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France fines Monsanto for illegally running 'watch lists'

Spraypainting Paris Bayer
© AP/Francois Mori
French Attac activists spray-paint the Paris headquarters of Bayer AG to protest its production of environmentally harmful pesticides in Paris, March 14, 2019.
France's personal data protection agency on Wednesday fined US firm Monsanto for illegally compiling files of public figures, journalists and activists with the aim of swaying opinion towards support for its controversial pesticides.

The firm, now owned by German chemical giant Bayer, failed to inform the people on the watch lists compiled in the context of a heated public debate about glyphosate, a weed killer, it ruled. The CNIL agency fined Monsanto 400,000 euros ($473,000) in the case brought by seven plaintiffs. Compiling lists of contacts was not in itself illegal, the agency said, but only people who could "reasonably expect" to figure on such lists because of their business sector or their public standing should have been included.

Furthermore, data had to be collected legally and targets informed, including of their right to refuse being listed. By keeping the lists secret, Monsanto deprived them of this right, CNIL said.

Monsanto gave a rating of one to five to each of the over 200 people on its French lists corresponding to their estimated influence, credibility and level of support for Monsanto on several topics, especially pesticides and genetically-modified crops.

The case, first reported by French media Le Monde and France 2 television in 2019, quickly spread to other European countries where Monsanto was also keeping lists.

Comment: Today's war on health has many diabolical facets. Monsanto and its poisons are just one more long-running example that a human life is not worth consideration when Big Agra calls the shots.

See also:


Handcuffs

More COVID protesters from Russia's North Ossetia receive prison terms

Riot police

Riot police confront participants in the April 2020 rally protesting coronavirus measures in Vladikavkaz.
A Russian court in the southwestern city of Rostov-on-Don has handed lengthy prison terms to a second group of individuals from the North Caucasus region of North Ossetia for taking part in a massive rally in April 2020 to protest against coronavirus restrictions.

The Lenin district court on July 29 found Artur Dzhavadyan guilty of attacking a police officer and sentenced him to 6 1/2 years in prison.

Four other defendants, Arsen Brikhov, Khetag Samov, Georgy Khugayev, and Atsamaz Tebloyev, were convicted of taking part in mass disorder and sentenced to prison terms of between four years, nine months, and 5 1/2 years in prison.

Two days earlier, five other men who took part in the massive rally against coronavirus restrictions in North Ossetia were handed prison sentences of between five years and 5 1/2 years.

On April 20 last year, police in North Ossetia detained dozens of protesters when about 2,000 people gathered in the central square of the regional capital, Vladikavkaz, demanding the resignation of regional leader Vyacheslav Bitarov.

The rally lasted for several hours until police violently dispersed it. Thirty-seven participants were charged with taking part in mass disorder, assaulting law enforcement, or disobedience to police.

Court decisions are still expected to come on others involved in the protests.

Megaphone

Brussels must find way to engage with Russia despite no bloc-wide consensus over how to deal with Putin, says EU foreign minister

Josep Borrell
© Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS
European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell
With the diplomatic relationship between Moscow and Brussels at a historic low point, the European Union should look for new ways to engage with Russia, and the bloc should seriously consider how best to establish a new dialogue.

That's according to EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Josep Borrell, who told Spanish newspaper El Pais that there is a lot of disagreement within the Union over how to handle Russia and President Vladimir Putin.

"We had a mandate from the European Council to produce a report analyzing the current situation and the prospects of a relationship that is at its lowest point in many years," Borrell said.

Light Sabers

'Biggest destroyer of peace': China lashes out after US Navy warship sails through Taiwan Strait for SEVENTH time under Biden

USS Benfold
© Getty Images / Stocktrek Images
A US Navy guided missile destroyer has crossed the Taiwan Strait in the South China Sea, making it the seventh such trip by an American warship this year, and prompting China to accuse the US of trying provoke its military.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Benfold sailed northwards through the strait on Wednesday, the US Navy said in a statement. The maneuver was confirmed by Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense on Thursday, with officials saying the military used joint intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance tools to monitor movements at sea and in the air around Taiwan, according to local media reports.

