Police State: Violence at Mass Rally for Data Privacy “Freedom Instead of Fear” in Berlin (12.Sept.09)

The trigger was that a cyclist wanted to file charges against a police officer, because he saw how a friend was rudely arrested.


In German:

Polizeigewalt bei Datenschutz-Großdemo “Freiheit statt Angst” in Berlin (12.09.2009)

Auslöser war, dass der Radfahrer eine Anzeige gegen einen anderen Polizisten erstatten wollte, weil er gesehen hatte, wie ein Freund von ihm unsanft einkassiert wurde.


Berlin officers probed after police brutality video posted online

demonstration-berlin-police-violence

Berlin police are investigating some of their officers after witnesses filmed them beating a demonstrator at a protest against government infringement of Germany’s data protection laws.

The video, which appeared on YouTube, shows an officer hitting a man in the face before several other officers help pull him to the ground with more punches and kicking. Another man caught in the middle of the scuffle sustained a bloody nose.

State criminal prosecutors are working feverishly to investigate the incident and officers are suspected of assault while on duty, a police spokesman said. He added, however, that the video was problematic because it does not show the events that led to the violence.

The event under the motto “Freedom instead of fear – stop the surveillance madness,” was attended by some 10,000 participants, though organisers said more than 20,000 were on hand to protest laws that enable authorities to shut down websites and hold users’ personal telephone data. The event, part of a series held around the world, was called by a coalition of 167 organisations – including political parties, trade unions, professional associations, capitalism critics Attac, and the Chaos Computer Club.

According to police, the event was largely peaceful, but said the moment of violence captured on tape happened after a group of some 700 anarchists tried to deviate from the planned demonstration route in the Kreuzberg district. Police blocked the way, which inspired a demonstrator sound truck to call participants to criminal action. As officers addressed the truck, they were barraged with bottles from the crowd that did not result in injuries.

One 37-year-old man, identified by police as the person beaten in the video, was allegedly disruptive and did not leave despite repeated requests by police, they said. Witnesses said he had apparently wanted to register a complaint against one officer, who had allegedly arrested his friend “under unfriendly circumstances,” but police did not confirm this.

“The 37-year-old sustained injuries to his face during his arrest and was treated in a hospital,” the spokesperson said.

After the scuffle, other demonstrators can be heard shouting, “We are peaceful, what are you?” at officers.

Green Party MP Christian Ströbele told daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger on Monday that he questioned police behaviour in the incident after accompanying the demonstration for several hours without witnessing any violence.

“The demonstration was absolutely peaceful, it couldn’t have been more peaceful,” he told the paper.

Published: 14 Sep 09 12:11 CET

Source: The LocalOnline

German Bundeswehr Manual: U.S. Military Uses Depleted Uranium Ammunition in Afghanistan

Related information:
What Depleted Uranium Does to Children in Iraq: Japanese Journalist

Depleted Uranium Shells Worse Than Nuclear Weapons:
Inhaled or ingested DU particles are highly toxic, and DU has been classified as an illegal weapon of mass destruction by the United Nations.
“More than ten times the amount of radiation released during atmospheric testing [of nuclear bombs] has been released from DU weaponry since 1991,” said Leuren Moret, a U.S. nuclear scientist. “The genetic future of the Iraqi people, for the most part, is destroyed. The environment now is completely radioactive.”
“Because DU has a half-life of 4.5 billion years, the Middle East will, for all practical purposes, be radioactive forever.”

The Weapon of Mass Destruction Is Cancer
War-related birth defects in Fallujah
IRAQ: ‘Special Weapons’ Have a Fallout on Babies
Over 70,000 deaths, and over 1 million disabilities among American soldiers attributed to Iraq Wars says U.S. government data
Beyond Treason (Documentary):

Beyond Treason investigates causes of Gulf War Illness and continuing deaths of gulf war veterans. Beyond Treason outlines: – exposure to depleted uranium munitions used on the battlefield. – chemical and biological exposures. – experimental vaccines given.


A classified German Army manual has thrown doubt over US and UK assurances that no depleted uranium munitions have been used in Afghanistan.

leitfaden-fur-bundeswehrkontingente-in-afghanistan

A military manual that was handed over to German campaigners has reignited allegations that the US used DU ammunition in Afghanistan. If true, it runs counter to repeated assurances given by the US military that no DU was used. The manual, a war-fighting guide for Bundeswehrcontigents in Afghanistan is marked classified and for official NATO use only. It was written by the Bundeswehr’s Centre for Communication and published in late 2005.

