Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Common Dreams:
"Claims that trade pacts like the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will not trump public health and environmental policies were revealed to be fiction on Tuesday after Congress, bending to the will of the World Trade Organization, killed the popular country-of-origin label (COOL) law.

The provision, tucked inside the omnibus budget agreement, repeals a law that required labels for certain packaged meats, which food safety and consumer groups have said is essential for consumer choice and animal welfare, as well as environmental and public health.

Congress successful revoked the mandate just over one week after the WTO ruled that the U.S. could be forced to pay $1 billion annually to its NAFTA partners, which argued that the law 'accorded unfavorable treatment to Canadian and Mexican livestock.' "

-->A trade pact has just undone consumer and environmental laws about packaged meats. Too bad readers can't find the story in the NYT.


Common Dreams:
"Making Presidential Campaign History, Sanders Breaks Individual Contribution Record. The Bernie Sanders campaign announced Thursday that the Vermont senator has officially received two million contributions, putting him ahead—at this point in the election season—of every other candidate in U.S. history who was not a sitting president.

Top aides say Sanders could even beat President Barack Obama's 2012 record. 'In his run for a second term, reports indicated Obama receiving around 2.2 million contributions by the end of 2011, a figure Sanders still could surpass,' reads a campaign statement."

-->This good news for Bernie never made it into the NYT, a supporter of Wall Street and Military Industrial Complex candidate, Hillary Clinton. 


Haaretz in Israel:
"Haaretz Investigation: Israeli Corporations Gave Millions to West Bank Settlements.  From energy giants to makers of chocolate spread, documents show public and private Israeli companies have donated millions of shekels to settlements beyond the Green Line.

In Israel, whether you are buying milk or chocolate spread, talking on the phone or using banking services, you may be unknowingly making a small contribution to Jewish settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, a Haaretz investigation has found. Documents analyzed by Haaretz reveal the extent to which private and publicly-held Israeli companies donate to Jewish communities across the Green Line, with contributions amounting to millions of shekels over the last decade."

-->The NYT, as beholding to the Zionist Lobby as it is to Wall Street, didn't report this story.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Common Dreams:
"New Wall Street Journal/ NBC News polling numbers out Sunday showed that Donald Trump continues to lead the wide and varied Republican presidential field and—despite increasingly inflammatory rhetoric—reached a new high with 27 percent support.

The latest survey comes on the heels of an analysis by the Tyndall Report which showed that media coverage of Donald Trump eclipses that of all his rivals from both parties.

According to the study of nightly news programs on NBC, CBS and ABC, Trump has received more network coverage than all the Democratic candidates combined and accounts for 27 percent of all campaign coverage thus far. What's more, there appears to be a concerted 'blackout' of news about Bernie Sanders, despite similar voter support."

Democracy Now:
"A new report finds the flagship news programs at major networks NBC, CBS and ABC have dedicated 234 minutes this year to stories about Donald Trump—compared to just 10 minutes for Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The gap comes despite Trump and Sanders often having similar levels of support in primary polls. The Tyndall Report found ABC’s World News Tonight, for example, has devoted 81 minutes to Trump campaign stories—and less than one minute to Sanders, for the entire year."

-->Corporate owned media will do anything to Keep a candidate like Bernie out of the White House. Even promote the election of a fascist and racist like Trump.


Common Dreams:
"Congress Reportedly Slipping CISA [Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act] Spy Bill Into Must-Pass Omnibus. ... Following publication, Sari Feldman, president of the American Library Association, told Common Dreams that librarians are 'proud to stand with groups from every part of the political spectrum to expose and oppose the latest legislative attempt to advance a new mass surveillance law.'

'Shoehorning a new version of ‘CISA’ hostile to personal privacy into a massive omnibus spending bill is troubling as a matter of substance and process,' Feldman added, saying the group calls on Congress 'to reject this latest assault on privacy and democracy.' "

-->The NYT as well as other major media doesn't care about government spying on citizens. To our newspaper of record, CISA is "China Iron and Steel Association." Without media complicity, Congress would have a much harder time destroying civil liberties in the US.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Common Dreams:
"Amid warnings that the proposed TransAtlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) could undermine global attempts to rein in runaway climate change, new documents reveal that EU trade officials gave U.S. oil giant ExxonMobil access to confidential negotiating strategies considered too sensitive to be released to the European public.

