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2010 November 11 | 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: November 11, 2010

Russian journalists march against attacks on media

AFP
November 11, 2010

MOSCOW (AFP) – Hundreds of reporters and bloggers rallied in central Moscow on Thursday to demand Kremlin answers on a spate of attacks against the media that have refocused attention on basic freedoms in Russia.

An estimated 400 to 500 demonstrators gathered in Moscow’s Pushkin Square — just blocks from the Kremlin — with signs demanding “an end to the terror” and a full Kremlin investigation into the accumulating incidents.

“Attacks against reporters are attacks against readers,” another sign read.

Moscow authorities took the unusual step of allowing the demonstration after the weekend attack on leading Russian reporter Oleg Kashin — a prolific blogger who writes about controversial local issues and general social affairs.

His beating was caught on closed-circuit television and received heavy coverage on state TV news. It also quickly prompted President Dmitry Medvedev to vow unprecedented backing for media freedoms.

The Russian leader promised the nation that authorities would find Kashin’s assailants “regardless of his position, place in society or accomplishments.”

The tense media environment saw Russian investigators on Thursday reopen a mothballed probe into a brutal 2008 assault on another independent reporter who wrote about issues similar to those of Kashin.

The investigative committee of prosecutors announced that it was relaunching the case of Mikhail Beketov — editor of the Khimkinskaya Pravda weekly in Khimiki suburb of Moscow that has been the location of a bitterly contested road construction plan.

The attack left the 52-year-old Beketov suffering from brain damage — the first of several people who covered the expensive project to come under attack. The probe’s reopening was never explained.

Doctors put the 30-year-old Kashin in an induced coma on his arrival in the hospital. The reporter had become responsive on Thursday but medics did not provide a prognosis.

The road construction plans through Moscow’s protected woods have been surrounded by political controversy and unfortunate incidents happening to people who either cover issue or try to save the forests.

Konstantin Fetisov — an environmentalist who also fought the forest’s removal — reported being attacked last week.

And suburban Moscow reporter Anatoly Adamchuk claimed to have been assaulted early Monday after writing articles about another forest. The police responded this week by accusing Adamchuk of staging his own assault.

The Pushkin Square demonstrators expressed fears that the Kremlin would only focus its attention on the more famous Kashin incident while quietly dropping its pursuit of the other investigations.

“Oleg Kashin is a public victim whom the president spoke about directly and now all the civil servants have to follow the president’s orders,” human rights campaigner Lev Ponomaryov said at the rally.

“But what will happen to Fetisov? After all, he is in a coma, too,” Ponomaryov stressed.

Full Article Here – http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/afp/101111/world/russia_crime_media_rights

Amnesty: prosecute Bush for admitted waterboarding

Reuters
November 10, 2010

LONDON (Reuters) – The United States must prosecute former President George W. Bush for torture if his admission in a memoir that he authorized waterboarding holds true, rights group Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

In “Decision Points,” published this week, Bush defended his decision to authorize waterboarding, a form of simulated drowning condemned by some as torture.

Bush said the practice was limited to three detainees and led to intelligence breakthroughs that thwarted attacks and saved lives. He told NBC in an interview to publicize the book that his legal adviser had told him it did “not fall within the anti-torture act.”

Amnesty International’s Senior Director Claudio Cordone said in a statement: “Under international law, anyone involved in torture must be brought to justice, and that does not exclude former President George W. Bush.

“If his admission is substantiated, the U.S.A. has the obligation to prosecute him,” he said. “In the absence of a U.S. investigation, other states must step in and carry out such an investigation themselves.”

Waterboarding was banned by Bush’s successor, President Barack Obama, shortly after he took office in 2009.

Interrogators are now required to follow interrogation guidelines laid out in the U.S. Army Field Manual, which excludes the practice.

Bush wrote that waterboarding was first approved for Abu Zubaydah, an al Qaeda figure arrested in Pakistan in 2002 who was suspected of involvement in a plot to attack Los Angeles International Airport.

Full Article Here – http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/101110/us/politics_us_usa_bush_amnesty

U.S. Tweaks Message: Troops Will Still Be in Afghanistan in 2014

New York Times
November 10, 2010
By ELISABETH BUMILLER

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is increasingly emphasizing the idea that the United States will have forces in Afghanistan until at least the end of 2014, a change in tone aimed at persuading the Afghans and the Taliban that there will be no significant American troop withdrawals next summer.

In a move away from President Obama’s deadline of July 2011 for the start of an American drawdown from Afghanistan, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, all cited 2014 this week as the key date for handing over the defense of Afghanistan to the Afghans themselves. Implicit in their message, delivered at a security and diplomatic conference in Australia, was that the United States would be fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan for at least four more years.

