‘Streams within approximately 40 percent of the global land surface are at risk from the application of insecticides. These were the results from the first global map to be modelled on insecticide runoff to surface waters, which has just been published in the journal Environmental Pollution by researchers from the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Koblenz-Landau together with the University of Milan, Aarhus University and Aachen University. According to the publication, particularly streams in the Mediterranean, the USA, Central America and Southeast Asia are at risk.’
‘When the Chicago detective Richard Zuley arrived at Guantánamo Bay late in 2002, US military commanders touted him as the hero they had been looking for.
Here was a Navy reserve lieutenant who had spent the last 25 years as a distinguished detective on the mean streets of Chicago, closing case after case – often due to his knack for getting confessions.
But while Zuley’s brutal interrogation techniques – prolonged shackling, family threats, demands on suspects to implicate themselves and others – would get supercharged at Guantánamo for the war on terrorism, a Guardian investigation has uncovered that Zuley used similar tactics for years, behind closed police-station doors, on Chicago’s poor and non-white citizens. Multiple people in prison in Illinois insist they have been wrongly convicted on the basis of coerced confessions extracted by Zuley and his colleagues.’
‘The Chicago police department operates an off-the-books interrogation compound, rendering Americans unable to be found by family or attorneys while locked inside what lawyers say is the domestic equivalent of a CIA black site.
The facility, a nondescript warehouse on Chicago’s west side known as Homan Square, has long been the scene of secretive work by special police units. Interviews with local attorneys and one protester who spent the better part of a day shackled in Homan Square describe operations that deny access to basic constitutional rights.’
- ‘To your bone you’re cold': New York homeless shelters filled to capacity
- Some NYC homeless choose the cold over shelters, but at least one homeless couple will get a warm bed for the night
- Thousands of New Yorkers living in dangerous ‘cluster units’ as homeless population tops 59,000, a record high
‘Last week a debate erupted over how “Islamic” the so-called “Islamic State” group (ISIS or ISIL) in Syria and Iraq is, and whether it is legitimate to speak of “Islamic” terrorism. It was provoked in part by a Graeme Wood article in The Atlantic and President Obama’s speech to a conference on Combating Violent Extremism. Obama was slammed by former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani as allegedly not loving America, in part because he declined to speak of “Islamic” terrorism. On Sunday, former defense secretary Paul Wolfowitz, interviewed on CNN’s State of the Union show, called Obama’s refusal to use the phrase “Islamic terrorism” “silly,” saying, “I think people understand that Islam has something to do with what we’re fighting, and when you deny it, you lose a lot of support.” This debate is actually about what philosophers call “essentialism,” and, as Giuliani’s and Wolfowitz’s own interventions make clear, it is about absolving the United States for its own role in producing the violent so-called “Caliphate” of Ibrahim al-Baghdadi.’
‘Abby Martin juxtaposes the outrage over Brian Williams’ lie about his experience in Iraq with the lack of concern with lies peddled by journalists like Judith Miller in the lead up to the Iraq War.’ (Breaking the Set)
Clinton Foundation accepts funds from foreign governments, Keystone XL group: Interview with Cenk Uygur
- How the Clinton Foundation Is Giving Hillary a Headache
- Clinton Foundation defends foreign donations
- Foreign Government Gifts to Clinton Foundation on the Rise
- Clinton Foundation to reconsider donations from foreign governments … if she runs
- GOP seeks to make Clinton Foundation a 2016 headache
- Clinton Foundation – Wikipedia
- State Dept Agency Aims to Centralize Anti-ISIS Propaganda
- Calls Mount For Shutdown Of ISIS Propaganda Machine As London Girls Vanish
- Does the Islamic State post 90,000 social media messages each day?
