General News


Isis 'Controls 50% of Syria' After Seizing Historic City of Palmyra Islamic State is thought to be holding sway over half of Syria's landmass after its seizure of Palmyra, where it has reportedly begun massacring a rebellious tribe and faces no opposition to sacking the city's ancient ruins. "There are no forces to stop them [entering the ruins]," Rami Abdurrahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said. "But the important thing also is they now control 50% of Syria." ...

Global decline of large herbivores may lead to an 'empty landscape' The decline of the world's large herbivores, especially in Africa and parts of Asia, is raising the specter of an "empty landscape" in some of the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, according to a newly published study. Many populations of animals such as rhinoceroses, zebras, camels, elephants and tapirs are diminishing or threatened with extinction in grasslands, savannahs, deserts and forests, scientists say. An interna...

John Roberts Basically Thinks It's OK When Politicians Just Do What Wealthy Donors Say When it comes to campaign finance law, Chief Justice John Roberts taketh away even as he giveth. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court upheld a state campaign finance law banning judicial candidates from soliciting contributions for their elections in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar. The majority opinion, written by Roberts, was a surprising move by a court that has recently been hostile to all campaign finance regulation. But it a...

Natylie Baldwin: 3 Western Media Myths About Russia For those open-minded enough to look, Russia is undergoing a gradual process of creating a post-Soviet national and cultural identity. As Paul Grenier discusses in his most recent article, Distorting Putin's Favorite Philosophers, Russia has a strong philosophical and cultural tradition to draw upon in this quest. Russia will also likely borrow some elements from the West, but they will never be a carbon copy of the United Sta 6 

Brian Lynch: New Data Confirms Racial Bias in Fatal Police Encounter A new analysis of newly collected data about people killed in police encounters confirms that more African-Americans are killed in every region of the country, and in most states, than should be expected by chance alone. 22 

Democrats' Civil War Over Trade Deal The most important trade bill in a decade has pitted Harry Reid against President Barack Obama. Liberal Democrat Rosa DeLauro against moderate Democrat Ron Kind. Labor unions against pro-business Democrats. And Elizabeth Warren against virtually everyone who supports a landmark piece of legislation that would allow the president to close what could be the biggest free-trade deal in history. The open warring among Democrats ov...

The Clear and Present Danger of Dark Money in Judicial Elections Scott Walker recently unseated his sharpest opponent. But you won't learn that from much of the media coverage. The fact that the law change was slipped onto the ballot just as the John Doe criminal probe of Walker and his big money allies came before the court, was not worth mentioning in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. As PRwatch reported, WMC spent $600,000 in its effort to unseat the Chief Justice. It spent $7 million to ... 1 

Indiana Pizza Parlor Reportedly Becomes First Business To Reject Catering Gay Weddings A family-owned pizza parlor is causing a media stir after reportedly becoming the first business to publicly vow to reject gay weddings in the wake of Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The owners of Memories Pizza in Walkerton said theirs is a "Christian establishment" and that they agree with Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who has come under fire after signing the bill, which allows business owners to ci... 6 

Colin Powell's Suggested Response to Voter ID Laws: Register, Vote & Defeat Voter ID Supporters Voter ID Laws are the tip of the Suppression of Democracy Iceberg, with the remainder of the Iceberg consisting of gerrymandering and support of SCOTUS 5-4 campaign financing and repeal of voter rights decisions. Many of the states with unrealistic Voter ID laws have unrealistically gerrymandered their congressional districts and would be unlikely to support Constitutional Amendments to overturn the Citizens United, McCutcheon... 2 
Nina Beety: ISIL is not Muslim, says senior State Department official Who and what are ISIL? What is the source of the terrorism in the Middle East? On March 6, State Department Special Envoy Daniel Rubenstein stated that ISIL is not Muslim. Evidence from intelligence experts, Iraqi Parliament, and a mainstream media source show that ISIL is a creation of the West, receiving supplies, protection, and sponsorship by the West and its allies. What does this mean? Where is this headed? 2 

Jeb Bush to Visit an Iowa Where Fatigue With His Family Has Set In Sheryl McDonald, a retiree, voted for both Presidents Bush. "But I'm finding out they did some things we got stuck with," she said. "I do not want to see Jeb Bush run," she added. "He turns me off." Scarcely anyone at a meeting of the Green County Republican Party here in central Iowa recently had anything kind to say about Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor. They objected to his moderate stances on immigration and educa...

