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Best of the Web: Past medical testing on humans revealed

© Associated PressIn this June 25, 1945 picture, army doctors expose patients to malaria-carrying mosquitoes in the malaria ward at Stateville Penitentiary in Crest Hill, Ill.
Atlanta Georgia - Shocking as it may seem, U.S. government doctors once thought it was fine to experiment on disabled people and prison inmates. Such experiments included giving hepatitis to mental patients in Connecticut, squirting a pandemic flu virus up the noses of prisoners in Maryland, and injecting cancer cells into chronically ill people at a New York hospital.

Much of this horrific history is 40 to 80 years old, but it is the backdrop for a meeting in Washington this week by a presidential bioethics commission. The meeting was triggered by the government's apology last fall for federal doctors infecting prisoners and mental patients in Guatemala with syphilis 65 years ago.

U.S. officials also acknowledged there had been dozens of similar experiments in the United States - studies that often involved making healthy people sick.

An exhaustive review by The Associated Press of medical journal reports and decades-old press clippings found more than 40 such studies. At best, these were a search for lifesaving treatments; at worst, some amounted to curiosity-satisfying experiments that hurt people but provided no useful results.

Inevitably, they will be compared to the well-known Tuskegee syphilis study. In that episode, U.S. health officials tracked 600 black men in Alabama who already had syphilis but didn't give them adequate treatment even after penicillin became available.


US corporate profits return to record levels

While millions of Americans confront the daily miseries of unemployment, home foreclosure and poverty as a result of the economic crisis, corporate profits are soaring.

Walmart, the world's largest retail chain, announced last week that its profits grew by 27 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, while sales at US stores have declined for the second year in a row. The company made $6 billion in profits in the fourth quarter, up from $4.8 billion a year before and $3.5 billion in the third quarter of 2010.

Home Depot posted a 72 percent increase in profits, after sales increased by 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter. Profits reached $587 million, up from $342 million a year earlier.

Hundreds of companies have posted similar figures. The story is the same: sales and revenues have fallen or ticked up slightly, while profits have grown by double digits.

The discrepancy between revenues and profits is due to the fact that the "recovery" in corporate balance sheets is built on layoffs and speedups. "A lot of the recent profits are based on the revenue from cost-cutting," said James L. Butkeiwiz, professor of economics at the University of Delaware, in a telephone interview.

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Game Over For American Imperialism and Middle East Oppression

© Unknown
The Game is so over for American imperialism and Middle East oppression and with that defeat will come the discovery of its epicenter ~ the Big Lie of the 9/11 cover up and its utilization as a justification for the War on Terror which has now led back to ourselves as the obvious rogue state of global imperialistic designs and terror: Allen L Roland

The die is cast ~ the Middle East and North Africa are breaking their shackles of control by the imperialistic oil hungry west and nothing will stop the people from toppling their oppressive regimes and claiming their freedom. As I have written before ~ the epicenter of the Middle East people's revolt is the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people by Israel ~ which is a constant and humiliating reminder to the Arab world that they are servants of the global elite who maintain their oppressive regimes through military power and economic control.

As I have also written ~ the epicenter of the blossoming people's revolt in the United States is the 9/11 cover up and conspiracy where Vice President Dick Cheney created a shadow government committed to corporate welfare and beholden to the global elite. That's when the Republic began its death throes and the corpocracy emerged from the fallen twin tower's ashes ~ and where it still controls the masses through fear, demonizing, and rationalized dishonesty which began with 9/11. Under Cheney's active direction, and Tony Blair's enthusiastic acquiescence, the Middle East has been virtually controlled by the West through their support of their oppressive monarchies and their unholy alliance with their ongoing partner in crime, Israel.


The New York Times and CIA killer Raymond Davis

The New York Times on Sunday published a column by its public editor, Arthur S. Brisbane, defending the newspaper's decision to withhold, at the request of the Obama administration, the fact that CIA killer Raymond Davis is an employee of the US spy agency.

Whatever Brisbane's intentions, the column is a self-indictment, exposing the liberal newspaper of record's lack of any sense of democratic responsibility or fidelity to basic journalistic principles and its role as a quasi-state propaganda organ.

On January 27 Davis, a former US Special Forces solider and Xe Services (previously called Blackwater) mercenary, shot and killed two Pakistani youth in broad daylight while driving through a crowded market in Lahore. Other CIA operatives who raced to the scene in their vehicle to prevent Pakistani officials from arresting Davis struck a third man and fled, leaving their victim to die in the street.

