30 Jun 2013

No Child Born To Die

In the poorest countries, children are dying, at a rate too awful to think about. Basic illnesses claim 8 million young lives a year. It's in our power to stop this. No child is born to die.

savethechildrenuk

Saudi Arabian Women's Conference

An image of a conference in Saudi Arabia on the topic of “women in society” – with not a single female present - has gone viral. The picture features row upon row of men in traditional headscarves and white thobes. A single Westerner in a flannel shirt is the only person breaking up an otherwise uniform sea of what appear to be Arab men.

SAUDI-ARABIA-WOMENS-CONFERENCE

We traced the picture back to Beladalorb.com, which says it was published in Saudi newspaper Okaz last year. The conference was reportedly held at the University of Qassim and was apparently attended by representatives of 15 countries.

Much is being made of absurdity and hypocrisy of the image, but when you consider Saudi Arabia is a country where women are not permitted to drive, it seems less so. Religious police in the Gulf Kingdom which is governed by Sharia Law only recently lifted a ban on females riding motorbikes and bicycles – as long as they wear the full-length veil and are accompanied by a male relative.

Huffington Post

29 Jun 2013

MouseGuard

mouse guard

In the world of MouseGuard, mice struggle to live safely and prosper amongst harsh conditions and a host of predators. Thus the Mouse Guard was formed: more than just soldiers, they are guides for common mice looking to journey without confrontation from one village to another. They see to their duty with fearless dedication so that they may not simply exist, but truly live.

MouseGuard by David Petersen - davidpetersen.net

Horrific video of beheading raises questions of arms supply to Syrian rebels

Another act of brutal violence reportedly by Syrian rebels has appeared on the web. Unverified video shows the beheading of 3 supposed government supporters. The title of the graphic footage suggests an orthodox Christian bishop was among the victims, although other reports claim he'd been shot dead in an assault on a monastery.

26 Jun 2013

Nestlé Corporate Troll Spotting

Abby Martin features a video message by Nestlé, which the company made in direct response to a recent report Abby made about the company. She responds to points made in the video, and sets the record straight on the company's claims.

25 Jun 2013

In the US complaining about water Quality Could be considered 'Act of Terrorism'

A representative for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation told a group of concerned citizens that complaining about water quality could be considered an “act of terrorism,” The Tennessean reports.

tennessee water

Sherwin Smith, deputy director of TDEC’s Division of Water Resources, made the claim during a meeting with residents of Maury County, Tennessee. Organized by State Rep. Sheila Butt, R-Columbia, the gathering sought to address complaints by residents that area water was making their children sick. In audio obtained by The Tennessean, Smith can be heard equating water quality complaints, an act of citizenry, with DHS-defined acts of terrorism:

We take water quality very seriously. Very, very seriously … But you need to make sure that when you make water quality complaints you have a basis, because federally, if there’s no water quality issues, that can be considered under Homeland Security an act of terrorism.

More on Alternet

Except Farmworkers

A day in the life of farmworkers in Poughkeepsie, NY, USA. - Except Farmworkers Website

Just for Hits

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins introduces the Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase 2013 in Cannes and spreads his memes. But what the Hell Happens Five Minutes Into This Richard Dawkins Speech?

The Saatchi & Saatchi New Directors' Showcase

24 Jun 2013

Buddhist monk leads violent national campaign against Myanmar's Muslims

The Buddhist monk arrived wrapped in saffron-colored robes with an entourage of muscular, younger monks who guarded him and hung on his every word at the sprawling monastery he runs and where his divisive, anti-Muslim teaching is gaining a strong following. The monk, Ashin Wirathu, was unapologetic when asked about his role at the center of a rising tide of Buddhist extremism that has crested in a wave of anti-Muslim violence resulting in the deaths of more than 200 people and displacement of some 150,000 from their homes in recent months.

Buddhist monk Ashin Wirathu

“Muslims are like the African carp. They breed quickly and they are very violent and they eat their own kind. Even though they are minorities here, we are suffering under the burden they bring us,” Wirathu, 48, said in a rare and wide-ranging interview with GlobalPost on Thursday. “Because the Burmese people and the Buddhists are devoured every day, the national religion needs to be protected,” he said, announcing that he would push for a ban on interfaith marriage before the next parliamentary session and vowing to continue the so-called “969” campaign that calls for Buddhists to only do business with other Buddhists and exclude Muslims who have a strong tradition as merchants in Myanmar.

