News you won’t read, see or hear in the Australian mainstream media.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY!
“My opinion of Christian Zionists? They’re scum. But don’t tell them that. We need all the useful idiots we can get right now.” — Benyamin Netanyahu, at the time a former prime minister
Hands-on In its most recent quarterly earnings report, Microsoft highlighted its increasingly popular Surface line as the growth leader in its More Personal Computing line of business. Surface led the category with 61 per cent growth in constant currency, a rise driven by the top products in the line, the Surface Pro 4 tablet and the Surface Book detachable-tablet laptop.
Despite its popularity, the future of Surface — particularly the Surface Pro 4 and the Surface Book — may depend on Microsoft’s ability to address a reliability issue now known colloquially by an alarming number of users as “Sleep of Death.”
There is every indication that provocations continue. Generally, war is good for business, but too big of a war could be disastrous even for those pushing for it.
Ridiculous narratives and pretexts for interventions in Syria and Ukraine have accompanied even more ridiculous attempts on the part of the United States and NATO to prod the Russian Bear and stoke just enough conflict to keep defense budgets big, and the population fearful.
But will they ever go all the way, and push for the real thing? The hot war with Russia? It is entirely possible, and there is plenty of evidence to suggest that Putin is all-too-ready for his American counterparts, who would almost certainly find they have bitten off more than they can chew.
Beware what you wish for: Russia is ready for war.
So foreign ministers from the 28 NATO member-nations met in Brussels for a two-day summit, while mighty military power Montenegro was inducted as a new member.
Just because something (like a war against Russia) is the most pig-headedly, ham-fistedly stupid thing for the US and/or NATO to do is, unfortunately, absolutely no guarantee that they will not do it.
Calls to boycott Israel are covered by the right to free speech, Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders has announced, upholding the Boycott, Sanctions and Divestment (BDS) Movement’s right to operate in Netherlands despite Israel’s objections.
The Netherlands is looking like a great place to live!
In early April, as renewed fighting between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region made headlines in Turkey, there was little talk of the crucial role of Israeli weapons in the clashes. Only the daily Hurriyet reported on Azerbaijan’s use of the Israeli Harop armed drone, which generated Armenian protests.
Justice and Development Party (AKP) spokesperson Omer Celik summarized why the issue should be important to the press: “Azerbaijan’s battle is our battle; their martyrs are our martyrs.” Indeed, Azerbaijan consistently scores as Turkey’s closest friend in Turkish public opinion polls, while Israel maintains its status as a serious threat in the same polls.
The Senate used money from benefit cuts to military veterans in the 2016 budget to pay for the resettlement of an additional 3,000 Afghan interpreters in the United States. A dispute over a similar pay-for plan is behind the Judiciary Committee’s refusal to expand the program again in the 2017 budget.
The Special Immigrant Visa program allows Afghan interpreters who aide the U.S. government to get out of harm’s way by resettling in the United States, and last year the Senate authorized a major expansion of the program. The $336 million price tag of the expansion fell on U.S. military veterans in the form of increased pharmacy co-pays, The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned.
“That’s bullshit,” former Army combat veteran Alex Plitsas told The DCNF. “Military families shouldn’t be paying for the SIV program through a pseudo tax. The program should be funded outright because of the service our interpreters rendered. This is infuriating.”
And a memo to the Senators who thought this was a good idea, to cut Veterans’ benefits to pay for the SIV program: YOU’RE FIRED, COME NOVEMBER!!
The targeted assassination of Taliban leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour last weekend wasn’t just another drone strike.
In other words, if the United States is sending drones after targets in Balochistan, what will prevent it from taking out a suspected terrorist on the crowded streets of Karachi or Islamabad?
The Obama administration is congratulating itself on removing a bad guy who was targeting US military personnel in Afghanistan. But the strike itself may not produce any greater willingness on the part of the Taliban to enter into negotiations with the Afghan government. Mansour, according to the administration, opposed such negotiations, and the Taliban has indeed refused to join talks in Pakistan with the Quadrilateral Coordination Group – Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, the United States – unless foreign troops are first removed from Afghanistan.
This “kill for peace” strategy of the Obama administration may backfire.
