Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by the frequency with which the Obama administration has reacted to leaks by bringing prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act. Six whistleblowers have been prosecuted under this law since President Obama’s inauguration in 2009. Previously, the Espionage Act had only been used three times in response to leaks: in 1973 (for the high-profile Pentagon Papers case during the Vietnam War), in 1985 and in 2005. These witchhunts violate the principles of the (…) …
As the rest of the technology industry spends million lobbying lawmakers in Washington, Apple, which on Tuesday came in for a gentle grilling over taxes, has remained aloof. …
Judicial Watch, a conservative-leaning organization dedicated to uncovering abuse and corruption in the legal system, petitioned Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency to publish 59 images of bin Laden’s corpse after the terrorist leader was killed during a May 2011 raid in Pakistan. The US Court of Appeals in Washington DC found that releasing the pictures could cause “exceptionally grave harm” to American citizens. The three judges wrote, in a 14-page opinion, that the portrayal of the bullet that killed bin Laden were “quite graphic” and “gruesome,” but the real motivation could have been to quell the possibility of terrorism.“It is undisputed that the government is withholding the images not to shield wrongdoing or avoid embarrassment, but rather to prevent the killing of Americans,” read the opinion from Judges Merrick Garland, Judith Rogers and Harry Edwards. The decision made references to violent outbursts from radical Islamists after US media wrongfully reported that troops stationed in the Middle East desecrated the Koran. Cartoon depictions of the Muslim prophet Muhammad have prompted similar outrage. Lawyers from Judicial Watch, promising to file an appeal, told the Washington Post that the judicial system “needs to stop rubber-stamping this administration’s secrecy.” …
A majority of Americans have clearly indicated that they believe the IRS intentionally targeted Tea Party groups. In a Washington Post/ABC News poll released Tuesday, 56 percent said they believe increased IRS scrutiny on conservative groups was deliberate, with only 31 percent saying they believed it was an “administrative mistake.” …
Adam Kokesh was arrested for….doing nothing. This is NOT about the legalization of marijuana. This is about something we can all get behind – the legalization of freedom. …
Syria ready for UN to investigate chemical arms 10/05/2013 01:05 CET
UK and Russia put their differences aside on Syria 10/05/2013 19:55 CET
UN expresses doubt about chemical weapons use in Syria 07/05/2013 00:55 CET
Arms sales treaty fails to win unanimous UN backing 29/03/2013 04:55 CET
UN/Arab League envoy warns of “hell” if Syria… 29/12/2012 15:15 CET
Russia is reported to have sent advanced anti-ship missiles to Syria, despite pleas from Washington and elsewhere to stop supplying President al-Assad’s forces.
Officials in the US are quoted as saying the latest Yakhont surface-to-air missiles were delivered
Some observers think one reason Russia might supply advanced Russian weaponry would be to counter any Western intervention.
But Moscow’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said he did not understand the fuss.
“We haven’t hidden the fact that we supplied Syria with arms as per a signed contract, neither violating any international agreements, nor violating our own laws that pertain to export control – some of the strictest in the world. And most importantly, we supply an anti-aircraft system, and it doesn’t create any imbalance of power in the region, or (give the Syrian government) any kind of advantages in the fight against the opposition,” he said.
He spoke as the UN Secretary General was in Russia continuing to push plans for an international conference on Syria, which would include government and opposition figures.
Ban Ki-moon called on Damascus to allow UN inspectors to investigate the reported used of chemical weapons.
“Our team is ready at any time. Within 24 to 48 hours notice, they can immediately conduct an investigation. I again urge the Syrian authorities to be flexible and allow our teams to have an on-site investigation,” he said.
Copyright © 2013 euronews
Just days before a major international demonstration to protest Monsanto is scheduled to occur around the globe, CEO Hugh Grant told Bloomberg this week that critics of his company are fueling anti-GMO sentiment by capitalizing on an increased public interest in how their food is produced and pushing that agenda through social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter.Anti-Monsanto advocates — like the ones planning to protest in 36 countries later this month — say they are opposed to, among other items, the company’s habit of heralding genetically altered crops as a solution to third-world poverty by putting profits above possible health risks. Lab-made crops that are resistant to certain chemicals and conditions are the bread and butter of Monsanto, but critics are worried that the company isn’t weighing the full impact of what spreading GMO crops could do to the environment and agriculture sector. Additionally, Monsanto’s legal habits of driving small-time farmers bankrupt over alleged patent infringement has not made them many friends within America’s traditional agriculture sector.Just last week, the US Department of Agriculture set up a serious roadblock in Monsanto’s way by ordering further assessments on a number of GMO crops they want to market that can sustain high concentrations of chemicals used as herbicides that can be toxic in large doses. Speaking to Bloomberg this week, Grant said the USDA’s decision won’t be much of a setback, in his opinion, and added that campaigns to belittle his company are often unfounded or the result of misunderstood disinformation.Charles Benbrook, a research professor at Washington State University’s Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources, told Bloomberg, “Most of the people that become motivated to engage the political issues have become convinced that going down the road of genetically engineered foods is not the way to meet the needs of a food insecure population.”According to Grant, those critics aren’t giving his company’s take on the situation the light of day.“I’d feel a whole lot better if it was marinated a little on where is that extra chicken going to come from or who is going to grow the new bushel,” Grant said. Instead, he said Monsanto opponents are ruining the opportunity to feed the world using technological advances.“There is this strange kind of reverse elitism: If I’m going to do this, then everything else shouldn’t exist,” Grant told Bloomberg at Monsanto’s St. Louis headquarters this week. “There is space in the supermarket shelf for all of us.”“And the sad piece of this is, it ends up either or,” Grant said. “So you get conventional agriculture or broad scale or however you define it, and organic. I think we’re going to look back on this period and say, ‘How on earth did that ever become the fight that it became.’”Monsanto protests on six contents are scheduled to take place on May 25 as part of an international day of demonstration. Meanwhile, Monsanto has ended up embroiled in yet another controversy, this time after State Department cables released by WikiLeaks showed that the government lobbied foreign nations on behalf of the GMO kings. Monsanto’s influence over the US government has been questioned previously after ties were publicly disclosed between the company and a number of Washington institutions, including the White House and the Supreme Court of the United States. …