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UN slams US drone strikes in Pakistan

UN slams US drone strikes in Pakistan 03 Jun 2010 A senior United Nations official says the US-operated drone strikes in Pakistan pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law. Philip Alston, UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said the attacks were undermining the rules designed to protect the right of life, the BBC reported. Alston also said he feared that the drone killings by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) could develop a "playstation" mentality.

Gulf of Mexico oil slick closes in on Florida

Gulf of Mexico oil slick closes in on Florida  --221-mile Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary is world's third-longest barrier reef and crucial wildlife habitat 02 Jun 2010 The Gulf of Mexico oil slick closed in on Florida, threatening a new environmental disaster... With the slick only nine miles away from the white sands of Pensacola beach on the Florida panhandle, forecasters said southerly and westerly winds meant the state would almost certainly be hit by the end of the week. While the coastline is a popular tourist destination, scientists are alarmed by the more distant threat to the fragile coral reefs of the Florida Keys off the state's south coast.

Gaza flotilla attack: British activists tell of abuse by Israelis

Gaza flotilla attack: British activists tell of abuse by Israelis 03 Jun 2010 British activists who took part in the Gaza aid flotilla have been deported from Israel, alleging they were abused, humiliated and beaten by troops after the raid on their ships... Sarah Colborne, director of campaigns and operations at the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, was also on board the Mavi Marmara. Insisting that no one on board the boat was armed, she said the attack was an act of piracy and a "massacre". At one point, she saw a man being shot dead by an Israeli commando.

$2-billion mass flu immunization program a bust, figures reveal

$2-billion mass flu immunization program a bust, figures reveal --New figures show shockingly low H1N1 vaccination rates 03 Jun 2010 A $2-billion campaign to 'protect' Canadians against an influenza pandemic failed dramatically in parts of Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta, newly obtained figures show, with one of the country’s top doctors acknowledging that public health officials neglected to properly organize a mass immunization program. Just over a third of residents in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario were inoculated against H1N1, with a vaccination rate as low as one in four for residents of Hamilton, Ont., according to local health authorities.

George Bush admits US waterboarded 9/11 mastermind

George Bush admits US waterboarded 9/11 mastermind --Former US president says Khalid Sheik Mohammed was waterboarded by US and he would do it again 'to save lives' 03 Jun 2010 George Bush admitted yesterday that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the self-proclaimed mastermind patsy of the 9/11 attacks, was waterboarded by the US, and said he would do it again "to save lives". "Yeah, we water-boarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed," the former president [sic] told a business audience in Grand Rapids, Michigan. "I'd do it again to save lives." Waterboarding is a simulated drowning technique that the Obama administration has said is torture. In his speech, Bush also defended the decision to go to war with Iraq in 2003. He said ousting Saddam Hussein "was the right thing to do and the world is a better place without him". [Actually, the world would have been *ten raised to the 5th power* better if Bush was gone before he had the chance to steal two elections   --LRP]

Gaza flotilla attack: UN secretary general demands blockade be lifted

Gaza flotilla attack: UN secretary general demands blockade be lifted 03 Jun 2010 Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, has demanded that Israel lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip immediately in the wake of the deadly raid on the aid flotilla. Speaking on his return from visits to Brazil, Malawi and Uganda, Mr Ban said the underlying problem behind Monday's events was the long-running, crippling Israeli siege of Gaza which he described as "counter-productive, unsustainable and wrong."

Dying, dead marine wildlife paint dark, morbid picture of Gulf Coast following oil spill

Dying, dead marine wildlife paint dark, morbid picture of Gulf Coast following oil spill 02 Jun 2010 Here's what President Obama didn't see when he visited the Gulf Coast: a dead dolphin rotting in the shore weeds. "When we found this dolphin it was filled with oil. Oil was just pouring out of it. It was the saddest darn thing to look at," said a BP contract worker who took the Daily News on a surreptitious tour of the wildlife disaster unfolding in Louisiana. His motive: simple outrage. "There is a lot of coverup for BP. They specifically informed us that they don't want these pictures of the dead animals. They know the ocean will wipe away most of the evidence. It's important to me that people know the truth about what's going on here," the contractor said.

NATO chopper downed in Afghanistan

NATO chopper downed in Afghanistan --Local Taliban leader said chopper was attacked by militants 03 Jun 2010 Another NATO chopper has been destroyed in northern Afghanistan following an emergency landing, the second helicopters lost by the US-led force in the past three days. NATO officials in Afghanistan said one of its helicopters was deliberately demolished after making an emergency landing in the northern part of the country on Wednesday, a Press TV correspondent reported.

Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists

Michigan Considers Law to License Journalists 28 May 2010 A Michigan lawmaker wants to register reporters to ensure they’re credible and have "good moral character." State Sen. Bruce Patterson (R-Whackjob) is introducing legislation that will regulate reporters much as the state regulates hairdressers, auto mechanics and plumbers. According to the bill, reporters who register will have to pay an application and registration fee and provide a "Board of Michigan Registered Reporters" with proof of: -- "Good moral character" [**** me] and demonstrate they have industry "ethics standards acceptable to the board." -- Possession of a degree in journalism or other degree substantially equivalent... -- Three or more writing samples. [LOL! I'm going to submit *my* writing to these troglodytes?  If Patterson's brain was put in a dog, the dog would go mad. --LRP]

Halliburton campaign donations spike

Halliburton campaign donations spike 02 Jun 2010 As Congress investigated its role in the doomed Deep Horizon oil rig, Halliburton donated $17,000 to candidates running for federal office, giving money to several lawmakers on committees that have launched inquiries into the massive spill. The Texas-based oil giant’s political action committee made 14 contributions during the month of May, according to a federal campaign report filed Wednesday -- 13 to Republicans and one to a Democrat.

I was 'Tasered' by Israelis, says Herald photographer

I was 'Tasered' by Israelis, says Herald photographer 03 Jun 2010 Isreal is deporting 618 international detainees, including four Australians, captured when it stormed a flotilla of ships in international waters. The deportees include the Herald's chief correspondent, Paul McGeough, who is travelling on his Irish passport, and the Herald photographer Kate Geraghty. McGeough and Geraghty are being flown to Turkey and are due to land in Istanbul about 3am local time (10am AEST).

Obama extends benefits for gay federal employees

Obama extends benefits for gay federal employees 02 Jun 2010 President Barack Obama on Wednesday expanded benefits for same-sex partners of federal employees, a move likely to be welcomed by gay rights activists who have questioned his commitment to their causes. Obama said he had directed government agencies to offer a number of new benefits to the families of gay and lesbian federal employees, including family assistance services, hardship transfers and relocation expenses.

INTERPOL hails Iran war on drugs

INTERPOL hails Iran war on drugs 02 Jun 2010 The president of the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) acknowledges the comprehensive efforts made by Iran to combat drug trafficking. "World countries should learn from Iran's counter-narcotics experience," said Khoo Boon Hui in a Wednesday meeting with Iranian Police Chief Esmail Ahmadi-Moghaddam in Tehran... United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Executive Director Antonio Maria Costa has praised Iran for its efforts to stem the flow of drugs from Afghanistan to the West.

BP diamond-tipped saw fails to fix leak

BP diamond-tipped saw fails to fix leak 02 Jun 2010 Efforts by the British Petroleum engineers to cut the ruptured riser pipe of its blown-up well in the Gulf of Mexico and contain the gushing oil have hit a snag on day 44. The underwater robot operating a diamond-tipped saw to cut the riser pipe had to stop working Wednesday after the saw stuck in the pipe. Now BP engineers have to go on with the operation either with the snared saw or by replacing it with a new one.

U.S. to Join South Korean Military Exercise Off North Korea Coast

U.S. to Join South Korean Military Exercise Off North Korea Coast --Pentagon Sending USS George Washington to Waters Where North Sunk South Korean Vessel 02 Jun 2010 The U.S. aircraft carrier USS George Washington will participate in a joint naval exercise with South Korea next week in the Yellow Sea, the same waters west of the Korean peninsula where North Korea is accused of sinking a South Korean warship last March, ABC News has learned. Slated to begin June 8, the official said this exercise will be "separate and distinct" from an upcoming anti-submarine warfare exercise [false flag?] that Pentagon officials had said recently would be occurring "in the near future."

Not content with BP's destruction of the oceans, Obama calls for big expansion of nuclear power

Not content with BP's destruction of the oceans, Obama calls for big expansion of nuclear power By Lori Price 02 Jun 2010

Obama: Oil spill another reason for 'a clean [sic] energy future' 02 Jun 2010 ...Here are excerpts of the economic speech Obama delivered Wednesday at Carnegie Mellon University. 'The time has come, once and for all, for this nation to fully embrace a clean energy future. That means continuing our unprecedented effort to make everything from our homes and businesses to our cars and trucks more energy efficient. It means tapping into our natural gas reserves, and moving ahead with our plan to expand our nation's fleet of nuclear power plants.'

