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Showing posts from July, 2014

Contradicting earlier claims, CIA admits it legally accessed Senate computers in secret

McClatchy Newspapers - CIA employees improperly accessed computers used by the Senate Intelligence Committee to compile a report on the agency’s now defunct detention and interrogation program, an internal CIA investigation has determined.
Findings of the investigation by the CIA Inspector General’s Office “include a judgment that some CIA employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the...read more.

Pope Francis’ 10 tips for happiness: Be generous, spend Sundays with family, work for peace

RT.com - The Pope has shared ten tips for living a happy, peaceful and fulfilled life based around humility and understanding other people without trying to convert them to your way of thinking.
In an interview with the Argentine weekly “Viva” the Pope drew on his own experience in life to come up with a humble anti-consumerist life style guide.  Read more.

Police Say DRONES Continue To Appear At Crime Scenes

Political Blind Spot - Police have been reporting that drones are showing up more and more at crime scenes. The trend began earlier this year, but police say that far from slowing down, it has gotten much worse. This highlights the problem of rampant drone ownership and the potential abuses of the devices. Furthermore, it is serving as a wake-up call to many regarding the inherent abuse-prone nature of drones.  Read more.

Brazil Farmers Say GMO Corn No Longer Resistant to Bugs

Deirdre Fulton @ Common Dreams - Brazilian farmers say their GMO corn is no longer resistant to pests, Reuters reported Monday.
The Association of Soybean and Corn Producers of the Mato Grosso region said farmers first noticed in March that their genetically modified corn crops were less resistant to the destructive caterpillars that "Bt corn" — which has been genetically modified to produce a toxin that repels certain pests — is supposed to protect against. In turn, farmers have been forced to apply extra coats of insecticides, racking up additional environmental and financial costs.  Read more.

Former NSA Chief: Why I'm Worth $1 Million a Month to Wall Street

Max Ocean @ Common Dreams - Former NSA Director Keith Alexander says his services warrant a fee of up to a million dollars, due to a cyber-surveillance technique he and partners at his new security firm IronNet Cybersecurity have developed, Foreign Policy reported on Tuesday. The claim follows reporting earlier this month that Alexander is slated to head a 'cyber-war council' backed by Wall Street.  Read more.

Right-wing Israeli mob mocks deaths in anti-Gaza chant

RT.com - A right-wing Israeli mob has been caught on film seemingly celebrating the deaths of Palestinian children in Operation Protective Edge. Over 1,200 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s latest offensive, including over 200 children.
The video uploaded onto YouTube on Saturday shows a group of right-wing Israeli activists celebrating the Israeli Defense Force’s incursion into Gaza.  Read more.

The Silent Anguish of Pregnant Women Who Struggle With Addiction

Erica L. Sanchez @ Truthout - In early July, Mallory Loyola, 26, was charged with assault after her newborn girl tested positive for meth. Loyola is the first woman in the state to be arrested under a new Tennessee law that allows the state to criminally charge mothers for the illegal use of a narcotic drug while pregnant, if their children are harmed or addicted to the drug.  Read more.

How Rogue Capitalism Is Cheating Young Americans

Paul Buchheit @ Buzzflash - Our country's wealthy white once-idealistic baby boomer generation has cheated those of you entering the working world. A small percentage of us have taken almost all the new wealth since the recession. Our Silicon Valley CEOs have placated you with overpriced technological toys that are the result of decades of American productivity, but which have mainly profited the elite members of their industries.

Although none of us in the older generations can speak for you, we can help you research the facts. And the facts are painfully clear.  Read more.

No ‘rainbow families’: Canadian fertility clinic bans white woman from using non-white sperm donor

RT.com - A single Canadian woman, who sought in vitro fertilization in the only local clinic in Calgary, has been prohibited from using donors of a different ethnicity to avoid “creating rainbow families.”
The 38-year old woman, who requested to use only her first name, Catherine, told the Calgary Herald that “everything went downhill” when last March she learned that she could only use sperm, eggs or embryos from donors who were white, like her.  Read more.