The following day, Pakistani authorities arrested Davis and charged him with murder and carrying an unlicensed gun. The US government demanded, and continues to demand, Davis' release to American officials on the grounds that he is an official with the US embassy in Islamabad and enjoys diplomatic immunity. The Obama administration denied charges by Pakistani officials that Davis is a CIA operative.


Iran says Mousavi, Karroubi not arrested

© Unknown
An official with the Iranian Judiciary has rejected reports that the heads of the sedition movement, Mir-Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, have been taken into custody.

These two are presently in their own homes and restrictions have been imposed on their contact with suspicious elements, the official was quoted by Fars News Agency as saying on Monday.

Foreign media outlets supporting the counter-revolutionaries such as state-funded VOA and BBC had earlier claimed that Mousavi and Karroubi were arrested.

Judiciary Spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei had earlier warned that if necessary, tougher measures would be taken against the "domestic counter-revolutionary movement."

"Today, this movement has gone beyond sedition and turned into [a] counter-revolutionary [one]," he was quoted by IRNA as saying.


Iran Arrests Opposition Leaders Karrubi, Mousavi After Calls for Protests

© Agence France-Presse/FileMehdi Karroubi leads the National Trust Party
Iran's opposition leaders Mehdi Karrubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who had been under forced seclusion at home, were transferred to a Tehran prison, as supporters prepared to hold a rally tomorrow, the opposition Kaleme website said.

Mousavi and Karrubi, along with their wives, were "arrested and taken to Heshmatiyeh prison in Tehran," Kaleme said on its website, which cited neighbors for some of the details.

A crackdown on Karrubi and Mousavi, who both lost in the 2009 election against President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, is aimed at curbing dissent, which has revived as turmoil spreads in the Middle East and North Africa. Unrest that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali from Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak from Egypt, is now roiling Libya, where more than 1,000 people have died and almost 100,000 have fled, according to the United Nations.

Mousavi and Karrubi had earlier called for a Feb. 14 rally in solidarity with regional protesters and, according to opposition websites, were placed in seclusion along with their wives in mid-February.


New US cronies taking charge: Zawahiri

© Agence France-PresseThis videograb provided by the Site Intelligence Group shows a picture of al-Qaeda number two Ayman al-Zawahiri as he delivers an audio message released by al-Qaeda media arm as-Shahab.
Al Qaeda's Egyptian-born number two Ayman al-Zawahiri has said the United States is installing sympathetic new regimes in Tunisia and Egypt, demanding Muslims rise up against "whippers" and "invaders".

The SITE monitoring service said Monday that Zawahiri had released the third of a series of audio messages on uprisings in the Arab world, recorded between the fall of Tunisia's regime and Hosni Mubarak's government in Egypt.

Railing against Washington, Zawahiri also said Tunisians should resist "the French occupier" and establish "a rule that will be a role model of counselling and justice for your brothers".


Hackers exploit Libyan unrest to target human rights groups

© V3
Symantec.cloud uncovers targeted email attack against six organisations

Security experts are warning of a new targeted email-based hacking attack exploiting the current unrest in Libya to infect the victim's machine and enable remote code execution.

Symantec.cloud's MessageLabs Intelligence research team spotted the suspicious emails earlier this week, noting that they were sent to 27 individuals at six organisations involved in promoting human rights or supporting humanitarian aid, or acting as think-tanks for foreign affairs and economic development.


EU refuses to reveal bank data transfers to US

Six months after the deal, no information is publicly available

The European Commission and Europol have once again refused to reveal any information about how the Terrorist Finance Tracking Agreement between the European Union and the U.S. is working six months after it came into force.

The so-called "Swift" accord, which allows the bulk transfer of European citizens' financial data to the U.S. authorities, came into force on Aug. 1 last year. In December, German representatives revealed that questions from the German data protection commissioner about how many requests the U.S. has made for data and how many, if any, have been approved, were not answered.

BACKGROUND: Europe votes to send secret bank data to US authorities


Night Dragon hackers targeted Shell, BP and Exxon

© V3
IT security at global petrochemical firms called into question

The Night Dragon hacking attacks uncovered by security vendor McAfee were targeted at some of the world's largest petrochemical companies, including Shell, Exxon Mobil and BP, according to new reports.

A Bloomberg report citing "one of the companies and investigators who declined to be identified" said that the list of targeted companies also included Marathon Oil, ConocoPhillips and Baker Hughes.