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2010 November 27 | 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 »

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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 »

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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 27, 2010

Nigeria detains 12 in Halliburton bribery case

Reuters
November 27, 2010

LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s anti-corruption police have raided the offices of the U.S. oilfield services group Halliburton and arrested 12 people in a bribery case involving the former Halliburton unit KBR Inc, a spokesman said on Saturday.

The U.S. firm said the detentions, carried out on Thursday, had no legal basis and that its employees had since been freed.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) said it had detained 10 Halliburton staff for questioning and one senior employee each from oil services firms Saipem Contracting Nigeria Ltd and Technip Offshore Nigeria Ltd.


Eni, Saipem’s parent company, declined to comment.

“We are still looking for the (local) managing director of Halliburton,” EFCC spokesman Femi Babafemi said.

Those detained in the raid, carried out with the assistance of armed police, included Giuseppe Surace,
believed to be Saipem’s country manager, and Frank Pliya from Technip, as well as a mixture of expatriates and Nigerians, Babafemi said.

Halliburton said in a statement that its employees were not connected with the case, and that they had all subsequently been released.

Nigerian authorities entered the offices of Halliburton in Lagos, ransacked the property, assaulted personnel and took a number of non-managerial employees into custody … this action had no legal basis,” its statement said.

Houston-based engineering firm KBR pleaded guilty last year to U.S. charges that it paid $180 million in bribes between 1994 and 2004 to Nigerian officials to secure $6 billion in contracts for the Bonny Island liquefied natural gas (LNG) project.

KBR and Halliburton reached a $579 million settlement in the United States but Nigeria, France and Switzerland have conducted their own investigations into the case.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20101127/ts_nm/us_nigeria_halliburton

Austria: 1000s of demonstrators protest against government austerity measures

Associated Press
November 27, 2010

VIENNA (AP) – Several thousand demonstrators have gathered in Austria’s capital to protest against government austerity measures in education, heath care and family allowances.

Police estimated between 2,000 and 3,000 people were taking part in a rally in downtown Vienna which was scheduled to end on a central square in front of Chancellor Werner Faymann’s office later Saturday.

Police said no incidents were reported.

Organizers said the rally would be repeated on Tuesday, when the proposed measures, which aim to cut state expenses by euro1.6 billion ($2.0 billion) in 2011, will be discussed in Austria’s parliament.

Full Article Here – http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/market_news/article.jsp?content=D9JOHQG03

Thousands expected to protest Irish austerity plan

Associated Press
November 27, 2010
By DAVID STRINGER and SHAWN POGATCHNIK

DUBLIN – Tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected in Dublin to oppose the government’s harsh austerity plan, aimed at slashing the country’s budget deficit to meet the terms of a bailout for its humbled economy.

The labor union-organized rally Saturday follows Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen’s announcement Wednesday of a four-year package to cut spending, raise taxes and ax thousands of state jobs, the toughest budget measures in the nation’s history.


Cowen acknowledged that living standards will fall, but insisted action is needed to tackle a 2010 deficit running at 32 percent of GDP, the highest in Europe since World War II.

His government will unveil an emergency annual budget on Dec. 7, which must be passed to allow an euro85 billion ($113 billion) loan from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

Ireland’s Congress of Trade Unions — an umbrella group which represents labor unions with about 832,000 members — said the protest would be a final chance to influence the budget.

“It’s difficult to see any justification — either economic, social, or indeed moral, for what the government proposes to do, and we’ll oppose them in every way we can,” said David Begg, general secretary of the group.

Cowen’s 2011 budget will seek euro4.5 billion ($6 billion) in spending cuts and to raise an extra euro1.5 billion ($2 billion) in taxes.

Though he is expected to have the plan endorsed at Ireland’s parliament, his governing Fianna Fail party lost a special election Friday, reducing the government’s majority.

Cowen has vowed to call a national election after the 2011 budget is passed into law.

Sally Anne Kinahan, of the labor union congress, said Saturday’s protest would allow people to “express their frustration and fear at the direction government policy is taking us in.”

Some have expressed surprise that Ireland’s public has so far restrained from rowdy protests. Greece saw violent clashes ahead of its own bailout, and imperiled Portugal has suffered a daylong strike that partially paralyzed public services.