No Safe Place in Gaza: How Silence Encouraged a Genocide

Real News - As the Israeli military offensive on Gaza entered its third week, there's been more horrific mass killings committed because of indiscriminate Israeli tank shelling and bombardment throughout the besieged Gaza Strip.
After the massacres in Shujaeyyah and Khoza, now the supposedly safe United Nations-run schools have also become targets. A school in the northern Gaza strip town of Beit Hanon, which sheltered hundreds of displaced people who thought they would be safe on United Nations-controlled premise, came under Israeli fire. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, at least thirteen civilians were killed and more than 200 were injured. UNRWA spokesman said that his agency was not warned.  Read more.

Demonstrations in response to Israel's attack on Gaza represent full-scale Palestinian uprising

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Large-scale protests against the ongoing blockade and bombardment of the Gaza Strip are expected to continue and grow across the occupied West Bank on Friday, a day after at least two Palestinians were killed during an enormous demonstration outside Jerusalem on Thursday night.
At least two people were killed and many injured last evening as tens of thousands of Palestinians marched from the city of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank to a security checkpoint outside Jerusulem in what many interpret as...read more.

"Israel is a terror state': 15,000 turn out in support of Gaza

RT.com - London streets were swarmed by a pro-Palestinian demonstration which gathered nearly 15,000 participants Saturday. Marching down to the Israeli Embassy from Downing Street, they chanted “Israel is a terror state,” slamming Tel Aviv’s offensive in Gaza.
David Cameron’s office is located about 5km (3 miles) from the embassy. While the march itself was peaceful, several key roads downtown were closed.  Read more.

US Stands Alone in Vote Against UN Inquiry Into Gaza Assault

Sarah Lazare @ Common Dreams - The United States was the only country in the world that voted Wednesday against the United Nations investigating human rights violations in Gaza unleashed by Israel's military assault.
Of the 47 members of the UN Human Rights Council, 29 nations voted to set up a commission to launch an international, independent inquiry, effectively passing the resolution. Seventeen countries abstained, including Germany, France, and the United Kingdom.  Read more.

Joseph Wood's execution in Arizona murderer takes nearly two hours

Guardian UK - The controversy engulfing the death penalty in the United States escalated on Wednesday when the state of Arizona took almost two hours to kill a prisoner using an experimental concoction of drugs whose provenance it had insisted on keeping secret.
Joseph Wood took an hour and 58 minutes to die after he was injected with a relatively untested combination of the sedative midazolam and painkiller hydromorphone. The procedure took so long that his lawyers had time to file an emergency court motion in an attempt to have it stopped. For more than an hour, he was seen to be “gasping and snorting”, according to the court filing.  Read more.

EU Court: Poland Enabled CIA Torture

Andrea Germanos @ Common Dreams - In what has been described as a watershed moment, a European court ruled Thursday that Poland enabled rendition and torture carried out by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights marks the first court judgement on the CIA's so-called "black sites," secret offshore prisons where detainees are tortured.  Read more.

UN Human Rights Chief Cautions Israel on War Crimes in Gaza

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - The United Nation's top official on human rights said on Wednesday that Israel's military assault on the Gaza Strip may constitute "war crimes" for its widespread practice of targeting civilian areas.
After two weeks of bombing, the Israeli assault has now claimed an estimated 680 Palestinians lives. Nearly 70 percent of those, according to UN estimates, are believed to be civilians, including nearly 150 children under the age of sixteen.  Read more.

‘Palestinians are Warsaw Ghetto prisoners of today’

John Wright @ RT.com - In January 1943, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto mounted one of the most heroic and courageous acts of resistance human history has ever seen.
In the face of overwhelming odds, against an advanced and brutal military power, they rose up with nothing more than small arms and an unquenchable human spirit burning in their hearts, choosing to die on their feet rather than go quietly to their doom.  Read more.

The Specter of Iraq

Paul Krugman - I don't write much about Iraq a(t) all that these days, but a recent report by James Risen of The New York Times brings back the horror of the whole thing. And I don't just mean the fact that Americans were lied into war; that most of our media and policy elite rushed to join the bandwagon; and that the venture led to awesome waste of lives and money.  Read more.

