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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Protesters in Anaheim, California want police brutality investigated:

Published on Jul 31, 2012 by RussiaToday : Protesters in California are demanding an investigation into police over a spate of shootings by officers in which two people died over a week ago. Demonstrators took to the streets for the ninth consecutive day, and want the state's top attorney to examine the incidents involving the Anaheim Police Department. At least 9 protestors were arrested on Monday. Ron Gochez, a community organizer, believes that the town's security apparatus is rotten to the core.

Monday, July 30, 2012

2012 Summer Olympics: 5 activist groups you’re likely to hear from in London

The Olympics were initially meant to bring countries together, and the Olympic torch was originally conceived as a symbol of harmony. But that vision may be a little too idyllic for modern times. Economic hardship and social unrest continue as London's Games get rolling, and organizers have braced themselves for a variety of demonstrations.
Already, as many as 400 took to the streets on Saturday in East London to demostrate against what they call the "Corporate Olympics." Police reported that the demonstration, organized by the Counter Olympics Network, unfolded "without any incident," but protesters voiced their anger over free tickets for the upper class and "roads being turned into exclusive highways for VIPs." The placement of missiles on residential rooftops was another complaint among the activisits.
In addition to the Counter Olympics Network, GlobalPost takes a look at four more protest groups that are likely to make a scene in London: Space HijackersArt Not OilGreenwash Gold, andAnonymous.
1. Counter Olympics Network (CON) is an umbrella group for people and organizations with a variety of concerns — including the environment, corporate power, civil liberties, housing and labor issues and more.
(Ben Stansall/AFP/Getty Images)
What they want: With so many broad concerns on its agenda, CON views the Olympics as a place to be heard. On its website, CON states its mission: “Our aim is not to oppose the Olympics as such, but to use the spectacle to strengthen existing campaigns and activism on local issues like housing, privatization and surveillance. We also want to hold the organizers of the Olympic games to account, to ensure the promises made to the local people impacted on by the Games are kept.”
How they go about getting it: A little civil disobedience. CON’s website includes updates on current campaigns, such as the "Counter Olympic Torch Relay," and also advertises upcoming events and demonstrations. Saturday's protest was titled "Whose games? Whose city?" and the poster promised “a fluffy, family friendly protest for all.”
Read more  >>

The world's most disputed waters

Published on Jul 30, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish : Tensions are rising in the South China Sea after China established a new city on a disputed island. Inside Story examines the world's most disputed waters and asks why China is making these seemingly provocative moves now.

Trafficked Into Tragedy: Abuse of Immigrant Workers In Afghanistan and Iraq

On every military base in Iraq and Afghanistan exists an economy sustained by immigrant workers. For transportation, construction, food services, security and more, the United States government relies on 174,000 laborers, 70,000 of them recruited from developing countries like Nepal, India, the Philippines and Uganda.
But not all of these workers voluntarily leave home to serve alongside the United States military. According to a report released in June by the American Civil Liberties Union and the Lowenstein Clinic at Yale Law School, many of these workers are tricked into working for American contractors and subcontractors who abuse them with "impunity" and subject them to grueling hours, meager wages, confinement and deadly working conditions.

In 2004, Buddhi Prasad Gurung and 12 other men from a village in Nepal were promised jobs in a luxury hotel in Jordan. Instead, they were sent to Iraq to work for a United States government subcontractor and, en route, were kidnapped by insurgents. Twelve men were executed "in the single largest set of executions of foreign captives by Iraqi insurgents."

Mr. Gurung survived the attack but said he had not been permitted to go home for 15 more months, according to a lawsuit against the subcontractor, Daoud & Partners, and the primary contractor, KBR.

In 2011, The New Yorker's Sarah Stillman documented Fijian beauticians who suffered from the same deceptive practices. "For the first time in American history, private-contractor losses are now on a par with those of U.S. troops in both war zones, amounting to 53 percent of reported fatalities in the first six months of 2010," she wrote.

The United States has a zero-tolerance policy toward human trafficking, but the report says existing measures — prevention, investigation and prosecution — are failing to curb the entrapment and abuse of foreign workers.

"Accountability exists in theory but not in practice: to date, the U.S. government has yet to fine or prosecute a single contractor for trafficking- or labor-related offenses," the report states.

Original Article | 30 July 2012 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Social media is lying to you about Burma’s Muslim ‘cleansing’?


