Archive for ‘Breaking World News’

June 9, 2011

Germany denies America drug for killing its citizens

[Tom Hopper, US News Contributor]

Spiegel Online International: With more than 3000 American death row inmates in the 34 US states that  employ the death penalty not-so-eagerly awaiting their killing by lethal injection, America is running out of the lethal injection drugs to despatch the prisoners as US firms stop producing the deadly drug.

America’s desperate attempts to import the drugs though are not proving to be successful as country after country is refusing to supply the deadly drugs. The latest slap in the face for US executioners was from Germany which point-blank refused to supply the drug. Recently, India, UK and Denmark have done the same.

As a result, many executions have had to be delayed and the US is currently considering the employment of more primitive methods to cull its waiting list for executions.

Not a good time to be on death row in the USA it would seem. Perhaps the USA should be looking to get the lethal drugs from countries more amenable to killing their citizens which include Libya, China, Syria, Yemen, DRC as it is unlikely then that it would face any opposition for the importation of the necessary drugs.

In America, offences that carry the death penalty include:

  • Treason
  • Use of weapon of mass destruction resulting in death
  • Espionage, terrorism, certain violations of the Geneva Conventions that result in the death of one or more persons,
  • Aggravated rape in Louisiana, Florida and Oklahoma;
  • Extortionate kidnapping in Oklahoma;
  • Aggravated kidnapping in Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky and South Carolina;
  • Robbery and and aircraft hijacking in Alabama;
  • Drug trafficking resulting in a person’s death in Connecticut and Florida;
  • Train wrecking which leads to a person’s death and perjury which leads to a person’s death in California.

In addition, under the US Uniform Code of Military Justice, execution can be ordered for many more offences including: desertion, mutiny, spying, and misbehaviour before the enemy.

Many of those executed in the USA have received posthumous pardons.

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June 8, 2011

Scientists link e.coli epidemic to mutation of earlier 2001 bug outbreak in Munster, Germany

[Renate Von Kuznig, Health Contributor]

Wall Street Journal:  Not cucumbers, not sprouts, not tomatoes – what then is responsible for the ongoing deaths (up to 28 or so) and the thousands being made ill by the e.coli infections hitting Germany and frightening the world?  The culprit it seems is to be none other than an evolved and extremely toxic version of a bug first identified in Münster, Germany, way back in 2001 say scientists.

According to Alexander Mellmann at the University Hospital of Munster: “Everything we know so far indicates it is an evolved strain…if it was completely unknown, we’d struggle a lot more in our effort to fight it.”

Researchers at BGI and University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf researchers who seem to agree with Dr. Mellmann after looking at material belonging to the 2001 and 2011 strains of the bug and found that seven genes crucial to both bugs’ existence are the same as well as 12 others.

The 2001 outbreak had affected around five identified people world-wide and had never really been identified and eradicated and the scientists’ genetic analysis has shown up that as the earlier bug has interacted with the newer one, it has become stronger and is practically drug-resistant.

Nearly all the 2700, or so cases of the bug infection and associated deaths can be traced back to Germany.

June 7, 2011

UK in revolt over creeping rise of EU Commissioners’ power as they impose stealth taxes on British families and reduce EU inward contribution to Britain

[Tonya Gillam, EU News Contributor]

Britain’s greedy EU masters in Europe have gone a tad to far this time with the British in a move that will involve British families paying more than £200 a year apiece directly into the coffers of the unelected Commissioners.

The move is part of another bid to save the troubled Euro, by imposing stealth taxes upon member states and also cutting contributions inward to those states.

Bill Cash, chairman of the Commons European Scrutiny committee  is reported to have said: ‘This kind of attempt to stitch up the British people can only be answered by the simple word: No. The veto must be used…the Prime Minister knows he is heading for a showdown which he can only lose now that the Liberal Democrats are so weak.’

Another MP, Douglas Carswell said: “Eurocrats simply don’t get it..we have been forced this year to increase massively the amount of money we pay to the EU, both in the budget and through the bailouts of eurozone countries, and still they want more…iIf people want good public services and reasonable rates of tax, we need to decide whether it’s possible to remain members of the EU. The time has come to ask: Is it worth all this?’  He is calling , together is a significant number of other MPs, for Britain to leave the EU as a matter of priority.

Well Britain, don’t say you weren’t warned – check out UK Independence Party Leader, Nigel Farage‘s video commentary on the criminal past of the incumbent EU Commissioners – viewer discretion advised as the video is shocking.

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May 30, 2011

Germany makes no move to halt its imports of nuclear energy from France, but will stop its own nuclear energy production in 2022

[Tim Salinger, Germany Nuclear Power Contributor]

EUOBSERVER: In a politically savvy move made breathtaking by its boldness, in the wake of popular widespread opposition to nuclear energy in the country following the Fukushima disaster, the German government has announced that it will stop all its nuclear energy production by 2022.

However, its bordering neighbour, France, which meets 78% of its own energy needs via nuclear energy production and  is the world’s leader in nuclear energy production is set to export significant amounts of energy to its neighbour, Germany, as a result of the German moratorium on nuclear power.

