Study: Massive Volcano ‘Wiped Out The Neanderthals 40,000 Years Ago’

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Neanderthal man may have been wiped out 40,000 years ago after a volcanic eruption

European Neanderthals may have been wiped out by a catastrophic volcanic eruption over 40,000 years ago, according to new research.

A new study says that a massive explosion caused the onset of a ‘volcanic winter’ that devastated their population.

Researchers led by Liubov Golovanova of Russia’s ANO Laboratory of Prehistory in St. Petersburg report that volcanic dust deposits found in a cave in the Caucasus show that an ecological disaster was responsible.

Very few plants existed in the volcanic dust layers, the researchers discovered.

The loss of plants would have affected the population of large mammals, which were the Neanderthals’ main source of food.

The Neanderthals were replaced about 30,000 years ago by modern-day humans.

Read moreStudy: Massive Volcano ‘Wiped Out The Neanderthals 40,000 Years Ago’

Police State: Cop stages fake arrest of boy for having sex with his daughter

A police officer has been suspended for staging a fake arrest of a 15-year-old boy after discovering the teenager was having sex with his stepdaughter.

The motorcycle officer, who was in uniform and armed, went to the boy’s home in San Jose, California where he handcuffed him and lectured him for more than five minutes.

He told the boy, who had been seeing the 14-year-old girl for some time, that he was going to face criminal charges of having sex with a minor.

The officer said: “It does not bode well for you. Do you know what that means? No? Not a good thing that the person you had sex with is a cop’s daughter. The district attorney will probably file charges.

“A cop’s daughter is not somebody you mess around with. You’re stupid.”

One of the boy’s parents videoed the incident and complained to police.

The case sparked a national debate in the US about whether the officer had abused his position, or was simply acting as a concerned father.

Tony Boskovich, a lawyer for the boy’s family, said: “Applying force, applying handcuffs, threatening the young man with things such as rape in prison, he acted like a cowboy. He lost it, he came in and he abused his authority.”

Read morePolice State: Cop stages fake arrest of boy for having sex with his daughter

US Military Pilots: Aliens Have Deactivated British And US Nuclear Missiles

Aliens have landed, infiltrated British nuclear missile sites and deactivated the weapons, according to US military pilots.

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A Minuteman missile at Malmstrom Air Force Base in the 1960s Photo: AP/USAF

The beings have repeated their efforts in the US and have been active since 1948, the men said, and accused the respective governments of trying to keep the information secret.

The unlikely claims were compiled by six former US airmen and another member of the military who interviewed or researched the evidence of 120 ex-military personnel.

The information they have collected suggests that aliens could have landed on Earth as recently as seven years ago.

The men’s aim is to press the two governments to recognise the long-standing extra-terrestrial visits as fact.

They are to be presented on Monday 27 September at a meeting in Washington.

Read moreUS Military Pilots: Aliens Have Deactivated British And US Nuclear Missiles

World Gripped By ‘International Currency War’

• Brazilian finance minister Guido Mantega speaks out against devaluations

• Economists fear increasing currency volatility and instability

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A Chinese bank teller counts notes in Beijing. China has kept the yuan weak to boost exports and has resisted US pressure to allow it to rise Photograph: Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Images

The world is in the midst of an “international currency war” according to Brazil’s finance minister as governments force down the value of their currencies to boost their struggling economies.

The comments are the first public admission made by a senior policymaker about a practice which has become increasingly widespread since the global economic downturn.

Many countries, notably China, have been deliberately weakening their currencies by selling them on foreign exchanges or keeping interest rates artificially low to make their exports cheaper.

Economists fear that such moves are resulting in increasing currency volatility and instability. Increasing competition among individual countries to devalue also makes it harder to mount a co-ordinated policy response to the economic downturn, particularly amid fears of a renewed slowdown.

