28 Dec 2015

Pete Seeger, Folk Legend & FBI Target


 
The late folk artist Pete Seeger was a musical and political icon who helped create the modern American folk music movement. Now there’s some new pages to add to his songbook—the government has released nearly 1,800 pages that reveal the FBI spied on him for nearly 30 years. The surveillance began when Seeger protested the targeting of Japanese Americans during World War II. It continued until the early 1970s as he wrote some of the most famous anti-war songs of the 20th century. We are joined by Pete Seeger’s biographer, David King Dunaway.

27 Dec 2015

US Police fatally shoot nearly 1,000 people in 2016

Nearly a thousand times this year, an American police officer has shot and killed a civilian. When the people hired to protect their communities end up killing someone, they can be called heroes or criminals — a judgment that has never come more quickly or searingly than in this era of viral video, body cameras and dash cams. A single bullet fired at the adrenaline-charged apex of a chase can end a life, wreck a career, spark a riot, spike racial tensions and alter the politics of the nation.
 

In a year-long study, The Washington Post found that the kind of incidents that have ignited protests in many U.S. communities — most often, white police officers killing unarmed black men — represent less than 4 percent of fatal police shootings. Meanwhile, The Post found that the great majority of people who died at the hands of the police fit at least one of three categories: they were wielding weapons, they were suicidal or mentally troubled, or they ran when officers told them to halt.
 

Red Star OS - A Look at North Korean Computing

Ever wonder what computing is like in North Korea? Well, I'm here to give you a glimpse of that! Red Star OS is North Korea's own Operating System, and is believed to be the most widely used OS in the country. North Korea used to use Windows XP and 7 based systems (ironic, as Windows is a product of an American-based company) and English was used as the default language (also ironic). However, Red Star OS is made and developed inside North Korea. Version 3.0, which is the newest version, is the OS that I am demoing in this video. This version looks a lot like Mac OS X, while previous versions looked more like Windows.

18 Dec 2015

The fanatic, fraudulent Mother Teresa

In 2003, Pope John Paul II approved the beatification of Mother Teresa. At the time, Christopher Hitchens’ called Mother Teresa “a fanatic, a fundamentalist, and a fraud,” arguing that “even more will be poor and sick if her example is followed.” On Friday, Pope Francis announced that he will make Mother Teresa a saint in 2016. Hitchens’ original essay is republished below.
 
 
I think it was Macaulay who said that the Roman Catholic Church deserved great credit for, and owed its longevity to, its ability to handle and contain fanaticism. This rather oblique compliment belongs to a more serious age. What is so striking about the "beatification" of the woman who styled herself "Mother" Teresa is the abject surrender, on the part of the church, to the forces of showbiz, superstition, and populism.
It's the sheer tawdriness that strikes the eye first of all. It used to be that a person could not even be nominated for "beatification," the first step to "sainthood," until five years after his or her death. This was to guard against local or popular enthusiasm in the promotion of dubious characters. The pope nominated MT a year after her death in 1997. It also used to be that an apparatus of inquiry was set in train, including the scrutiny of an advocatus diaboli or "devil's advocate," to test any extraordinary claims. The pope has abolished this office and has created more instant saints than all his predecessors combined as far back as the 16th century.
 

14 Dec 2015

Homeless Women and Children Booted by 'Christian' from Shelter to Keep Them From 'Tempting' Men

In a fine illustration of American Christianity's priorities, a Kentucky homeless shelter director has banned women and children from the town's only shelter to keep people from having sex.
 
 
 
"It seems like these last days it's getting worse ... the ungodly type," director Billy Woodward told local news station WYMT. Although presumably not dripping with sin like the shelter's female residents, children are no longer welcome either, due to "the woman factor," he told the station. An exception could be made if they're accompanied by male relatives. The women were sent to a shelter in another town 30 minutes away. 
Woodward also opined that shelter residents might be seeking out "mates" to help them with their tough economic circumstances, but they "go overboard with it."
A more pressing problem than consenting sex between adults: homeless women are at an extraordinarily high risk of sexual assault, particularly when they're living outdoors. In one study, 13 percent of homeless women surveyed said they'd been raped in the past year. Although women forced to live on the streets face the highest rates of sexual assault, sheltered women are also vulnerable to assault by residents and staffers. 

12 Dec 2015

The Struggle of Being Gay in Albania


 
Up until the mid-90s if you were openly gay in Albania, you would be sent to prison. Many homosexuals stil face bigotry and violence, even in their own homes.

11 Dec 2015

Stanley Kubrick Confession To Faking The Moon Landings

The Narrative with this story goes as follows: Filmmaker T. Patrick Murray interviewed Kubrick three days before his death in March 1999. He was forced to sign an 88-page NDA to keep the contents of the interview a secret for 15 years.
 

The Art of the Gag



Before Edgar Wright and Wes Anderson, before Chuck Jones and Jackie Chan, there was Buster Keaton, one of the founding fathers of visual comedy. And nearly 100 years after he first appeared onscreen, we’re still learning from him.
 

