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Thu, 28 Oct 2021
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Smoking

Honduras law lets police be called on home smokers

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Tegucigalpa, Honduras - The last refuge is vanishing for besieged smokers - at least in Honduras. A new law that took effect Monday says family members can call in the police on people who smoke at home.

The new measure bans smoking in most closed public or private spaces and orders smokers to stand at least six feet away from nonsmokers in any open space.

The law explicitly bans smoking in schools, gas stations, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, buses, taxis, stadiums and cultural centers but it doesn't clearly ban smoking at home.

Comment: Health Benefits of Smoking


Heart - Black

Outrageous! Petraeus Accuses Afghan Parents of Burning Kids to Make US Look Bad

Attempt to Downplay Kunar Massacre Sparks Outrage

One would think that the effort to downplay the killings of as many as 64 civilians, including a large number of children, would be enough to spark considerable anti-US outrage, but apparently saw an opportunity to make things even worse, and took it.

Gen. David Petraeus
© Unknown
Gen. David Petraeus
In a closed door meeting aimed at explaining why they had killed so many civilians, Gen. Petraeus actually accused parents in the region of burning their own children in an attempt to raise the death count and make the US look bad.

Of course if there is one thing the occupation forces don't need any help with, it's looking bad, and the shocking accusation sparked considerable anger amongst the Karzai government. It was quickly dismissed by provincial officials, of course, but did immeasurable damage to US credibility on the matter of the rising civilian toll.
The US has a long history of making up ridiculous hypotheticals that might explain away massive civilian death tolls, including the May 2009 Farah Province massacre, in which the US initially claimed the Taliban had "pre-killed" a large number of civilians and stored them in buildings before tricking the US into bombing them, scattering the bodies. They later admitted the claim was entirely made up.

The US has also regularly accused Afghan civilians of "making up" stories of dead relatives in an effort to claim the paltry reparations that the military offers for accidently killing a civilian. This appears, however, to be the first time they actually accused parents of killing their children just to make the US occupation look bad.

Heart - Black

Japan unearths site linked to human experiments

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© Itsuo Inouye/AP
Toyo Ishii, a former military nurse, broke her 60-year silence about Unit 731 in 2006 Toyo Ishii, a former military nurse, broke her 60-year silence about Unit 731 in 2006.
Former Tokyo medical school site is linked to Unit 731, branch of imperial army which used prisoners in germ warfare programme

Authorities in Japan have begun excavating the former site of a medical school that may contain the remains of victims of the country's wartime biological warfare programme.

The school has links to Unit 731, a branch of the imperial Japanese army that conducted lethal experiments on prisoners as part of efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction.

The Japanese government has previously acknowledged the unit's existence but refused to discuss its activities, despite testimony from former members and growing documentary evidence. In 2002 a Japanese court said Tokyo was under no obligation to compensate victims.

The government agreed to launch a ¥100m (£741,000) investigation after Toyo Ishii, a former nurse, said she had helped bury body parts on the site as the US occupation forces moved into Tokyo at the end of the second world war. Officials said so far there was no evidence the site had been used for experiments.

Chess

Why Monsanto Always Wins

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© Unknown
The recent approval of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa is one of most divisive controversies in American agriculture, but in 2003, it was simply the topic at hand in a string of emails between the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Monsanto. In the emails, federal regulators and Monsanto officials shared edits to a list of the USDA's questions about Monsanto's original petition to fully legalize the alfalfa. Later emails show a USDA regulator accepted Monsanto's help with drafting the initial environmental assessment (EA) of the alfalfa and planned to "cut and paste" parts of Monsanto's revised petition right into the government's assessment.

 It's unclear if such internal cooperation continues under the current administration, but regulators still openly rely on data and research provided by the biotech industry when approving GE technology.

A federal judge temporarily banned the alfalfa in 2007 as a result of the CFS lawsuit, but last summer, the Supreme Court ruled that the USDA could reconsider deregulating the GE alfalfa after completing an environmental impact statement (EIS). The USDA fully deregulated the alfalfa on January 27, 2011.

Red Flag

Genetic Engineering: Scientists Warn of Link Between Dangerous New Pathogen and Monsanto's Roundup

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© globalresearch.com
Urges USDA to rescind approval of genetically engineered alfalfa: "In layman's terms, it should be treated as an emergency."

A plant pathologist experienced in protecting against biological warfare recently warned the USDA of a new, self-replicating, micro-fungal virus-sized organism which may be causing spontaneous abortions in livestock, sudden death syndrome in Monsanto's Roundup Ready soy, and wilt in Monsanto's RR corn.

