Thursday, August 27, 2015

Common Dreams:
"Germany on Monday became the latest country in the European Union to take a stand against genetically modified (GMO) crops in its food supply.

German Agriculture Minister Christian Schmidt told government officials that he will seek to implement the European Union's 'opt-out' rule to stop GMO crop cultivation in the country, including those varieties which may be approved by the EU, according to documents seen by Reuters this week. ...

As agriculture ministry spokesperson Christian Fronczak told Bloomberg, 'The German government is clear in that it seeks a nationwide cultivation ban.
There’s resistance from all sides, from the public to the farmers,' Fronczak said."

-->The NYT didn't cover this story. Our newspaper of record is in bed with Monsanto on this issue. Why remind Americans that the rest of the world is rejecting GMO crops?


The Ecologist:
"As World Water Week kicks off in Stockholm today with a theme of 'Water for Development', the drought being deliberately inflicted on Palestinians is firmly off the agenda, writes Laith Shakir. While Israelis water their lawns, irrigate crops and swim in Olympic-sized pools, Palestinian communities a few kilometers away are literally dying of thirst. ...

Despite its location in a region thought to be perennially dry, the Holy Land actually has ample natural freshwater resources - namely in the form of underwater aquifers and the Jordan River. Palestinians in the West Bank and Israeli settlers live in roughly equal proximity to these resources, which theoretically would allow for equal consumption. Israeli water policy, however, has made this prospect virtually impossible. In fact, there's a shocking disparity.

A report from the United Nations found that the average Israeli settler consumes 300 liters of water per day - a figure surpassing even the average Californian's 290. But thanks to Israeli military action and legal restrictions on access, the average Palestinian in the occupied West Bank only gets about 70.
And for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who live off the water grid altogether, daily consumption hovers at around 30. That's just 10% of the Israeli figure."

-->The NYT doesn't like to put Israel in a bad light. It never covered this story.


"A United Nations-backed carbon-trading scheme in Europe, originally meant to combat global warming, has instead resulted in the release of more than half a billion additional tons of greenhouse gases, according to a new report.
The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) report released Monday found significant problems with the efficacy of carbon offsets. The researchers found issues with 75 percent of 872 million offsets, and point to a lack of oversight as the main problem. 

'We know what rules are needed and then we need the political will to implement them,' Anja Kollmuss, one of the authors of the study, told Al Jazeera. 'And so far this has been lacking.'

The Joint Implementation (JI) carbon-trading scheme, established under the Kyoto Protocol, may have 'seriously undermined global climate action,' researchers said. Faults in JI have released 600 million tons of carbon dioxide more than if the scheme wasn’t in place, the report said."

-->Our mainstream media, including The NYT, has never acknowledged what a fraud Bill Clinton's carbon-trading scheme really was. Maybe that is because the US position on climate change continues to be filled with half truths and little real improvement. Our media helps by not questioning US obfuscation.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

"In an interview with the U.K.‘s Prospect magazine, former President Jimmy Carter is brutally frank in saying that all hope for a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict has ended. 'At this moment, there is zero chance of the two-state solution,' he said, according to journalist Bronwen Maddox.

That judgment is widely shared and not so controversial. It is what he said next that ruffled feathers in Israel: 'The Netanyahu government decided early on to adopt a one-state solution … but without giving them [the Palestinians] equal rights.' In this sentence, he accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of having pursued, upon his election in 2009, a deliberate policy of relentlessly annexing and colonizing the Palestinian West Bank, ensuring that it will end up as part of Israel. At the same time, he said, Netanyahu conspired to ensure that the 4.2 million Palestinians under Israeli occupation remain stateless and without rights. ...

Carter wasn’t done with Netanyahu. Not only is the two-state solution dead, the Palestinian West Bank being entirely stolen, the Palestinians doomed to be ruled by the Israelis in perpetuity—but Israeli society and politics are such that in the single state now forming under Netanyahu’s iron fist, Palestinians 'will never get equal rights.' "

-->The NYT didn't cover this interview with Carter. Too much truth for our newspaper of record.


