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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Renewable Energy Now Cheaper Than Fossil Fuel

Renewable energy is becoming more and more competitive. Alternative and renewable energy sources are increasingly becoming more affordable. According to a new study published in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, it is now less costly in America to get electricity from wind turbines and solar panels, than it is to get it from coal-fired power plants. The study shows, when climate change costs and other health impacts were factored in, that it is even more cost effective to convert an existing coal-fired power plant with a wind turbine, than it is to keep the old fossil fuel-burning plant.
Unsubsidized renewable energy is now cheaper than electricity from coal and gas power stations in Australia as well. Wind farms in Australia can produce energy at AU$80/MWh. Meanwhile, coal plants are producing energy at AU$143/MWh and gas at AU$116/MWh. And the myth that alternative energy sources were enormously more costly than the typical fossil fuels, is proving to be untrue. And after initial investment costs are waged, making them now ameliorated, and the raw materials for solar and wind power are free, besides costs of upkeep, and the harvesting of those sources doesn’t cause mayhem to the environment. Making it an ever-more appealing alternative energy source.
“The perception that fossil fuels are cheap and renewables are expensive is now out of date… The fact that wind power is now cheaper than coal and gas in a country with some of the world’s best fossil fuel resources shows that clean energy is a game changer which promises to turn the economics of power systems on its head,” – Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
“Burning coal is a very costly way to make electricity. There are more efficient and sustainable ways to get power,… We can reduce health and climate change costs while reducing the dangerous carbon pollution driving global warming.” – Dr. Laurie Johnson, chief economist in the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Since 1990, wind-generated power has grown 26 percent per year, and solar has risen 48 percent. In the United States, renewable energy accounted for 13.2 percent of the domestically produced electricity in 2012. U.S. wind power installed capacity now exceeds 60,000 MW and supplies 3% of the nations electricity. Not very inspiring figures. But the interest in finding new, cheaper, preferably renewable sources are inspiring innovationResearchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) developed an inexpensive solar cell that can be painted or printed on flexible plastic sheets. Which can then essentially be slapped onto a wall, roof, or billboard, in order to create a power station for the homeowner. In an effort to create something more affordable, Twin Creeks Technologies, a US-based solar energy company, created an ultra-thin solar cell that will cost half as much to produce as comparable cells.
Perovskites (a calcium titanium oxide mineral species composed of calcium titanate) have been known for over a century, but no one thought to try them in solar cells until recently. “While conventional silicon solar panels use materials that are about 180 micrometers thick, the new solar cells (using perovskites) use less than one micrometer of material to capture the same amount of sunlight.” New research on the combination, aims to reduce the cost or solar panels to between 10 and 20 cents per watt, current panels typically cost around 75 cents per watt.
Renewable energy sources (such as Hydro and wind) are expected to be plentiful enough to supply the needs of humanity for almost a billion years. We do not have to worry about renewable energy sources being depleted. And they are cleaner sources of energy which have a lower environmental impact than conventional sources.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gold mine creates controversy in Romania

Published on 12 Nov 2013 | Romania's Parliament debates whether to explore a massive new gold mine, in the Carpathian Mountains, which could contribute billions of dollars to the economy over 16 years, but opponents say might destroy the natural environment. Protests against it have rattled the governing coalition. Al Jazeera's John Psaropoulos reports from the Romanian village at the heart of the controversy

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sarah Harrison and Jeremy Hammond: People Have A Right to the Truth

Published on 10 Nov 2013 | Michael Ratner: Jeremy Hammond faces ten years in prison Nov. 15 for major act of civil disobedience hacking global intelligence.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

100,000 overseas Filipino workers in Saudi face jail, deportation?

