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by Naomi Wolf
Editor's Top News Picks
New global trend: shooting your own people when they protest your oppression. Saudis reportedly attacking their own citizens.
MAJOR creepiness factor: iris recognition and other biometrics coming soon to your iPhone -- or someone else's -- and other devices?
$81 million spent on 'the world's largest conventional bomb' -- the 'bunker-buster' (who thinks up these perverse, sadistic names?) -- which is being discussed by US leadership as DESIGNED for Iran -- a country with which we are not at war. If the roles were reversed would we not cry 'terrorist threat'?
Must-read from Al Jazeera on the future of drones...crusial for us to understand in the US, where 2013 will see 100 plus drone rollouts nationwide.
Police in Anaheim, CA use batons and pepperballs on protesters who are opposing racial profiling and the death by police gunfire of an unarmed man.
So now Syria is raising the threat of chemical weapons deployment if the West aggresses against it. I would like more evidence as to why these threats are taken by the West at face value -- how do we know that Syria has Sarin, etc? I invite better sourcing than the Independent offers, and other news outlets, of posts that can confirm this allegation. We have had WMD dramas before, and too often the Western press has simply taken dictation from the State Department and 10 Downing Street about the nature of those threats -- or 'threats'. I am open to believing it but we need better documentation.
Please read this New York Times report of the Syrian 'WMD" carefully. As you see, none of the sources ciuted is confirming that weapons actually exist -- as opposed to confirming that a Syrian verbal threat actually exists. The only sources cited that asserts confirmation of actual Syrian WMD is...the US State Department spokesperson and CIA reports to Congress. But the actual documents are not quoted or linked or cited; so how do we know what they said? Since they are not classified, why not link them to the article? We should recall the not-glorious recent history of State Department and CIA 'cherrypicking' of similar reports about WMD (or "WMD") in Iraq -- and the recent New York Times' not-glorious history of credulous transcription about those unfounded reports -- and ask for more documentation so we can assess this evidence for ourselves. If you agree -- why should the State Department share the info just with Times reporters and not with the rest of the nation? -- tweet Arthur S. Brisbane, the Times Ombudsman @thepubliceditor.
A powerful Al Jazeera expose on the plight of US homeless and suicidal veterans; shame a more local news outlet is not asking, 'Does the US Do Enough for its War Veterans?"
How does this sound reasonable? The person chosen to lead the investigation in to the Barclays' LIBOR-fixing scandal is Anthony Salz -- who is equipped to be independent and impartial because he is -- a former corporate lawyer turned banker who now advises the Rothschild financial group? In other words -- a colleague of the folks he is investigating, currently representing and advising bankers -- not those who use banks or were defrauded by manipulated bank products? The phrase about foxes and henhouses comes to mind.
Mexico fines HSBC $27 million on its Mexican money laundering -- which brought in billions in profits and destroyed countless lives -- including those of the sixty-plus reporters dead from covering drug wars -- drug wars fueled by...laundered money.
Oh the revolving door between big banks and government officials and the corruption that so often accompanies it.
More big banks 'Ooopses' that just happen to ...make them a lot of money at your expense! Almost three-quarter of a million Nationwide Bank customers in the UK were overcharged because of `human error'...odd how the errors pretty much never give 700,000 clients more money inadvertently.
Ooops! NatWest customers can't access their accounts at all...as Nationwide tells its customers that if they were doublecharged, they will have the amount itself refunded but clients will have to fight to get overdraft fees refunded separately...it is the overdraft fees that represent the giant profits.
Prosecutors say they can prove a 'criminal conspiracy' at the heart of the News of the World -- Rebekah Brooks and Cameron's former right-hand guy Andrew Coulson now face charges. Could this be why Murdoch is at last so willing to take his fingerprints off of the news biz in the UK?
Big news! Is the tide turning at last? After the NCAA's 60 million dollar fine for the Penn State child abuse coverup, Monsignor involved in sex abuse coverup goes to jail.
Conny Jensen rightly warns that reporters are being treated as stenographers by the White House: Worrisome! "Under President Obama, the insistence on blanket anonymity has grown to new levels... Reporters may paraphrase but they are forbidden to put anything in quotation marks or identify the speakers."
The Assange case gets even stranger....Ecuador braves the US and Sweden's ire in asking if the publisher faces extradition from Ecuador.
:: photo courtesy of Gabriel Saldana, via Creative Commons license ::
Author & political activist Naomi Wolf raises awareness of the pervasive inequities that exist in society and politics. She encourages people to take charge of their lives, voice their concerns and enact change.