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2010 October 21 | Activist News

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 »


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 »

Daily Archives: October 21, 2010

Tibetan students protest, say China is wiping out their culture

October 21, 2010
By Helena Hong

(CNN) — Thousands or hundreds of Tibetan students have taken to the streets in protest this week, depending on divergent accounts — one from advocates for a free Tibet and another from the ruling Chinese government.

The students say their culture is being wiped out as China overhauls curriculum and limits the use of the Tibetan language in schools.

“The protest resulted from a new education policy which reduces Tibetan language teachings,” an official identified only as Mr. Wang, speaking for the International Information Office of the Qinghai government, said Thursday.

The government said 800 students protested in western China on Tuesday. The activist group Free Tibet said 4,000 to 6,000 students protested. Independent verification is severely restricted by Chinese restrictions on media freedom.

“We want equality of culture,” the students chanted in Tongren county in Huangnan Autonomous Prefecture.

“The protests were sparked by Chinese educational reforms in Rebkong, which stipulate that all subjects will be taught in Chinese and that all textbooks will be in Chinese, except for Tibetan language and English classes. These reforms have already been implemented in other areas across the Tibet Autonomous Region, including in primary schools,” the group Free Tibet said. “The use of Tibetan is being systematically wiped out as part of China’s strategy to cement its occupation of Tibet.”

Full Article Here – http://edition.cnn.com/2010/WORLD/asiapcf/10/21/tibet.student.protest/index.html?hpt=T2

Efforts to Prosecute Blackwater Collapse

New York Times
October 20, 2010

WASHINGTON — Nearly four years after the federal government began a string of investigations and criminal prosecutions against Blackwater Worldwide personnel accused of murder and other violent crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the cases are beginning to fall apart, burdened by a legal obstacle of the government’s own making.

In the most recent and closely watched case, the Justice Department on Monday said that it would not seek murder charges against Andrew J. Moonen, a Blackwater armorer accused of killing a guard assigned to an Iraqi vice president on Dec. 24, 2006. Justice officials said that they were abandoning the case after an investigation that began in early 2007, and included trips to Baghdad by federal prosecutors and F.B.I. agents to interview Iraqi witnesses.

The government’s decision to drop the Moonen case follows a series of failures by prosecutors around the country in cases aimed at former personnel of Blackwater, which is now known as Xe Services. In September, a Virginia jury was unable to reach a verdict in the murder trial of two former Blackwater guards accused of killing two Afghan civilians. Late last year, charges were dismissed against five former Blackwater guards who had been indicted on manslaughter and related weapons charges in a September 2007 shooting incident in Nisour Square in Baghdad, in which 17 Iraqi civilians were killed.

Interviews with lawyers involved in the cases, outside legal experts and a review of some records show that federal prosecutors have failed to overcome a series of legal hurdles, including the difficulties of obtaining evidence in war zones, of gaining proper jurisdiction for prosecutions in American civilian courts, and of overcoming immunity deals given to defendants by American officials on the scene.

“The battlefield,” said Charles Rose, a professor at Stetson University College of Law in Florida, “is not a place that lends itself to the preservation of evidence.”

The difficulty of these cases also illustrates the tricky legal questions raised by the government’s increasing use of private contractors in war zones.

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/21/world/21contractors.html?_r=2&hp

Carter: Palestinians live in ‘cage’

Kuwait Times
October 20, 2010

DAMASCUS: Former US President Jimmy Carter said yesterday that Palestinians are “living in a cage” in Gaza and that the militant group Hamas must be included in all major efforts for peace. Carter was in Syria with an international group of veteran statesmen known as the Elders, which includes Ireland’s former President Mary Robinson. “We believe that Hamas should be included in all the major efforts to peace … It is part of the Palestinian people,” Carter said. He added that “1.5 million Palestinians ar
e held in a cage or prison while their human rights are taken away”.

The Elders called yesterday for a “more energetic” drive for Middle East peace, warning that the major powers appeared to be more interested in conflict management than resolution. In a statement issued in Damascus after talks in Gaza and Egypt, as well as in Syria, the four-strong delegation also called for urgent action to reconcile the feuding Palestinian factions and end the international boycott of the Islamist Hamas movement. “A far greater sense of urgency is needed. People are tired after almost tw
o decades of talks,” said the delegation’s leader, former Irish president Mary Robinson.

They are asking themselves whether the United States and the Quartet are more interested in managing the conflict than resolving it,” she said, referring to the European Union, Russia and the United Nations, which, with the United States, make up the four sponsors of the peace process. “As Elders, we believe the two-state solution has the potential to deliver peace but a more energetic and comprehensive approach is needed.

Carter warned there was widespread pessimism in the Arab world about the prospects for renewed peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which have run into the ground over Israel’s refusal to renew restrictions on Jewish settlement construction in the occupied West Bank. “Expectations across the region for the current talks between Israel and the Palestinians are very low,” Carter said. “One of the foundations of hope is to see things getting better, but things are not improving. How can you expect
people without hope to believe in a better future?

Carter was not with the delegation when it visited Hamas-ruled Gaza on Saturday but he hit out at continuing Israeli restrictions on the impoverished territory. “The blockade is one of the most serious human rights violations on Earth and it must be lifted fully,” said the former US president, who did take part in the delegation’s talks with exiled Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal in Damascus yesterday.

Full Article Here – http://www.kuwaittimes.net/read_news.php?newsid=MzEwNTkwNDk5

3 environmental groups sue BP over gulf oil spill

LA Times
October 20, 2010
By Richard Fausset

The suit alleges that the Deepwater Horizon rig disaster caused an oil spill that harmed and killed both endangered and threatened species, which may continue to feel the effects long after the cleanup.