P2 billion reintegration fund ready for OFWs - Palace

MANILA -- The government is ready to assist Filipinos who have yet to come home from Saudi Arabia as a result of an immigration law.
An analyst, however, fears more than 100,000 overseas Filipino workers could be arrested if they are found to be working with employers other than their original visa sponsors.
Lito Soriano, a migration and recruitment consultant, said the Saudi government is bent on weeding out undocumented OFWs and other expatriates because of the so-called “Saudization.”
Citing a Commission on Overseas Filipinos data, Soriano said there are around 108,000 irregular or undocumented Filipinos in Saudi Arabia as of December 2012.
The Saudi king has yet to respond to a letter of Vice President Jejomar Binay seeking another extension of the four-month grace period given in July. The amnesty period, which allows foreign nationals to correct their statuses or return to their home countries, lapses on November 3.
Soriano said the Ministry of Labor there has already ruled out an extension. Countrywide raids are expected on November 4, he said.
“The inspection of commercial premises will begin on Monday as planned. Various arms of the ministry are ready for the inspections. The government agencies, however, will not arrest those holding relevant documents and waiting to legalize their status or be repatriated,” he said.
In an interview on radio dzRB, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. assured the OFWs and their families that the government is already doing what it can to help in repatriation proceedings.
He said a total of 9,000 have been given travel documents, while some 1,500 are still waiting for their clearances from the immigration office.
According to Coloma, around 4,371 OFWs have already returned home ever since the new immigration law has been implemented.
“We will be giving them all the legal, financial and other necessary assistance,” Coloma said, adding that a P2-billion reintegration fund under the Department of Labor and Employment is readily available for the Filipinos.
Otherwise, the effect of the Saudization will be minimal since some of the Filipinos have already found other jobs, he said.

source ...

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Uruguay preparing for pot legalization

Published on 28 Oct 2013 | Pot smokers in Uruguay are happy. Lighting up a joint is expected to be made legal any day now. And so is the production and distribution of marijuana, as the government tries to undermine the drugs cartels. Monica Villamizar reports from Monevideo.

Monday, October 28, 2013

First-Ever Case of Canadian Mining Company Going To Trial In Canada For Alleged Abuses Abroad

Published on 27 Oct 2013 | The trial of HudBay Minerals marks a first-time legal precedent of a Canadian company being held to account in Canadian courts for alleged shootings and gang rapes in Guatemala.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

How the Internet Has Changed the News (VOA Oct. 25)

Published on 25 Oct 2013 | VOA multimedia reporter Kate Woodsome joins On Assignment's Imran Siddiqui to talk about the effects of the Internet age on reporting. Kate says covering breaking news on the Web is like being an air traffic controller -- sifting through multiple sources of information to get to the heart of what's happening.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Singapore to buy French Aster-30 surface-to-air missile system

Published on 18 Oct 2013 | 
Originally published on September 17, 2013 

Singapore will acquire a new European-made missile system named the Aster-30, the country's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said this week.

The city-state will buy the new surface-to-air missiles to replace the aging I-HAWK, already in service for 30 years, the minister announced on Monday.

"The Aster will allow us to engage multiple threats simultaneously and from a longer distance," Dr Ng told parliament. 

The Aster, developed by French firm MBDE Systems, like the I-HAWK from U.S. contractor Raytheon, is just over five meters in length, though it is 140 kilograms lighter and has a greater range than the I-HAWK.

Both systems rely on networked sensors for targeting information, though the Aster's are more advanced. The I-HAWK has a maximum range of 45 km. 
The Aster-30 has a range of 70 km and is more effective at engaging multiple air threats simultaneously.

Singapore has the largest defense budget in Southeast Asia, due to a cashed-up government benefiting from the country's robust economic growth.

It has set aside SG$12.34 billion ($9.8 billion) for defense in 2013, up from Sg$11.83 billion the previous year, the website Defence News reported.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Protesters in Cambodian capital call elections fraudulent

Published on 23 Oct 2013 | In Cambodia, there has been a large demonstration in the capital Phnom Penh. Opposition parties say national elections earlier this year were fraudulent. They want foreign intervention to force an investigation.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Following Nationwide Strikes, Bangladesh Garment Workers Win Minimum Wage Increase

Published on 21 Oct 2013 | Striking Bangladesh garment workers closed 20% of the country's garment production to achieve victory.

See more videos:

Radioactive Rainwater Overwhelms Fukishima Nuclear Plant

Published on 22 Oct 2013 | Heavy rains have overwhelmed containment tankers at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant

what is the ruling nation of the world does?