Don't you wonder sometimes, that the information we are being fed on daily basis can be untrue entirely or exaggerated to the point where it loses all its truth? PHOTO: REUTERS
Social networking sites are abuzz with news about Muslims being killed in Burma.You can see the sporadic posting of pictures by different people with captions like ‘Muslims killing in Burma’, ‘Muslims slaughtered by Buddhists in Burma’ and so on.
Thus, I took on the mission to sort the truth out for myself once and for all and researched some pictures that I felt were dubious. Below are a few pictures and their original copies. You can evidently see the gross difference between them and how they are thrown out of context.
This was a picture shared on Facebook.

I have found the original version which reads differently to the the one posted on the social networking site.
This picture was taken in 2010 after an earthquake in China and captures the efforts put in by the Tibetans to help rescue the victims. Now, Islamic political parties and some other elements are sharing this image as Muslim killing and their slaughter in Burma.
Another widely circulated  picture captioned “More then 1,000 people killed in Burma” is also fake.
Read More | 19 July 2012 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

UN states fail to reach arms trade treaty

Published on Jul 27, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish : Efforts to create the first ever global Arms Trade Treaty have ended in failure. Delegates from around the world spent a month negotiating at the United Nations.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Record breaking drought to affect US food prices

Published on Jul 26, 2012 by PressTVGlobalNews : The record breaking temperatures in the U.S. and the worst drought in nearly half a century are now driving up food prices.

The Careerists

The Greatest Crimes Against Humanity Are Perpetrated by People Just Doing Their Jobs:

Businessman shadowThe greatest crimes of human history are made possible by the most colorless human beings. They are the careerists. The bureaucrats. The cynics. They do the little chores that make vast, complicated systems of exploitation and death a reality. They collect and read the personal data gathered on tens of millions of us by the security and surveillance state. They keep the accounts of ExxonMobil, BP and Goldman Sachs. They build or pilot aerial drones. They work in corporate advertising and public relations. They issue the forms. They process the papers. They deny food stamps to some and unemployment benefits or medical coverage to others. They enforce the laws and the regulations. And they do not ask questions.

Good. Evil. These words do not mean anything to them. They are beyond morality. They are there to make corporate systems function. If insurance companies abandon tens of millions of sick to suffer and die, so be it. If banks and sheriff departments toss families out of their homes, so be it. If financial firms rob citizens of their savings, so be it. If the government shuts down schools and libraries, so be it. If the military murders children in Pakistan or Afghanistan, so be it. If commodity speculators drive up the cost of rice and corn and wheat so that they are unaffordable for hundreds of millions of poor across the planet, so be it. If Congress and the courts strip citizens of basic civil liberties, so be it. If the fossil fuel industry turns the earth into a broiler of greenhouse gases that doom us, so be it. They serve the system. The god of profit and exploitation. The most dangerous force in the industrialized world does not come from those who wield radical creeds, whether Islamic radicalism or Christian fundamentalism, but from legions of faceless bureaucrats who claw their way up layered corporate and governmental machines. They serve any system that meets their pathetic quota of needs.

These systems managers believe nothing. They have no loyalty. They are rootless. They do not think beyond their tiny, insignificant roles. They are blind and deaf. They are, at least regarding the great ideas and patterns of human civilization and history, utterly illiterate. And we churn them out of universities. Lawyers. Technocrats. Business majors. Financial managers. IT specialists. Consultants. Petroleum engineers. "Positive psychologists." Communications majors. Cadets. Sales representatives. Computer programmers. Men and women who know no history, know no ideas. They live and think in an intellectual vacuum, a world of stultifying minutia. They are T.S. Eliot's "the hollow men," "the stuffed men." "Shape without form, shade without colour," the poet wrote. "Paralysed force, gesture without motion."


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Income inequality in America : The 99 percent

"Occupy Wall Street" gets a boost from a new report on income distribution
OF ALL the many banners being waved around the world by disgruntled protesters from Chile to Australia the one that reads, "We Are the 99%" is the catchiest.

It is purposefully vague, but it is also underpinned by some solid economics. A report from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) points out that income inequality in America has not risen dramatically over the past 20 years—when the top 1% of earners are excluded. With them, the picture is quite different.
The causes of the good fortune of those at the top are disputed, but the CBO provides some useful detail on that too. The biggest component of the increase in after-tax income for the top one percent is "business income" as opposed to income from labour or investments (though admittedly these things are hard to untangle).