The documents, obtained by the Guardian, offer 'an extraordinary glimpse into the full degree of collusion between the European commission and multinational corporations seeking to use TTIP to increase U.S. exports of fossil fuels,' said John Hilary, the director of the UK organization War on Want. 'The commission is allowing the oil majors to write the proposed energy chapter of TTIP in their favor.'

According to the Guardian: 'Officials also asked one oil refinery association for concrete input on the text of an energy chapter for the negotiations, as part of the EU’s bid to write unfettered imports of U.S. crude oil and gas into the trade deal.' ... In particular, wrote War on Want campaigner Mark Dearn on Friday, 'a key aim of TTIP has been to destroy regulations that prevent high-polluting tar sand crude oil from entering Europe.' "

-->The NYT didn't cover this story. Our newspaper of record would have to get out of bed with Big Oil to let its readers know how ExxonMobil is writing international trade deals to favor the import of high polluting tar sands.


The Guardian UK:
"JERUSALEM — Israel on Sunday suspended contacts with European Union representatives on Mideast peace issues to protest the 28-nation bloc's decision to label Israeli exports from the West Bank. ...

Israel has been up in arms since the EU announced this month that goods produced in Israeli settlements must have special labels and cannot say they were made in Israel. Israel has said the decision is discriminatory and unfairly singles out Israel, while the EU says it is a technical matter to clarify the origins of the products.

Israel's Foreign Ministry announced late Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had ordered contacts frozen until a 'reassessment process is completed.' "

-->The NYT did not print this story, although it carried the Associated Press version on-line. Perhaps The NYT does not want to remind its readers of how pervasive the labeling of West Bank products is in the EU. Perhaps the US will allow its citizens to at least know the Israeli products that support apartheid.


Common Dreams:
"Retail giant Walmart enlisted the help of a private military contractor and the FBI to spy on workers pushing for a $15 hourly wage and organizing Black Friday protests in 2012 and 2013, newly released documents reveal.
'We are fighting for all workers to be paid a fair wage and enough hours to put food on the table and provide for our families,' said Mary Pat Tifft, a Wisconsin Walmart employee of 27 years. 'To think that Walmart found us such a threat that they would hire a defense contractor and engage the FBI is a mind-blowing abuse of power.'

A document made public Tuesday by worker organization OUR Walmart reveals company testimony to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in January stating that Walmart had enlisted the help of arms manufacturer Lockheed Martin and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force to monitor workers who were organizing for higher wages and the right to unionize.  OUR Walmart workers said they were illegally fired and disciplined for taking part in the 'Ride for Respect' strike during Walmart's shareholder meeting in June of 2013."

-->Another subject off limits to our media is the use of the FBI to spy on workers and social justice activists. Fortune and Bloomberg reported this story, but not The NYT.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"The record low viewership of Saturday's Democratic debate has voters, particularly Bernie Sanders supporters, once again castigating the Democratic National Committee (DNC) for what many believe is a blatant attempt to shield establishment candidate Hillary Clinton and, in turn, relinquish important political ground to the Republican candidates. ...

Given that Saturday's are known for having the lowest weekly TV ratings—particularly among people 18-35 years old, a key Democratic voting bloc—the DNC is facing renewed criticism for its debate schedule, which critics say is a clear attempt to protect the Democratic frontrunner. ...

What's more, the next two debates are also scheduled for potentially low-viewership weekends: the Saturday night before Christmas, and the Sunday night of the Martin Luther King Day weekend, during the National Football League playoffs.

-->The NYT leaves it to a newspaper in the UK to cover this story of how the DNC is manipulating the debates to favor the Wall Street favorite, Hillary Clinton, and in the process losing voter interest in the Democratic Party. 