Published on 21 Oct 2013 | France and other countries have demanded prompt explanations from Washington following fresh spying allegations leaked by former US security contractor Edward Snowden.Reports in Le Monde and German weekly Der Spiegel have revealed that the National Security Agency secretly recorded tens of millions of phone calls in France and hacked into former Mexican President Felipe Calderon's email account.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Ingenious homes in unexpected places

Published on Oct 16, 2013 | Iwan Baan speaking : In the center of Caracas, Venezuela, stands the 45-story "Tower of David," an unfinished, abandoned skyscraper. But about eight years ago, people started moving in. Photographer Iwan Baan shows how people build homes in unlikely places, touring us through the family apartments of Torre David, a city on the water in Nigeria, and an underground village in China. Glorious images celebrate humanity's ability to survive and make a home -- anywhere.

Gold Fever - Trailer for the 88 minute documentary

Goldcorp Inc arrives in a remote village in Guatemala. Soon follows blown up mountains, despoiled water supplies and broken promises over jobs. As the gold frenzy brings in a profits bonanza for the company, the community launches a powerful resistance struggle. Dynamic and beautiful quality, this film provides a powerful look at the reality of what it means when gold miners dig into the 3rd world.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

David Cameron's gunning for The Guardian.

Grilling Guardian: 'Cameron declares war on investigative journalism'?

Published on Oct 17, 2013 | The British Prime Minister has called for an investigation into whether the Guardian newspaper broke the law - by publishing the Edward Snowden leaks that sent shockwaves about American surveillance worldwide. A parliamentary committee is now looking into it.

Millions affected by east India cyclone floods

Published on 16 Oct 2013 | Millions of people across eastern India are bracing themselves for more flooding as Cyclone Phailin continues to batter the coast. Emergency services are struggling to deliver aid as rising water levels sweep away roads. Cyclone Phailin menaced India for days, and while the states where the fierce storm made landfall were well prepared for its fury, the surrounding area has been caught by surprise. Twelve million people across East India have been affected by heavy rain and flooding. Al Jazeera's Nidhi Dutt reports from West Bengal, one of the worst hit regions.

Another U.S. Whistleblower Jailed? Investor Jailed After Exposing Corrupt Azerbaijani Oil Deal 1/3

Published on 15 Oct 2013 | In a Democracy Now exclusive, we look at the case of multi-millionaire American businessman and philanthropist Rick Bourke, who blew the whistle on a fraudulent scheme by international criminals to gain control of the oil riches of the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan -- only to end up as the only person sent to jail by federal prosecutors in the massive conspiracy. Since May, Bourke has been held in a federal prison, serving a term of one year and one day for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for alleged knowledge of the bribery that allegedly took place in 1998.

Other investors in the Azerbaijan scheme included former Democratic Senate Majority leader George Mitchell, and major institutions including Columbia University and AIG, but no one else was jailed in the United States. High-ranking former U.S. and British officials from the CIA and MI6 have raised serious concerns about the conviction of Bourke in part because the key witnesses during his trial were allegedly intelligence assets working for the U.S. government. They are not the only ones who question Bourke's guilt. Even the judge in his case has admitted having doubts. At the time of Bourke's sentencing, Shira Scheindlin of the Federal District Court said, "After 10 years of supervising this case, it is still not entirely clear to me whether Mr. Bourke was a victim, or a crook, or a little bit of both." We speak to Bourke's lawyer, the law professor and renowned attorney Michael Tigar, as well as former Washington Post reporter Scott Armstrong. "Why is it that they would go after the guy that blew the whistle on the thievery and bribery, Rick Bourke?" Tigar asks. "Why is it that the Czech citizen and the guy, the ex-patriot, and the German-Swiss lawyer all are walking free; the American citizen, philanthropist, and so on, is sitting in a minimum security jail? Well, investment in the Azerbaijan hydrocarbon industry is now safely in the hands of major petroleum companies. Is that a reason?"

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Bosnia holds first post-war census

Published on 1 Oct 2013 | Bosnia is holding its first post-war census, a process which could stir tensions and dramatically alter the balance of power between the country's three main ethnic groups.The 1995 Dayton peace agreement introduced a political system in which Muslims - known as Bosniaks - Serbs and Croats were Bosnia's "constituent peoples" and the only ones with access to top state and legislative positions.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Floods ravage Thailand's Central Plains

Published on 27 Sep 2013 | A heavier-than-usual monsoon season has flooded 27 provinces in Thailand and forced evacuations in nine districts. Authorities say floodwaters will not reach the central industrial areas and near Bangkok as in 2011 which caused massive disruption to supply chains.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

US Sending Saudi Arabia Thousands of Cluster Bombs, Despite International Ban

John Glaser, August 23, 2013

Even as they condemn the Syrian regime’s use of cluster munitions, the U.S. is selling Saudi Arabia $640 million worth of American-made cluster bombs. Cluster munitions have been banned in 83 countries on account of their indiscriminate nature and their record of killing children.

