The next time you struggle to comprehend how someone could spend their time trolling the Internet in order to defend and downplay whatever government cover-up or abuse is in the news this week, consider the fact that they may be on a government payroll. The Canadian government has been caught paying a media group to monitor online political discussion and respond to "misinformation," in order words to spread state-sanctioned propaganda, in the latest scandal to hit the Harper administration.
The U.S. Coast Guard commandant says there is no alternative at this point but to allow BP to continue with the steps it is taking to stop the deep sea oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration faced more sharp questions on Monday about BP's response to the disaster, and how the government is overseeing operations.
I've put everything back into proper chronological order, and have begun adding images and video for documentary purposes. I've been watching the live Spillcam, and discussing it with folks, here all day long. About 5pm last night, we all started taking note of gas bubbling out of the seabed floor. It started earlier than that, actually-- see pic a few posts down. About 1am this morning, the eruptions began to increase in spew volume.
Exclusive: Secret apartheid-era papers give first official evidence of Israeli nuclear weapons. The secret military agreement signed by Shimon Peres, now president of Israel, and P W Botha of South Africa. Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.
Armed men attack and torched a UN-run summer camp for boys and girls of the Gaza Strip. Dozens of masked men have broken into a UN-run Gaza summer camp for children and set it on fire, after beating up the guard and destroying the plastic tents. The men blocked Gaza Strip's main coastal highway on Sunday before destroying the facility, one of the largest of several summer camps across the occupied Palestinian territory run by UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
Depleted uranium has been used for nearly 20 years as sub-ammunition of artillery shells in international conflicts like the two Iraq Wars and the NATO conflict with Serbia, but the long-term effects of it are unknown...In Iraq, many doctors believe that the radiation leaked from old weapons used by foreign forces in 1991 and 2003 are continuing to have a deadly impact. They fear that the remains of the substance are spreading cancer through the population and contaminating water. Seven years after the invasion of Iraq, people there are still dying from its after-effects. In cities and towns across the country, old munitions are leaking radiation, with horrific consequences. "The number of cancer cases among children increased by 227 per cent in the period from 2005 to 2007," stated Doctor K. Suleiman. "Experts at the University of Basra Research Center claim that toxic agents will continue having a harmful effect on human health for the next 50 years."...
The US president has blamed the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico on "a breakdown of responsibility" at energy giant BP as he unveiled a commission to investigate the disaster. "First and foremost, what led to this disaster was a breakdown of responsibility on the part of BP and perhaps others, including Transocean and Halliburton," Obama said in his toughest remarks yet on companies linked to the spill.
The US Senate’s passage of the Obama administration’s financial reform bill Thursday was hailed in the media and by official Washington as a landmark effort to curb the power of the big banks. But on Wall Street itself, the news was greeted with a mixture of dismissal and applause. Bank stocks soared on Friday, with the share price of JP Morgan Chase, one of the biggest finance houses, surging 5.9 percent and helping drive the Dow Jones Industrial Average up 125 points. Other bank stocks rose sharply: Bank of America up 4.7 percent, Goldman Sachs up 3.3 percent, Morgan Stanley, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. The S&P financial sector index was up 3.6 percent overall.
A US appeals court has refused to give prisoners at an American military base in Afghanistan the same legal right to challenge their imprisonment as detainees held at Guantanamo Bay. The three-judge panel on Friday sided with the Obama administration, ruling that US courts do not have jurisdiction over the legal petitions by the prisoners at the Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan and ordered that their cases be dismissed.
What will sink us, unfortunately but inevitably, are the huge costs of the September 2008 bank bailout, IT IS no longer a question of whether Ireland will go bust, but when. Unlike Greece, our woes do not stem from government debt, but instead from the government’s open-ended guarantee to cover the losses of the banking system out of its citizens’ wallets.
Each passing day brings two basic realities into starker and starker relief: the direct culpability of BP in the Gulf Coast oil spill, and its total incapacity or unwillingness to contain the oil blanketing the shoreline. Oil in the marshes of the Mississippi Delta – Photo: Plaquamines Parish GovernmentOn Wednesday, Schlumberger, the oilfield services company, which had been contracted to do testing on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, revealed that BP skipped a critical test of the cement seals of the drill well, which would have detected that the cementing job was not adequate.
