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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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Puppet Masters


Washington D.C. police accused of 'disturbing' failures to investigate rape

Police in Washington DC frequently fail to investigate reports of rape, and treat victims so dismissively at times, that they experience fresh trauma while the chances of the perpetrator being caught are undermined, according to a comprehensive report due out next week.

Campaign group Human Rights Watch is expected to uncover "disturbing evidence of police failure" in a 200-plus page report after a two-year investigation into law enforcement practices in the US capital.

But although shocking, the situation in Washington is far from isolated. There are widespread examples across the US of the police routinely neglecting crimes of sexual violence and refusing to believe victims.

"This is a national crisis requiring federal action. We need a paradigm shift in police culture, because rapes and sexual assaults are being swept under the rug, and too many victims are being bullied," said Carol Tracy of the Women's Law Project, a legal advocacy group that specialises in sexual violence cases.

Bad Guys

Attack on sovereignty

Paul Craig Roberts
Those concerned about "The New World Order" speak as if the United States is coming under the control of an outside conspiratorial force. In fact, it is the US that is the New World Order. That is what the American unipolar world, about which China, Russia, and Iran complain, is all about.

Washington has demonstrated that it has no respect for its own laws and Constitution, much less any respect for international law and the law and sovereignty of other countries. All that counts is Washington's will as the pursuit of hegemony moves Washington closer to becoming a world dictator.

The examples are so numerous someone should compile them into a book. During the Reagan administration the long established bank secrecy laws of Switzerland had to bend to Washington's will. The Clinton administration attacked Serbia, murdered civilians and sent Serbia's president to be tried as a war criminal for defending his country. The US government engages in widespread spying on Europeans' emails and telephone calls that is unrelated to terrorism. Julian Assange is confined to the Ecuadoran embassy in London, because Washington won't permit the British government to honor his grant of political asylum. Washington refuses to comply with a writ of habeas corpus from a British count to turn over Yunus Rahmatullah whose detention a British Court of Appeals has ruled to be unlawful. Washington imposes sanctions on other countries and enforces them by cutting sovereign nations that do not comply out of the international payments system.

Last week the Obama regime warned the British government that it was a violation of US interests for the UK to pull out of the European Union or reduce its ties to the EU in any way.

Red Flag

Benefits and child credits squeeze pushes 200,000 children into poverty

© Photograph: Olivia Harris/REUTERS
The government says it is 'investing in tackling the root causes of child poverty through making work pay'.
Government admits statistic that Labour says shows children are victims of Tory 'games' and 'economic failure'.

The squeeze on tax credits and benefits will push a further 200,000 children into poverty, the government has admitted for the first time. It suggests a total of a million extra children will be in poverty as a result of government welfare measures.

Ministers have said they no longer regard the relative child poverty statistics as a useful or valid measure.

The extra 200,000 children in poverty figure stems from the government's decision to lift most in-work and out-of-work benefits by only 1% over the next three years instead of increasing them in line with inflation.

Ministers had been reluctant to state what the impact would be on child poverty, an official government measure that looks at the number of households with incomes at 60% or below the national average household income.

But in an answer to a parliamentary question, work and pensions minister Esther McVey estimated that "the uprating measures in 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16 will result in around an extra 200,000 children being deemed by this measure to be in relative income poverty compared to uprating benefits by CPI [consumer price index]".


Militants: 35 hostages dead in Algerian copter attack

© AP Photo/BP
In this undated image released Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013, by BP petroleum company, showing the Amenas natural gas field in the eastern central region of Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013.
Islamic militants have told a Mauritanian news outlet that that 35 hostages were killed but seven are still alive after Algerian military helicopters strafed a gas complex deep in the Sahara.

The spokesman for the Masked Brigade, which claimed responsibility for the attack Wednesday on the Algerian gas plant, said Thursday the survivors included three Belgians, two Americans, a Briton and a Japanese citizen.

Eye 1

Somali official: African Union troops killed 7 civilians

© Somalia Report
African Union troops mistakenly opened fire on a religious school while pursuing militants, killing five children and two adults, a Somali legislator said Thursday.

Dahir Amin Jesow, who visited the scene of the attack at Leggo village, said all five children were less than 10 years old.


