31 May 2014
30 May 2014
The elite Bilderberg group gathers every year the most powerful business, political and military leaders from across the world to discuss global ‘megatrends’. While who attends these summits is not secret, the topics, nature and results of debate are kept private from the media and public.
The Bilderberg group is celebrating its 60th birthday at its annual summit this week in Denmark, where, according to the official participant list, both the Shadow Chancellor and George Osborne are due to attend. Attending industry and military leaders include the Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, the current Supreme Allied Commander of NATO forces in Europe, General Philip Breedlove and the former NSA chief, Keith Alexander. One can only guess Edward Snowden’s invite was lost in the post.
The Iraq War inquiry was condemned as a whitewash last night after more than 150 crucial messages from Tony Blair to George W Bush were censored.
Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has vetoed the release of the letters and phone calls in the run-up to the 2003 conflict, officials revealed. In them, Mr Blair is said to have promised the US President: 'You know, George, whatever you decide to do, I'm with you.'
The decision raises the possibility that the long-delayed findings of the £10million inquiry will be published before the general election. The official reason for the censorship is that publication would deter prime ministers from speaking freely in private.
29 May 2014
Was Jesus the invention of a Roman emperor? The author of this ground-breaking book believes he was. "Caesar's Messiah" reveals the key to a new and revolutionary understanding of the origin of Christianity, explaining what is the New Testament, who is the real Jesus, and how Christ's second coming already occurred. The clues leading to these startling conclusions are found in the writings of the first-century historian Flavius Josephus, whose "Wars of the Jews" is one of the only historical chronicles of this period. Closely comparing the work of Josephus with the New Testament Gospels, "Caesar's Messiah" demonstrates that the Romans directed the writing of both. Their purpose: to offer a vision of a "peaceful Messiah" who would serve as an alternative to the revolutionary leaders who were rocking first-century Israel and threatening Rome. Similarly, "Caesar's Messiah" will rock our understanding of Christian history as it reveals that Jesus was a fictional character portrayed in four Gospels written not by Christians but Romans. This Flavian Signature edition adds Atwill's latest discoveries of numerous parallel events in sequence which ultimately reveal the identity of the true authors of the Gospels.
27 May 2014
26 May 2014
An unarmed man was shot to death in his own apartment by the FBI after a grueling 8-hour interrogation. The man was Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen immigrant being investigated because he was an acquaintance of one of the suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing. He was ultimately shot 6 times in the chest and once in the back of the head, which his father describes as an “execution” performed to “silence” his son. Months later, the Feds still have not offered any cogent explanations of the the incident or why their agents altered their story multiple times.
Ibragim Todashev’s death came during the third of three separate interrogations by the FBI in the spring of 2013, according to his father, Abdulbaki Todashev. The first time the FBI visited Ibragim Todashev it was to question him about his relationship with Tamerlan Tsarnaev, one of the suspects accused in the Boston Marathon bombings. His second encounter with the FBI dealt with a triple murder in Waltham, Massachusetts, that the police believed Tsarnaev was involved with. The third, and final, interview took place in Orlando, Florida, at the home of Todashev and included both FBI and Massachusetts State Police.
The FBI and Department of Justice are conducting an internal investigation into the shooting, but the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the ACLU have called for independent inquiries into the shooting due to the government’s secrecy surrounding the case. Both requests have been rejected by law enforcement, saying that it would be inappropriate.
In October, the Boston Globe reported that the Florida medical examiner’s office said that Todashev’s autopsy report was completed and ready for release on July 8th of 2013. The following Tuesday, the 16th , the medical examiner’s office told reporters that the FBI had ordered the office not to release the autopsy report because of the federal agency’s ongoing internal investigation into Todashev’s death.
“(The FBI) took me and my friend, the suspect that got killed. They were talking to us, both of us, right? And they said they need him for a little more, for a couple more hours, and I left, and they told me they’re going to bring him back.
