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 »

anon

‘Anonymous’ Hacker Explains Why He Fled The US

Business Insider Mar. 2, 2012 By Michael Kelley Anonymous is front and center these days: the amorphous hacktivist group has been publishing internal data of U.S. banks while prominent members are prosecuted More »

Monthly Archives: October 2012

A roll call of corporate rogues who are milking the country

stop-corporate_greed

Guardian
Oct. 30, 2012
By

‘Only the little people pay taxes,” the late American corporate tax evader Leona Helmsley famously declared. That’s certainly the spirit of David Cameron and George Osborne’s Britain. Five years into the crisis, the British economy has just edged out of its third downturn, but construction is still reeling from government cuts and most people’s living standards are falling.

Those at the sharp end are being hit hardest: from cuts to disability and housing benefits, tax credits and the educational maintenance allowance and now increases in council tax while NHS waiting lists are lengthening, food banks are mushrooming across the country and charities report sharp increases in the number of children going hungry. All this to pay for the collapse in corporate investment and tax revenues triggered by the greatest crash since the 30s.

At the other end of the spectrum though, things are going swimmingly. The richest 1,000 people in Britain have seen their wealth increase by £155bn since the crisis began – more than enough to pay off the whole government deficit of £119bn at a stroke. Anyone earning over £1m a year can look forward to a £42,000 tax cut in the spring, while firms have been rewarded with a 2% cut in corporation tax to 24%.

Bank of England official: Occupy Movement right about global recession

Occupy-LA-11-570x380

Guardian
Oct. 29, 2012
By

The Occupy Movement has found an unlikely ally in a senior Bank of England official, Andrew Haldane, who has praised protesters for their role in triggering an overhaul of the financial services sector.

Haldane, who oversees the City for the central bank, said Occupy acted as a lever on policymakers despite criticism that its aims were too vague. He said the protest movement was right to focus on inequality as the chief reason for the 2008 crash, following studies that showed the accumulation of huge wealth funded by debt was directly responsible for the domino-like collapse of the banking sector in 2008.

Speaking at a debate held by the Occupy Movement in central London, Haldane said regulations limiting credit use would undermine attempts by individuals to accumulate huge property and financial wealth at the expense of other members of society. Allowing banks to lend on a massive scale also drained funding from other industries, adding to the negative impact that unregulated banks had on the economy, he said.

Tibetan Farmer Is Eighth Protester To Self-Immolate This Month

tibet

NPR
Oct. 22, 2012
By Sophia Jones

The Tibetan Labrang Monastery in Gansu, northwestern China, is normally a place of tranquility. Now, it is also known for tragedy. Early this morning, a Tibetan farmer known as Dhondup headed to Labrang to perform the Buddhist ritual of walking around the monastery in prayer. Near the prayer hall inside the gold-roofed monastery, Dhondup lit himself ablaze in protest of Chinese rule in Tibet. This is the second self-immolation in Tibet in two days, continuing a disturbing trend among Tibetan protesters.

A picture (note: it is graphic; you may not wish to view it) uploaded by the U.K.-based human rights organization Free Tibet shows what is said to be Dhondup’s body engulfed in flames against a backdrop of white brick and blue sky. According to witnesses, Buddhist monks surrounded his charred remains so that Chinese authorities could not confiscate the body.

Stephanie Brigde, director of the organization, said in a written statement that Dhondup is now the eighth Tibetan protester to self-immolate this month. The group claims that nearly 60 Tibetans — mostly monks and nuns — have turned to suicide by fire in Tibet and bordering Chinese provinces since spring of last year. Few survived and many of their whereabouts are unknown, but activists point fingers at the Chinese government.

“China must recognize that Tibetan demands for freedom cannot be stamped out by brute force,” Brigde wrote following Dhondup’s death, adding that China “must enter into meaningful dialogue with Tibetan representatives, supported by the international community.”

Turkey has jailed more journalists than Iran, Eritrea or China: watchdog

turkey1

Reuters
Oct. 22, 2012
By Daren Butler

ISTANBUL — Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s government has waged one of the world’s biggest crackdowns on press freedom in recent years, jailing more journalists than Iran, China or Eritrea, a leading media watchdog said on Monday.

The damning report from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) added to a chorus of criticism from the European Union and rights groups of the EU-candidate country’s mass detention of reporters, most of whom are kept in detention while their cases are dealt with.

