Jan. 18th, 2010 08:13 pm
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Riz Khan - The role of media in the USA

Has the mainstream media in the US replaced serious coverage with "junk news" and tabloidism
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Are you listening Americans? The press? The President? WHAT THE FUCK?????

Fer instance:
No criminal charges have ever been brought against any C.I.A. officer involved in the torture program, despite the fact that at least three prisoners interrogated by agency personnel died as the result of mistreatment. In the first case, an unnamed detainee under C.I.A. supervision in Afghanistan froze to death after having been chained, naked, to a concrete floor overnight. The body was buried in an unmarked grave. In the second case, an Iraqi prisoner named Manadel al-Jamadi died on November 4, 2003, while being interrogated by the C.I.A. at Abu Ghraib prison, outside Baghdad. A forensic examiner found that he had essentially been crucified; he died from asphyxiation after having been hung by his arms, in a hood, and suffering broken ribs. Military pathologists classified the case a homicide. A third prisoner died after an interrogation in which a C.I.A. officer participated, though the officer evidently did not cause the death. (Several other detainees have disappeared and remain unaccounted for, according to Human Rights Watch.)
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Palestinian homes on sale to 'private buyers' - 22 Jun 09

One of the issues sharply dividing Israelis and Palestinians is the so-called right of return to Israel by refugees from the 1948 war.

Most of the property they abandoned has been held by the Israeli government.

But as Dan Nolan reports, it has now begun to sell Palestinian properties to private buyers.

Refugees in Europe find it hard to fit in - 19 Jun 09

Europe is home to more than 1.5 million refugees who were driven from their countries by war or persecution.

Of the many asylum seekers who arrive in Europe each year, thousands are unaccompanied children.

Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri met one young Afghan refugee, who has battled to create a normal life for himself in Britain.

Inequity of Haitian refugees in Mexico - 20 Jun 09

The UN says that at least 42 million people have fled their homes last yfear because of conflict or persecution.

Mexico is considered to have one of the most open refugee policies and as a result it has become a popular destination for many Haitians who fled their country.

But as Al Jazeera's Mariana Sanchez discovered, despite government help many are facing economic hardship and discrimination.

Palestinians 'stranded' in Iraq refugee camp - 20 June 09

The creation of the state of Israel in 1948 triggered an exodus of millions of Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, including a community who found refuge in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

But facing persecution from Iraqi militias after the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq, many Palestinians fled to the Al Waleed refugee camp near the Iraqi-Syrian border.

As Al Jazeera's Nisreen El Shamayleh reports, these refugees say they now live in "horrendous" conditions.
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Fed contractor, cell phone maker sold spy system to Iran

Two European companies — a major contractor to the U.S. government and a top cell-phone equipment maker — last year installed an electronic surveillance system for Iran that human rights advocates and intelligence experts say can help Iran target dissidents.

Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), a joint venture between the Finnish cell-phone giant Nokia and German powerhouse Siemens, delivered what is known as a monitoring center to Irantelecom, Iran's state-owned telephone company.

A spokesman for NSN said the servers were sold for "lawful intercept functionality," a technical term used by the cell-phone industry to refer to law enforcement's ability to tap phones, read e-mails and surveil electronic data on communications networks.

In Iran, a country that frequently jails dissidents and where regime opponents rely heavily on Web-based communication with the outside world, a monitoring center that can archive these intercepts could provide a valuable tool to intensify repression. MORE

[ profile] asim pointed me to Al Giordano, who has the absolutely amazing article on teh cowardice of teh corporate media

Also, The regime was caught photoshopping their crowds apparently Oops!

Andrew Sullivan gathered some of todays tweets nicolas kristoff is pretty usually a docuhe, but his article tear down this cyberwall, is pretty interesting in parts.
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California going to hell in a handbasket: Obama calmly ignoring

Sotomayer, Prop 8 hegemony and the Courts

Pakistan Apocalypse: Don't Believe the Hype!

JUAN COLE: You know, in the past two years, the Pakistani public has demanded an end to a military dictatorship. On the grounds that it was violating the rule of law. They demanded free and fair parliamentary elections. They accomplished them. They voted the largest party they put in is the left of center or centrist secular party. They then went to the streets to demand the reinstatement of the secular civil Supreme Court. And you've had, really, hundreds of thousands of people involved in this movement for the restoration of democracy and the restoration of the rule of law. If this had happened any other place in the world, it would be reported in Washington as a good news story. Here, we've been told that it's a crisis. That it's a sign of instability and nuclear armed nation. I don't understand that.


BILL MOYERS: Who are the Taliban and what do they want? What are their goals?

JUAN COLE: What we're calling the Taliban, it's actually a misnomer. There are, like, five different groups that we're swooping up and calling the Taliban. The Taliban, properly speaking, are seminary students. They were those refugee boys, many of them orphans, who went through the seminaries or Madrassas in northern Pakistan back in the nineties. And then who emerged as a fighting force. Then you have the old war lords who had fought with the Soviet Union, and were allied with the United States. Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Jalaluddin Haqqani, they have formed insurgent groups to fight the Americans now. Because they had fought the Soviet occupation, they now see an American occupation, so they've turned on the United States. They were former allies.

