28 Feb 2013
Stéphane Frédéric Hessel (20 October 1917 – 26 February 2013) was a diplomat, ambassador, writer, concentration camp survivor, French Resistance fighter and BCRA agent. Born German, he became a naturalised French citizen in 1939. He participated in the editing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948. In 2011, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers.
In October 2010, his essay, Time for Outrage! (original French title: Indignez-vous!), was published in an edition of 6,000 copies (ISBN 978-1455509720). It has sold more than 3.5 million copies worldwide and has been translated into Swedish, Danish, Basque, Catalan, Italian, German.Greek, Portuguese, Slovenian, Spanish, Croatian, Hebrew, Korean, and Dutch. Translations into Japanese, Hungarian, and other languages are planned. In the United States, The Nation magazine's March 7–14, 2011 issue published the entire essay in English.
Hessel's booklet argues that the French need to again become outraged, as were those who participated in the Resistance during World War II. Hessel's reasons for personal outrage include the growing gap between the very rich and the very poor, France's treatment of its illegal immigrants, the need to re-establish a free press, the need to protect the environment, importance of protecting the French welfare system, and the plight of Palestinians, recommending that people read the September 2009 Goldstone Report. He calls for peaceful and non-violent insurrection.
In 2011, one of the names given to the Spanish protests against corruption and bipartisan politics was Los Indignados (The Outraged), taken from the title of the book's translation there (¡Indignaos!). These protests, in conjunction with the Arab Spring, later helped to inspire other protests in many countries, including Greece, UK, Chile, Israel, and Occupy Wall Street which began in New York's financial district, but has now spread across the United States and numerous other countries. Ongoing protests in Mexico challenging corruption, drug cartel violence, economic hardship and policies also have been called the Indignados.
27 Feb 2013
The Department of Energy has a National Security Site in Nevada, that is around sixty-five miles northwest of Las Vegas, has the look of northwest Iran with high plains and remote mountain peaks. The site was once used for nuclear testing and now includes a counterintelligence training facility. It is a restricted area, and inhospitable–sites security personal are authorized to use deadly force against any intruders.
Starting in 2005 the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) started conducting training for members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, a dissident Iranian opposition group known in the West as the M.E.K. The M.E.K was once linked to the killing of six Americans and in 1997 was listed as a foreign terrorist organization by the State Department. In 2002, the M.E.K earned some international credibility back by publicly revealing that Iran had begun enriching uranium at a secret location. After the fall of the Iraqi regime in 2003, the M.E.K’s ties with the Western intelligence deepened and JSOC began operating inside Iran in an effort to substantiate the Bush Administration’s fears that Iran was building the bomb at one or more secret underground locations.
Torturing: it brought the United States together with Iran, Syria, Libya, and Zimbabwe. Wired reports:
A new report from the Open Society Foundation details the CIA’s effort to outsource torture since 9/11. Known as “extraordinary rendition,” the practice concerns taking detainees to and from U.S. custody without a legal process and handing detainees over to countries that practiced torture.
The report found that 136 people went through the post-9/11 extraordinary rendition, and 54 countries were complicit in it. Some were official U.S. adversaries, like Iran and Syria, brought together with the CIA by the shared interest of combating terrorism.
The most famous case involves Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen snatched in 2002 by the U.S. at JFK Airport before the CIA sent him to Syria under the mistaken impression he was a terrorist. In Syrian custody, Arar was “imprisoned for more than ten months in a tiny grave-like cell, beaten with cables, and threatened with electric shocks by the Syrian government.”
The full 54 countries that aided in post-9/11 renditions: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Finland, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Iceland, Indonesia, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Kenya, Libya, Lithuania, Macedonia, Malawi, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Syria, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.
26 Feb 2013
Sherry Rehman, the Pakistani Ambassador to the United States, is under investigation by Pakistani police for allegedly blasphemous remarks she made more than two years ago on a Pakistani talk show, Agence France-Press reports. If convicted, Rehman could be sentenced to death. A senior police official confirmed to AFP on Tuesday that authorities had begun investigating Rehman on orders from the Pakistani Supreme Court.
