Hunger Games: UK Refuses EU Food Aid, Leaving 1000s In Dire Straits

Dec 21, 2013

“Britain has ditched the EU’s help to feed the poor, despite half a million citizens, including children, turning to charities this year to stave off hunger. The opposition’s criticized the government for gasping with pride and ignoring the problem…”

12 Year Old Kids Being Thrown In Jail As Adults

In American kids as young as seven years old have been tried as adults and over 2,500 children are facing life sentences. Many argue that if a child isn’t old enough to drink or drive legally that they should be spared being put on trail as an adult for committing a crime. In most cases these adolescents are put in prisons with adults. 

Is the State Department Trying to Silence Pakistani Drone Victims by Delaying Their Attorney’s Visa?

Rafiq ur-Rehman’s mother was working as his two children played near her in a field just outside his village of Tappi in the tribal region of North Waziristan in Pakistan when some of the CIA’s pilotless spy planes targeted their village and fired four missiles almost one year ago this month. 

TruthOut- “Rehman’s children, 13-year-old Nabila and 9-year-old Zubair, watched as the drone strike killed their 67-year-old grandmother, Mamana, instantly, and lodged shrapnel into their legs, hospitalizing them. Rehman returned from work to find the remains of his mother, his injured and bleeding children and a smoking field dotted with dead cattle.

A year later, Congressman Alan Grayson (D-Florida) has formally invited Rehman, who is a primary school teacher in North Waziristan, and his children to testify about their experience before a Congressional ad-hoc hearing. It would mark the first time survivors of military drone strikes have traveled to Capitol Hill to give a voice and face to the reality of the CIA’s covert drone program.

But the family can’t travel to the United States to tell lawmakers their story because their attorney’s visa has been delayed by the State Department. Rehman’s attorney and translator, Shahzad Akbar, is a fellow at the human rights organization Reprieve and represents more than 156 drone strike victims.

Akbar has accused the State Department of deliberately barring his entry to the United States to silence the voices of drone strike survivors after they have prepared for months to travel to Washington, D.C. The State Department already has granted Rehman’s and his children’s visas.

“I have been blacklisted for simply one reason, that is my drone work. Otherwise, if I am any kind of security threat, [the State Department] can simply say,” Akbar told Truthout in a telephone interview.

This is not the first time Akbar has had trouble gaining entry into the country. Before he began investigating drone strikes in 2010, he traveled frequently to the U.S. as a consultant for U.S. agencies. But when he was invited to speak at a human rights conference in May 2011 at Columbia University about his work on legal cases involving drone strikes, his visa was delayed by the State Department for 14 months…”

Click Here For Full Story on TruthOut

America’s Private Sector Army

Prior to the Iraq war, most people wouldn’t have heard of the private military companies (PMCs) that provide their services to the USA. Then came the the headlines, thick and fast, as the heavy involvement of PMCs such as Blackwater led to controversy. 

Excerpts, The Kernel - “The number of contractors used is staggering. In 2010 there were 94,413 contractors in Afghanistan, compared with 91,600 US troops.

MERCENARIES IN EVERYTHING BUT NAME

Most PMCs provide logistical support, but one stands out above all others: Blackwater. Described by some as a “private army”, they differ from modern day military units such as the British Army’s Brigade of Gurkhas and the French Foreign Legion, in that they are an autonomous company providing military services. Mercenaries in everything but name. Blackwater in particular stands out for their boots-on-the ground provision of “security guards” who look, smell and operate like any other combat soldier.

Blackwater, now called Academi, became known for a string of controversial incidents involving its personnel. Now that Middle Eastern occupations are winding down and court cases have been settled, Blackwater has managed to slip under the radar again. But it still exists, albeit with a new name, and is as influential as ever.

In the sixteen years of its existence, Blackwater has changed the face of modern warfare. How did they do it, what are they doing now and what does their continued existence mean for the future?

In explaining his vision for Blackwater, its founder Erik Prince famously stated:

“We are trying to do for the national security apparatus what FedEx did for the Postal Service.” 

Blackwater started out by offering training services to the military and landed a major contract to train Navy personnel following the 2000 bombing of USS Cole of the coast of Yemen.