The American people need to demand far better from our civilian and military leadership than a “crapshoot”, which could just push the Taliban even further away from any reconcilliatory talks with the Pakistani government and beyond.
It was recently uncovered that the top selling children’s vitamin brand could be doing much more harm than it is doing good. The Flintstones Vitamins, which have been the #1 brand in the US for years, has recently been exposed for containing GMOs and cancer-causing toxins such as Aspartame.
Ironically, Flintstones Vitamins are advertised as the “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice” for children’s vitamins.
However, the list of ingredients below are far from healthy or safe for children…
Every Friday in recent months has seen major public protests in Baghdad, usually in the tens of thousands and sometimes in the hundreds of thousands. After last week’s violent crackdowns left four protesters dead and over 100 wounded, Prime Minister Hayder Abadi is now warning the protesters to stay away.
Abadi insisted that ending the protests for the duration of the invasion of the city of Fallujah, launched earlier this week, is necessary because the military is “preoccupied” with the offensive, saying that the public could best support the offensive by not demonstrating against the government.
The protests, largely organized by Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, seek major reforms of the government, including the installation of a cabinet of technocrats. Though Abadi did nominate such a cabinet, parliament never voted on it, and has been in such turmoil since the nomination it appears unlikely a vote will ever come.
Both the Iraqi government and US government are in the painful process of denial over losing power to Muktada Al Sadr.
It is not going to take much to tip the already-furious Iraqi people into a full-on revolution, with Al-Sadr at its head, and the US military becoming
“unwelcome” in Iraq. And unfortunately, looking at the current state of the Iraqi government, such a transition appears to not be an “if” but “when” issue.
And I can assure you of one thing; if and when Al-Sadr creates a government, and an Oil Ministry, that oil ministry is going to sell Iraqi oil in any currency which is the best deal for the Iraqi people and government; and that may well not be for the US dollar, either.
The State Department’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG) delivered a sharp rebuke to Hillary Clinton yesterday, in a report that heavily criticized her use of a private email server while secretary of state.
But the report included more than evidence of Clinton’s bad judgment.
It proved she has been lying about her emails for months.
Despite repeated denials from Clinton that her emails were compromised, the OIG report concluded that she likely knew her server was hacked — and went to lengths to keep from reporting it.
Already, Clinton faces questions about her trustworthiness, with months of polling showing voters give her low marks for integrity.
As thousands prepare to make trips across the Channel for the bank holiday weekend, British motorists were advised to cancel trips to France today as fuel pumps ran dry and violent industrial action against employment reform spread across the country.
Up to half of the country’s 12,000-odd petrol stations are now empty, as riot police were sent in to try and lift blockades of fuel refineries.
By this afternoon, all but one of the blockades manned by union activists had been cleared away, a government spokesman said, adding that the situation is ‘improving everywhere, all over the country’.
It came as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls warned that ‘this country is dying from its inability to reform’.
Meanwhile, a mass brawl involving people smugglers at the ‘Jungle’ refugee camp in Calais left 40 injured, including a young female aid worker, yesterday.
Oh yeah; that “let’s blend all the human races together into one homogeneous herd of obedient and pliant workers” idea is working out real swell!!!!!!!!
The U.S. has lifted all nuclear-related sanctions as promised in the nuclear deal with Iran, but has not changed the primary U.S. embargo on the Islamic Republic, said an official of the U.S. Treasury Department Wednesday.
The U.S. will continue to prohibit Americans from investing in Iran, importing or exporting to Iran most goods or services, or otherwise engaging in commercial or financial dealings with most Iranian persons or companies, said Adam Szubin, acting under secretary of the Treasury Department, adding that the embargo long pre-dates Washington’s concerns with Tehran’s nuclear program.
“Along these lines, let me also say clearly that we have not promised, nor do we have any plans, to give Iran access to the U.S. financial system,” Szubin said before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
regarding these sanctions: the US government is, collectively, behaving like a two year old with a temper tantrum.
The only reason the US government is keeping the sanctions in place is to assuage Israel’s Netanyahu, and perhaps preventing him from bombing Iran unilaterally.
An historic deal between the European Union and Turkey detailing the administration of Syrian refugees continues to unravel amid concerns by Brussels regarding Ankara’s quickly deteriorating record on human rights.