Claiming that the navy destroyer's presence in the South China Sea does not contradict international laws, the report added it was the seventh such maneuver by American warships in the area since US President Joe Biden took office this year.

Brain

Biden blames 'Freudian slip' after saying 'President Trump' when he meant Obama

biden
© AFP via Getty Images
President Biden on Wednesday mistakenly uttered the name of his predecessor — "President Trump" — chalking it up to a "Freudian slip" even though he was talking about his longtime boss Barack Obama.

Biden meant to refer to Obama, under whom he served for eight years as vice president, when describing his role in auto-industry bailouts in 2009.

"In 2009, during the so-called Great Recession, the president asked me to be in charge of managing that piece — then-President Trump," Biden misstated during a speech near Allentown, Pa.

"Excuse me, Freudian slip, that was the last president. He caused — anyway, President Obama, when I was vice president. The American auto industry, remember, was on the rocks?"

Propaganda

Chinese billionaire pig farmer jailed for 18 years for 'illegal mining, illegal occupation of land, attacking state organs'

Dawu
© Noel Celis/AFP/Getty Images
Sun Dawu, the founder of the Dawu Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Group, was also fined 3.11m yuan (£345,000).
Sun Dawu, a Chinese billionaire pig farmer and agricultural mogul, has been sentenced after weeks of hearings in secret to 18 years in prison and fined 3.11m yuan (£345,000) for a catalogue of crimes including "provoking trouble", in a case observers believe was politically motivated.

The court in Gaobeidian, near Beijing, said Sun was guilty of crimes including "gathering a crowd to attack state organs", "obstructing government administration" and "picking quarrels and provoking trouble", a catch-all term often used against human rights figures and dissidents.


Comment: The Guardian's anti-China slant becomes blatantly clear throughout the article; their overseers in British intelligence would be pleased: The Guardian's collusion with Britain's Secret Service


Sun, an outspoken supporter and friend of Chinese political dissidents, was arrested on 11 November alongside more than 20 others including his wife, two sons and daughters-in-law.

Comment: RT provides more details of Sun's crimes which, were they to have occurred in any Western country, would almost certainly invite a harsh response from the state; unless of course the billionaire was 'connected' to people in government:
He was detained by authorities back in November, along with 19 relatives and business associates, after Dawu employees tried to stop a government-owned enterprise from demolishing a company building in August 2020. According to a social media post by Sun, more than 20 people were injured in a clash with the police.

Sun's legal team said prosecutors alleged that the Dawu Group acted deceptively toward its employees, interfering with the government's administrative duties, and causing political instability. The billionaire has faced a slew of other charges, including illegal mining and illegal occupation of farmland.

The billionaire's lawyers said that the secrecy of the trial "violated legal guidelines and did not protect the defendant's litigation rights."

The land dispute is not the first time the pig-farmer billionaire has butted heads with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).

In the early 2000s he ran a website that included criticism of state-owned banks, which he accused of neglecting rural investment while funneling rural residents' savings toward urban projects.

In 2003, he was charged with 'illegal fundraising' after reportedly taking illegal deposits without approval from the People's Bank of China. Instead, he solicited investments for his business from friends and neighbors.

After abandoning his appeals for the case, the sentence was suspended and Sun received probation.

More recently, in 2019, he criticized the government's handling of the swine fever outbreak, publicly disputed the scale of the epidemic, saying it was far more severe than officials had said. He reported that about 15,000 pigs on his farms had died from the disease and posted photos of the dead animals online.
It's possible - even likely - that the Chinese government is deliberately down playing the African swine fever outbreak. But, as we can see from the RT article, Sun's has been jailed for illegal mining, illegal occupation of land, aggressively blocking state developers, and illegal financial activity; these crimes amount to much more than a simple 'dissident' or 'human rights activist' who 'published criticisms of the state', which was what The Guardian clearly wanted us to believe.