Campaigners have long suspected that the US military has not been entirely candid over the issue and papers have emerged showing that DU munitions were transported to Afghanistan. The use of A10 Warthog aircraft – one of the main users of DU ammunition – remains widespread to this day, although the number of armoured targets is now much diminished. Estimates by Janes Defence in 2003 suggested that the Taliban had at least 100 main battle tanks and 250 armoured fighting vehicles at the beginning of the conflict. It would be unusual if the US Army had chosen not to engage these targets with DU munitions from the air.

The section on DU munitions begins with:

(Click on image to enlarge.)
du-munition-in-afghanistan-01

“During the operation “Enduring Freedom” in support of the Northern Alliance against the Taliban-Regime, US-aircraft used, amongst others, armour-piercing incendiary munitions with a DU-core (Depleted Uranium). Because of its pyrophoric character, when this type of munition is used against hard targets (e.g. tanks, cars) the uranium burns. During the combustion, toxic dusts can be deposited, particularly at and around the targets, which can then be re-suspended easily.”

It then warns troops how to recognise contaminated targets and of the potential health threat from DU munitions, suggesting precautions that troops should take. It is notable that they suggest the use of full Nuclear Chemical and Biological warfare suits:

(Click on image to enlarge.)
du-munition-in-afghanistan-02

“DU-munitions can therefore induce toxic and radiological damage to exposed personnel through heavy metal poisoning and very low-level radiation. When it is suspected that these weapons have been used (burnt out cars or tanks, burnt out convoys, typical 30mm bullet holes) NBC (nuclear, biological and chemical) protection suits and NBC masks have to be worn in the vicinity of the munitions’ impact, until NBC security troops can rule out any threat.”

Bundeswehr precautionary measures:

(Click on image to enlarge.)
du-munition-in-afghanistan-03

– No unnecessary contact with munitions, munitionparts, or any other potentially contaminated material
– Examination through NBC troop for possible radiation
– Issuing of film dosemeters
– Putting on NBC-masks
– Sealing up of clothing or wearing personal NBC protection suit
– Documenting any contact with DU-contaminated material (who, where, when, what, how long, and dose)
– Immediate report with submission of the dosemeter
– Calling in of the responsible troop doctor

Read moreGerman Bundeswehr Manual: U.S. Military Uses Depleted Uranium Ammunition in Afghanistan

Philip Giraldi: Vanishing Liberties

Another must read article by former CIA field officer Philip Giraldi.

Philip Giraldi was the foreign policy advisor to Ron Paul during his last presidential run.

giraldi
Philip Giraldi


If the seemingly unending wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ever do come to a close and a new war with Iran, Somalia, or Sudan can somehow be avoided, the most serious long term damage from the conflicts will be to the fundamental freedoms that Americans have cherished for more than two hundred years. The erosion of America’s liberties has been driven by fear of terrorism but it is enabled by leaps in technology coupled with new legislation and a police state mentality that have made every citizen a target. Hate crimes and laws targeting the internet provide a framework that relies on advanced monitoring technology to criminalize behavior that would have been considered off limits for privacy reasons ten years ago.

The National Security Agency can monitor every phone call made in the United States and quite likely every e-mail. European security agencies have the same capabilities and have gone far down the road of legitimizing state intrusion into private activities, limiting free speech and free association. In Britain, most cities and highways are now monitored by CCTV cameras and the police have begun to use aerial drones to observe and record demonstrations of groups considered to be extreme including the right wing British National Party. New legislation in Germany will require all internet users to be licensed with a backtracking feature that will enable the government to determine where any internet transmission originated. The new regulations will require all users to have a tamper proof internet ID and will be enforced by special police. All telecommunications data, to include both internet and telephone, is already retained by the German service providers for six months, a law that has been in effect since 2008. The government can obtain the stored information by court order. It is particularly interesting to note what German politicians and officials said in support of the new legislation. One commented that it is necessary to stop the internet from becoming a “lawless chaos room.” Another described the internet as a “source of criminality, terrorism, and much similar filth.” Yet another said “What is illegal offline is also illegal online.”

