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Mon, 29 Nov 2021
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Heart - Black

US: Federal Agency Cancels Water Delivery to Pennsylvania Town

Residents' wells were found to be tainted by a natural gas drilling operation
© Unknown

Allentown, Pennsylvania - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency abruptly changed its mind Saturday about delivering fresh water to residents of a northeastern Pennsylvania village where residential wells were found to be tainted by a natural gas drilling operation.

Only 24 hours after promising them water, EPA officials informed residents of Dimock that a tanker truck wouldn't be coming after all. The about-face left residents furious, confused and let down - and, once again, scrambling for water for bathing, washing dishes and flushing toilets.

Agency officials would not explain why they reneged on their promise, or say whether water would be delivered at some point.

"We are actively filling information gaps and determining next steps in Dimock. We have made no decision at this time to provide water," EPA spokeswoman Betsaida Alcantara said in an email to The Associated Press.

It's not clear how many wells in the rural community of Dimock Township were affected by the drilling. The state has found that at least 18 residential water wells were polluted.


New Bill Known As Enemy Expatriation Act Would Allow Government To Strip Citizenship Without Conviction

Joe Lieberman
© unknown
Joe Lieberman
First, Congress considered the National Defense Authorization Act, sections of which gave the President the authority to use the military to arrest and indefinitely detain Americans without trial or charge. The language was revised because of strong condemnation from the American people. But now a new bill has emerged that poses yet another threat to the American citizenry.

Congress is considering HR 3166 and S. 1698 also known as the Enemy Expatriation Act, sponsored by Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Charles Dent (R-PA). This bill would give the US government the power to strip Americans of their citizenship without being convicted of being "hostile" against the United States. In other words, you can be stripped of your nationality for "engaging in, or purposefully and materially supporting, hostilities against the United States." Legally, the term "hostilities" means any conflict subject to the laws of war but considering the fact that the War on Terror is a little ambiguous and encompassing, any action could be labeled as supporting terrorism. Since the Occupy movement began, conservatives have been trying to paint the protesters as terrorists.


Egyptian Protesters Slam US Meddling

Egyptian protesters have condemned the United States' interference in their country's internal affairs, demanding the closure of US embassy in Cairo.
© Press TV

Chanting anti-US slogans, the demonstrators gathered outside the US embassy in the capital Cairo on Saturday to protest what they described as Washington's meddling in their country's internal affairs.

The demonstrators accused the US of meddling in Egypt's recent general elections and called for the expulsion of US ambassador to Cairo.

The protests came a week after Egyptian military forces raided offices of several NGOs (nongovernmental organizations) in Egypt, accusing them of receiving financial support from the US.

Heart - Black

Guantanamo Ex-Prisoner Reveals Torture

© unknown
Algerian Guantanamo Bay ex-detainee Saber Lahmar
A former inmate at the US detention center of Guantanamo Bay has disclosed details of humiliation and torture he suffered during eight years in the prison.

Saber Lahmar explained that he was deprived of sleeping and food and there was constant noise from a motor outside his door.

"You couldn't walk, move, talk -- it was forbidden," said the 42-year-old Algerian, who successfully appealed for freedom in a civilian court in Washington in 2008.

The court found no evidence of Lahmar's alleged crimes or that he was a threat to the United States.

Lahmar, who arrived in the prison in January 2002, also said that he was subjected to electric shocks and there were drugs in his food, which stopped him sleeping.


Royal Navy Sends Its Mightiest Ship to Take on the Iranian Show of Force in the Gulf

© PA
The £1 billion destroyer carries the world's most sophisticated naval radar, capable of tracking multiple incoming threats from missiles to fighter jets
The Royal Navy's most formidable warship is being sent to the Gulf for its first mission as tensions rise in the strategically vital region, it can be disclosed.

Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, which served as the conduit for 17 millions barrels of oil every day last year.

Naval commanders believe the deployment of HMS Daring, a Type 45 destroyer, will send a significant message to the Iranians because of the firepower and world-beating technology carried by the warship.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has publicly warned Iran that any blockade of the Strait of Hormuz would be "illegal and unsuccessful".

The Daily Telegraph understands that HMS Daring has been fitted with new technology that will give it the ability to shoot down any missile in Iran's armoury. The £1 billion destroyer, which will leave Portsmouth next Wednesday, also carries the world's most sophisticated naval radar, capable of tracking multiple incoming threats from missiles to fighter jets.

Daring, with its crew of 190, will transit through the Suez Canal and enter the Gulf later this month to replace the Type 23 frigate currently on station.