Read moreWorld Gripped By ‘International Currency War’

Confession Video: US Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans

Corporal, 22, Tells How His ‘Crazy’ Sergeant Allegedly Murdered For Kicks, Collected Body Parts

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Corporal Jeremy N. Morlock is one of five GI’s charged with pre-meditated murder in a case that includes allegations of widespread drug use, the collection of body parts and photos of the U.S. soldiers holding the Afghan bodies like hunter’s trophies. Here, the 22-year-old corporal from Wasilla, Alaska casually describes on a video tape made by military investigators how his unit’s “crazy” sergeant allegedly chose three unarmed, innocent victims at random to be murdered in Afghanistan. (ABC News)

Dressed in a t-shirt and Army shorts, a 22-year-old corporal from Wasilla, Alaska casually describes on a video tape made by military investigators how his unit’s “crazy” sergeant randomly chose three unarmed, innocent victims to be murdered in Afghanistan.

Corporal Jeremy N. Morlock is one of five GI’s charged with pre-meditated murder in a case that includes allegations of widespread drug use, the collection of body parts and photos of the U.S. soldiers holding the Afghan bodies like hunter’s trophies.

All five soldiers were part of the 5th Stryker Combat Brigade, of the 2nd Infantry Division, based at Ft. Lewis-McChord, Washington. In charging documents released by the Army, the military alleges that the five, Staff Sgt. Calvin R. Gibbs, Spec Adam C. Winfield, Spec. Michael S. Wagnon II, Pfc. Andrew H. Holmes and Morlock were involved in one or more of three murders that took place between January and May of this year.

Lawyers and family members of the soldiers say they all intend to fight the charges.

Read moreConfession Video: US Soldier Describes Thrill Kill of Innocent Afghans

Australian Soldiers Charged With Manslaughter of Afghan Children

Australia’s top military prosecutor said three former Australian soldiers will be charged with manslaughter in relation to a raid on a compound in Afghanistan that left five children dead.

Brigadier Lyn McDade, the Director of Military Prosecutions, said today that the special forces soldiers face multiple charges including manslaughter, dangerous conduct and failing to comply with a lawful general order.

The charges relate to a February 2009 raid on a compound in southern Uruzgan province that was believed to harbour Taliban insurgents.

Six Afghans, including five children, were killed, and another two children and two adults were wounded.

The soldiers were not identified.

Read moreAustralian Soldiers Charged With Manslaughter of Afghan Children

Mexico: Twitter feeds and blogs tell hidden story of drug wars

• Death threats and murders silence traditional reports

• Catalogue of horror posted by bloggers and on Twitter

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Soldiers carry the coffin of one of 72 migrants killed by drug traffickers in Tamaulipas, Mexico, last month. Photograph: Reuters

A small army of bloggers and tweeters is filling the gaps left by traditional media in Mexico that are increasingly limiting their coverage of the country’s drug wars because of pressure from the cartels.

“Shots fired by the river, unknown number of dead,” read one recent tweet on a busy feed from the northern border city of Reynosa, #Reynosafollow. “Organized crime blockade on San Fernando road lifted,” said another. “Just saw police officers telling a group of narcos about the positions of navy checkpoints,” ran a third.

Nothing of this kind appeared in the city’s papers which, along with most media outlets in the north-eastern state of Tamaulipas, have become better known for what they do not publish than for what they do.

Tamaulipas is one of the most intense battlegrounds of the drug wars being fought in Mexico between the federal forces and at least seven cartels.

Gun fights lasting hours, grenade attacks in shopping streets, military swoops on suspected kingpins – all ignored. Six local journalists in one city disappeared in two days, and there was hardly a word from their terrified colleagues.

One editor on a regional paper – who does not want to be named for security reasons – has meticulously followed directives from the dominant local traffickers ever since a story she published about a shoot-out, based on an official report, earned her a death threat a couple of months ago.

She does not even dare complain too openly about this to colleagues, in case they are in the pay of the gang. But every now and then she cannot resist tweeting. “Sometimes the emotion of a story gets to me and I put it on Twitter,” she says. “Especially when I know it won’t get out otherwise.”

Earlier this month, she revealed the kidnapping of a former local mayor who is also a cousin of Mexico’s biggest media magnate.

Read moreMexico: Twitter feeds and blogs tell hidden story of drug wars

President Obama Argues His Unconstitutional Assassination Program Is A ‘State Secret’

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Dylan Ratigan Show: President Obama ‘Has A Hit List Of American Citizens Like YOU targeted For Assassination’

US government can execute its own citizens far from a combat zone, with no judicial process and based on secret intelligence!