With their reputation established, Blackwater began to hoover up government contracts as the War on Terror progressed. At first they provided security to secret CIA bases, then they became the default private security force for the raft of diplomats and State Department employees who found themselves involved in occupied Iraq. Blackwater proudly remind people that “not one State Department employee was killed while we were protecting them”. No officials may have been killed but a number of innocent Iraqis did, at the barrel of Blackwater guns.

The US military has long had a reputation for financial ineptitude when it come to hardware acquisition. It’s a reputation that has persisted with their procurement of contract services. At the height of the Iraq war, sergeants in the military were getting paid one-sixth of their counterparts from Blackwater. This problem of capitalism colliding with patriotism was so serious that Defense Secretary Robert Gates considered asking US troops to sign a non-compete clause…

…The largest incident branded on Blackwater’s reputation is what has become known as The Blackwater Baghdad shootings. On September sixteenth 2007, Blackwater military contractors shot and killed seventeen Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad…

“They became a symbol of what was seen as an occupying force. They are always heavily armed with machine-guns, and wear body armour and wraparound sunglasses. Usually they are beefy men with goatees, covered in tattoos. They swagger around like something out of a movie. Their presence here has been deeply damaging.”

Blackwater has become a destination of choice for ex-public servants looking for a cushy retirement, resulting in the company having even stronger ties to the centres of American power post-Iraq than pre-Iraq. The board of directors now includes Bobby Ray Inman, the former head of the National Security Agency and Jack Quinn, the former White House Counsel to President Bill Clinton. 

Lessons have learned by both the Government and private companies from their flirtation over the last couple of decades and the legacy will have repercussions on future conflicts. The Government has found a way to patch up their military personnel shortcomings with off-the-shelf and adaptable solutions: no need for the tedium of training youngsters and paying out pension plans.

By buying up experienced Army personnel, Blackwater have made themselves indispensable as a training institution for America’s elite troops. And next time the US goes gung-ho into another country? The contractors will be ready. Academi have developed and manufactured their own infantry mobility vehicle called The Grizzly APC. They were too late to the military hardware party this time around but they have all the pieces in place to take an even greater role in the USA’s next major conflict.” Full Article on The Kernel

 

 

Hormone Disruptors Rise From The Dead

via Nature.com – “Hormone-disrupting chemicals may be far more prevalent in lakes and rivers than previously thought. Environmental scientists have discovered that although these compounds are often broken down by sunlight, they can regenerate at night, returning to life like zombies.

“The assumption is that if it’s gone, we don’t have to worry about it,” says environmental engineer Edward Kolodziej of the University of Nevada in Reno, joint leader of the study. “But we’re under-predicting their environmental persistence.”

“Risk assessments have been built on the basis that light exposure is enough to break down these products,” adds Laura Vandenberg, an endocrinologist at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst who was not involved in the study. “This work undermines that idea completely.”

Endocrine disruptors — pollutants that unbalance hormone systems — are known to harm fish, and there is growing evidence linking them to health problems in humans, including infertility and various cancers1. But pinpointing specific culprits from the vast array of trace chemicals in the environment has proved difficult. Indeed, concentrations of known endocrine disruptors in rivers often seem to be too low to explain harmful effects in aquatic wildlife, says Kolodziej.

Beefed up

He and his colleague David Cwiertny, an environmental engineer at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, decided to find out whether the breakdown products of endocrine disruptors could be boosting their environmental impact. Their team focused on trenbolone acetate, a synthetic anabolic steroid used as a growth promoter in more than 20 million cattle in the United States each year (this practice is banned in the European Union).

Cattle metabolize the steroid into compounds such as 17α-trenbolone, a potent endocrine disrupter commonly found in agricultural run-off water. In laboratory tests, just a few tens of nanograms of these compounds per litre can skew sex ratios and decrease fertility in fish23. Some manufacturers have argued that these metabolites pose little risk in rivers, however, because sunlight breaks them down rapidly.

Kolodziej and his team put solutions of 17α-trenbolone and related compounds through several cycles of light and dark in the laboratory. Although concentrations fell during the simulated daytime, the scientists were surprised to see that levels rebounded during the dark periods. At neutral pH and 25 ºC, it took about five days to regenerate 60% of a sample of 17α-trenbolone from its breakdown products. Higher temperatures or slightly acidic or alkaline conditions accelerated this process.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” says Vandenberg. Field biologists usually collect water samples during the day, she says, and nocturnal regeneration “would certainly have the potential to impact those results.” Moreover, field studies have rarely reported the pH and temperature of water samples, which could have a big effect on true concentrations of contaminants. “I don’t think that anyone had conceived it could be so important,” she says.