10 Dec 2015

Scream (Funk My Life Up)

Paolo Nutini

Dead End: The Calais Crisis

A touching look at the human side of the headlines as the historic French town of Calais becomes the reluctant host to thousands of refugees fleeing war and terror in Africa and the Middle East. People had set out for the UK; instead languish here in tents and make-shift huts where their journey reaches a dead end. Unable to cross the British border legally, many take extreme risks for a chance to make the crossing as stowaways. Local police wage a constant battle to prevent the refugees from getting into the tunnel while the local population is becoming increasingly polarized on the issue.

RT

International Rights of Nature Tribunal Finds Corporations, Governments Guilty of Crimes Against Nature

Convened in Paris parallel to COP21, the tribunal challenged the mainstream dialogue, exploring apartheid structures, alternative organizing and indigenous thought.
As the COP21 climate conference comes to its conclusion, many here don’t believe that the agreement to cut emissions will suffice to alter the catastrophic course of the planet. In fact, many will leave believing that what is most important is the continued work to pressure governments not only reduce greenhouse gases, but to also address the inequalities that continue and underly the problem.

Tribunal-Program-cover

"The deal that will be unveiled in less than a week will not be enough to keep us safe,” author and activist Naomi Klein told a crowd gathered for a labor and climate change event. “In fact, it will be extraordinarily dangerous.”

Klein and many others gathered for the COP21 conference believe that the agreement being reached is “going to steamroll over equity red lines, which means that wealthy countries that have been emitting fossil fuels on an industrial scale for a couple hundred years will continue to fail to do our fair share of emission reductions.”

More on Alternet - International Rights of Nature Tribunal

8 Dec 2015

Air Force Whistleblowers Risk Prosecution to Warn Drone War Kills Civilians, Fuels Terror

Has the U.S. drone war "fueled the feelings of hatred that ignited terrorism and groups like ISIS"? That’s the conclusion of four former Air Force servicemembers who are speaking out together for the first time. They’ve issued a letter to President Obama warning the U.S. drone program is one of the most devastating driving forces for terrorism. They accuse the administration of lying about the effectiveness of the drone program, saying it is good at killing people—just not the right ones. The four drone war veterans risk prosecution by an administration that has been unprecedented in its targeting of government whistleblowers. In a Democracy Now! exclusive, they join us in their first extended broadcast interview.

Democracy Now

6 Dec 2015

Adolescent Sex

Japan (1978)

The Salvation Army's History of Anti-LGBT Discrimination

In recent years, the Salvation Army has come under fire for its lengthy history of anti-LGBT political maneuvering and other incidents. The church has publicly articulated its belief that homosexuality is unacceptable, stating:

Scripture opposes homosexual practices by direct comment and also by clearly implied disapproval. The Bible treats such practices as self-evidently abnormal. ... Attempts to establish or promote such relationships as viable alternatives to heterosexually-based family life do not conform to God's will for society.

salvation army

While such statements were recently removed from the Salvation Army's website, the church has yet to repudiate any of its explicitly anti-gay beliefs. And though these positions may seem to be limited to the group's internal doctrines, they've become a persistent element of the church's overtly political activities -- activities which have negatively impacted the Salvation Army's ability to provide charitable services, and have aimed to limit the rights and benefits of LGBT citizens in multiple nations.

More by Zinnia Jones at Huff. Post

4 Dec 2015

3 Dec 2015

America's Double Standard Towards Religious Terrorism

nypnypB

Photo A: The @nypost's cover today (horrific mass shooting in San Bernardino).
Photo B: The @nypost's cover after the Planned Parenthood shooting

Scott Bixby on Twitter

How Climate Inequality Hurts the Most Vulnerable and Least Responsible

A new report by Oxfam has found the richest 10 percent of the world’s population produce half of the Earth’s climate-harming fossil fuel emissions. The poorest half – about 3.5 billion people – are responsible for only around 10 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions. Oxfam’s report is titled “Extreme Carbon Inequality: Why the Paris climate deal must put the poorest, lowest emitting and most vulnerable people first." We speak with the report’s author Tim Gore, head of policy for Oxfam International on food, land rights and climate change.

Democracy Now!

2 Dec 2015

China's feminists undeterred by detentions

Five women who all worked as activists for various feminist causes and had organised public events to raise awareness of a host of issues, from eradicating domestic violence to the need for more women's toilets in China. Few predicted the women would ever become targets of the authorities, since their causes seemed relatively unobjectionable. That is, until last March, when the women were planning a multi-city protest to call for an end to sexual harassment on public transport. The size of their networks and their determination to speak out in public appeared to unnerve the authorities. One by one, they were detained by police.

