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Mon, 11 Dec 2023
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Haiti Earthquake One Year On: The Squalid Tent Cities Where Rape Gangs and Disease Run Rife

  • Haiti remembers its dead with two day memorial
  • 1.2m still trapped in squalid tent cities
  • Charities struggle with cholera epidemic
  • Bill Clinton jets in to join commemorations

From the air they form a neat patchwork of grey and blue, nestling between rundown factories and crumbling slums.

But on the ground these sprawling tent cities are a fetid mass of humanity where cholera and crime run rife.

A year since a cataclysmic earthquake levelled much of Haiti, little has changed for the 1.2million residents still scraping an existence in these squalid refugee camps.

Survivors have been further blighted by an outbreak of the deadly water-borne disease cholera. The illness has struck 155,000 since October, killing 3,651.

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Ground zero: One year after a massive earthquake destroyed Haiti more than a million people are still living in tent camps such as this one

© GeoEye
Disfigured: A satellite image shows the clusters of blue and white across the city which are the temporary refugee camps


US: Sacramento Atheist Files Another Challenge to 'In God We Trust'

Michael Newdow
© Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press
Michael Newdow now has multiple First Amendment arguments pending before the Supreme Court. Separately, he is also challenging the phrase "So help me God" in the presidential oath. Newdow said Wednesday a third petition, challenging the Pledge of Allegiance, will soon arrive at the court.
Sacramento area attorney and dedicated atheist Michael Newdow is making another run at "In God We Trust," with a new Supreme Court petition challenging the national motto.

In an uphill battle, Newdow is asking the nine justices to review an appellate court's rejection of his claim that the invocation of God on official currency violates the constitutional separation of church and state.

"Devout atheists are forced to choose between not using what is often the only available legal tender and committing what they consider blasphemy," Newdow argued in his petition placed on the court's docket Tuesday.

With his latest legal petition, Newdow now has multiple First Amendment arguments pending before the Supreme Court. Separately, he is also challenging the phrase "So help me God" in the presidential oath. Newdow said Wednesday a third petition, challenging the Pledge of Allegiance, will soon arrive at the court.

Formal responses in the cases aren't due until at least mid-February, and it could take several months before Supreme Court justices consider the petitions in a closed-door conference. Nonetheless, Newdow concedes the odds are stacked against him.

Black Cat

Gabrielle Giffords Shooting: Jared Loughner May Have Been Influenced by Occult

Loughner altar
© Splash
A macabre 'altar' in the backyard of Tucson shooter Jared Loughner
FBI investigators delving into the warped mind of Tucson massacre suspect Jared Loughner are exploring whether he was influenced by the occult and a Right-wing conspiracy theorist.

In messages left on the internet before the shooting Loughner, 22, revealed himself to be a social outcast with paranoid, nihilistic beliefs and a fixation with grammar.

At a public meeting with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords three years ago he asked: "What is government if it doesn't exist?"

It left the politician baffled.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Centre, a US civil rights group, Loughner's language and beliefs appeared to resemble those of David Wynn Miller, a Milwaukee-based activist who believes that the US government uses grammar to control people's minds.

Miller, 62, a retired welder, has described himself as a plenipotentiary judge, ambassador, banker, genius and King of Hawaii, and invented his own form of grammar called "truth language", that is said to set people free of the government.

He said he was appalled by the shootings, but agreed with Loughner's pre-shooting internet statement that "the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar". Miller told the Milwaukee Journal that Loughner could have visited his website but he didn't know him and he was "obviously disturbed".

Bad Guys

Catholic Leaders Warn of "Totalitarian" Venezuela

Caracas - Roman Catholic leaders in Venezuela are calling for President Hugo Chavez to give up special lawmaking powers granted to him by his congressional allies.

The Venezuelan Bishops' Conference condemned a package of laws approved last month by the National Assembly, including one that grants Chavez power to enact laws by decree for the next 18 months. Chavez gained those powers shortly before a new congress took office with more opposition lawmakers.

A statement from the bishops released Tuesday accuses Chavez of trying to impose a totalitarian system in Venezuela.

Chavez and the bishops have feuded for years. Chavez has accused the Catholic leadership of neglecting the poor and of siding with his opponents and the rich.

Bad Guys

In Israel They Shackle (Palestinian) Children

Hatem S
© Nova News
Hatem S. On 23 Dec, 2010, 17 year old Hatem is shot in the head whilst buying vegetables, about 800 meters from the border with Israel
Perhaps the most shocking of all things in Israel's treatment of the Palestinians is the way that children are treated. It is unimaginable that an Jewish Israeli child would be brought to court in shackles or even be placed in a court of law.

Beatings and abuse of children by the Israeli military is common and judges, such as the one below, don't even blink an eye. Thus is legal racism established.

Below this is a paper circulated by Dr Derek Summerfield from Defence for Children International - Palestine Section, on the shooting of children working near the northern border of Gaza. (Tony Greenstein)

The Children's Judge

True, in the military courtroom itself Palestinians are neither shot nor beaten. They are not 'targeted for elimination' nor even sentenced to death. At least not in the courtroom. But the military court is also the place where all illusions die. And hopes. Because that is where Palestinians learn that injury caused them, is no error, nor misunderstanding, but a matter of policy. That is where they learn that law regarding Palestinians is nothing short of another kind of weapon. One of many. Among the tanks and planes and cluster bombs and checkpoints and Separation Wall and white phosphorus and the IOF spokesman.

The military court is the end of ends. The last judgment. The final accusation, a-priori, of Palestinians only because they are Palestinians.

And courtroom number 2, where children are put on trial, is the place beyond that end. The place where all the words end.