So we're calling them Taliban. And then you have a lot of probably disorganized villagers whose poppy crops, for instance, were burned. And they're angry. So they'll hit a NATO or American checkpoint. So we're scooping all of this up. And then the groups in northern Pakistan who are yet another group. And we're calling it all Taliban.MORE

Full Interview here

The North-West Frontier Province is 10 percent of the Pakistan population. That's where this stuff is happening. And most of it is actually happening not in the Province itself, but in the Federally Administrated Tribal Regions. Which are kind of like our Indian reservations. Only 3.5 million people live there. It's the size of, like, New Hampshire. Pakistan is a country as big as California, Oregon and Washington rolled up in one, with a population of 165 million. So to take this threat, which is a threat locally, to the Federally Administrated Tribal Areas, to parts of the North-West Frontier Province, and to magnify it and to say, "Whoa, the Pakistani government is six months from falling, the Taliban is going to get their hands on nuclear weapons." The kinds of things that are being said in Washington, are just fantastical and some kind of science fiction film. How would these guys, with the Kalashnikov machine guns, take over a country that has an army of 550 thousand? Which has tanks and artillery and fighter jets? How would they even know here the nuclear weapons are? In Pakistan, I just quoted you the Gallup Poll. People don't like Taliban, for the most part.

Obama Nominates Superfund Polluter Lawyer To Run DOJ Environment Division

Let's cut Social Security to pay for banker bailouts!You are about to be hit by another wave of disinformation about how Social Security is going broke and needs reforming (meaning, your benefits must be cut). It's not true.
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Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates

In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."

This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".

Spirit of the Resistance in Somalia
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border security for whom?

Women and the Prison Industrial Complex

The notoriously draconian Rockefeller drug laws have been filling New York Prisons and inciting widespread condemnation by everyone from judges to prisoners to prosecutors for over thirty years. Just last week, hundreds rallied for their repeal as Governor David Patterson of New York moves to "drop the rock," or at least reform its worst elements.
An often overlooked story is the impact of the Rockefeller drug laws on female prisoners and their families.
Recently, I had the chance to talk with two artists, Liza Jessie Peterson and Hazelle Goodman, and formerly incarcerated activist Vivian Gonzalez of the Women's Prison Association, about the issues that women face in US prisons.
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Europe Protests, America Sleeps

Last week, thousands of GM workers protested in the suburb of Ruesselsheim outside of Frankfurt. Demonstrations were also held at GM factories in Austria, Belgium, France, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, and Britain. European workers are not only protesting the financial crisis and the bank bailouts but nearly three decades of neo-liberal reform and free market fundamentalism. The question now is whether the left and labor can recover after years of acquiescing to the strategies of the right.
John R. MacArthur of Harper's, Newsweek's Senior Editor Rana Foroohar, and Tony Benn, a former Labour MP and Cabinet Minister discuss the protests in Europe and whether similar actions can be expected on this side of the Atlantic. Also, an interview with Sally-Anne Kinahan, the Assistant General Secretary of the Irish Congress of Trade Unions on recent protests in Dublin.
There is also concern that if the left does not step up to the challenge, economic unrest will fuel xenophobia and policies that continue to target illegal immigrants. In Arizona, several thousand people marched on Saturday to protest Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement Program’s (ICE) sweeping crackdown on illegal immigrants. Roberto Lovato, a contributing Associate Editor at New America Media, Aarti Shahani, co-founder of Families for Freedom, and Salvador Reza an immigrant rights activist and one of the organizers of the protest on whether a change in policy can be expected from the Obama administration.
Thanks to the Coen Brothers and thisisreality, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, and Jeremy Levine for video in tonight’s show.
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Does the rhetoric sound familiar?

When the World Went Bust - Episode 2 - 12 Jan 08 - Pt 1

In the second part of its special look at the global financial crisis, Al Jazeera examines the impact on countries including Iceland and the future consequences of the economic downturn in the US, Europe and beyond.

When the World Went Bust - Episode 2 - 12 Jan 08 - Pt 2

Kenya and Tanzania are lending money to America????? Oh. Really. The fucking IMF. Debto countries must hold reserves in US bonds. Because the US economy is too big to fail??????? REALLY??!!!!??