Zero tolerance for domestic violence

The protests the women had planned were supposed to be peaceful; the treatment they endured in Chinese detention centres was not. For more than a month, the women were subject to continual interrogations by police. All were forced to sleep on floors, and some were denied vital medication. One woman, Wu Rongrong, was repeatedly told by police that "we'll tie you up, throw you in a cell with men, and let them gang rape you". They also threatened the future of Wu's four-year-old son.

Li Tingting

Another woman, Li Tingting, was interrogated 49 times in 27 days. A global campaign to push for their release ensued, and there was an outpouring of relief on Twitter when the #FreetheFive group were released. Months later, the women remain under police surveillance. The group are pushing for their case to be withdrawn. Li Tingting told the BBC she believes the police want a swift conclusion too. "They probably want to retract the case now, because there's nothing to investigate," she explains. "They are also afraid of us demanding compensation. They need to close this case and return my passport to me."

More at BBC News

29 Nov 2015

Protests Erupt Across Turkey After Killing of Kurdish Lawyer Tahir Elci

Protests erupted in several Turkish cities after a well-known Kurdish lawyer and human rights activist was killed along with two police officers on Saturday in the southeastern city of Diyarbakir. Tahir Elci, who was president of Diyarbakir Bar Association, died when gunmen clashed with security forces following a press conference. At least 10 people were injured, including journalists. The exact circumstances of the shooting remain unclear. Video footage from the scene shows Elci, wearing a grey suit, crouching as plain-clothed policemen fire pistols and take cover behind a car. Seconds later, a presumed attacker sprints past as the officers shoot at him. Elci is then seen lying face down on the pavement with blood coming from his head.

An initial forensic report said he had died when a single bullet fired from long range hit him in the back of the neck. One policeman was killed at the scene and another died from his injuries after being taken to hospital. Interior Minister Efkan Ala said in a press briefing that the shootout began when attackers fired on security forces from inside a car. But some opposition figures alleged that Elci had been deliberately targeted by the state. The Diyarbakir Bar Association described his death as a "cowardly assassination" in a press statement, while the pro-Kurdish HDP party said he had been "viciously murdered," and urged supporters to "raise their voice" in protest.

More at VICE News

28 Nov 2015

Freedom

Woodstock 1969, Richie Havens was the festivals first performer, he held the crowd for nearly three hours (in part because he was told to perform a lengthy set because many artists were delayed in reaching the festival location), and he was called back for several encores. Having run out of tunes, he improvised a song based on the old spiritual "Motherless Child" that became "Freedom".

Black day for press

Anger over the arrest of two prominent journalists is gathering steam in Turkey. Police used pepper spray to push back protesters in Ankara rallying in their support... while in Istanbul, hundreds also gathered outside the newspaper's headquarters in a show of solidarity. RT's Ilya Petrenko was at the newspaper's headquarters on what's been dubbed the black day of the press in Turkey. (But who is RT to say..)

Ben Carson's Sarah Palin Moment

Ben Carson has a "Sarah Palin moment" and can't name a single US ally - More at the NY Times

25 Nov 2015

Mad World

Tears For Fears (1983)

Cultural figures and rights groups call for release of poet facing execution

Leading international cultural figures have joined human rights campaigners in calling for the release of Ashraf Fayadh, the Palestinian poet and artist facing execution in Saudi Arabia.

ashraf-fayadh

Chris Dercon, the director of Tate Modern, British poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, historian Simon Schama, playwright David Hare, and Egyptian novelist and commentator Ahdaf Soueif are among the those calling for the death sentence imposed on Fayadh by a Saudi court last week to be overturned.

More than a dozen organisations for artists, writers, musicians and freedom of expression from the UK, North America and Africa – including Index on Censorship, literary association PEN International and the International Association of Art Critics – have also signed a joint statement condemning Fayadh’s conviction for renouncing Islam, a charge which he denies. The statement, which will be delivered to the Saudi embassy in London by English PEN on Friday, says: “We believe that all charges against him should have been dropped entirely, and are appalled that Fayadh has instead been sentenced to death for apostasy, simply for exercising his rights to freedom of expression and freedom of belief.”

More at The Guardian

The Vikings

24 Nov 2015

NASA Fail Compilation

Glenn Greenwald on "Submissive" Media's Drumbeat for War and Anti-Muslim Scapegoating

In the aftermath of the Paris attacks, media coverage has seen familiar patterns: uncritically repeat government claims, defend expansive state power, and blame the Muslim community for the acts of a few. We discuss media fearmongering, anti-Muslim scapegoating, ISIL’s roots, and war profiteering with Glenn Greenwald, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and co-founder of The Intercept. "Every time there’s a terrorist attack, Western leaders exploit that attack to do more wars," Greenwald says. "Which in turn means they transfer huge amounts of taxpayer money to these corporations that sell arms. And so investors are fully aware that the main people who are going to benefit from this escalation as a result of Paris are not the American people or the people of the West —-— and certainly not the people of Syria — it is essentially the military-industrial complex."

Democracy Now! 