Burma - ethnic war

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is made of eight major ethnic groups, but 90 percent of the population is Buddhist. About 5 percent of the population is Muslim and the rest are a mix of Christian and Hindu. Muslims live throughout the country, as they were merchants along the trade routes between India and China. They have settled in waves of immigration from throughout the Muslim world and neighboring India since at least the 19th century. More recently, Muslims are coming across the border from Bangladesh in search of work and opportunity in Burma’s Rakhine State, where much of the recent violence has been centered.

More on GlobalPost

US are Preparing for Massive Civil War

The US government has declared it can lock anyone up forever or kill them without any proof or due process. The Department of Homeland Security has placed an order for 450 million rounds of Hollow Point ammo. Obama can now declare martial law during peace time.

23 Jun 2013

Strange Fruit

Beth Hart and Joe Bonamassa - The original Commodore single version by Billie Holiday. Recorded in New York. 20th April 1939.

PBS Documentary about the legacy of a song unique in the annals of American music. Best-known from Billie Holiday's haunting 1939 rendition, the song "Strange Fruit" is a harrowing portrayal of the lynching of a black man in the American South.
The film tells a dramatic story of America's past by using one of the most influential protest songs ever written as its epicenter. The saga brings us face-to-face with the terror of lynching as it spotlights the courage and heroism of those who fought for racial justice when to do so was to risk ostracism and livelihood if white - and death if black. It examines the history of lynching, and the interplay of race, labor, the Left and popular culture that would give rise to the civil rights movement.

Michael Hastings Sent Email About FBI Probe Hours Before Death

Hours before dying in a fiery car crash, award-winning journalist Michael Hastings sent an email to his colleagues, warning that federal authorities were interviewing his friends and that he needed to go "off the rada[r]" for a bit.
The email was sent around 1 p.m. on Monday, June 17. At 4:20 a.m. the following morning, Hastings died when his Mercedes, traveling at high speeds, smashed into a tree and caught on fire. He was 33.

hastings-crash

Hastings sent the email to staff at BuzzFeed, where he was employed, but also blind-copied a friend, Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, on the message. Biggs, who Hastings met in 2008 when he was embedded in his unit in Afghanistan, forwarded the email to KTLA, who posted it online on Saturday.

Here's the email, with the recipients' names redacted.

Subject: FBI Investigation, re: NSA

Hey (redacted names) -- the Feds are interviewing my "close friends and associates." Perhaps if the authorities arrive "BuzzFeed GQ," er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

Also: I'm onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit.

All the best, and hope to see you all soon.

Michael

Rumors that the FBI was investigating Hastings began the day after his death, with a couple of mysterious WikiLeaks tweets. In a rare move, the FBI issued a statement denying that Hastings was under investigation.

See Huffington Post for more - Earlier post

22 Jun 2013

US Used a Secret Search Warrant to Get WikiLeaks Volunteer's Gmail

The Justice Department used a secret search warrant to obtain the entire contents of a Gmail account used by a former WikiLeaks volunteer in Iceland, according to court records released to the volunteer this week.

The search warrant was issued under seal on October 14, 2011 by the Alexandria, Virginia federal judge overseeing the WikiLeaks grand jury investigation there. The warrant ordered Google to turn over “the contents of all e-mails associated with the account, including stored or preserved copies of e-mails sent to and from the account, draft e-mails, deleted e-mails [...] the source and destination addresses associated with each e-mail, the date and time at which each e-mail was sent, and the size and length of each e-mail.” The warrant also ordered Google not to disclose the search to anyone.

wikileaks archives

The target of the search was Herbert Snorrason, an Icelandic activist who helped manage WikiLeaks’ secure chat room in 2010. Snorrason was one of the WikiLeaks volunteers who resigned from the organization en masse in September 2010. But that evidently didn’t stop the government from grabbing Snorrason’s email a full year later.

The search is the first confirmed case of the government obtaining the contents of a WikiLeaks-connected e-mail account. The government won a public court battle in January 2012 to obtain non-content metadata from the Twitter accounts of three WikiLeaks associates: Seattle coder and activist Jacob Appelbaum; Birgitta Jonsdottir, a member of Iceland’s parliament; and Dutch businessman Rop Gonggrijp. The feds also got metadata on Appelbaum from Google and the ISP Sonic.net.