According to CBS, the case is a response to a 31-year-old Pakistani businessman's complaint to authorities, in which he singled out Rehman for remarks she made during a Nov. 30, 2010, appearance on Dunya TV news program “Dunya Meray Aagay.” Rehman's contentious statements were made during a discussion about Aasia Bibi, an impoverished Pakistani Christian woman who had been sentenced to death a few weeks earlier for allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammed.
In Pakistan, anyone who insults the Prophet (even indirectly or implicitly) can be given a death sentence or life imprisonment. Recently, a 14-year-old girl named Rimsha Masih was arrested and jailed for allegedly burning pages from the Quran. She was later freed after a Muslim cleric was accused of framing her. Over 1,200 people have been charged with blasphemy in Pakistan since the harsh law was enacted in 1986, according to English-language Pakistani newspaper Dawn. Critics of the measure say the law is often used to persecute religious minorities or settle personal vendettas. While there have been no verified reports of anyone being officially executed, angry lynch mobs have reportedly bypassed the judicial system and carried out the executions themselves.
The final Verdict and Sentence of the International Common Law Court of Justice, in the Case of Genocide in Canada by Church and State - Includes the Court Order issued to the Defendants - Issued February 25, 2013
25 Feb 2013
Mutant humans like Wolverine, Storm and Rogue from the X-Men movies are possible, a Ministry of Defence think-tank was told. A two-day summit to predict the future reported: “Advancements in gene technology could lead to a class of genetically superior humans by 2045. “Human augmentation is likely to increase over the next 30 years. Discussions highlighted that it is possible that advances in biology, unequally shared across society, could generate genetic inequality.”
In the age of the internet and globe-spanning viral videos, can a thoroughly wired country become a porn-free zone? Authorities in Iceland want to find out.
The government is drafting plans to ban pornography, in print and online, in an attempt to protect children from a tide of violent sexual imagery. The proposal by the interior minister, Ogmundur Jonasson, has caused uproar. Opponents say the move will censor the web, encourage authoritarian regimes and undermine Iceland's reputation as a Scandinavian bastion of free speech.
24 Feb 2013
The U.S. Air Force is developing tiny unmanned drones that will fly in swarms, hover like bees, crawl like spiders and even sneak up on unsuspecting targets and execute them with lethal precision.
The Air Vehicles Directorate, a research arm of the Air Force, has released a computer-animated video outlining the the future capabilities of Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs). The project promises to revolutionize war by down-sizing the combatants.
23 Feb 2013
Gorillaz at Glastonbury festival 2010. At this concert: Snoop Dogg, Bobby Womack, Bootie Brown, Little Dragon, Bashy, Kano, Shaun Ryder, Rosie Wilson, Mark E. Smith, De La Soul, Dennis Hopper as narrator of Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head, and Mick Jones and Paul Simonon of the Clash play bass and guitar in the band.
The pope's abrupt retirement gets stranger. Now, an Italian newspaper alleges corruption at the Vatican.
You know what the sudden, surprising, once-every-700-years story of the pope’s resignation needed? What every dramatic story line does: a gay blackmail twist. And so the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica this week reports on a very tangled web that claims to have brought down a pope, under the irresistible headline “Sex and career, blackmail in the Vatican: Behind the resignation of Benedict XVI.”
The paper says that Benedict made his decision to step down on Dec. 17, just one day after he received a revealing 300-page dossier from a trio of elderly cardinals. He’d assigned them to investigate last year’s scandal involving a slew of leaked confidential Vatican documents and letters that purported to show corruption and internal conflict within the Holy See. The “Vatileaks” mess was just another of the embarrassments the church has faced during Benedict’s reign — including a money laundering investigation and record-breaking settlements in sex abuse lawsuits. But the leaks were a particularly personal humiliation to the pontiff — the documents in question had allegedly been stolen by his own butler Paolo Gabriele. Gabriele later told investigators he released the documents “for the good of the Church.” “I was sure that a shock, perhaps by using the media, could be a healthy thing to bring the Church back on the right track,” he explained in his earnest pretrial testimony.
Now, La Repubblica says that the trio of cardinals, who’ve been looking into the matter since last year, revealed to the pope a faction within the Vatican “united by sexual orientation” that had been subject to “external influence” of a “worldly nature.” (The paper helpfully explains this is Vatican-speak for blackmail.) A source it says is close to the cardinals who prepared the report told La Repubblica, with equal poetic obscurity, “Everything revolves around the non-observance of the sixth and seventh commandments.”