Poll: Majority of Americans want Supreme Court to uphold right to abortion

Sixty-three percent of Americans would rather not see the US Supreme Court overturn its historic 1973 ruling on abortion, according to a Pew Research Center opinion poll released Wednesday.

Only 29 percent want to see the Roe vs Wade decision upended, according to the poll released six days before its the 40th anniversary, said Pew in a statement.

"These opinions are little changed from surveys conducted 10 and 20 years ago," the research institute said.


Oregon sheriff writes Biden to say he won't enforce new gun laws

An Oregon sheriff wrote Vice President Joe Biden announcing his refusal to enforce any new gun safety legislation placing restriction on semi-automatic weaponry, saying they would "infringe upon the liberties of responsible citizens who have broken no laws."

According to KOIN-TV, Linn County Sheriff Tim Mueller said he is unsure Biden will actually read the letter, in which he accuses lawmakers of "attempting to exploit the deaths of innocent victims by advocating for laws that would prevent honest, law abiding Americans from possessing certain firearms and ammunition magazines."

Biden has spent most of the past month researching possible gun laws, in the wake of the Dec. 14 mass shooting at a Connecticut elementary school. President Barack Obama is expected to announce new legislation based on Biden's recommendations on Wednesday.

Che Guevara

Aaron Swartz, America's Mohamed Bouazizi: We're in the midst of a revolution, which side are you on?

The United States is ripe for a revolution. People are pissed, and rightfully so. The only question that remains is if the restructuring will be peaceful, like what we saw happen in Iceland, or will it be violent, like what we see happening in Greece and Spain.

As Chris Hedges has implied on multiple occasions, the revolution is well on its way:
"I have seen my share of revolts, insurgencies and revolutions, from the guerrilla conflicts in the 1980s in Central America to the civil wars in Algeria, the Sudan and Yemen, to the Palestinian uprising to the revolutions in East Germany, Czechoslovakia and Romania as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia. George Orwell wrote that all tyrannies rule through fraud and force, but that once the fraud is exposed they must rely exclusively on force. We have now entered the era of naked force. The vast million-person bureaucracy of the internal security and surveillance state will not be used to stop terrorism but to try and stop us."

"All of that has been used to essentially, in this reconfiguration of American society... into an oligarchic state, a neofeudalistic state - you criminalize dissent, because they know very well what's coming, as they reduce roughly two-thirds of this country to subsistence level."

Bad Guys

Obama EPA Shut Down Weatherford, TX Shale Gas Water Contamination Study

fracking water
© ShutterStock | Aaron Amat
The Associated Press has a breaking investigative story out today revealing that the Obama Administration's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) censored a smoking gun scientific report in March 2012 that it had contracted out to a scientist who conducted field data on 32 water samples in Weatherford, TX.

That report, according to the AP, would have explicitly linked methane migration to hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") in Weatherford, a city with 25,000+ citizens located in the heart of the Barnett Shale geologic formation 30 minutes from Dallas.

It was authored by Geoffrey Thyne, a geologist formerly on the faculty of the Colorado School of Mines and University of Wyoming before departing from the latter for a job in the private sector working for Interralogic Inc. in Ft Collins, CO.

This isn't the first time Thyne's scientific research has been shoved aside, either. Thyne wrote two landmark studies on groundwater contamination in Garfield County, CO, the first showing that it existed, the second confirming that the contamination was directly linked to fracking in the area.

It's the second study that got him in trouble.

"Thyne says he was told to cease his research by higher-ups. He didn't," The Checks and Balances Project explained. "And when it came to renew his contract, Thyne was cut loose."


Maher to Handler: Romney was a 'cold, robotic tax cheat from a polygamy cult'

Tuesday night on E!, the Entertainment Network's Chelsea Lately, host Chelsea Handler talked to Bill Maher of HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher about his $1 million dollar donation to to the pro-Obama super PAC known as Priorities USA Action and why he supported the president against former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R).

Handler began by welcoming Maher to the show and asking him why he was giggling before the interview even began.

"That's because I'm always worried I'm going to be too dirty or inappropriate for this show," he replied, "and you can't be too dirty or inappropriate."

"You can't," Handler replied. "It's really sad. It's very base."

The discussion quickly moved to politics. Handler asked Maher if he'd been certain that Obama would prevail on Election Night.