INTERIOR SECRETARY Ken Salazar and President Obama say they will split up the Minerals Management Service to separate the arm that inspects and investigates the oil industry from the arm that last year collected $13 billion in royalties and fees from the industry. Both Obama and Salazar say this will ensure "there is no conflict, real or perceived.''
Days after the Gulf Coast oil spill, the Obama administration pledged to keep its "boot on the throat" of BP to make sure the company did all it could to cap the gushing leak and clean up the spill.
Kabul, Afghanistan - The U.S. military is investigating allegations that a small group of American soldiers deliberately killed three Afghan civilians in a series of shootings earlier this year, Western officials familiar with the case said Friday.
Military officials have detained one soldier with the Army's 5th Stryker Brigade based in Afghanistan's Kandahar province, said the officials, who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the case.
Will Germany drag the world into another Great Depression? Deficits create demand. Demand generates spending. Spending generates economic activity. Economic activity generates growth. Growth generates jobs, increases government revenues, reduces deficits and ends recessions. Simple, right? When consumers have too much debt, they will not spend no matter how low interest rates are. This is not theory, this is fact. If the government cuts spending at the same time as consumers, then overall spending declines and the economy slips into recession. This is what the deficit hawks want–a return to recession. This is politics, not economics.
Now I’m guessing Robert Scheer wrote his Truthout piece praising Rand Paul as "a principled libertarian in the mold of his father, Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas ("we need more of that impulse in the Congress") before the media firestorm over Paul’s long-standing and not-exactly-secret opposition to the l964 Civil Rights Act, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Fair Housing Act.
“In reaction, a music industry insider confirmed that the winds could be shifting. The music executive, who spoke on condition of anonymity in light of his ongoing business ties with artists, said that in recent months he had approached more than 15 performing artists with proposals to give concerts in Israel. None had agreed. The contracts offered high levels of compensation. He called them ‘extreme, big numbers that could match any other gig.’”
lawmakers have overwhelmingly backed a proposal to provide Israel with $205m (£142m) to speed up the deployment of a short-range anti-missile system. The US House of Representatives voted 401-4 in favour of President Barack Obama's plan to fund Israel's Iron Dome project, designed to protect the country from rocket and artillery shell attacks.
On March 17, 2009, Mohawk activist Splitting the Sky (STS) attempted a citizens’ arrest on George W. Bush in Calgary (Canada), his first foreign visit as a private citizen without diplomatic immunity. Brutally arrested for his action, STS earned his "day in court" in March 2010 to highlight the hypocrisy of the Canadian Government for allowing Bush into Canada, in breach of its own laws. STS is a compelling example of the duty of citizens to act when our governments and their agents are derelict in their own duty.
Gush of oil from Deepwater Horizon oil spill now being broadcast live after BP accused of withholding information from ocean floor. One month after the fiery collapse of the Deepwater Horizon, BP bowed to demands from scientists and members of Congress this week and has posted a live video feed of the gusher of oil on the ocean floor. The decision came only hours after a hearing in Congress in which BP was accused of withholding data from the ocean floor, and blocking efforts by independent scientists to come up with estimates for the amount of crude spewing into the Gulf each day. Ed Markey, who presided over the hearing, said BP would post the footage on the website of his house subcommitte on energy independence and global warming as early as Wednesday night. It was delayed but is now live.
MEXICO CITY, - The Tohono O'odham indigenous people are counting the days to the October expiry date of the permit granted to a toxic waste management company for a landfill dump in their territory, in the northern Mexican state of Sonora.
In his commencement address at the University of Michigan on May 1, President Obama warned that public ignorance subverts self-government. Obama declared: “When we don’t pay close attention to the decisions made by our leaders, when we fail to educate ourselves about the major issues of the day... that’s when democracy breaks down. That’s when power is abused.”
Another tragedy befalls the environment and we can count on those that were once environmentalists to capitalize, figuratively and literally. As you read, perhaps a 1000 or so organizations are happily signing (or being bribed to sign) yet another refined letter to President Obama, praising his efforts to date and encouraging 'change'. With stellar coordination, you witness the appeals via email from these faux-enviros that clearly state how you can save the sea turtles, or protect the shrimp, or rid us of our reliance on oil by donating today.
