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Fri, 09 Jun 2023
The World for People who Think

Puppet Masters


New absurd US passport questionnaire

© Unknown
New proposed rules to passport application by the US Department of State may require some applicants submit a full employment history and the list of ever residence they have held since birth.

The new process would require certain applicants complete a new supplemental questionnaire. Those who submit documents deemed insufficient or suspicious will be required to comply.
"The Biographical Questionnaire for a US Passport, form DS-5513, is used to supplement an application for a US passport when the applicant submits citizenship or identity evidence that is insufficient or of questionable authenticity," according to a statement issued by the State Department when the proposed rules were made public. "In addition to this primary use of the data, the DS-5513 may also be used as evidence in the prosecution of any individual who makes a false statement on the application and for other uses as set forth in the Prefatory Statement and the Passport System of Records Notice (State-26)."


Would someone please tell us what's really going on in Ivory Coast?

What the hell is going on in Ivory Coast? You'd never know from the North American mainstream media.

© Unknown
Dr Laurent Gbagbo, humiliated and forced from office by France on behalf of the international criminal banking elite
The received wisdom as reported by our newspapers and broadcasters is that there's a president (bad) who lost an election and won't give up power, plus another president (good) who won that same election and is quite properly trying to get the power to which he's entitled.

In addition to this, we know that the United Nations, and therefore the world, backs the Good President, and that all the world, and presumably tout le monde Cote d'Ivoire, hates the Bad President. Except for a few armed thugs, that is. There's lots of violence, the UN is "alarmed," and, oh yeah, the French have sent in troops.

If you're really paying attention, you might now that the Bad President is named Lawrence Bagbo (although you probably won't know that his name is actually spelled Laurent Gbagbo) and the Good President is named Allsane Watra (Alassane Ouattara).


Egypt, Israel gas pipeline fire could rage for days

© Reuters / Stringer
A part of a gas pipeline is seen on fire near the northern city of al-Arish April 27, 2011.
A fire that erupted on an Egyptian gas export pipeline after it was attacked by an armed gang early on Wednesday could rage for days before engineers are able to begin repairs, a security source said.

It was the second attack since early February on the pipeline, which supplies natural gas to Israel and Jordan, local cement plants and a power station.

The attackers targeted a metering station near the North Sinai town of el-Arish. The station is owned by Gasco, Egypt's gas transport company which is a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS.

Witnesses said a huge fireball rose above the ruptured line after the blast and the flames surged up to 20 metres high, state news agency MENA reported.

"The fire is still ongoing and it'll be at least three to four days before it goes out, after which authorities can begin repairing the pipeline damage and then resume the gas flow," the source said.


Tibetan exile community get new political leader

© AP / Ashwini Bhatia
Tibetan prime ministerial candidate Lobsang Sengay, gestures as he talks to the Associated Press in the backdrop of a Tibetan flag in Dharmsala, India, March 20, 2011.
A Harvard legal scholar has been elected the next prime minister of Tibet's government-in-exile, officials announced Wednesday, paving the way for new leadership in the Tibetan community as the Dalai Lama gives up political power.

Lobsang Sangay, 43, a lawyer and scholar who has spent years studying international law and conflict resolution, won with 55 percent of the votes cast by tens of thousands of Tibetans around the world, chief election commissioner Jamphel Choesang said in the north Indian town of Dharmsala, where the exile government is based.

"I view my election as an affirmation of the far-sighted policies of His Holiness the Dalai Lama," he said in a statement on the exile government's website, calling on people to "join me in our common cause to alleviate the suffering of Tibetans in occupied Tibet."

While the government-in-exile has existed for decades, it has long been seen as a powerless reflection of the wishes of the Dalai Lama, the exiled 75-year-old Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader worshipped as a near-deity by many followers.


Bomb hits Pakistan navy bus, third this week

© Reuters/Athar Hussain
Security officials examine a bus after it was damaged by a bomb in Karachi April 28, 2011. The roadside bomb hit the bus carrying Pakistani navy officials in the port city of Karachi on Thursday, killing three people and wounding at least seven, officials said, the third attack on the navy in less than a week.
Suspected militants detonated a roadside bomb in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Thursday, killing four members of the navy, the third attack on the navy in less than a week.

A pedestrian was also killed in the blast targeted at a navy bus, while five people were wounded, navy spokesman Commander Salman Ali and a hospital official said.

The attack came two days after two bombs hit buses carrying navy personnel, killing four people and wounding 56. Taliban insurgents took responsibility for the twin attacks.

Militants linked to al Qaeda and Taliban have carried out several attacks on the Pakistani army and airforce which spearhead offensives against them in their northwestern strongholds near the Afghan border.

