In the song Hall raps:
Like Obama says somebody be held responsible
But some of you all gonna be held in the hospitals, whenever possible…
I’m gonna round up all eventually, easily, walk right up peacefully
And surprise them all
Yes, yes y’all, up against the wall, turn around
I got a motherfuckin’ magazine with 30 rounds, on a three round burst
Ready to fire down … spray and watch the bodies all hit the floor
I bet you don’t stop-loss nobody no more, in your next lifetime of course…
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