Germany as the world’s fifth largest energy consumer imported two-thirds of its primary energy needs in 2002 of which around 12% was from France.  As Germany’s nuclear power program has slowed down, its imports of energy have steadily risen and it is expected that in by the time of Germany’s total discontinuation of nuclear energy production, it will be importing more than 25% of its energy needs from a nuclear productive France.

As France with it 59 nuclear power plants borders Germany, any nuclear disaster in France would impact the German people in the same way as any nuclear plant disaster on German soil. Therefore, wouldn’t it be a good idea to get France to stop its nuclear energy production as well?  Hmmmnnnn….

May 30, 2011

In breach of UN resolution forbidding ground support in Libya, CIA and British secret service agents fight Gadaffi with rebels

[TRIPOLI:  Capt. Ahmed Akabu, Military News Contributor]

As far back as March 30th 2011, the National Journal had reported that following the green light from the White House for the US’s direct ‘prejudicial engagement’ on the ground with the Libyan regime in aid of the rebels, CIA and British secret (and not so secret, from  recent accounts), operatives have been on the ground fighting with the rebels to overthrow the intrenchant and wily  Libyan dictator, Col. Muammar-el-Qaddafi.

According the National Journal’s report in March, more than 12 covert operatives were active in Libya working on the ground with the rebels to overthrow Qaddafi.  Also on the ground at that time were many Special Air Service commandoes and M16 agents.

Guardian: Today video footage from Al Jazeera confirms sightings of foreign armed operatives openly interacting with rebel forces on the ground. This kind of intrervention, of course,  is in contravention of the UN resolution which specifically forbids this kind of enagement by foreign military operatives, but who cares anyway. Isn’t it the same UN whose 30 or so resoultions have been openly thrown out by the Jews vis a vis the Palestinian issue? So Libya is in for some interesting times it would seem.

However, Libyans rebel forces are becoming increasingly worried that the problem with foreign troops on the ground is that as they do not take directions, or orders from local forces, they become in due course, nothing less than an occupation force which then has the potential to create the same problems as for Viet Nam, Iraq and Afganistan in terms of world and local perception of their presence.

May 29, 2011

British government secretly training Saudi and Bahrani forces to quell people power uprisings

  [Picture source Guardian: Saudi Special Forces trained in Mecca by the British military  for uprisings in Bahrain]
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[Diks Vanderpooter, Human Rights Contributor]
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Guardian: International human rights groups and British activists have been shocked by revelations by the British government that, whilst supporting people power uprisings in Libya and Egypt, its military has been secretly training Saudi Arabia‘s national guard  in public order enforcement techniques which had been used when they were assigned to quell the recent people power protests in Bahrain.

In the recent uprisings in Bahrain, the Bahraini royal family used more than 1,200 British-trained Saudi troops to assist in demolishing the demonstrations which they did brutally by all accounts killing more than 100 protestors and seriously injuring many more. The UK Ministry of Defence report, out yesterday, confirmed that Britain despatches around 20 training teams to Saudi Arabia each year which the Saudis pay for.

Nicholas Gilby of the Campaign Against Arms Trade said: Britain’s important role in training the Saudi Arabian national guard in internal security over many years has enabled them to develop tactics to help suppress the popular uprising in Bahrain.”

In acknowledgement of Britain’s training role in supporting the undemocratic Bahrain and Saudi regimes, Defence minister Nick Harvey said to the British parliament last week: “It is possible that some members of the Saudi Arabian national guard which were deployed in Bahrain may have undertaken some training provided by the British military mission.”..

May 27, 2011

President Obama’s sinister ‘special relationship’ with the United Kingdom

[Dominic Chatrell, Politics Contributor]

The UK Telegraph’s Peter Oborne writes a telling commentary on the circus surrounding President’s Obama’s recent visit to the United Kingdom. He describes the ‘special relationship’ between the two countries as nothing more than sinister and here’s why.

According to Mr. Osborne, this week’s visit by Barack Obama to the United Kingdom was nothing short of a national embarrassment especially as the mainstream media attention was more devoted to hype, rather than substance. In context, the President’s visit to the British Houses of Parliament in Westminster was certainly pop-starish with an adulating crowd of sycophantic politicians in ‘Mecca-like’ herds rushing to shake the hand of the man who since power has accomplished nothing significantly good and who has perpetrated the wars started by his precedessor, G.W Bush.
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The President’s impeccable rhetoric when speaking to the British Parliament pronounced:  “ [we] stand squarely on the side of those who want to be free….longing for human dignity is universal”.  But, not much commenting from listeners there, no hard questions for a President of a country which has departed from the rule of law taking into account the relatively insignificant, in matters of world affairs, but significant in terms of the ‘special relationship’, £5.2 million of outstanding congestion charge fines accumulated by US diplomats in central London.

Amidst the hand shaking and ‘high fives’, no one thought to ask Obama, why, in breach of his election promise he said recently that the illegal prison of Guantánamo Bay and America’s policy of having secret prisons in European countries are to be continued.

