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Sun, 21 Apr 2019
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Amazon isn't the only big business that doesn't pay income taxes

pocketing money
© Getty Images
Sixty of America's biggest companies from the Fortune 500 list, including IBM, Netflix, General Motors and Chevron, managed to avoid paying a dime in income taxes on their whopping profits last year.

After the explosive report on how Jeff Bezos' Amazon used tax loopholes and paid nothing in taxes for two years in a row, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) revealed that many more US companies did the same thing absolutely legally in 2018.

They include 60 major firms from different sectors of the US economy from retail to oil and gas. For example, Delta Air Lines paid nothing to Uncle Sam despite recording over $5 billion in profits. Energy major Chevron and automotive giant General Motors also paid zero tax, with each having earned more than $4 billion last year.

In total, the listed companies zeroed out federal income taxes on $79 billion in US pretax income, according to ITEP findings. And instead of paying $16.4 billion in taxes, these corporations enjoyed a net corporate tax rebate of $4.3 billion.


Massive resurgence of cholera hits Yemen

Yemeni baby
© AP Photo / Hani Mohammed
According to reports coming out of war-torn Yemen, a minimum of one-third of cholera cases reported in a new outbreak of the deadly disease are children under the age of five.

Charity organization Oxfam has released information detailing that Yemen is at risk of a "massive resurgence" of cholera, as an estimated 195,000 cases have been currently reported for 2019 alone.

"Fears that the world's worst cholera outbreak could be set for a massive resurgence are growing," noted the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam) relief organization on Thursday.

Aid agencies and medical outreach groups are struggling to reach those in need, the relief agency reported, even as a Saudi-led military coalition stocked with the most recent US weapons continued operation against armed Houthi force in the country.

Comment: From 2017: Saudi Arabia donates $66.7 million to stop Yemen cholera crisis as it continues to bomb and blockade it


ISIS claims responsibility for yesterday's attack on Afghan ministry

ISIS in Afghanistan
The Islamic State (IS) extremist group has claimed responsibility for an attack on an Afghan government building that killed at least seven people on April 20.

According to a statement published by the militant group's Amaq news agency on April 21, the assault on the Communications Ministry headquarters in downtown Kabul was carried out by four IS followers.

The Afghan affiliate of IS, sometimes known as Islamic State Khorasan, has been active in the war-torn country since 2015, fighting the Taliban as well as Afghan and U.S. forces.

Afghan officials said the attack on the ministry began with an explosion at the entrance of the building in a busy commercial area of the city, followed by gunfire.

Police said a bomber blew himself up outside the ministry, clearing the way for the other attackers to enter the building and the heavily guarded government compound in central Kabul.

Nasart Rahimi, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said four civilians and three soldiers were killed during the attack, which lasted several hours. Eight civilians were wounded, he said.

Eye 1

Well done, Zuck: Facebook used distraction of Mueller report to sneakily change information on Instagram password scandal - 'thousands' of accounts became millions

© Energepic.com / Pexels
Facebook has been caught stealthily updating a weeks-old blog post regarding password security on Facebook and Instagram, on the same day the Mueller report was released.

The company admitted on March 21 that it had failed to securely store users' passwords, logging them and storing them unencrypted in plain text. The problem was initially detected as far back as January.

An hour before the Mueller report was released on Thursday, Facebook spin doctors amended the number of Instagram users affected from "tens of thousands" to "millions." Quick maths.

Comment: Facebook hack leaves 50 million accounts compromised; linked 3rd party apps affected too

Mr. Potato

Crybaby #Resistance journalist has 453-tweet meltdown over Mueller: 'It was collusion, buy my book'

Seth Abramson
September 2017. Seth Abramson appears on CNN in happier days.
The Mueller report left some of President Donald Trump's conduct up for debate, but clearly stated no collusion with Russia took place. Not for one journalist, who launched a Twitter crusade to prove otherwise...with 453 tweets.

Beginning on the evening before Attorney General William Barr's pre-report press conference, Newsweek columnist and English professor Seth Abramson set out to live-tweet the report's release. Helpfully, Abramson pointed out that he's the bestselling author of Proof of Collusion: How Trump Betrayed America.

Clearly, he found some things to disagree with in the Mueller report - which showed the exact opposite - going on an epic rant in 453 tweets of anger, disbelief, and white-hot liberal rage, (condensed here for easy reading).

Comment: A #Resistance Lefty's mental desintegration chronicled in real time. Fascinating.


Video shows woman caught in door, dragged onto train tracks in San Francisco

Officials in San Francisco are promising a full investigation after a frightening video was released showing a woman getting her finger caught in a closing train door and dragged onto the tracks under the train.

In the surveillance video, the woman can be seen walking down the stairs at the city's Embarcadero station on April 12 when she tries to get on the Muni train as the doors are closing. It appears as though her hand gets stuck in the door as it is closing. She can be seen talking to an employee standing on the platform just feet away, but the train starts moving and she is dragged off the platform and under the train.

The woman was reportedly injured, but officials have not said how seriously.

The video was first acquired by the San Francisco Examiner.