If George W. Bush made such a call, in the aftermath of the largest ecological disaster in US history, the so-called 'left' would be up in arms, would they not? Instead, under cover of a sycophantic, conciliatory media, Mr. Exelon aka Barack Obama gets oh-but-another pass.

 Barack Obama

Backward at Bagram

Backward at Bagram (The New York Times) 31 May 2010 One of the most vital jobs of the federal courts is to check excessive claims of presidential power. The courts have stepped up to the task at important times since President George W. Bush embarked on a campaign after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to create an imperial presidency. Sadly, a recent ruling by a federal appeals court on the American military prison at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan was not one of those times. What makes the ruling especially distressing is that the extravagant claim of executive power upheld by the court -- to create a law-free zone at the Bagram lockup -- was dreamed up by Mr. Bush and subsequently embraced by President Obama. The appellate court ruled that there was no right to federal court review for the detainees, who say they were captured outside of Afghanistan, far from any battlefield, and then shipped to Bagram to be held indefinitely in harsh conditions.

CIA drones claim 'licence to kill' with impunity: UN expert

CIA drones claim 'licence to kill' with impunity: UN expert 02 Jun 2010 A UN human rights expert on Wednesday urged the United States to sideline the CIA from targeted killings using drones, warning that the practice amounted to "a licence to kill without accountability". In a report to the UN Human Rights Council, Philip Alston, the special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, warned that the "prolific" US use of targeted killings, mainly by unmanned aircraft, was setting a damaging example that other countries would follow.

BP Oil Leak May Last Until Christmas

BP Oil Leak May Last Until Christmas 02 Jun 2010  BP Plc’s failure since April to plug a Gulf of Mexico oil leak has prompted forecasts the crude may continue gushing into December in what President Barack Obama has called the greatest environmental disaster in U.S. history... The ultimate worst-case scenario is that the well is never successfully plugged, said Fred Aminzadeh, a research professor at the University of Southern California’s Center for Integrated Smart Oil Fields who previously worked for Unocal Corp. That would leave the well to flow for probably more than a decade, he said in a telephone interview.

Gaza flotilla attack: Israeli ambassador compares raid to Second World War

Gaza flotilla attack: Israeli ambassador compares raid to Second World War 02 Jun 2010 Israel's ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has compared the Gaza flotilla attack with America's fight against Nazi Germany in the Second World War. In an interview with Fox News, he described the operation, in which nine people died, as "perfectly legal, perfectly humane – and very responsible". He defending the attack in open waters, saying: "Israel acted in accord with international law. Any state has the right to protect itself, certainly from a terrorist threat such as Hamas, including on the open seas. "The US acted under similar international law when it fought the Germans and the Japanese in World War Two." [In psychology, we call that 'projection.' --LRP]

Lawsuit Seeks Full Disclosure of Dispersant Impacts on Gulf's Endangered Wildlife

Lawsuit Seeks Full Disclosure of Dispersant Impacts on Gulf's Endangered Wildlife 02 Jun 2010 The Center for Biological Diversity today filed an official notice of its intent to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for authorizing the use of toxic dispersants without ensuring that these chemicals would not harm endangered species and their habitats. The letter requests that the agency, along with the U.S. Coast Guard, immediately study the effects of dispersants on species such as sea turtles, sperm whales, piping plovers, and corals and incorporate this knowledge into oil-spill response efforts. "The Gulf of Mexico has become Frankenstein’s laboratory for BP’s enormous, uncontrolled experiment in flooding the ocean with toxic chemicals," said Andrea Treece, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. "The fact that no one in the federal government ever required that these chemicals be proven safe for this sort of use before they were set loose on the environment is inexcusable."

BP Hires Former Dick Cheney Spox to Run PR Ops

BP Hires Former Dick Cheney Spox to Run PR Ops 01 Jun 2010 BP, struggling to maintain its image while taking responsibility for the worst oil disaster in U.S. history, has hired someone new to head its American public relations operation: Anne Womack-Kolton, the former campaign press secretary for Vice President [sic] Dick Cheney. Womack-Kolton ran Cheney's press shop during the 2004 campaign, and worked as an assistant press secretary in 2000. She was also an assistant in the White House press office.