The team found the same regeneration process occurring in water samples taken from the Iowa River, and from a test pond seeded with manure from cattle that had been treated with trenbolone acetate. They also note that other steroids with similar chemical structures can regenerate in the same way, including dienogest, an oral contraceptive, and dienedione, an illicit anabolic steroid. The results are published in Science…” Full Article

 

What You Don’t Know About The NSA Spying Scandal

“Are we living in a time of inverted totalitarianism? Pulitzer prize-winning author Chris Hedges tells me we are in this first episode of the Moment of Clarity Show…”

Published on Sep 26, 2013

This episode was made possible by Coalition Films and our generous Kickstarter supporters!
1) For more on Chris Hedges’s books, go here -http://amzn.to/19KiNRB
2) For more on Coalition Films, go here -http://coalitionfilms.com/

Maker of Dangerous Pain Pills is ‘Ghost’ That Can’t Be Found

A USA TODAY investigation finds that consumers buying Reumofan dietary supplements are trusting their lives to a company that uses fake addresses, lies about ingredients and may not even exist.

USA Today – GUADALAJARA, Mexico — A Mexican dietary supplement called Reumofan has gained a loyal following in the United States as a “100% natural” treatment for arthritis and joint pain. It’s supposedly made by a company called Riger Natural from ingredients such as shark cartilage, white willow and glucosamine, or so the labels say.

But consumers who buy Reumofan products are risking dangerous side effects and trusting their lives to a company that uses fake addresses, lies about the ingredients in its products and may not even exist, a USA TODAY investigation has found.

The newspaper set out to find Riger Natural and the people responsible for producing and selling the supplement, searching corporation records and visiting addresses in Mexico where it had been listed on the Web as having a lab. Those addresses are fake and there’s no evidence the company ever had facilities in the locations. Some Mexican retailers who once distributed the product say their contacts have simply disappeared. Even Mexican health authorities have been unable to track down the company.

Meanwhile, U.S. consumers — desperate to curb arthritis and joint pain — continue to buy Reumofan over the Internet and by crossing the border. They are running a high risk: Dozens of Reumofan users have suffered serious and sometimes life-threatening health effects after taking the pills, including liver injury, strokes and severe episodes of bleeding, according to federal records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act. Three reports involve deaths, though the full toll of those injured will never be known because most adverse events involving supplements and drugs are never reported to the FDA.

Lab tests by U.S. and Mexican health authorities have detected up to three powerful and potentially dangerous prescription drugs hidden in Reumofan products. While government officials have warned the public of this finding, they haven’t revealed anything about the company behind the products, other than its name. And nobody has been able to explain how a mysterious “M” logo identical to one used by a Mexican pharmaceutical company has ended up on at least some batches of the pills.

“We’ve made more than eight visits to addresses for which we’ve had intelligence and we’ve not located the business,” Alvaro Perez Vega, commissioner of health operations at Mexico’s federal commission for the protection against sanitary risk (Cofepris), said through an interpreter. The agency issued its first public warning about Reumofan in May 2012.

The FDA declined to discuss what it knows about Riger Natural.

“As an open investigation, there’s not much we can really say about who actually was responsible for putting the product into commerce,” said Daniel Fabricant, director of FDA’s dietary supplement division. The FDA has issued several warnings about the product since June 2012. Continue reading

Chinese Hackers Have A Weapon Of Mass Destruction That No One Is Talking About

“If Americans don’t want to be fighting over water bottles though, action is needed to avoid catastrophe. Hopefully Mandiant’s report will act as a loudspeaker, turning Team Obama’s cyber security squeak into a shout, and opening the doors for more public conversation about these threats.”

World Truth TV- “The rousing report out of Mandiant about Chinese internet exploitation focused primarily on the widespread, systematic, state-sponsored thievery of proprietary data.

What it also mentioned (almost in passing) was the penetration of American energy structures, what most people call “critical infrastructure.” Exploiting the aging electrical grid, in a cyber-military strike, has been a growing concern of planners in the U.S. Government.

Yet hackers don’t normally headline talk of aging grids.