Common Dreams:
"With the idea of paid maternity leave gaining traction as a means of recruiting workplace 'talent' or used as a talking point on the campaign trail, an In These Times investigation published on Tuesday reveals the sad reality for millions of U.S. families. In the United States, only about 13 percent of U.S. workers have access to any form of paid family leave, which includes parental leave and other time off to care for a family member, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

'[M]ost Americans don’t realize quite how out of step we are,' writes journalist Sharon Lerner for ITT. 'With the exception of a few small countries like Papua New Guinea and Suriname, every other nation in the world—rich or poor—now requires paid maternity leave.'

For those who are able take time off after a child's birth, particularly those who are paid during that time, the benefits are many: healthier babies, more opportunities to bond, lower rates of family poverty, and decreased chances of infant death. Further, women whose workplaces support their leave typically have more work opportunities and greater lifetime earnings."

-->The NYT doesn't like to shed light on how out of step our vicious capitalist system is. The newspaper declined to print this story.


Electronic Intifada:
"Three months after Ferguson erupted in protest over the police killing of unarmed Black teenager Michael Brown, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department (SLMPD) added an Israeli weapon called skunk to its protest-crushing arsenal, arms industry news website Defense One has confirmed. 
Skunk is a crowd control 'malodorant' developed by the Israeli police in collaboration with Odortec, an Israeli company that specializes in scent-based weapons, and tested on Palestinians. 

Released at high pressure from a water cannon, canister or grenade, skunk liquid emits an odor - described as a mix of rotting animal carcass, raw sewage and human excrement - that sticks to walls, clothing, hair and skin for days to weeks and is impossible to wash away without a special soap that is only accessible to police.

Ramallah  based activist and writer Mariam Barghouti once told The Electronic Intifada that 'the water lingers on your skin to a point when you want to rip your skin off.' First deployed by Israeli armed forces in 2008, skunk water has become a fixture in the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem."

-->The NYT acknowledges that pepper spray is in the Ferguson police arsenal, but not skunk spray from the Israeli military. Protect Israel is the guiding principal for stories like this; The NYT did not print the story.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

The Guardian UK:
"At least 3,500 Americans have been detained inside a Chicago police warehouse described by some of its arrestees as a secretive interrogation facility, newly uncovered records reveal.

Of the thousands held in the facility known as Homan Square over a decade, 82% were black. Only three received documented visits from an attorney, according to a cache of documents obtained when the Guardian sued the police.

Despite repeated denials from the Chicago police department that the warehouse is a secretive, off-the-books anomaly, the Homan Square files begin to show how the city’s most vulnerable people get lost in its criminal justice system. ... Documents indicate the detainees are a group of disproportionately minority citizens, many accused of low-level drug crimes, faced with incriminating themselves before their arrests appeared in a booking system by which their families and attorneys might find them."

-->82% are Blacks, held in secret detention center and denied their basic rights. The NYT isn't interested, and didn't cover this story. 


Common Dreams:
"Over a dozen protesters on Tuesday converged at the Detroit mayor's publicly-funded mansion and 'liberated' his water supply, in a creative direct action highlighting the inequities that underlie the city's mass water shutoffs and resultant humanitarian crisis. ...

Tawana Petty, organizer with Detroiters Resisting Emergency Managers, said: 'We estimate that about 20,000 homes, at least 40,000 people, are currently without water. They are aiming for an additional 2,000 to 3,000 water shutoffs per week.'

The Detroit Water and Sewerage Department is turning off the taps despite mass resistance in Detroit and rebuke from United Nations experts, who said last year that Detroit's water shutoffs are condemning residents to 
'lives without dignity,' violating human rights on a large scale, and disproportionately impacting African-Americans."

-->The NYT isn't interested in the 20,000, mostly Black families in Detroit, trying to live without water. It didn't print this racist assault on people of color.  