Recently, European leaders nearly unanimously signaled an unwillingness to approve visa-free travel for Turkish residents within the Schengen zone, citing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s persecution of domestic opposition and dissent. Europe’s decision to retreat from offering Turkey visa-free travel, a critical component of the EU-Turkey refugee negotiations, tipped Erdogan into a fit of rage on Tuesday.
Speaking at a World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Erdogan threatened to unleash a flood of refugees
Speaking at a World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, Erdogan threatened to unleash a flood of refugees into Europe if the EU failed to approve his visa-free travel demands.
A world Humanitarian summit being held in …Istanbul, the capital of a country practicing serial genocide against Turkish Kurds; somehow, you have to appreciate the irony here!
But Erdogan appears to be falling apart, mentally and politically.
I think the next step in Turkey will be very dependent on what the Turkish army believes it needs to do to restore order in the country.
G7 leaders confirmed their intention to stick to anti-Russian sanctions imposed in connection to Crimea.
The G7 leaders have stressed that sanctions against Russia will remain in place until full implementation of the Minsk peace agreement on Ukraine, pointing out, however, that maintaining constant dialogue with Russia is crucial to the peaceful resolution of the crisis.
“We stand united in our conviction that the conflict in Ukraine can only be solved by diplomatic means and in full respect for international law, especially the legal obligation to respect Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence. We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia and reaffirm our policy of its non-recognition and sanctions against those involved,” the G7 leaders said.
So, it appears that the EU is trying the “if at first you don’t succeed, lie, lie again” approach to Russia, in keeping these sanctions in place.
But the rest of the world, including thinking Americans, know what is going on here.
When Yanukovich was thrown under the proverbial bus, by Poroshenko’s people, Crimean leadership realized that it had zero credible government in Kiev.
They had a referendum, through which they petitioned the Russian Federation to join it. And in what was attested to being a free and fair election, the referendum carried. Russia then invited them to become a part of the Russian Federation, which they did.
Anyone in the EU with just a smattering of familiarity with Russian history would know that Crimea had been part of Russia until it was annexed by Ukraine in the 1950s by the USSR’s Khrushchev, himself an ethnic Ukrainian.
Russia did nothing wrong here, and to describe the process of Crimea’s referendum as a Russian “annexation” is one big, fat, hairy lie; the EU members know this, but they stick with it.
But financially, not trading with Russia could put the EU at great financial risk, particularly if the Brexit, Frexit, and Grexit get real, which will signal the end of the EU and the Euro.
o American has been more associated with the Navy SEAL mystique than Chris Kyle, known as the deadliest sniper in U.S. military history. His bestselling autobiography, American Sniper — a story of honor, glory, and quiet heroism — has sold more than a million copies. The movie adaptation became the highest-grossing war film in American history.
“All told,” Kyle wrote in his book, “I would end my career as a SEAL with two Silver Stars and five Bronze [Stars], all for valor.”
But Kyle, who was murdered by a fellow military veteran several years after leaving the Navy, embellished his military record, according to internal Navy documents obtained by The Intercept. During his 10 years of military service and four deployments, Kyle earned one Silver Star and three Bronze Stars with Valor, a record confirmed by Navy officials.
The head of a powerful Islamic council is refusing to back down from a proposal that make it legal for husbands to “lightly beat” their wives in Pakistan, despite ridicule and revulsion including calls that maybe the clerics should stand for their own gentle smack down.
Speaking to reporters, the chairman of the Council of Islamic Ideology, Muhammad Kahn Sherani, said a “light beating” should be a last resort.
“If you want her to mend her ways, you should first advise her. … If she refuses, stop talking to her … stop sharing a bed with her, and if things do not change, get a bit strict,” Sherani said, according to Pakistan’s Express-Tribune newspaper.
If all else fails, he added, “hit her with light things like handkerchief, a hat or a turban, but do not hit her on the face or private parts.”
I have to wonder if covert knife-throwing seminars will become all the rage for Pakistani women, after this “religious” ruling; at the moment, I wouldn’t bet against it.
Between acid attacks, honor killings, female genital mutilations, consistent beatings,and forced marriages, women in this part of the world do not have an easy time of it at all.