John Reed at Foreign Policy:

  • These weapons are loathed because in addition to killing enemy combatants, their fairly indiscriminate nature means they can kill plenty of civilians. And not just in the heat of battle. The little ball-shaped bomblets dispersed by cluster munitions don’t always detonate on first impact. Often, they will just sit there on the ground until someone, often a child, picks them up and causes them to explode.
  • So far, 112 countries have signed an international treaty banning cluster bombs, with 83 ratifying it.

The international ban began to take effect in June 2010, just after a U.S. cluster bomb killed 35 women and children in Yemen, with the Pentagon stubbornly refusing to admit to the wrongdoing despite damning evidence compiled by Amnesty International, which was later corroborated by classified diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks.

Cluster bombs were used in the initial phases of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, and the Obama administration has firmly opposed their prohibition, as have countries like Saudi Arabia, China, and Russia. What’s that old saying about how you’re known by the company you keep?

It’s also worth pointing out how eager the U.S. is to keep giving Saudi Arabia, one of the most horrific, repressive, mysogynist theocracies in the world, all the weapons and money it asks for. Reed again:

  • The cluster bomb sale is just the latest in a string ongoing arms deals between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that include dozens of F-15SA Strike Eagle fighter jets, AH-64 Apache attack helicopters, H-60 Blackhawk helicopters and AH-6 Little Bird choppers as well as radars, anti-ship missiles, guided bombs, anti-radar missiles, surface to air missiles and even cyber defenses for those brand new Strike Eagles. It’s a relationship that’s worth tens of billions to American defense contractors. And even though the Saudi and the American governments have recently been at odds over a range of issues — Riyadh recently offered to replace any financial aid to Egypt’s military rulers that the U.S. withdrew — those arms sales are all-but-certain to continue. If the Saudis want cluster bombs, the U.S. will provide — no matter what the world thinks.
On the one hand, the U.S. is desperate to maintain the geo-political dominance it has held over the Middle East at a time when it seems to be slipping through their fingers. And on the other, one of the strongest lobbies in Washington – the defense corporations – really want to proceeds of these nefarious weapons sales. And you gotta please them.

President Rouhani: Iran Pledges Never to Develop Nuclear Weapons

All powers should get rid of nuclear weapons

Published on 20 Sep 2013 | After years of tension, new president of Iran, Hassan Rouhani has stated in an interview that his country is not seeking to develop nuclear weapons.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s hard-charging foreign minister

MOSCOW — Secretary of State John Kerry had just made an offhand remark about how President Bashar al-Assad of Syria could avoid a military strike — and now Sergey V. Lavrov, Russia’s hard-charging foreign minister, was on the phone.

Mr. Lavrov was not about to let the moment pass. What aides to Mr. Kerry were already t

rying to roll back, Mr. Lavrov seized on, telling Mr. Kerry he would immediately go public with a Russian-led proposal to dismantle the Syrian chemical weapons arsenal. That prompted a sharp response from Mr. Kerry who warned in the 14-minute call, “We are not going to play games.”

By the time Mr. Kerry’s plane landed back in Washington, the ground had shifted and on Saturday, not a week later, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lavrov completed the plan sitting by the pool at a Geneva hotel.

It is a pact that American arms control experts have scrambled to shape and that the White House believes may be the best way to the uphold prohibitions against the use of poison gas without resorting to military force. But it is also one that the Kremlin clearly thinks serves the interests of Russia and the Syrian government.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

...the real motives behind the wars of the past two decades.

Published on 11 Sep 2012 | We are on a road that leads straight to the World War 3, but in order to see that and to fully understand what is at stake you have to look at the big picture and connect the dots. This video examines the history of the dollar, its relation to oil, and the real motives behind the wars of the past two decades.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

15 Things Americans Would Know if There Were a "Liberal Media".

If we have a "liberal media," as conservatives absurdly claim, why isn't it flooded with stories about US prisons, wealth inequality, outsourcing?

