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Edward Snowden

Open Letter To Obama

July 26, 2013 President Barack Obama The White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20500 Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution Dear Mr. President: You are acutely aware More »


U.S. Companies Pay Just One-Third Of The Legal Tax Rate: GAO Study

Huffington Post July 1, 2013 By Mark Gongloff Big, profitable U.S. companies paid an average federal tax rate of less than 13 percent in 2010, according to a new study — or More »

jeff olsen

Man Tried for Chalk Drawings Found Not Guilty

NBC San Diego July 1, 2013 By Christina London The man accused of vandalism for drawing with chalk outside banks has been found not guilty on all charges. A jury returned its More »


The Bigger Story Behind the AP Spying Scandal

Washington’s Blog/Global Research May 20, 2012 By George Washington Attack on the Press You know that the Department of Justice tapped scores of phone lines at the Associated Press. You might have More »

Category Archives: pollution

Climate change rally brings thousands to protest in Washington


Los Angeles Times
Feb. 17, 2012
By Matt Pearce

Climate activists descended on Washington, D.C., on Sunday in what organizers boasted was the largest climate-change rally in American history, claiming more than 35,000 attendees.

The Forward on Climate rally, as it was billed by environmental groups Sierra Club and 350.org, called for President Obama to take immediate action on climate change, with many calling for the government to block the construction of the oil pipeline known as Keystone XL.

Protestors marched through the streets bearing placards and massed on the National Mall, where speakers addressed the crowd. Washington police declined to provide a crowd estimate.

“Today was one of the best days of my life, because I saw the movement come together finally, big and diverse and gorgeous,” 350.org President Bill McKibben tweeted after speaking at the rally.

Fossil-Fuel Subsidies of Rich Nations Five Times Climate Aid


Dec. 3, 2012
By Alex Morales

Rich countries spend five times more on fossil-fuel subsidies than on aid to help developing nations cut their emissions and protect against the effects of climate change, the Oil Change International campaign group said.

In 2011, 22 industrialized nations paid $58.7 billion in subsidies to the oil, coal and gas industries and to consumers of the fuels, compared with climate-aid flows of $11.2 billion, according to calculations by the Washington-based group.

The data underline the steps developed nations may be able to take to cut their emissions as ministers from 190 nations meet in Doha to discuss measures to curb global warming. Eliminating the subsidies would reduce incentives to pollute and help rich nations meet their pledge to provide $100 billion a year in climate aid by 2020, said Stephen Kretzmann, the founder of Oil Change International.

Lawyer says judge embargoes Chevron assets in Argentina over Ecuadorean oil spill

Texaco pollution case

Associated Press
Nov. 7, 2012

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina — An Argentine judge embargoed Chevron Corp.’s assets in Argentina to carry out an Ecuadorean court order that awarded $19 billion to plaintiffs in an environmental damage lawsuit in the Amazon, a lawyer said Wednesday.

Judge Adrian Elcuj Miranda ordered the freezing of Chevron’s assets in Argentina as plaintiffs try to collect the judgment won in Ecuador last year, Argentine lawyer Enrique Bruchou told reporters in a conference call.

The order states that all the cash flows from sales and bank deposits be frozen until the $19 billion is collected, Bruchou said. The order applies to 100 percent of Chevron’s capital stock in Argentina, 100 percent of its dividends and its entire minority stake in Oleoductos del Valle. It also includes 40 percent of any current or future money that Chevron Argentina holds as well as 40 percent of all its crude sales.

Bruchou said the decision in the largest environmental suit in the world should send a strong message to foreign investors that they must apply the same environmental standards wherever they do business. Similar lawsuits have been filed this year in Canada and Brazil.

Court Orders First Handover of Chevron’s Ecuador Assets


Oct. 17, 2012

QUITO, Ecuador, October 17, 2012 (ENS) – An Ecuadorian court has frozen are all bank accounts owned by Chevron, Texaco, and their subsidiaries in partial payment of a $19 billion pollution damages judgment against Chevron.