The U.S. mainstream media has now gone into panic mode after GOP Presidential Nominee Donald J. Trump has raised the fact that former top aide to Clinton, Vince Foster, was likely ‘suicided’ by the powers-that-be.
Webmaster addition: And as you probably noticed, Hillary’s million-dollar online thug squad is attacking websites carrying the evidence that Foster was murdered.
SOME 300 U.S. SPECIAL FORCES ILLEGALLY INVADED SYRIA TO SUPPORT THE SYRIAN KURDS OF THE YPG ORGANIZATION. THE TURKS SEE THE YPG AS A SISTER ORGANIZATION TO THE KURDISH PKK GUERRILLA IN TURKEY WHICH AREA DESIGNATED TERRORIST ORGANIZATION WHILE THEY ARE FIGHTING FOR AUTONOMY WITHIN TURKEY. ONLY YESTERDAY SIX TURKISH SECURITY PERSONAL DIED DURING FIGHTS WITH THE PKK. TO TURKS THE YPG ARE TERRORISTS.
Yesterday the U.S. special forces screwed up mightily by displaying the insignia of the “terrorists” while combating the Islamic State. Leading U.S. media though try to calm the situation down by misleading their readers.
I would strongly suspect that the number of US Special Forces in Syria are far larger than the number here suggests.
Also, as reported today at zerohedge.com, the first photos of American troops in Syria have been released.
Following the propagandist double-speak gushing forth from the Obama administration over when a “boot on the ground” in Syria is a “boot on the ground,” the following photographs via Agence France-Presse confirm US special operation forces in a rural village 40 miles from Raqqa. As The Guardian reports, the Pentagon press secretary, resisted commenting on the photographs and would only describe the US special operations forces’ mission in generic terms, despite the fact that these troops are at the frontline of fighting when President Obama assured America that forces are consistently behind the forward lines. In April, State Department spokesman John Kirby attempted to change the narrative in a stumbling proposterous way denying President Obama had ever said “no boots on the ground” in Syria…
Sorry, John Kirby: President Obama made that pledge to both the American people and the world that there would be no US military boots on the ground no less than 16 times.
Since 2013, President Obama has repeatedly vowed that there would be no “boots on the ground” in Syria. But White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the president’s decision Friday to send up to 50 special forces troops to Syria doesn’t change the fundamental strategy: “This is an important thing for the American people to understand. These forces do not have a combat mission.” Earnest said the promises of “no boots on the ground” first came in the context of removing Syrian President Bashar Assad because of his use of chemical weapons. Since then, Syria has become a haven for Islamic State fighters. Here’s a recap of Obama’s no-boots pledge:
It has got to be tough to continue to swallow Obama’s “verbal ejaculate”, and neither choke nor vomit, but that is the job of a White House press secretary these days.
We know President Obama has lied; we know that you have lied; and if I as an ordinary citizen understand this, so do millions of other thinking Americans.
Sorry, John: this is not working; and the reality is, President Obama wants to regime change Syria, and by any means necessary, as soon as he can.
Right now, I would not bet against out an attempted US Special Ops decap strike against Al-Assad himself.
Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, 91, died at her home in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, on May 26, 2016. An internationally renowned, respected and admired advocate for human and civil rights, Hedy was encircled by friends who lovingly cared for her at home.
British voters are being “conned” by Brussels officials who are keeping plans for a European army secret until after the referendum, leading Tories have claimed.
Liam Fox, the former defence secretary who served under David Cameron, told The Telegraph that the ambitions showed the EU is wedded to the “dangerous fantasy” of creating a single defence force.
Another eurosceptic Tory MP said voters were being “deceived” and “hoodwinked” about the true scale of the EU’s drive to create a single army.
The backlash came as it emerged plans to move towards the creation of a European army are being kept secret from British voters until the day after next month’s referendum.
What is so horrific about this plan for a unified, European Army that Brits are not supposed to know about it until the day AFTER the referendum next month?!?
IF I were a Brit, I would want to know, and right the heck now, what Brussels had in store for this Army, and what the British commitment to it would be.