In those cases, the government got the records under 18 USC 2703(d), a 1994 amendment to the Stored Communications Act that allows law enforcement access to non-content internet records, such as transaction information, without demonstrating the “probable cause” needed for a search warrant.

More on Wired.com

GCHQ taps fibre-optic cables for secret access to world's communications

Britain's spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).

telegeography_uk_cables

The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate.

One key innovation has been GCHQ's ability to tap into and store huge volumes of data drawn from fibre-optic cables for up to 30 days so that it can be sifted and analysed. That operation, codenamed Tempora, has been running for some 18 months. GCHQ and the NSA are consequently able to access and process vast quantities of communications between entirely innocent people, as well as targeted suspects. This includes recordings of phone calls, the content of email messages, entries on Facebook and the history of any internet user's access to websites – all of which is deemed legal, even though the warrant system was supposed to limit interception to a specified range of targets.

Full article on The Guardian

21 Jun 2013

Image of Police Attack Against Lone Woman Goes Viral

A more widely-cropped version of the now viral photograph shows just how isolated the woman was she was attacked by officers in Rio de Janiero, Brazil Monday evening. (Photo: Victor Caivano)

pepper_spray_lone-woman

A captured instance of brazen police brutality against a civilian has, once again, captured the attention of the global community. The shocking photograph of a lone woman being pepper sprayed at close range by Brazilian police has gone viral, drawing criticism and attention to the ongoing mass demonstrations in Brazil—at which the attack took place—and the chronic undercurrent of police violence that so often follows peaceful citizen uprisings.

New York Magazine’s Daily Intelligencer spoke with the photographer behind the image, Victor Caivano, who said that the attack happened at around 11:20 PM Monday evening, long after “the protest was over, riots included.” The woman appeared to be a “normal, middle-class university student,” he said, adding that she was standing alone on a “deserted corner” after the police had cleared the area.

He continued:
Three riot officers approached the woman and told her to leave. When she objected — the woman either questioned the order or insisted that she wasn’t doing anything wrong, Caivano recalls — she was pepper-sprayed. “This policeman just didn’t think twice,” Caivano says. The woman stumbled backward, “screaming and cursing.” She was detained and taken to a police van. Caivano says local reporters are now trying to track her down.

rinf.com

We're not so different, you and I

Project Chess: Skype’s secret program aimed at making calls readily available to intelligence agencies

In yet another instance of a report indicating that tech giants worked directly with intelligence agencies to enable government surveillance, it is now being reported that Skype began a secret program called Project Chess to enable intelligence agencies and law enforcement to easily get a hold of calls.

microsoft-skype

This comes after it was revealed that Skype was part of the massive National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance program known as PRISM.
The latest revelation about Skype’s secret program is quite interesting given the controversy surrounding the privacy and security of Skype. Indeed, the NSA leaks hinted that Microsoft may have lied about the security of Skype, though many suspicions were raised last year after they filed for a patent for “legal intercept” technology.

More on Activist Post and The Guardian

20 Jun 2013

Kalashnikov

Goran Bregović - (Poznań 1997)

British Atheist, 'Will Be Denied US Citizenship Unless She Joins A Church'

A 65-year-old atheist who has lived in the United States for 30 years may be denied her application for naturalised citizenship unless she joins a church by Friday. Margaret Doughty, who is originally from the UK, faces having her application refused because she declined to “take up arms to defend the United States.”

Rachel Platt, 16, attends a service at the College Heights Christian Church, sings and prays before preaching in Joplin, Missouri, September 25, 2011. <br />(Credit: Lynsey Addario/ VII, for Time Magazine)<br />

Naturalisation applicants are required to swear such an oath, but conscientious objectors can obtain an exemption, Raw Story reports. It adds the US Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Houston has responded to Doughty’s conscientious objector claim by stating only religious-based objections are valid and asking her to provide “official church stationery”, showing she is “a member of good standing” of a church that opposes the bearing of arms.

More on Huff. Post

I am Bradley Manning

It's time to stop the war on whistle-blowers.
http://iam.bradleymanning.org | #iambradleymanning

19 Jun 2013

Momento Épico in Rio de Janeiro

In the middle of the protest, police man kneels in front of the fire, throws his weapon to burn and talks for the camera ! "To serve a State like this? I am ashamed. I am ashamed of everything we go through, every day!"