Center of Constitutional Rights:
"On Thursday, a federal judge handed a stinging rebuke to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) in its attempt to have Prof. Steven Salaita’s case thrown out. Steven was fired from a tenured position based on his personal tweets criticizing Israel’s military assault on Gaza last summer. ...

Hours after the ruling, University of Illinois Chancellor Phyllis Wise, who last year fired Steven, announced her resignation. ... 

Last week’s ruling follows a June state court decision ordering the university to turn over emails related to the firing that it had refused to divulge, as well as a vote by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) to censure the university. Earlier this year, the AAUP also issued a report that concluded UIUC had violated academic freedom and due process. The university’s leadership has faced sustained criticism and an ever-growing boycott across the academic world."

-->The Associated Press covered this important story of Zionist pressure to fire a professor for his statements on Gaza. However, The NYT didn't think this story of academic freedom newsworthy enough to print.

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

The Guardian UK:
"The overstretched US military has hired hundreds of private-sector contractors to the heart of its drone operations to analyse top-secret video feeds and help track suspected terrorist leaders, an investigation has found.

Contracts unearthed by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism reveal a secretive industry worth hundreds of millions of dollars, placing a corporate workforce alongside uniformed personnel analysing intelligence from areas of interest.

While it has long been known that US defence firms supply billions of dollars’ worth of equipment for drone operations, the role of the private sector in supplying analysts for combing through intelligence material has remained almost entirely unknown until now."

-->Interesting secrets about the US drone wars. Looks like the private sector may be very interested in keeping them going. Readers of The NYT, however, did not get to read this story. 


"The Israeli army indiscriminately and deliberately targeted civilians during a brutal 2014 assault known as "Black Friday", according to a new report on last summer's Gaza war. The joint study by Amnesty International and Forensic Architecture, released on Wednesday, cites "strong evidence" of war crimes and possible crimes against humanity on August 1, 2014, as Israeli forces bombarded residential areas in Rafah in retaliation for the capture of one of its soldiers.

"There is overwhelming evidence that Israeli forces committed disproportionate, or otherwise indiscriminate, attacks which killed scores of civilians in their homes, on the streets and in vehicles and injured many more," notes the report.

"This includes repeatedly firing artillery and other imprecise explosive weapons in densely populated civilian areas… In some cases, there are indications that they directly fired at and killed civilians, including people fleeing."

-->The NYT had to report this story, but in the hands of their veteran pro-Israeli journalist, Isabel Kershner, things look quite different. It starts with a picture of an Israeli graveyard being visited by heartbroken parents of a fallen IDF soldier. The first five paragraphs explain Israel's side of the story, without even a pretense of verification. Amnesty International then gets a few paragraphs, with charges always denied by Israeli authorities. One sentence at the very end of the article quotes a Palestinian saying "It was a black day; I cannot think of a worse day." I cannot think of worse coverage; shame on The NYT for this piece of pro-Israel propaganda. 


The Guardian:
"Hypocrisy on Display as US Lavishes Military Aid on Egypt. In a visit to Cairo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pledged that the Egyptian government's atrocities will not prevent increased U.S. backing. ...

The backing comes as al-Sisi oversees an increase in authoritarianism that some analysts warn is the worst the country has seen in 60 years—including during the regime of former U.S.-backed President Hosni Mubarak who was toppled by a popular uprising in 2011.

A report released by Amnesty International in June warned the Egyptian government is funneling an entire generation of young activists, journalists, and even bystanders from the streets into prisons: 'More than a year after he came to power, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s government has shown no sign of easing its repressive rule. The crackdown has seen more than 41,000 people arrested, charged or indicted with a criminal offense, or sentenced after unfair trials, according to the last available estimates by Egyptian human rights activists.'

-->This is the type of imperial hypocrisy that The NYT protects its readers from. Our newspaper of record's headline reads, "Kerry Warns Egypt Human Rights Abuses Can Hurt Fight Against Terrorism." Of course, the NYT focuses on talk about human rights rather than the billions in arms being sent to another dictator in the Middle East.