On Thursday, China’s defense ministry asserted that it acted within the rules of engagement after American officials criticized Beijing for a “provocative” and “unsafe” intercept of a US surveillance aircraft over the South China Sea last week.
A Pentagon spokesperson alleged that two Chinese fighter jets undertook an illegal intercept of an American spy plane during “a routine US patrol” over international airspace, heightening the risk of military miscalculation in the hotly contested region. The Chinese J-11 fighter jets flew within 50 feet (15 meters) of the US EP-3 aircraft, just east of Hainan Island.
Chinese defense ministry spokesman Yang Yujan took exception to the recounting of events, telling a monthly news briefing that the Chinese fighter pilots acted professionally and in line with international rules.
In Official Washington’s propaganda world, the U.S. government and its “allies” are always standing for what’s right and good and the “enemies” are the epitome of evil doing the vilest things. But some emails to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton depicted a far different reality, writes Robert Parry.
On Wednesday, Special Operations troops from more than a dozen countries jumped out of helicopters, rappelled from buildings and expended hundreds of rounds of ammunition as they attempted to rescue the mayor of this Florida city.
The operation was, of course, an exercise, but it was also a public spectacle for a force that has tried desperately to remain in the shadows despite now being at the forefront of America’s wars.
Aside from U.S. Special Operations forces, including Navy SEALs, Marine Raiders and Army Green Berets, countries such as Ireland and Jordan also participated in the exercise. Many of the participants covered their faces, and only a select few were allowed to speak to the media afterward.
War – as the Prussian General Von Clauswitz used to say – is diplomacy carried on by other means.
And unfortunately, US foreign policy has been murderously transformed in the 21st century to an era of regime change, and the illegal and immoral acquisition of foreign resources to which the US, and US and multinational corporations, have absolutely no moral right.
We are no longer a nation of laws, but decrees and Executive Orders, courtesy of the alleged “Divine Right” of the President, who can order extrajudicial assassinations just as easily as one might order a piece of pie at a restaurant. And decades ago, H. Rap Brown made the observation that “Violence is as American as cherry pie.” Unfortunately, when it comes to US governmental misappropriation of military power, he was absolutely correct.
There has to be a peaceful reckoning here, and a collective moral, and spiritual awakening of the American people; how dare this government be doing such things while our Vets sleep homeless in our streets; our infrastructure crumbles, and jobs keep leaving this country?!?!?
Sadly, We the People are no longer represented at all by our alleged State and Federal Representatives; this is a government of the corporations; for the corporations, and by the corporations. Except for giving the appearance of participating in a democratic republic, by that Kabuki-like process of “voting” ( for two individuals who have been vetted by the major corporations who have been assured that they will get everything they want from those candidates, ), We the People have become irrelevant.
In looking at the two presumptive Presidential candidates, I am frankly looking the person who seems least likely to start World War III, and that person is Donald Trump.
Clinton has already threatened to start a war with Iran. As reported at glolbalresearch.ca on the 15th of this month:
Note: This piece which is of extreme relevance to the US election campaign was originally published in July 2015. On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an “existential threat to Israel… I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program.” Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran. They are the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism. They use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel. We…have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to reign in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness. Fact: US and Israeli intelligence both say Iran’s nuclear program has no military component. No evidence whatever suggests Tehran wants one. Plenty indicates otherwise. As a 2008 presidential aspirant, she addressed AIPAC’s annual convention saying: The United States stands with Israel now and forever. We have shared interests….shared ideals….common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel’s security. (O)ur two nations are fighting a shared threat” against Islamic extremism. I strongly support Israel’s right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense. I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats. I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas’ campaign of terror. No such campaign exists. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents. Clinton repeated tired old lies saying Hamas’ charter “calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran threatens to destroy Israel.” “I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late.” She backs “massive retaliation” if Iran attacks Israel, saying at the time: “I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”
Iranian leadership is many things, but stupid is not one of them; Iran will not attack Israel because they know that if they do this, the country will be reduced to a puddle of green glass by US/Israeli counter attacks.
But in this equation, there is a 6,000 lb gorilla, snoozing on the Bosedorfer baby grand piano, which Clinton is avoiding talking about like the plague, and that is Russia.