Three environmental advocacy groups sued BP on Wednesday, alleging the company’s Gulf of Mexico oil spill harmed and killed both endangered and threatened species — one of hundreds of civil suits the oil giant will probably be fighting for years.

The suit, brought by the nonprofit groups Defenders of Wildlife, Gulf Restoration Network and the Save the Manatee Club, says that the April 20 Deepwater Horizon rig blowout and the resulting oil spill “have caused and will continue to cause the take of endangered and threatened species,” including whales, manatees, birds and sea turtles that “show no avoidance response to oil slicks.”

“Our concern is that the impact on threatened and endangered species is going to continue for a long time after the oil spill is in the news,” said Gregory Buppert, a Defenders of Wildlife attorney. The lawsuit, brought under the Endangered Species Act, will “make BP accountable for the ongoing impacts,” he said.

The suit suggests some of the ways the court could hold BP accountable, including helping to establish national marine sanctuaries and creating a permanent endowment to restore and study gulf species.

BP officials did not return a call seeking comment. But the company has repeatedly vowed to aggressively clean up the oil and restore the gulf, including funding a major wildlife rehabilitation program and committing $500 million to research on the effects of the spill.

The gulf region is home to at least 27 endangered or threatened species. The rig explosion killed 11 workers and spilled 4.9 million barrels of oil. More than 600 sea turtles were found dead and an additional 456 were found alive but soiled with oil. More than 4,300 oiled birds have been found, more than half of them dead.

Long-term effects on wildlife are unclear. Much of the oil remains dispersed deep under the sea. Scientists are unsure how this and 1.8 million gallons of chemical dispersant will alter the fate of marine creatures and habitats.

Wednesday’s lawsuit, filed in federal court in New Orleans, is likely to be rolled into the massive “multidistrict litigation” action, in which one federal judge handles proceedings that are combined into one unified process, said Catherine Wannamaker, senior attorney for the Southern Environmental Law Center, who is representing the plaintiffs.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier is presiding over more than 300 cases related to the spill, including personal injury and death cases and loss claims from individuals, businesses and governments. Barbier is also handling environmental cases, including a suit brought by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking $19 billion in civil penalties under the Clean Water Act.

Full Article Here – http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-bp-lawsuit-20101021,0,4632460.story

Every email and website to be stored

October 20, 2010
By Tom Whitehead

Every email, phone call and website visit is to be recorded and stored after the Coalition Government revived controversial Big Brother snooping plans. 

It will allow security services and the police to spy on the activities of every Briton who uses a phone or the internet.
Moves to make every communications provider store details for at least a year will be unveiled later this year sparking fresh fears over a return of the surveillance state.

The plans were shelved by the Labour Government last December but the Home Office is now ready to revive them.

It comes despite the Coalition Agreement promised to “end the storage of internet and email records without good reason”.

Any suggestion of a central “super database” has been ruled out but the plans are expected to involve service providers storing all users details for a set period of time.

That will allow the security and police authorities to track every phone call, email, text message and website visit made by the public if they argue it is needed to tackle crime or terrorism.

The information will include who is contacting whom, when and where and which websites are visited, but not the content of the conversations or messages.

The move was buried in the Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review, which revealed: “We will introduce a programme to preserve the ability of the security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies to obtain communication data and to intercept communications within the appropriate legal framework.

“This programme is required to keep up with changing technology and to maintain capabilities that are vital to the work these agencies do to protect the public.

Full Article Here – http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/8075563/Every-email-and-website-to-be-stored.html

Cleric on US kill list attended Pentagon lunch after 9/11: reports

Raw Story
October 20, 2010
By Daniel Tencer

A US citizen linked to Al Qaeda who is being targeted for extra-judicial killing by the CIA lunched at the Pentagon several months after the 9/11 attacks, news sources confirmed Wednesday.

Anwar al-Awlaki, a Muslim cleric born in New Mexico who is now believed to be in Yemen, was invited to have lunch at the Pentagon shortly after 9/11 as part of the military’s outreach effort to Muslims, officials confirmed to NBC News.

NBC reports: “According to the officials, al-Awlaki was invited as part of a Pentagon outreach program to convince influential Muslims that the war in Afghanistan was aimed at al-Qaida, not Muslims.

The FBI obtained the information during its investigation into the Fort Hood shooting rampage last November and alleged gunman Nidal Hasan’s contact with Awlaki”

According to officials, the information came during an FBI interview with a female lawyer who worked in the Defense Department’s general counsel’s office.

“It’s clear at the time (when the Pentagon was reaching out to Muslims) that no one here knew of any terrorist ties Awlaki may have had,” an unnamed “senior Pentagon official” told NBC.

But the FBI evidently did know. NBC News reports that al-Awlaki was actually interviewed three times by the FBI shortly after the 9/11 attacks, as he had been in contact with three of the alleged hijackers. Fox News reports that three were Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour, all of whom were aboard Flight 77.

But at the time the Pentagon saw al-Awlaki as “an ‘up and coming’ member of the [moderate] Islamic community. After … vetting, [Awlaki] was invited to and attended a luncheon at the Pentagon in the secretary of the Army’s Office of [General] Counsel,” according to documents obtained by Fox.

Al-Awlaki has been linked to no less than three recent terrorist plots or attacks on US soil. His name first rose to prominence in the US last year, when it was alleged that accused Fort Hood shooter Nidal Malik Hasan emailed the cleric.

Full Article Here – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/10/cleric-hit-list-attended-pentagon-lunch/