Rat Plague Hits Bangladesh

Dhaka – The UN’s World Food Programme began distributing emergency food aid on Sunday to 120 000 people facing famine in south eastern Bangladesh, where an invasion of rats led to widespread crop destruction.

People from the affected areas in the Chittagong hill tracks were struggling to feed themselves and had been eating wild roots from the jungle ever since the area was overrun by millions of rats, the WFP said.

It said its food aid would meet the immediate needs of over 25 680 households from May to August this year and would help “maintain adequate food consumption and protect livelihood”.

“Thousands of poor tribal families would have remained destitute due to the loss of their crops, and livelihoods,” said the acting WFP representative in Bangladesh Edward Kallon.

“The donor assistance has enabled WFP to respond quickly to feed these vulnerable poor families who are in need of food,” he said.

Read moreRat Plague Hits Bangladesh

JOHN MCCAIN’S LOBBYIST CONNECTIONS TO DICTATORS, OIL REGIMES, AND CHILD ENSLAVERS THE WORLD OVER

Last week, two McCain staffers resigned after it was reported that they had performed extensive lobbying on behalf of the Burmese junta. However, Doug Goodyear and Doug Davenport are the not the only lobbyists on McCain’s campaign staff with ties to unsavory international figures.

Three other lobbyists, Charlie Black, Tom Loeffler, and Peter Madigan, and their firms’ clients, have generated at least $3.5 million in campaign donations to Sen. McCain over his career, according to Campaign Money Watch analysis of campaign finance data provided by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics (hyperlink: www.opensecrets.org). DCI Group, which employed Davenport and Goodyear, and their clients provided less than a quarter as much campaign money — $817,685 – to McCain’s elections.

Charlie Black, McCain’s senior counsel and spokesman, began his lobbying career by representing numerous dictators and repressive regimes

  • Black’s firm represented the governor of Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos. According to a 1985 report, the firm Black, Manafort & Stone earned $950,000 plus expenses for its work to provide “advice and assistance on matters relating to the media, public relations and public affairs interests.”1
  • Black’s firm lobbied on behalf of Mobuto Sese Seko of Zaire, earning $1 million a year for his efforts.2
  • Black’s firm lobbied on behalf of Somali dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.3
  • Black’s firm represented Nigerian dictator Ibrahim Babangida, earning at least $1 million for his efforts.4
  • Black’s firm has represented Equatorial Guinea, an oil-rich state “best known for the outlandish brutality of its rulers.”5
  • Black represented Angolan rebel and “classical terrorist” Jonas Savimbi, a job that earned him $600,000.6 “We have to call him Africa’s classical terrorist,” Makau Mutua, a professor of law and Africa specialist told the New York Times. “In the history of the continent, I think he’s unique because of the degree of suffering he caused without showing any remorse.”7
  • In recent years his client list has also included the Iraqi National Congress8, Friends of Blackwater9, and the China National Off-Shore Oil Corp.10
  • Since 2005, BKSH has received more than $700,000 in fees from foreign entities.11

Thomas Loeffler, co-chairman of McCain’s campaign, has represented the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia RESIGNED: Click here

  • The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia paid the Loeffler Group “a whopping $7.9 million from December 1, 2005, though November 2006 — the largest fee collected from a foreign government by any lobbying firm in 2006,” according to National Journal.12 The Washington Times reported that “Mr. Loeffler’s firm has received more than $10 million since 2006 from the Saudi Embassy and the Ministry of Commerce & Industry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”13 Much of this work was centered on gaining admission for the Kingdom to the World Trade Organization.14
  • Since 2005, according to the Washington Times, “the Loeffler Group reported more than $11 million in fees from foreign lobbying clients.”15

Peter Madigan, a leading McCain fundraiser, lobbies on behalf of the king of Dubai

  • Madigan has earned upwards of $800,000 to improve the United Arab Emirates’ reputation in the face of a class action lawsuit over the enslavement of boy camel jockeys.16

Click here to download the fact sheet (pdf).
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Read moreJOHN MCCAIN’S LOBBYIST CONNECTIONS TO DICTATORS, OIL REGIMES, AND CHILD ENSLAVERS THE WORLD OVER

McCain’s YouTube Problem Just Became a Nightmare

There’s no question John McCain is getting a free ride from the mainstream press. But with the power of YouTube and the blogosphere, we can provide an accurate portrayal of the so-called Maverick. We can put the brakes on his free ride!