Common Dreams:
"[International Committee of the Red Cross] Decries 'Deliberate' Attacks on Hospitals in Yemen. Nearly 100 healthcare facilities in war-torn country have been hit since March, aid group says. Hospitals and clinics in Yemen have faced continuing, "deliberate" attacks, an appalling trend that "disrespects the neutrality of health facilities" in war, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Tuesday.

Nearly 100 hospitals throughout Yemen have been attacked since March, the ICRC said, with the most recent airstrike hitting a clinic on Sunday in the southern city of Taiz—one the country's most populous regions, which has been under heavy fire for months. The shelling of Al-Thawra hospital in the south came just weeks after a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) clinic was hit in Haydan, in the north. ...

Amnesty International in October demanded an independent investigation of the bombing in Haydan, which it said could amount to a war crime. Further, the humanitarian aid group noted that while Saudi Arabia is leading the coalition, the U.S. is among the nations arming the coalition."

-->Could military attacks on hospitals become standard policy in countries being armed and supported by the US? Like torture, the violation of international law is becoming the rule in the expansion of the American Empire. The NYT didn't cover this story. 


Common Dreams:
"Adding to the chorus of voices sounding alarm on the impacts of the pending TransPacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday that there were 'some very serious concerns' regarding the 12-nation pact. 

Speaking to a conference in Geneva, Margaret Chan mentioned concern 'about interference by powerful economic operators,' and said, 'I have been hearing some serious concerns that the TransPacific Partnership, the biggest trade agreement ever, may adversely affect the market for generics and biosimilars and increase the cost of medicines.'

Repeating a comment she made in 2014, Chan asked, 'If these agreements open trade yet close the door to affordable medicines we have to ask the question: is this really progress at all?' "

-->The NYT is for trade deals like the TPP, and didn't print this story. Our newspaper of record often leaves out news that doesn't favor the interests of Big Pharma.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Guardian UK:
"Who would have known many of those smiling soldiers on the football stadium scoreboard, the ones home from war, were for sale? The stadium announcers never said this as they demanded fans stand and applaud the waving men on the screen. Somehow they forget to mention that the defense department has sold these soldiers’ names and stories and plights for the fiction that this tender moment came without a check written to the home team. ...

According to the report, taxpayers spent close to $7m on patriotic displays at professional and college sporting events over the last four years. This included the unfurling of a gigantic flag held by service members at an Atlanta Falcons game, the re-enlistment ceremony for 10 soldiers at Seattle’s Century Link Field and the recognition of Air Force officers at a Los Angeles Galaxy soccer game. In fact the report lists 74 pages of examples where military branches (mostly the National Guard) paid more than 50 sports teams for patriotic acts that were disguised as benevolent contributions by the teams themselves."

-->Oh yes, the rich hypocrisy of selling the empire's killing machine to young males, looking for patriotic glory. Of course, The NYT did not print this story, but preferred to bury it in the on-line edition. The Washington Post, however, did print it.


Common Dreams:
"The Environmental Protection Agency concluded in June that there was 'no convincing evidence' that glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the U.S. and the world, is an endocrine disruptor.

On the face of it, this was great news, given that some 300 million pounds of the chemical were used on U.S. crops in 2012, the most recent year measured, and endocrine disruption has been linked to a range of serious health effects, including cancer, infertility, and diabetes. Monsanto, which sells glyphosate under the name Roundup, certainly felt good about it. 'I was happy to see that the safety profile of one of our products was upheld by an independent regulatory agency,' wrote Steve Levine on Monsanto’s blog.

But the EPA’s exoneration — which means that the agency will not require additional tests of the chemical’s effects on the hormonal system — is undercut by the fact that the decision was based almost entirely on pesticide industry studies. Only five independently funded studies were considered in the review of whether glyphosate interferes with the endocrine system. Twenty-seven out of 32 studies that looked at glyphosate’s effect on hormones and were cited in the June review — most of which are not publicly available and were obtained by The Intercept through a Freedom of Information Act request — were either conducted or funded by industry. Most of the studies were sponsored by Monsanto ..."