22 Nov 2015

Ukrainian nationalist leader: “ISIS is our ally in the struggle against Russia”

A Ukrainian nationalist, leader of the “Brotherhood,” Dmitry Korchinsky proposed to offer asylum to ISIS terrorists in Kiev, the former head of UNA-UNSO [Ukrainian National Assembly – Ukrainian People’s Self-defense] wrote on his social network page. According to Korchinsky, SSU (Security Service of Ukraine) must see ISIS as “allies in the struggle with Russia.”

Korchinsky

“At the G20 summit leaders of Western countries were talking to the Moscow terrorist, like he’s a human, asking him to bomb ISIS positions. That is, their attitude towards the terrorists is pragmatic. Ukrainian security services also has to be pragmatic, and therefore, effective. It is not our business to arrest the enemies of Moscow – Islamists. We should only ask them to shoot accurately at Moscow’s terrorists in the Caucasus and in Syria.

More at  Novorossia Today

20 Nov 2015

One in four children at risk of poverty in Europe

More than one in four children in Europe are at risk of poverty and social exclusion, which will have repercussions for them throughout life.

birmingham_poverty

Under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, all children should be guaranteed the right to education, health care services, housing, leisure and a balanced diet. Yet in Europe things look rather different. According to Eurostat, about 26 million children (anyone under 18) were at risk of poverty and social exclusion in 2014. This represents 27.7% of all children in the EU. Children living in poverty can be found in every EU country, even if percentages vary. Children are at greatest risk of poverty in Romania (51%), Bulgaria (45.2%) and Hungary (41.4%), whereas the percentage is much lower in countries such as Denmark (14.5%), Finland (15.6%), Sweden (16.7%). UK and Ireland are doing worse than the EU average of 27.7% with 31.3% and 33.9% (figure for 2013) respectively.

child poverty

The problem of malnutrition among children is also growing in Europe. According to Unicef, the percentage of children who cannot afford to eat meat or fish every second day has doubled in Estonia, Greece and Italy since 2008.

More at the European Parliament

Blackstar

David Bowie

19 Nov 2015

While the World Focuses on the Islamic State, Assad Keeps Bombing Doctors and Civilians

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been bombing hospitals and civilian targets, a situation made worse recently by the arrival of Russian warplanes. Russian airstrikes hit medical facilities at least 10 times during their first month of bombing in Syria, making matters even worse for doctors, nurses, and patients who have already endured repeated bombardment from Syrian government forces, according to a report from the non-profit group Physicians for Human Rights (PHR).

russian-su-25-fighter-jet

PHR said the Russian strikes, which began on September 30, included several in the vicinity of Aleppo, where 45 healthcare facilities have been hit in the past three years. According PHR, almost all of the city's doctors — 95 percent — have been killed, detained, or fled the area. The group said it documented 329 attacks on Syrian medical facilities through October, leading to the deaths of 687 medical personnel across the country. It attributed 90 percent of those incidents to the Syrian government. "Each attack, whether the bombing of a hospital or the detention and torture of a doctor for providing health care, is a war crime," said the report's authors.

More at VICE News

18 Nov 2015

16 Nov 2015

Syria's war: Who is fighting and why

Vox

Assange Reveals That The West is Behind ISIS And Ukraine Crisis And Israel Behind Hamas

Washington might hope that it has Julian Assange cornered, but despite the man’s inability to physically move anywhere, it would seem that it is he who is doing all the cornering. He explained to an Argentinian paper how US intervention in Ukraine had led to civil war, how the West had helped ISIS, and why Israel supported Hamas.

assange

The United States has spent “A lot of time Trying to Bring Ukraine to the West,” the WikiLeaks Founder said in an Interview to Pagina / 12, Argentinian newspaper on Monday. The intervention of Western countries in the Middle East had also led to  the creation of the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), an Islamist group that is currently gaining a massive following across the wider Middle East and Africa, Assange said. “The IS is A Direct result of the adventurism of the West,” Said Assange.

Isis-idiots

He says the “adventurism” of Western countries has already destroyed the Libyan and Syrian society and now is “destroying Iraq for oil and other geopolitical reasons.” He said that most people are aware of the fact that arms are being funneled into Syria, and that the same agitators who provide these are also focused on reducing Iran’s influence on Iraq. But “what we don’t know is that in recent years in recent years Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey have increased their power and managed to gain certain independence form the US.” As a result, Washington stopped being “the only geopolitical actor “pushing developments in the Middle East, claims Assange.

hamas

Assange claims that Israeli authorities had supported the Hamas group at its early stages in order to divide the Palestinian resistance. “Our cables reveal that Israel supported Hamas in its infancy, that Hamas was used as an instrument to divide the Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO] and the Palestinian resistance,” Assange said.