Rep. Ron Paul on Obama seeking to assassinate ‘US citizens’ he labels as terrorist


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(updated below)

At this point, I didn’t believe it was possible, but the Obama administration has just reached an all-new low in its abysmal civil liberties record.  In response to the lawsuit filed by Anwar Awlaki’s father asking a court to enjoin the President from assassinating his son, a U.S. citizen, without any due process, the administration late last night, according to The Washington Post, filed a brief asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit without hearing the merits of the claims.  That’s not surprising:  both the Bush and Obama administrations have repeatedly insisted that their secret conduct is legal but nonetheless urge courts not to even rule on its legality.  But what’s most notable here is that one of the arguments the Obama DOJ raises to demand dismissal of this lawsuit is “state secrets”:  in other words, not only does the President have the right to sentence Americans to death with no due process or charges of any kind, but his decisions as to who will be killed and why he wants them dead are “state secrets,” and thus no court may adjudicate their legality.

A very intense case of food poisoning in New York on Thursday, combined with my traveling home all night last night, prevents me from writing much about this until tomorrow (and it’s what rendered the blog uncharacteristically silent for the last two days).  But I would hope that nobody needs me or anyone else to explain why this assertion of power is so pernicious — at least as pernicious as any power asserted during the Bush/Cheney years.  If the President has the power to order American citizens killed with no due process, and to do so in such complete secrecy that no courts can even review his decisions, then what doesn’t he have the power to do?  Just for the moment, I’ll note that The New York Times‘ Charlie Savage, two weeks ago, wrote about the possibility that Obama might raise this argument, and quoted the far-right, Bush-supporting, executive-power-revering lawyer David Rivkin as follows:

The government’s increasing use of the state secrets doctrine to shield its actions from judicial review has been contentious. Some officials have argued that invoking it in the Awlaki matter, about which so much is already public, would risk a backlash. David Rivkin, a lawyer in the White House of President George H. W. Bush, echoed that concern.

“I’m a huge fan of executive power, but if someone came up to you and said the government wants to target you and you can’t even talk about it in court to try to stop it, that’s too harsh even for me,” he said.

Having debated him before, I genuinely didn’t think it was possible for any President to concoct an assertion of executive power and secrecy that would be excessive and alarming to David Rivkin, but Barack Obama managed to do that, too.  Obama’s now asserting a power so radical — the right to kill American citizens and do so in total secrecy, beyond even the reach of the courts — that it’s “too harsh even for” one of the most far-right War on Terror cheerleading-lawyers in the nation.  But that power is certainly not “too harsh” for the kind-hearted Constitutional Scholar we elected as President, nor for his hordes of all-justifying supporters soon to place themselves to the right of David Rivkin as they explain why this is all perfectly justified.  One other thing, as always:  vote Democrat, because the Republicans are scary!

* * * * *

The same Post article quotes a DOJ spokesman as saying that Awlaki “should surrender to American authorities and return to the United States, where he will be held accountable for his actions.”  But he’s not been charged with any crimes, let alone indicted for any.  The President has been trying to kill him for the entire year without any of that due process.  And now the President refuses even to account to an American court for those efforts to kill this American citizen on the ground that the President’s unilateral imposition of the death penalty is a “state secret.”  And, indeed, American courts — at Obama’s urging — have been upholding that sort of a “state secrecy” claim even when it comes to war crimes such as torture and rendition.  Does that sound like a political system to which any sane, rational person would “surrender”?

Marcy Wheeler has more on other aspects of the DOJ’s arguments, and I’ll have more tomorrow as well.

UPDATE:  As a reminder:  Obama supporters who are dutifully insisting that the President not only has the right to order American citizens killed without due process, but to do so in total secrecy, on the ground that Awlaki is a Terrorist and Traitor, are embracing those accusations without having the slightest idea whether they’re actually true.  All they know is that Obama has issued these accusations, which is good enough for them.  That’s the authoritarian mind, by definition:  if the Leader accuses a fellow citizen of something, then it’s true — no trial or any due process at all is needed and there is no need even for judicial review before the decreed sentence is meted out, even when the sentence is death.