They never brought him back.” — Khusen Taramov
“Maybe my son knew something, some information the police did not want to be made public. Maybe they wanted to silence my son,” Todashev’s father said.
The secrecy surrounding the shooting and the nature of the internal investigation has done little to help answer lingering questions while creating many more. In a newly detailed account of the interrogation, David Boeri of WBUR Boston shines unprecedented light on the events leading up to Ibragim Todashev’s death. His sources say that at some point during the long night of questioning in the cramped, oppressively hot condominium, Todashev cracked and blamed Tsarnaev for the Waltham murders.
“I was there, but I didn’t do the murders,” Todashev allegedly said, according to those who killed him.
Thailand's king has endorsed the army chief who seized power in a coup last week, amid widespread international criticism and increasing detention of those considered to be opposed to the takeover.
General Prayuth Chan-ocha told journalists on Monday morning that the much revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 86, had officially backed him as the leader of the military council now running the country.
Prayuth seized power on Thursday after six months of political in-fighting between the now-deposed government and its critics, who had taken to the streets and besieged government buildings in an effort to oust it. At least 28 people were killed and more than 700 injured in sometimes violent clashes after anti-government protests began in November.
25 May 2014
Polish artist Pawel Kuczynski has worked in satirical illustration since 2004, specializing in thought-provoking images that make his audience question their everyday lives. His subjects deal with everything from social media to politics to poverty, and all have a very distinct message if you look closely enough...
23 May 2014
When you think of terrifying monsters that might inhabit the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, what do you think of? Mutant sharks? Pissed-off squid? Rabid barnacles? (Well, ok, probably not rabid barnacles.)
Nope. The scariest inhabitant of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch is this.
Meet Halofolliculina. It is a single-celled organism – a ciliate – about the size of a sesame seed with teeny tiny devil horns. (They are actually pericytostomial wings, not devil horns, but I won’t tell if you don’t.) My collaborators Hank Carson and Marcus Eriksen found these little buggers living on plastic debris floating way offshore in the western Pacific, which wouldn’t be terrifying in itself since a lot of strange critters live on plastic debris (see our paper for a complete list). But Halofolliculina is a pathogen that causes skeletal eroding band disease in corals, and this piece of debris was headed towards Hawaii.
Late last year, South Sudan's president, Salva Kiir, accused his former vice president, Riek Machar, of attempting a coup d'état amid accusations of rampant corruption within the government. Infighting immediately broke out within the presidential guard, sparking what has now become a brutal tribal and civil war that has pitted Machar's ethnic Nuer loyalists against the majority Dinka, who have sided with Kiir. Machar narrowly escaped assassination, fleeing to the deep bush as Kiir's troops razed his home and killed his bodyguards. And now the world's newest sovereign nation is in imminent danger of becoming a failed state.
22 May 2014
The lead up to the World Cup has prompted large scale demonstrations and public protests to which the police have responded with use of force, and in some cases "less lethal" weapons such as tear gas and rubber bullets.
Protests are likely to continue in coming weeks and the Brazilian Congress is considering new laws that could be used to crack down on protesters. Additionally, inadequate regulations and training for policing demonstrations pose a risk of more injuries to protesters due to excessive use of force by police.
Everyone has the right to peaceful protest -- to exercise their human rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly - and the Brazilian Government has a duty to ensure that they can. aiyellowcard.org
Six young men and women in Iran have been released by the country’s police, after they were arrested for appearing in a parody video of Pharrell William’s hit song Happy.
The video's director, Sassan Soleimani, was still being detained, according to the New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. The organisation also quoted a source close to the family of one of those arrested as saying the group had been told they would be prosecuted.
Since it was uploaded to YouTube on 19 May, the footage has garnered over 300,000 views. It shows three women, not wearing headscarves as required by the country’s law, and three men, lip syncing to the song while they dance on a roof and inside a home in the capital Tehran.
Tehran's police chief, Hossein Sajedinia, said he had ordered the arrest of the six young people featured in the clip because they had created an "obscene video clip that offended the public morals", according to the ISNA news agency.
