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2010 April 28 | Activist News
Disobey

The Road to World War 3

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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 »

greed3

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 »

freedom-of-the-press

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 »

Daily Archives: April 28, 2010

Mexico Issues Travel Alert Over New Arizona Law

Associated Press
April 27, 2010
Martha Mendoza

Mexico City(AP) The Mexican government warned its citizens Tuesday to use extreme caution if visiting Arizona because of a tough new law that requires all immigrants and visitors to carry U.S.-issued documents or risk arrest.

And a government-affiliated agency that supports Mexicans living and working in the United States called for boycotts of Tempe, Ariz.-based US Airways, the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Phoenix Suns until those organizations rebuke the law.

link - http://cbs11tv.com/local/immigation.illegal.immigrant.2.1660120.html

Europe debt crisis spreads to Portugal

Greek debt drops to junk status, Portugal’s also downgraded; markets slide on fears of crisis

Nicholas Paphitis and Pan Pylas, Associated Press Writers,
On Wednesday April 28, 2010, 1:27 am

ATHENS (AP) — Greece was pushed to the brink of a financial abyss and started dragging another eurozone country — Portugal — down with it, fueling fears of a continent-wide debt meltdown.
Stocks around the world tanked after ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Tuesday downgraded Greek bonds to junk status and downgraded Portugese bonds two notches, showing investors that Greece’s financial contagion is spreading.
Major European exchanges fell more than 2.5 percent, and on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average finished down 213 points, or 1.9 percent. The euro slid more than 1 percent to nearly an eight-month low.
Renewed worries about Greece’s debt problems spread to Asia Wednesday, sending stock markets broadly lower following sharp declines in the U.S. and Europe.
Japan‘s Nikkei 225 stock average led the region-wide retreat with a 2.5 percent fall to 10,935.99. Hong Kong‘s Hang Seng index shed 1.9 percent to 20,853.83, while South Korea‘s Kospi lost 1.5 percent to 1,723.76. All other major Asian benchmarks were down more than 1 percent and oil slid below $83 a barrel.

link -http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Europe-debt-crisis-spreads-to-apf-533469454.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=2&asset=&ccode=

Amazon Defense Coalition: Chevron Lawyer Faces Sanctions for Misleading Court Over “Dirty Tricks” Operation in Ecuador

BusinessWire
April 27, 2010

Adolfo Callejas Charged With Hiding Information to Delay Trial

QUITO, Ecuador–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Chevron’s lead lawyer in Ecuador faces sanctions for misleading the court about a “dirty tricks” operation that the oil giant used to try to delay an environmental trial where it faces a multi-billion dollar liability, representatives of the plaintiffs announced today.

“We now know that Borja was paid by Chevron and that he was a Chevron employee, contrary to what Callejas said at the time to the court”

Lawyers for the plaintiffs filed a motion with the Ecuador court asserting that Chevron lawyer Adolfo Callejas misled the judge when he failed to disclose that secretly taped videos of the trial judge were made by a longtime Chevron contractor, Diego Borja, who worked for the company’s legal team in the trial. Callejas has worked as a lawyer with Chevron and its predecessor company in Ecuador, Texaco, for more than three decades.

link - http://www.businesswire.com/portal/site/home/permalink/?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=20100427006943&newsLang=en

World Bank Accused of Promoting Land Grabbing


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 27, 2010
8:14 AM

CONTACT: Friends of The Earth – International
Nick Berning, 202-222-0748

World Bank Accused of Promoting Land Grabbing

WASHINGTON – April 27 – Friends of the Earth International warned today that voluntary principles on land acquisitions announced by the World Bank and supported by the UN will legitimize and promote land grabbing in Asia, Africa and Latin America. [1]

The warning was issued as the World Bank released at an April 26-27 Washington meeting its voluntary principles to protect rights, livelihoods and resources during large scale land acquisitions by foreign investors in these continents.

These principles have been supported by the United Nations Food and Agriculture organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and the International Fund for Agricultural Development .

Millions of people’s livelihoods are being destroyed by land grabbing, especially those of peasant farmers, indigenous peoples and fisherfolk. Land grabbing takes place when states and the private sector buy up millions of hectares of land in Asia, Africa and Latin America to produce food and fuel mainly for export.

Land grabbing is proven to further marginalize small food producers, and local communities who already make up the largest part of the 1 billion people suffering most from hunger and poverty. [2]

The World Bank claims that these acquisitions will promote agricultural investment. In reality they will further entrench corporate agriculture for profit and destroy local livelihoods.