Since we first released The Real McCain a year ago, our REAL McCain series has garnered close to 2 million views, with over 13,000 comments and tens of thousands more in petition signatures! Clearly, John McCain’s record is something the public wants to discuss, and yet the corporate media is doing NOTHING to present the truth. We feel obliged to continue countering the mainstream media’s love of McCain. And so we thought it was high time for a sequel: The Real McCain 2.

May 18, 2008

Source: You Tube

Prince Charles: Eighteen months to stop climate change disaster

The Prince of Wales has warned that the world faces a series of natural disasters within 18 months unless urgent action is taken to save the rainforests.

In one of his most out-spoken interventions in the climate change debate, he said a £15 billion annual programme was required to halt deforestation or the world would have to live with the dire consequences.

“We will end up seeing more drought and starvation on a grand scale. Weather patterns will become even more terrifying and there will be less and less rainfall,” he said.

“We are asking for something pretty dreadful unless we really understand the issues now and [the] urgency of them.” The Prince said the rainforests, which provide the “air conditioning system for the entire planet”, releasing water vapour and absorbing carbon, were being lost to poor farmers desperate to make a living.

He said that every year, 20 million hectares of forest – equivalent to the area of England, Wales and Scotland – were destroyed and called for a “gigantic partnership” of governments, businesses and consumers to slow it down.

“What we have got to do is try to ensure that these forests are more valuable alive than dead. At the moment, there is more value in them being dead,” he said.

Read morePrince Charles: Eighteen months to stop climate change disaster

Unanswered 9/11 questions

The collapse of New York’s World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 is arguably one of the most well documented events in human history. Less well documented is the controversy over why the buildings fell as they did.

At the time of writing, 357 architectural and engineering professionals have signed a petition which directly challenges the National Institute of Standards & Training’s official finding that the destruction of these massive buildings was caused solely by structural damage from the impact of jet airliners and the resulting fires.

The petition, demanding of Congress a truly independent investigation, states, in part:

“…the 9/11 investigation must include a full inquiry into the possible use of explosives that may have been the actual cause behind the destruction of the World Trade Center Towers and WTC Building 7.”

This alarming statement is based on evidence from many sources, including observations of the structural behaviour of the towers as they collapsed, the known characteristics of steel framed buildings, eyewitness testimony of explosions, and research into the chemical composition of dust recovered from the collapse zone.

Current research indicates that an incendiary (thermite) may have been used to sever the massive box columns of the towers, causing the buildings to plummet to the ground at close to free-fall speed.

Chemical analysis has been conducted by a multi-disciplinary team led by
Professor Steven E. Jones
and the results published in the Journal of 9/11 Studies.

The membership of Architects and Engineers For 9/11 Truth is worldwide, and qualified Australians have made contributions. Dr. Frank Legge, a chemist, has co-authored a peer reviewed paper, and Dr. David Leifer of the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Sydney is a registered member of the group.

A major focus of research is the mysterious collapse of the
47 storey WTC 7 (Salomon Brothers) Building, which was not hit by any plane, yet suddenly collapsed into its own footprint late in the afternoon of September 11, 2001.

Building 7 came down in six and a half seconds, generating a massive dust-cloud similar to the one that had enveloped Manhattan when the Twin Towers collapsed earlier the same day.

Researchers contend that only explosives could have provided enough energy to cause the pulverisation of thousands of tons of concrete into dust, and they highlight the symmetrical, free-fall collapse of the building through the path of greatest resistance, indicating that the supporting columns offered no resistance to the falling mass above.

Historically, the only way a modern office building has ever been made to collapse vertically in free-fall, as observed in WTC Building 7, is through the use of shaped cutter charges detonated in a timed sequence.

This procedure is known as
controlled demolition
, and requires a precise placement of explosives which are designed to cut through supports successively, usually from the bottom up, pulling buildings down under their own weight.

The collapse of Building 7 is visually identical to a controlled demolition, as illustrated in a side by side comparison on Youtube. Demolition expert Danny Jowenko has gone on record confirming this observation.
“A team of experts did this”, he said.

