Daily Archives

George Soros – “I’m having a very good crisis”

Daily Mail – A hedge fund manager who predicted the global credit crunch has said the financial crisis has been ‘stimulating’ and the culmination of his life’s work.George Soros, who predicted the global financial crisis twice before, was one of the few people to anticipate and prepare for the current economic collapse.Mr Soros said his prediction meant he was better able to brace his Quantum investment fund against the gloabal storm.But other investors failed to take notice of his prediction and his decision to come out of retirement in 2007 to manage the fund made him $US2.9 billion.  Read Article

The Historian – Do you really believe that these multi-billionaires don’t a/ want to, and b/ have the ability to manipulate the system for their own benefit?

Great Firewall of China blocks access to YouTube, again

The Times – China has blocked access to the video sharing site YouTube but the authorities insist that they are not scared of the internet. Access to YouTube began to falter late on Monday and by Tuesday it had become impossible to reach the site. The California-based company confirmed that the site had been blocked but was unable to provide a reason. It was working to restore access. Read Article

The Historian – This is what a censored internet looks like. Is that what you want the people of Australia?

Fear: the last refuge of desperate politicians

The Independent – My train pulled into Waterloo station yesterday to be greeted by an alarming poster picturing women and children in a market. It warned: “A bomb didn’t go off here because weeks before a shopper reported someone studying the CCTV cameras.” It wasn’t what I needed to worry about on my way to work. It is part of a new campaign – “Don’t rely on others” – urging the public to report suspicious activity that could be related to terrorism: from large amounts of empty chemical bottles in a bin, to a suspicious van rental or somebody who owns lots of mobile phones. Being scary, dramatic and backed by the police, it’s the sort of campaign that wins easy headlines and thus acts as a form of subliminal advertising. After years of rejecting the agenda of fear stoked up under Tony Blair, Gordon Brown’s Government seems happy to plant fear right back at its heart.  Read Article

Russian subs ‘to back Arctic claims’

Press TV – Russia considers deploying submarines armed with nuclear-capable cruise missiles in a bid to protect resources in the disputed Arctic region. Submarines from Russia’s Northern Fleet could be involved in efforts to stake Russia’s claim to the polar region, Vice Admiral Oleg Burtsev, deputy head of the Navy General Staff, told RIA Novosti Monday. Northern countries like Russia, the US, and Canada are trying to assert jurisdiction over the Arctic, which is believed to contain huge oil and natural gas reserves. Read Article

Now ‘Big Brother’ targets Facebook

The Independent – Millions of Britons who use social networking sites such as Facebook could soon have their every move monitored by the Government and saved on a “Big Brother” database.Ministers faced a civil liberties outcry last night over the plans, with accusations of excessive snooping on the private lives of law-abiding citizens.The idea to police MySpace, Bebo and Facebook comes on top of plans to store information about every phone call, email and internet visit made by everyone in the United Kingdom. Read Article

Israel admits killing 189 children in Gaza campaign

Daily Telegraph – Israel’s armed forces admitted on Wednesday that 189 Palestinian children under the age of 15 were killed during the assault on the Gaza Strip. The first official figures released by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) of the casualties inflicted by the three-week campaign found that a total of 309 Palestinian civilians were killed. But the IDF said that armed fighters from Hamas and other militant movements accounted for most of the 1,370 dead.  Read Article

Windfarm windbag! UK Minister claims trying to halt turbines ‘is as unacceptable as not wearing a seatbelt’

Daily Mail – Opposing wind farms is as ‘socially unacceptable’ as not wearing a seatbelt or failing to stop at a zebra crossing, says the climate change minister. In a speech that infuriated rural campaigners, Ed Miliband said the Government should be tougher in pushing through controversial wind turbine schemes. His comments – made at the screening of a new film warning of the effects of climate change – came as environmentalists said the massive expansion of onshore wind farms was threatening some of Britain’s best-loved countryside. Read Article

The Historian – Yes it is socially unacceptable to oppose our corporate friends in the wind farm and nuclear industries from making a quick buck from your gullibility over CO2, when we actually know that there is cheap and unlimited supplies of pollution free energy beneath our feet in geo-thermal energy.

‘War on terror’ rebranded as ‘overseas contingency operation’

Daily Telegraph – The Obama administration appears to be distancing itself from its predecessor’s favourite foreign policy euphemism, as the “war on terror” becomes the “overseas contingency operation”. In a leaked email to Pentagon staff, an official from the defence department’s office of security review noted that “this administration prefers to avoid using the term ‘Long War’ or ‘Global War on Terror’ [GWOT]. Please use ‘Overseas Contingency Operation.’”  The memo said the directive came from the management and budget office, a government department that vets public statements by officials. Email recipients were asked to pass on the information to their speech writers. Read Article

The Historian – No matter how you brand it, killing is still killing

London Police Encourage Citizens To Report Contents Of Each Others’ Bins To Prevent Terrorism

Metropolitan Police – A new London Metropolitan Police anti-terrorism campaign is encouraging law abiding citizens to look through each others’ bins to check for “suspicious” items such as chemical bottles, and to report any troubling findings to the police. Read Press Release

The Historian – The East German Stasi would be proud of such citizenship

Israel accused of indiscriminate phosphorus use in Gaza

The Guardian – Human Rights Watch report claims Israel committed war crimes in its use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells. Israel‘s military fired white phosphorus over crowded areas of Gaza repeatedly and indiscriminately in its three-week war, killing and injuring civilians and committing war crimes, Human Rights Watch said today. In a 71-page report, the rights group said the repeated use of air-burst white phosphorus artillery shells in populated areas of Gaza was not incidental or accidental, but revealed “a pattern or policy of conduct”.It said the Israeli military used white phosphorus in a “deliberate or reckless” way.  Read Article