A year ago it was just a "conspiracy theory." Yes, UN peacekeeper troops brought cholera to Haiti and are responsible for the biggest outbreak the of the disease in modern times. They're response to request for compensation for thousands of deaths and hundreds of thousands cases is: "too bad."
China's environment ministry appears to have acknowledged the existence of so-called "cancer villages" after years of public speculation about the impact of pollution in certain areas. For years campaigners have said cancer rates in some villages near factories and polluted waterways have shot up. But the term "cancer village" has no technical definition and the ministry's report did not elaborate on it.
There have been many calls for China to be more transparent on pollution. The latest report from the environment ministry is entitled "Guard against and control risks presented by chemicals to the environment during the 12th Five-Year period (2011-2015)".
It says that the widespread production and consumption of harmful chemicals forbidden in many developed nations are still found in China. "The toxic chemicals have caused many environmental emergencies linked to water and air pollution," it said. The report goes on to acknowledge that such chemicals could pose a long-term risk to human health, making a direct link to the so-called "cancer villages".
"There are even some serious cases of health and social problems like the emergence of cancer villages in individual regions," it said.
22 Feb 2013
A David versus Goliath case heard by the US Supreme Court this week pits a 75-year-old farmer from Indiana against Monsanto, the world's largest seed company. The dispute began when soybean farmer Vernon Bowman bought and planted a mix of unmarked grain typically used for animal feed. The plants that grew turned out to contain the popular herbicide-resistant genetic trait known as Roundup Ready that Monsanto guards closely with patents. Monsanto accused Bowman of using their technology without paying for it. Their contracts with farmers give them the exclusive rights to supply the Roundup Ready soybeans. They sued Bowman for patent infringement. Monsanto won the Federal Circuit decision. Farmers, safe food activists, and concerned citizens will gather on the sidewalk outside of the Supreme Court to demand the Supreme Court side with Farmer Bowman!
21 Feb 2013
The Cardinal heralded as the man who could be the first black Pope has said sex abuse could not happen in Africa, on the same scale as Europe, because of tough anti-homosexuality laws.
Survivors of abuse by priests say they "fear for the safety of kids in Turkson's diocese if he denies there are predatory priests there".
Cardinal Turkson is currently the second favourite to be the next pontiff, and had been championed by progressives who have urged the Vatican to elect the first African pope.
20 Feb 2013
He is the aristocratic owner of the castle featured in Harry Potter. And although his fortune is said to be around £320million, it seems the Duke of Northumberland wants more. Ralph Percy, 56, has been accused of wrecking the livelihoods of tenant farmers after his land agents demanded massive rent increases. Some have been asked to pay up to 98 per cent more or face eviction.
The Duke, whose son George was last year rumoured to be dating Pippa Middleton, owns some 132,000 acres of land. His 1,000-year-old castle at Alnwick, which featured as Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films, is known as the Windsor of the North. But despite his wealth, it emerged yesterday that the Duke’s Estate is conducting a crippling round of rent reviews on its farmers in Northumberland. There is no legal limit to the rent the land agents can ask for, and tenants are unlikely to challenge them because this can end up costing them even more.
The Chinese army has launched hundreds of cyber-attacks against western companies and defence groups from a nondescript office building in Shanghai, according to a report that warns hackers have stolen vast amounts of data from their targets.
Mandiant, a security company that has been investigating attacks against western organisations for over six years, said in a report (PDF) the attacks came from a 12-storey building belonging to the People's Liberation Army (PLA) general staff's department, also known as Unit 61398.
Mandiant said it believed a hacking network named the Comment Crew or the Shanghai Group was based inside the compound, in a rundown residential neighbourhood. Although the report fails directly to place the hackers inside the building, it argues there is no other logical reason why so many attacks have emanated from such a small area.
"It is time to acknowledge the threat is originating in China, and we wanted to do our part to arm and prepare security professionals to combat that threat effectively," said the report.
19 Feb 2013
Hilary Mantel has woken up to something of a firestorm after a long speech she recently made about the royal family and society's relationship with them was interpreted as an "astonishing and venomous attack" on the Duchess of Cambridge.
