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Air France union calls for cancellation of flights to Ebola-hit countries

© Reuters / Charles Platiau
The union behind Air France has launched a petition to immediately stop flights to Ebola-hit countries until the virus is under control, as fears flare up over the largest epidemic the world has ever seen.

Air crews are still made to fly to Conakry in Guinea and Freetown in Sierra Leone, according to Le Parisien. Those are some of the most afflicted by the Ebola virus, having now lost more than 1,200 people.

"We are afraid," one employee told the newspaper. "We know that this is a risky career - countries at war, dictators, OK, but this... it's different."

The employee is one of 700 who signed the petition.

Although Air France staff had already been given the right to refuse to work on flights bound to the two West African countries, they didn't go as far as British Airways and Emirates, who canceled the routes altogether.


Calls for media blackout of James Foley execution video gaining attention on Twitter

© Reuters / Ammar Abdullah
Celebrities and commentators have led calls on Twitter for the video depicting the beheading of US journalist James Foley not to be shared online to avoid handing the Islamic State a platform for its propaganda.

Channel 4 newsreader Krishnan Guru-Murthy, former Tory MP Louise Mensch and Mirror journalist Kevin Maguire are among those urging social network users not to forward the footage on to their contacts.

Guru-Murthy said: "The intended effect of beheading James Foley on video is to spread fear of IS [the Islamic State]. Don't help by watching or sharing it."
The intended effect of beheading James Foley on video is to spread fear of IS. Don't help by watching or sharing it #JamesFoley

- Krishnan Guru-Murthy (@krishgm) August 19, 2014
Meanwhile, Mensch urged her followers to share a picture of Foley alive rather than "any of him in the hands of his gutless murderers."

Che Guevara

Desmond Tutu calls for global boycott of Israel

© AP
A child next to a picture of Nelson Mandela at a pro-Palestinian rally in Cape Town. August 9, 2014
The past weeks have witnessed unprecedented action by members of civil society across the world against the injustice of Israel's disproportionately brutal response to the firing of missiles from Palestine.

If you add together all the people who gathered over the past weekend to demand justice in Israel and Palestine - in Cape Town, Washington, D.C., New York, New Delhi, London, Dublin and Sydney, and all the other cities - this was arguably the largest active outcry by citizens around a single cause ever in the history of the world.

A quarter of a century ago, I participated in some well-attended demonstrations against apartheid. I never imagined we'd see demonstrations of that size again, but last Saturday's turnout in Cape Town was as big if not bigger. Participants included young and old, Muslims, Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, blacks, whites, reds and greens ... as one would expect from a vibrant, tolerant, multicultural nation.

I asked the crowd to chant with me: "We are opposed to the injustice of the illegal occupation of Palestine. We are opposed to the indiscriminate killing in Gaza. We are opposed to the indignity meted out to Palestinians at checkpoints and roadblocks. We are opposed to violence perpetrated by all parties. But we are not opposed to Jews."

Earlier in the week, I called for the suspension of Israel from the International Union of Architects, which was meeting in South Africa.


Ferguson police slammed by watchdog groups for 'harassment' of journalists

© AFP Photo / Joe Raedle
Police officers arrest a demonstrator on August 19, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri
As tensions continue to simmer following nine days of street protests in Ferguson, Missouri, where a teenager was shot dead by a police officer, two watchdog groups have slammed the heavy-handed police tactics.

To compound the physical and mental strain of reporting on the weeks-long protests in Ferguson, where the public is desperate for justice after a white police officer shot black teenager Michael Brown to death, journalists themselves are finding themselves the target of police tear gas, rubber bullets and flash bang grenades.

However, Robert Mahoney, Deputy Director of the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), said the police tactics would not prevent reporters from doing their jobs.

"Ferguson is an international story and journalists are going to cover it. They have a right to do so without fearing for their safety or liberty," Mahoney said. "The harassment and detention of reporters must stop. From senior commanders on down, the word must go out to security forces to let journalists do their job."


Former Israeli soldier's message to protesters in the U.S.: 'You're next'!

A former Israeli soldier's message to the people of the U.S. is a startling one. Eran Efrati says that "if you don't care about Palestinians... You guys should know: you are next in line."

Efrati, 28, was born and raised in Jerusalem, serving in the IDF as a combat soldier and company sergeant in Battalion 50 of the Nachal Division. Most of his military service was in Hebron and throughout the West Bank.

In 2009, he was discharged and joined Breaking the Silence, an organization of veteran Israeli soldiers that is working to raise awareness about the daily reality in the Occupied Territories.

Now Efrati is working as the chief investigator of the organization. He collects testimonies from IDF soldiers about their activities and guides political tours in the West Bank.