21 May 2014
Last year on this date, to the impotent howls of human rights groups, five men were beheaded in Jizan, Saudi Arabia and then “crucified.” “In Saudi Arabia, the practice of ‘crucifixion’ refers to the court-ordered public display of the body after execution,” Amnesty UK noted, “along with the separated head if beheaded. It takes place in a public square to allegedly act as a deterrent.”
Jizan is a city being developed as a deep water shipping depot by Saudi Aramco in Saudi Arabia’s extreme southwest corner near Yemen; this was the ethnicity of the executed men as well. According to the Saudi Interior Ministry, brothers Khaled, Adel and Qassem Saraa as well as Saif Ali al-Sahari and Khaled Showie al-Sahari comprised a gang who carried out robberies in various different cities. They beat and strangled to death at least one man.
17 May 2014
Imagine his horror when Charles Veitch popped out to get a pint of milk and this silent and strange ceremony was taking place outside his Town Hall.
Such beaming parents all round, teary eyed, seeing little Johhny and Sarah turn into uniformed rows of obedient troops marching to what the man in the checkerboard says...
High unemployment rates have forced many people in the US to move out of their homes. Some people have set up makeshift homes, using tents as a last resort.
One such community in Rhode Island is being run like a small town, with a committee that votes on how the camp is run. But now the state is trying to evict them.
Bobby Kennedy ordered Marilyn Monroe's murder by lethal injection to prevent her from revealing her torrid affairs with RFK and JFK
Marilyn Monroe’s death on August 4, 1962 was not a suicide but a murder orchestrated by Bobby Kennedy to silence her as she was about to reveal all the dirty Kennedy family secrets she kept logged in a little red diary.
And Bobby did not act alone. He had co-conspirators in her murder - his brother-in-law, actor Peter Lawford, and Marilyn’s psychiatrist, Dr. Ralph Greenson who gave the star a fatal injection of pentobarbital to the heart.
Those are the explosive allegations detailed in a blockbuster new book by writers Jay Margolis, a long-time investigative reporter and Monroe expert, and Richard Buskin, a New York Times bestselling author of 30 non- fiction books. The volume - The Murder of Marilyn Monroe: Case Closed - claims to blow the lid off the world’s most notorious and talked-about celebrity death through eyewitness testimony and interviews, MailOnline can exclusively reveal.
16 May 2014
Vice President Joe Biden’s youngest son Hunter Biden has joined the board of directors of Ukraine’s largest oil company at a time that the U.S. is urging Ukraine to develop energy independence from Russia and just days after the vice president visited Ukraine.
The vice president’s office and the White House rejected any suggestion that there was a conflict of interest. “Hunter Biden is a private citizen and a lawyer,” Vice President Biden’s spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff told ABC News. “The vice president does not endorse any particular company and has no involvement with this company.”
White House spokesman Jay Carney said, “Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family are obviously private citizens and where they work … does not reflect an endorsement by the administration or by the vice president or president.”
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was forced to take shelter in a supermarket by a furious crowd of protesters in the mining disaster-struck town of Soma. As thousands of anxious relatives continue to wait for news, Erdogan was accused of ignoring warnings over safety at the coal pit. A convoy containing his car was attacked by crowds and he was forced to seek refuge in a supermarket, surrounded by police.
With tensions running high, protesters shouted for him to resign and said he was a "murderer" and a "thief". It has been reported that the PM then engaged in a scuffle with one protester. A video shows people booing and whistling at Erdoğan, who then appears to single out one protester (below).
14 May 2014
From Glasgow to Brighton the streets of the UK look a little different this week. In 10 cities guerrilla install crews have been swapping 365 ads with art works, creating the largest advertising takeover in world history.
13 May 2014
A filmmaker on a search to uncover the European Union: does Europe provide jobs and democracy, or is it a big business project? A deeply personal and revealing documentary from the creators of the 2012 hit Panopticon. EUROMANIA shows what is happening to people and countries all over Europe. Democracies are being changed in depended states where a small group of people call all the shots.