Countries like China and Iran already control the servers for internet as well as the cell phone centers in their country and have not been shy about shutting down communications. In many places in Europe internet services are often screened by software that blocks certain websites and the use of words or phrases that are considered objectionable. This screening is also becoming common in hotels and other public places that offer internet services in the United States. But what is really dangerous is the combination of technologies that make it possible to control the internet with legislation that gives the authorities the ability to go after users who are deemed to be breaking the law, such as is happening in Germany.

Can there be any doubt that the monitoring of the internet to control “terrorism” and “filth” will in fairly short order also be used to repress the viewpoints of individuals and groups that are considered to be politically unacceptable? And what better weapon to use against dissidents than the criminal justice system, most particularly the hate crime legislation that is becoming both increasingly more common and more draconian in both the United States and in Europe? Hate crimes are the antithesis of the old principles that there is “equal justice under law” and that “justice is blind.” They essentially create specially protected classes of people within the criminal justice system, permitting selective enforcement of the law. Normally when there is an crime, the police investigate and make an arrest and the judiciary prosecutes. The perpetrator is punished in a manner proportionate to the seriousness of the offense. But if an incident is deemed a hate crime, i.e. that it may have been motivated by prejudice or bigotry, the penalties are harsher and the federal government has the option of trying the suspect if the state court for some reason fails to convict. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid justified the dismantling of two thousand years of jurisprudence recently, saying “”There is a difference between assaulting someone to steal his money or doing so because he is gay, or disabled, or Latino or Muslim.” Reid’s interesting interpretation notwithstanding, many would argue that hate crimes create an unconstitutional special tier of justice while the ability to try someone twice constitutes double jeopardy.

Read morePhilip Giraldi: Vanishing Liberties

Gang of wealthy German pensioners kidnaps and tortures financial adviser who lost their savings

chiemsee
Kidnapped: James Arnburn was held at a house on the shores of Lake Chiemsee during his ordeal (file picture)

A gang of wealthy pensioners kidnapped and tortured a financial adviser in Germany after he lost £2m of their savings during the financial crisis.

Dubbed ‘The Geritol Gang’ by police – after the arthritis drug – the kidnappers seized James Arnburn and subjected him to a four-day ordeal

He was burned with cigarettes, beaten with a chair leg and chained up ‘like an animal’

Mr Arnburn, 56, described how two of his kidnappers, identified only as Roland K, 74, and Willy D, 60, hit him with a Zimmer frame outside his home in Speyer, west Germany before binding him with duct tape.

He was bundled into the boot of a silver Audi saloon and driven 300 miles to the home of Roland K on the shores of Lake Chiemsee in Bavaria.

As the financial advisor, who runs investment firm Digitalglobalnet, was bundled into the cellar another couple, retired doctors Gerhard and Iris F, aged 63 and 66, arrived to assist his kidnappers.

Mr Amburn said: ‘I had known these people for 25 years. I had no reason to be afraid. But as I went into my home I was jumped from the rear and struck.

‘They bound me with masking tape until I looked like a mummy. It took them quite a while because they ran out of breath. When they loaded me into the car I thought I was a dead man.

‘I was bleeding from my eyes, nose and my mouth. But the nightmare had only just started.’

Read moreGang of wealthy German pensioners kidnaps and tortures financial adviser who lost their savings

Germany Prepares For Internet Censorship

Germany is on the verge of censoring its Internet: The government – a grand coalition between the German social democrats and conservative party – seems united in its decision: On Thursday the parliament is to vote on the erection of an internet censorship architecture.

ursula-von-der-leyen-zensursula

The Minister for Family Affairs Ursula von der Leyen kicked off and lead the discussions within the German Federal Government to block Internet sites in order to fight child pornography. The general idea is to build a censorship architecture enabling the government to block content containing child pornography. The Federal Office of Criminal Investigation (BKA) is to administer the lists of sites to be blocked and the internet providers obliged to erect the secret censorship architecture for the government.

A strong and still growing network opposing these ideas quickly formed within the German internet community. The protest has not been limited to hackers and digital activist but rather a mainstreamed effort widely supported by bloggers and twitter-users. The HashTag used by the protesters is #zensursula – a German mesh up of the Ministers name and the word censorship equivalent to #censursula.