Also: `Race to Bottom' at Moody's, S&P Secured Subprime's Boom, Bust
Sept. 25 (Bloomberg) -- In August 2004, Moody's Corp. unveiled a new credit-rating model that Wall Street banks used to sow the seeds of their own demise. The formula allowed securities firms to sell more top-rated, subprime mortgage-backed bonds than ever before.
A week later, Standard & Poor's moved to revise its own methods. An S&P executive urged colleagues to adjust rating requirements for securities backed by commercial properties because of the ``threat of losing deals.''
The world's two largest bond-analysis providers repeatedly eased their standards as they pursued profits from structured investment pools sold by their clients, according to company documents, e-mails and interviews with more than 50 Wall Street professionals. It amounted to a ``market-share war where criteria were relaxed,'' says former S&P Managing Director Richard Gugliada.
``I knew it was wrong at the time,'' says Gugliada, 46, who retired from the McGraw-Hill Cos. subsidiary in 2006 and was interviewed in May near his home in Staten Island, New York. ``It was either that or skip the business. That wasn't my mandate. My mandate was to find a way. Find the way.''MORE
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When the World Went Bust - 4 January 09 - Part 1

After years of unprecedented boom a financial firestorm, sparked in the US, is sweeping through much of the world.

In a special programme Al Jazeera's Samah el-Shahat charts the roots of the financial crisis and visits Iceland, one of the high-profile casualties where jobs are being lost and lives destroyed.

When the World Went Bust - 4 January 09 - Part 2

It wasn't as simple as the reporter makes it seem. however... )
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French Caribbean erupts over recession: General strike, riots

On the 20th of January, the main trade union on Guadelupe declared a general strike, with the backing of 47 other organisations--these include smaller unions, civic groups, farmers organisations, etc. This followed on from the formation of a coalition last year (the Collective Against Extreme Exploitation, the LKP), its development of a platform with over 100 demands related mostly to employment and economic matters, and two days of mass demonstrations in December over these issues that got no response from the French government. The government was not willing to meet to discuss the platform, hence the demonstrations.
I haven't been able to dig up the full list but here are some of the top items on it:
- The immediate drop of 50 cents in fuel prices (gasoline costs double what it does in France, a big part of that is an import duty imposed by France as a type of tax). - The decline in prices of all essential goods and all taxes. - An increase in the minimum wage to 200 euros (this is per month--note that prices of basic food items in Guadelupe are considerably higher than they are in France and you can see that this is not asking much!). - The decline in the price of water and transport of passengers. - Contracts for all precarious workers, public and private (much of the island's Black population does day labour or agency work) - The development of production to meet the needs of the population. - The right to education and training for youth and workers of our country. - Priority in hiring and positions of responsibility for Guadeloupeans and end of racism in hiring (the strikers say that French companies operating in Guadelupe hire their staff in France, and rarely hire locally even for low-paid jobs). - Freezing rents for an indefinite period and for the year 2009, canceling the increase of 2.98% (most Black residents of Guadelupe live in social housing and the rents are set by the government). - Set aside 50,000 hectares of agricultural area as a protected agricultural zone and setting up a committee for its annual evaluation (Guadelupe exports massive amounts of food to Europe in the form of cash crops, but residents eat mostly imported food...). - Exemption from taxes for the benefit of farmers throughout the country. - Representation of trade unions in Guadeloupe in all companies and joint bodies (ASSEDIC, Social Security, CAF, AGEFOS, SME, Fong, CIF ...). - Commencement of proceedings for the reconstruction of the hospital. - The urgent development of transport networks. - Taking into account in the media the language and culture of Guadeloupe through the presence of representatives of cultural associations in the boardroom. A few weeks ago the French government started sending over planeloads of police, which is of course worrying to the Guadeloupeans. The last time they had unrest in the late 1960s, the same thing happened and over 100 striking workers were killed. And that was in a strike limited to the construction industry, not a general strike situation. Two days ago, tear gas was used. Yesterday the expected happened, as French security forces waded into a demonstration. Shots were fired (some may have been fired by demonstrators but as in all situations like this no one is sure) and a union member was killed by the police.MORE
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Children of Conflict - Gaza - Part 1 May 06, 2007

Children of Conflict talks to the grandchildren of the oldest female Palestinian suicide bomber, Rana who wants to become a journalist to tell of Palestinian suffering and Tahal who wants to be the first female Palestinian president.

Children of Conflict - Gaza - Part 2

Children of Conflict - Congo - Part 1 May 06, 2007

Children of Conflict looks at the Democratic Republic of Congo where child soldiers have been used in fighting between tribes and many have had to carry the guilt of rape, murder and pillage.

Children of Conflict - Congo - Part 2
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People & Power- Tunnel Trade- 02 Sept 07- Part 1

We investigate Gaza's top-secret, multi-million pound underground economy.

People & Power- Tunnel Trade- 02 Sept 07- Part 2

People & Power - Sahrawi - 23 Dec 07 Part 1

People & Power investigate the struggle for Sahrawi independence in the Western Sahara.

People & Power - Runway / Beachy Head - 23 Dec 07 Part 2.

People & Power look at the campaign against a new runway at Heathrow airport and and Keith Lane turns the tragedy of his wife's suicide into a force for saving the lives of others.

How the HELL does one enforce an injunction against 5 million people to prevent them from protesting?


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