In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon, EU commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding accused the French government of “discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin or race” and of calling into question “the common values and laws of our European Union”. She described the French policy as a “disgrace”.
"Blackwater’s Black Ops"—that’s the title of an explosive new article in The Nation magazine that reveals how entities closely linked with the private security firm Blackwater have provided security and intelligence services to a range of powerful corporations over the past several years. The companies include Monsanto, Chevron, Deutsche Bank and others. Blackwater has also provided intelligence and training services to foreign governments, including Jordan, the Canadian military and the Dutch police. We speak with investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill. [includes rush transcript]
The mass media remains one of the most powerful forces blocking social and economic progress in the 21st century. It is because of the mass media that tens of millions of Americans are convinced that budget deficits are more important than the lives ruined by unemployment, or that Social Security won't be there for them when they retire. Or that their government's occupation of Afghanistan and its hundreds of military bases around the world, are protecting the "national security" of U.S. citizens.
The withering recession pushed the number of Americans who are living in poverty to a 51-year high in 2009 and left a record 50.7 million people without health insurance last year, the Census Bureau announced Thursday. The 43.6 million Americans who were poor in 2009 - up from 39.8 million the year before - was the most since poverty estimates were first published in 1959. The national poverty rate of 14.3 percent, up from 13.2 percent in 2008, was the highest since 1994.
It's autumn, so it's time for Washington to ask, as it does every six months, whether any of its major trading partners are currency manipulators seeking to gain an unfair competitive advantage. China, as ever, is the prime suspect. In the world outside Washington, most people might say the question has an easy answer. Of course, China manipulates its currency: the yuan is allowed to trade in only a very tight range against the dollar and China's export success is built partly on that foundation.
Maybe you're one of the thousands of young lawyers in America working in some low-skill, part-time job because law firms have cut so many of the starting positions you were educated to take. If so, I have good news: Jobs for young lawyers are now mushrooming in companies that provide legal services to U.S. corporations. Unfortunately, you'll have to move to India to get one. And the pay will be -- how shall I put this? -- "disappointing."
Almost three years ago exactly -- Sept. 17, 2007 -- a cadre of guards from the security firm then known as Blackwater shot and killed 17 Iraqis at a public plaza in Baghdad.
When Sarah Palin spoke with Fox's Bill O'Reilly on Wednesday about Tea Party candidate Christine O'Donnell's campaign in Delaware, the two of them sounded less like a host and a news analyst than like a pair of political strategists hashing over plans for how Fox could best serve the Republican Party. Palin even went so far as to advise that if O'Donnell is going to overcome negative perceptions of her, "She's going to have to ... get out there, speak to the American people, speak through Fox News."
Ted Kennedy, the iconic senator from Massachusetts who passed away last year, was responsible for the failure of then-President Jimmy Carter's health reform plan in the 1970s, the result of a personal rivalry between the two politicians, Carter says.
This morning shortly before sunrise in the wasteland of Israeli democracy, Israeli armed forces destroyed a Bedouin village in the Negav desert…for the fifth time.
High unemployment, other problems point to lingering housing pain Video. A record number of homeowners lost houses to their banks in August as lenders worked through the backlog of distressed mortgages, real estate data company RealtyTrac said Thursday. New default notices decreased at the same time, suggesting that lenders managed the flow of troubled loans and foreclosed properties hitting the market to limit price declines, the company said.
Among the clash of voices near Ground Zero this 9/11, we had the shouts for and against an Islamic Cultural Center, creating another layer of chaos and diversion amidst the people, thanks to the Islamic Cultural Center’s Council on Foreign Relations funded Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. The bullhorns could be heard from the intended site of the old Burlington Coat Factory several blocks away from where I stood with members of WeAreChange at Trinity Church in near silence.
Speaking exclusively to NBC, the Iranian President claims a small minority of Americans are fuelling anti-Muslim feelings over the ground zero Mosque controversy. Pictures from AP.
Hurricanes Julia and Igor were moving across the Atlantic in the first time in a decade that there have been two category four storms in the seas at the same time. Forecasters have predicted that this year could be one of the worst on record for hurricanes.
Extra permits to pollute the atmosphere would be given to corporations that invest in areas surrounding tropical rainforests under plans drawn up by one of Europe's most influential pressure groups. With deforestation accounting for 20 percent of global releases of heat- trapping gases, the future of schemes ostensibly aimed at preserving tropical ecosystems will be one of the key topics for the United Nations' climate change negotiations in Cancún, Mexico, during November and December. Chief among these schemes is the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), under which rich countries can buy "credits" that allow them to avoid reducing emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) at home by financing environmental projects in poorer parts of the world.