George Monbiot, Extinction Rebellion and the apologists for poverty

Extinction Rebellion protest
Climate protesters Extinction Rebellion have spent the week blocking London's roads, staging die-ins, glueing themselves to trains, climbing on top of buses, and even chaining themselves to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's house. The activists' aim is to cause maximum disruption and get themselves arrested to draw attention to climate change. Protest leaders claim that humanity faces extinction unless carbon emissions are cut to net zero by 2025.

They have compared themselves to Gandhi and Martin Luther King. A BBC podcast asks if Extinction Rebellion are 'the new Suffragettes'. They have been endorsed by many on the radical left who have persuaded themselves that a serious rebellion is afoot.

Last week, left-wing new media outlet Novara Media posted on social media a video of veteran eco-warrior George Monbiot. In it, Monbiot calls for an end to green tinkering and the 'micro-consumerist bollocks' of sustainable cotton buds, etc. Instead, he says, 'we need to get to the heart of capitalism and overthrow it'. The audience cheered and the clip went viral, with over one million views. James Corden from Gavin and Stacey retweeted it. Leftists tweeted excitedly about a decisive and radical shift in the 'Overton Window' in favour of abolishing capitalism.

Comment: See also:

Better Earth

Thank God for western values: The debt of the West to Christianity

notre dame cross
Declarations of hope that Notre Dame can be resurrected have been much in evidence this Holy Week. Such is the lesson of Easter: that life can come from death. Unlike the Eiffel Tower, that other great emblem of Paris, Notre Dame provides the French with evidence that their modern and secular republic has its foundations deeply rooted in the Middle Ages. Notre Dame has always been more than just an assemblage of stone and stained glass. It is a monument as well to a specifically Christian past.

Last summer, one of the world's best-known scientists, a man as celebrated for his polemics against religion as for his writings on evolutionary biology, sat in another cathedral, Winchester, listening to the bells peal. 'So much nicer than the aggressive-sounding "Allahu Akhbar",' Richard Dawkins tweeted. 'Or is that just my cultural upbringing?' A preference for church bells over the sound of Muslims praising God does not just emerge by magic. Dawkins - agnostic, secularist and humanist that he is - absolutely has the instincts of someone brought up in a Christian civilisation.

Perhaps, then, the debt of the contemporary West to Christianity is more deeply rooted than many - believers and non-believers alike - might presume.

Comment: Evidently there is good reason that Christianity has made such an indelible mark on the world, and, in these troubled times, recovering these foundations and the truths they were built upon may prove vital to the survival of our civilization: Also check out SOTT radio's:

Bizarro Earth

Vietnam cries foul as Monsanto victims get huge compensation in US

agent orange
© Vo Thanh
Nguyen Thi Bich Ngoc (L) of Ho Chi Minh City and her three sons, born with deformities due to the effects of dioxin, as shown in a photo at an exhibition opened last year at the Thua Thien Hue Historical Museum in central Vietnam.
'Where's the justice for Vietnamese victims being destroyed every day by (Monsanto's) toxic chemicals,' asks a senior Vietnamese official.

Major General Tran Ngoc Tho, deputy chairman of the Vietnam Association of Victims of Agent Orange and Dioxin and president of its Ho Chi Minh City branch, has sent a letter asking a U.S. court to reverse its earlier ruling in an Agent Orange case.

Tho cited the jury's ruling in the U.S. federal court of San Francisco on March 19, 2019, which decided that Monsanto's weed killer Roundup causes cancer. It ordered Monsanto to pay around $81 million to 70-year-old Edwin Hardeman of California, who has been diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

The major general also cited another case where a San Francisco court in August 2018 awarded a compensation of $289 million by Monsanto to Dewayne Johnson after he was diagnosed with cancer resulting from long-term exposure to Roundup and herbicide Ranger Pro produced by the company.

Comment: To outright admit responsibility and pay compensation - rather than under guise of 'nonrefundable aid packages - may require the US military, in league with big business, to admit its crimes against humanity:


At least 207 killed, 500 injured after eight explosions rock Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday UPDATES

Sri Lanka attacks on Easter Sunday
© Instagram / jeevan_rajeevan
Six explosions rocked Catholic churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka as Christians began Easter Sunday celebrations, with at least 50 killed and hundreds injured, local authorities confirmed.

The blasts occurred at around 8:45am local time at St. Anthony's Church in Colombo and St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, a Catholic-majority town outside of the capital. The Zion Church in Batticaloa on the eastern coast was also targeted.

At around the same time, the Shangri-La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury five-star hotels were also hit, police confirmed. All attacks appear to have been coordinated.

At least 52 people were killed, media reported, citing police.

Comment: Update: At least 207 people killed, around 500 injured from the 8 blasts in Sri Lanka.
At least 207 people were killed and hundreds more wounded in a series of bomb blasts that hit luxury hotels and churches across Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday, leaving the entire country in a state of lock-down.

The first wave of attacks struck at the heart of the country's minority Christian community during busy Easter services at churches in the cities of Colombo, Negombo and Batticaloa on Sunday morning.Additional blasts ripped through three high-end hotels, the Shangri La, Cinnamon Grand and Kingsbury, all in capital city Colombo.