See it at euromaniafilm.com
The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) concluded their 192nd meeting on Thursday with the ruling that women are un-Islamic and that their mere existence contradicted Sharia and the will of Allah. As the meeting concluded CII Chairman Maulana Muhammad Khan Shirani (see his Facebook page) noted that women by existing defied the laws of nature, and to protect Islam and the Sharia women should be forced to stop existing as soon as possible. The announcement comes a couple of days after CII’s 191st meeting where they dubbed laws related to minimum marriage age to be un-Islamic.
After declaring women to be un-Islamic, Shirani explained that there were actually two kinds of women – haraam and makrooh. “We can divide all women in the world into two distinct categories: those who are haraam and those who are makrooh. Now the difference between haraam and makrooh is that the former is categorically forbidden while the latter is really really disliked,” Shirani said.
He further went on to explain how the women around the world can ensure that they get promoted to being makrooh, from just being downright haraam. “Any woman that exercises her will is haraam, absolutely haraam, and is conspiring against Islam and the Ummah, whereas those women who are totally subservient can reach the status of being makrooh. Such is the generosity of our ideology and such is the endeavour of Muslim men like us who are the true torchbearers of gender equality,” the CII chairman added.
12 May 2014
Boko Haram released a new video on Monday claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging they had converted to Islam and would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed.
11 May 2014
As the US says there is "no confirmation" that American mercenaries are operating in Ukraine, Iraq war veteran Michael Prysner told RT that private US armies have been covertly operating globally wherever there is "dirty work" needs to be done.
The British Duke of York will be the keynote speaker at a conference in London this Friday celebrating Bahrain as a place of religious freedom and tolerance of divergent opinions. Speaking during a visit to Bahrain last month, he said: "I believe that what's happening in Bahrain is a source of hope for many people in the world and a source of pride for Bahrainis."
This is very strange, as the island kingdom of Bahrain has a proven record of jailing and torturing protesters demanding democratic rights for the Shia majority, an estimated 60 per cent of Bahraini citizens, from the Sunni al-Khalifa monarchy. In its annual report on human rights, the US State Department identifies many abuses, the most serious of which include "citizens' inability to change their government peacefully; arrest and detention of protesters on vague charges, in some cases leading to their torture in detention". It draws attention to the fact that "discrimination [has] continued against the Shia population".
None of this should be too surprising. In March 2011, the government in Bahrain crushed the Bahraini version of the Arab Spring, treating protesters and anybody associated with them, such as doctors who treated injured demonstrators, with extreme brutality. The Bahrain independent commission of inquiry, set up by the Bahraini government itself, described at least 18 different techniques used to mistreat or torture detainees including electric shocks, beating on the soles of the feet with rubber hoses, sleep deprivation and threats of rape. More than 30 Shia mosques, religious meeting places and holy sites were bulldozed on the pretext that they had no planning permission.
9 May 2014
Russia has celebrated the 69th anniversary of Victory over Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War (WWII) with a traditional May 9 military parade on Moscow’s Red Square, which featured 11,000 troops, 149 military vehicles and 69 warplanes.
Not much has changed since the soviet days:
Or the first parade:
The Moscow Victory Parade of 1945 was a victory parade held by the Soviet army (with a small squad from the Polish army) after the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Great Patriotic War. It took place in the Soviet capital of Moscow, mostly centering around a military parade through Red Square. The parade took place on a rainy June 24, 1945, over a month after May 9, the day of Germany's surrender to Soviet commanders.
8 May 2014
Brutal, immature, comical, strange, and disillusioned would probably be some of the adjectives people think of when asked to describe the leadership in North Korea. We'll take that a step further. Here are 25 reasons North Korea is the most ridiculous dictatorship ever.
5 May 2014
4 May 2014
Two days of chaos and violence in east and south-east Ukraine appeared on Saturday to be pushing the country ever closer to civil war, as the death toll rose to 42 following a military counter-offensive launched by authorities in Kiev against pro-Russia rebels.