- Boko Haram Expands, Launches ISIS-Style Social Media Presence
- Anonymous And ISIS Are At War, And It’s Something To See
- Pro-ISIS Messages Create Dilemma For Social Media Companies
- ISIS making connections via social media
- Freedom of speech, not of abuse
- Free Speech Rankings find restrictions at 80% of universities
- The lines on free speech are becoming blurred
- We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals
- Identity politics has created an army of vicious, narcissistic cowards
- Safe space or free speech? The crisis around debate at UK universities
- Universities told counter-terror bill will not endanger freedom of expression
- Former MI5 chief says new terror measures jeopardise free speech
- Muslim Students Campaign To Stop Theresa May’s Counter Terrorism Bill
- University leaders call for exemption from anti-terror laws
- Comic’s free speech gig cancelled ‘because she’s the wrong type of feminist’
‘[…] This is Kansas in the ’80s, and America is an irradiated, nuclear hellscape. Welcome to The Day After, a TV movie ABC aired during prime-time in 1983. The film was so effective that it depressed Pres. Ronald Reagan.
He wrote about it in his diary, and some biographers speculated it had a direct effect on Reagan’s desire to end nuclear proliferation during the back half of his presidency.
The Day After is about a world in which the unthinkable happens—the U.S. and Russia finally launch all their nukes and ruin the world.
The film is set in and around Kansas City, and follows several families and individuals as they struggle to survive in America’s heartland.’
‘[…] Since imposing sanctions in 2002 over electoral fraud and human rights abuses, the EU has eased measures to encourage political reform in Zimbabwe, although it has kept its ban on Mugabe and his wife Grace, as well as an arms embargo.
This week it gave Zimbabwe 234 million euros (173.62 million pounds) in aid, its first since sanctions were imposed. And earlier this month, EU officials said that the 90-year-old president might be allowed in on an exceptional basis during his year-long chairmanship of the African Union, if traveling on AU business.
The Official Journal, however, made clear EU governments are not yet convinced that Mugabe had changed enough to merit a final lifting of restrictions.’
- West seizes opportunity as Mugabe’s sun sets
- Zimbabwe’s Mugabe turns 91, slowly sheds pariah image
- Zimbabwe’s Mugabe marks 91st birthday as country struggles
- Mugabe: A revolutionary icon who lost his way?
- First Lady Grace tipped to succeed Mugabe
- God has looked after me, says Mugabe
- 19 horrifying facts about Robert Mugabe
- EU resumes aid to Zimbabwe as relations with Mugabe thaw
‘International firms will scramble for new orders at the Middle East’s largest arms show which opens in Abu Dhabi next week as oil-rich Gulf states load up on weapons in a region rocked by instability and violence.
The Middle East is the largest market driver in the industry with billions of dollars spent annually on buying military equipment, from drones and jet fighters to guided missiles.
Around 1,200 companies from 55 countries are showcasing their latest military wares and technologies at the biennial International Defense Exhibition (IDEX), starting Sunday in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates.’
“In other words, in the routine performance of their duties as leaders and commanders, U.S. Army officers lie,” reads the study, which was conducted by the War College’s Strategic Studies Institute.
The 33-page report, compiled following interviews with officers across the Army, concluded that the Army’s culture is rife with “dishonesty and deception” at all levels of the institution — from the most junior members to senior Army officials.’
- Hillary Clinton’s claims justifying Libya war doubted by Pentagon and Congress, secret tapes reveal
- Hillary Clinton’s ‘WMD’ moment: U.S. intelligence saw false narrative in Libya
- Secret Benghazi report reveals Hillary’s Libya war push armed al Qaeda-tied terrorists
- Listen to the tapes: Intel undercuts Hillary Clinton’s primary argument for Libya military action
- Hillary’s War: The Pentagon tried to stop her – unfortunately, to no avail
- Hillary’s Libya disaster: Will Republican presidential hopefuls hold her accountable?
- No One Will Have to Answer for the Libyan War
- Hillary Clinton on Gaddafi: “We came, we saw, he died!”