''Freedom From Other People's Definitions'': An Interview With Janet Mock

Maya Schenwar @ Truthout - Toward the end of her poignant memoir, Redefining Realness, Janet Mock writes, "People often describe the journey of transsexual people as a passage through the sexes . . . My passage was an evolution from me to closer-to-me-ness. It's a journey of self-revelation." When I interviewed Mock, she echoed that phrase, this time in relation to her book itself - it's an act of self-revelation, one that aims to empower others to speak their own truths. As always, the "personal is political," but it's more than that: Mock eschews ready political categorizations, aiming for a consciousness in which personal self-determination takes center stage. In chronicling her adolescence, she writes, "My presence as a 15-year-old trans girl must've been radical to many, but to me it was truth, and my truth led me to form a womanhood all my own."  Read more.

MSNBC Commentator Says She Was Canceled For Criticizing Network's Pro-Israel Coverage

Cliff Weathers @ AlterNet - A Palestinian journalist who criticized MSNBC for biased coverage of the Israel-Hamas conflict is saying that she’s “been canceled” by the news network.
Rula Jebreal, who appeared on “Ronan Farrow Daily” yesterday and accused Western media outlets, including MSNBC of a pro-Israel bias, took to Twitter to announce that her forthcoming appearances on the cable network has been canceled...read more.

Legalized Bribery Has Allowed Sheldon Adelson to Buy and Sell Politicians

Thom Hartmann @ Truthout - Rich brat billionaires and giant transnational corporations have hijacked our political system.
CNN is reporting that Shelly Adelson, the same man who dropped a cool $150 million during the 2012 election cycle to defeat President Obama, is now talking about spending tens of millions more in the 2014 midterm elections.  Read more.

Federal judge rules California death penalty unconstitutional

LA Times -  In an indictment of California's death penalty, a federal judge ruled Wednesday that decades-long delays and uncertainty about whether condemned inmates will ever be executed violate the constitution's ban on cruel or unusual punishment.
The ruling by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney, an appointee of former President George W. Bush, was unprecedented and likely to further inflame the debate over the state's death penalty. Several prominent judges have excoriated California's death penalty for its dysfunction, but Carney was the first to rule the delays amounted to a constitutional violation and left the system without any legitimate purpose.  Read more.

Fabricating Crime: FBI Entrapment Creates 'Illusion' of Terrorist Plots

Dierdre Fulton @ Common Dreams - Federal officials and law enforcement agents are treating American Muslims like "terrorists-in-waiting," according to a new report released Monday by Human Rights Watch and Columbia Law School's Human Rights Institute.
The FBI, under pressure to appear effective and worthy of its $8.4-billion budget, has "targeted American Muslims in abusive counterterrorism 'sting operations' based on religious and ethnic identity"; sent informants to mosques to "troll for leads"; and in some cases encouraged or even paid individuals to undertake terrorist acts, the report (pdf) reveals.  Read more.

Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block

ProPublica - A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com.
First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.  Read more.

UK Supermarket first in world to be powered entirely by garbage

RT.com - A Sainsburys supermarket has become the first to be powered directly from its food waste, instead of electricity from the National Grid.
The store, located in Cannock, Staffordshire, sends its waste to the UK’s largest anaerobic digestion plant to be turned into methane gas, which can then be used to generate electricity.  Read more.

"Blood on American Hands": Richard Falk on Palestine

Truthout - For over 20 years, Israel and the United States have been working to separate Gaza from the West Bank, in violation of the Oslo Accords they had just signed declaring them to be an indivisible territorial unity. The latest carnage in Gaza is part of an ongoing Israeli imperial policy which, as Noam Chomsky wrote to me just a couple of days ago, seeks "to take over what's of value 'in the land of Israel,' reduce the population to marginal existence...read more.

Obama's betrayal of Blacks and Latinos rages on

Bruce Dixon @ Black Agenda Report - Five and a half years into the Obama era, some of his African American supporters finally admit black voters didn't get much of substance for their nearly unanimous support of the First Black President. Of course the black political class does its level best to blame everything on evil racist Republicans who don't even like what the president had for breakfast. In a shameful flip on the notion that black faces in high places should represent us in the halls of power...read more.