Dr. Don M. Huber, who coordinates the Emergent Diseases and Pathogens committee of the American Phytopathological Society, as part of the USDA National Plant Disease Recovery System, warned Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that this pathogen threatens the US food and feed supply and can lead to the collapse of the US corn and soy export markets. Likewise, deregulation of GE alfalfa "could be a calamity," he noted in his letter (reproduced in full below).

On January 27, Vilsack gave blanket approval to all genetically modified alfalfa. Following orders from President Obama, he also removed buffer zone requirements. This is seen as a deliberate move to contaminate natural crops and destroy the organic meat and dairy industry which relies on GM-free alfalfa. Such genetic contamination will give the biotech industry complete control over the nation's fourth largest crop. It will also ease the transition to using GE-alfalfa as a biofuel.

Heart - Black

Starving N. Korea begs for food, but U.S. has concerns about resuming aid

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© Unknown
A medley of human suffering in North Korea
North Korea recently took the unusual step of begging for food handouts from the foreign governments it usually threatens.

Plagued by floods, an outbreak of a livestock disease and a brutal winter, the government ordered its embassies and diplomatic offices around the world to seek help.

The request has put the United States and other Western countries in the uncomfortable position of having to decide whether to ignore the pleas of a starving country or pump food into a corrupt distribution system that often gives food to those who need it least.

The United States, which suspended its food aid to North Korea two years ago amid concerns about transparency, "has no plans for any contributions at this time," said Kurt Campbell, the State Department's top East Asia official.

Meanwhile, the U.N. World Food Program, responsible for much of the food aid in North Korea, said its current food supply could sustain operations in the communist country for only another month.

Bad Guys

"CIA Spy" Davis Was Giving Nuclear Bomb Material to Al-Qaeda, Says Report

Raymond Davis
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Double murder-accused US official Raymond Davis has been found in possession of top-secret CIA documents, which point to him or the feared American Task Force 373 (TF373) operating in the region, providing Al-Qaeda terrorists with "nuclear fissile material" and "biological agents," according to a report.

Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) is warning that the situation on the sub-continent has turned "grave" as it appears that open warfare is about to break out between Pakistan and the United States, The European Union Times reports.

The SVR warned in its report that the apprehension of 36-year-old Davis, who shot dead two Pakistani men in Lahore last month, had fuelled this crisis.

According to the report, the combat skills exhibited by Davis, along with documentation taken from him after his arrest, prove that he is a member of US' TF373 black operations unit currently operating in the Afghan War Theatre and Pakistan's tribal areas, the paper said.

Light Sabers

Propaganda: Israel wary as Iranian warships traverse Suez Canal

Cairo - Two Iranian naval vessels traveled through the Suez Canal on Tuesday en route to Syria, officials said, the first time in three decades that Tehran has sent military ships through the strategic waterway.

Canal officials said the ships - a frigate and a supply vessel - had reached the Mediterranean Sea by about 4 p.m. local time.

Iran appears to be testing the state of affairs in the Middle East after the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. A longstanding peace treaty with Egypt is crucial to Israel's regional security.

Israel saw the passage as a provocation. Israeli officials refused to comment Tuesday, though earlier this week Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he viewed the move "with gravity."

MIB

Media blackout over: Davis is Covert CIA Operative

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© unk
American official Raymond Davis, arrested in the Pakistani city of Lahore for gunning down two armed men, had "close links" with the Taliban and was "instrumental" in recruiting youths for the militant group, a media report said on Tuesday.

The claim about his links to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan was made to The Express Tribune newspaper by unnamed police officials in Punjab province, a day after US media reported that Davis was working for the CIA as a security contractor.

"The Lahore killings were a blessing in disguise for our security agencies who suspected that Davis was masterminding terrorist activities in Lahore and other parts of Punjab," a senior official of Punjab Police was quoted as saying by the daily.

Vader

Sick bag alert! British PM touring Middle East with arms manufacturers 'to build democracy'!

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"Good doing business with you sir!" British PM David Cameron meets with Egyptian Field Marshal Mohammed Tantawi in Cairo.
British Prime Minister David Cameron took the heads of eight arms producing companies to Egypt with him to 'to build democracy,' it has been revealed.

Cameron became the first world leader to visit Egypt after the country's long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising, which had its roots in Islamic awakening.

However, the British premier was branded a disgrace after it emerged that he had taken eight weapons manufacturers with him to the Middle Eastern country.

Bosses from major arms and aerospace companies such as BAe Systems, Qinetiq and Thales joined the Prime Minister on the plane which last night arrived in Kuwait at the second leg of Cameron's regional tour.

Other defence contractors present included bosses from the Cobham Group, Ultra Electronics, Rolls Royce, Babcock International Group and Atkins.