Late last year we covered how Boeing had developed an EMP missile, capable of flying over a city and permanently zapping its electrical structure. While that might not be the most likely candidate for an assault on the American grid, it further legitimized electrical grids as potential targets.

It seemed like loss of proprietary, corporate information trumped the news headlines, but the Mandiant report also showed that it’s not EMPs which truly threaten America’s grid.

It’s software exploits, particularly from the Chinese military.

A Department of Homeland Security official told the WSJ in 2010 that network inspections had “found software tools left behind that could be used to destroy infrastructure components,” following hacks from Russia and China.

From the report:

“The physical damage of certain system components (e.g. extra-high-voltage transformers) on a large scale, as could be effected by any of these threats, could result in prolonged outages as procurement cycles for these components range from months to years.” 


 

A Map Of All The Countries Where Children Are Sentenced To Die In Prison

HuffPo – “There are about 2,500 youth offenders serving life sentences without the possibility of parole in prisons worldwide. We’ve come up with a map showing all of the countries where they are incarcerated… 

That’s right: The United States is the only country in the world that condemns people to spend their lives behind bars for crimes they committed before they turned 18.

new report from the Sentencing Project, a group that advocates for prison reforms, highlights this fact.

Ashley Nellis, one of the authors of the report, argued that the United States has a “very strange perception of justice and of youth who misbehave.”

“Unlike other countries, we fail to acknowledge their youthfulness and often other factors that contribute to their crimes,” like poverty and childhood abuse, she said.

According to the report, life sentences for all offenders are on the rise across the country, and the population of people serving life without the possibility of parole is growing especially fast, with an increase from 40,174 in 2008 to 49,081 to 2012…

…The concept of a life sentence without parole originated in the United Kingdom in the 1950s and continues to be practiced almost exclusively by former British colonies, according to Alison Parker, the U.S. director for the advocacy group Human Rights Watch. In the U.S., it became popular in the 1980s and 1990s, as politicians vied to portray themselves as “tough on crime.”

…Among those former British colonies that do sentence people to life without parole, the U.S. stands apart.

The U.S. employs the practice far more commonly than any other country, and the U.S. has declined to ratify the 1989 U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which bans life without parole for children. Somalia is the only other country that has failed to sign that treaty.”

Full Story on Huffington Post

The passing of SB9 in California was an important step in ending extreme youth sentencing. A Path for Hope celebrates the coalition victory and the hope for change ahead.

Take Action: http://www.TakePart.com/snitch

Campaign for the Fair Sentencing of Youth


Risking Light: Journeys of Forgiveness
http://www.riskinglight.com

DoD’s Active Denial System

“For the first millisecond, it just felt like the skin was warming up. Then it got warmer and warmer and you felt like it was on fire…” 

The Active Denial System had its first demonstration of power aboard an Army vessel at Joint Base Langley-Eustis September 12, 2013.

Like all focused energy, the beam will irradiate all matter in the targeted area, including everything beyond/behind it that is not shielded, with no possible discrimination between individuals, objects or materials. Anyone incapable of leaving the target area (e.g., physically handicapped, infants, incapacitated, trapped, etc) would continue to receive radiation until the operator turned off the beam. Reflective materials such as aluminium cooking foil should reflect this radiation and could be used to make clothing that would be protective against this radiation.

The Active Denial System, from a presentation ...

The Active Denial System, from a presentation of the U.S. Department of defense (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 Wiki- The Active Denial System (ADS) is a non-lethal, directed-energy weapon developed by the U.S. military, designed for area denial, perimeter security and crowd control. Informally, the weapon is also called the heat ray since it works by heating the surface of targets, such as the skin of targeted human subjects. Raytheon is currently marketing a reduced-range version of this technology. The ADS was deployed in 2010 with the United States military in the Afghanistan War, but was withdrawn without seeing combat. On August 20, 2010, the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department announced its intent to use this technology on prisoners in the Pitchess Detention Center in Los Angeles, stating its intent to use it in “operational evaluation” in situations such as breaking up prisoner fights. The ADS is currently only a vehicle-mounted weapon, though U.S. Marines and police are both working on portable versions. ADS was developed under the sponsorship of the DoD Non-Lethal Weapons Program with the Air Force Research Laboratory as the lead agency. There are reports that Russia is developing its own version of the Active Denial System…