-->Oh yes, here we have the EPA making decisions almost exclusively based on Monsanto's warped scientific studies! Could it get any better? Yes, our newspaper of record didn't print the story.


The New York Times:
The NYT carried a story on Sat, Nov 7 entitled "Enforcing Silence About Indonesia's Bloody Past," that describes how the security apparatus suppresses any mention of the killing spree it engaged in under the dictatorship of Suharto. In the mid sixties, over half a million people were killed after the overthrow of Indonesia's founder and first president, Sukarno.

But The NYT does its own "enforcing" of silence when it comes to some key issues. Left out of this story is the fact that the CIA was involved in overthrowing the president and putting in the dictator, Sukarno. Not only that, the CIA supplied "extensive lists of communist to Indonesian death squads," which resulted in massacres that "rank as one of the worst mass murders of the 20th century." As it turns out, the US embassy's only worry during the mass murders was that not enough people were being included.

-->So we have the lovely irony of The NYT reporting on the "enforced silence" in Indonesia on the slaughter of half a million, while omitting the key roles of the US Embassy and the CIA. America has its own way of keeping the truth hidden from its citizens. 

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Common Dreams:
"In a startling and sinister escalation, Israeli troops stormed the West Bank's Aida refugee camp this week with tear gas blasting and a truck loudspeaker blaring a deadly, evidently unprecedented message to residents: 'People of Aida Refugee Camp, we are the Occupation army,' it proclaimed in Arabic. 'Throw stones and we will hit you with gas until you all die - the youth, the children, the old people...You will all die. We will not leave any of you alive.' The IDF forces raided the camp near Bethlehem in the Occupied Territories, the site of many earlier confrontations, after Palestinian youths had allegedly thrown stones at the Apartheid Wall bordering the camp. As the Israeli trucks rolled into camp randomly shooting tear gas and brazenly promising genocide, they were filmed by Yazan Ikhlayel, 17, on his iPhone from a community center above them. The Israelis went on to announce they had arrested 'one of your own' - Qassan Abu Aker, 25 - adding, 'We will slaughter and kill him while you watch if you do not stop throwing stones. Go home, or we will gas you until you die.'

Never mind the eerie echoes of the Holocaust here; such threats, said one human rights official, 'merely add words to the deed.' In fact, Israeli forces have long undertaken their promised project: Friday, an eight-month-old baby was one of three Palestinians killed by tear gas - which is often U.S.-made - and last week two others died from inhaling gas during clashes."

-->Our own US media always protects the American public from the vicious, apartheid occupation of the Palestinian people. What if Americans knew how Palestinians were treated by Israel? I like to think that we would rise up and demand an end to US support for this brutal and racist state. 


Common Dreams:
"EU Parliament Votes for Dropped Charges, Asylum Protection for Snowden
Resolution passed by European Parliament Thursday calls on member states to prevent whistleblower's extradition, rendition. ...

While the resolution is not binding, Wolfgang Kaleck, Snowden's lawyer in Berlin, told the Daily Dot in an email, 'It is an overdue step and we urge the member States to act now to implement the resolution.'

U.S.-based digital rights group Fight for the Future welcomed the news as well. Evan Greer, the organization's campaign director, said, 'We hope that this resolution leads to a binding agreement in the EU that allows Edward Snowden to move to whichever EU country he wants, and we hope he gets an epic party thrown in his honor when he arrives.' 

'The battle over mass government surveillance is a decisive moment in the history of humanity, and it’s hard to think of anyone who has done more than Edward Snowden to educate the public about the grave risks that runaway spying programs pose to our basic human rights, the future of the Internet, and freedom of expression,' he added."

-->The NY Times wouldn't dare cross the national security state to carry this story. The "reasonable" opinion in the US is that Snowden broke the law and must come back for punishment. All expressions to the contrary, even by the European Union, just aren't reported in the major media. 