Whatever the cause, the data are powerful because they tend to support two prejudices. First, that a system that works well for the very richest has delivered returns on labour that are disappointing for everyone else. Second, that the people at the top have made out like bandits over the past few decades, and that now everyone else must pick up the bill. Of course it is a little more complicated than that. But this downturn ought to test the normally warm feelings in America of the 99% towards the 1%.

Monday, July 23, 2012

UK Lib Dems ready for Labour coalition.

UK Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (from L)
UK Labour leader Ed Miliband and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg (from L)

The British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has expressed his openness to a possible future Liberal Democrat coalition with the Labour party after the next general election in 2015.

Speaking to the Sunday People, Clegg declared that his party would do its “duty" if it turned out that governing with Labour was the only way to form a government in the UK. 

He also stressed that in the case of Labour winning the most seats but falling short of a Commons majority, he could work with Labour’s leader, Ed Miliband, and that “personal likes and dislikes” were irrelevant. 

"If the British people, like they did last time, say no-one has won, then I'll be open to working with other parties," Clegg said. 

Being asked if he could do business with Miliband, he replied, “If the British people said that was the only combination which could work would be those two parties, in the same way as after the last election the only combination which could work was Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, it would be obvious that Liberal Democrats would need to do their duty." 

Meanwhile, Business Secretary Vince Cable indicated his readiness to succeed Clegg, whose party’s popularity has decreased since going into government with the Tories in May 2010. 

Earlier on June, a survey for the Sunday Express by pollsters Angus Reid showed that Britain’s Labour party has opened largest lead since December 2002, being put 14 points ahead of the Conservatives. 

Moreover, according to the poll, Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats with support levels of 29 percent and 9 percent respectively, were put behind the Labour's 43 percent support. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Collateral Damage?

Published on Jul 17, 2012 by aston79suara ; "We had no warning at all from the ship, we were speeding up to try and go around them and then suddenly we got fired at," 28-year-old Muthu Muniraj told Reuters from a hospital in Dubai on Tuesday.

The Bahrain-based US Navy Fifth Fleet issued a statement on Monday saying that the USNS Rappahannock only attacked a small motor boat near the Dubai port of Jebel Ali, killing one and injuring three Indian fishermen, after they "ignored the warnings and came too close."

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Paraguay: Impeachment or political coup?

Published on Jun 25, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish - Inside Story Americas: Fernando Lugo, the president of Paraguay, has vowed to fight on after being ousted in what he calls a parliamentary coup.

He was removed from office in a 39-4 vote by the opposition-controlled Senate on grounds that he encouraged land seizures and failed to maintain social harmony in Paraguay. But the new president, Federico Franco, says the Paraguayan Congress has acted legally. So was Lugo's removal justified, and what is next for Paraguay?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Chinese football crippled by corruption

Published on Jul 11, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish : Big money and a lack of organisational checks and balances has turned football into a 'dishonourable sport' in China, with scandals reported of bribery, game fixing, and illegal betting. Its reputation was so bad, at one point it has been called 'fake-ball' by many of its fans. 

To clean up, the Chinese government prosecuted a large number of high profile personalities over corrupt practices. A few weeks ago, two former football league chiefs, a national team captain, and four players from the only squad to ever make it to the World Cup finals were all jailed for 10 years. China is also bringing in big-time international players to try and restore confidence in the local leagues. Al Jazeera's Marga Ortigas reports from Hong Kong.

Monday, July 9, 2012

DN reported : Record Heat Wave Blamed for 74 Deaths in U.S.

A record-setting heat wave in the eastern United States is starting to ease after two weeks of scorching temperatures.

The heat wave has been blamed for causing at least 74 deaths from the Midwest to the East Coast, including 18 people around Chicago and 13 people in Maryland. All-time temperature highs hit major cities, including Philadelphia, Washington, St. Louis, Indianapolis and Louisville, with more than 4,500 heat records broken overall.

Dry conditions and a lack of rain are also devastating corn crops across the plains, which faces its worst drought in 25 years. Although eastern states will now see a respite, western states are facing a potential heat wave that could bring record highs later this week.

US heat wave: Temperatures predicted to fall

Published on Jul 8, 2012 by AlJazeeraEnglish ; Millions of people in the US are struggling with a record breaking heatwave. Temperatures have reached almost 40 degrees Celsius in more than 20 states. In the Midwest, the heat is even threatening the region's crops.