The insurgents have not targeted the navy in the past and security experts say the attacks on the navy, seen as a soft target with less effective protection, could be part of a new strategy to widen their violent campaign.

Bad Guys

Psychopathic Gitmo Doctors Hid Evidence of Torture

© John Riley /EPA
US military detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba

They explained away the bone fractures, didn't ask what caused the lacerations, and called the hallucinations routine. Rather than blowing the whistle, medical professionals entrusted with the care of the detainees at Guantanamo Bay turned a blind eye when there were clear indications of abuse.

That's according to a newly published report from two physicians with unprecedented access to the medical records of nine Gitmo detainees.

Writing in the online journal PLoS Medicine, Physicians for Human Rights senior medical adviser Vincent Iacopino and retired Brig. Gen. Stephen Xenakis, a psychiatrist now in private practice, found that medical personnel at Guantanamo concealed mental and physical ailments that signaled abusive treatment.


Obama Releases 'Long-Form' Birth Certificate

© Doug Mills/The New York Times
President Obama discussed the release of his "long form" birth certificate on Wednesday.
The decision by President Obama to release his "long-form" birth certificate on Wednesday injected the president directly into the simmering ""birther"controversy in the hope of finally ending it, as aides said, or perhaps even turning it to his advantage.

The gamble produced dramatic television, as Mr. Obama strode in to the White House briefing room to address, head on, a subject that had been deemed irrelevant by everyone in his orbit for years but had nonetheless figured in conservative efforts to undermine his legitimacy.

Mr. Obama's comments risked elevating the discredited questions about his birth. But they also allowed him to cast his political opponents as focused on the trivial at a time when the nation is facing more important issues.

The fact that much of the recent focus on where Mr. Obama was born has come from Donald Trump, who says he is considering a run for the Republican presidential nomination and who spent the day campaigning in New Hampshire, allowed the White House to use Mr. Trump as a foil, and present the president as a more serious leader than his potential rivals in the 2012 campaign.

"We're not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers," Mr. Obama said, a clear reference - though not by name - to Mr. Trump.

Bizarro Earth

BP expects to resume drilling in Gulf of Mexico within months

Deepwater Horizon fire
© Reuters
BP hopes that drilling could begin soon despite legal rows over pollution from Deepwater Horizon disaster.
BP has predicted it will be back drilling in the Gulf of Mexico within a matter of months despite continuing legal threats and rows over pollution from last year's Deepwater Horizon disaster. "We expect to be back and actively drilling during the second half of the year," Byron Grote, the company's chief financial officer, told financial analysts from the City of London on Wednesday.

The comments are likely to infuriate environmentalists who believe BP should be kept away from the Gulf and could upset a US offshore regulator still considering whether to grant permits to BP.


Syria: EU considers sanctions as regime's violent crackdown continues

Opposition activists report attacks in Deraa and mass arrests in Douma as Sarkozy and Berlusconi call for end to the violence
Syrian pro-democracy protesters
© AP
The Syrian human rights organisation Sawasiah has claimed that at least 400 civilians have been killed during a month of pro-democracy protests.
EU countries are discussing imposing sanctions on Syria if the regime continues its violent suppression of pro-democracy protests.

The foreign secretary, William Hague, said Damascus faced "a fork in the road" as opposition activists reported continuing government attacks in the southern town of Deraa and mass arrests and tanks in areas including Douma near the capital and Baniyas on the coast.

In Rome, Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi issued a joint call for an end to violence against the demonstrators. The French president described the situation as "unacceptable" but also made it clear that he was not contemplating direct intervention of the sort he championed against Muammar Gaddafi in Libya.

"We are not going to intervene everywhere in the world and not all situations are necessarily the same," Sarkozy said.

Possible EU sanctions would probably include travel bans and asset freezes targeting members of President Bashar al-Assad's family and other senior regime figures, and would be co-ordinated with US punitive measures being prepared by the Obama administration.


Secret police detain more than 500 as Syria defies Western threats

Brutal security forces move in as government refuses to be cowed by warning of international sanctions
Bashar al-Assad
© AP
Bashar al-Assad is deeply entangled in the acts of the military and bears responsibility for the crackdown
Syria's feared secret police raided hundreds of homes yesterday as authorities stepped up attempts to crush the pro-reform movement amid tentative signs of coordinated action by world leaders against the regime.

Forces were reportedly massing outside the north-western city of Baniyas last night amid fears that the government was planning an assault on a second rebellious city, where two weeks ago soldiers tried to quell protests against President Bashar al-Assad.

Thousands of army troops and tanks stormed the southern city of Deraa on Monday, killing at least 20 people in what appeared to be pre-emptive action against opposition to Assad rather than a response to demonstrations.