Michael Hastings, The Runaway General journalist, dies in car crash

The award-winning journalist and war correspondent Michael Hastings – who wrote a Rolling Stone story that brought down a top US general – has died in a car accident in Los Angeles. Hastings won a Polk award for magazine reporting for his Rolling Stone cover report The Runaway General. The story was credited with ending General Stanley McChrystal's career after it revealed the military leader's candid criticisms of the Obama administration. Hastings also wrote for BuzzFeed. Rolling Stone ran a report late on Tuesday confirming Hastings had died in a car crash that morning and praising him as a "fearless journalist".

mcchrystal-runaway-general

McChrystal was the top US general in Afghanistan when Hastings documented the general making remarks like: "Are you asking about Vice-President Biden? Who's that?" and, along with his aides, criticising the Obama administration's handling of the war and their civilian commanders in the White House. Barack Obama, announcing McChrystal's removal in light of the story, said: "The conduct represented in the recently published article does not meet the standard that should be met by – set by a commanding general. It undermines the civilian control of the military that is at the core of our democratic system."

The Guardian

Brazil congressional panel approves controversial bill that would allow 'gay cure' treatments

A Brazilian congressional human rights committee on Thursday approved legislation that would allow psychologists to treat homosexuality as a disorder or pathology. The commission is led by evangelical pastor Marco Feliciano of the Social Christian Party, who has been accused of homophobia and enraged activists by calling AIDS a "gay cancer" in a tweet. His appointment as head the Commission for Human Rights and Minorities in the lower house of Brazil's Congress was fiercely opposed by gay and human rights groups. The measure approved Tuesday seeks to lift a prohibition on psychologists treating homosexuality that was established by the Federal Psychology Council. The ban has been in effect since 1999.

gay brazil

"In practice, (the initiative's) result would be that a person over 18 years of age, responsible for his actions, who is homosexual and wants to reorient his sexuality, can be attended by a psychologist," said lawmaker Joao Campos, a member of the evangelical bloc of Brazil's lower house. Feliciano had tried for weeks to put the "gay cure" initiative before the commission but had failed as opponents maneuvered to block a vote. The initiative was passed Tuesday amid a low turnout by commission members.

StarTribune.com

Scores detained in Turkey police swoop

Police in Turkey have arrested 85 people following more than two weeks of anti-government protests. Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said on Tuesday that 62 people had been detained in Istanbul, Turkey's biggest city, while 23 others had been arrested in the capital Ankara as a result of raids in several cities.

Mlkp

“The operations are against members of the Marxist-Leninist Communist Party, who also attended the Gezi Park protests, as part of an investigation being conducted by The detained people were accused of damaging public property and inciting violence.

Earlier, police detained a dozen people who stood still at Istanbul's Taksim Square in a form of passive defiance against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's authority after activists were ousted from a sit-in at Gezi Park over the weekend. Erodogan brushed aside criticism of the crackdown on Tuesday and vowed to increase the police's powers to deal with the unrest.

Al Jazeera English

18 Jun 2013

Thai Buddhist Monks Criticised As Private Jet Footage Hits YouTube

A group of Thai Buddhist monks have been criticised after footage of them aboard a private jet, wearing earphones, sunglasses and travelling with a Louis Vuitton luxury bag emerged. The video, which has been viewed more than 225,000 times on YouTube, has prompted an investigation by Thailand's National Office of Buddhism, Menafn.com reports.

Spokesman Nopparat Benjawatananun said the footage was being examined to see if the monks had violated any Buddhist teachings. "If the answer is yes, we will ask the local monastic chief to punish those involved," he said. He added the monks were acting "inappropriately, not composed and not adhering to Buddha's teachings of simplicity and self-restraint."

Huffington Post

In Brazil, a dual struggle against neoliberalism

In Brazil, students and the indigenous may be fighting different fights, but they are ultimately part of the same struggle against the neoliberal state.

Brazil-protests

While the world has been watching Turkey, another country is experiencing revolt: Brazil. Just like Turkey, Brazil has recently experienced relative success in economic terms. But just as in Turkey, the spoils of this economic growth are divided extremely unequally. Just like in Turkey, a relatively small provocation has sparked a much more widespread chain reaction. Unlike in Turkey, that provocation is a direct attack on living standards. But the anger exploding as a result of it appears to run just as deep.