The Criminalization of Black Youth and the Rise of Restorative Justice

Max Eternity @ Truthout - In the spring of 2014, on two separate occasions, African-American teenagers - a 15-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy - were pushed through windows by police. Fortunately, both teens survived their encounter, though it was a very close call for the boy. No reports of white teens being pushed through windows by police have been discovered. These violent incidents are just a couple of examples of how, for many African-Americans, youth offers little hope and few niceties.  Read more.

On 'Human Shielding' in Gaza

Neve Gordon and Nicola Perugini @ Common Dreams - All fighting within cities and all bombardments of urban spaces, even the most "precise and surgical", is a potential death trap for civilians. Consequently, the permeation of war into cities inevitably transforms their inhabitants into potential human shields.
For Palestinians living in Gaza today, simply spending time in their own homes, frequenting a mosque, going to a hospital or to school has become a dangerous enterprise since any one of these architectural edifices can become at any moment a target.  Read more.

David Versus Goliath in Gaza

Eric Margolis - The current Israeli attacks have shut down Gaza’s sewage, water and power grid, a tactic the US used in Iraq in 1991 that caused the deaths, according to the UN, of 500,000 Iraqi children. These attacks are designed to break the will of Gaza’s people, and cause them to overthrow Hamas.  Read more.

The crumbling infrastructure of the US reflects wrong priorities and moral decay

Ted Rail @ Creators.com - America isn't broke, but most Americans are. The reason is simple: Too few people have too much of our national wealth. The pauperizing of our common property — the deliberate starving of public funding for roads, bridges, parks, schools, public hospitals, even hospitals charged with caring for veterans of America's oil wars — reflects the economic and political system's backward priorities. It's immoral. Because any society that spends more resources to maintain and upgrade private homes than public works is crazy stupid.  Read more.

NYC Mayor and Police Chief Issue Statements on the Death of Eric Gardner

Newsday - A 43-year-old Staten Island man died Thursday after a police officer used a chokehold that was apparently not authorized by department regulations, NYPD Commissioner William Bratton said Friday.
Bratton spoke about the death of Eric Garner, of Port Richmond, to whom the hold was applied as he was being subdued for resisting arrest. Bratton and Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at a news conference in City Hall Friday.  Read more.

The End of Pot Prohibition as We Know It

Otherwords - How much longer will it take before the United States declares a truce in the Drug War?
This latter-day prohibition is taking an immense toll. And the stakes ought to be low, given that most Americans don't want anyone jailed for being caught with small amounts of pot.
But it does require some courage to pipe up. So thank you, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, for joining the swelling chorus that wants to see marijuana legalized.  Read more.

Investigation Demanded for Plane Shot Down over Ukraine

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - Questions remain and an international investigation is being demanded nearly twenty-four hours after a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday, killing all 298 people on board.
Traveling between Amsterdam and Kuala Lapur, the downing of Flight MH17 has been met with shared mourning around the world as well as highly-pitched accusations over who, in fact, was responsible for firing on the aircraft.  Read more.

The Periodic Slaughter of Palestinians

Lawrence Davidson @ Consortium News - As the Israelis once more inflict collective punishment in Gaza (a tactic which happens to constitute a war crime), it is time to consider the mind-set behind their repeated violent and sadistic behavior. One way to do so is to listen to the rationalizations they use, also repeatedly, to justify their actions.  Read more.

World Celebrates Nelson Mandela Day

USA Today - It's Nelson Mandela International Day, a day of service celebrated on July 18, Mandela's birthday.
Mandela, the former president of South Africa and Nobel Peace Prize recipient, died at 95 on Dec. 5, 2013. This is the first time the day has been celebrated since his death.  Read more.

Why Big Business Loves Desperate Workers

Stephen Pimpare @ Common Dreams - We don’t think enough about the economic functions of social welfare policy, or about the relationship between the safety net and labor markets, and this hinders our ability to make sense of why some people fight so hard against programs that aid poor and low-income people: We mistake them for anti-welfare ideologues, and dismiss them as cruel or ignorant, but there’s an economic logic to their activism, one that’s revealed if we look at the relationship between welfare and work from both the employee’s and the employer’s perspective. Let me explain.  Read more.