Full Article Here – http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101127/ap_on_bi_ge/eu_ireland_financial_crisis

Cancún climate summit: Rich accused of ‘holding humanity hostage’

Guardian
November 26, 2010
By John Vidal and Jo Tuckman

In the absence of Barack Obama, David Cameron and most developed country leaders, a group of Britain’s least-welcome heads of state plans to grab centre-stage at next week’s global climate summit and accuse wealthy countries of a collective lack of ambition.

At the 194-nation summit in Cancún, Mexico, Hugo Chávez, president of Venezuela, Rafael Correa, president of Ecuador, and Bolivia’s Evo Morales, all of whom were accused by Gordon Brown of “holding the world to ransom” at last year’s political debacle at Copenhagen, plan to charge the rich nations with imperilling the poorest people in the world.


They will be joined by the presidents of Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, Brazil and Guatemala.

The Latin American presidents want to bolster the cause of nearly 100 small island states, and other poor countries on the frontline of climate change, which say that proposals to hold the global temperature rise to 2C threaten their existence.

Tonight the first shots were fired in what are likely to be serious diplomatic clashes at the talks. In an interview with the Guardian, Bolivia’s ambassador to the UN accused rich countries of “holding humanity hostage” and undermining the UN. “[Their] deliberate attempts to sideline democracy and justice in the climate debate will be viewed as reckless and immoral by future generations,” he said. “I feel that Cancún will become a new Copenhagen if there is no shift in the next few days.”

Connie Hedegaard, the European commissioner for climate action, warned journalists this week that if Cancún failed to move forward there would be a risk that some key parties would “start to simply lose interest in the international UN process”. She said: “If Cancún delivers nothing, or not much, then the UN process is in danger.”

The UK’s energy and climate change secretary, Chris Huhne, who will lead the British ministerial team and attend the talks during the second week of the conference, said negotiators needed to “keep the show on the road”. He said he wanted to see progress on deforestation, financing and encouraging the transfer of cleaner technology to poorer countries.

Huhne said: “If the world fails to stop emissions from continuing to climb by 2020, the prospects for the people on the planet are pretty bleak. Success from our point of view means getting closer to the legally binding deal we want.”

The Mexican foreign minister, Patricia Espinosa, told the Guardian that she could not rule out western leaders, including Obama, attending the talks if the negotiations went well. “I’d say it’s a possibility, for as long as [Obama] doesn’t confirm that he is not coming,” she said.Others criticised the lack of concrete action by the US. Earlier this year the senate put paid to Obama’s climate bill. Greenpeace and other international groups accused the US of deliberately holding up progress. “We can either let the US stall global climate action and risk the disintegration of the whole multilateral system, or create a binding deal that the US will have to catch up with,” said director John Sauven.

“The world would make speedier process without the Americans getting in the way.”, said Asad Rahman of Friends of the Earth International.

Developing countries are bitter about US attempts to impose on them the weak political deal agreed by some countries last year, said Martin Khor, director of the South Centre, a Geneva-based thinktank for developing countries.

He said: “Cancún is the acid test to see if rich countries are serious. Developing countries are pessimistic. They see only more demands by the US and no new offers of finance. People are sceptical of the offers already made, which have been shown are often not new money.”

“There is deep frustration among the least developed countries”, said Bruno Sikoli, the spokesman for the 54-strong group of mainly African countries. “We feel there has been far too much talking. If the rich countries put nothing new on the table, then it will be very serious. Climate change is affecting our countries hard now. It is most urgent.”

Full Article Here – http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/nov/26/cancun-climate-summit-humantiy-hostage

SIU clears officers in G20 probe

The Star
November 26,  2010
By Jayme Poisson

Brendan Latimer was knocked down by a herd of fellow protesters during a G20 demonstration at Queen’s Park.

Lying on the ground, police moved in and arrested the delivery worker. That’s when one of the officers allegedly struck him in the face, causing a fracture.

The 19-year-old’s case is one of six from the June G20 summit that has been probed by Ontario’s Special Investigations Unit.

On Thursday, the agency announced no charges will be laid against police officers for injuries to civilians during the G20 protests.

In Latimer’s case, the agency interviewed nine witness officers from the Toronto Police Services as well a civilians. SIU director Ian Scott concluded that while there was “reasonable ground” to believe excessive force was used, they were unable to tell which officer caused his injuries.