…Many possible long-term effects have been studied, with the conclusion that no long-term effects are likely at the exposure levels studied. However, over-exposures of either operators or targets may cause long-term damage including cancer. According to an official military assessment, “In the event of an overexposure to a power density sufficient to produce thermal injury, there is an extremely low probability that scars derived from such injury might later become cancerous. Proper wound management further decreases this probability, as well as the probability of hypertrophic scarring or keloid formation.”
  • Cancer: A mouse cancer study was performed at two energy levels and exposures with a 94 GHz transmitter: a single 10 second, 1 W/cm exposure; and repeated 10 second exposures over 2 week period at 333 mW/cm. At both energy levels, no increase in skin cancers were observed. No studies of higher energy levels, or longer exposure times have been performed on millimeter wave systems.
  • Cornea damage: tests on non-human primate eyes have observed no short-term or long-term damage as the blink reflex protects the eye from damage within 0.25s.
  • Birth defects: millimeter waves only penetrate 0.4mm (1/64″) into the skin, making direct damage to the testes or ovaries impossible.
  • Blisters and scarring: pea-sized blistering due to second degree burns occurred in a very small (less than 0.1%) of tested exposures, which have a remote potential for scarring.

ADS operators would be exposed to more than the standard maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits for RF energy, and military use requires an exception to these exposure limits.”

The Council on Foreign Relations noted that ”wider integration of existing types of nonlethal weapons (NLW) into the U.S. Army and Marine Corps could have helped to reduce the damage done by widespread looting and sabotage after the cessation of major conflict in Iraq” Continue reading

Staging the Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria

Published on Sep 19, 2013
Global Research TV

“In the wake of the Syrian chemical weapons attack, shocking footage of the victims of that attack were widely circulated in an effort to raise the ire of the public and spur support for military intervention. Now, a new report on that footage finds troubling inconsistencies and manipulation with the video that calls the official narrative of the attack and its victims into question.”

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The Globalising Wall

English: The "peace line" or "p...

English: The “peace line” or “peace wall” along Cupar Way/Cepar Way in Belfast, Northern Ireland. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CYPRUS: GREEN LINE | KOSOVO: NORTH — SOUTH MITROVICA | N. IRELAND: BELFAST | WEST BANK: PALESTINE | MEXICO — USA: BORDER FENCE

“Walls have a longstanding relation both with liberty from fear and subjugation to another’s will. After 1945, walls acquired an unprecedented determination to divide. They spread like a bushfire from Berlin to Palestine, from the tablelands of Kashmir to the villages of Cyprus, from the Korean peninsula to the streets of Belfast. When the Cold War ended, we were told to expect their dismantling. Instead, they are growing taller, more impenetrable, longer. They leap from one continent onto the next. They are globalising. From the West Bank to Kosovo, from the gated communities of Egypt to those of California, from the killing fields of old Ethiopia to the US-Mexico borders, a seamless wall is meandering its way, both physically and emotionally, on the planet’s surface. Its spectre is upon us.”

“The Globalising Wall”  A Video Installation by artist Danae Stratou. Based on a text by Yanis Varoufakis 2012

Why America Has No Moral Authority On Chemical Weapons Use

“America has been making a lot of noise recently about the use of chemical weapons in Syria, but they’ve turned a blind eye to the use of chemical weapons in the past. We took a look at some of the times they’ve used, or turned a blind eye to, the use of chemical weapons.”

Sources used for video:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/f…
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisf…
http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis…
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2009…
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/sea…
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/amer…

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Hands OFF Syria – Hands ON Humanism

“Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt

 via NEO2012anonymous

Published on Sep 10, 2013

Produced by One2Anonymous.
To make a difference for Syria, you can:
1. Give generously to such charities as: The Red Crescent Society, UNICEF, and Human Concern International.

2. Write to your government representatives to demand that there be no intervention – there cannot be a rush to judgement before we know the truth.

3. Sign the online petition at Avaaz.org to prevent Syria from being attacked. Syria is a sovereign nation and the West has no right to intervene.
http://www.avaaz.org/en/solution_for_…

4. Download and print your One World poster from ONEWORLD-DUV.org and place it in your window to show your solidarity with peace for everyone and also carry this poster on the UN International Day of Peace, September 21st.
http://oneworld-duv.org/ Continue reading