Indigenous people and villagers living in the Ecuadorian Amazon were granted a court order this week that allows them to collect $200 million of Chevron’s assets in the country.

“This is a huge first step for the rainforest villagers on the road to collecting the entire $19 billion judgment,” said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Fajardo said the assets would be used to begin a cleanup of the ecological disaster left by Texaco, consistent with the mandates laid out by the Ecuador trial court.

A Colombian Tribe Fights Mining Multinationals With Bows And Arrows


Oct. 14, 2012
By John Harold Giraldo Herrera

TAMAQUITO II – When a new baby is born in Tamaquito II, a Wayúu indigenous settlement in La Guajira, in northern Colombia, the child’s family digs a hole near its pichi (hut) and buries the umbilical cord. The Wayúu practice this ancestral ritual as a way to connect to the land, to remind themselves where they come from.

About 150 umbilical cords are now buried in Tamaquito II. The most recent belonged to Geovanni Camilo Fuentes, born two months ago to Sandra Paola Bravo Epieyuu. His may also be the last. Right now there are two pregnant women in the settlement, but it is unlikely they will have a chance to follow the age-old tradition. Tamaquito II is scheduled to be relocated.

In 1965, when José Alfonso Epieyuu first came to Tamaquito, he never imagined that either the settlement or its rituals would one day be in danger. He came from Alta Guajira, by way of Lagunita, Descanso and Serranía de Perijá. All of those towns were part of a large territory that belonged to the Wayúu people. There were no fences, no boundaries.

For the Wayúu, Colombia’s largest indigenous group with an estimated population of 400,000, land belongs to those work it. Historically they have moved about as they please, worked where they wanted. José Alfonso reached Tamaquito on foot, following the nomadic tradition of the Wayúu. This was his land. Now he is not so sure.

Actress Daryl Hannah arrested in Keystone pipeline protest


Oct. 4, 2012
By Jim Forsyth

(Reuters) – Actress Daryl Hannah was arrested in Texas on Thursday after she stood in front of an earth-moving machine clearing ground for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, her representative said.

The protest took place outside Winnsboro, Texas, about 80 miles east of Dallas, said Hannah’s agent, Paul Bassis.

Hannah, 51, a longtime environmental activist, was arrested last year outside the White House in another protest against the pipeline. The Keystone XL pipeline, a project of TransCanada Corp, would ship more than half a million barrels a day of oil sands-derived crude to the Texas Gulf Coast from Canada.

Peru villagers allege neglect after toxic spill


Associated Press
Sept. 4, 2012

LIMA, Peru (AP) — More than a month after toxic slurry from a major copper mine sickened scores of people in one of Peru’s highland communities, villagers complain that the mining company and the government have done little to help and have even failed to tell some parents that tests showed their children had been poisoned.

Testing eight days after the July 25 pipeline rupture found six children with unacceptably high levels of copper and one with similarly high levels of lead, but none have received any special care, Mayor Felipe Lazaro of Cajacay told The Associated Press.

In fact, he said authorities haven’t even identified by name exactly which of the 18 children they tested were poisoned.

Ecuador fines Chevron $19.02BN over Amazon pollution

Global Post
July 27, 2012

An Ecuadorian court has ordered US oil giant Chevron to pay $19.02 billion in compensation for environmental damage relating to its operations in the Amazon.

It is $1 billion more than the original fine imposed in 2011. The ruling – considered one of the biggest ever for environmental damage – was upheld by an appeals court in January. The increased fine came about after Chevron appealed the decision in Ecuador’s Supreme Court.

“Due to an involuntary calculation error, the reparations now amount to $19,021,552,000,” Agence France-Presse quoted an unnamed court official as saying.

Thousands of indigenous people and local farmers accused US oil company Texaco Petroleum Co. of contaminating large areas of Ecuador’s Amazon rainforest when it operated in the region between 1964 and 1990.

