Assad’s forces fire Scuds in Syria escalation: U.S. official
The USA has declared support (Lawyers,Guns and Money) for the “Rebels”. ‘Senior U.S. official’ is really a misnomer. It is a fictitious person the government and media use to add credibility to news stories that in fact are propaganda.- See; Egypt,Iran,Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya… This senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity really gets around! Actually the Obama gang has been relentless in persecuting and prosecuting anyone from the government speaking without permission.
(Reuters) – Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have fired Scud missiles at rebels trying to overthrow Syria’s government, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday, a step seen as an escalation in Assad’s struggle to retain power.
U.S. officials said they were unaware of any previous instances in which Scuds were used against the rebels since the start of the 20-month-old uprising, which has killed more than 40,000 people.
White House spokesman Jay Carney declined to confirm the reports, saying he was aware of them but could not discuss intelligence matters.
“If true, this would be the latest desperate act from a regime that has shown utter disregard for innocent life,” he said. “The idea that the Syrian regime would launch missiles in its borders at its own people is stunning, desperate, a completely disproportionate military escalation.”
A senior U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Scuds had been used. More…
Squatters of Rome scrape by at the margins in Italy’s crisis
(Reuters) – When Mariangela Schiena moved to Rome from southern Italy 11 years ago, all she hoped for was a simple life, with a roof over her head and a home where she could start a family.
After she and her 28-year old boyfriend Henok Mulugeta lost their jobs in shops six months ago in Italy’s economic slump, she decided there was only one way to achieve her goals: move into a squat.
“Everything was getting more expensive, not just bills, and we couldn’t make it to the end of the month,” said Schiena, 31, as she shivered near a portable heater in an abandoned public archives building on the outskirts of Rome.
“The first night that I slept here, I woke up in the morning and thought: how nice! I don’t have to pay rent anymore. I don’t have to worry about not being able to make ends meet.”
Their radical solution reflects the growing problems facing young people, immigrants and others struggling in Italy’s year-long recession – key issues as campaigning begins for a national election expected in February. More…
Today is “National – You make me happy day” Remember to take your Prozac!
DOZENS SUE PHARMACY, BUT COMPENSATION UNCERTAIN
WS – This is America Inc. Their F$c$ed!
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Dennis O’Brien rubs his head as he details ailments triggered by the fungal meningitis he developed after a series of steroid shots in his neck: nausea, vomiting, dizziness, drowsiness, blurred vision, exhaustion and trouble with his speech and attention.
He estimates the disease has cost him and his wife thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses and her lost wages, including time spent on 6-hour round trip weekly visits to the hospital. They’ve filed a lawsuit seeking $4 million in damages from the Massachusetts pharmacy that supplied the steroid injections, but it could take years for them to get any money back and they may never get enough to cover their expenses. The same is true for dozens of others who have sued the New England Compounding Center.
“I don’t have a life anymore. My life is a meningitis life,” the 59-year-old former school teacher said, adding that he’s grateful he survived. More…
Cannons used to lob pot across border
WS – Cannon? How will Eric Holder explain this?
I’d bet my ponytail those cannons have a Made In America stamp on them.
YUMA, Ariz., Dec. 12 (UPI) — Smugglers used cannons to lob dozens of canisters of marijuana from Mexico into the United States, the U.S. Border Patrol said.
Agents said the canisters, each weighing about 2 pounds, were launched over a border fence by cannon, KTVK-TV, Phoenix, reported Tuesday.
Officials estimate the 33 containers of marijuana found near Yuma Friday were worth more than $40,000.
“You know, as we continue to tighten the border more and more, they’ll find every method they can explore to get their drug loads over,” Border Patrol Agent K. Linwood Estes told KTVK. More…
Outrage over Argentina sex slavery acquittals
WS – Not any outrage in the CEO old boys club. It’s party time there! Supply and demand, right?
Angry protesters hold demonstrations across country after Tucuman court acquits 13 accused of trafficking women.
Angry protesters have clashed with police and smashed windows after an Argentine court acquitted 13 people charged with running a sex slavery ring.
Demonstrators furious over the legal ruling took to the streets of Buenos Aires and in at least seven provinces on Wednesday.
Susana Trimarco, an activist who personally freed many sex slaves as she searched for her missing daughter Marita Veron, spoke with President Cristina Kirchner, who was among those angered by the verdict.
“I had a call from the president and she was shouting ‘I cannot believe it. I cannot believe it’,” she said.