Fear gripped Wall Street on the morning of September 15, 2008, as investment giant Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection following weeks of stock market losses and the steady downgrading of its assets. Traders hoped that the century-old warhorse would be saved in an 11th hour reprieve. But when last minute negotiations with Barclays broke down, Lehman had no choice but to call it quits. The news sparked a frenzied selloff as millions of shares were dumped at firesale prices. As fear turned to panic, turbulence spread across the markets and the grim predictions of a systemwide meltdown began to materialize.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated Wednesday that Mexico and Central America were facing an “insurgency” that requires the equivalent of a Plan Colombia in the region. Her comments immediately raised the ire of the Mexican government and sparked fears of expanded U.S. military intervention.
For almost 40 years, the United States has waged a war on its own citizens who have used marijuana as a part of a drug culture originally encouraged by the government. The war was commenced despite the government’s own findings that marijuana posed less of a risk to American society than alcohol, and that the greatest harm that would result from criminalization would be the injury caused to those arrested for possession and use. The harm caused by the war extends beyond its 15 million prisoners; its cost has exceeded a trillion dollars, and it has benefitted only those who profit from the illegal cultivation and sale of marijuana.
Anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan recently said she believes the 9/11 attacks were an inside job. Maybe O’Reilly would have the government keep her away from Ground Zero? Bill O’Reilly is at it again. Remember when he called for squashing the First Amendment of Americans opposed to the illegal invasion of Iraq? “And it is our duty as loyal Americans to shut up once the fighting begins, unless — unless facts prove the operation wrong, as was the case in Vietnam,” said Bill on March 3, 2003. Facts soon revealed that the neocons had bamboozled the nation into invading Iraq under false pretense, but we didn’t get a retraction from Bill. Now O’Reilly is characterizing 9/11 Truth activists as dangerous radicals.
As consensus grows regarding the futility of US national security policy, concerns arise over Barack Obama's strategy. Possibly the most dramatic mea culpa in Presidential history, Bill Clinton, newly appointed as UN Special Envoy for Haiti, admitted to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the US policy of compelling poor developing countries to buy US agricultural products at subsidised prices, which destroyed local agricultural sectors, was a disaster. “I did that. I have to live every day with the consequences of the lost capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people, because of what I did. Nobody else."
Karl Rove and the neocons were the inspiration for the Tea Party. But they've lost control and now it threatens to overwhelm them. Carl Paladino stood at the victory podium and bellowed: "Tonight the ruling class knows. They have seen it now. There is a people's revolution." Paladino, the Tea Party-backed candidate whom New York Republicans nominated for governor on Tuesday, crushed his establishment opponent – a former congressman with a somewhat moderate reputation – by two to one. This was after a campaign in which he went round the state with a pit bull at his side, tried to bury his opponent in demagogic rhetoric about the proposed Manhattan Islamic centre, and likened the Democratic and Orthodox Jewish speaker of the state's lower legislative chamber to Hitler.
“911 is is a point of departure for me … I see the deliberate hands of the American-Israeli intelligence agencies and/or “Second Foundationers” from deep within the American ruling elite in orchestrating this New Pearl Harbor. For a country that can sense what is deep within the bowels of the Earth and in the farthest reaches of the heavens, that seeks “full spectrum dominance” of air, land, sea, space, cyberspace, et. al. in its own military doctrines, and that publicly warns in its strategy documents that the only way for it to embark on this “imperial mobilization” is an increased military budget that can only come about in a “new pearl harbor”, 9-11 has only one reality – self-inflicted.
The upset victory of far-right Tea Party candidates in Tuesday's Republican primary elections must be seen within the context of an immense social crisis and growing economic distress in the United States. The victory, in particular, of two candidates opposed by the Republican Party establishment—Christine O'Donnell in the Delaware senatorial primary and Carl Paladino in the New York gubernatorial primary—is a distorted reflection of the general growth of popular anger and disillusionment with the political system.
Critics of the US “special relationship” with Israel hold that it is detrimental to American interests in the Middle East. Its supporters, however, normally claim the opposite—that Israel is actually an American strategic asset. (The Chomskyites are the odd men out since even though they are critical of American and Israeli policies, they maintain that US support for Israel is beneficial for the imperialistic interests of the (predominantly gentile) US ruling class, though harmful to the American masses.)
SAN FRANCISCO — Meg Whitman, the Republican candidate for California governor, has surpassed New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg for the highest personal contribution in American campaign history. Whitman's campaign reported another $15 million contribution late Tuesday, bringing her personal donation to $119 million. The billionaire former eBay chief executive's spending surpasses the previous record of $108 million set by Bloomberg in his bid for a third term last year. Bloomberg spent about $185 per vote for his re-election, and he did not take donations.