US: Pro-Settler Santorum Claims Mexico and the West Bank

Unraveling the GOP candidate's baffling statements about Israel and the Palestinians
Rick Santorum
© Phelan Ebenehack / Reuters
Rick Santorum's Manifest Destiny

Following Rick Santorum's sudden and unanticipated rise to prominence during the Iowa caucuses, there has been a rush to review the earlier and more obscure phase of his presidential campaign to see what newsworthy tidbits might have been overlooked when the spotlights were all shining on Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

One of Santorum's gems in the rough was initially uncovered back in November by the ThinkProgress blogger Eli Clifton and Philip Weiss, and returned to this week by a blogger at The Jewish Week . Santorum said, among other things, "all the people who live in the West Bank are Israelis, they're not Palestinians."

It was a reminder that two weeks before Newt Gingrich claimed that Palestinians are an invented people, Santorum had also denied their existence.

But whereas Gingrich's vilification of the Palestinians was merely a nasty example of crude cynicism, Santorum's seemed both more sincere and more intimately tied up with his ignorance not only of the question of Palestine but - more alarmingly perhaps - of American history as well.


US: Rick Perry: Re-Invade Iraq

© The Associated Press/Elise Amendola
Texas Gov. Rick Perry answers a question during a Republican presidential candidate debate at St. Anselm College in Goffstown, N.H.
Rick Perry endorsed deploying American forces to Iraq again in Saturday night's GOP debate, saying that the United States cannot afford to "allow the Iranians to come back into Iraq and take over that country."

The Texas governor accused President Barack Obama of cutting and running from the conflict in Iraq too early, in order to placate Democrats.

"This president wants to kowtow to his liberal, leftist base and move out those men and women," Perry said. "He could have renegotiated that time frame."

Perry's fellow Republicans declined to join him in calling for a return of U.S. troops to Iraqi soil.


Ahmadinejad Seeks Stronger Latin American Ties

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,Hugo Chávez
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Hugo Chávez
Under pressure at home and facing a fresh wave of economic sanctions, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is seeking the company of friends - in Latin America.

Starting today, Ahmadinejad will be on a four-nation tour that includes U.S. antagonists Venezuela, Nicaragua, Cuba and Ecuador.

The trip comes as the United States and the European Union are increasing economic sanctions on Iran in hopes of forcing it to halt its nuclear program. Iran insists its aims are peaceful, but many fear the regime has military ambitions. The sanctions come as Ahmadinejad's party is facing parliamentary elections - the first vote since the 2009 presidential race that led to bloody protests.

"As responsible nations toughen sanctions on Iran and the regime becomes increasingly isolated, it makes sense that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would seek a helping hand from fellow dictators and human rights abusers," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., who has dubbed the visit the "Tour of Tyrants."


Argentina's Fernandez Sent Home, Never Had Cancer

Cristina Fernandez
© unknown
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez
Argentine President Cristina Fernandez never had cancer despite being diagnosed with the disease last month and having her thyroid gland removed on January 4, her spokesman said on Saturday.

The government announced just after Christmas that the recently re-elected leader had thyroid cancer.

The operation to remove the gland went well, but when it was later analyzed it turned out to have never contained cancerous cells, said spokesman Alfredo Scoccimaro.

"The original diagnosis has been modified," he told a news conference. "The presence of cancer cells was discarded."

Fernandez was originally diagnosed with papillary carcinoma.

Buenos Aires-based thyroid cancer expert Eduardo Faure, who is not on the president's medical team, said a small number of such cases turn out to be "false positives," meaning that no cancer is present.

Bad Guys

How Stephen Harper's Neo-Cons Destroyed Canada's International Reputation and Cost Us a Seat at the Security Council

Stephen Harper
© unknown
Stephen Harper
Like many people around the planet, Canadians spent much of this millennium's first decade mocking the US for being led by a group of war-mongering, anti-environment, Judeo-Christian fundamentalist, hypersecretive neoconservatives.

But since 2005, Canada has had its own version bunkered inside the PMO: the Stephen Harper neo-cons. Owing to particularly effective political craft, the minority government has successfully outmanoeuvred every political party in the country. And according to Yves Engler, author of books such as The Black Book of Canadian Foreign Policy, Harper's international swaggering has cost Canada its reputation and a seat on the United Nations Security Council.

But how?

The Democratic Republic of Congo is one of the most materially rich countries on the planet, and has been under colonial occupation and genocide, neo-colonial dictatorship or war and civil war for a century and a half. Foreign companies, including Canada's First Quantum, have exploited the DRC's instability to win mining concessions; First Quantum drew UN censure for doing so. The DRC has since been attempting, against great odds, to put its house back in order, including by asserting energy sovereignty.