As part of the public’s protest an official e-Petition directed at the German parliament was launched. Within three days 50,000 persons signed the petition – – the number required for the petition titled „No indexing and blocking of Internet sites” to be heard by the parliament. The running time of an e-Petition in Germany is 6 weeks – within this time over 130,000 people signed making this e-Petition the most signed and most successful ever.

During the past weeks, protests became more and more creative – countless blogs and twitter-users followed and commented the discussions within governments and opposing arguments. Many mainstream media picked up on this and reported about the protest taking place on-line. A working group on censorship was founded and the protest coordinated with a wiki, mailing lists, chats and of course employing twitter and blogs. One website „Zeichnemit.de” created a landing page explaining the complicated petitioning system and making signing the petition easier and more accessible for non net-experts.

Read moreGermany Prepares For Internet Censorship

German retail giant Arcandor goes bust: 43,000 jobs at risk

arcandor
Retail and tourism giant Arcandor has filed for bankruptcy

BERLIN (AFP) — Retail and tourism giant Arcandor said on Tuesday it had filed for bankruptcy with the likely loss of around 43,000 jobs in Germany, after Berlin dismissed its request for emergency state aid.

“Arcandor AG today filed with the Essen District Court to open insolvency proceedings due to threatening illiquidity,” the statement said.

Related article: Arcandor Files for Insolvency on State Aid Rejection (Bloomberg)

Travel agency Thomas Cook, in which Arcandor holds a 52-percent stake, “will remain unaffected by the insolvency proceedings,” the statement added.

The group, which employs 70,000 people in Europe, two-thirds of whom work in Germany, said its department store chain Karstadt, as well as mail-order company Quelle, would also be affected by the insolvency.

On Monday, Berlin rejected the company’s request for 650 million euros (902 million dollars) in state loan guarantees and 437 million euros in emergency loans but gave the firm one last chance to submit an improved bid.

Read moreGerman retail giant Arcandor goes bust: 43,000 jobs at risk

Global military spending sets new record

military The value of military hardware manufacturers has soared.

Global military spending rose 4% in 2008 to a record $1,464bn (£914bn) – up 45% since 1999, according to the Stockholm-based peace institute Sipri.

In contrast with civilian aerospace and airlines, the defence industry remains healthy.

“The global financial crisis has yet to have an impact on major arms companies’ revenues, profits and order backlogs,” Sipri said.

Peace-keeping operations – which also benefit defence firms – rose 11%.

Missions were launched in trouble spots such as Darfur and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Another record was set, with the total of international peace operation personnel reaching 187,586,” said Sipri, or Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Growth industry

As the world’s aerospace and defence industry prepares for next week’s Paris air show centenary, it seems much of the focus is set to shift away from troubled civilian aircraft makers, which are struggling with reduced orders from recession-hit airlines, towards the companies that make fighter jets and other military hardware.

The top 10 global arms producers fighter-jet

– Boeing $30.5bn
– BAE Systems $29.9bn
– Lockheed Martin $29.4bn
– Northrop Grumman$24.6bn
– General Dynamics $21.5bn
– Raytheon $19.5bn
– EADS (West Europe) $13.1bn
– L-3 Communications $11.2bn
– Finmeccanica $9.9bn
– Thales $9.4bn
Source: Sipri All figures from 2007.

In total, the 100 leading defence manufacturers sold arms worth $347bn during 2007, the most recent year for which reliable data are available.

Almost all the companies were American or European. Some 61% of the total was accounted for by 44 US companies, with 32 West European companies accounting for a further 31%. Other companies were Russian, Japanese, Israeli and Indian.

“Since 2002, the value of the top 100 arms sales has increased by 37% in real terms,” Sipri said. “The US presidency of George W Bush… was a period of continuity in the arms industry. This followed a period of consolidation in the 1990s and early 2000s.”

The US aerospace and defence giant Boeing remains the world’s largest, with arms sales of $30.5bn during 2007. The UK’s BAE Systems ranked a close second, with arms sales of $29.9bn, while Lockheed Martin was third with $29.4bn in sales.

Big spender

The US remains the biggest spender, accounting for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, though China and Russia have reduced the gap.

The top 10 military spenders george-bush
-USA $607bn
-China $84.9bn
– France $65.74bn
– UK $65.35bn
– Russia $58.6bn
– Germany $46.87bn
– Japan $46.38bn
– Italy $40.69bn
– Saudi Arabia $38.2bn
– India $30.0bn
Source: Sipri. All figures from 2008.

