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US: Hypocrisy: TSA agent makes joking reference to OKC bomber Timothy McVeigh

© Getty Images
The TSA's peculiar "sense of humor
Among the Transportation Security Administration's ever-lengthening laundry list of problems is a recently highlighted proclivity among its agents not to practice what they preach.

Earlier this week, a TSA agent cracked a "joke" that, had it come from a passenger, would have resulted in a nude-body scan, a forty-minute enhanced pat-down, and probably a firing squad for good measure.

The incident, reported by The Consumerist, occurred at Boston's Logan Airport and involved a passenger who opted not to pass through one of the airport's new advanced imaging technology (AIT) scanners. The passenger was perhaps aware of reports last month of an increase in cancer cases among TSA personnel at Logan.


US: Hacking Groups Say They are Back After FBI Arrests

© Reuters/Jon Nazca
WikiLeaks supporters wear masks of the ''Anonymous'' internet activist group and a mask of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (R) during a demonstration calling for the release of Assange, in Malaga, southern Spain December 11, 2010.
After a brief hiatus and an FBI takedown of several alleged "hacktivists," two groups that have claimed responsibility for a recent wave of cyber vandalism say they are back.

A statement was posted online on Thursday jointly by the groups, Anonymous and Lulz Security, after U.S. authorities arrested 16 people earlier this week for several attacks, most prominently Anonymous' attempt to cripple eBay's PayPal site after it stopped accepting donations to the WikiLeaks organization.

The arrests allowed a peek into the lives of those alleged to be hacker-activists -- cyber-criminals who shut down or break into computer systems to make political points or defy authority, rather than to steal credit card numbers or commit espionage.

Some did not seem to have sophisticated technology-oriented jobs. The group included a former janitor, a landscape foreman and a college student, ranging in age from 20 to 42.

"We are not scared any more. Your threats to arrest us are meaningless to us as you cannot arrest an idea," the hacker groups said in the statement, which could not be independently verified. Lulz Security had previously suggested it was disbanding.

Che Guevara

Australia: 'Up to 100' in Latest Christmas Island Riots

© Nic Ellis
Protest at the Phosphate Hill detention facility on Christmas Island.

The Immigration Department says up to 100 people armed with makeshift weapons may have been involved in the latest riot at the Christmas Island Detention Centre overnight.

Between 30 and 40 people were directly involved in the protest, which involved lighting fires at the centre.

The incident was brought to a halt by federal police, but the department said the perimeter fence was not breached.
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Detainees set fire to furniture and rubbish bins and destroyed fences and gates, Social Justice Network spokesman Jamal Daoud said.

Ian Rintoul, from the Refugee Action Coalition, said earlier he had been informed by an asylum seeker that detainees barricaded themselves inside the detention centre's Gold compound.


The Odd Couple: Julian Assange, Rupert Murdoch and Freedom of Information

© The Associated Press / Getty Images
Both WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and media mogul Rupert Murdoch have come under fire linked to hacking scandals. Taken together these incidents raise interesting questions about what constitutes public knowledge and whether freedom of information can be taken too far.

WikiLeaks had been releasing confidential documents and has been threatened with lawsuits long before it became known for publicizing secret military information related to the U.S. intervention in Iraq and Afghanistan. These documents were allegedly obtained by WikiLeaks via the United States Army soldier Bradley Manning, who has still never been formally charged and has been detained for 14 months. Even though Julian Assange did not hack the information and did not even know where it was from, it is still seen as a crime to release these documents because of their nature. Many of them were never used by the U.S. media. But some national security-related documents were picked up by prominent news organizations, including The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel. The New York Times explained why it ran documents such as the Afghanistan dispatches, saying that "there was no question [...] that the Afghanistan dispatches were genuine".

Here, public knowledge prevailed over ethical questions regarding the methods employed to attain that information.


Japan Bans Radioactive Meat a Little Too Late

radioactive meat
© Chris McGrath / Getty Images

The March 2011 disaster that swept Japan and other parts of the world with radiation from melted down reactors cores at the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant continues to spew deadly radiation to this very day.

The Intel Hub has had reports of aerial radiation surveys taking place over the CONUS (Continental United States)due to the Fukushima radiation drift - like a scene out of the TV series Jericho (a must watch).

What is even more appalling is the fact that Japan has now banned the deadly radioactive meat after most of the Japanese populace consumed has it.

The following is an excerpt from the AFP;


Ex Japanese Nuclear Regulator Blames Radioactive Animal Feed on "Black Rain"


While many radioactive cattle have been discovered large distances from Fukushima, what is more important is where their feed is coming from.

"It's not only about the radioactive cattle in Fukushima Prefecture; its also about the radioactive straw the cattle eat that was grown elsewhere". Straw found 45 miles from Fukushima is highly contaminated with radioactive cesium, which is an indication that radiation has contaminated large portions of Northern Japan.

More than half a million disintegrations per second in a kilogram of straw are comparable to Chernobyl levels. This proves that the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission was correct when it told Americans to evacuate beyond 50 miles and that the Japanese should have done the same.

An Ex-Secretariat of Japan's Nuclear Safety Commission blames this contamination on "Black Rain". Rather than minimize the information the Japanese people receive, Gundersen suggests minimizing their radiation exposure."