According to the BBC, “the demonstrators were mostly university students, but the authorities said there were also groups of anarchists looking for a fight.” The idea that some students might be anarchists by conviction, and that some anarchists go to college because they like to learn, apparently does not occur to either “authorities” or the BBC. And the ones “looking for a fight” were above all the rabid police troops themselves, who used excessive amounts of teargas and rubber bullets against mostly unarmed demonstrators, some of whom did attack shops and set fire to tyres. But that’s what desperate people do if you make their lives even harder by rising the prices of public amenities in a context of rapid inflation.

Brazil-protest-indigenous

Overall, more than 50 people were left injured and the number of arrests exceeded 200. According to the BBC, “police say they seized petrol bombs, knives, and drugs.” Sure. And yes, “police acted with professionalism”, according to the state governor. Obviously. After all, repression is their profession.

More on ROAR Magazine

The World Must Stand Together

On June 17-18 , Presidents Obama and Putin will meet on the side of the G8 Summit, with cutting nukes on the agenda. We must stand together for a world without nuclear weapons. Join the Global Zero movement and demand zero!

Madam Medusa

UB40 (1980)

While some argue that UB40 went on to commercial covers, they produced some ground breaking material in their early years, check out 'Present Arms In Dub' for one. They are one of the biggest selling Reggae bands around, and you don't reach those heights of fame without catering for the popular masses at some point, early tracks such as 'Madam Medusa' remain not only a statement of the times, but songs which skip genres and leap musical fashions, to remain very listenable and still fresh today.
The images are of 1970s Brum, and reflect the time and some of the hardships certain communities faced, Birmingham wasn't all problems and towerblocks at the time, but it's hard to deny some of the social and architectural mistakes that had been taking place in British cities over many years prior to bands such as, UB40, The Beat and The Specials came around to highlight it.

17 Jun 2013

Fake Store Fronts in Belfast to Boost Economy?

WeAreChange goes to Belfast see for themselves the way Northern Ireland has decided to handle the economic hardships in their neighborhoods. Thought various cities, the Northern Irish government has spent around £2 million on plastering up photos of fake store fronts where businesses once operates. These have been here for over a year but governments in multiple other cities have decided to do the same to put up a false sense of a thriving economy for the G8. This is another example of governments attempting to mask the problems of recession since the bank bailouts instead of actually doing something about it.

WeAreChange Youtube channel - Luke Rudkowski Twitter from Belfast @Lukewearechange

The Problem With Religion

Richard Dawkins reflects over the negative impacts of religion.

Stupid Law Says 'NO' To Gay Marriage!? Google Says 'Challenge Accepted.'

Until May 18, 2013, same-sex marriage was illegal in France. Watch to find out how these couples challenged that law, one gay video chat at a time. Note: These symbolic marriages were not legally binding, but rumor has it all the couples in the video have plans to get legally married as well.

British intelligence agencies intercepted foreign politicians' communications at G20 summits

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

G20 2009

The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organisation, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.

More on The Guardian

16 Jun 2013

The Transformation of Society

The US government has been violating the constituion and trampling on the bill of rights since virtually the inception of the country. The history of the US, like the history of every other country, is littered with the corpses of nice-sounding ideals, from false flag frame-ups to lead the nation into war to the persecution and even execution of political dissidents. But the point is that 50 years ago, America wanted to believe it was a nation of ideals, and many people did believe that. So what changed?...

Corbett Report

Turkish police use chemicals

Police have fired water cannon, tear gas and rubber bullets to clear Taksim and Gezi Park of protesters and prevent them from returning. Sporadic clashes have then been taking place around the area. (RT)

turkish chemicals3

@liamoconghaile Shocking! Police adding chemicals into water cannon in #Istanbul #occupygezi http://t.co/xPzhQ1lx1a. Also see GRUP YORUM SEVENLER FORUMU

Turkish police started to use an unknown chemical against the protestors. This chemical is added to the riot vehicles' water tanks. Chemical burns the skin. There are many severely injured people in the hospitals. CNN iReport

Details on Wikileaks-forum

turkish chemicals

turkish chemicals2

Photos on OccupygeziDaily Koslivestream 

Police target every protest refuge, even inside the Hilton Hotel!