“I’m let down, I’m very frustrated,” said Latimer, who says he also suffered two broken ribs and a deep cut to his head.

“They spent all this money installing cameras and surveillance devices . . . I’m enraged that they could use that stuff to catch protesters but not to catch police.

“It just seems like a double standard,” he added.

The SIU has a mandate to probe incidents involving police that result in death, allegations of sexual assault or serious injury.

Frank Phillips, an SIU spokesperson, said that only six complaints from the G20 were investigated by his agency because, “these cases met our mandate of serious injury.”

Full Article Here - 

Digger charged over Afghan civilian deaths

ABC News
November 26, 2010

The Defence Force says a third soldier has been formally charged in relation to civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

In September, the Director of Military Prosecutions said she intended to charge three soldiers over the deaths last year.

Two soldiers were charged at the time, but the third soldier could not be formally charged because he was travelling overseas.

The Defence Force says the soldier has returned to Australia and has been served with the charges.
It says all three soldiers are being provided with the best possible support during the legal process.


Six people, including four children and a suspected Taliban insurgent, were killed when the Australian commandos attacked a compound in Uruzgan province in February 2009.

Full Article Here – http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/11/26/3077928.htm

Toxic water rising below Johannesburg

LA Times
November 26, 2010
By Robyn Dixon
  
Mining below the South African city left a huge pit now rapidly filling with blood red water. Experts warn that it will soon be too late to build the pumps and treatment plants needed.

The spring, just over 20 miles northwest of Johannesburg, flows blood red.

It is toxic, highly acidic and full of heavy metals, so nasty that newly weaned impala and other animals in the Krugersdorp Game Reserve downstream can’t drink the water — and some of them die of thirst.

The water, a poisonous legacy of the gold mining industry, is dead. Not one living organism survives in it.


Millions of gallons of the same kind of toxic water lie underneath Johannesburg, a city of nearly 4 million people, and it’s rising 50 feet a month.

The technical term is acid mine drainage. If nothing is done, subterranean parking garages will fill with the toxic red water in about two years’ time. Tunnels for electrical cables and underground railway stations will flood. And unnatural crimson streams will spring from the ground across the suburbs to the east of Johannesburg as the rising water escapes.

Although South Africa’s government has resolved to act, experts are warning that unless work starts soon, in just months, it will be too late to build the pumps and water treatment plants needed.

“The government has had acid mine drainage on its urgent agenda since 2009 but has yet to act,” said University of the Witwatersrand geology professor Terry McCarthy, who released a study on the problem Thursday in Johannesburg.

“We have to do something. We can’t let things take their natural course.”

The city of Johannesburg grew fat on gold.

It exploded in a gold rush after the metal was discovered in 1886. Gold mines operated along a 25-mile strip from Roodepoort to the west of Johannesburg to Boksburg to the east, as hundreds of mining companies gouged out a gigantic hole under the city and its suburbs.

Full Article Here – http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-south-africa-water-20101126,0,807151.story

U.S. Shuts Down Web Sites in Piracy Crackdown

New York Times
November 26, 2010
By BEN SISARIO

In what appears to be the latest phase of a far-reaching federal crackdown on online piracy of music and movies, the Web addresses of a number of sites that facilitate illegal file-sharing were seized this week by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security.

By Friday morning, visiting the addresses of a handful of sites that either hosted unauthorized copies of films and music or allowed users to search for them elsewhere on the Internet produced a notice that said, in part:
“This domain name has been seized by ICE — Homeland Security Investigations, pursuant to a seizure warrant issued by a United States District Court.”


In taking over the sites’ domain names, or Web addresses, the government effectively redirected any visitors to its own takedown notice.

“ICE office of Homeland Security Investigations executed court-ordered seizure warrants against a number of domain names,” said Cori W. Bassett, a spokeswoman for ICE, in a statement. “As this is an ongoing investigation, there are no additional details available at this time.”

Among the domains seized were torrent-finder.com and those of three sites that specialized in music: onsmash.com, rapgodfathers.com and dajaz1.com. TorrentFreak, a news blog about BitTorrent — a file-sharing system that has tended to elude the authorities because it is decentralized — said that at least 70 other addresses had been seized, most belonging to sites related to counterfeit clothing, DVDs and other goods.

Full Article Here – http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/27/technology/27torrent.html?_r=1