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Mon, 29 Nov 2021
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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.


Canada: Harper Decries Threat of Iran to World Peace, Says Sanctions Working

Stephen Harper
© unknown
Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper has called the escalating standoff between Iran and the West the greatest threat to world peace.

The prime minister offered that assessment of the growing tensions in the Persian Gulf during an interview Thursday on an Alberta radio program.

"Your listeners should be under no illusion, Iran is a very serious threat to international peace and security. In my judgment, it is the world's most serious threat to international peace and security," Harper said during an appearance on the Rutherford Show, an Alberta-wide radio call-in program.

Harper also said he has no doubt Iran wants a nuclear weapon and would be prepared to use one.

"This is a regime that wants to acquire nuclear weapons ... and has indicated some desire to actually use nuclear weapons," he said.

Harper's remark about Iran expressing a desire to use a nuclear weapon appears to fly in the face of the facts, said one expert.


Michelle Obama Fought with Top Aides in the White House, New Book 'The Obamas' Says

Michelle Obama was at odds with former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and former press secretary Robert Gibbs: book
© Pete Souza/White House
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pay tribute to outgoing Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel at a reception on the Truman Balcony of the White House with senior staff, Oct. 1, 2010.

First lady Michelle Obama is a behind-the-scenes force in the White House whose opinions on policy and politics drew her into conflict with presidential advisers and who bristled at some of the demands and constraints of life as the president's wife, according to a detailed account of the first couple's relationship.

New York Times reporter Jodi Kantor, in a book to be published Tuesday, portrays a White House where tensions developed between Mrs. Obama and former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and former press secretary and presidential adviser Robert Gibbs.

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the book, The Obamas, Friday evening and The Times posted a 3,300-word adaption on its website that appeared to capture its most revealing accounts. The book is based on interviews with 30 current and former aides, though President Barack Obama and the first lady declined to be interviewed for the book.

The book portrays Mrs. Obama as having gone through an evolution from struggle to fulfillment in her role at the White House but all the while an "unrecognized force" in pursuing the president's goals.


US: New Ron Paul South Carolina Ad Hits Santorum on 'Betrayal'

Ron Paul's campaign is out with this new ad in South Carolina, which hits Rick Santorum on his "record of betrayal."

"One serial hypocrite exposed," the ad says, showing clips of Newt Gingrich. "Now another has emerged: Rick Santorum, a corporate lobbyist and Washington politician. A record of betrayal."


UK: Investors Brush off News Corp Hacking Saga

Rupert Murdoch
© unknown
Rupert Murdoch
In the six months since the revelation that the News of the World accessed a murdered teenager's voicemail messages, the scandal has cost Rupert Murdoch the British tabloid he bought in 1969 his bid for full control of British Sky Broadcasting, some of his closest executives and, perhaps, his dream of family succession.

Yet, in Wall Street's eyes, it is as though nothing happened. This week, shares in News Corp hit a 52-week high, edging past the peak at which they stood before the Milly Dowler report upended Britain's media, police and political establishment.

Over six-month and 12-month periods, the stock has beaten rivals including Walt Disney, Time Warner and Viacom, and, of 25 analysts following News Corp, 17 rate the stock a "buy" and the other eight a "hold", according to Bloomberg.


Iran, Israel and US plan Gulf Exercises

© unknown
Tension in the oil shipping lanes of the Gulf looks set to intensify amid indications that Iran, Israel and the US will hold military exercises designed to test weaponry and tactics.

As the US and European Union press ahead with oil sanctions on Iran, Tehran's defence minister announced on Friday that the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps will hold large-scale exercises in the Strait of Hormuz and the Gulf next month.

The drills will be the "greatest naval war games" to be conducted by the Iranian military's elite corps, Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, said in remarks published by the semi-official Fars news agency. The exercises, called "the Great Prophet", will take place in February and will be more extensive than Iranian naval manoeuvres in the Sea of Oman that ended this week.


US: Work as Usual for U.S. Warship After Warning by Iran

© Tyler Hicks/The New York Times
A jet after landing on the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis in the North Arabian Sea on Wednesday.
Abroad U.S.S. John C. Stennis, in the North Arabian Sea - If Iran's warning on Tuesday to this American aircraft carrier was intended to disrupt the ship's routine or provoke a high-seas reaction, nothing of the sort was evident on Wednesday.

Steaming in international waters over the horizon from the Iranian fleet, the John C. Stennis spent the day and the early hours of the night launching and recovering aircraft for its latest mission - supporting ground troops in Afghanistan. All visible indications were that the carrier's crew was keeping to its scheduled work, regardless of any political or diplomatic fallout from Iran's warnings.

"It is business as usual here," said Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller, commander of the carrier strike group, as he watched a large-screen radar image showing the nearby sea and sky cluttered with commercial traffic.

The screen also showed Navy jets flying back and forth in a narrow air corridor to Afghanistan, known as "the boulevard."


Mark Levin: 'We Have a Constitutional Crisis'

"That is a forthright statement of a dictator."

On his radio show last night, Mark Levin said that President Barack Obama has caused a "constitutional crisis" by appointing members to the National Labor Relations Board and a director to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau without going through the constitutionally required Senate confirmation process.

"We have a constitutional crisis," Levin said. "It is in fact a constitutional crisis."

"The President of the United States is trashing the Constitution now day in and day out," Levin said.

At one point, Levin likened the explanation Obama made yesterday for appointing these federal officials without Senate confrmation to the "forthright statement of a dictator."

Listen to Levin's full argument here:

Magic Wand

Chile to rethink 'dictatorship' curriculum blunder

pen paper
© AlaskaTeacher/Flick
National Education Council will evaluate other proposals for teaching Chile's military past.

After a five-hour meeting Thursday Chile's Education Minister Harald Beyer said he would instruct the National Education Council to reconsider a controversial change in the wording of Chile's national curriculum for primary school students.

On Wednesday press revealed a measure to replace the word "dictatorship" with "military regime" in the textbooks of primary school students between first and sixth grades, when referring to the brutal 17-year rule of right-wing Gen. Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

The measure was approved by the National Education Council (CNDE), the body responsible for proposing curricular changes to the ministry, on Dec. 9.