France's National Front: Marine Le Pen's party is leading in the polls ahead of next month's local elections The popularity of France's National Front party continues to grow apace, with a new poll placing Marine Le Pen's party as favourites in next month's local elections. According to an Ifop survey commissioned by Le Figaro newspaper, the National Front enjoy the support of 30 per cent of the public, ahead of a combined score of 28 per cent for the conservative UMP and centrist UDI parties. President Francois Hollande's Socialist ... 2 

43 Years of Injustice: Amnesty International interviews the UN's Juan Mendez about Albert Woodfox of the Angola 3 Amnesty International has just released a new video entitled "Free Albert Woodfox: 43 Years of Injustice," featuring an interview with Juan Mendez, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment. The video supports Amnesty's new petition campaign focusing on Albert's pending application for release on bail. In 2013, declaring that "Four decades in solitary confinement can on...
Understanding Syriza An extensive interview with Tom Vouloumanos, a Greek-Canadian and a member of Syriza's International Solidarity Campaign, on his work and on Syriza's ideology. Includes Syriza's concepts of socialism and democracy and Vouloumanos' own personal reasons to join the Campaign. 5 

New online action for Albert Woodfox launched today by Amnesty International; Please sign! Today, Amnesty Intl. USA initiated a new petition in support of Albert Woodfox's Feb. 6 bail request that he filed in response to the favorable Fifth Circuit Court ruling on Feb. 3 that denied Louisiana AG Buddy Caldwell's appeal of Albert's third overturned conviction. Urging people to sign the new petition launched today, Jasmine Heiss of Amnesty Intl USA declares: "Allowing Albert his freedom is the only just and humane act...

Jeb Bush's Eye-Popping Event: $100,000 Per Ticket "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will raise money on Wall Street on Wednesday at an eye-popping $100,000 per-ticket Park Avenue event hosted by private equity mogul Henry Kravis and his wife. "The price of admission to the event, which will raise funds for Bush's 'Right to Rise' super PAC, surprised even Wall Street veterans used to high-dollar fundraisers." 1 

NOLA Times-Picayune: Angola 3's Albert Woodfox, imprisoned in solitary for 40-plus years, gets another victory in court Albert Woodfox garnered another victory in court this week in his quest to be freed after more than 40 years in solitary confinement. A U.S. Appeals Court on Feb. 3 denied the Louisiana AG's request for a full review of a decision by a three-judge panel, which rendered it in November, overturning Woodfox's conviction in the 1972 murder of a prison guard. Amnesty International has called for Woodfox's release. The New York Time...

U.S. Research Lab Lets Livestock Suffer in Quest for Profit: Animal Welfare at Risk in Experiments for Meat Industry At a remote research center on the Nebraska plains, scientists are using surgery and breeding techniques to re-engineer the farm animal to fit the needs of the 21st-century meat industry. The potential benefits are huge: animals that produce more offspring, yield more meat and cost less to raise. Pigs are having many more piglets -- up to 14, instead of the usual eight -- but hundreds of those newborns, too frail or crowded to... 2 

France's Pro-White Party Seizes The Moment -- And The Youth "'I've always had these ideas,' Froger said. The Front National gave her somewhere to fit them. At first, when Leborgne got to college she didn't admit that she was a member. 'I didn't say I was, because I was afraid they would react badly,' she said, referring to other students. 'But when I said it, nothing changed.' Encouraging poll numbers, a changing, more youthful image, and a fearful political and economic climate: These...

