Venezuela ready to set up coalition of nations sympathetic to Libya to arbitrate, as Caracas claims US wants to invade. President Hugo Chávez has spoken with Muammar Gaddafi about creating a bloc of friendly countries to help mediate a resolution to Libya's crisis, Venezuela's information minister has said.
Lawyers for WikiLeaks founder lodge appeal against order for extradition to Sweden, where he is accused of sex crimes. Assange faces questioning in Sweden over claims of sexual misconduct made by two women he met during a visit to Sweden last August. The website founder denies wrongdoing and says he had consensual sex with the two women. His lawyers have argued that Assange, if extradited to Sweden, risks being handed over to the United States where they say he could face imprisonment or the death penalty.
Last week Canadian negotiators met with their Honduran counterparts in Tegucigalpa to discuss a free trade agreement (FTA). Negotiators from the two countries last met in Ottawa in December. According to the Honduran press, an agreement is close to being completed. This marks an alarming development in the efforts of the Canadian state and multinational corporations to deepen their relations with Honduras following the military coup of June 28, 2009.
OKLAHOMA CITY – The men and women in the ill-fitting blue shirts and tight black pants are running wild once again down at the main airport in the South Texas city of Corpus Christi. A regular reader of Red Dirt Report contacted this website and shared her story of how she and her husband’s Fourth Amendment rights were violated by the Transportation Security Administration earlier this week while trying to board a Southwest plane flying from Corpus Christi International Airport to St. Louis, Missouri.
Fears of sectarian uprisings in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia have set off the first serious wave of investor flight from the Gulf, compounding market turmoil as civil war in Libya pushes Brent crude over $116 a barrel.
The House has passed a devastating budget plan that would destroy bedrock safeguards that have protected our health and environment for decades. As a new mother, it breaks my heart when I hear stories from parents who are struggling with their kids' health problems. I know parents who live in fear of their child's next asthma attack. Some can't even let their kids play outside when local air pollution hits dangerous levels. We do everything we can to protect our kids, even before they're born.
The astonishing story of the last few decades is a massive redistribution of wealth, as the rich have shifted the tax burden. Over the last half century, the richest Americans have shifted the burden of the federal individual income tax off themselves and onto everybody else. The three convenient and accurate Wikipedia graphs below show the details. The first graph compares the official tax rates paid by the top and bottom income earners. Note especially that from the end of the second world war into the early 1960s, the highest income earners paid a tax rate over 90% for many years. Today, the top earners pay a rate of only 35%. Note also how the gap between the rates paid by the richest and the poorest has narrowed. If we take into account the many loopholes the rich can and do use far more than the poor, the gap narrows even more.
The reports of Libya mobilizing its air force against its own people spread quickly around the world. However, Russia’s military chiefs say they have been monitoring from space – and the pictures tell a different story. According to Al Jazeera and BBC, on Feb. 21 Libyan government inflicted air strikes on Benghazi, the country’s largest city, and on the capital Tripoli. However, the Russian military, monitoring the unrest via satellite from the very beginning, says nothing of the sort was going on on the ground. At this point, the Russian military is saying that, as far as they are concerned, the attacks some media were reporting have never occurred.
This essay is about three recent books that explain how we lost our economy, the Constitution and our civil liberties, and how peace lost out to war. Matt Taibbi is the best--certainly the most entertaining--financial/political reporter in the country. There is no better book than Griftopia (2010) to which to turn to understand how stupidity, greed, and criminality, spread evenly among policymakers and Wall Street, created the financial crisis that has left Americans overburdened with both private and public debt. Taibbi walks the reader through the fraudulent financial instruments that littered the American, British, and European financial communities with toxic waste. He has figured it all out, and what in other hands might be an arcane account for MBAs is in Taibbi’s hands a highly readable and entertaining story.