Common Dreams:
"A top scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) filed a whistleblower complaint Wednesday that accuses the agency of harassment and retaliation for his work showing harmful effects on monarch butterflies from a class of widely used insecticides know as neonicotinoids, or neonics.

The department reportedly imposed a 14-day suspension on Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, a senior research entomologist at the USDA, for publishing an unapproved report manuscript in a science journal on the 'non-target effects' of a widely used neonic strain and for travel violations ahead of a presentation on the results to a scientific panel. ...

Neonics have long been linked to dramatic population losses for butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, which environmental experts say threatens food security. ... The case also 'raises questions about whether USDA is suppressing other research adverse to the interests of the agrichemical industry,' said Gary Ruskin, co-director of consumer advocacy group U.S. Right to Know. 'Is this an isolated incident or part of a larger pattern? What else is USDA hiding about the health and environmental impacts of pesticides?' "

-->Readers of the NYT won't have to worry about the US Dept. of Agriculture selling out to the agrochemical industry. Our newspaper of record sold out long ago, and didn't even report this story.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Z Magazine:
"Totalitarian systems carry out wholesale surveillance not to find crimes. It’s so they have information should they seek to shut down an individual or a group. They can manufacture evidence from the data they’ve collected to criminalize and incarcerate those they’ve targeted. Go back and look at what fascism and communism did. That’s why they had systems of mass surveillance.  Blackmail was one of the major tools that the FBI used against Martin Luther King Jr. and others in an attempt to shut down their activism. In the case of King, it was adultery. Nobody’s clean; everybody’s got something. And the state wants to know what it is so they can build a case against anyone. ...

Mass surveillance also destroys any possibility of serious investigative reporting because your sources always know they’re being tracked. Under those conditions, no one can reach out independently to a reporter to shine a light on the inner workings of power. The Obama administration’s assault on civil liberties has been far more egregious than the Bush administrations. We’ve seen Obama use the Espionage Act eight times against whistleblowers. That’s not why the Espionage Act was written. It was the equivalent of our Foreign Secrets Act to prosecute people who gave sensitive state information to those who were deemed the enemy. But it has been misused and has essentially killed investigative journalism into government activity." -Chris Hedges 

-->Wouldn't it be amazing if our mainstream media was that straightforward about the purpose of mass surveillance? This interview with Chris Hedges exposes the secrets of the national security state, but you have to seek out such information from alternative media.


The Guardian UK:
"Confidential files containing evidence of violations committed during El Salvador’s civil war have been stolen from a Washington-based human rights group days after it launched legal proceedings against the CIA over classified files on a former US-backed military commander implicated in massacres, death squads and forced disappearances.

A computer and hard drive containing testimonies from survivors were stolen from the office of the director of the University of Washington Center for Human Rights (UWCHR) last week. The director’s office was the only one raided, there were no signs of forced entry, and items of monetary value were left behind, raising concerns that it could have been a targeted attack linked to the group’s sensitive work, said UWCHR.

The stolen files contained details of investigations related to the 1980-1992 civil war, which left at least 75,000 people dead, 8,000 missing and a million displaced. The vast majority of crimes were committed by US-backed military dictatorships against civilians in rural communities suspected of supporting the leftist guerrillas, according to the UN-sponsored truth commission."

-->The NYT didn't report this story, so American readers are spared the gruesome details of how the CIA funded and trained the death squads in El Salvador, and then committed a burglary in the US to hide the evidence.


Z Magazine:
"Section 1021 of the National Defense Authorization Act overturns over 150 years of domestic law that prevents the U.S. military from carrying out domestic policing. The NDAA also authorizes the military to carry out, in essence, extraordinary rendition of U.S. citizens on U.S. soil who, in the words of that section, 'substantially support' Al Qaida, the Taliban, or something called 'associated forces.' This is not material support, which is a defined legal term. 'Substantial support' is an amorphous term and 'associated forces' is another nebulous term. Section 1021 would strip these citizens of due process, an egregious violation of one of our most basic constitutional rights, and hold them in military facilities including in offshore penal colonies or 'black sites' until, in the language of this section, 'the end of hostilities.' In an age of permanent war that means probably forever.