More at RT.com

Liberté Egalité Fraternité

Rasheed Daci

John Oliver Paris Attacks

A life is a life

Jeremy Corbyn has suggested the British media under-played terrorist attacks in Beirut and Ankara compared to its coverage of the atrocities in Paris this weekend. The Labour leader claimed the events “got hardly any publicity” and the media should “report things that happen outside of Europe as well as inside”.

Paris media coverage

On Thursday evening, over 40 people died in Beirut in an IS terror attack a day before the Paris strikes. The extremists are also believed to have been responsible for the October suicide bombings in Ankara, Turkey, which killed over 100 people. Mr Corbyn told ITV’s Lorraine Kelly this morning: “I think first of all what happened in Paris was appalling, this is a vibrant, multicultural city, young people of all faiths, and older people as well, all there together, and cultures, and this terrible thing happened.

“Likewise, which didn’t unfortunately get hardly any publicity, was the bombing in Beirut last week or the killing in Turkey. I think our media needs be able to report things that happen outside of Europe as well as inside. A life is a life.”

More at Huff. Post UK – Also see The Conversation.

14 Nov 2015

Best of Carl Sagan Arguments And Comebacks

Carl Sagan

Disguised Israeli commandos raid hospital

Israeli security service operatives infiltrated a hospital in the Palestinian West Bank on Thursday, killing a bystander while attempting to detain a suspect who allegedly carried out a stabbing, local sources say - More on RT

Paris reels after multiple terror attacks

At least 120 people were killed in a wave of simultaneous attacks on Friday evening in Paris, in the deadliest violence to strike France since World War II.

paris

Gunmen and bombers attacked busy restaurants, bars and a concert hall at six locations around Paris on Friday evening, killing scores of people in what a shaken President François Hollande described as an unprecedented terrorist attack. The apparently coordinated gun and bomb assault came as the country, a founder member of the US-led coalition waging air strikes against Islamic State group fighters in Syria and Iraq, was on high alert for terrorist attacks ahead of a global climate conference due to open later this month.

More at France 24

12 Nov 2015

Top 10 Mistakes by Hitler Showing He Was An Idiot

TopTenz

Homelessness in Hawaii

honolulu

Lohe Akau, a 55-year-old homeless construction worker, carries his bodyboard through a homeless encampment in the Kakaako district of Honolulu. Homelessness in Hawaii has grown steadily in recent years, leaving the state with the nation's highest rate of homeless people per capita. There are estimated 7,620 homeless people living on the streets in Hawaii.

More pictures at Avax News

WTF (Where They From)

It's been seven years since the last single from the superstar rapper, producer and first black female entertainment mogul, Missy "Misdemeanor" Elliott. She broke that dry spell Thursday, dropping the "WTF (Where They From)" featuring Pharrell Williams, a high-energy dance track that boasts an almost hard rock edge at times. It comes with a characteristically loud, colorful video.

Music.mic

11 Nov 2015

Atheists

Dave Foley

Ukraine Chooses Homophobia Over Europe

On Nov. 10 the Verkhovna Rada refused to pass a law that would have allowed Ukrainian citizens to have the long-awaited privilege of visa-free travel in the European Union. The reason behind the legislation’s resounding defeat? A provision preventing discrimination against gays in the workplace. This provision, which is a precondition for visa-free travel set by the EU, ignited a vociferous outcry, and ultimately turned into a red line which the Rada refused to cross.

homophobic Ukraine

“As a country with a thousand-year-old Christian history, we simply cannot allow this,” is how Rada deputy Pavlo Unguryan, a member of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s own party, explained it after a previous attempt to pass the legislation on Nov. 5 failed.

Stop discrimination

This isn’t the first homophobic news to come out of Ukraine this year: On June 6, members of the ultranationalist group Right Sector attacked Kiev’s gay pride parade, brutally injuring numerous marchers as well as police. In July, when a pair of gay activists decided to test the extent of Ukraine’s new Western values by holding hands in the middle of Kiev, they were quickly assaulted by thugs. On Nov. 2, the Kyiv Post profiled Mykola Dulskiy, the founder of a vigilante group called Fashion Verdict, whose mission, according to the article, is to “sweep promiscuity, gambling, sexual offenders and homosexuality from the streets of Ukraine’s cities.” The “verdict” is delivered in a rather straightforward manner: Members of the organization track down and beat anyone they deem degenerate.

More at Foreign Policy and Kyiv Post

The Censored Truth Of The Refugee Crisis

Today 60 million human beings are displaced from war and extreme poverty. Many European countries are responding to the crisis with racist hysteria, polices and police state measures.
Abby Martin exposes the facts that are left out of the mainstream reporting: the role of criminal wars, disastrous neoliberal economics and why mass displacement is a permanent feature under this system.

Empire Files - teleSUR English

I Can't Stand Up for Falling Down

British musician Elvis Costello and the Attractions covered the song in 1980 for his album Get Happy!!. It was one of three singles taken from the album in the UK and peaked at number 4 in the UK Singles Chart. It was supposed to be released on the 2 Tone Records label in the UK, but even though copies were pressed, contractual difficulties eventually halted its release on that label. The single was eventually released on F-Beat Records, accredited to Elvis Costello and the Attractions, but was originally a song by Sam & Dave released in 1967, written by Homer Banks and Allen Jones.