No one thought to ask this President of contradictory acts, words and broken promises, why he supports the suppression of the Shia population in Bahrain, as actively assisted by Saudi Arabia. And, why, the most undemocratic country in the middle east – Saudi Arabia – where women are treated like sub-human chattels and are not even allowed to drive in the Kingdom just because they are women, is on his ‘best friend’ list.

Again, no one thought to ask the ‘high-fiving’ President about the USA‘s use of the USA’s depleted uranium ordinance in Iraq and Afganistan, now proved to cause countless deformities and cancers in children in those countries and why he supports the use of torture to extract confessions when the overwhelming evidence is that it does not work. Again, no questions about why he deliberately blocked enquiries from the British judiciary recently regarding the unlawful killing of British forces in the conflict zones in the middle east, by US ‘friendly fire’.

Furthermore, this is a President who has so little regard for human rights and the due process of law that he has publicly stated that the Wikileaks suspect, Bradley Manning, ‘has broken the law’ – even when Mr. Manning has yet to be tried for his alleged crime by a military tribunal in respect to which Mr. Obama is Commander in Chief of the USA armed forces.

Despite all that, UK leaders were falling over themselves in standing ovations and glittering parties to celebrate a ‘special relationship’ which in substance has nothing special about it and in fact committed the UK to a war in Iraq that was not only illegal and costly, but has killed many serving British soldiers.

A special relationship it seems built on the personal ambitions of politicians, not citizens, on both sides of the Atlantic.

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May 25, 2011

G8 Nations warned by powerful action groups – no Internet censorship, or else

[Kuzu Ahmed, Internet Freedom Contributor]

Mail.com: Large Internet information services companies, digital players and Internet activists are warning G8 countries meeting in Paris this week, that if politicians continue to attempt to limit internet access and censor information sharing on the Internet, those restrictions will become increasingly irrelevant as they will be deliberately circumvented.

Recent times have seen increasing resistance from the large Internet information services companies like Google and Twitter as well as Internet activists who together have poured cold water on politicians’ censorships on the Internet, which they claim are in contravention of the human right of freedom of expression.

The message was discussed among the leaders of the Group of Eight  – eight of the world’s most influential countries – which began a meeting in France on Thursday to discuss the impact of the Arab uprising which seem to have been enabled by the Internet.

According to Jean-Francois Julliard of Reporters Without Borders “G-8 governments should say very clearly for once that Internet access is a fundamental human right.”  He says that more than 60 countries have Internet restrictions in activity and many are following suit.

Additionally,  Tony Wang, the general manager of the social networking site Twitter, said that Internet censorship is self-defeating and commented that:  “the response to bad speech should be more speech.”

Read more…

May 25, 2011

Twitter cracks down on users breaking UK privacy injunctions

[Zana Blanke, Privacy Law Contributor]
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BBC News:  The social networking site, Twitter which has around 175 million registered users worldwide, has issued a stern warning to its users that if they break privacy injunctions with their Tweets, they will be on their own before the UK courts. According to Twitter’s new European boss, Tony Wang, Twitter users who breach UK privacy injunctions via their tweets would not be protected by Twitter.
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He confirmed that where authorities required information relating to the unlawful postings, Twitter would co-operate fully with them. Currently, Twitter is under pressure by privacy lawyers to reveal the identities of those users who deliberately breached the privacy orders by their tweets.
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Mr. Wang said: “Platforms have a responsibility, not to defend that user but to protect that user’s right to defend him or herself  …..[users can] exercise their own legal rights under their own jurisdiction, whether that is a motion to quash the order or to oppose it or do a number of other things to defend themselves.”
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May 24, 2011

UK Government agencies lose £527 million in 2010/2011 to fraudsters

[Benedikt Hoffman, Financial Fraud News Contributor]

International Association for Asset Recovery:  The UK government is proving to be a soft touch for fraudsters as it lost taxpayer‘s money to fraudsters to the tune of some £527 million in the period 2010/2011 according to KPMG‘s Government Fraud Barometer published this May.

According to the report, in the past year, there was a 142 percent uplift in fraud incidents against government agencies.

Whereas, the high level of fraud incidents against government agencies had decreased in 2007/2008 as a result of the government’s focus on value added tax (VAT) cheats which led to a high number of prosecutions in that year, but the focus on tax skimming by fraudsters has returned with a vengence according to recent trends.

Around 114 tax fraudsters were prosecuted in the past year in cases representing around £527 million in thefts (up from £277m in 2008/09).

According to Jeremy Outen, UK Head of Fraud at KPMG: “Financial criminals are now becoming more businesslike and methodical ….The current generation of organized crime is targeting fraud – making payment systems, such as banking, tax and benefits vulnerable to attack…..Traditionally, criminals have relied upon physical acts, such as robbery – they can now commit a fraud and achieve the same returns for much less risk. This is fuelling the audacity and ambition of professional criminals, driving up the size of a fraud…..In addition, technology and large scale processing (such as online or call centers) have made large scale frauds easier to accomplish.”

Read more….