And unfortunately, when Clinton spews this kind of hubristic rhetoric, none of the alleged correspondents covering her speeches ever has the gonadal tissue to ask her, “If Iran is attacked, what will Russia do?!?”
And please do not believe, for one second, that Russia’s leadership, from Putin, or his successor will be on down, will just hold hands and sing “Kumbyah” if such a thing should happen as a US war against Iran.
Russian political and military leaders have been very clear, and very public, that should Iran be attacked, Russia will come to its aid, militarily. And right now, the US military doesn’t have the money, the troop strength, the weaponry,or the manufacturing to ensure a positive outcome to a war against Russia.
The fact that Secretary Clinton would make this threat against Iran without really knowing what the facts are on the ground, in order to get “better into bed” with Israeli Prime Minister’s ultra-rightist regime, scares the stuffing out of me. There is a willful recklessness in her nature, as demonstrated by the email scandal, which makes her unworthy to be the President of this country.
US Special Forces operatives have been photographed fighting alongside the Kurdish militia in northern Syria in a drive against the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa. The Pentagon insists the Americans are there in “advise and assist” capacity only, however.
Russia’s Defense Ministry says the Turkish government continues to supply al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front terrorists fighting in Syria with weapons in a bid to undermine the Syrian army in its fight against foreign-backed Takfiri militants.
The key structures that defined the post-war development strategy of the West were the Central financial institutions of Great Britain and the United States — the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve System (FRS) — and the associated financial and industrial organizations set out a target to establish absolute control over the financial system of Germany to control political processes in Central Europe.
First Vice-President of the European Commission said that European Union will spend over 10 billion euros ($11 billion) in 2015-2016 to solve the current migrant crisis.
Alan Greenspan issued a dire warning about the U.S. economy during an interview with Fox News on Thursday. Greenspan said that as Venezuela descends into martial law, the U.S. is heading in the same direction.
Greenspan warned that the U.S. has “a global problem of a shortage of productivity growth” which is leading it into an impending disaster.
“What the Fed does at this particular stage is less important than what the markets are doing. And what the markets are beginning to show us is acceleration in money supply for the first time in a very long time… We have a global problem of a shortage in productivity growth and it’s not only the United States but it’s pretty much around the world and it’s being caused by the fact that the populations everywhere in the Western world, for example, are aging and we are not committing enough of our resources to fund that,” he said.
Long term economic growth cannot happen if decent jobs keep getting off-shored/outsourced; that is one aspect of the problem about which Greenspan is noticeably reluctant to speak.
If the guarantee of decent jobs after college doesn’t pan out, women in long term relationships postpone, or avoid pregnancies completely; it is just that simple.
And I, for one, do not blame them; however, Greenspan seems to be waiving his finger at them, as though they were the problem, which they are not.
Rational people don’t want to bring kids into this world unless they have some hope of adequately and decently taking care of them, because jobs are there with which to feed, clothe, and educate them.
Greenpeace’s Energy Desk found out that the UK government is giving UK fossil fuel companies investing in fracking tax breaks in form of enhanced capital allowances that reduce their taxable profit.
“It’s inexcusable that Ministers are treating fracking firms to a generous tax loophole, whilst denying clean, renewable energy projects the very same tax breaks,” Caroline Lucas, a Green Party member of parliament, said, commenting on the findings.
From ministerial offices to barricades on the streets, Europe is in open revolt against anti-Russian sanctions which have cost workers and businesses millions of jobs and earnings. Granted, the contentious issues are wider than anti-Russian sanctions. However, the latter are entwined with growing popular discontent across the EU.
Germany’s vice chancellor Sigmar Gabriel is among the latest high-profile politicians to have come out against the sanctions stand-off between the European Union and Russia.
At stake is not just a crisis in the economy, of which the anti-Russian sanctions are symptomatic. It is further manifesting in a political crisis that is challenging the very legitimacy of EU governments and the bloc’s institutional existence. The issue is not so much about merely trying to normalize EU-Russian relations. But rather more about preserving the EU from an existential public backlash against anti-democratic and discredited authorities.