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

10 Nov 2015

Pyramid Scan Shows Strange Heat Spots At Giza Could Reveal Hidden Chambers And Passages

Ancient hidden chambers and passages not explored for thousands of years could lie behind strange heat spots discovered during a scan of the Great Pyramid at Giza. The Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities has revealed that an international team of archeologists, architects and scientists have observed the phenomena deep within the structure's core buried within its stones.

Khufu_East_Low_IR

Despite the natural tendency of stone to be cooler than other materials, significantly higher temperatures were observed in three connected blocks at the base of the pyramid. Dating as far back as 2580 BC, the group of monuments at Giza were the final resting places of pharaohs Khufu, also known as Kheops, Khafre, known as Khephren, and Menkaure, as Mycerinus.

More at Huff. Post

9 Nov 2015

Gangsters

The Specials (1979)

The Primate Genocide Happening Right Now That The World Needs To Know About

The genocide of thousands of primates, as well as the destruction of some of the world’s most diverse and vital habitats is currently – and quietly – occurring. Palm oil is something the majority of use will use every day. It is an ingredient found in everyday products such as breadsticks, shampoos, toothpaste and chocolate. Many of the household products we use utilize palm oil because it is cheap to source. However, it seems this cheap produce comes at a devastating cost.

Orangutan

In order to clear the way for palm oil plantations, vast expanses of untouched rainforests in countries like Borneo, Sumatra, Indonesia and Malasia, are being destroyed and levelled, at a scale and speed which is staggering. Like many cases before this one, it is those without a voice – the poor, vulnerable and native residents, as well as the wildlife – which is paying the price. It is evident that the large companies simply do not care about the destruction homes, displacement of people and endangering of wildlife.

palm-oil

Deforestation workers are instructed to dispose of any wildlife which stands in their way – no matter how inhumane the process. Tragically, this involved running over orangutans with logging trucks. In the past 20 years, 90% of the orangutan habitat has been destroyed. Just look at the pictures, it may not be nice to learn, but this destruction is something we all should be aware of.

More at The Unbounded Spirit

The US norm of Police Violence

Early Friday morning, this man was slammed to the ground by Austin police – for jaywalking.

Bill Maher and “The Hateful Eight” filmmaker Quentin Tarantino discuss his recent efforts to call attention.

8 Nov 2015

British Queen faces legal battle over Koh-i-Noor diamond

The British Queen faces a legal battle over a £100million diamond which forms part of the Crown Jewels. India claims that the Koh-i-Noor gem was stolen by the British after colonisation of the Punjab. Now a group of Indian businessmen and Bollywood members have instructed British lawyers to begin High Court proceedings to force the UK government to return it.

queen-s-speech

They will argue that the 105-carat diamond is part of their country’s heritage. The gem, whose name means Mountain of Light, was a “gift” to Queen Victoria in 1850. It was first used in Queen Alexandra’s crown at her husband King Edward VII’s coronation in 1902.

It is now set in the late Queen Mother’s crown at The Tower of London. The case comes in the week India’s PM Narendra Modi is to visit the Queen.

From The Sun

7 Nov 2015

Former Putin aide Mikhail Lesin found dead in US hotel

A former aide to Russian President Vladimir Putin has been found dead in Washington DC, Russian officials say. Mikhail Lesin, 57, Russia's former press minister and a one-time head of the powerful Gazprom-Media Holding group, died on Thursday, they said. Russian media, quoting his family, said he suffered a heart attack.

Putin_Lesin

The Washington Post quoted Russian embassy officials as saying Mr Lesin's body was found in a room at the Dupont Circle hotel. It reported that police were investigating the death of a man but that he had not yet been formally identified.

Last year, Mississippi senator Roger Wicker called for an investigation into Mr Lesin, saying his fortune "raises serious questions". In a letter to the US Department of Justice, Sen Wicker said Mr Lesin bought property worth $28m (£18.6m) in Los Angeles for his family after finishing work as a civil servant. Sen Wicker asked how a former civil servant would have been able to buy and maintain expensive property, and expressed concern their purchase may have involved people and groups on a US sanctions list.

More at BBC News

The Lost Tribes Of Israel

The mystery of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel has fascinated people through the ages. Explorers claim to have discovered evidence of the "lost tribes" all over the world, from Australia to Siberia, but few if any such claims have been backed up by solid evidence. But now a provocative possibility about the whereabouts of one of the tribes has emerged--and it's 4,000 miles from Israel--in Southern Africa. Host and explorer Josh Bernstein retraces the amazing journey that the Lemba people claim they made centuries ago. It stretches from the heart of modern South Africa to the ancient stone cities of Zimbabwe...and then onto the shores of the Mediterranean and the city of Jerusalem. And the evidence for this journey is more than anecdotal. As Josh discovers, recent DNA studies point to the Lemba's true origin in the Middle East.