Police entered the Hilton hotel in Istanbul to tackle the protesters who have used the facility as a safe-haven, Saturday. Reportedly, the Hilton allowed protesters to seek refuge in its plush lobby and bar, but as tensions continue to rise in the city as the government seeks to regain full control, police entered to clear the hotel.

Ball & Chain

Janis Joplin Live At Woodstock 1969

...Like Clockwork

Queens of the Stone Age

15 Jun 2013

Turkish protesters drone that was shot down by police

Tuesday afternoon on June 11th 2013, Police fired bullets at RC controlled flying camera during the protests in Taksim square, Istanbul. Here is the footage from that camera! Unfortunately the last video was not saved properly on the memory card due to the impact on the camera. Police aimed directly at the camera. Both the camera and the helicopter are completely broken. However, all the footage you are about to see is from the previous flights minutes before the incident.

Ill Submarine

The Beastles (The Beatles with The Beastie Boys)

Cenk Goes Ballistic on Fundamentalist Religion

Cenk Uygur host of The Young Turks in response to a story about a woman dying because she was denied an abortion goes on a rant against fundamentalist religion. Watch The Young Turks.

The Atheist Experience

The Atheist Experience TV Show

14 Jun 2013

Happy Together

The Turtles

Sao Paulo transport fare protest turns violent

Protests against bus and underground fare rises in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo have turned violent. Police fired rubber-coated bullets and tear gas, and detained more than 200 people. Police say they seized petrol bombs, knives and drugs. Violence has also been reported at protests in Rio de Janeiro.

riots brazil

Prices for a single ticket in Sao Paulo were raised on 2 June from 3 reals ($1.40, £0.90) to 3.20 reals ($1.50, £0.96). The authorities say that the rise is well below inflation, which since the last price rise in January 2011 has been at 15.5%, according to official figures.

brazilian press

An estimated 5,000 protesters converged on the streets of Sao Paulo's central area on Thursday - the fourth day of the protests. Most of the protesters are thought to be university students The protesters clashed with police, who fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. At least 55 people have been injured, according to the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper. It added that six of its journalists had been wounded, two of them shot in the face. State Governor Geraldo Alckmin branded the rioters "vandals" and promised to act to avoid a repeat of the violence.

More on BBC News

Anonymous trolls NSA with ‘keywords of terror’

Anonymous disables the National Security Agency’s website and trolls their “impressive surveillance apparatus” with “keywords of terror” as part of Operation Troll the NSA (#OpTrollTheNSA).

troll the nsa

Hacktivists associated with the international internet collective Anonymous initiated Operation Troll the USA on June 12, in response to bombshell revelations made by Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former federal government contract worker who revealed details of a vast secret surveillance program operated by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Softpedia reports hackers from WikiCrew disrupted the official NSA website, nsa.gov, via a distributed denial-of-service (DDOS) attack on June 12. At time of publication the site had been inaccessible for over 13 hours. Softpedia also reports “hackers of the St0rmyw0rm group have leaked a file which they claim contains the email addresses of over 400 individuals that work for the NSA.”

More on Examiner.com - Operation Troll the NSA

Why wars happen

Conflicts

There have been nine wars and almost 130 violent conflicts across the world this year, according to an annual report released on Monday December 15th by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, a think-tank. The study classifies conflict broadly to include peaceful disputes over politics or borders (low intensity), as well as those involving sporadic or constant violence (medium or high intensity). In 2008 previously non-violent conflicts escalated into violence in countries such as Kenya and Yemen. Ideological change is both the most common cause of conflict and the root of most wars, but there is rarely only one cause of dispute. Congo's ongoing conflict encompasses a battle for its mineral resources and, according to some, an invasion by another state, Rwanda.

The Economist

The Raid

The Megaupload Copyright Raid in New Zealand. Helicopters, Assault Rifles, Anti-Terrorism units, Attack Dogs & 72 cops terrorizing a zero-threat family. Kim Dotcom

The U.S. Government vs You & Kim Dotcom (PDF)

13 Jun 2013

The World is Changing

Femi Kuti

The Shocking Amount of Wealth and Power Held by 0.001% of the World Population

Many now know the rhetoric of the 1% very well: the imagery of a small elite owning most of the wealth while the 99% take the table scraps. 

forbes-billionairs

In 2006,  a UN report revealed that the world’s richest 1% own 40% of the world’s wealth, with those in the financial and internet sectors comprising the “super rich.” More than a third of the world’s super-rich live in the U.S., with roughly 27% in Japan, 6% in the U.K., and 5% in France. The world’s richest 10% accounted for roughly 85% of the planet's total assets, while the bottom half of the population – more than 3 billion people – owned less than 1% of the world’s wealth.

