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Twitter Targets RT

September 5th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

US-led Western war on press freedom may abolish it altogether. Journalists covering protests are targeted - for videotaping and reporting on police harshness.

Challenging America’s phony war on terror is hazardous. So is exposing its imperial high crimes. Neocons in Washington consider WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange a terrorist. He’s a journalist publishing material major media ignore.

Reporters and commentators providing press agent services for America’s domestic and geopolitical agenda are well-paid and rewarded in other ways.

Independent truth-telling is risky. So is opposing US hostility toward Russia and other sovereign independent states.

RT and Sputnik News are criticized for doing what journalists are supposed to do - their jobs.

Full story »

Macron’s War on Labor

September 5th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

On Thursday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe and Labor Minister Muriel Penicaud unveiled what Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire called “the mother of all (labor) reform” plans.

Its 36 measures in five separate decrees are long on business-friendly policies, dismally short on anything benefitting workers.

Macron’s popularity plunged from 62% after his May electoral triumph to 40%, according to an Ifop poll released last Sunday.

He fell from grace because of unpopular neoliberal spending cuts and wanting business more empowered to negotiate hours, pay and benefits, slash the number of worker committees, and limit penalties for wrongful dismissals - without union involvement, disempowering them, the gold standard for business, the worst one for workers.

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Putin Warns of War on the Korean Peninsula

September 5th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

In an article ahead of the September 3 - 5 BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, titled “BRICS: Toward New Horizons of Strategic Partnership,” he stressed the importance of continuing the battle against terrorists in Syria and other countries, stressing:

“Russia calls for going over from debates to the practical creation of a broad counterterrorism front based on international law and led by the UN. Naturally, we highly appreciate the support and assistance of our BRICS partners in this respect.”

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Gallup: Only Republicans’ Trust in Newsmedia Plunged After 2003

September 5th, 2017

Eric Zuesse

On August 25th, Gallup headlined "Republicans', Democrats' Views of Media Accuracy Diverge”, and reported that ever since America's newsmedia in 2003 tried to postpone and suppress the findings that there had been no WMD (weapons of mass destruction) in Iraq after 1998, Republicans’ trust in America’s newsmedia plunged from 35% in 2003 down to 14% today, but Democrats’ trust in America’s newsmedia actually increased from 42% in 2003 to 62% today — 14 years after the press’s deceit of the U.S. public, about that matter.

In other words, whereas Republicans despise America’s newsmedia, after those media had stenographically reported George W. Bush’s (and his Administration’s) lies such as his saying on 7 September 2002 “a report came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they [Iraq] were six months away from developing a [nuclear] weapon. I don’t know what more evidence we need” (in order to invade Iraq as soon as possible), Democrats have even more respect for the newsmedia now, than they did when Bush & company lied this nation into that catastrophic, illegal and unjustifiable, invasion, which destroyed that country.

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US Intends Increased Patrols in South China Sea

September 4th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Washington has dismal bilateral relations with Russia, China and other sovereign independent nations.

Things got worse with the ordered closure of Russia’s San Francisco consulate along with annex buildings in Washington in New York.

For the first time, the US Pacific Command developed a schedule for South China Sea naval patrols, claiming its freedom of navigation operations right (FONOPS).

Beijing considers the intrusion of US warships in or near its waters provocative. Weeks earlier, its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said “(u)nder the pretext of ‘freedom of navigation,’ the US (sends) military vessels into China’s territorial waters off the Xisha Islands without (its) approval.”

Full story »

Venezuelans Prepare for Possible US Aggression

September 4th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Venezuela is a prime US target for regime change, opposing its social democracy, wanting control of its vast oil reserves.

Ongoing color revolution tactics for months so far failed to achieve Trump’s objectives. So did earlier Bush/Cheney and Obama coup attempts.

Is sending in the marines Trump’s next option? Will he attack Venezuela militarily, maybe terror-bomb the country like in other US war theaters?

Will he destroy vital infrastructure, target residential areas, massacre thousands of defenseless civilians to install pro-Western fascist rule?

Venezuela can’t match America’s might. It’s determined to resist Yankee imperialism, a worldwide scourge.