The essence of why we need a new investigation into the World Trade Center collapses is summed up in a recent paper by Dr. Frank Legge:

Read moreUnanswered 9/11 questions

Oppositon to Iran Attack

Editor’s Note: Although this document, authored by House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr., contains a direct appeal for political action we feel it is nonetheless striking. It is news unto itself. As such we offer it as news. ma/TO

From: The office of House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, Jr.

May 8, 2008

Join Me in Calling on President Bush to Respect Congress’ Exclusive Power to Declare War

Dear Democratic Colleague:

As we mark five years of war in Iraq, I have become increasingly concerned that the President may possibly take unilateral, preemptive military action against Iran. During the last seven years, the Bush Administration has exercised unprecedented assertions of Executive Branch power and shown an unparalleled aversion to the checks and balances put in place by the Constitution’s framers. The letter that follows asks President Bush to seek congressional authorization before launching any possible military strike against Iran and affirms Senator Biden’s statement last year that impeachment proceedings should be considered if the President fails to do so.

I hope that you will join me in calling on the President to respect Congress’ exclusive power to declare war. To sign the letter below, please contact the Judiciary Committee staff at 225-3951.

Sincerely,
John Conyers, Jr.
Chairman


May 8, 2008

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to register our strong opposition to possible unilateral, preemptive military action against other nations by the Executive Branch without Congressional authorization. As you know, Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the power “to declare war,” to lay and collect taxes to “provide for the common defense” and general welfare of the United States, to “raise and support armies,” to “provide and maintain a navy,” to “make rules for the regulation for the land and naval forces,” to “provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the Union, suppress insurrections and repel invasions,” to “provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining, the militia,” and to “make all laws necessary and proper for carrying into execution … all … powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States.” Congress is also given exclusive power over the purse. The Constitution says, “No money shall be drawn from the Treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law.”

By contrast, the sole war powers granted to the Executive Branch through the President can be found in Article II, Section 2, which states, “The President shall be the Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into actual Service of the United States.” Nothing in the history of the “Commander-in-Chief” clause suggests that the authors of the provision intended it to grant the Executive Branch the authority to engage U.S. forces in military action whenever and wherever it sees fit without any prior authorization from Congress. In our view, the founders of our country intended this power to allow the President to repel sudden attacks and immediate threats, not to unilaterally launch, without congressional approval, preemptive military actions against foreign countries. As former Republican Representative Mickey Edwards recently wrote, “[t]he decision to go to war … is the single most difficult choice any public official can be called upon to make. That is precisely why the nation’s Founders, aware of the deadly wars of Europe, deliberately withheld from the executive branch the power to engage in war unless such action was expressly approved by the people themselves, through their representatives in
Congress.” [1]

Related quote: “Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It’s just a goddamned piece of paper!” – G.W.Bush

Read moreOppositon to Iran Attack

Rumsfeld: Why not another 9/11?

In a newly-released tape of a 2006 neocon luncheon meeting featuring former War Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, attended by ex-military “message force multiplier” propaganda shills Lt. General Michael DeLong, David L. Grange, Donald W. Sheppard, James Marks, Rick Francona, Wayne Downing, Robert H. Scales and others, Rumsfeld declared that the American people lack “the maturity to recognize the seriousness of the ‘threats’” — and need another 9/11.

When DeLong complained about a “lack of sympathetic ears” in Congress, and a lack of interest among the general American public, Rumsfeld responded, “What’s to be done? The correction for that, I suppose, is another attack.”

This videotape clip is part of a one-hour tape declassified by the Department of Defense in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The entire clip, and analysis of this damning new revelation, can be found here: “The Correction for that . . . is another attack” (Jason Linkins, Huffington Post, 5/13/08)

For an independent op-ed about the same information, see Rumsfeld’s Mind: If 9/11 worked, why not try it again? (Op-Ed News. It was also the topic of discussion on the May 14 broadcast of Nova M Radio’s Mike Malloy Program.

In the seven years since the day, exhaustive and still growing evidence proves beyond any reasonable doubt that the US government, spearheaded by the Bush administration, planned, orchestrated and executed the 9/11 false flag operation. As openly advocated by wide swaths of elites, from the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which Rumsfeld has been a member, to the likes of Zbigniew Brzezinski (in his The Grand Chessboard), only an attack “on the order of Pearl Harbor” would, in Brzezinski’s words, cause the American people to support an “imperial mobilization,” and a world war.