The headlines did not pull punches: "a plastic princess designed to breed", read the Daily Mail, which lambasted the "Booker prizewinner's venomous attack on Kate"; "plastic princess slur", said the Sun headline, which described Mantel's speech as a "bizarre rant".
The firebrand Russian Liberal Democrat leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky claims that no meteor fell in the Urals on Friday, but rather the US was testing a new weapon. “You’re like some primitive tribe. What meteorite?” he said, arguing that space is a “universe that has its own laws.”
Zhirinovsky, more known for clownish political outrage rather than his actual political platform, added: “When something falls – it’s man-made. People are warmongers and provocateurs.”
Earlier in the week, US Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly tried and failed to reach Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov by telephone for two consecutive days. The State Department said that Kerry wanted to discuss the recent North Korean nuclear test, as well as the conflict in Syria. However, Zhirinovsky claimed that the top US diplomat “wanted to warn Lavrov about the plot and that it may affect Russia,” RIA Novosti reported.
18 Feb 2013
17 Feb 2013
He was "a double agent working for Iran"; he was "responsible for the botched operation in a Dubai hotel in 2010" in which Mossad agents killed a senior Hamas commander; he was "just a loud mouth who couldn't keep quiet" about being a member of Israel's secret service. These are some of the many theories about why Ben Zygier, or "Prisoner X" as he was known until last week, was held in Israel's most secure prison for a few months before apparently killing himself in December 2010. His detention was kept so secret that even his guards didn't know his name; his presumed crime so grave that even his family haven't gone public about his case.
ASIO has been blamed as having a part hand in the death of Australian "prisoner X" Ben Zygier after allegedly leaking information of his work as a Mossad agent to the press.
Israel today sought to defend its jailing of Australian "prisoner X" Ben Zygier by declaring it a case of pikuach nefesh - the Jewish imperative to save lives at all cost. Vice Premier and Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon said today Israel’s "unique" security situation sometimes called for "extreme measures" and that the secret jailing of alleged Mossad agent Zygier was critical.
16 Feb 2013
Pope Benedict's decision to live in the Vatican after he resigns will provide him with security and privacy. It will also offer legal protection from any attempt to prosecute him in connection with sexual abuse cases around the world, Church sources and legal experts say.
"His continued presence in the Vatican is necessary, otherwise he might be defenseless. He wouldn't have his immunity, his prerogatives, his security, if he is anywhere else," said one Vatican official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It is absolutely necessary" that he stays in the Vatican, said the source, adding that Benedict should have a "dignified existence" in his remaining years.
The 1929 Lateran Pacts between Italy and the Holy See, which established Vatican City as a sovereign state, said Vatican City would be "invariably and in every event considered as neutral and inviolable territory".
There have been repeated calls for Benedict's arrest over sexual abuse in the Catholic Church. When Benedict went to Britain in 2010, British author and atheist campaigner Richard Dawkins asked authorities to arrest the pope to face questions over the Church's child abuse scandal. Dawkins and the late British-American journalist Christopher Hitchens commissioned lawyers to explore ways of taking legal action against the pope. Their efforts came to nothing because the pope was a head of state and so enjoyed diplomatic immunity.
In 2011, victims of sexual abuse by the clergy asked the International Criminal Court to investigate the pope and three Vatican officials over sexual abuse. The New York-based rights group Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and another group, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), filed a complaint with the ICC alleging that Vatican officials committed crimes against humanity because they tolerated and enabled sex crimes. The ICC has not taken up the case but has never said why. It generally does not comment on why it does not take up cases.
Amero-Indian impacts on their forest environment, and the modern situtation are covered. Startling discoveries in the Amazon are set to rewrite the history books; and - if we can learn to harness the 'dark earth' - bring about a paradigm shift in the way humans percieve their role on this planet. We had better make up our minds on success (fullfill our purpose as creatures of God's image) and tend a paradise garden for eternity... or fail!!
15 Feb 2013
In 2003, Former US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta testified before the 9/11 Commission:
Mineta: "During the time that the airplane was coming into the Pentagon, there was a young man who would come in and say to the Vice President...the plane is 50 miles out...the plane is 30 miles out....and when it got down to the plane is 10 miles out, the young man also said to the vice president "do the orders still stand?" And the Vice President turned and whipped his neck around and said "Of course the orders still stand, have you heard anything to the contrary!??"