Around two-thirds were journalists writing about the largely Kurdish southeast, where the government is fighting a separatist rebellion.

The U.S.-based watchdog criticised Erdogan’s public disparagement of journalists, the use of pressure tactics to encourage self-censorship, and the launching of thousands of criminal cases against reporters on charges such as “denigrating Turkishness”.

Pussy Riot band members sent to remote prison camps

pussy-riot-court_2294098b

Guardian
Oct. 22, 2012
By

Two members of the anti-Kremlin punk band Pussy Riot have been sent to remote prison camps to serve their sentences, the group has said.

Maria Alyokhina, 24, will serve the rest of her two-year term at a women’s prison camp in Perm, a Siberian region notorious for hosting some of the Soviet Union’s harshest camps. Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, 22, has been sent to Mordovia, a region that also hosts a high number of prisons.

“These are the harshest camps of all the possible choices,” the band said via its Twitter account on Monday.

American Indian activist Russell Means dead at 72

Russell Means

Reuters
Oct. 22, 2012
By Keith Coffman

Oct 22 (Reuters) – Native American activist-turned-actor Russell Means died on Monday at his home in South Dakota, his family said in a statement. He was 72.

“Our dad and husband now walks among our ancestors,” the statement said.

The firebrand former leader of the American Indian Movement and onetime Libertarian Party candidate for U.S. president had been battling advanced esophageal cancer.

Born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of the Oglala Sioux in South Dakota, Means joined the American Indian Movement in 1968 and soon became one of the group’s prominent leaders. He took part in an occupation of the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 1972, and led the 72-day standoff with federal authorities at Wounded Knee on Pine Ridge in 1973.

London protesters bash Britain’s austerity drive

austerity

Associated Press
Oct. 20, 2012
By Raphael Slatter

LONDON (AP) — Tens of thousands of demonstrators descended on the British capital Saturday in a noisy but peaceful protest at a government austerity drive aimed at slashing the nation’s debt.

Unions, anti-war campaigners, left-wing leaders, community groups and other activists poured down London’s streets in a demonstration against reductions to public sector spending which officials are pushing through in order to rein in the Britain’s debt, which stands at more than 1 trillion pounds ($1.7 trillion).

Although the austerity program has had some modest successes — the country’s deficit has dropped slightly — the U.K. economy has shrunk for three consecutive quarters amid cuts at home and economic turmoil on the continent.

Court Orders First Handover of Chevron’s Ecuador Assets

chevron_amazon

ENS
Oct. 17, 2012

QUITO, Ecuador, October 17, 2012 (ENS) – An Ecuadorian court has frozen are all bank accounts owned by Chevron, Texaco, and their subsidiaries in partial payment of a $19 billion pollution damages judgment against Chevron.

Indigenous people and villagers living in the Ecuadorian Amazon were granted a court order this week that allows them to collect $200 million of Chevron’s assets in the country.

“This is a huge first step for the rainforest villagers on the road to collecting the entire $19 billion judgment,” said Pablo Fajardo, the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs.

Fajardo said the assets would be used to begin a cleanup of the ecological disaster left by Texaco, consistent with the mandates laid out by the Ecuador trial court.

Gary McKinnon extradition to US blocked by Theresa May

garymckinnon-getty-1

BBC News
Oct. 16, 2012

British computer hacker Gary McKinnon will not be extradited to the US, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

Mr McKinnon, 46, who admits accessing US government computers but claims he was looking for evidence of UFOs, has been fighting extradition since 2002.

The home secretary told MPs there was no doubt Mr McKinnon was “seriously ill” and the extradition warrant against him should be withdrawn.

Mrs May said the sole issue she had to consider was his human rights.

Jailed Bahrain medics ‘go on hunger strike’

bahrain2

AFP
Oct. 14, 2012

DUBAI — Five medics jailed in connection with last year’s anti-regime protests in Bahrain went on hunger strike on Sunday, urging international rights groups to campaign for their release, lawyers said.

The Shiite medics, who have been in prison since October 1 after the Gulf kingdom’s highest court upheld their prison sentences, called their action “The Lost Justice,” and have stopped taking food and medicine, the lawyers said.

A sixth medic has been released because of time already served.

The medics reiterated accusations that the authorities used “harsh and systematic torture” during months of initial detention in the wake of a deadly crackdown on protests in March last year.