The NDAA is a major step in eviscerating one of the most basic tenets of the Constitution. It had bi-partisan support and was initially sponsored by Senators Levin and McCain. In January, 2012, I met with lawyers Bruce Saffron and Carl Meyer and we sued the President in the Southern District Court of New York. Judge Katherine B. Forest ruled in our favor and declared in her 112-page opinion that not only was the law unconstitutional, but that it opened the way for the government to criminalize whole categories of people and hold them in military detention facilities. She brought up the case of the 110,000 Japanese Americans who were interned in military camps without due process during World War II." -Chris Hedges

-->One would think the American people would at least be informed of the end of Constitutional rights for US citizens. But few media outlets have been forthcoming about how the National Defense Authorization Act authorizes state tyranny, all in the name of national security.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The NYT:
An Oct 17 article by Isabel Kershner is typical: "Anger Spreads With 5 Attacks on Israelis." One sentence at the end by "Palestinian leaders" is immediately contradicted by Israel's minister of defense. The rest is a cataloging of Palestinian atrocities   committed against Israelis.

An Oct 18 article entitled "Mismanaging the Conflict in Jerusalem" By Nathan Thrall states quite amazingly that, "Contrary to claims that Israel’s occupation is growing only further entrenched, the decades since Israel conquered East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza have been characterized by a slow process of Israeli separation, often reluctant and driven by violence." 

An Oct 17 article entitled "East Jerusalem, Bubbling Over With Despair," does give a greater voice to Palestinians. Jodi Rudoren's article starts off with stabbing attacks by Palestinians, which is then condemned by a "successful" Palestinian businessman. Yes, he "shares the frustration and alienation," but doesn't mention the snipers, checkpoints, and decades of occupation. In fact, NYT articles like the ones above never even include the word "sniper." 

After mentioning "stollen lands" and an "ugly barrier," Rudoren goes on to frame the unrest as part of "feeling like the neglected stepchildren" who "seethe as they pump gas or stock shelves for better-off Jewish peers." Yes, it's not the occupation but economic envy. 

Then comes the surprise: "The uptick in aggression did not begin with the two dozen attacks that have killed seven Israeli Jews, five of them in Jerusalem, since Oct. 1. (At least 16 suspected assailants have been shot dead by Israelis, including four Saturday, along with more than 20 other Palestinians in clashes with security forces)." It is no doubt a huge step forward to write that, the assumption being in almost all NYT articles that the Palestinians commit violence and the Israelis respond.

--> Being more straightforward about Palestinian suffering is a breakthrough, but not enough. When will The NYT actually state that Israel creates the suffering by its continued occupation? That ethnic cleansing has been the Israeli agenda since 1948?


Jewish Voice for Peace:
"Our analysis of over 30 New York Times stories over the last few weeks shows clearly that the New York Times still values Israeli lives more than Palestinian ones. Even though the vast majority of those killed and injured are Palestinian, and Palestinians are facing extreme collective punishment, Israeli violence against Palestinians doesn’t make the news:
Over 50% of headlines depicted Palestinians as the instigators of violence, while no headlines depicted Israelis as aggressors.
No headlines referenced racist mobs that have roamed the streets of Jerusalem shouting “Death to Arabs.”
Palestinians were referred to as terrorists 41 times, while the term was used four times (including quotes from Palestinians) to refer to violent Israeli actions intended to terrorize Palestinians.
The terms “violent” or “violence” were used 36 times to refer to Palestinians, and 2 times to refer to Israelis.
The terms “attack(s)” or “attackers” were used 110 times to describe Palestinian actions and people, and 17 times to describe Israelis."

-->It is a big step forward that Jewish based peace groups can unequivocally criticize the reporting of the NYT.