California death penalty unconstitutional, federal judge rules

San Jose Mercury News - In a decision that could wipe California's death penalty off the books, a Los Angeles federal judge has declared the state's capital punishment law unconstitutional because of the decades death row inmates must inevitably wait before execution.
Calling the state's death penalty system "dysfunctional" and beyond repair, U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney concluded...read more.  Read more.

Israel's Assault on Gaza Obscures Core Issues: Racism, Occupation, Colonization

AlterNet - Another Israeli assault on Gaza will produce more red herrings.  These include an obsessive focus on Israeli suffering, linked to an insistence on equivalence between intensive Israeli air raids on a tiny and highly populated strip of land killing at least 81 Palestinians and wounding 615 thus far, most of them civilians, and inaccurate Palestinian rocket-fire which has reached distant targets but has harmed no Israelis so far.  Read more.

Navy nurse refuses to force-feed Guantánamo captive

Miami Herald - In the first known rebellion against Guantánamo’s force-feeding policy, a Navy medical officer recently refused to continue managing tube-feedings of prison hunger strikers and was reassigned to “alternative duties.”
A prison camp spokesman, Navy Capt. Tom Gresback, would not provide precise details but said Monday night that the episode had “no impact to medical support operations at the base.”  Read more.

Capitalism's Deeper Problem

Richard Wolff @ Moyers & Co. - Recent press reports refer to troubling price increases for such assets as real estate, government bonds, companies targeted for acquisition and artwork. A New York Times front-page headline read “The Everything Boom, or Maybe the Everything Bubble.”  Read more.

Citigroup: The Original Gangsta

Robert Scheer @ Truthdig - Barack Obama’s Justice Department on Monday announced that Citigroup would pay $7 billion in fines, a move that will avoid a humiliating trial dealing with the seamy financial products the bank had marketed to an unsuspecting public, causing vast damage to the economy.
Citigroup is the too-big-to-fail bank that was allowed to form only when Bill Clinton signed legislation reversing the sensible restraints on Wall Street instituted by President Franklin Roosevelt to avoid another Great Depression. 
Those filled with Clinton nostalgia these days might want to reflect back on how truly destructive was his legacy for hardworking people throughout the world who lost so much due to the financial shenanigans that he made legal.  Read more.

Does Uncle Sam Have a God Complex?

Norman Solomon @ Common Dreams - As a matter of faith, some people believe that God can see and hear everything. But as a matter of fact, the U.S. government now has the kind of surveillance powers formerly attributed only to a supreme being.

Top “national security” officials in Washington now have the determination and tech prowess to keep tabs on billions of people. No one elected Uncle Sam to play God. But a dire shortage of democratic constraints has enabled the U.S. surveillance state to keep expanding with steely resolve.
By the time Edward Snowden used NSA documents to expose—beyond any doubt—a global surveillance dragnet, the situation had deteriorated so badly because the Bush and Obama administrations were able to dismiss earlier warnings to the public as little more than heresy.  Read more.

Is Elizabeth Warren the Next President?

Washington Post - Populist Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) got a rock-star reception during a standing-room-only campaign rally here Monday, as hundreds of liberal activists cheered her broadsides against corporate interests and voiced hopes that her presence might shift the political winds in an increasingly Republican state.
The rally on behalf of Senate candidate Natalie Tennant was the latest in a string of recent Warren appearances in red and blue states alike, where Democratic base voters have embraced her fiery message as an envoy to working-class voters frustrated with both Wall Street and the Obama administration.  Read more.

Go to law school. Rack up debt. Make $62,000

CNN - Leslie Thompson earns $40,000 a year working two jobs, but her Albuquerque, N.M., house almost went into foreclosure twice this year.
Thompson's trade? She's a lawyer.
Lawyers have been struggling for a while now, but it's gotten even worse: Half of lawyers are now starting at a salary of less than $62,000 a year, according to the National Association for Law Placement.  Read more.

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

Glenn Greenwald @ The Intercept - One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.
Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit...read more.