Photo by Paul Hansen, Sweden, Dagens Nyheter
Two-year-old Suhaib Hijazi and his older brother Muhammad were killed when their house was destroyed by an Israeli missile strike. Their father Fouad was also killed and their mother was put in intensive care. Fouad’s brothers carry his children to the mosque for the burial ceremony as his body is carried behind on a stretcher.
Amazon is at the centre of a deepening scandal in Germany as the online shopping giant faced claims that it employed security guards with neo-Nazi connections to intimidate its foreign workers.
Germany’s ARD television channel made the allegations in a documentary about Amazon’s treatment of more than 5,000 temporary staff from across Europe to work at its German packing and distribution centres. The film showed omnipresent guards from a company named HESS Security wearing black uniforms, boots and with military haircuts. They were employed to keep order at hostels and budget hotels where foreign workers stayed. “Many of the workers are afraid,” the programme-makers said.
The documentary provided photographic evidence showing that guards regularly searched the bedrooms and kitchens of foreign staff. “They tell us they are the police here,” a Spanish woman complained. Workers were allegedly frisked to check they had not walked away with breakfast rolls.
Hundreds of people have been left injured after a meteor streaked through the skies above Russia's Ural mountains. Fragments of the meteor fell to the ground, breaking windows and setting off car alarms in the Chelyabinsk region while a series of loud bangs caused panic amid initial fears there had been a plane crash.
One witness from Emanzhilinsk in the Chelyabinsk region told The Moscow Times: "It started to explode in the air and then continued to the earth. There are black clouds over the city. Everybody thought war had broken out."
14 Feb 2013
Ben Zygier – the man known as Israel's Prisoner X, an Australian-Israeli citizen who died in mysterious circumstances while secretly imprisoned after an apparent career in the Mossad — had denied the "serious" allegations against him and was discussing a plea bargain just before his death.
In the latest twist in a story that has engulfed both Israel and Australia, Zygier's lawyer, Avigdor Feldman, told Israel's Channel 10 on Thursday that he had seen him the day before his death in 2010 and that he had appeared rational. He had, however, been put under intense emotional pressure by those interrogating him, which Feldman speculated could have contributed to his suicide.
"His interrogators told him he could expect lengthy jail time and be ostracised from his family and the Jewish community. There was no heartstring they did not pull, and I suppose that ultimately brought about the tragic end," he said. Speaking on Thursday, Feldman said: "I met a balanced person … He was rationally considering legal options.I can say that he denied the charges … The crimes he was suspected of were serious … He didn't admit to anything."
In one of the fiercest denunciations yet of the behaviour of the authorities and media in the Prisoner X affair, the veteran liberal Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, writing in Haaretz, condemned the state's ability to "disappear" people with the collusion of the press and courts.
"Alongside the organisations of darkness was the collaborating judicial system, the newspaper editors who were keen to bring back the days of the disgraceful editors' committee, the newspapers and the broadcast channels that only two days ago were trying to suppress the affair — all the agents, lawyers, jailers, censors, police and investigators who knew and kept quiet."
Matt Damon will not use a bathroom –- at least not until the world water crisis is solved.
The Oscar-winning actor and activist has moved beyond stiff PSAs in order to raise awareness for the millions of people who lack clean water and basic sanitation. In a video released Tuesday, which takes place at a mock press conference, the co-founder of Water.org mixes key alarming facts with a bit of deadpan humor.
“In protest of this global tragedy -- until this issue is resolved, until everybody has access to clean water and sanitation -- I will not go to the bathroom,” Damon says.
13 Feb 2013
Police audio from the Christopher Dorner siege reveals a deliberate plan to burn down the cabin in which Dorner was trapped, with one LAPD officer heard to say, “fucking burn this motherfucker,” before police discussed their intention to, “go ahead with the plan with the burners.” (at 1.05 into the video).
The audio was captured on police scanners as well as being picked up by a local news broadcast.