Two years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers sparked the greatest financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s, none of the underlying contradictions of the world capitalist system has been resolved. On the contrary, they are assuming ever-more malignant forms as the ruling classes all over the world launch an offensive against the working class to make it pay for the crisis.
The Obama administration, fresh off a victory in persuading federal judges to dismiss a torture case for fear of revealing state secrets, is divided over using similar tactics to try to block a lawsuit over government efforts to kill an American citizen accused of ties to Al Qaeda.
The farmer grinned as he told the visitor, “Watch this!” He called his pigs, which ran frantically towards him to be fed. But when he scooped out corn and threw it on the ground, the pigs sniffed it and then looked up at the farmer with confused expectation. The farmer then scooped corn from another bin and flung it near the pigs, which ran over and quickly devoured it.
Co-Host Juan Gonzalez: Are middle-class Americans becoming an endangered species? One out of every six Americans are in government anti-poverty programs. More than 50 million are on Medicaid. Forty million receive food stamps. And 10 million receive unemployment benefits. The prospects for a speedy recovery from the Great Recession appear dim.
The so-called settlement freeze in the Palestinian territories is a myth. No freeze has ever been implemented, in fact the settlements have been expanding dramatically during the moratorium. Additionally, another 13,000 homes have been approved for the West Bank, together with two new colonies near Nablus and the Jordan Valley.
An article in last Sunday’s New York Times provided an interesting analysis of the Egyptian military, one that holds some important lessons for America. The article described the military in Egypt as “the single most powerful institution in an autocratic state facing its toughest test in decades, an imminent presidential succession.” The military, which has been the recipient of almost $40 billion in U.S. foreign aid for the past 30 years, has made it clear that it will not permit anyone to assume the presidency “without ironclad guarantees that it would retain its pre-eminent position in the nation’s affairs.”
The New Statesman Interviews: Noam Chomsky. If the world would go away, I would be happy to keep to the science, which is much more interesting and challenging. But the world has an unfortunate habit of not going away and the problems are quite urgent.
Witness testimony from more than 120 former or retired military personnel points to an ongoing and alarming intervention by unidentified aerial objects at nuclear weapons sites, as recently as 2003. In some cases, several nuclear missiles simultaneously and inexplicably malfunctioned while a disc-shaped object silently hovered nearby. Six former U.S. Air Force officers and one former enlisted man will break their silence about these events at the National Press Club and urge the government to publicly confirm their reality.
CAN AMERICA STOP AN ISRAELI “NUCLEAR” 9/11? The American people are afraid, they see disaster coming. Everyone is waiting to see what city is chosen to be sacrificed. Will it be Phoenix or Sacramento or perhaps Atlanta? This is the real fear, the “not so secret” fear in the heart of every American.”
With the argument threatening to derail peace talks, Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas met for a second day in Jerusalem to continue negotiations begun in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh on Tuesday.
An activist who believes he was improperly included on a state terror threat list said this morning he is preparing a federal lawsuit. "When people's civil rights are trampled it's a federal issue," said Gene Stilp of Harrisburg, who holds a Virginia law license but does not practice as an attorney.
Enough of boring stuff of Afghan stiffs and Pentagon staffs! Not a minute too early, when we were about to succumb to boredom of approaching rainy autumn, we were hit by the new release of... "The Amazing adventures of Captain Neo in Blonde-land"
"B'Tselem protests the sweeping classification of the situation in the Occupied Territories as an “armed conflict,” which effectively grants immunity to soldiers and officers, with the result that soldiers who kill Palestinians not taking part in hostilities are almost never held accountable for their misdeeds. By acting in this way, the army fails to meet its obligation to take all feasible measures to reduce injury to civilians, allows soldiers and officers to violate the law, encourages a trigger-happy attitude, and shows gross disregard for human life."
$500,000 bail paid before release of Sarah Shourd, as families vow to keep up fight for two still held. US hiker Sarah Shourd has been released. Sarah Shourd, one of three US hikers held in Iran as spies for over a year, was released from prison yesterday as their families and supporters vowed to fight on to bring the other two home.
The Obama administration has responded to reports of an epidemic growth of poverty in America to levels not seen since the 1960s by categorically ruling out any anti-poverty programs like those initiated under the administration of Lyndon B. Johnson. In the midst of a week-long campaign of speeches and events aimed at packaging the administration’s pro-corporate policies as populist measures to aid the “middle class,” Obama exhibited callous indifference to the suffering of millions of Americans when he was queried at his Friday press conference about possible anti-poverty measures.
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