Photo Credit: Artisticco
August 7, 2013 | Prince Riebus (and apparently many others) still think there's a liberal media .
While I share Prince's frustration with the media, as a liberal, I'd like to go on record and state that the media isn't focusing on issues I care about. They seem to be far more focused on entertainment and making money.

Don't believe me?

If you know anyone who still believes in a "liberal media," here's 15 things everyone would know if there really were a "liberal media" (inspired by Jeff Bezos' purchase of The Washington Post):

source >>>

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

France may ban Muslim veil in universities amid ‘escalating tensions’

AFP Photo / Jeff Pachoud

Momentum is growing in France for a ban on wearing religious symbols in the country’s universities. A new report recommends prohibiting students from wearing religious symbols, such as Christian crucifixes, Jewish Kippah skullcaps and Muslim headscarves.

Due to “escalating tensions in all sectors of university life” the High Council of Integration (HCI), a research institute founded by the French government, has made 12 recommendations to ease religious tensions among students.

The report’s key proposal would prohibit wearing religious symbols in “lecture theaters and [other] places of teaching and research in public areas at universities,” Le Monde reported.

In 2004, France passed a law banning schoolchildren from wearing religious symbols, but the law excluded universities. The decision, the report claims, has proved successful in reducing problems stemming from religious differences in schools.

Now the HCI wants to see the same rules applied to universities.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail break!

AFP Photo / Michael V. May.

A manhunt is underway in Iraq for hundreds of convicts, including senior al Qaeda terrorists, who broke out of Abu Ghraib prison after a military-style raid to free them, authorities said on Monday.

Between 500 to 1,000 prisoners have escaped as a result of the attack, “most of them were convicted senior members of al Qaeda and had received death sentences," said Hakim Zamili, a senior member of the security and defense committee in parliament.

Suicide bombers drove cars with explosives into the gates of the prison on the outskirts of Baghdad on Sunday night, while gunmen attacked guards with mortar fire as well as rocket propelled grenades.

Other militants held the main road, fighting off security reinforcements sent from Baghdad, as several insurgents wearing suicide vests entered Abu Ghraib on foot to help free the inmates.

Ten policemen and four militants were killed in the fighting, which continued until early Monday, when military helicopters arrived to help regain control.

read more here >>>

Friday, June 28, 2013

101 East : Into Patani

Published on 28 Jun 2013 : More than 5,000 people have been killed in Thailand's restive southern provinces since 2004. The deadly insurgency is shadowy and shapeless. Attacks often come with no formal demands, causing a vicious circle of violence between Malay-Muslim separatist groups and death squads backed by security forces. The innocent live in fear of the next hit. No government in this predominantly Buddhist nation has been able to get a grip on the unrest, despite measures ranging from brutal to conciliatory. Unprecedented high-powered peace talks this year were supposed to signal hope, yet the killings escalated. How will it stop?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Protesters Call for Ouster of Thai Prime Minister

The group which calls itself ‘V for Thailand’ has already organized three mass assemblies in Thailand’s capital this month demanding the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. Wearing white Guy Fawkes masks, protesters have decried the alleged corruption in the government.

So far, the group has only managed to gather more than a thousand people in Bangkok although it claims it has strong support in many provinces.

Yingluck is the younger sister of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra who is convicted of plunder. Her critics accuse her of being a puppet of her brother.

In recent years, various groups have organized massive street rallies which made a huge impact on Thai politics. Among the big groups are the Yellow Shirts (anti-Thaksin and pro-monarchy) and Red Shirts (mostly pro-Thaksin).

Ecuador has received asylum request from NSA whistleblower Snowden - FM Patino

 Two cars of the embassy of Ecuador in Moscow are parked outside the terminal where Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, is believed to have landed in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, June 23, 2013.(Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)
 Two cars of the embassy of Ecuador in Moscow are parked outside the terminal where Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, is believed to have landed in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, June 23, 2013.(Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

The former CIA contractor, Edward Snowden, has asked Ecuador for political asylum, the country’s foreign minister, Ricardo Patino Aroca, wrote on Twitter. The whistleblower is now in Moscow after fleeing Hong Kong in a bid to elude US extradition.