Plant and seed biodiversity are threatened in many parts of the world, but Aboriginal Australian women are helping to preserve one of the most valuable resources their country has — indigenous secrets to seed saving that have been practiced for over a thousand years…
May 27 07:51
It appears that America has awakened to the problem of mass incarceration–an issue underscored by the fact that the U.S. holds less than 5 percent of the world’s population but houses about 22 percent of the world’s prisoners. Congress is now making a token effort at criminal justice reform, including the reduction of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders, but even this faces opposition from the most fervent police state crusaders.
In the face of inaction, one New York judge is stepping outside the box to breathe life into a much-needed national debate. Judge Frederick Block of the Federal District Court chose not to send a woman to prison who was convicted of felony drug charges, instead sentencing her to probation.
Bravo for Judge Frederick Block having done the right thing here.
And believe me, I am the last person breathing who could ever be characterised as “soft on crime”.
But the prison industrial complex in this country has grown completely out of control, particularly for people who are non-violent offenders.
As reported by the Bureau of Justice Statistics 22 April, 2014:
Examines the 5-year post-release offending patterns of persons released from state prisons in 2005 by offender characteristics, prior criminal history, and commitment offense. It provides estimates on the number and types of crimes former inmates commit both prior to their imprisonment and after release. The report includes different measures of recidivism, including a new arrest, court adjudication, conviction, and incarceration for either a new sentence or a technical violation. It also documents the extent to which the released prisoners committed crimes in states other than the one that released them. Data are from the Bureau of Justice Statistics’ Recidivism Study of State Prisoners Released in 2005, which tracked a sample of former inmates from 30 states for five years following release in 2005. The findings are based on prisoner records obtained from the state departments of corrections through the National Corrections Reporting Program (NCRP) and criminal history records obtained through requests to the FBI’s Interstate Identification Index (III) and state repositories via the International Justice and Public Safety Network (Nlets). Highlights: Among state prisoners released in 30 states in 2005— About two-thirds (67.8%) of released prisoners were arrested for a new crime within 3 years, and three-quarters (76.6%) were arrested within 5 years. Within 5 years of release, 82.1% of property offenders were arrested for a new crime, compared to 76.9% of drug offenders, 73.6% of public order offenders, and 71.3% of violent offenders. More than a third (36.8%) of all prisoners who were arrested within 5 years of release were arrested within the first 6 months after release, with more than half (56.7%) arrested by the end of the first year. Two in five (42.3%) released prisoners were either not arrested or arrested once in the 5 years after their release. A sixth (16.1%) of released prisoners were responsible for almost half (48.4%) of the nearly 1.2 million arrests that occurred in the 5-year follow-up period.
Let those numbers sink in for a while.
This means that the American prison industrial complex is one, complete epic fail. And it is recidivism which keeps the money flowing for programs which, looking at those numbers, absolutely are not working.
The country of Sweden is emptying its prisons, and why?!?
Because their total approach is rehabilitation of the criminal, so when they get out, they do not re-offend, or at least not anywhere near the rate at which US criminals do.
What is wrong with this picture?!?
“September 11 is one of winning cards in the American archives, because all the wise people in the world who are experts on American policy and who analyze the images and the videos [of 9/11] agree unanimously that what happened in the [Twin] Towers was a purely American action, planned and carried out within the U.S. Proof of this is the sequence of continuous explosions that dramatically ripped through both buildings… Expert structural engineers demolished them with explosives, while the planes crashing [into them] only gave the green light for the detonation – they were not the reason for the collapse. But the U.S. still spreads blame in all directions. [This policy] can be dubbed ‘victory by means of archives.’
“On September 11, the U.S. attained several victories at the same time, that [even] the hawks [who were at that time] in the White House could not have imagined.
The refusal to declassify the evidence against the Saudis and the veto threat have put many commentators in high dudgeon.
What is going on here?
One possible answer is that the public’s confidence in the 9/11 story is eroding as a result of growing expert opinion that challenges the official line. In order to redirect the public’s skepticism, a red herring is being pulled across the trail. The Saudi angle satisfies the belief that some sort of government coverup is involved but redirects the suspicion from Washington to the Saudis. The Saudi angle also fits the neoconservatives’ original plan for overthrowing the Saudi government along with the governments of Iraq, Syria, and Iran. If the American people can be worked up against the Saudis, the neocons can get their wish for “regime change” in Saudi Arabia.