- Obama’s Women Advisers Pushed War Against Libya
- Libya Airstrikes: The Women Who Called for War
‘To the many existential threats facing Libya, it is now possible to add another: the oil-rich nation may be going broke.
Four years after its uprising against dictator Moammar Gaddafi, the North African country is buffeted from all sides: two competing governments vie for power and resources; militias and armed gangs impose their own capricious justice; targeted attacks have driven away investors and diplomats.
[…] Economists and Libyan and U.S. officials say Libya is burning through its international reserves at an alarming rate as the country scrambles to pay a huge bill for wages and subsidies without the benefit of normally ample oil revenues, virtually the country’s only source of income.’
- US, Britain Say Libya Needs Government Before Weapons
- Libya requests ending arms embargo to fight ISIS
- Tripoli-backed fighters sent to Sirte to confront ISIS
- UN Rights Chief Says All Libyan Sides Have Committed Abuses
- With Oil Fields Under Attack, Libya’s Economic Future Looks Bleak
- EU threatens sanctions against ‘spoilers’ of Libyan peace talks
- Now-fearful Libyans recall when life was sweet after Gadhafi fell
- City of snipers: BBC goes inside Benghazi
- How strong is Islamic State in Libya?
- Libya’s Tobruk parliament revokes law banning Gaddafi-era officials
- MI5 says rendition of Libyan opposition leaders strengthened al-Qaida
- Goldman Sachs ‘duped Libya out of oil cash’
‘President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Monday that it is time to correct the mistakes made by the NATO in Libya.
“The NATO operation in Libya was not complete, which led the North African country to fall under the control of militant and extremist groups,” Sisi said during his meeting with French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Sisi’s remarks came after the Egyptian air force carried out earlier on Monday airstrikes on Daesh hotbeds in Libya in retaliation to the beheading of 21 Egyptian nationals who had been kidnapped in the Libyan city of Sirte.’
- How Egypt Is Harming, Not Helping, The ISIS Fight
- Netanyahu: We will stand beside Egypt in the ‘war on terrorism’
- US, Britain Say Libya Needs Government Before Weapons
- Qatar, Egypt in War of Words Over Libya Airstrikes
- Egyptians Flee Libya Amid Fear of Growing Airstrikes
- ISIS Kills 45 in East Libya Suicide Bombings
- In joining war on ISIS, Egypt is now a target
- Will Libya be Egypt’s quagmire?
- The Smart Way to Intervene in Libya
- Libyan ISIS’ Mediterranean Outposts Have Italy Scrambling to War
- Egyptian president calls for United Nations military action in Libya
- Libya prime minister calls for international strikes on militants
- Fearing Invasion by ISIS, Italy Prepares to Attack Libya
- How strong is Islamic State in Libya?
- Libyan ISIS Group Claims Credit for Tripoli Hotel Attack
Editor’s Note: Vijay Prashad is a historian, journalist and commentator. He is the author of many books including “Arab Spring, Libyan Winter” ( which you can download here). In this interview, recorded Feb 17/18th, Prashad states that the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya destroyed the Libyan state and created the conditions for radical Islamist groups to thrive. He also says that Libya today reminds him of Afghanistan 25 years ago after the Soviet withdrawl which was awash with weapons and fighters jostling for control of the country.
- Hailed as a Model for Successful Intervention, Libya Proves to be the Exact Opposite
- What Happened to the Humanitarians Who Wanted to Save Libyans With Bombs and Drones?
- Vijay Prashad: Arab Spring Libyan Winter (Part One and Two)
- Prashad in 2011: In Libya, A Civil War, Not Uprising
- 2011 military intervention in Libya – Wikipedia
‘After more than six months of virtually ignoring the fact that the war against Isis was illegal by almost anyone’s standards – given Congress’s cowardly refusal vote on it and the White House’s refusal to ask them first – the Obama administration has finally submitted a draft war authorization against Isis to Congress.