Israel Firing Experimental Weapons at Gaza’s Civilians, Say Doctors

Electronic Intifada - Doctors treating patients in Gaza have accused Israel of using experimental weapons on Palestinian civilians.
Addressing reporters at a press conference on Sunday, Youssef Abul Resh, undersecretary of the health ministry in Gaza said, “Medical teams have registered injuries consistent with those caused by DIME [dense inert metal explosives] and other banned weapons.” 
He added, “Israel has mercilessly targeted Palestinian civilians leaving many of them with life-threatening injuries and future handicaps.”  Read more.

Charles Koch: A Racist and Modern Robber Baron, Exposed

Lisa Graves @ PR Watch - We suspected it all along, but now we have the goods that prove that Charles Koch was a member of the John Birch Society at the height of their attacks on the civil rights movement and civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King.
In the early 1960s Charles moved back to Wichita and followed in the footsteps of his dad Fred Koch who helped found the John Birch Society in 1958.  Read more.

Deal or no deal - why Ian Thorpe kept quiet

Stuff (New Zealand) - Ian Thorpe contemplated coming out as gay prior to the 2000 Sydney Olympics, but the swimming superstar decided against it because of the detrimental financial consequences suffered by a Canadian swimming star.
''I'm ashamed I didn't come out earlier because I didn't have the courage to do it,''  Read more.

Israel Inflicts Illegal Collective Punishment on Gaza

Majorie Cohn @ Truthout - Israel has commenced full-scale warfare on the people of Gaza. The recent tensions began about six weeks ago when Israeli forces abducted 17 Palestinian teenage boys in the occupied West Bank. Then, on June 12, three Israeli teenagers were abducted in the southern West Bank; Israel blamed Hamas. After the three youths were found dead, a group of Israelis tortured and killed a Palestinian teenager in Jerusalem. Then, on July 7, Israel launched a large military operation dubbed "Operation Protective Edge" in the Gaza Strip.  Read more.

Israel’s Incremental Genocide in the Gaza Ghetto

Electronic Intifada - In a September 2006 article for The Electronic Intifada, I defined the Israeli policy towards the Gaza Strip as an incremental genocide.
Israel’s present assault on Gaza alas indicates that this policy continues unabated. The term is important since it appropriately locates Israel’s barbaric action — then and now — within a wider historical context.  Read more.

Economic Lynching

Paul Buchheit @ Common Dreams - On October 26, 1934 Claude Neal, a black man accused of murdering a young white woman in Jackson County, Florida, was dragged from his jail cell to be lynched. The event was rushed into the afternoon newspapers. When an unruly crowd of several thousand people gathered for the spectacle, the six men in the lynching party got nervous and decided to drive Neal to a secluded spot in the woods. There they tortured him in ways that seem impossible for a human being to imagine.  Read more.

Why Do Banksters Get Help but Not Homeowners?

Thom Hartman @ Truthout - It's time to start helping the people, and stop helping Wall Street.
According to an agreement announced earlier today, big bank Citigroup will pay $7 billion to settle a Department of Justice investigation into that bank's involvement with risky subprime mortgages.
The agreement stems from Citigroup's role in the trading of subprime mortgage securities, which helped to cause the 2007 financial collapse and Great Recession.  Read more.

Israel Is Captive to Its ‘Destructive Process’

Chris Hedges @ Truthdig - Raul Hilberg in his monumental work “The Destruction of the European Jews” chronicled a process of repression that at first was “relatively mild” but led, step by step, to the Holocaust. It started with legal discrimination and ended with mass murder. “The destructive process was a development that was begun with caution and ended without restraint,” Hilberg wrote.
The Palestinians over the past few decades have endured a similar “destructive process.” They have gradually been stripped of basic civil liberties, robbed of assets including much of their land and often their homes, have suffered from mounting restrictions on their physical movements, been blocked from trading and business, especially the selling of produce, and found themselves increasingly impoverished and finally trapped behind walls and security fences erected around Gaza and the West Bank.  Read more.

Corporate Titans Speak Out for 'Open Internet' & 'Net Neutrality'

Jon Queally @ Common Dreams - With the FCC's window for public comment on its proposed 'net neutrality' rules closing this week, dozens of the Internet's most powerful corporate players—including Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix—on Monday reasserted their opposition to creating 'digital fast lanes' that would give special treatment for content creators or web companies that pay extra fees.
Represented by their trade group, called The Internet Association, the companies called on the commission to...read more.