See also: China refuses diplomatic access to trial of Australian national citing national security concerns


Light Saber

Publisher of controversial 'Putin's People' agrees to edit book, admits 'no evidence' for claims against Russian banking tycoons

putin book russian bankers london justice court
© Wikipedia; Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Royal Courts of Justice, London (inset) 'Putin's People: How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West' by Catherine Belton
HarperCollins, the American publishing house behind a widely contested account of Russian President Vladimir Putin's time in office, has agreed to edit future copies in the face of legal action from two top Moscow businessmen.

On Wednesday, a court in London heard that the Rupert Murdoch-owned giant would redact future copies of Putin's People, by former Financial Times Moscow correspondent Catherine Belton. The book had alleged links between Soviet security services and two Russian claimants, Mikhail Fridman and Pyotr Aven. The pair are the founders of Alfa Bank, one of Russia's largest financial institutions.

Comment: Russian billionaires vs British writer: London court battle begins over Putin book


Control Panel

Caitlin: For every whistleblower they make an example of, they prevent a thousand more

pardon daniel hale
Whistleblower Daniel Hale has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison after pleading guilty to leaking secret government information about America's psychopathic civilian-slaughtering drone assassination program.

The sentence was much harsher than Hale's defense requested but not nearly as harsh as US prosecutors pushed for, arguing that longer prison sentences are necessary for deterring whistleblowing in the US intelligence cartel.

The Dissenter's Kevin Gosztola reports:
Despite the fact that Hale pled guilty on March 31 to one of the five Espionage Act offenses he faced, prosecutors remained spiteful and unwilling to support anything less than a "significant sentence" to "deter" government employees or contractors from "using positions in the intelligence community for self-aggrandizement."
In other words, if you tell the public the truth about your government's crimes, you will be made an example of so nobody else tries to do that. And then for that brave and selfless act, you'll be smeared as doing it for "self-aggrandizement".

Megaphone

Ted Cruz calls mask mandate reversal "a virtue signal of submissiveness"

ted cruz
Charges Democrats of engaging in "Kabooki theater"

Texas Senator Ted Cruz responded to the CDC's announcement this week that all Americans should wear face masks again, even fully vaccinated people, by labelling it the ultimate "virtue signal".

Speaking at a Senate hearing, Cruz said that while he believes in vaccines and has been urging people to get vaccinated, "I also believe in individual liberty, I believe in freedom, it's your damn choice whether you get vaccinated."

Comment: See also:


Jet3

The Dutch invasion plan of Donbass before the downing of MH17 on July 17, 2014

David Petraeus and Sandra Roelofs
Two Dutch nationals, David Petraeus and Sandra Roelofs (lead image, centre), were involved in the US planning of an invasion of the Donbass region, eastern Ukraine, in the days running up to the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17, 2014, when 193 Dutch and 38 Australians were among the 298 passengers and crew killed.

Petraeus, a US Army general and director of the Central Intelligence Agency (2011-November 9, 2012), is a Dutch citizen by law because his father, Sixtus Petraeus from Friesland, was a junior officer in the Dutch merchant marine at the outbreak of World War II. David Petraeus was awarded a Dutch knighthood in 2010 and is celebrated by the Dutch as "the most visible Dutch American personality on the national and international scene".

Roelofs, Dutch by birth in Zeeland, became the wife of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (left) in 1993, and she has remained his collaborator in open political as well as clandestine operations in Georgia, Ukraine, and the US since then.

Comment: When it comes to Saakashvili, where does one really begin and end:

Ukraine returns citizenship to eccentric fugitive former Georgian president Saakashvili

And then there is Poroshenko:

Ex-president Poroshenko ducks questioning by Ukraine's State Bureau Of Investigations

Behind the mask of these two characters (with others in the mix), stands the sad fate of all those aboard MH17. This is a tragedy of cold blooded murder, all hidden behind western political and media narratives, with a kangaroo court exhibiting a peculiar form of justice that just does not let up: This would not be rounded off without mentioning Bellingcat: Of course, there is much more on this shadowy stumbling group called Bellingcat, from MH17 to Syrian slander, all with allegations of deep-state intelligence ties and funding.