An angry crowd confronted police outside the trade union building in Odessa where dozens of pro-Russia activists died on Friday night in a blaze started during clashes with pro-Ukraine protesters. Fighting continued in the east as the Ukrainian army continued to oust pro-Russia rebels.
The region has been rocked by unrest since the new government in Kiev came to power following demonstrations that ousted pro-Russia president Viktor Yanukovych at the end of February. Many in Ukraine's east, which has strong economic and cultural ties with Russia, say they now feel marginalised. What began as small-scale unrest rapidly escalated into an armed rebellion as pro-Russia militia groups seized government buildings. Kiev and its western allies have accused the Kremlin of orchestrating the chaos, which follows a Putin-backed putsch that resulted in Crimea's annexation last month.
3 May 2014
The judge trying three al-Jazeera journalists in Egypt wished them a happy World Press Freedom Day before refusing them bail and adjourning their case until 15 May.
In a brief session on Saturday, one of the trio, al-Jazeera English's Cairo bureau chief, Mohamed Fahmy, was allowed to leave the defendants' cage to explain to the judge the nature of journalism. The judge, Mohamed Nagy, then adjourned proceedings because Fahmy's lawyer had failed to turn up due to a private emergency.
Fahmy, the Australian ex-BBC journalist Peter Greste and a local producer, Baher Mohamed, have been in jail since late December, and stand accused of creating false news, smearing Egypt's reputation, and aiding terrorists. They are charged alongside five students with connections to the banned Muslim Brotherhood, and prosecutors have tried to show that al-Jazeera is part of a pro-Brotherhood conspiracy.
The Sultan of Brunei has confirmed that a law calling for homosexuals to be stoned to death will be phased in from tomorrow. The law was announced earlier this month, and replaces the maximum ten-year prison sentence for homosexuality with death by stoning. It was condemned by the UN, and a host of celebrities including Stephen Fry, Ellen DeGeneres and Sharon Osbourne, who targeted the Brunei-owned Dorchester Collection for boycotts.
The sweeping law was initially due to come into effect on April 22, but was postponed due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’. Despite the delays, the Sultan today confirmed the law, which will apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims, will be phased in over a two-year period from tomorrow. He said: “Today, I place my faith in and am grateful to Allah the almighty to announce that …, Thursday 1 May 2014, will see the enforcement of Sharia law phase one, to be followed by the other phases.”
According to the Brunei Times, the first phase of the sweeping law will increase fines and prison sentences for various crimes. Phase two, which restores corporal punishment including amputations for thieves, will come into effect within 12 months, and phase three, which introduces the death penalty, will come into effect within 24 months. Under the law, the death penalty can be applied for rape, adultery, sodomy, extramarital sexual relations for Muslims, insulting any verses of the Quran and Hadith, blasphemy, declaring oneself a prophet or non-Muslim, and murder.
Shimi Asresay and Hili Noy Graduation short film from Bezalel Academy of Art and Design, Jerusalem.
The peaceful daily routine of father and son is interrupted by an encounter of an unfamiliar boy, different from them in color. An allegory to the phenomena of racism as an acquired cultural epidemic, the story discusses the question of the personal conscience of each of us, versus the education we receive from our families and environment. Can we really insist on our personal belief system, when what we must believe in, is dictated to us?
The film presents how easily we acquire fear and hatred of foreigners, as well as how easily we might become the "strangers" and "others" ourselves.
1 May 2014
Global press freedom has fallen to its lowest level in over a decade, according to the latest edition of Freedom House's press freedom survey. The decline was driven in part by major regression in several Middle Eastern states, including Egypt, Libya, and Jordan; marked setbacks in Turkey, Ukraine, and a number of countries in East Africa; and deterioration in the relatively open media environment of the United States.
Freedom of the Press 2014 found that despite positive developments in a number of countries, most notably in sub-Saharan Africa, the dominant trends were reflected in setbacks in every other region.