Madness: 39 Things That Are Driving Ordinary Americans Absolutely Crazy

Crazy American
© adamshane.com
Have you noticed that almost everyone seems really angry these days? Frustration with the government and with most of the other major institutions in our society seems to grow by the day. According to a brand new ABC News/Washington Post poll, 80 percent of Americans say that they are either dissatisfied or angry with the government. Americans are deeply divided about what the solutions to our problems are, but what almost everyone can agree on is that our problems are getting worse. Watching all of the madness that is going on in Washington D.C. and in our state capitals is almost enough to drive anyone absolutely crazy. Our nation is drowning in an ocean of debt, jobs are being shipped overseas at an alarming rate, thousands of stores are closing, poverty is exploding, greed has become a national pastime and corruption is seemingly everywhere. The American people are incredibly frustrated because the vast majority of our "leaders" appear to be too incompetent or too corrupt to deal with our problems.

If you visit just about any website on the Internet that deals with politics or the economy and spend some time reading the comments that people leave you will quickly see how angry people are becoming. A lot of times people have no other outlets for the intense frustration that they are feeling and so they just let it all come out online. Yes, Americans have always complained about the government, but the madness that we are seeing today is really unprecedented in modern U.S. history. Something has fundamentally changed.

The U.S. government and most of our other major societal institutions are rapidly losing the faith of the American people. But society cannot function without trust.

So what is going to happen once all of the trust is gone?

The following are 39 things that are driving ordinary Americans absolutely crazy right now....


Ghana cracks down on gays

© Unknown

Ghana's Western Region Minister, Paul Evans Aidoo MP has ordered the immediate arrest of all homosexuals in the country's west.

Aidooo has tasked Ghana's Bureau of National Investigations and security forces to round up the country's gay population and has called on landlords and tenants to inform on people they suspect of being homosexuals.

"All efforts are being made to get rid of these people in the society," he said.

The move by the Minister follows months of campaigning by the Christian Council of Ghana which last week called on Ghanaians not to vote for any politician who believes in the rights of homosexuals.

Muslims and Christians in the Western Region have been staging protests ever since a local media report claimed there were around 8000 homosexuals and lesbians in the district.

Comment: This is a response by an individual from Ghana:
I'm a Ghanaian journalist, let me clear a few things.

As the last paragraph says, Ghana's constitution does not outlaw homosexuality in its explicit sense, just an ambiguous statement of "unnatural carnal knowledge".

The first comment here asked how the govt knows of the 8000 gay people in that region. It's because those 8000 people registered themselves into a grouping and a newspaper found out.

Ghana's religious population (christian and muslim) have a powerful voice. And they are against the homosexuals getting recognition. Their favorite quote is "God loves the sinner including the homosexuals but hates sin and homosexuality"

What's the mood like? It will soon get bloody. It's an extremely touchy issue.

Hope this clears things up.


Gaza: The Blockade Runners

Pro-Palestinian activism to break the illegal siege

Global Research Editor's Note

The following article by Julie Lévesque is Part I of a review of the lone humanitarian ship to Gaza, The Spirit of Rachel Corrie which reached Palestinian territorial waters before being brutally intercepted by The Israeli Navy.

The mission was organized by the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF) based in Kuala Lumpur.

For several years now Global Research has been actively collaborating with the PGPF in a broad initiative to criminalize war. It is in this context of continued collaboration that Global Research's Julie Lévesque participated in this important endeavor.

Contrary to the Freedom Flotilla, which was the object of active media debate and discussion, the planning of the Spirit of Rachel Corrie mission was not made public.

The Israeli authorities were taken totally by surprise. The Spirit of Rachel Corrie was within less than one kilometer of the Gazan coastline. The Israeli navy acted in a totally improvised fashion, firing at the crew and the passengers until the Spirit of Rachel Corrie retreated into Egyptian territorial waters.

In an act of tremendous courage and determination, the Spirit of Rachel Corrie, led by PDGF's Matthias Chang, challenged the legitimacy of the Israeli government. It managed "to put a hole" in the blockade of Gaza as well as deliver by land, its humanitarian cargo.

Part I of this report focuses on two courageous Irish activists, Derek and Jenny Graham, who played a central role in leading both last year's Rachel Corrie and this year's Spirit of Rachel Corrie.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, July 18, 2011

Bad Guys

Germany: Bones of Nazi Hess Exhumed From "Pilgrimage" Grave

Hess Grave
© Reuters / Michael Dalder
A file photo of the grave of Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess in Wunsiedel, August 16, 2000.

The remains of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess have been exhumed from a grave in Bavaria after it became a pilgrimage for thousands of right-wing extremists.

A church official in the southern town of Wunsiedel said on Thursday the tomb had been razed and its headstone removed after consulting with Hess's family over how to handle the grave site.

"The bones were removed and brought to the crematorium, and the ashes are to be scattered at sea," Peter Seisser said.

An early, fervent member of the Nazi party, Hess spent time in prison with Hitler in the early 1920s and helped edit Mein Kampf -- the book in which the dictator outlined plans to destroy European Jewry and murder other groups he considered undesirable.

Hess parachuted into Scotland in May 1941 after a mysterious solo night flight, apparently on an unauthorized peace mission. He was captured and held prisoner until 1945 -- briefly as one of the last prisoners in the Tower of London.