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2010 November 22 | Activist News
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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 »

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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 22, 2010

Racism is institutional in upper tiers of British society, says Lord Parekh

Guardian
November 22, 2010
By Amelia Hill

Racism is endemic across society’s highest echelons, from the police to the judiciary, politics and education, according to Lord Parekh, chairman of a groundbreaking report that shaped much of New Labour’s policy on multiculturalism.

Heralded as “the most important contribution to the national debate on racial discrimination for many years” when it was launched in 2000 by the then home secretary Jack Straw, the Commission on the Future of Multi-Ethnic Britain led to the reform of Britain’s social, cultural and political institutions.

But Parekh has admitted that he is disappointed by sections of the upper tiers of many institutions in their failure to tackle racism in the 10 years since the report.


“Ethnic minority representation in the higher echelons of the judiciary, civil service, heads of universities, and cabinet is quite small,” he said. “Although there are, happily, 24 black and ethnic minority MPs, their number does not reflect their presence in society. The ethnic minority representation in NHS trusts and CEOs of hospitals is extremely small, even though ethnic minorities provide nearly a quarter of our doctors.

“Look at the heads of our diplomatic missions abroad. Ethnic minorities there are negligible, just less than 2%. As a result, Britain presents a predominantly white profile abroad, which we cannot afford when we seek close trade ties with India and China.”

Parekh was talking to the Guardian before a speech at the London School of Economics tomorrow evening, in which he will revisit the issue of multiculturalism for the first time since 2000. He said government cuts would increase racial discrimination and could lead to unrest.

“The coalition government’s policy is disturbing,” he said. “They are in danger of dismantling the advances we have worked so hard to achieve over the last decade by their determination to implement cuts that will disproportionately impact disadvantaged, black and ethnic minority communities.”

Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/nov/22/racism-institutional-british-society-report-parekh

FBI raids 3 hedge funds in insider case: report

Reuters
November 22, 2010
By Matthew Goldstein and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The FBI raided three hedge funds in connection with a widening probe into insider trading, the Wall Street Journal said on Monday.

Diamondback Capital Management LLC and Level Global Investors LP, two Connecticut funds run by former managers of Steven Cohen’s SAC Capital Advisors, were among those raided, according to the report.

Also raided was Boston-based Loch Capital Management, according to the report. Loch has had close ties with a witness who pleaded guilty in a separate insider trading probe centered on the Galleon Group hedge fund.


The raids come as federal prosecutors prepare to unveil a series of new insider trading cases against hedge fund traders, consultants and Wall Street bankers, several lawyers familiar with the investigation said.

This is on top of what prosecutors have described as the largest U.S. hedge fund insider trading case ever.
That case is centered on Raj Rajaratnam’s hedge fund Galleon Group, and has led to criminal or civil charges against at least 23 people since being announced just over one year ago.

“The Justice Department promised a more muscular approach to white-collar crime, and is delivering,” said Eugene O’Donnell, a professor at the City University of New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

FBI spokesman Richard Kolko on Monday said the agency had executed search warrants in connection with an ongoing investigation. He declined to discuss the nature of the probe or the targets. A different FBI spokesman confirmed a raid took place at a downtown Boston building housing Loch offices.

Started in 2005, Diamondback oversees roughly $5 billion of assets and is based in Stamford, Connecticut. Based in nearby Greenwich, Level Global has roughly $4 billion of assets and is run by SAC alumnus David Ganek. Loch once had more than $2 billion of assets.

None immediately returned requests for comment.

DETERRENCE

Lawyers familiar with the expanded probe said charges could be filed this year, and come in several cases rather than one large case targeting the hedge fund industry. The lawyers asked not to be named because the investigations are ongoing.

“Especially in this kind of a case, the end game is deterrence,” O’Donnell said. “The number of prosecutions will always be small, but deterrence can have a multiplier effect that stops untold numbers of other people from doing this kind of conduct.”

In the case centered on Galleon, 14 people have pleaded guilty to criminal charges, Rajaratnam and seven others have pleaded not guilty, and one is at large.

Among those to plead guilty is Steven Fortuna, a former managing director at Boston-based hedge fund S2 Capital LLC believed to be friends with Loch’s co-founders, the twin brothers Timothy and Todd McSweeney.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101122/us_nm/us_hedgefunds_fbi

US launches giant eavesdropping satellite

AFP
November 22, 2010

The United States has placed in orbit a vast reconnaissance satellite reputed to be the largest eavesdropping device ever launched into space.

The largest unmanned American launch vehicle, the Delta-4 Heavy rocket, roared into the the night sky in Cape Canaveral, Florida on Sunday carrying the mysterious satellite on a mission dubbed NROL-32.

The National Reconnaissance Office did not disclose the purpose of the satellite but widespread reports in the US media suggest it is for eavesdropping on enemy communications.