Common Dreams:
"Over four years later, the site of the Fukushima nuclear disaster remains a post-apocalyptic landscape despite massive reconstruction efforts, paltry steps forward - a soon-to-be re-opened skating rink - and less-then-impressive P.R. efforts ... 

Meanwhile, scientists are reporting immense bird die-offs, children's thyroid cancer rates are soaring, officials are ignoring profound safety issues to dump radioactive water into the sea, 120,000 of 160,000 evacuated residents are still living elsewhere, often in temporary housing, and a reported 90% of them are too frightened to want to return anyway. ...

Armed with permits, swathed in protective gear and navigating checkpoints, Podniesinski visits the 12.5 mile no-go Exclusion Zone, the most contaminated area where no work has been done, residents are unlikely to ever return, and brush is eerily overtaking the carcasses of cars abandoned during evacuation."

-->A 12.5 mile zone of no return. For outer areas, no place to put the cleanup soil. A disaster at Indian Point would affect millions of Americans. Maybe that is why the NYT didn't print this story. Our newspaper of record protects the image of the nuclear industry just as carefully as the image of apartheid Israel.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Eco Watch:
"Some 39 months after the multiple explosions at Fukushima, thyroid cancer rates among nearby children have skyrocketed to more than forty times (40x) normal.
More than 48 percent of some 375,000 young people—nearly 200,000 kids—tested by the Fukushima Medical University near the smoldering reactors now suffer from pre-cancerous thyroid abnormalities, primarily nodules and cysts. The rate is accelerating.

More than 120 childhood cancers have been indicated where just three would be expected, says Joseph Mangano, executive director of the Radiation and Public Health Project.

The nuclear industry and its apologists continue to deny this public health tragedy. Some have actually asserted that 'not one person' has been affected by Fukushima’s massive radiation releases, which for some isotopes exceed Hiroshima by a factor of nearly 30. But the deadly epidemic at Fukushima is consistent with impacts suffered among children near the 1979 accident at Three Mile Island and the 1986 explosion at Chernobyl, as well as findings at other commercial reactors."

-->The NYT is one of the chief deniers of public health dangers of nuclear disasters. In their pro-corporate "Science Section," nuclear energy, GMO farming, and chemical herbicides are always given the benefit of the doubt. It didn't print this story.


Common Dreams:
"Israeli forces on Friday killed six Palestinians, including at least two teenagers, who were taking part in a demonstration along the Gaza border. Hundreds of protesters were gathered there in solidarity with Palestinians residing in the West Bank, where a spate of violence in recent weeks has added to fears of growing unrest.

An Israeli army spokesperson said there were 200 demonstrators, and that 'Forces on the site responded with fire toward the main instigators to prevent their progress and disperse the riot.' According to the army, the protesters were throwing rocks and rolling burning tires toward the military forces.

'The Israeli army uses snipers, and most of the wounds are in the head and throat,' Haaretz reports Dr. Ashraf Al-Qudra, a spokesperson for the Palestinian health ministry, as saying.

Joel Greenberg writes for the Financial Times that an 'Israeli spokeswoman could not explain why troops had not instead used non-lethal crowd control weapons.' "

-->The NYT doesn't use the word "sniper" when describing Israeli troop actions. It didn't print this article, although it carried a Reuters story dealing with Palestinian deaths in its on-line edition. 


The Guardian UK:
"African-American citizens are being failed by the US criminal justice system because of ingrained racial bias in the way suspects are treated, according to the head of the United States’s largest legal professional body. Paulette Brown, who became the first black female president of the American Bar Association (ABA) in August, is determined to transform the negative image that many people hold of lawyers. ...

But after going to Ferguson, Missouri, and other places where there have been protests over the treatment of black suspects, she has also become more concerned about the way defendants are processed through US courts. 'One in 16 African Americans are subjected to the criminal justice system,' Brown explained, 'compared to one in 106 of white people. A lot of that is drugs. The evidence, however, shows that black people don’t use drugs any more [than white people].'