Eye 1

Nanny state: Wikipedia pages, social media among internet sites blocked at Northern Illinois University

"Finally, I can do whatever I want!" thought every incoming college freshman ever. But for some unlucky students arriving on campus this fall, that sought-after right of passage applies to just about everything except internet usage.

Northern Illinois University enacted an Acceptable Use Policy that goes further than banning torrents, also denying students access to social media sites and other content the university considers "unethical" or "obscene."

A discussion on the ban was brought to Reddit by user darkf who discovered the new policy while trying to access the Wikipedia page for the Westboro Baptist Church from his personal computer in his dorm room. The student received a filter message categorizing the page as "illegal or unethical." It seems possible to continue to the webpage, but the message warns that all violations will be reviewed.

Comment: The PTB in the US has been systematically dumbing-down the population to make the masses more easily controllable. Notice that political content has now been censored because they obviously do not want an educated informed populace able to counter their machinations.

The dumbing down of America - By design
Society cannot be dumbed down any further say experts - human intelligence on downward trajectory

Eye 2

Researchers discover ease of concealing weapons in Rapiscan full-body scanners

© Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Teflon tape, molded plastic explosives and concealed handguns are all concealment tricks that a group of researchers were able to pull off on the Rapiscan Secure 1000 machines previously used at TSA checkpoints and currently used at courthouses, prisons and other government security stops.
Teflon tape, molded plastic explosives and handguns are all concealment tricks that a group of researchers were able to pull off on the Rapiscan Secure 1000 machines previously used at TSA checkpoints and currently used at courthouses, prisons and other government security stops.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University maneuvered weapons past the full-body X-ray scanners that were deployed at U.S. airports between 2009 and 2013 - at a cost of more than $1 billion.

"Frankly, we were shocked by what we found," said J. Alex Halderman, a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan, in a statement. "A clever attacker can smuggle contraband past the machines using surprisingly low-tech techniques."

Comment: These ridiculous government toys are both a health hazard and a huge invasion of privacy. Now we find that they are also useless as a security measure. It was never about security, but trying to herd the masses into accepting higher levels of control.

Security Theater: Engineer Shows TSA Nude Scanners are Useless, Sues TSA
Body Scanners Scrapped from German Airports After Error-Filled Trial
More proof the Department of Homeland Security and TSA are actively destroying America

Arrow Down

Tragic: Majority of teens U.K. think porn makes life harder to handle

© Reuters/Marko Djurica
Approximately 80 percent of 18 year olds said that pornography was too easy to access, while 60 percent said its pervasiveness had complicated the process of growing up
The majority of British teens believe internet porn is "addictive" and has a "damaging effect" on society, pressuring them to behave and acts in ways not experienced by previous generations, a new report has revealed.

The report produced by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) on Tuesday also says that nearly half of young Brits are "regularly exposed" to explicit images before the age of 14, while the vast majority say it has become "part of everyday life".

The study suggests that easier access to pornography had a negative effect on the sexual expectations of young people ; 77 percent of young women said that "pornography has led to pressure on girls and young women to look a certain way", while 46 percent of young people said sending explicit images and videos of themselves via social media was "part of everyday life".

Comment: It might be equally risky to allow a generation of young people to be raised on a diet of sex education, the way it is taught in schools. Child abuse and the hypersexualisation of our children is on the rise.
For more information, please see:

Ran Gavrieli: Why I stopped watching porn
Mommy, why is Daddy wearing a dress. Daddy, why does mommy have a moustache?

Light Saber

Russia amends blacklist of agricultural products, removing nutritional supplements and special dietary products

russia sanctions
© RIA Novosti / Aleksandr Kondratuk
The Russian government has amended its list of banned agricultural products, by removing lactose-free milk, young salmon and trout, as well as some vegetables and nutritional supplements from the list of restricted imports.

Seed potatoes, onions, and hybrid sweet corn can now be imported from Western countries after falling under Russia's food ban in early August.

The exceptions to the list also include dietary supplements that come from plants and vegetables like vitamins, protein powders, and others.

The government decree was signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday.

On August 7 Medvedev instigated the ban on imported beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheese, milk, and fruit vegetables from Australia, Canada, the EU, the US and Norway.


Hackers stole MH370-related documents from Malaysian officials

© Reuters
A targeted phishing attack on a handful of Malaysian officials involved in investigating the disappearance of flight MH370 in March reportedly gave the perpetrators, presumably of Chinese origin, access to a trove of classified material.

The successful hacking attack affected some 30 computers belonging to officials in the Malaysia Airlines, the Civil Aviation Department and the National Security Council, Malaysian newspaper the Star reported on Wednesday.

The malware was posing as a PDF attachment to a new article emailed to the senior officials on March 9, a day after the Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.