“Even the wife of [US] President [Barack] Obama voiced her support to me. I thank her from the bottom of my heart and assured her that we are not going to stop fighting,” she added, referring to the US first lady, Michelle Obama.
In Buenos Aires, demonstrators gathered outside the local office for Tucuman province, the state where the ruling was passed. They threw rocks and other heavy objects at windows, smashing them.
In Tucuman itself, where Veron went missing a decade ago, a large procession of people marched with a banner that read, “Justice for Marita”. More…
India probes Wal-Mart lobbying practices
WS – Bribery is bribery! And we do have laws against that.
But with Attorneys General Eric Holder on the job, unless it’s a pot smoker, don’t count on this going anywhere.
The Indian government opened a probe into Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after a report the retailer had lobbied US lawmakers to help gain access to foreign markets.
Wal-Mart disclosed in a report to the US Senate that it had paid $25 million over four years to lobby American lawmakers to expand its business overseas, including India.
The report created a storm among India’s opposition lawmakers, who wanted to know if any money was spent in India to bribe local officials.
“I know it is allowed in the US. But the laws of the two countries are different. Lobbying in the US does not mean corruption but in India, it does. That is the difference. There is illegality,” opposition Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha told reporters. More…
About 20 activists wielded air horns, whistles and other noisemakers in the normally halcyon public space to demonstrate what ocean mammals hear when seismic airgun testing is used to search for underwater oil reserves.
Katie Parrish, a campaign organizer with Oceana, an environmental lobbying group based out of Washington, D.C., explained that seismic air guns are towed behind ships and shoot constant bursts of noise — twice as intense as a rocket blast — into the seafloor to create a map for oil companies.
It’s like having a jet plane fly over your head every ten seconds, 24 hours a day for days and weeks at a time,” said Parrish. More…
Culture is Not a Crime: 10 Years of Creative Commons
The future of the cultural commons looked dim in December 2002: Napster had been shuttered a year earlier, while record labels treaded warily into selling DRM-locked music online. The FCC dismantled regulations forestalling the consolidation of media ownership. And as the housing bubble inflated, privatization — of media, public space, scientific and technological research, even the military — became the watchword of the day.
A decade later, the cultural commons remains threatened, but stands on somewhat firmer ground. The record industry abandoned its futile efforts to lock music to users or devices, a costly lesson movie studios and book publishers seem determined to learn for themselves. An emerging generation of cultural producers acknowledge that “good theft,” as Austin Kleon puts it, is a fundamental part of the creative process. And Creative Commons — a once heretical notion to develop a copyright system for cultural works based on the principles of open source software development — is celebrating its tenth year. More…
Portrayal of C.I.A. Torture in Bin Laden Film Reopens a Debate
WS – This whole article is conjecture and an attempt to desensitize the public before the film comes out. There is no debate going on. The torture does though.
THE NYT IS A GOVERNMENT TOOL! – Please remember the Iraq war lies they published leading to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
WASHINGTON — Even before its official release, “Zero Dark Thirty,” the new movie about the hunt for Osama bin Laden, has become a national Rorschach test on the divisive subject of torture.
The film’s unflinching portrayal of the Central Intelligence Agency’s brutal interrogation of Al Qaeda prisoners hews close to the official record, offering a gruesome sampling of methods like the near-drowning of waterboarding.
What has already divided the critics, journalists and activists who have watched early screenings is a more subtle issue: the suggestion that the calculated infliction of pain and fear, graphically shown in the first 45 minutes of the film, may have produced useful early clues in the quest to find the terrorist leader, who was killed in May 2011.
Such a claim is anathema to outspoken critics of the Bush administration’s decision in 2002 to resort to methods that the United States had for decades shunned as illegal. And a new, 6,000-page report on C.I.A. interrogations by the Senate Intelligence Committee, based on a study of some six million pages of agency documents, finds that brutal treatment was not “a central component” in finding Bin Laden, said the committee’s chairwoman, Senator Dianne Feinstein, Democrat of California.
But the report, which the committee will decide whether to approve on Thursday, remains classified, with little likelihood that any of it will be public for months. It has already become fodder for a partisan fight, with Republicans denouncing it as flawed and incomplete. Nearly a decade after the C.I.A. is last known to have waterboarded a suspect, the American argument over torture remains unresolved and has lost little of its emotional potency, whether the spark is a blockbuster movie or a Senate report. More…