Sheriff's office confirms pyrotechnic teargas canisters were launched into cabin but 'we didn't intend to burn it down' - The Guardian
The Israeli authorities have partially lifted a gag order concerning a man known as "Prisoner X", following widespread international coverage of the case of the top-secret detainee who hanged himself in a high-security prison in Israel. The prisoner was revealed to be an Australian citizen.
According to Israel Radio, domestic media outlets were permitted to quote foreign reports on Prisoner X but not publish or broadcast original material.
The secret detainee was identified by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as Ben Zygier, from Melbourne, who it said had become an agent for the Mossad, Israel's spy agency. Zygier – also known as Ben Alon and Ben Allen – was reported to have been locked in solitary confinement under conditions of strict secrecy in 2010, and hanged himself in his cell later that year. ABC did not disclose the reason for his detention.
The allegations were reported on international news websites, but the Israeli media was forbidden from publishing or broadcasting details. Editors were called by the Israeli prime minister's office to an emergency meeting on Tuesday afternoon, at which their co-operation with the government and the withholding of sensitive information was demanded. Gag orders and military censorship are common in Israel.
12 Feb 2013
According to Saint Malachy's Prophecy of the Popes, the next pontiff will be the final pope and his anointment will usher in the end times. If you think the Mayan 2012 hysteria was crazy, you ain't seen nothing yet!
Saint Malachy predicted that the final pope would be called 'Peter the Roman'. Guess what the name is of one of the favorites to become the next pope?
Prophecy: Is the next pope the last pope? - Petrus Romanus: 900 Year Old Prophecy Says Next Pope Will Oversee End of Days - Prophecy of the Popes
11 Feb 2013
Victims of sexual abuse by Catholic priests have accused the pope, the Vatican secretary of state and two other high-ranking Holy See officials of crimes against humanity, in a formal complaint to the international criminal court (ICC). - More info on The Guardian
Earlier this week (January 7th, 2013), USA Superior Court Judge Emilie H. Elias ordered the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, California to release 30,000 pages of classified Catholic files that name some high-ranking Church officials. – More info on richarddawkins.net
Pope Benedict's resignation brings end to paradoxical papacy - Messages the former Joseph Ratzinger hoped to convey were all but drowned out by string of controversies. – More on The Guardian
Jürgen Todenhöfer: “The Syrian rebels receive money and weapons predominantly from Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Saudi Arabia is mainly supplying Al Qaeda, with the U.S.A. knowing about it. The West is providing political cover for the entire rebellion, including al-Qaeda. It is de facto an ally of al-Qaeda. In Mali against, in Syria for al-Qaeda—it can’t be more cynical.”
“Assad is a dictator. So is the King of Saudi Arabia and the Emir of Qatar. The U.S. and the despots of Saudi Arabia and Qatar don’t want to see democracy in Syria. Their objective is to knock out an important ally of Iran, which has become too powerful because of the Iraq War for them. That this goes along with one of the most amiable multi-ethnic peoples of the Arab world, does not interest our ‘world strategists.’ Nor does the fact that if the extremists win, 2 million Christians will lose their home.”
Significant responsibility for the epidemic spread of terrorism carry his sponsors in the Gulf. Without Saudi money could not survive Al Qaeda. But the West dares to this central problem of terrorism not approach. He argues that the Saudi royal family has with the terrorist mafia godfathers one pact. It be spared from attacks only as long as it does not disturb their circles. His reluctance to engage with the men behind the terror was therefore understandable. The West would be for understanding richly compensated by oil.
10 Feb 2013
Thanks to Fox News and its expert commentators, millions of Americans now understand the real, hidden reason why Germany's solar-energy industry is so much further along than ours. Turns out it has nothing to do with the fact that Germany's government has long supported the industry far more generously, with policies like feed-in tariffs that stimulate investment in green technologies. No, the real reason is much simpler, explained a trio of journalists on Fox & Friends: It's always sunny in Germany!
A map of the relative direct solar-energy availability in the United States, Spain, and Germany. Red = highest, purple = lowest.
Les Miserables ROKAF (Republic of Korea Air Force) Parody
9 Feb 2013
A court in Russia has placed the prominent opposition activist Sergei Udaltsov under house arrest. Mr Udaltsov is charged with organising "mass disorder" during a protest in Moscow in May 2012. He was arrested in October before being released.