"This is a massacre," the frantic Libyan woman, speaking by telephone while cowering in her apartment in Tripoli, told CNN's Anderson Cooper. "I hope you know that people around the world are watching and praying and wanting to do something," Anderson told her, as if he were a stage prompter hinting at a performer's next line. Whether or not she had been given a copy of the script, the caller performed as expected: "[T]he first step [is to] make Libya a no-fly zone. If you make Libya a no-fly zone, no more mercenaries can come in.... There needs to be action. How much more waiting, how much more watching, how much more people dying?"
The US has a proven track record of empowering and sustaining dictators all over the world, using them for internal and regional leverage, says a professor from Irvine, CA. Dr. Paul Sheldon Foote, professor from California State University, Irvine, reports that the US government holds strong relationships with dictators throughout the world, using them to strengthen US power in national and regional areas. Sometimes, when times get tough for these dictators, the US may offer them asylum; at other times, the US freezes their assets having never returned the money to the people from whom they were stolen, adds Foote.
• Drilling method criticised for contaminating water sources
• MPs hear US energy firm must only disclose details in 2015
Doug Shea, drill informant for EnCana walks past an EnCana gas drilling well east of Calgary. Gas drilling near Calgary. The first exploratory drilling for shale gas in the UK is about to begin near Blackpool. The results of the first attempt to extract shale gas in the UK using a controversial technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking", will be kept secret for four years, MPs were told on Tuesday.
Ben Bernanke is confident that his policies have paved the way for a self sustaining recovery, but there's plenty of reason to be skeptical. For one thing, the Fed's zero rates and bond buying program (QE2) have had a negligible effect on unemployment and housing. And for another, they've led to a surge in speculation. That's hardly a reason to celebrate. In the last week, a number of reports confirm that hedge funds have been loading up on debt believing that improving economic data and the Fed's liquidity support will push stocks even higher. That seems like a risky bet given the unevenness of the rebound and the spreading mayhem in the Middle East. Even so, fund managers are levering-up like there's no tomorrow convinced that this is the beginning of another bull market. Here's the rundown from Bloomberg:
How on earth do you get a bipartisan consensus against cuts and for stimulus? Call it the defence budget. With a new Congress with a House controlled by Republicans who have trumpeted deficit reduction as one of their central priorities, it would be logical to expect that there might be trimming in one of the largest and most bloated areas of US government spending: the nation's $700bn military budget. However, the realities of Washington, DC are different than the rhetoric. While spending for the Iraq war should be decreasing, as planned, in coming years, recently released budget proposals by both Democrats and Republicans show that base levels for Pentagon funding continue to rise.
More than a dozen Dems have called on Republicans to investigate the Chambers' proposed $12 million smear, forgery, fraud, and disinformation campaign. Washington Post's Dan Eggen reports that "more than a dozen" Democrats in the U.S. House are now calling on "Republican leaders" to open an investigation into the U.S. Chamber of Commerce plot which had been set to target the Rightwing lobbying firms' perceived political enemies (which turned out to include me and my family at the top of their list,
Libya's turning point may have come when protesters overwhelmed a barracks in Benghazi. Benghazi, Libya - If Benghazi, Libya's second city, has become the symbolic heart of the revolution in this north African nation, then the battle to overwhelm the military garrison here was the revolt's key turning point. Over the course of three days, civilians opposed to the 42-year rule of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi managed to outlast and overpower a fortified base guarded by detachments of several Libyan military units, one of them the feared and reportedly highly trained Khamis Brigade - a special forces unit led by Gaddafi's youngest son. In the end, both anti-government protesters and Gaddafi loyalists lost hundreds and many more were wounded, and Gaddafi's forces fled the city.
At the Doha Tribeca Film Festival in 2009, I remember asking renowned writer and activist Tariq Ali, during a Q&A after the screening of the film “South of the border” he’d helped Oliver Stone create - whether in the spirit of the “enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend”, he and Stone had jettisoned objectivity in their uber-respectful, often fawning conversations with the leaders of Venezuela, Bolivia and other “Bolivarian” countries of Latin America.
Water fluoridation around the world is achieved through the purchase of chemically contaminated toxic waste chemicals from China which are then labeled "fluoride" and dumped into public water supplies in local cities and towns. That's the conclusion of a shocking new mini documentary released today by the Consumer Wellness Center (www.ConsumerWellness.org).