While rage was building against Israel during that summertime bloodbath, in the United States the story was far different. The American people, Waters says, held firm in their support for the bombing of Gaza. The much beloved talking point that “Israel has a right to defend itself,” one that became a kind of religious mantra during that war and those before it, is explored from the very start of the film.
With help from Peter Hart, of Fair Media Watch, Yousef Munayyer, executive director of The U.S. Campaign to End The Israeli Occupation, and others, the film deconstructs the establishment media’s propaganda efforts. Yousef Munayyer argues that when we examine the formula that mainstream media outlets follow we find Israeli spokespeople are over-represented when compared to Palestinian spokespeople by a margin of 3 to 1. So when Israel is discussed, we are inundated with commentary from officials, who propagate in support of Israel’s use of violence.
Doctors at a medical center in North Carolina have begun printing living tissue, including sections of bone, cartilage, and muscle, and have successfully transplanted them into animals.
The goal for researchers is to eventually use the technology to transplant tissues into human patients as a method of repairing damaged areas. More specifically, they hope to repair a variety of areas, such as a damaged jaw, scarred heart muscles, or even a missing ear…
Emily Wood, 28, from Poole, who lives with mother Valerie and carer father Roderick, says they have even visited the council houses to prove foreigners are being ‘bumped up’.
She said: ‘When we have gone round to see who has ended up in the property, it has usually been immigrants’.
Miss Wood fell out with MPs and audience members when she said her disabled mother could not get the council house she needs because immigrants are given priority.
Today the music producer stood by her comments on live TV last night and told MailOnline: ‘I felt I had to speak up for my generation’.
The Friday before Memorial Day weekend is typically dead on Wall Street. The bond market shuts early and trading in stocks slows to a trickle as everyone hightails it out of town.
Not this year.
At 1:15 p.m. New York time, just 45 minutes before the world’s biggest bond market is set to go dark for three days, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is due to speak at an event in Massachusetts that may turn into a crucial moment for investors handicapping the path of interest rates.
Though they look like something out of a superhero comic book, net launchers and net guns are devices that exist in the real world. They’re mainly used to humanely trap wild animals, or, in some cases, humans. Lately, they’ve taken on a new role: as a weapon in the fight against commercial drones flying in unauthorized airspace, be that over a classified military base or above a Russian ren faire.
“The best way to help Israel deal with Iran’s growing nuclear capability is to help the people of Syria overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad,” Clinton forthrightly starts off by saying.
Even though all US intelligence reports had long dismissed Iran’s “atom bomb” program as a hoax (a conclusion supported by the International Atomic Energy Agency), Clinton continues to use these lies to “justify” destroying Syria in the name of Israel.
She specifically links Iran’s mythical atom bomb program to Syria because, she says, Iran’s “atom bomb” program threatens Israel’s “monopoly” on nuclear weapons in the Middle East.
If Iran were to acquire a nuclear weapon, Clinton asserts, this would allow Syria (and other “adversaries of Israel” such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt) to “go nuclear as well,” all of which would threaten Israel’s interests.
Therefore, Clinton, says, Syria has to be destroyed.
‘In Europe they have to teach refugees not to rape local women…’
With just over six weeks to go before the long-awaited release of the Chilcot report into the Iraq War, the calls for former Prime Minister Tony Blair to be properly held to account for the lies he told us in the lead up to the illegal invasion are increasing by the day.
Bill 74 has passed almost without notice (the casino industry being the notable exception) and will see the government agency in charge of lotteries in the province, Loto-Québec, draw up a list of online gambling sites that they will then send to ISPs.
ISPs will be required to block access to those sites within 30 days or face a $100,000 fine.
Tory MPs have rounded on Prime Minister David Cameron after new figures revealed British overseas aid spending has rocketed to £13 billion (US$19 billion) per year.
An official government report shows the UK is the only member of the G7 – a collection powerful industrialized nations – to meet the UN’s target of 0.7 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) on aid.
If you’re poor, many Americans think, it’s your own fault. It’s a sign of your own moral failing.
I don’t personally believe that, but the idea has roots in our culture going back centuries.
May 26 14:15