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Wed, 21 Apr 2021
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Hitler's first draft of the Holocaust: unique letter goes on show

Image
© Beverly Grant/PA
Adolf Hitler with fellow army dispatch runners in 1916. He was still working for the army in 1919 at the time of the 'Gemlich letter'.
Army document is only written statement detailing Hitler's wish for systematic removal of Jews from Germany

A document understood to be the only existing written statement by Adolf Hitler in which he set out his belief in a systematic removal of Jews from society has been acquired by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Los Angeles.

The four-page letter, typewritten on faded brown paper and bearing Hitler's signature, was shown in public for the first time in New York, in what is likely to be seen as a key artefact in the historical record of the Holocaust. It will go on display at the centre's Tolerance Museum in Los Angeles.

The centre's founder, Rabbi Marvin Hier, said it was one of the most important documents of the period, showing the development of Hitler's antisemitic thought, and proved he had in mind a governmental solution to the so-called "Jewish Question". "This is the most important item we have in an archive of more than 50,000 objects," Hier said, adding that it would be used to educate future generations and to counter Holocaust denial.

Though Hitler alluded to his plans to exterminate Jewish people in speeches and indirectly through his closest henchmen, his thoughts on the subject can be found nowhere else committed to paper.

Cult

More war please, we're British: William Hague calls for UN security council to act against Syrian regime

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© Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images
William Hague said the UN security council had a 'responsibility to speak out' against President Assad's crackdown. What he neglected to mention is that fact that Assad is up against an organised and ARMED insurrection.
Foreign secretary says draft resolution is in circulation among council members following crackdown on protesters

Britain is to push for a UN security council resolution condemning a crackdown on anti-government protesters in Syria.

The foreign secretary, William Hague, told parliament that the security council had a "responsibility to speak out" and warned of new European Union sanctions unless demands were met.

Hague said diplomats were circulating a draft resolution to secure the necessary support from the nine council members.

He said the proposals would bring action taken against Syria in line with measures imposed on other countries in the region facing political upheaval. However, they fell short of the no-fly zone mandated against Libya under a resolution passed earlier this year that launched a Nato bombing campaign against Muammar Gaddafi's forces.

Arrow Down

Barack Obama suffers shock poll slump as Mitt Romney draws level

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© Charles Dharapak/AP
Barack Obama, appearing at the White House with Angela Merkel, played down the prospect of a double-dip recession.
Barack Obama's hopes of re-election to the White House next year took a knock on Tuesday with the publication of a poll showing him in a surprise dead heat with one of his Republican rivals, Mitt Romney.

The bounce in the polls that Obama received after the death of Osama bin Laden in early May has disappeared. The new poll shows public unhappiness with the slow pace of recovery from recession.

Romney's jump to parity with the president is remarkable given that, until now, there has not been much enthusiasm even among Republicans for him.

Only last Thursday did he formally declare that he will be seeking the party's nomination to take on Obama.

Question

Are the Libyan 'rebels' actually an advance invasion force controlled by NATO?

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© Eduardo De Francisco/EPA
A Libyan 'rebel' fires a machine gun at Gaddafi forces in an area west of Misrata. Nato, for obvious reasons, denies issuing formal red lines to the rebels.
Rebel leaders in Misrata feel prepared for battle but say they have been told not to cross certain 'red lines'

Tension between Libyan rebels and Nato commanders is growing over the military tactics being used to put pressure on Colonel Gaddafi's forces.

Rebel leaders in Misrata say they are being urged not to launch further pushes against regime troops to the east of the city, and claim they have been told not to cross certain "red lines", even though they feel prepared for battle.

The frustration on the ground has been heightened by their belief that Gaddafi's troops are demoralised and depleted after nearly three months of conflict.

While coalition officials insist they have not issued any direct orders not to attack, they concede they are worried about civilians being caught up in further chaotic fighting, and do not want rebel troops being accidentally hit in bombing raids by Nato warplanes. These continued on Monday and Tuesday, when Tripoli experienced what were perhaps the heaviest daylight bombardments by Nato since the air strikes began in March.

Yoda

Aisha Gaddafi sues NATO for war crimes after airstrike kills her 4 month old daughter

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© Mohamed Messara/EPA
Aisha Gaddafi with supporters of her father in Tripoli in March.
Aisha Gaddafi claims air strike that killed four members of her family, including her daughter, constitutes a war crime

The daughter of Muammar Gaddafi has launched a lawsuit for murder following the death in April of four members of her family during a Nato air strike.

Legal papers were submitted to the prosecutor's office in Brussels on Tuesday by the French lawyer for Aisha Gaddafi.

During the bombing raid on 30 April the Libyan leader's son Saif el-Arab, 29, as well as three of his grandchildren were killed. Ms Gaddafi's four-month-old daughter Mastoura was one of those who died.