The leader of the Left Front coalition has rejected the accusation, saying it is an attempt to discredit the opposition to President Vladimir Putin. If convicted, Mr Udaltsov faces between four and 10 years in prison.
'The Unbelievers' follows renowned scientists Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss across the globe as they speak publicly about the importance of science and reason in the modern world - encouraging others to cast off antiquated religious and politically motivated approaches toward important current issues.
8 Feb 2013
Thousands of Indian women are having their wombs removed in operations that campaigners say are unnecessary and only performed to make money for unscrupulous private doctors.
Sunita is uncertain of her exact age but thinks she's about 25 years old. I met her in a small village in Rajasthan, north-west India, surrounded by chewing cattle and birdsong. She was covered in jewellery, from a nose-stud and rings to bangles which jangled when she gestured with her hand.
Her face hardens when she tells me about her operation. "I went to the clinic because I had heavy bleeding during menstruation," she says. "The doctor did an ultrasound and said I might develop cancer. He rushed me into having a hysterectomy that same day." Sunita says she was reluctant to have the operation straightaway and wanted to discuss it with her husband first. She says the doctor said the operation was urgent and sent her for surgery just hours later.
When other local women crowded round, I asked how many of them had undergone hysterectomies. More than half raised their hands at once. Village leaders said about 90% of the village women have had the operation, including many in their 20s and 30s.
The doctors generally charge around $200 for the operation, which often means the families have to sell cattle and other assets to raise the money.
7 Feb 2013
An immensely powerful international organization that most people have never even heard of secretly controls the money supply of the entire globe. It is called the Bank for International Settlements, and it is the central bank of central banks.
It is located in Basel, Switzerland, but it also has branches in Hong Kong and Mexico City. It is essentially an unelected, unaccountable central bank of the world that has complete immunity from taxation and from national laws. Even Wikipedia admits that "it is not accountable to any single national government." The Bank for International Settlements was used to launder money for the Nazis during World War II, but these days the main purpose of the BIS is to guide and direct the centrally-planned global financial system.
A fruit and vegetable handout in Greece led to one man being trampled on Wednesday, calling attention to the desperate conditions in the crisis-hit country. Some 55 tons of produce was given away by farmers who were protesting high production costs.
The person was injured when he was pushed by a crowd trying to grab the goods and fell and hit his head. The chaos was sparked when food stalls ran out of fruits and vegetables, prompting dozens of people to rush to a nearby truck. It was an “every man for himself” situation as the Greeks shoved their way to the front of the truck, competing for the food that was left. The 55 tons of food was completely gone in under two hours.
6 Feb 2013
Ireland says sorry to the 10,000 'women slaves' of its Catholic workhouses who were locked up and brutalised by nuns
Women who had their childhoods ‘stolen away’, locked up in Catholic-run workhouses received a qualified apology from the Irish government yesterday. Over a period of 70 years, an estimated 10,000 were sent to the ‘Magdalene laundries’ to carry out unpaid manual labour under the supervision of nuns. Some were sent because they were the children of unmarried mothers, others for crimes as minor as not paying a train ticket.
Irish prime minister Enda Kenny apologised for the stigma and conditions saying they were a product of a ‘harsh and uncompromising Ireland’. Survivors quickly rejected his apology, and demanded a fuller and more frank admission from government and the religious orders involved. Maureen Sullivan, 60, of Magdalene Survivors Together, and the youngest known victim, said: ‘He is the taoiseach of the Irish people, and that is not a proper apology.’
She was 12 when taken from her school and put in the Good Shepherd Magdalene Laundry in New Ross, County Wexford, because her father had died and mother remarried. Miss Sullivan said she was told it would further her education, but she never saw her schoolbooks again.
For 48 years she says she has been haunted by memories of a lost childhood and slave labour and is demanding a full apology from the government and religious orders for stealing her education, name, identity and life. ‘I feel that they are still in denial, but other parts of this report clearly state that we were telling the truth,’ she said.
By day she worked in the laundry, was fed bread and dripping, and then made sweaters or rosary beads before bedtime. ‘It was long, hard tedious work,’ she said. ‘I remember being hidden in a tunnel when the school inspectors came. I can only assume this was because I should not have been working in the laundry.’