Indiana stored babies’ DNA, blood for research without parental consent

RT.com - The Indiana State Department of Health has been collecting babies’ blood and DNA without their parents’ permission since 1991, according to an investigation by a local news station. Now the state wants to know what to do with the blood samples.
When a baby is born in Indiana, as with other states, the state conducts a newborn screening test. A nurse or midwife takes a few drops of blood from the heel of each infant.  Read more.

Israel's ground raid in Gaza is mostly killing civilians, including children as death toll tops 160

LA Times - Four thousand displaced civilians have already taken refuge in the U.N. agency's facilities in Gaza, according to a tweet from spokesman Chris Guinness, who urged all sides to respect U.N. installations and civilians.

The warnings followed what Gaza medical officials said was the deadliest night yet in which dozens of Palestinians were killed, pushing the campagin's death toll past 160 with more than 1,000 people injured.

A U.N. humanitarian affairs office in the Palestinian enclave stated that 70% of the Palestinian fatalities since Monday have been civilians, of whom 30% were children.  Read more.

Cecily McMillan: "There's No Sense in Prison"

Sarah Jaffe @ Truthout - Cecily McMillan would rather not be famous. Not for the dubious honor of receiving the most serious sentence among thousands of Occupy Wall Street activists arrested over the course of the movement.
McMillan was released from Rikers Island after 58 days. She'd been sentenced to 90 days for felony second-degree assault for elbowing a police officer, Grantley Bovell, who was attempting to arrest her as Zuccotti Park was cleared on March 17, 2012, but got out early on July 2 for good behavior. She still faces five years of probation and a life with a...read more.

Chelsea Manning and The Power of Empathy

Nozomi Hayase @ Common Dreams - It's is 3 am. Something in me is unsettled and I cannot sleep. Earlier today, the Israeli military intensified its assault on Gaza Strip as a kind of collective punishment of the Palestinians; those vulnerable and marginalized who have been locked up and denied their humanity. After more than 440 air strikes since the beginning of the week, I saw photos of injured and dead men, women and children by the dozens.  Read more.

Five-time Olympic gold medalist Ian Thorpe comes out as gay

Raw Story - Australian swimming legend Ian Thorpe reveals he is gay in an interview set to be broadcast Sunday, according to media reports, after years of denying rumours about his sexuality.
The five-time Olympic gold medalist makes the revelation in an interview with British presenter Michael Parkinson due to be aired Sunday night by Australia’s Channel Ten, reports said.  Read more.

Russia writes off 90% of Cuba's debt ahead of Putin's 'big tour' to L. America

RT.com - Russia has written down $32 billion of Cuba’s Soviet era debt. Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the law ahead of his official visit to Latin America, with Havana as his first stop.
The agreement was first signed in October 2013 and draws a line under a twenty-year dispute.
Cuba is now required to pay back $3.2 billion over the next 10 years.  Read more.

NSA records 80% of all phone calls, the full audio not just metadata as claimed

RT.com - At least 80 percent of all audio calls are gathered and stored by the NSA, whistleblower William Binney has revealed. The former code-breaker says the spy agency’s ultimate aim is no less than total population control.
The National Security Agency lies about what it stores, said William Binney, one of the highest profile whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA, at a conference in London organized by the Center for Investigative Journalism on July 5.  Read more.

The ultimate goal of the NSA is total population control

Guardian UK - William Binney is one of the highest-level whistleblowers to ever emerge from the NSA. He was a leading code-breaker against the Soviet Union during the Cold War but resigned soon after September 11, disgusted by Washington’s move towards mass surveillance.
On 5 July he spoke at a conference in London organised by the Centre for Investigative Journalism and revealed the extent of the surveillance programs unleashed by the Bush and Obama administrations.  Read more.

World Council of Churches pulls fossil fuel investments

Guardian UK - An umbrella group of churches, which represents over half a billion Christians worldwide, has decided to pull its investments out of fossil fuel companies.
The move by the World Council of Churches, which has 345 member churches including the Church of England but not the Catholic church, was welcomed as a "major victory" by climate campaigners who have been calling on companies and institutions such as pension funds, universities and local governments to divest from coal, oil and gas.  Read more.