The next generation of body scanners to be rolled out in airports will literally be able to see inside the human body, as security personnel gear up to trial machines that use deep penetrating radiation, the same kind hospitals use to examine internal organs and bones.
Vast majority of 130,000 unsettled claims do not have adequate documentation, says Ken Feinberg, Ken Feinberg has come under pressure from the Obama administration and BP over his handling of the oil spill compensation fund. Upwards of 100,000 claims arising from the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico may never be paid, the beleaguered administrator of the oil company's compensation fund has acknowledged.
Though the list of countries being swept up in a wave of popular uprisings is long and getting longer, pro-democracy activists the world over would be wise to hold off their own celebrations. The wave of ‘people power’ spreading through the Middle East and Africa could just as easily end up hindering international democracy as it could helping it.
US citizens of almost all political stripes tend to live their lives ignorant of what the government that operates in their name is really up to. Some of this is due to the government’s obsession with secrecy and some of it is due to the people’s political naivete (or ignorance). Perhaps the only exceptions to this statement are those that exist on what are considered the fringes of US political discourse. Thanks in part to this ignorance, most US residents live their lives unaware of the police state author Andrew Kolin describes in his recently published book State Power and Democracy: Before and During the
Presidency of George W. Bush.
Although it has been overshadowed by events in Libya and Egypt, there is a battle going on in the United States, and it is not hyperbole to suggest that it is a battle for the very soul of the nation. By current estimates, at least sixteen state governments are in the process of declaring war on American workers, and protests have erupted in at least four of them—Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Indiana.
More than 100,000 people rallied in Madison on Saturday against Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to remove the collective bargaining rights of most public-sector workers. It was the largest demonstration Madison has seen since the Vietnam War. We broadcast some of the voices from the rally. [includes rush transcript]
The story of Raymond Allen Davis is one familiar to me and I wish our government would quit doing these things - they cost us credibility. Davis is the American being held as a spy working under diplomatic cover out of our embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. You can understand why foreign countries no longer trust u
The brazen choices of the Republican governor shows the real ideology behind attacks on unions – in the US and beyond. You can tell a great deal about a nation's anxieties and aspirations by the discrepancy between reality and popular perception. Polls last year showed that in the US 61% think the country spends too much on foreign aid. This makes sense once you understand that the average American is under the illusion that 25% of the federal budget goes on foreign aid (the real figure is 1%).
We're chumps unless we force Congress to stop tax haven abuse. Instead of cutting state and federal budgets, the United States should crack down on the corporate tax dodgers thumbing their noses at us. Across the nation, states are making deep cuts that will wreck the quality of life for everyone to close budget gaps that total more than $100 billion.
A new report out Monday from Moody’s Analytics economist Mark Zandi estimates that the House-passed seven-month spending bill, which cuts $61 billion in spending, would cost 700,000 jobs by the end of 2012. Zandi’s report echoes one by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, which concluded the GOP bill would cost 800,000 jobs. Goldman Sachs has found that it could cause as much as a 2 percent loss in economic growth. (Image: Daily Kos) He predicts that this year the bill could cost 400,000 jobs and run the risk of a new recession.
“OUTLAW GOVERNORS” TAKE ON AMERICA “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it ourselves.” — Vladimir Ilyich Lenin. In Wisconsin, State Police cars are searching for missing legislators. The fist pounding on the door in the middle of the night, reminders of Germany, 1936.
As funny as it may sound, Harry's Place -- the infamous Israeli propaganda website and Neocon outlet that rushed to advocate Blair’s criminal wars -- is now desperately insisting on mounting pressure on venues to stop me from spreading the necessary message about Israel and its lobbies.
It began outside the University of Wisconsin Memorial Union. A few dozen members of the Teaching Assistants Association, the oldest graduate employee union in the world, rallied to object to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s plan to strip public employee unions of collective bargaining rights. The message from the TAA was blunt: “All public sector workers are under attack. Faculty and staff are under attack. The UW as a whole is under attack. With these extreme acts, Scott Walker is seeking to undermine the labor peace of 50 years…. You need to get active now!”