For those reciting the “Awlaki-is-a-traitor” mantra, there’s also the apparently irrelevant matter that Article III, Section 3 of the Constitution (the document which these same Obama supporters pretended to care about during the Bush years) provides that “No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”  Treason is a crime that the Constitution specifically requires be proven with due process in court, not by unilateral presidential decree.  And that’s to say nothing of the fact that the same document — the Constitution — expressly forbids the deprivation of life “without due process of law.”  This one sentence from the Post article nicely summarizes the state of Obama’s civil liberties record:

The Obama administration has cited the state-secrets argument in at least three cases since taking office – in defense of Bush-era warrantless wiretapping, surveillance of an Islamic charity, and the torture and rendition of CIA prisoners.

And now, in this case, Obama uses this secrecy and immunity weapon not to shield Bush lawlessness from judicial review, but his own.

Read morePresident Obama Argues His Unconstitutional Assassination Program Is A ‘State Secret’

Paul Craig Roberts – It’s Official: The US Is A Police State

See also:

Paul Craig Roberts: Death of the First Amendment – The Nazification of the United States


Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.

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On September 24, Jason Ditz reported on Antiwar.com that “the FBI is confirming that this morning they began a number of raids against the homes of antiwar activists in Illinois, Minneapolis, Michigan, and North Carolina, claiming that they are ‘seeking evidence relating to activities concerning the material support of terrorism.‘”

Now we know what Homeland Security (sic) Secretary Janet Napolitano meant when she said on September 10: “The old view that ‘if we fight the terrorists abroad, we won’t have to fight them here’ is just that-the old view.” The new view, Napolitano said, is “to counter violent extremism right here at home.”

“Violent extremism” is one of those undefined police state terms that will mean whatever the government wants it to mean. In this morning’s FBI’s foray into the homes of American citizens of conscience, it means antiwar activists, whose activities are equated with “the material support of terrorism,” just as conservatives equated Vietnam era anti-war protesters with giving material support to communism.

Anti-war activist Mick Kelly, whose home was raided, sees the FBI raids as harassment to intimidate those who organize war protests.

I wonder if Kelly is under-estimating the threat. The FBI’s own words clearly indicate that the federal police agency and the judges who signed the warrants do not regard antiwar protesters as Americans exercising their Constitutional rights, but as unpatriotic elements offering material support to terrorism.

“Material support” is another of those undefined police state terms. In this context the term means that Americans who fail to believe their government’s lies and instead protest its policies, are supporting their government’s declared enemies and, thus, are not exercising their civil liberties but committing treason.

As this initial FBI foray is a softening-up move to get the public accustomed to the idea that the real terrorists are their fellow citizens here at home, Kelly will get off this time.  But next time the FBI will find emails on his computer from a “terrorist group” set up by the CIA that will incriminate him.

Under the practices put in place by the Bush and Obama regimes, and approved by corrupt federal judges, protesters who have been compromised by fake terrorist groups can be declared “enemy combatants” and sent off to Egypt, Poland, or some other corrupt American puppet state-Canada perhaps-to be tortured until confession is forthcoming that antiwar protesters and, indeed, every critic of the US government, are on Osama bin Laden’s payroll.

Read morePaul Craig Roberts – It’s Official: The US Is A Police State

GM Salmon Nears US Approval

US: GM Salmon May Go On Sale:

Among the considerations by the FDA is whether, if the fish is approved for consumption, it must be labelled as genetically engineered.


Consumer groups fear green light for engineered species will bring environmental disaster to the oceans

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A genetically modified salmon, rear, and a non-genetically modified salmon, foreground. Photograph: AP

Buried in a prospectus inviting investors to buy shares in a fledgling biotech company is an arresting claim attributed to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

“Commercial aquaculture is the most rapidly growing segment of the agricultural industry, accounting for more than $60bn sales in 2003. While land-based agriculture is increasing between 2% to 3% per year, aquaculture has been growing at an average rate of approximately 9% per year since 1970.”

Read moreGM Salmon Nears US Approval