Despite years of declining investment in peasant agriculture and the promotion of free trade policies that prioritise industrial agriculture instead, most of the world is still fed by small scale agriculture. Land grabbing undermines small scale agriculture, which jeopardizes our ability to feed the world now and in the future. [3]

Friends of the Earth International Chair Nnimmo Bassey from Nigeria said:

“The UN has shown that the best way to feed our population is through existing, peasant based ecological agriculture. Yet the World Bank and UN agencies support principles which legitimize a new form of colonialism with grave dangers for millions of local livelihoods and the environment. If the UN is serious about ending hunger then it must heed its own advice, stop the advance of agribusiness in Africa and implement food sovereignty immediately.”

Large scale corporate agriculture is one of the leading causes of environmental damage, responsible for about half of all global greenhouse gas emissions, habitat destruction from land clearance and huge use of fossil fuels and natural resources.

The focus of industrial agriculture on producing commodities such as animal feeds and agrofuels for export to rich countries rather than food for local populations means it has led to widespread inequality and malnutrition. [4]

Friends of the Earth Uruguay Director Karin Nansen said:

“Industrial production of soy, meat and agrofuels in South America means land grabbing is already taking place. Local communities are violently evicted from their land while agribusiness report record profits by taking control of local resources. More grabbing of farmland will intensify this violence against people’s sovereignty and also condemn us to ever rising deforestation and climate emissions.”

Friends of the Earth International is demanding an end to all forms of land grabbing, which governments and international institutions can achieve by :

  • Equitable access to land and natural resources – keeping land in the hands of local communities and implementing genuine agrarian reform

  • Supporting agro-ecological peasant, smallholder farming, fishing and pastoralism, including participatory research and training programmes so that small-scale food providers can produce ample, healthy and safe food for everybody.

  • Overhauling farm and trade policies to embrace food sovereignty and supporting local and regional markets

  • Promoting community-oriented food and farming systems hinged on local people’s control over land, water and biodiversity

  • Enforce strict mandatory regulations that curb the access of corporations and other powerful actors (state and private) to agricultural, coastal and grazing lands, forests, and wetlands

  • Halting the expansion of industrial corporate led agriculture and ensure food sovereignty – peoples’ right to control their own seeds, lands, water and food production through just and ecological systems; which ensures enough, diverse, nutritious, locally produced and culturally appropriate food for all.

link -http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2010/04/27

Greece’s Debt Downgraded To Junk Status By S&P

by The Associated Press
April 28, 2010

Europe’s government debt crisis worsened ominously Tuesday when Greek bonds were downgraded to junk status and Portugal’s debt was lowered on fears the trouble could spread. Stocks slid on the news.
German reluctance to fund most of a euro45 billion bailout of Greece by European government and the International Monetary Fund is sending shudders through markets that the money may not reach Greece by May 19, when euro8.5 billion in bond payments come due.

link - http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=126306739&ft=1&f=1001

Pentagon: Boost Training With Computer-Troop Mind Meld

Wired
By Katie Drummond
April 27, 2010

The Pentagon is looking to better train its troops — by scanning their minds as they play video games.
Adaptive, mind-reading computer systems have been a work-in-progress among military agencies for at least a decade. In 2000, far-out research agency Darpa launched “Augmented Cognition,” a program that sought to develop computers that used EEG scans to adjust how they displayed information — visually, orally, or otherwise — to avoid overtaxing one realm of a troop’s cognition.
The Air Force also took up the idea, by trying to use EEGs to “assess the operator’s actual cognitive state” and “avoid cognitive bottlenecks before they occur.”
Zeroing in on brainpower is a strategy that reflects the changing tactics of fighting wars: today’s troop needs to be as cognitively ready as they are physically — if not more. They’ve also got to spend more time on the ground in urban settings, interacting with locals and canvassing for information. That’s where virtual cultural trainers often come in handy. Troops are prepped in language, social norms and cultural sensitivity, before they even leave their base.
The trainers are quickly becoming more sophisticated. As Danger Room pal Peter Singer notes, the Pentagon is already using “three-dimensional experiences that hit multiple senses,” including, in one case, a wearable collar that emits key odors.
Now, the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is soliciting small business proposals for an even more immersive trainer, one that includes voice-recognition technology, and picks up on vocal tone and facial gestures. The game would then react and adapt to a war-fighter’s every action. For example, if a player’s gesture “insults the local tribal leader,” the trainee would “find that future interactions with the population are more difficult and more hostile.”