“This second Delta IV Heavy launch for the NRO is the culmination of years of hard work and dedication by the combined NRO, Air Force, supplier and ULA team,” said United Launch Alliance vice-president Jim Sponnick.

“ULA is pleased to support the NRO as it protects our nation’s security and supports our warriors defending our nation around the world.”

Full Article Here – http://uk.news.yahoo.com/18/20101122/tsc-us-launches-giant-eavesdropping-sate-e123fef.html

Number of Army suicides already surpasses 2009 total

National Journal
November 22, 2010
By Sara Sorcher

Despite a rapidly expanding effort to improve the mental well-being of its soldiers, new Army data suggest that the service’s suicide epidemic shows little sign of improvement, with more troops taking their own lives so far this year than ever before.

The data released by the Pentagon on Friday indicate that there were 25 potential suicides for both active-duty and reserve service members. Two by active-duty troops were confirmed. In a separate document from the Army, five suicides of reservists have been confirmed. The rest are all under investigation.

As of Friday’s numbers, at least 172 soldiers committed suicide this year – surpassing last year’s total of 162 for all of 2009.

Suicide is the third-leading cause of death for soldiers, trailing only combat deaths and accidental deaths from drug overdoses and drunken driving, the Army’s Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Chiarelli said in the foreword to a report on military suicide issued in July. Chiarelli, a four-star general, has made a personal commitment to suicide prevention.

The military has invested tens of millions of dollars in a crash effort to combat the ever-increasing suicide rate, hiring more mental-health professionals, installing video-teleconferencing centers to allow soldiers on remote bases in Afghanistan to communicate with stateside mental-health professionals, and distributing laminated cards for soldiers to better recognize signs of depression or suicidal thoughts.

Many soldiers are reluctant to admit that they’re depressed or anxious for fear of harming their careers, being passed over for promotions, or being mocked by their peers.

“Army leaders at every level have an enormous influence on helping to eliminate the stigma surrounding seeking behavioral health assistance, reducing high-risk behavior and reducing our unacceptable casualty rates,” Col. Chris Philbrick, deputy director of the Army’s risk reduction task force, said in the Pentagon news release.

When U.S. forces invaded Iraq in 2003, the Army’s suicide rate was 11.4 per 100,000 soldiers. By last year, it reached 21.8 per 100,000 soldiers, surpassing the suicide rate of the general population for the first time.

Full Article Here – http://www.govexec.com/dailyfed/1110/112210nj3.htm

One billion people cannot afford healthcare: WHO

Reuters
November 22, 2010
By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – Around a billion people cannot afford any health services, and paying for healthcare pushes about 100 million people a year into poverty, the World Health Organisation said on Monday.

In a global report on financing health systems, the United Nations health body said all countries, rich and poor, could do more toward getting universal coverage and urged them to think about ways to increase efficiency and use new taxes and innovative fund-raising measures to boost access to healthcare.

“For many, health services just don’t exist, for others they are not affordable. When they’re not affordable it means you either choose not to use them or you suffer severe financial hardship,” David Evans, the WHO’s director of health systems financing, said in a briefing on the report’s findings.


The World Health Report 2010 lays out steps countries could take to raise more funds and reduce financial barriers to obtaining healthcare, and to make health services more efficient.

It found that to stop payment for healthcare impoverishing people, direct, out-of-pocket payments should make up less than 15 to 20 percent of a country’s total health spending.

Yet currently, in 33 mainly low- and middle-income countries, direct payments from individuals receiving healthcare still account for more than 50 percent of total health spending.

It suggested governments should look at diversifying sources of revenue from levies such as “sin” taxes on products like tobacco and alcohol, currency transaction taxes, and national “solidarity” taxes on certain sectors.

If India were to implement a levy of 0.005 percent on foreign exchange transactions, it could raise $370 million per year, the report said. Gabon raised $30 million for health in 2009 by imposing a 1.5 percent levy on companies handling remittances and a 10 percent tax on mobile phone operators.

HEALTH, OR FINANCIAL RUIN?

WHO director general Margaret Chan wrote in a foreword to the report that “no one in need of healthcare, whether curative or preventive, should risk financial ruin as a result.”

“As the world grapples with economic slowdown, globalization of diseases … and growing demands for chronic care … the need for universal health coverage, and a strategy for financing it, has never been greater,” the report said.

Full Article Here – http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/101122/world/international_us_who_finance

One billion people cannot afford healthcare: WHO

Reuters
November 22, 2010
By Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – Around a billion people cannot afford any health services, and paying for healthcare pushes about 100 million people a year into poverty, the World Health Organisation said on Monday.

In a global report on financing health systems, the United Nations health body said all countries, rich and poor, could do more toward getting universal coverage and urged them to think about ways to increase efficiency and use new taxes and innovative fund-raising measures to boost access to healthcare.