Both tripled military spending over the decade, and Russia “is maintaining plans for further increases despite severe economic problems”.

Military spending in the Middle East fell slightly during 2008, but Sipri saw this as a temporary drop. “Many countries in the region [are] planning major arms purchases,” Sipri said.

One exception was Iraq, whose military budget rose 133% during 2008 when compared with 2007. “Iraq remains highly dependent on the US for ams supplies, with numerous orders planned,” Sipri says.

US military spending accounted for 58% of the total global spending increase during the decade, with extra funds set aside to fight the “war on terror”.

In addition, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq cost the US $903bn.

“The idea of the ‘war on terror’ has encouraged many countries to see their problems through a highly militarised lens, using this to justify high military spending,” said Sam Perlo-Freeman, head of the military expenditure project at Sipri, or Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Read moreGlobal military spending sets new record

German Government Ignored Regulator Warnings on Hypo Bank Problems Before Bailout

hypo-real-estate

BERLIN — Germany’s financial regulator warned of serious problems at Hypo Real Estate Holding AG six months before the lender was rescued in a massive bailout, but the regulator lacked powers to act and the government ignored its warnings, according to documents viewed by The Wall Street Journal.

The documents — brought to light in preparation for parliamentary committee hearings Thursday to examine the government’s handling of Hypo’s bailout — are likely to prove politically charged ahead of national elections in September.

For months, Germany has lectured the U.S. and others on the need for stricter regulation of financial markets, holding itself up as a model. The German parliament probe into the €102 billion ($142.6 billion) rescue of Munich-based Hypo, however, suggests Germany struggled as much as the U.S. or Britain to control the risks the country’s banks were taking.

hypo-real-estate

Hypo’s funding problems and huge losses on complex securities make it the worst of Germany’s problem banks, though it is one of many. German banks could face total losses in the current financial crisis of €200 billion to €300 billion, according to several estimates, of which only around €100 billion has been written down.

Spokesmen for Hypo and the Deutsche Bundesbank, Germany’s central bank, declined to comment.

Overall, banks in Western Europe could lose about $1.4 trillion in this crisis, more than expected losses in the U.S. banking system, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Read moreGerman Government Ignored Regulator Warnings on Hypo Bank Problems Before Bailout

Red Bull Cola banned for containing cocaine

red-bull-cocaine

Authorities in the German states of Hesse and North-Rhine Westphalia have ordered retailers to stop selling Red Bull Cola after they found traces of cocaine in the fizzy drink.

The consumer ministries in the two states confirmed on Friday they had ordered retailers to pull the drink off their shelves after a food safety institute in North-Rhine Westphalia found cocaine in samples of the beverage.

“The institute examined Red Bull Cola in an elaborate chemical process and found traces of cocaine,” Bernhard Kühnle, head of the food safety department at the federal ministry for consumer protection said.

Authorities said the cocaine levels do not pose a health threat but are not permitted in foodstuffs.

The Frankfurter Neuen Presse reported that the investigation was prompted by the use of a de-cocainized extract of coca leaf in the drink. That means the drink cannot be classified as a foodstuff but as a narcotic and needs a special license, authorities said.

Read moreRed Bull Cola banned for containing cocaine

Flu Reaches 11 Countries, 331 Cases Confirmed by WHO


Inspectors for swine flu walk through a terminal at Narita International Airport in Narita City, Chiba Prefecture, Japan on April 30, 2009. Photographer: Haruyoshi Yamaguchi/Bloomberg News

May 1 (Bloomberg) — Flu reached 11 countries, as governments closed schools, planned for vaccine production and tapped emergency stockpiles of antiviral medicine.

Genetic tests have confirmed more than 331 people have the strain originally labeled swine flu, according to the World Health Organization’s Web site. Hundreds more cases are suspected in New York, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand. The WHO said thousands of samples from sick patients are backlogged for testing, and disease trackers are looking at whether an outbreak in Spain should trigger a declaration of a pandemic.

The Geneva-based health agency raised its six-tier alert to 5 on April 29 and said a move to the next and final level, for the world’s first influenza pandemic since 1968, may soon be made. The WHO urged countries to make final preparations against a disease that may sweep across the globe, preying on a world population that has no natural immunity to the new virus.

Read moreFlu Reaches 11 Countries, 331 Cases Confirmed by WHO