U.S. Opens Criminal Inquiry Into Oil Spill

U.S. Opens Criminal Inquiry Into Oil Spill 01 Jun 2010 The Obama administration said Tuesday that it had begun civil and criminal investigations into the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, as the deepening crisis threatened to define President Obama’s second year in office. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in New Orleans that he planned to "prosecute to the fullest extent of the law" any person or entity that the Justice Department determines has broken the law in connection with the oil spill.

'Israeli commandos are wild dogs'

'Israeli commandos are wild dogs' --Ahmadinejad calls for strong UNSC resolution over flotilla raid. 01 Jun 2010 The Iranian president on Tuesday demanded a strong UN Security Council resolution against Israel over its raid on an aid flotilla bound for the Gaza Strip. In a speech broadcast live on state TV, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called on the Security Council to adopt a resolution that would "cut off" Israel's hands, thus preventing it from committing more "crimes."

Several blasts near peace meet in Kabul

Several blasts near peace meet in Kabul 02 Jun 2010 Several blasts have been heard in Kabul as Afghan President Hamid Karzai was speaking at the opening of a long-delayed peace meeting known as "jirga." According to AFP, at least one rocket hit near the Intercontinental Hotel, not far from a giant tent where the conference of tribal elders, religious leaders and members of the parliament is being held.

Iraqi civilian toll in May highest this year

Iraqi civilian toll in May highest this year 01 Jun 2010 The number of Iraqi civilians killed in acts of violence in May was the highest monthly tally so far this year, figures released on Tuesday showed. Overall, 337 people -- 275 civilians, 45 police and 17 soldiers -- died as a result of attacks in May, according to data compiled by the health, interior and defence ministries.

Deep Underwater, Oil Threatens Reefs

Deep Underwater, Oil Threatens Reefs 01 Jun 2010 The reef lies just 20 miles northeast of BP’s blown-out well, making it one of at least three extensive deepwater reefs lying directly beneath the oil slick in the gulf... The latest research team in the gulf to detect these plumes observed one extending roughly 22 miles northeast of the well site, in the vicinity of at least two major deepwater reefs. Preliminary images of the plume show layers of it touching the sea floor. Marine scientists have no firm grasp yet on what the impact on the corals will be, but they are bracing for catastrophe. "The worst-case scenario is that there’s oil coating some of the corals," Dr. Cordes said. "It would basically suffocate them."

U.S. authorities take custody of man removed from flight amid security risk

U.S. authorities take custody of man removed from flight amid security risk --Flight made sudden stop in Canada after American officials asked that it be diverted from U.S. 01 Jun 2010 A man whose presence on a transcontinental flight last weekend caused the plane to be grounded in Montreal has been abruptly shipped to the United States. The Canada Border Services Agency and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security confirmed that Abdirahman Ali Gaal was turned over to U.S. officials at 4 p.m. Tuesday. "Mr. Gaal, a legal permanent resident (of the U.S.), was returned to the United States where he is currently being questioned by DHS," department spokesman Matt Chandler wrote in an email from Washington.

Commodities’ Biggest Drop Since Lehman Is Bear Signal

Commodities’ Biggest Drop Since Lehman Is Bear Signal 01 Jun 2010 The biggest slump in commodities since Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. collapsed is undermining Wall Street forecasts for accelerating economic growth and higher prices for everything from copper to crude oil. The Journal of Commerce Industrial Price Commodity Smoothed Price Index that tracks the growth rate of steel, cattle hides, tallow and burlap plunged 57 percent in May, two years after a decline that foreshadowed the worst recession in half a century.

'Next time we'll use more force'

'Next time we'll use more force' --Navy prepares for expected arrival of 2 more activist ships. 01 Jun 2010 Israel will use more aggressive force in the future to prevent ships from breaking the sea blockade on the Gaza Strip, a top Navy commander told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday. "We boarded the ship and were attacked as if it was a war," the officer said. "That will mean that we will have to come prepared in the future as if it was a war." [Ok, if it's a war, the activists have every right to properly prepare themselves for that war, and I better not hear any simpering, sycophantic media trolls yelp about how the activists were 'armed.' --LRP]

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'We want either a hammer or a fire, to break the spell or dissolve the ice.' Artisan radical freethinker, George Jacob Holyoake, Reasoner V (1848): 2.

CLG's Michael Rectenwald, Ph.D. and Lori Price receive the Patrick Henry Think Tank's American Hero Award 02 Nov 2005 The Patrick Henry Democratic Club --A Think Tank working to give the government back to the people. "Give me liberty or give me death!"

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