4 Nov 2015

City of Refuge

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Maldives declares state of emergency as turmoil deepens

The Maldives declared a state of emergency on Wednesday, as President Abdulla Yameen sought to shore up his power over the Indian Ocean island nation following a suspected assassination attempt. Citing a threat to national security, the foreign ministry announced on its official Twitter feed that emergency rule would remain in force for 30 days. The authorities acted after discovering explosive devices near Yameen's official residence and the main mosque in the capital Male, as well as stashes of weapons believed to have been stolen from army stores. "Because these would be a threat to the public and the nation, the National Security Council advised taking immediate steps to protect the people of Maldives," Attorney General Mohamed Anil said in a live televised address.

Abdulla Yameen

The imposition of emergency rule, for the first time under a constitution passed in 2008, came two days before a demonstration planned by the main opposition party. The string of tropical islands, home to 400,000 people and a favourite of tourists, has been in turmoil since a Sept. 28 blast on board Yameen's launch as it was about to dock at the capital, Male. Yameen was unhurt but his wife and two aides were injured in the explosion, which the government quickly concluded was an attempt on his life.

Maldives declares state of emergency

Senior ministers told Reuters the government would only make use of limited powers to restrict the right of assembly. There would no curfew or arbitrary detention. "Please go ahead with your holidays - the Maldives are a peaceful country," Foreign Minister Dunya Maumoon told Reuters. "There has never been a major incident targeting tourists."

More at The Star OnlineThe Guardian

3 Nov 2015

Shell accused of lying over Nigeria oil spill clean-up

Shell has been accused of making false claims about the extent of its oil spill clean-up operations in Nigeria and urged to take more action to help worst-hit communities. Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) charged the oil major with failing to implement recommendations from a critical 2011 UN report. Amnesty and the CEHRD's claims come in a new report, "Clean It Up: Shell's False Claims about Oil Spill Response in the Niger Delta".

shell-in-nigeria

The 38-page document said most of the recommendations of a UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report had not been implemented since its publication five years ago. Thirteen out of 15 areas visited between July and September this year were still "visibly polluted" or contaminated, despite claims to the contrary by Shell and the government. The inadequate clean up left thousands of people "exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades," said Amnesty researcher Mark Dummett.

More at Al Jazeera English

Transmission

Joy Division (Peel Sessions 1979)

2 Nov 2015

Promises and Betrayals in the Middle East

Documentary on how British double-dealing during the First World War ignited the conflict between Arab and Jew in the Middle East.
This is a story of intrigue among rival empires; of misguided strategies; and of how conflicting promises to Arab and Jew created a legacy of bloodshed which determined the fate of the Middle East.

The Pride of Strathmoor

Extracts from the journal of Pastor John Deitman, Strathmoor, Georgia. June & July, 1927

From Einar Baldvin

31 Oct 2015

2 Tone Ska

In the second episode of the series Under the Influence, Noisey examine the late-70s ska revival in the UK, a movement built upon the fusion of punk rock and traditional ska. Led by the Specials, we look at how the cultural climate of the time period in the UK inspired the founding of 2 Tone Records and how that led to the ska movement in the 80s and 90s.

Noisey

Publisher And Two Secular Writers Hacked To Death In Bangladesh

A publisher of a slain online critic of religious militancy was hacked to death on Saturday in the Bangladesh capital, police said, hours after similar attacks on two secular writers and another publisher in the majority-Muslim country. Faysal Arefin published books by Avijit Roy, a U.S. citizen of Bangladeshi origin who was killed by Islamists militants in the same way in February.

Faysal Arefin

Militants have targeted secularist writers in Bangladesh in recent years, as the government has cracked down on Islamist groups seeking to turn the South Asian nation of 160 million people into a sharia-based state. The country has also been rocked by attacks in which two foreigners were shot dead and a Shi'ite shrine in Dhaka was bombed. In the earlier attacks on Saturday, two secular writers and another publisher of Roy were stabbed and shot in Dhaka.

Huff. Post - .StraitsTimes.comAlJazeera

30 Oct 2015

Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer

Russian police raid Ukrainian library in Moscow

Armed and masked police raided a Moscow library specialising in Ukrainian literature before dawn on Thursday (October 29), confiscating books they said contained “anti-Russian propaganda”.

The library’s manager, a 58 year old woman, has been accused of “inciting ethnic hatred” and risks up to five years in prison. “I don’t understand who this is targeting” said Tatiana Muntyan, one of the library’s employees. “The librarians here are Russian citizens and the readers are Russian citizens. Perhaps, because of our name, some people get the impression that this is some kind of stronghold of Russophobia within Russia, or that Ukrainian nationalists created an organization here. That’s just completely wrong.”