“For many, health services just don’t exist, for others they are not affordable. When they’re not affordable it means you either choose not to use them or you suffer severe financial hardship,” David Evans, the WHO’s director of health systems financing, said in a briefing on the report’s findings.

The World Health Report 2010 lays out steps countries could take to raise more funds and reduce financial barriers to obtaining healthcare, and to make health services more efficient.

It found that to stop payment for healthcare impoverishing people, direct, out-of-pocket payments should make up less than 15 to 20 percent of a country’s total health spending.

Yet currently, in 33 mainly low- and middle-income countries, direct payments from individuals receiving healthcare still account for more than 50 percent of total health spending.

It suggested governments should look at diversifying sources of revenue from levies such as “sin” taxes on products like tobacco and alcohol, currency transaction taxes, and national “solidarity” taxes on certain sectors.

If India were to implement a levy of 0.005 percent on foreign exchange transactions, it could raise $370 million per year, the report said. Gabon raised $30 million for health in 2009 by imposing a 1.5 percent levy on companies handling remittances and a 10 percent tax on mobile phone operators.

HEALTH, OR FINANCIAL RUIN?

WHO director general Margaret Chan wrote in a foreword to the report that “no one in need of healthcare, whether curative or preventive, should risk financial ruin as a result.”

“As the world grapples with economic slowdown, globalization of diseases … and growing demands for chronic care … the need for universal health coverage, and a strategy for financing it, has never been greater,” the report said.

“There is no magic bullet to achieving universal access. Nevertheless, a wide range of experiences from around the world suggests that countries can move forward faster.”

Full Article Here – http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/reuters/101122/world/international_us_who_finance

Condom remarks may alter AIDS fight, pope’s legacy

Associated Press
November 21, 2010
By VICTOR L. SIMPSON

VATICAN CITY – Vatican officials insist it’s nothing “revolutionary,” but to many other people Pope Benedict XVI’s recent comments regarding condom use mark an important moment in the battle against AIDS and an effort by the pontiff to burnish his image and legacy.

Just a year after he said condoms could be making the AIDS crisis worse, Benedict said that for some people, such as male prostitutes, using them could represent a first step in assuming moral responsibility “in the intention of reducing the risk of infection.”

The Vatican’s ban on contraception remains, but Alberto Melloni, an Italian church historian, said Benedict “opened without a doubt a crack that cannot help but have consequences.”

Benedict stepped where no pope has gone since Paul VI’s famous 1968 encyclical “Humanae Vitae” barred Catholics from using condoms and other artificial contraception. Pressure to lift the ban has grown with the spread of the HIV virus, which has infected some 60 million people worldwide and led to 25 million AIDS-related deaths over three decades.

The pope chose to make his statement not in an official document but in an interview with a German journalist, Peter Seewald, that is coming out this week in the book “Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times.” L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, published excerpts Saturday.

The pope says in his own writings that he takes personal responsibility for the remarks, meaning they are not official church teaching.

The conservative Benedict previously had given little sign of budging on the issue of condoms. Last year while en route to Africa, the continent HIV has hit hardest by far, he drew criticism from many health workers by saying condoms not only did not help stop the spread of AIDS but exacerbated the problem.

A number of top churchmen, including the Italian Cardinal Carlo Maria Martini, one of Benedict’s rivals during his 2005 election as pope, have been calling for a humanitarian gesture on the issue of condoms. Others, including prelates in Africa, have said condom use is worth considering when one partner in a marriage is HIV positive.

Benedict did not address such cases in his interview, and he reaffirmed church teaching against artificial contraception. But he said, “There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility.”

Asked if that meant that the church wasn’t opposed in principle to condoms, the pope replied:

The church “of course does not regard it as a real or moral solution, but in this or that case, there can be nonetheless in the intention of reducing the risk of infection, a first step in a movement toward a different way, a more human way, of living sexuality,” according to an English translation of the book obtained by The Associated Press.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101121/ap_on_re_eu/eu_pope_condoms

Human rights groups slam death squad suspect release

Morning Star
November 21, 2010

An Israeli citizen wanted in Colombia for training right-wing death squads arrived in Ben Gurion airport on Saturday after being released from a Moscow jail.

His arrival disappointed activists and victims who have tried for years to bring him to justice.

Yair Klein is accused of training paramilitary groups in the 1980s that stole land and murdered hundreds of Colombians during a decade-long reign of terror across the countryside.

Human rights activists are pleading with Israel to open an investigation into Mr Klein’s actions during that period.

Their hope is that he could then be tried in Colombia where the crimes are alleged to have taken place.

Jose-Miguel Vivanco of the New York-based Human Rights Watch said: “Israel should not be a safe haven for somebody who is implicated in atrocities in Colombia.”

Full Article Here – http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/index.php/news/content/view/full/97884