Ricardo Patiño Aroca @RicardoPatinoEC
The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden

source here >>>


Snowden Eludes Extradition, Boards Flight to Moscow on Route to Undisclosed Destination

Kimberly Paxton |  Activist Post

With the aid of the whistleblowing organization, WikiLeaks, Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong and is on a circuitous journey to an undisclosed location.

Hong Kong has not complied with the US’s extradition order, which requested that they detain Snowden and transfer him to the custody of American officials, who would take him back to the United States to stand trial for espionage, theft, and conversion of government property.

The HSKAR Government issued a statement on the situation:
Mr. Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel. The US Government earlier on made a request to the HSKAR Government for the issue of a provisional warrant of arrest of Mr. Snowden. Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HSKAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government’s request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HSKAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for a provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong. 
The HSKAR Government has already informed the US Government of Mr. Snowden’s departure.

Friday, June 14, 2013

China to build huge canal across Nicaragua

Published on 14 Jun 2013 : A Chinese company has been granted permission to build a multi-billion dollar canal across Nicaragua. Once completed, it will link the Atlantic and Pacific oceans and compete with the Panama Canal for lucrative shipping fees. And as Adam Raney reports, it could be a windfall for the impoverished country.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bilderberg Conference Convenes

Heery Kravis, head of KKR, an "equity acquisition firm," and king of the LBO game. Few can represent the capitalist disease as well as Kravis.
Heery Kravis, head of KKR, an “equity acquisition firm,” and king of the LBO game. Few represent the capitalist disease as well as Kravis.
On June 5, the London Evening Standard headlined “No minutes, no press conferences – just the world’s power brokers chewing the fat on the issues of the day. It’s the Bilderberg conference – and it’s coming to a suburb near you.”

Cageprisoners launches campaign against airport harassment.

Cageprisoners launches campaign against airport harassment
Cageprisoners launch website to detail the human misery behind “Schedule 7” stops at British airports and to campaign for reform.
At an event in central London last night, attended by around 100 people, Cageprisoners launched
Schedule 7 was introduced as part of the 2000 Terrorism Act and gives the police the right to stop and search people at airports, to fingerprint them and take their DNA, and to hold them for up to 9 hours without legal representation.
More than 70,000 people were stopped and questioned under the Schedule 7 law last year and although most of them were white a hugely disproportionate number were ethnic minorities or Muslims. And the most intrusive and humiliating searches were conducted on those of “Muslim appearance.”
Schedule 7 victims

A civilized divorce in Russia.

Putin and wife announce divorce.

Published on 7 Jun 2013 : Russian President Vladimir Putin and his wife, Lyudmila, have announced their divorce after 30 years of marriage. The Putins made the statement on state television after attending a ballet performance at the Kremlin.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Ecuador airport moved to avoid fatal crashes

Published on 19 Feb 2013 : Pilots landing in Ecuador's capital must weave around hills and buildings - diving sharply to reach the runway. During its 53 years of operation, there have been more than a dozen fatal accidents here - with planes either crashing near the airport, or skidding off the runway. But these days are almost over, the airport in the heart of the capital is closing and a new airport 44km away from Quito begins operations on Wednesday.

Germany's Geographic Challenge.

Published on Feb 18, 2013 : Stratfor examines Germany's need to maintain territorial unity inside the country and preserve a balance of power across Europe.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Nigeria's airplane graveyards

Published on 7 Feb 2013 : Nigerian transport authorities are trying to change the image of their airports. Many travelers complain about the lack of proper facilities and customer care. In fact, at some of the country's airports, travelers will come across veritable graveyards of damaged and abandoned planes.

Growing wealth gap are building in communist Cuba as well.

Not spring in Cuba yet -  Published on Feb 6, 2013 : Complaints about a growing wealth gap similar to those in many of the world's struggling economies are building in communist Cuba as well.This is in spite of reforms by the Raul Castro government, trying to tweak the one-party island's socialist model, to raise living standards.Economic growth last year was a nominal 3.1 percent, falling slightly short of the goal, which this year is 3.7 percent.