More on Alternet - The World's Billionaires on Forbes

9 Jun 2013

Turkish Workers Join Mass Protests

Confederation of unions, stage two day strike in solidarity with protestors, against police brutality and for a more democratic Turkey.

8 Jun 2013

Everyone's a Terrorist

EuroNews: Obama defends ‘privacy trade-off’ for security - Democracy Now!

Texas Says It's OK to Shoot an Escort If She Won't Have Sex With You

A jury in Bexar County, Texas just acquitted Ezekiel Gilbert of charges that he murdered a 23-year-old Craigslist escort—agreeing that because he was attempting to retrieve the $150 he'd paid to Lenora Ivie Frago, who wouldn't have sex with him, his actions were justified.

jesus with gun

Gilbert had admitted to shooting Frago in the neck on Christmas Eve 2009, when she accepted $150 from Gilbert and left his home without having sex with him. Frago, who was paralyzed by the shooting, died several months later.

Gilbert's defense argued that the shooting wasn't meant to kill, and that Gilbert's actions were justified, because he believed that sex was included as part of the fee. Texas law allows people "to use deadly force to recover property during a nighttime theft."

gawker.com

Freedom of Speech and Exchange of Ideas

Stephen Fry

Monks Gone Bad

Five years ago, when Myanmar was still under military rule, some Western and Chinese friends asked me how there could be such oppression in a country where Buddhism, which preaches nonviolence, is the predominant religion.

I was in self-imposed exile at the time, studying journalism at the University of Hong Kong, and I would answer that the country’s military leaders were immoral, Buddhists in name only. I would also point out that Myanmar’s pre-colonial monarchical rulers — they, too, nominally Buddhist — also had committed great crimes. In other words, nothing was wrong with the religion itself; the problem was with the politicians who were flouting it.

Buddhists in Burma

I can’t give such answers any more — not since the recent deadly attacks by Buddhists against Muslims in Meikhtila, a city in central Myanmar with no history of sectarian violence. Reports that monks instigated some of those burnings, beatings and killings suggest a much deeper problem than unprincipled state officials.

The general public in Myanmar, which is largely Buddhist (about 90 percent) and ethnic Bamar (over 65 percent), would like to believe that the Buddhist monks who allegedly participated in these brutal incidents aren’t real monks. That’s easier than contemplating the painful reality that the venerated Buddhist order, the Sangha, has become largely corrupt.

no halal birma

There was a time when most of the young men and women who joined the order were driven by a spiritual quest. But during the half-century of the junta’s rule, it was the wars along the border areas and crushing poverty that brought novices to monasteries. Many were orphans with no other options; others were children entrusted to the monks by destitute parents trying to secure shelter and some schooling for them. In the profile of its recruits, the Sangha wasn’t so different from the Burmese Army — and sometimes the abbots were as brutal as officers.

By Swe Win on the International Herald Tribune

7 Jun 2013

France reels from skinheads' savage attack

Police in France have arrested four men after the brutal beating of Clement Meric, a left-wing student, in Paris.He later died from the attack, blamed on far-right activists and has caused shock throughout the French political establishment.

AlJazeera - More on Huffington Post

BBC Demonizes Alex Jones

BBC reporter admitted her job was to "provoke" Alex Jones following an interview in which the reporter attempted to characterise Bilderberg as a conspiracy theory. More on YouTube

Obama’s Unparalleled Spy State

Now we know for sure: The Obama administration has presided over the most thorough expansion of the domestic surveillance state of any U.S. presidency. Even as the nation was still absorbing the news,  broken by Glenn Greenwald at the Guardian on Wednesday night, that the National Security Agency has been routinely collecting phone call records for millions of Americans, the Washington Post and the Guardian published articles revealing even broader  government snooping powers: Since 2007, the NSA and the FBI have had the power to watch nearly every aspect of our online life as well.

OBAMA-NSA-facebook

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time. The nine companies are Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple. (PalTalk, according to the Post, “hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.”)