ZAGREB, Croatia -- About 60 people were arrested during an anti-government rally attended by about 15,000 people in Zagreb on Saturday (February 26th). In all 25 people, -- 12 of them police officers -- were injured in clashes that erupted when dozens of youth tried to reach the central square, where the government is headquartered. Pelted by rocks and sticks, police responded with tear gas. Video
Libyan leader continues to blame foreigners and al-Qaeda for the unrest that is threatening his 41-year rule. As more cities fall into the hands of the pro-democracy protesters, Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, is hanging on to the capital where security forces loyal to him seem to have a firm hold, even amid reports of sporadic gunfire. On Sunday, protesters had taken control of the city of Zawiyah, 50km from Tripoli, further shrinking the control of Gaddafi's government after the opposition took over most of the eastern part of the country.
Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.
An interview With John Perkins - By Anthony Wile. Daily Bell: Please treat this interview as if no one knew about you or your bestselling books. Give us some background on where you grew up and how you entered the CIA. John Perkins: I grew up in New Hampshire and went to business school in Boston. At that time, I was approached by the National Security Agency (NSA), not the CIA, for a series of very sensitive tests including lie detector and personality test. They concluded I would make a good economic hit man, which is essentially a con artist with an economic background. They also said they found several weaknesses in my character that maybe they could use as hooks that would bring me into their game. Primarily, money, sex and power. Being that I was a young man, I was seduced by all of them.
Some years ago in New England, a group of environmentalists asked a corporate executive how his company (a paper mill) could justify dumping its raw industrial effluent into a nearby river. The river—which had taken Mother Nature centuries to create–was used for drinking water, fishing, boating, and swimming. In just a few years, the paper mill had turned it into a highly toxic open sewer. It was a familiar argument: the company had no choice. It was compelled to act that way in a competitive market. The mill was not in the business of protecting the environment but in the business of making a profit, the highest possible profit at the highest possible rate of return. Profit is the name of the game, as business leaders make clear when pressed on the point. The overriding purpose of business is capital accumulation.
A US firm says thousands of people will book their place in post-Armageddon Britain. HUNDREDS of people have signed up to book a place in Britain’s first underground nuclear bunker, as a growing number fear the world will end as early as next year.
Follow the latest developments and analysis on the democratic uprising spreading from Wisconsin to the rest of the country. The protests in Wisconsin continue into their third week, with thousands holding strong in the capitol in Madison, a huge showing of support for the economic rights of union members and the restoration of a strong middle class. The following is a collection of updates and items on what's happening in Wisconsin and the rest of the country.
Signatories to the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) demand "immediate" military action. Independent Senator Joseph Lieberman wants the US to arm Libyan rebels. In a distinct echo of the tactics they pursued to encourage US intervention in the Balkans and Iraq, a familiar clutch of neo-conservatives appealed Friday for the United States and NATO to "immediately" prepare military action to help bring down the regime of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and end the violence that is believed to have killed well over a thousand people in the past week.
After the detention of Israeli art students by U.S. authorities hit the media in early 2002, Mark Regev, the then-spokesman for the Israeli embassy in Washington who now serves as Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's spokesman, denied that any Israelis arrested in the United States were espionage agents. Regev categorically stated, "Israel does not spy on the United States," as if convicted American spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard never existed. Israeli sympathizers and propagandists within the U.S. corporate media all canted the same meme about the Israeli art students being spies: "It is an urban myth," they dutifully repeated ad infinitum. However, in employment advertisements run in Israeli newspapers in 1979, it is quite clear that the hiring of Israeli students after their military service to subsequently be sent to the United States was a Mossad operation tied directly to the Israeli government. Those interested in Mossad spy work in the United States were directed to send their personal details to a post office box in Tel Aviv or the Israeli Consulate General in New York. The consulate is the largest Mossad station in the United States, with Washington, DC and Houston in second and third place.
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