Clinton: NKorea plan to fire missile ‘provocative’

AP — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday warned North Korea that firing a missile for any purpose would be a “provocative act” that would have consequences. North Korea is loading a rocket on a launch pad in anticipation of the launch of a communications satellite between April 4 and 8, U.S. counterproliferation and intelligence officials said. North Korea announced its intention to launch the satellite in February, but regional powers worry the claim is a cover for the launch of a long-range missile capable of reaching Alaska. Read Article

UK’s Iraq inquiry to be set up ‘after July’

BBC – Ministers have said they will hold an inquiry into the Iraq war as “soon as practically possible” after the bulk of UK troops leave in July. The government has previously said it would only be prepared to contemplate an inquiry once the involvement of UK troops in combat operations ends. UK troop numbers will be reduced from 4,100 to 400 by the end of July. The Conservatives say there is no “reasonable impediment” to an immediate inquiry into the war and its aftermath. Foreign secretary David Miliband said ministers were committed to holding a “comprehensive” inquiry but was not prepared to give any details of when this would happen.  Read Article

The Historian – Is there enough white paint left in the UK for it to be able to have a 3rd judicial whitewash regarding Iraq?

Top hedge fund earners take home billions

Reuters – Four of the world’s top hedge fund managers took home 10-figure paychecks last year even as the loosely regulated industry delivered its worst returns and hundreds of fund firms were forced out of business. The industry’s 25 best-paid managers collected a total of $11.6 billion, which marked the third-best year on record, according to an annual survey released by Institutional Investor’s Alpha magazine on Wednesday. The total number, however, marks a sharp decline from the $22.5 billion that the industry’s best performers took home in 2007. Analysts had expected the overall decline after the average hedge fund lost 19 percent and its size shriveled because investors pulled out roughly $150 billion in assets. Read Article

U.S. watchdog says billions of U.S. aid wasted in Iraq

Reuters – About $3 billion to $5 billion in U.S. aid for rebuilding Iraq has been wasted since 2003, and similar problems will likely haunt development in Afghanistan, a top U.S. watchdog said on Wednesday. Stuart Bowen, the U.S. special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, told Congress that sums wasted on ill-designed or failed projects in Iraq translate into 15-20 percent of the $21 billion Iraqi Relief and Reconstruction Fund set up by Congress after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. Read Article

The Historian – The vast majority of it went straight into the coffers of US corporations like Halliburton, KBR and Blackwater/Xe

BBC’s “Ethical Man” blog promoting GM Foods

BBC – It is a modern miracle. There are now over 6 billion people on earth (more than double the number when I was born), yet very few go hungry. In fact, despite the vast increase in population, the world still produces more food than it consumes. At a biotech company outside San Francisco I was shown a technology that could do just that. It does not look that impressive. A few rice plants huddled in the back of a growing chamber in a research lab, in a building on what, in Britain, we would call an industrial estate.  But these plants really could be revolutionary. They have been genetically engineered to be dramatically more efficient at using nitrogen than normal plants. What they are designed to do is allow farmers to cut fertiliser use dramatically while maintaining crop yields. Read Article

The Historian – How ethical, putting mankinds food supply under patent owned by a handful of corporations.

Africa ‘loses out on mining cash’

BBC – Mineral-rich African states have been deprived of huge sums of royalties and taxes by mining firms, a report says. The report, by prominent development charities, blames a lack of legislative oversight and excessively generous tax concessions agreed with the firms. It says some mining companies have also avoided paying tax through secret contracts with African governments. The study covers South Africa, Sierra Leone, Ghana, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Malawi, Tanzania and Zambia.  Read Article

Joint Darfur aid warning issued – million without food

BBC – More than a million people in Darfur will go without food rations by May unless new aid agencies are deployed, a joint Sudanese-UN assessment says. It also says there could be major water shortages within two weeks. The warning follows Sudan’s expulsion of 13 large foreign aid agencies, mostly from Darfur. Mr Bashir accuses them of spying for the International Criminal Court, which has issued an arrest warrant against him for alleged war crimes in Darfur. Read Article

The Historian – Luckily for President Bashir the Chinese will support him all the way….so that they can get all that lovely oil & gas under Darfur

U.S. immigrant detentions violate human rights: report

Reuters – The detention of hundreds of thousands of immigrants every year in the United States represents a violation of human rights, Amnesty International USA said in a report on Wednesday. On an average day, the rights group said, more than 30,000 immigrants are in detention facilities. That’s triple the number that were in custody a decade ago, according to Amnesty’s report “Jailed Without Justice: Immigration Detention in the USA.” “America should be outraged by the scale of human rights abuses occurring within its own borders,” said Larry Cox, director of Amnesty International USA. “The United States has long been a country of immigrants, and whether they have been here five years or five generations, their human rights are to be respected.” Amnesty said more than 300,000 people are detained by U.S. immigration officials each year. They include asylum seekers, torture survivors, victims of human trafficking, longtime legal permanent residents and parents of U.S. citizen children. Read Article

Google behavioral ads tap DoubleClick eyeball

The Register – So, Google is now using your surf history to tailor online ads to your particular online interests. It’s a rather creepy thought, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that Google won’t say how much of your surf history it’s capturing – or how long it plans on keeping this potentially ginormous data hoard.When Google announced its “interest-based advertising” program on March 11, it said the program would target ads on YouTube and the many third-party sites in its AdSense network. And with a new FAQ, Google mentions that these ads would be targeted using data collected via cookie technology fashioned by DoubleClick, the online ad giant it acquired last year. What’s still unclear is whether Google is collecting your surfing habits across AdSense pages as well as sites that serve ads via DoubleClick’s ad management platform. Presumably, it is. It appears that both AdSense and DoubleClick sites are using compatible tracking cookies. Read Article