Castro has pried up the lid slightly on private initiative. The government still controls four-fifths of the economy, but it has given some 400,000 Cubans a small business licence; More restaurants are popping up around Havana, for instance. The government has promised to expand the range of activities people can try their hand at.

But it is not spring in Cuba yet.

It is hoped a new cornucopia measure to allow unused land to be cultivated will bear fruit, since the revolutionary island cannot grow enough to feed itself.Cuba still has to import 80 percent of what it eats, and that consumes 30 percent of its hard currency, valued at 1.3 billion euros per year.

In a country where the government has controlled wages and prices, and rationed commodities since 1959, some income gaps have narrowed.But even while recent social reforms have improved housing availability for instance, Odlanieris Cordero, a theatre wardrobe manager in the capital cannot get by on the monthly 20 euros she earns. Her husband working in Europe sends money home.

Cordero said: "I can't imagine what life would be without his help."

Cuba did distribute wealth more evenly, though old money and people in politics and the army enjoyed more of it. But there is a fear that the egalitarian ideal is dying.The editor of Temas magazine, Raphael Hernández, warned: "A growing income differential is a concern for everybody. It's a concern for the majority of Cubans. It's a concern for the government. But the question of different salaries, different incomes is part of what is accepted today in Cuba. This is not a classless society. This is not a uniform society anymore."

The most daring reform, some say, is liberalising property. If you owned a place, it used to be illegal to sell it. You could only trade it for another one. Not any more. But today it is almost impossible to buy unless a Cuban has some kind of income advantage over others. As market practices creep in and prices rise, those who can keep up are in a small minority.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A whistle-blower in the house?

Julian Assange runs for Australian Senate

Published on Feb 5, 2013 : Julian Assange is no stranger to controversy and this time the whistleblower is making headlines for a different reason. Australia has confirmed that the WikiLeaks co-founder is running for office. Assange has made a name for himself for exposing government secrets, but now he seeks a senate seat as a member of the WikiLeaks Party. So does candidate Assange have a fighting chance to infiltrate the political world?

Food Gap Between China's Rich and Poor a Problem

Uploaded on 11 May 2011 ; The Chinese middle class is enjoying bounty at the dinner table, but the urban poor are seeing lean times. Observers warn the gap could create problems for China's communist rulers.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Intense Involvement in Africa.

Published on 18 Jan 2013 : World police protecting corporate interest.

Tuareg & AQIM fought on opposite sites in Qaddafi's Libya? But is on same side in Mali? Mali : Is it about Gold & preventing China into Africa?

Biblical Archaeology, the Limits of Science, and the Borders of Belief

Uploaded on Oct 11, 2010 : Nina Burleigh, author of Unholy Business - A True Tale of Faith, Greed and Forgery in the Holy Land

In this lecture, journalist and author Nina Burleigh examines what Israeli authorities have called "the fraud of the century" -- a scheme to modify archaeological objects or create entirely new ones to make them appear to verify biblical characters or stories. Burleigh will discuss these characters, the scheme to defraud high-end collectors, and the gullible religious public, and how the James Ossuary Case in a small courtroom in Jerusalem has put all of biblical archaeology on trial.

Friday, January 4, 2013

RT correspondent injured in Syria: 'Firing was intense'

Published on 3 Jan 2013 : A group of international journalists - including members of RT's Arabic team - have been caught in crossfire in Syria while covering the army's operations outside the capital.

'US secrecy dispels drone legality myth'

Published on 3 Jan 2013 : The fact that the United States refuses to disclose information regarding the country's drone operations explodes Washington's myth that the drone strikes are both 'legal and necessary' says an analyst.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dublin flies the EU Presidency flag

Published on Dec 31, 2012 : The European Union flag and that of the Irish Republic were raised simultaneously at an official ceremony at Dublin castle on Monday morning to mark the start of Ireland's six-month term as president.

The flag-raising ceremony celebrates three milestones: the beginning of Ireland's seventh EU presidency, the 40th anniversary of the country's EU accession and the European Year of Citizens.

Ireland's prime minister, Enda Kenny has said that he is determined to deliver, "solutions" to a range of issues.

But Dublin has said its main priority will be to get the European economy back on track with boosting jobs and growth the top of its agenda.

If EU leaders can agree early next year on the 27-member bloc's budget Ireland will then be charged with steering it through the European Parliament.