More at euronews

29 Oct 2015

Almost Loved

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir

Explaining the economy

UK reporter Jonathan Pie eloquently explains the economy.

Raif Badawi wins EU's Sakharov human rights prize

Raif Badawi, the Saudi blogger and activist sentenced to 10 years in prison and 1,000 lashes for insulting Islam, has won the EU’s Sakharov prize for human rights.

Raif Badawi in 2012

The announcement was greeted on Thursday with a standing ovation at the European parliament in Strasbourg, France, but will be seen by Saudi Arabia as another diplomatic slight at a time when its domestic and international policies are coming under growing criticism. Martin Schulz, the European parliament president, said: “I urge the king of Saudi Arabia to free him [Badawi], so he can accept the prize.”

Named after the Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, the award was created in 1988 to honour people and organisations defending human rights and fundamental freedoms. Badawi was one of three nominees this year, along with the Venezuelan opposition movement Mesa de la Unidad Democrática and the assassinated Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

More at The Guardian

100,000 North Koreans sent abroad as ‘slaves’

Tens of thousands of impoverished North Koreans have been sent abroad to work as “state-sponsored slaves” whose wages are confiscated and used to buy luxury goods for the regime, human rights activists have claimed.

north koreans in quatar

The practice, used since the 1980s to help fill the hermit kingdom’s coffers, has reportedly accelerated under Kim Jong-un, who took power following the death of Kim Jong-il, his father, in 2011. Until 2012 there were thought to be up to 65,000 North Korean workers around the globe, often in terrible conditions. That number has since risen to around 100,000, activists told The New York Times.

Ahn Myeong-chul, the head of NK Watch, a Seoul-based rights group, told the newspaper Pyongyang was “exploiting their labour and salaries to fatten the private coffers of Kim Jong-un. We suspect that Kim is using some of the money to buy luxury goods for his elite followers and finance the recent building boom in Pyongyang that he has launched to show off his leadership.”

More at the Telegraph

A year ago The Rubin Report already reported:

28 Oct 2015

The EU Implementation of the Brezhnev Doctrine

Nigel Farage

Working Class Hero

Marianne Faithfull

Turkish police storm critical media group

Turkish riot police stormed the headquarters of critical media outlets in İstanbul shortly after dawn on Wednesday, with journalists from the paper making fruitless efforts to prevent them from entering into the building.

turkish police vs journalists

"Dear viewers, do not be surprised if you see police in our studio in the upcoming minutes," an anchor from Bugün TV, which is one of the seized media outlets, said as he narrated the drama unfolding outside the media company. Hundreds of people, most of them journalists from media outlets affiliated with Koza İpek Holding, thronged outside the headquarters of the company to protest the seizure of the media companies by the Turkish government.

Mahmut Tanal, a lawmaker from the Republican People's Party (CHP), tried to negotiate with police chiefs, but the riot police proceeded to enter the building, where four media outlets are operating. Police routinely used pepper spray and frequent brawls erupted as they occupied the building.

blood

A reporter from the newspaper tweeted his bloody hands to show how he was injured while resisting police who tried to occupy his office.

More at Today's Zaman - Bugün TV

27 Oct 2015

Israeli Soldier Costume for Kids

 

idf

Your little one can now go to his friend's house, and take over their bedroom, and all of their toys and claim that God has given him/her the right to take it. If the friend refuses, your little IDF soldier can respond with force, and if they fight back, claim anti-semitism, the right to defend their new room full of God given toys and level the whole family and neighborhood block!

Israeli Soldier Costume for Kids - Size M - Walmart.com

26 Oct 2015

Strong evidence of Genocide in Myanmar

There is “strong evidence” of genocide in Myanmar against its Rohingya minority That’s according to a report by Yale University Law School, obtained exclusively by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit. It blames the government for the crime against around one million Muslim Rohingya who live in the west of the country.

Al Jazeera English

'Chewbacca' arrested as he drives 'Darth Vader' to Ukrainian polling station

Chewbacca may have pretended to be a prisoner on occasion but this arrest appeared quite real. A man dressed as the famous Wookie, chauffeuring a mayoral candidate running as Darth Vader, was arrested in Ukraine after refusing to show documentation to police. The Sith Lord's ambitions for power have taken a much more local focus, as he is currently standing to become mayor of Odessa.

DarthVader Seizes Odessa

Upon arrival at the polling station 'Chewie' was unable to bypass police, who were reportedly enacting the law that prohibits candidates' canvassing on the day of voting. It took four officers to bring the Wookie to justice, forcing him onto the bonnet of a police van.

The Daily Dot reported that the pair are part of the country's Internet Party, whose mayoral candidate is legally named Darth Vader. Chewbacca was then transferred to court, where RT reported he was fined a sum equivalent to around £5 that he was unable to pay, claiming "his funds are in an intergalactic bank that has no branches on this planet."

More at The Independent

Bonus: Chewbacca by Supernova