Administration officials said that the three had made loosely coordinated comments at the conference, held in Melbourne, to try to convince Afghans that the United States was not walking away next summer and to warn the Taliban that current aggressive operations against them would continue. Although Mr. Obama and administration officials have repeatedly said that July 2011 would be only the start of American troop withdrawals, the Taliban have successfully promoted the deadline among the Afghan populace as a large-scale exit of the 100,000 United States troops currently in the country.

“There’s not really any change, but what we’re trying to do is to get past that July 2011 obsession so that people can see what the president’s strategy really entails,” a senior administration official said Wednesday.
In Australia, Mr. Gates told reporters that the Taliban were “going to be very surprised come August, September, October and November, when most American forces are still there, and still coming after them.”

The message shift is effectively a victory for the military, which has long said that the July 2011 deadline undermined its mission by making Afghans reluctant to work with troops perceived to be leaving shortly.
“They say you’ll leave in 2011 and the Taliban will chop their heads off,” Cpl. Lisa Gardner, a Marine based in Helmand Province, told a reporter this past spring. This summer Gen. James T. Conway, then the Marine Corps’s commandant, went so far as to say that the deadline “was probably giving our enemy sustenance.”

Last year the White House insisted on the July deadline to inject a sense of urgency into the Afghans to get their security in order — military officials acknowledge that it has partly worked — but also to quiet critics in the Democratic Party upset about Mr. Obama’s escalation of the war and his decision to order 30,000 more troops to the country.

On Wednesday, the White House insisted that there had been no change in tone. “The old message was, we’re looking to July 2011 to begin a transition,” a White House official said. “Now we’re telling people what happens beyond 2011, and I don’t think that represents a shift. We’re bringing some clarity to the policy of our future in Afghanistan.”

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/11/world/asia/11military.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

Multiple independent lab tests confirm oil in Gulf shrimp

Raw Story
November 10, 2010
By Stephen C. Webster

Experts operating states apart confirm toxic content in not just shrimp, but crab and fish too
The federal government is going out of its way to assure the public that seafood pulled from recently reopened Gulf of Mexico waters is safe to consume, in spite of the largest accidental release of crude oil in America’s history.

However, testing methodologies used by the government to deem areas of water safe for commercial fishing are woefully inadequate and permit high levels of toxic compounds to slip into the human food chain, according to a series of scientific and medical professionals interviewed by Raw Story.

In two separate cases, a toxicologist and a chemist independently confirmed their seafood samples contained unusually high volumes of crude oil and harmful hydrocarbons — and some of this food was allegedly being sent to market.

One test, conducted by a chemist from Mobile, Alabama, employed a rudimentary chemical analysis of shrimp pulled from waters near Louisiana and found “oil and grease” in their digestive tracts.

The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) tests, which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have focused on the animal’s flesh, with samples shelled and cleaned before undergoing examination.

Unfortunately, many Gulf coast residents prepare shrimp whole, tossing the creatures into boiling water shells and all.

“I wouldn’t eat shrimp, fish or crab caught in the Gulf,” said Robert M. Naman, a chemist at ACT Labs in Mobile, Alabama, who conducted the test after being contacted by a New Orleans activist. “The problems people will face, health-wise, are something that people don’t understand.”

Full Article Here – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/11/activist-lab-tests-show-dangerously-toxic-substances-present-gulf-shrimp/

FCC Investigating Google Data Collection

Wall Street Journal
November 10, 2010
By AMY SCHATZ And AMIR EFRATI

The Federal Communications Commission is investigating whether Google Inc. broke federal laws when its street-mapping service collected consumers’ personal information, joining a lengthy list of regulators and lawmakers probing what Google says was the inadvertent harvesting of private data sent over wireless networks.

Key Republicans and Democrats in Congress have indicated that the privacy issues raised by Google’s Street View data collection could be a factor when lawmakers consider new Internet privacy legislation next year.

Rep. Joe Barton of Texas, a senior Republican lawmaker, suggested last week on C-SPAN that Google’s data collection wasn’t accidental and that it was “something to look at.”

The FCC opened its investigation earlier this year. “As the agency charged with overseeing the public airwaves, we are committed to ensuring that the consumers affected by this breach of privacy receive a full and fair accounting,” said Michele Ellison, the chief of the FCC’s enforcement bureau, in a statement confirming the investigation.

The FCC doesn’t generally disclose details of its investigations publicly.
In May, the FCC received a complaint from Electronic Privacy Information Center, a privacy advocacy group, asking it to investigate whether Google violated federal communications law designed to prevent electronic eavesdropping. Intentional violations of the law could result in fines of up to $50,000 for each violation.

Regulators around the world and several U.S. state attorneys general are also investigating Google’s possible privacy breach. The regulators are looking into whether Google street-mapping teams collected and stored passwords, emails and other personal information collected from unprotected wireless Internet networks around the world.