On Saturday and Sunday, around 200,000 soldiers along with hundreds of thousands of civilian militia members are participating in military exercises.

Full story »

Regulatory Laxness Exacerbated Hurricane Harvey’s Environmental Nightmare

September 4th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Flood-prone Houston was woefully unprepared for days of torrential rainfall. Its drainage system can’t handle it.

Its regulatory policy is lax. Its overdevelopment eliminated green space. Its damaged oil refining, fuel and chemical facilities exacerbated the disaster, turning much of the area into a toxic swamp, land, air and water affected - certain to gravely harm public health.

Houston Health Department spokesman Porofirio Villarreal said there’s no need to test floodwater. “It’s contaminated. There’s millions of contaminants.” Exposure is hard to avoid.

Well water used by hundreds of thousands of residents in affected areas is contaminated. Before Harvey, Houston drinking water was ranked 6th worst in the nation.

Earlier water quality tests found 18 chemicals exceeding federal and state health guidelines. The national average is four.

Full story »

Arkema Texas Plant Explodes

September 4th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

On August 31, two explosions rocked the plant, causing toxic chemical fires, contaminating air and water.

The company’s web site said the “threat of additional explosions remains.”

On Friday, another explosion and massive fire occurred. More could follow. Toxic black smoke filled the air, visible for miles around the plant. More explosions and fires are likely.

Trailers with chemicals at the site require refrigeration. According to Arkema official Richard Rennard, floodwaters knocked out municipal and auxiliary power. He “expect(s) the same thing to happen with those containers that we saw today.”

Residents within miles of the plant aren’t safe. Maybe no one in Harris County - home to 4.6 million people, living in harm’s way, exposed to hazardous conditions.

Full story »

A North Korean H-Bomb? Another Nuclear Test?

September 4th, 2017

Stephen Lendman

Pyongyang claimed it developed a hydrogen bomb miniaturized enough to fit atop a ballistic missile, according to its KCNA news agency.

Kim Jong-un was quoted saying his country has a “thermonuclear weapon with super explosive power made by our own efforts and technology. All components of the H-bomb were 100 per cent domestically made.”

KCNA said the DPRK “further upgraded its technical performance at a higher ultra-modern level on the basis of precious successes made in the first H-bomb test.”

After the January 2016 test, scientists said the six-kiloton yield was too low for a thermonuclear bomb. Its September 2016 test reportedly had a 10-kiloton yield.

The Hiroshima bomb was a 15-kiloton device. America’s first successful H-bomb test in 1952 produced a yield exceeding 10 megatons, the equivalent of 10 million tons of TNT - 500 times more powerful than the Nagasaki bomb.

It’s unknown if DPRK technology advanced this far. It likely will eventually, given its determination to develop the most powerful weapons possible - its most effective way to deter feared US aggression.

Post-WW II history shows America only attacked nations without its super-weapon capability. North Korea has A-bombs. If able to mount them atop ballistic missiles, it potentially can deliver a robust response to US aggression - against its regional forces in South Korea and Japan.

Full story »

Russian TV Reports U.S. Secretly Backing ISIS in Syria

September 3rd, 2017

Eric Zuesse

ussian television headlined on September 1st, "Syrian rebel defector says his US-trained unit sold arms to ISIS”, and reported statements by a defector from — a man who had quit — the U.S.-backed Maghawir al-Thawra group (the remnants of America’s New Syrian Army. The CIA-organized New Syrian Army had, in turn, been the remnants of the Free Syrian Army, which the U.S. had formed in Syria in 2011, during the “Arab Spring” uprisings across Arabia. So, this defector had quit from what was actually the straggling and failing end, of America’s proxy-army of Syrians, who were fighting to overthrow Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. The U.S. Government had used the uprising in Syria to bring down Assad, who is allied with Russia. Ever since 1949, the U.S. Government has been trying to take over Syria. After the “Arab Spring,” the U.S. backed Al Qaeda in Syria in order to transform that Syrian uprising into that long-sought U.S. victory. What this defector said had caused him to quit, was America’s lies about what they were fighting for, and what they were fighting against. He didn’t want to be fighting for ISIS, against Assad. That’s what the Syrian war had now come down to, and so he quit.

Full story »

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