That means the media can go back to doing what it does best: creating a “debate” over how many countries we should invade, without any discussion of how our invasions created the very situation in which we feel we have to contemplate more invasions. It’s like the early Bush years all over again.’
- Obama’s ISIS War Is Illegal
- Obama’s Forever War Starts Now
- Boehner says Obama’s military authorization request falls short
- White House Sends Proposed ISIL AUMF to Congress (full text)
- Islamic State Sprouting Limbs Beyond Its Base Raising Fears of New Global Terror War
- Hailed as a Model for Successful Intervention, Libya Proves to be the Exact Opposite
- Schieffer: Jordan Fights ISIS While Obama Goes to Fundraiser, Congress Goes on Vacation
- Jon Stewart calls out Fox News for lamenting that Obama’s not a ‘powerful Muslim king’
- Chris Matthews: U.S. Being ‘Morally Humiliated’ in Fight Against ISIS
- Debating How–Not Whether–to Launch a New War
‘Former Republican presidential candidate and congressman Ron Paul says he doesn’t believe the United States government wanted to catch Osama Bin Laden because they needed him as an excuse to build up the military and invade Middle Eastern countries.
“Matter of fact, can’t you just see the difference that might have occurred. Ya know, they knew where Bin Laden was. I don’t think they really wanted to catch him because he was used as the excuse for us, you know, invading various countries and building up the military,” Paul said on Scott Horton’s radio program.’
‘I’ve been listening to Hip-Hop/Rap music for almost 20 years. That’s longer than the average “rap consumer” today has been alive. In that time I’ve seen the music transition through various stages into something that is of more controversy than ever before. Instead of the unknowing masses debating the music’s content, now its become the genre itself in constant struggle with its own legitimacy.
Compare the prominent years of Hip-Hop/rap music in the early 90’s today and you’ll be noticeably looking at a Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde scenario. What was once a promising young idealistic genre centered around social awareness and injustice has become a raging psychopath obsessed with feeding its own narcissistic needs and superficial hunger. In that time the premiere idea of an “artist” whose specialty is that of the hip-hop/rap element has completely reversed in its perception.’
‘ISIS’s violent bona fides are not in doubt to anyone paying attention. They’ve targeted religious minorities, beheaded aid workers, sold women into sex slavery and have been all-around devastating for those under their rule. But as America debates the possibility of a full-scale ground invasion of ISIS-controlled territory, it’s important to note that much of the ISIS threat — namely that which targets the West — has been habitually overstated by an uncritical media.’
- Experts Say ISIS’s Female Genital Mutilation Order Is Fake
- Still no evidence that Saint Ephraim’s Cathedral in Mosul has been burned
- ISIS in Mexico? Feds DENY watchdog group’s claim
- Twitter user claims Daily Mail story of white British jihadi is a hoax
- That ISIS “Caliphate Map” Is Bogus, So Stop Freaking Out
- ISIS Crisis – Snopes
- Biggest bank robbery that ‘never happened’ – $400m Isis heist
- FBI: About 12 Americans fighting in Syria, not 100
- The Daily Mail’s Bogus ISIS Twitter Story & the Limits of Social Media
- Reports Isis fighters have contracted Ebola are ‘incorrect’, says Iraqi health ministry
- Nestlé to Dump Artificial Colors and Flavors in U.S. Candy, Something It Did in Europe Years Ago
- Nestlé to be the first major US confectioner to remove artificial colours and flavouring from its chocolate
- Why We’re Fat: I Went to the Nutritionists’ Annual Confab and It Was Catered by McDonald’s
- Food Giants Are Getting People Addicted to Their Food: Interview with Michael Moss
- From 2008: EU plans warning labels on artificial colours
- The Corporate Takeover of ‘All Natural’ Food
- John Oliver On Sugar: It’s In Everything!