She argues the coalition forces that carried out the attack are guilty of "war crimes", stating the air strike did not target a command and control post held by troops loyal to her father, but was a private residence in Tripoli where members of his family were living.

Cult

The Problem of Republican Idiots

Michelle Bachmann
© Unknown
Michelle Bachmann
One aspect of American politics that receives insufficient attention is that a significant percentage of self-identified Republicans - around half - are complete idiots. And the candidates who wish to be elected by them must pander to them, either by being idiots themselves - see "Bachmann, Michele" - or pretending to be. Nobody in the MSM is empowered to say this aloud. Indeed, the very act of pointing it out brands one a "liberal elitist" who is biased against proud, patriotic conservatives.

Well, so be it. A quarter of Republicans questioned profess to believe that ACORN is definitely planning to steal the 2012 election while another 32 percent think it might be. These numbers are admittedly lower than the 52 percent who, in 2009, went on record accusing ACORN of having stolen the election for Obama, but this should strike a person with normal mental faculties as a mite surprising, given that the organization no longer exists. Similarly, a recent poll of Republicans found that 48 percent of those questioned believe that Barack Obama was born in the United States. Again, this is almost double the 28 percent who believed it in February, but it is still rather low, given that Hawaii released the president's long-form birth certificate to satisfy exactly this group of noisy idiots.

Bad Guys

'Doomsday Plane' Would Save President and Joint Chiefs in Apocalypse Scenario

Doomsday Plane
© Courtesy of U.S. Air Force
Air Force E-4B National Airborne Operations Center 'Doomsday Plane'
In the event of nuclear war, a powerful meteor strike or even a zombie apocalypse, the thoroughly protected doomsday plane is ready to keep the president, secretary of defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff and other key personnel in the air and out of danger. It may not deflect a Twitter photo scandal, but it can outrun a nuclear explosion and stay in the air for days without refueling.

The flight team for the E-4B, its military codename, sleeps nearby and is ready to scramble in five minutes. It was mobilized in the tumultuous hours after planes crashed into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and southern Pennsylvania on 9/11.

"If the command centers that are on the ground in the United States have a failure of some sort, or attack, we immediately get airborne. We're on alert 24/7, 365," Captain W. Scott "Easy" Ryder, Commander, NAOC, told ABC News' Diane Sawyer as she traveled to Afghanistan with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on the apocalypse-proof plane. "Constantly there's at least one alert airplane waiting to get airborne."

Cow Skull

U.S. Funding for Future Promises Lags by Trillions

Washington
© Alex Brandon/AP
The federal government's financial condition deteriorated rapidly last year, far beyond the $1.5 trillion in new debt taken on to finance the budget deficit, a USA Today analysis shows.

The government added $5.3 trillion in new financial obligations in 2010, largely for retirement programs such as Medicare and Social Security. That brings to a record $61.6 trillion the total of financial promises not paid for.

This gap between spending commitments and revenue last year equals more than one-third of the nation's gross domestic product.

Coffee

Surprise!: Bankrupt Lehman Brothers May Escape with Public Rebuke and Little Else ‎

lehman
© Getty Images
United States Securities and Exchange Commission investigators may issue a public rebuke of Lehman Brothers Holdings and its former executives instead of suing them for actions that led to the firm's 2008 failure, say three people with knowledge of the matter.

SEC enforcement lawyers, who have struggled for more than two years to find definitive evidence that the company and its leaders violated securities laws, are concerned that a legal attack on Lehman's accounting practices would likely fail, the people said, speaking anonymously.

Instead, the enforcement staff may recommend that the agency take the rare step of publishing a so-called report of investigation, also known as a 21(a) report.

Chess

"Golden Rice," or Trojan Horse?

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© panna.org
Farmers, Indigenous people and rural communities around the world celebrated the International Day for Biological Diversity last week. But casting a long shadow was the news that big funders and new NGOs are teaming up with the pesticide-biotech giant, Syngenta, in a renewed effort to push genetically engineered rice forward in Bangladesh and the Philippines.

Nicknamed "golden rice," this untested, highly controversial GE crop threatens biodiversity across the region and risks bringing economic and ecological disaster to Asia's farms.

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has approved $20 million in new monies towards the development of "golden rice". Meanwhile, Helen Keller International (HKI), a New York-based health and nutrition NGO, has also jumped on board.

Speaking from Malaysia, Sarojeni V. Rengam, Executive Director of Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific (PAN AP) called on the donors and scientists involved to wake up and do the right thing:
Golden Rice is really a 'Trojan horse'; a public relations stunt pulled by the agri-business corporations to garner acceptance of GE crops and food. The whole idea of GE seeds is to make money.

On this International Day for Biological Diversity, we want to send out a strong message to all those supporting the promotion of Golden Rice, especially donor organizations, that their money and efforts would be better spent on restoring natural and agricultural biodiversity rather than destroying it by promoting monoculture plantations and genetically engineered (GE) food crops.