Sept. 11, and its resulting “war on terrorism” (in Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, etc.), remains the Bush administration’s endless gift from hell, in large part courtesy of Rumsfeld.

Placing the new evidence against previously revealed 9/11-related acts on the part of Rumsfeld, his guilt is overt and obvious. Recall that it was Rumsfeld who enthusiastically penned the “Go Massive” memo, gleefully declaring the Bush administration finally had the green light to kill: “Not only UBL (Usama bin Laden). Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

As the Bush administration’s war ensued in earnest, Rumsfeld gloated to the New York Times that 9/11 provided “the kind of opportunities that World War II offered, to refashion the world.”

It is not for nothing that Donald Rumsfeld was described by legendary war criminal Henry Kissinger as “the most ruthless man I’ve ever known.”

By Larry Chin
May 16, 2008, 00:22

Source: Online Journal

DHS Wants to Spy Illegally on Americans, Democrats Charge

New DHS Office Would Share Detailed Surveillance Capabilities of Military Intel Satellites With Local Law Enforcement

The Department of Homeland Security wants to set up a new program to illegally spy on Americans, two senior Democratic lawmakers charged Thursday in a letter urging colleagues to deny funds for the program.

In a letter to three colleagues obtained by ABC News, House Homeland Security Chairman Bennie Thompson, Miss., and Rep. Jane Harman, Calif., voiced objections to a new office DHS wants to create that would share the detailed surveillance capabilities of military intelligence satellites and other monitoring technology with state and local law enforcement.

The size of the National Applications Office, as DHS has named it, and its proposed budget, remain classified. The department has said the office would not traffic in eavesdropped conversations. It would primarily be used to share data from military assets for disaster response, monitoring climate change and other purposes, according to DHS.

Noting that the Pentagon is already cleared and capable of sharing satellite imagery on a legal and limited basis to aid authorities protecting major events or responding to natural disasters, Thompson and Harman said the purpose of expanding the program and placing it in a classified office could only be to surveil U.S. residents illegally.

“We are left to conclude that the only reason to stand up a new office would be to gather domestic intelligence outside the rigorous protections of the law — and, ultimately, to share this intelligence with local law enforcement outside of constitutional parameters,” Thompson and Harman wrote.

Read moreDHS Wants to Spy Illegally on Americans, Democrats Charge

German Beehives Hit by Mass Die-Off

Beekeepers are pointing the finger at a Bayer CropScience pesticide marketed under the name Poncho, but government tests aren’t conclusive

In Germany’s bucolic Baden-Württemburg region, there is a curious silence this week. All up and down the Rhine river, farm fields usually buzzing with bees are quiet. Beginning late last week, helpless beekeepers could only watch as their hives were hit by an unprecedented die-off. Many say one of Germany’s biggest chemical companies is to blame.

In some parts of the region, hundreds of bees per hive have been dying each day. “It’s an absolute bee emergency,” Manfred Hederer, president of the German Professional Beekeeper’s Association, told SPIEGEL ONLINE. “Fifty to 60 percent of the bees have died on average, and some beekeepers have lost all their hives.”

The crisis hit its peak last weekend. Beekeepers from Germany’s Baden-Württemburg reported hives full of thousands of dead bees. The worst-hit region, according to state officials, was along the upper Rhine river between the towns of Rastatt and Lorrach. The Rhine valley is one of Germany’s prime agricultural regions.

Regional officials spent the week testing bees, pollen, honey and plant materials to look for the die-off’s causes. The Julius Kühn Institute in Braunschweig, a federal research institute dealing with agricultural issues, set up a special hotline for beekeepers to send in dead bees for analysis.

Read moreGerman Beehives Hit by Mass Die-Off

Wildlife populations ‘plummeting’

“Reduced biodiversity means millions of people face a future where food supplies are more vulnerable to pests and disease and where water is in irregular or short supply.”
James Leape, Director general, WWF UK

Between a quarter and a third of the world’s wildlife has been lost since 1970, according to data compiled by the Zoological Society of London.


Over-fishing and demand for their fins as a delicacy have hit shark numbers

Populations of land-based species fell by 25%, marine by 28% and freshwater by 29%, it says.

Humans are wiping out about 1% of all other species every year, and one of the “great extinction episodes” in the Earth’s history is under way, it says.

Read moreWildlife populations ‘plummeting’