EU finance ministers are meeting again in Brussels to stem the financial crisis, but chances are little will be achieved. It has been like trying to stem a flood in a dam. Every time they plug the leak in one place, the water starts gushing out of another. And now here we are in Brussels on what is another important day for the Euro and the European Union. This latest emergency meeting of the bloc’s 27 finance ministers is an attempt to show the world markets that Europe and the Eurozone in particular is getting its house in order. But what is agreed here isn’t just important financially – it has political implications for the whole European Union.
Today, Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) introduced bipartisan legislation called the “War Is Making You Poor Act,” which aims to call attention to a) how much money is being spent to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and b) how budget gimmicks are used to pay for them. Grayson’s legislation would slash the $159 billion request for supplemental war funding and use that money to deliver a tax break for all Americans. Grayson demands the Pentagon use its currently existing $549 billion defense budget to fight the wars. Speaking on the House floor today, Grayson underscored that the point of his legislation is to highlight the costs of the wars:
Local reports described heavy sheets of oil clogging marshes in Mississippi delta that provide haven for migratory birds. Wildlife under serious threat as thick oil reaches coastal sanctuaries in Louisiana. Link to this video Thick sheets of crude oil spread through the delicate wetlands of Louisiana today, as the BP oil spill continued to threaten the American coastline. Local reports described heavy sheets of oil the consistency of latex paint clogging the marshes in the Mississippi delta that provide a haven for migratory birds, and buffer the shore from Gulf hurricanes.
The House is expected to vote next week on a bill authorizing up to $708 billion in military spending next year that includes significant construction money for base expansion in Guam. The bill would authorize nearly $577 million in construction on Guam, primarily for the planned expansion of Andersen Air Force Base. Congress is still working on a separate budget bill that would provide the actual funds for the 2011 fiscal year.
The correction, soon to be crash, is here: the market had a bigger relative open to close move today than it did on May 6. We closed at the day’s lows on massive volume, despite definitive central bank intervention, regardless whether it was the SNB, the ECB, or the Fed. The central planners have lost control of the market, and all thanks to the inevitable collapse of hyper capitalist Keynesianism coming out of the formerly most communist country in the world. A day of ironies. And it’s not over. Futures are already down another 4 handles. The correction is coming, and it will be a bloodbath. The Fed can not push rates lower. It will print. It is inevitable. It is our destiny. (more)
The Senate passed a financial "reform" bill today by a 59-39 vote which won't fix any of the core problems in the financial system, and won't prevent the next financial crisis. The bill doesn't include the Volcker Rule (it wasn't even debated), doesn't break up or even substantially rein in the too big to fails, and doesn't force transparency in the derivatives market. Senator Feingold said:
Two days after his inauguration in January 2009, Barack Obama, the US president, signed an executive order promising to close the US military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba within one year. But the deadline was missed, and today some 180 men are still being held at Guantanamo.
Christopher King examines the death of UK weapons inspector Dr David Kelly in 2003 and argues that, in the light of fresh analyses of the circumstances of his death, it is vital that the new British government make public Dr Kelly’s post mortem report and other documentation relating to his death. ”We need public access to Dr Kelly’s post mortem report and the documentation relating to his death. The Blair-Brown government’s delaying tactics will not do. Since we have a new government, a new attorney-general and a new home secretary, this is a test of the Cameron-Clegg government’s integrity.”
Who is Kamau Marcharia a.k.a. Robert John Lewis and why should anyone care about him? And, how did he get tangled up in sex offender punishment and politics, voting rights litigation and school board representation, nuclear energy, race politics and black versus white representation, name-calling, greed and lies?
Today, the ACLU of Pennsylvania announced that it will represent two people who anonymously criticized State Attorney General Tom Corbett on Twitter. (As of Tuesday's primary, Corbett is also the GOP candidate for governor.) Corbett's office has asked a grand jury to issue a subpoena to Twitter demanding the company reveal the identities of Twitter users @bfbarbie and @CasaBlancaPA.
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.
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