The program is code-named PRISM, and while it was created during the administration of George W. Bush, the Post reports that it has experienced “exponential growth” under Obama.

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6 Jun 2013

Take Action For Circus Animals

Animal Defenders on Vimeo

The People's Voice

The corporate media will never give The People a voice – so we have to give one to ourselves. This is our chance and it’s time to grasp it before the global collapse into economic tyranny and Big Brother oppression slams the door on what remains of human freedom. We need £100,000 as the very minimum necessary to go to air within months and everything above that will ensure that The People’s Voice will be bigger, better and more effective on day one and the dream can be made a reality on the scale that I envisage.

The People’s Voice would broadcast out of London, but this is a global station. We are all in this together and we must come together, talk together and cooperate together to bring about a global awakening. We would have programmes every day by presenters in the UK and the United States with other regular programmes featuring presenters and content in Australia/New Zealand, Africa and everywhere else that we can secure quality programming.

The People's Voice | Indiegogo

CIA didn't always know who it was killing in drone strikes

The CIA did not always know who it was targeting and killing in drone strikes in Pakistan over a 14-month period, an NBC News review of classified intelligence reports shows.

drone attack

About one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as "other militants,” the documents detail. The “other militants” label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed, prompting questions about how the agency could conclude they were a threat to U.S. national security.

The uncertainty appears to arise from the use of so-called “signature” strikes to eliminate suspected terrorists -- picking targets based in part on their behavior and associates. A former White House official said the U.S. sometimes executes people based on “circumstantial evidence.”

NBC News

'Some girls enjoy rape', Israeli judge tells court

An Israeli judge has caused widespread outrage after announcing to a court that "some girls enjoy being raped" during a hearing centred on the gang rape of 13-year-old girl.

Judge Nissim Yeshaya

The hearing was to debate whether the rape of the young Israeli Jewish teen by four Palestinian youths from the Shuafat refugee camp was an act of terrorism, and thus the girl would be entitled to compensation from the state. The four were captured, convicted and imprisoned, but the Defense Ministry ruled that the rape was not a “hostile act” — that is, an act of political aggression. This meant the victim was not be entitled to government compensation and other benefits which terror victims receive. The Defense Ministry oversees criminal cases involving West Bank Palestinians.

During a heated debate, Judge Nissim Yeshaya of Tel Aviv District Court said: "There are some girls who enjoy being raped".

Times of Israel

The Earth does not revolve around the Sun

Hold on until 4 min. into the clip…

5 Jun 2013

WeAreChange Bilderberg Vlog

In this video blog, WeAreChange arrives in Watford a few days before the Bilderberg meeting. In this video WeAreChange talks to local residents of Watford, check out the protest free speech zone, hitchhike with a friendly security guard and cover the public town hall meeting about the bilderberg group. Hope you enjoy these vlog videos, feel free to give us feedback and questions in the comment section of this video.

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Steven Seagal becomes the face of Russian arms firm

The actor Steven Seagal has become an unlikely business envoy for a pre-Russian revolutionary arms factory after agreeing to feature in adverts marketing its weapons in the US. Seagal, known for starring in Hollywood martial arts films, told journalists about the plans on Tuesday during a tour of the Degtyaryov weapons factory in Kovrov, a city about 160 miles (260km) from Moscow.

putin-seagal

"My friend Igor Kesayev invited me here. On his request, I will feature in adverts for Kovrov weapons for the US," the Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda reported Seagal as saying. "I trust Kesayev. Whatever's put in my hands, I will advertise." Kesayev – who has an estimated fortune of $2bn (£1.3bn), according to Forbes magazine – controls the Degtyaryov factory, which has made weapons including machine guns and rifles since 1916.

seagal Kadyrov

He is one of a series of influential Russians with whom the 61-year-old Seagal, the star Hard to Kill and Under Siege, appears to have bonded with: in recent months he has been seen hobnobbing with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and the Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov

The Guardian

'Woman In Red', Becomes Iconic Image of the Turkey Uprising

Perhaps the most iconic picture yet taken of the uprising in Turkey, the image of “the woman in red” shows Ceyda Sungur, an academic at Istanbul’s university, stood defiantly in Taksim Square, centre of the uprising that has swept across the capital and beyond in recent days.

She is one of the so-called “extremists” who Prime Minister Erdogan and his government are blaming for the demonstrations.

Huff. Post