- Nestle: Water’s Corporate Takeover
- Nestlé – SourceWatch
‘In the age of the all-volunteer military and an endless stream of war zone losses and ties, it can be hard to keep Homeland enthusiasm up for perpetual war. After all, you don’t get a 9/11 every year to refresh those images of the barbarians at the airport departure gates. In the meantime, Americans are clearly finding it difficult to remain emotionally roiled up about our confusing wars in Syria and Iraq, the sputtering one in Afghanistan, and various raids, drone attacks, and minor conflicts elsewhere.
Fortunately, we have just the ticket, one that has been punched again and again for close to a century: Hollywood war movies (to which the Pentagon is always eager to lend a helping hand). American Sniper, which started out with the celebratory tagline “the most lethal sniper in U.S. history” and now has the tagline “the most successful war movie of all time,” is just the latest in a long line of films that have kept Americans on their war game. Think of them as war porn, meant to leave us perpetually hyped up. Now, grab some popcorn and settle back to enjoy the show.’
- More Than Entertainment: Hollywood’s Service to Empire
- Ex-spies infiltrate Hollywood as espionage TV shows and movies multiply
- Success of Navy SEAL movies has Hollywood looking for more
- Seven heinous lies “American Sniper” is telling America
- The Real American Sniper Was a Hate-Filled Killer
- Sony Emails Say State Department Blessed Kim Jong-Un Assassination in ‘The Interview’
- The CIA has to approve every script for spy drama ‘The Americans’
- Demonizing Arabs in the Movies? Exploring Islamophobia
- William Blum: Getting your history from Hollywood
- Pentagon gets U.S. military ready for its movie close-ups
- Operation Hollywood: How The Pentagon Shapes And Censors The Movies (Documentary)
- Operation Hollywood: How the Pentagon Shapes and Censors the Movies (Book)
- The CIA in Hollywood : How the Agency Shapes Film and Television (Book Review)
- Hollywood, the Pentagon and Washington (Book)
- Hollywood’s Cold War (Book)
‘The US military is increasingly concerned about the risk of social, political, and economic collapse due to resource stress and climate change. The Pentagon’s latest call for research throws light on where and how the military suspects that resource stress could fuel political grievances on a mass scale.
The call, whose deadline to receive proposals is today [Feb 19th], comes on behalf of the US Department of Defense (DoD) ‘Minerva Research Initiative,’ a multimillion dollar social science program. Minerva is designed so the Pentagon can draw on leading-edge academic expertise outside the military, on issues where it lacks sufficient internal knowledge on specific subjects or regions. By examining its areas of focus, we’re offered a rare glimpse into where and how the Pentagon fears conflict will grip the world in the future.’
- Pentagon preparing for mass civil breakdown
- The Military’s Guide to Winning Wars in a Warming World
- Pentagon Funds New Data-Mining Tools To Track and Kill Activists
- Facebook denies emotion contagion study had government and military ties
- The Coming Blackout Epidemic
- Another economic crash is coming. How did this happen?
- World Population Trends Signal Dangers Ahead
- The Math That Predicted the Revolutions Sweeping the Globe Right Now
- Climate Change and Rising Food Prices Heightened Arab Spring
- Global riot epidemic due to demise of cheap fossil fuels
- Synchronized peak-rate years of global resources use
‘This report has, to the best of the authors’ knowledge, created the first list of global risks with impacts that for all practical purposes can be called infinite. It is also the first structured overview of key events related to such risks and has tried to provide initial rough quantifications for the probabilities of these impacts.
With such a focus it may surprise some readers to find that the report’s essential aim is to inspire action and dialogue as well as an increased use of the methodologies used for risk assessment.
The real focus is not on the almost unimaginable impacts of the risks the report outlines. Its fundamental purpose is to encourage global collaboration and to use this new category of risk as a driver for innovation.
The idea that we face a number of global risks threatening the very basis of our civilisation at the beginning of the 21st century is well accepted in the scientific community, and is studied at a number of leading universities. But there is still no coordinated approach to address this group of risks and turn them into opportunities.’