'But they are being arrested for it and charged with it [more frequently] and some of that is implicit bias - particularly on the part of prosecutors. Prosecutors are overcharging.' She added: 'Ninety-five percent of all prosecutors are white; 88% of all lawyers in US are white.' "

--> Paulette Brown's words have to be read in a foreign paper, however. The NYT didn't think this story about American bias in its criminal justice system was worthy of printing.

Thursday, October 08, 2015

"In ‘NYT’ coverage of violence, only Israeli Jewish victims count (Updated)
This long New York Times article on the wave of violence in Israel and Palestine describes many Palestinian attacks but says not one word about settler violence.
The entire article is from the Israeli Jewish perspective. Right at the start we are told this is 'a country in a grim mood on the eve of a Jewish holiday,' and then the catalog of violence is all Palestinian...

There is not a word here of the settler attacks that Allison Deger reports from Ramallah, or that the Israeli website +972 has from across Palestine: 'Israeli settlers carried out dozens of violent attacks across the West Bank over the past two days...'

The Times just can’t go there. It can’t relate the settler 'pricetag' attacks of six days ago that Deger reports, or the arson attack by settlers on the Dawabshe family in Duma two months ago that killed three, or the killing of a Palestinian medic, Diaa al-Talahmeh two weeks ago (which Deger reports motivated alleged Palestinian killer Mohannad Halabi), or the 'extrajudicial execution' by Israeli soldiers of Hadil al-Hashlamoun in occupied Hebron ten days ago...

In the Times‘s distortion of the truth, this isn’t even a cycle of violence. It’s all Palestinian attacks aimed at Israelis."

-->Distorting the news to favor Israel again. The Times can always be counted on as Israel's newspaper of record. 


Common Dreams:
"America's Fortune 500 companies are 'playing by different rules' when it comes to the federal tax system and, according to a new report out Tuesday, are stashing $2.1 trillion in offshore tax havens—with as much as $620 billion owed to the U.S. taxpayers who are left footing the bill. ... 'The American multinationals that take advantage of tax havens use our roads, benefit from our education system and large consumer market, and enjoy the security we have here, but are ultimately taking a free ride at the expense of other taxpayers.' -Michelle Surka, US PIRG. ...

Nearly 72 percent of the these mega-corporations operate tax haven subsidiaries in countries like Bermuda, Ireland, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, according to the groups' examination of 2014 financial filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In some cases, U.S. law allows a company to simply maintain a post office box at an offshore site to reap the tax benefits. ...

With $181.1 billion offshore, Apple has booked more than any other company that reported its international holdings. According to the study, the Silicon Valley giant would owe $59.2 billion in U.S. taxes if these profits were registered within the U.S.

-->The Times protects the image of large corporations as fiercely as it protects apartheid Israel's. Why didn't it print this story instead of just including a Reuters story in its online edition?


The Guardian UK
"Facebook row: US data storage leaves users open to surveillance, court rules. The personal data of Europeans held in America by online tech corporations is not safe from US government snooping, the European court of justice has ruled, in a landmark verdict that hits Facebook, Google, Amazon and many others.

The Luxembourg-based court declared the EU-US 'safe harbour' rules regulating firms’ retention of Europeans’ data in the US to be invalid, throwing a spoke into trade relations that will also impact on current negotiations on a far-reaching transatlantic trade pact between Washington and Brussels.

The ECJ, whose findings are binding on all EU member states, ruled on Tuesday that: 
'The United States … scheme enables interference, by United States public authorities, with the fundamental rights of persons…'

The verdict came as a direct result of Edward Snowden’s revelations, published in the Guardian, of how the US National Security Agency was obtaining mass access to data held by the big internet servers and telecoms companies in the US."

-->The NY Times, as well as most of the major media in the US avoided this story. Corporate profits are always deemed more important than Constitutional rights (the Four Amendment) in the "Land of the Free." Why publicize how the huge internet companies are giving our data away to the security state?

UPDATE: The Times did cover this story today (Oct 8), but only gave one sentence at the very end to US government snooping as the reason for the European court's action. Any mention of Snowden was left out.