European American genomes 98.6 percent European Now in the largest study of its kind conducted so far, researchers at 23andMe and Harvard University have published the results of a genetic analysis of ancestry among the American people. The study itself is quite impressive, conducted with 160,000 people who agreed to allow their data to be used anonymously for research purposes... Such huge sample numbers, which are "an order of magnitude bigger" according to an author of t...

Pegida marches: 25,000 join anti-Islamification protests in Germany following Paris attacks Germany's growing anti-Islamic protest movement registered its largest attendance on Monday with 25,000 supporters turning out in what organisers described as a tribute to the victims of the terror attacks in Paris. Pegida started out in mid-October with a demonstration in Dresden attended by about 200 supporters. In early December it attracted 15,000 supporters. On 22 December a record 17,500 attended the movement's weekly Mo...

In Kenya, Baby Elephant Fights to Survive After Poachers Poisoned Her Mother "MASAI MARA, Kenya--One day last October, a mother elephant and her ten-month-old calf were seen playing together on the plains of the Masai Mara National Reserve when a passing tourist photographed the tranquil scene. Twenty-four hours later, on October 22, the young calf was spotted again--this time standing over her mother's poisoned carcass, seemingly reluctant to leave her side. The young calf had her head down, and her t... 1 

Iceland to Withdraw EU Application: Prime Minister "Icelandic Prime Minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson was cited as saying that participation in EU talks isn't valid any more. MOSCOW, January 6 (Sputnik) -- Iceland is expected to withdraw its application to become a member of the European Union, the Reykjavik Grapevine reported Monday, citing the country's prime minister. In an interview with the Icelandic Morgunbladid newspaper on Monday, Birgir Armannsson, chairman of the... 2 

B Blake: Tsarnaev trial set to begin as potential jurors openly admit they are prejudiced The trial of suspected Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to go ahead Monday, despite potential jurors in the case openly admitting to bias towards the defendant, some calling for him to face 'the electric chair'. 5 

New rules create "Chicken Disneyland": New state law requires commercial egg producers to modify cages "Frank Hilliker stood inside a henhouse at his Lakeside ranch this week surrounded by 8,000 chickens milling about as they pleased. 'I call this Chicken Disneyland,' Hilliker said, surveying the open space inside the 30-by-190 foot building where the birds -- previously kept in small cages -- now roam freely. The changes at Hilliker's Ranch Fresh Egg are being echoed up and down the state as a new law takes effect that essenti...

Nearly a third of Germans think Pegida protests justified Berlin (dpa) - Nearly a third of Germans support the protests against foreigners that have been swelling in the country in recent weeks, a survey published Thursday in German news magazine Stern showed. The survey, carried out by German polling firm Forsa, showed that 29 per cent of the population think that the marches organized by the so-called Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West (Pegida) movement are ju...

Danny Weil: *Corporate Democrats aid and abet Ecuadorian Criminals Estefana Isaas was barred from coming to the United States after she was caught fraudulently obtaining visas for her maids. Then, shebang, the State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton interceded and wrote letters opposing the ban so that Ms. Isaas could work for an Obama fund-raiser with close ties to the administration. 4 

How the Fiscal Cliff has been Exacerbated by Fast-Track-Enabled Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) Days before the 2002 vote on Fast Track Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform (ATR), predicted that its passage would: Be the most important tax cut of the next decade, Create millions of jobs, Boost the financial markets, Secure democratic governments throughout the Western Hemisphere, Reduce the pressures of mass immigration, Be greatest economic stimulus we can ask for, Give the president a powerfu...

1,825 Officer-Involved Killings Between 2007 and 2012 More than 550 law-enforcement killings were not included in FBI statistics between 2007 and 2012, according to an analysis by the Wall Street Journal, which concluded it is nearly impossible to tally how many people are killed by police officers in any given year. Police killings have come under increased scrutiny following a spate of fatal shootings, most notably the August shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Miss... 1 
Martin Hill: Free And Independent Media & Free Flow Of Information Key In Preventing Terrorism, Experts Proclaim In Annual Report The Global Terrorism Index includes some important information about independent media in a free society.

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