Chevron inherited the lawsuit in 2001 when it bought Texaco, but it has denied responsibility for poisoning the land.

Full Article Here – http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/120727/ecuador-fines-chevron-1902bn-over-amazon-pollution 

Gas tragedy victims to hold ‘Bhopal Olympics’

The Hindu 
July 24, 2012
By Mahim Pratap Singh

Even as the world prepares to witness the spectacle of the London Olympics starting Friday, victims and survivors of the Bhopal gas tragedy have decided to pre-empt the organisers of the London Olympics by holding the “Bhopal Special Olympics” in Bhopal on Thursday.
Five survivor organizations, led by the Bhopal Group for Information and Action (BGIA), will be jointly organizing “Bhopal Special Olympics” on July 26, a day ahead of the London Olympics to oppose sponsorship of the Olympic Games by Dow Chemical-the current owner of Union Carbide Corporation-which “continues to evade civil, criminal and environmental liabilities of Bhopal inherited from Union Carbide”.

Children born with disabilities as a fallout of the world’s worst industrial disaster, would be participating in the “Bhopal Olympics” to counter Dow Chemical’s attempts to “green wash its crimes through the sponsorship of the Olympic Games”, representatives of the five organizations said here.
The Bhopal Olympics, with the theme “From East India Company to the Dow Chemical Company”, will be held in a stadium right behind the abandoned Union Carbide factory that continues to leach carcinogenic chemicals in the local groundwater, causing birth defects in children even today.
The games will start at 10.30 am on Thursday in the Arif Nagar stadium behind the abandoned Union Carbide factory.
Children affected by this toxic contamination will participate in sporting events such as “crab race”, “25 metres sprint” and “assisted walking”, all aimed at bringing out the plight of those who continue to live in the shadow of the tragedy that shook Bhopal from its slumber on the intervening night of 2nd and 3rd December 1984.
“Contrary to the opening ceremony of the London Olympics that is expected to highlight all that a British citizen could be proud of, the Bhopal Special Olympics will open with songs and dances focusing on matters that British people could be ashamed of,” Rachna Dhingra of the BGIA told The Hindu.
The opening ceremony will draw attention to the many famines caused during the British rule in India, the mass hangings following the “first battle for Indian independence in 1857”, the massacre at Jalianwala Bagh in 1919 and last but not the least, to the support extended by the British Prime Minister to the Dow Chemical Company.
Over the last one year, victims have been campaigning to get Dow Chemical dropped as a sponsor of the games, an effort that even found favour with the Government of India and the Government of Madhya Pradesh. However, the LOCOG and the IOC have backed Dow Chemical throughout the controversy, holding the company “not responsible” for the tragedy and even hailing it as “an industry leader in terms of operating with the highest standards of ethics and sustainability”.

Full Article Here – http://www.thehindu.com/news/states/other-states/article3678816.ece  

150 Amazon Indians Occupy Belo Monte Dam Site

Care2June 28, 2012
By Stephen Messenger

Despite decades of legal and political wrangling to halt the building of a massive hydroelectric dam facility at Belo Monte, in the heart of the Brazilian Amazon, all seemed lost as earth-movers and construction teams began arriving in drove to the site earlier this year. But where the words and appeals of those indigenous tribes destined to be displaced by the dam had failed, nearly two-hundred native Amazonians have now gathered in a last ditch effort to protect their homeland using their bodies.

According to a spokesperson from the mostly indigenous protesters, Cleanton Ribeiro, more than 150 members from four local tribes began occupying a portion of the construction site where, when completed, the world’s third largest hydroelectric dam would flood thousands of acres upon which they currently reside.

“They are demanding demarcation of their lands, the expulsion of invaders, an improved health system and running water,” says Ribeiro, via the AFP. “They no longer believe in the promises made (by the consortium) and say they will leave only when concrete steps begin.”