Only two family members are allowed to come to the trial. This is usually the only time they can come and see their son, and they do. Time after time. They may bring cigarettes and money for the long day awaiting them. Nothing else. Not even medication, nor tissues, nor food, nor a book or a newspaper. We, visitors who are not Palestinian, are allowed to bring in a notebook and pen. But not tissues. We have no privileges concerning tissues.

Perhaps because tissues are evidence that there is something to cry over, and the State of Israel is not willing to name its own deeds at the end of which lies weeping. And its necessity is the evidence and the visibility of that which Israel is not willing to name, that and the anticipated weeping. Perhaps that is why tissues are not allowed in court.

One man managed to smuggle in a roll of toilet paper despite the order forbidding tissues. Apparently deep in his clothes he dared to hide toilet paper, soft as tissues. Now he moved from woman to woman, handing out bits of toilet paper to every single one of them, all the mothers, so they would have it ready for the tears when they would come. When he handed it to us as well we were ashamed, because we have no spouses or sons in jail. And because the man only had one roll of paper, we felt uneasy that we were getting some at the expense of someone else.

Finally we were lucky to have gotten it. Because all that remains in this accursed place is to weep. The warmth of the wet, salty tears is the only possibly warmth inside this sinister ticking mechanism that no word could encompass or cover.

Bad Guys

Germany Knew Eichmann's Hiding Place Years Before His Capture

Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann on trial in Jerusalem in 1961.
Document Find Hailed as Sensation

West Germany could have hunted down Adolf Eichmann, the chief organizer of the Holocaust, as early as 1952, eight years before Israeli agents caught him in Buenos Aires, according to a newly released document that suggests postwar Germany was unready and unwilling to put him on trial.

The revelation has been described as a sensation, and it sheds light on West Germany's reluctance to confront its past in the decades following the Holocaust.

A secret service document obtained by the German mass-circulation daily Bild from the archives of the BND, the country's foreign intelligence service, shows that the BND knew the location of the Adolf Eichmann, the biggest Nazi criminal still at large at the time, as early as 1952 -- a full eight years before he was caught in Buenos Aires by Israeli agents. He was put on trial in Israel, found guilty of crimes against humanity, and hanged in 1962.

The typewritten file card states that Eichmann was living in Argentina under the alias Clemens. "The address of E. is known to the editor-in-chief of the German newspaper in Argentina 'Der Weg'," the card says.

In fact, Eichmann lived in Argentina under the pseudonym Ricardo Klement. Bild took legal action to force the BND to release some classified documents relating to Eichmann, and found the file card among them.

Until now, the earliest date that Western intelligence agencies are known to have been aware of Eichmann's location was 1956, said German historian Bettina Stangneth, who described the finding as a "sensation."

It is not known whether the BND acted on the information it had in 1952. But assuming the service wasn't incompetent and didn't botch the search for Eichmann, the most likely explanation for the failure to arrest him was a lack of political will in West Germany to put him on trial, she said.


Lawmakers Consider New Curbs on Incendiary Speech

hate graphic
© n/a
Shocked and saddened lawmakers grappled on Monday with the weekend shooting of one of their own, with some suggesting that new laws and regulations are needed to curb incendiary speech.

The aftermath of Saturday's attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) brought a rare moment of unity on Capitol Hill, but it also escalated a contentious debate over violent imagery in the nation's political discourse.

Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) was having a beer and eating pizza at a New Jersey bar when he heard the news via the television. Soon thereafter, he was contacted by his staff and was on the phone with other House members.

"It's somewhat overwhelming. We are all flabbergasted, stunned," he said.

While noting the obvious differences between the two events, Pascrell said Saturday reminds him of 9/11.

"I couldn't believe I was really seeing this. This can't be real," he told The Hill in an interview Monday.

An emotional Pascrell added, "All of us at the bar prayed."

Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) said he had just finished giving a speech when he learned of the assassination attempt.

"As soon as I stepped offstage, they told me," Kingston said, noting he was with his family at the time. "There wasn't much that we could do but pray."

Several leading House Democrats blamed the inflammatory rhetoric for contributing to the Tucson massacre, while Republicans denounced criticism of former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) following the tragedy.

One lawmaker, Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.), has said he would introduce a bill to make it a crime to threaten or incite violence against a federal official.

Rep. Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) suggested the Federal Communications Commission was "not working anymore," adding she would look at ways to better police language on the airwaves. A brick was thrown through a window of Slaughter's district office last year.

Slaughter cited Palin's use of gun sights to target Democrats in last year's election and the assertion by Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle (R) that "Second Amendment remedies" might be needed to stop the Democratic agenda.


Change is Good! What it means...

© n/a
Sometimes it's good to leave the freeway.
We've already received some interesting feedback from readers about the changes on the SOTT page. It seems that there is some real confusion by the change of focus. For example, one reader wrote:
I am extremely sad to see that your coverage on the Levant is gone ? any reason were u bought out, caved-in or gave up? or are you re-directing your coverage to the more esoteric - i hope its the latter as it would be sad if any of the former was the reason.
Another reader wrote:
I'm sorry to see the changes that you have implemented in your website.

I thought it was a great place to find out news that was unbiased and found from other sources that I was unaware of. I especially loved how you covered the world situation, news, big brother, 911 truth, etc. That is how you have backed down from telling the truth. For start, I thought your mission was getting the truth, corruption, and propaganda out into the public eye and not having to rely on the state controlled media which toe's the party line.

I do not have the same values that you do when it comes to my beliefs. I am a born again Christian and I don't believe what you espouse on your website.

I wanted to thank you for what you have offered in the past and let you know I will not be returning to your site.

Pretty stupid when you think about it, all over an article that you wrote about "chemtrails" or "contrails". People have strong beliefs and will argue and fight the way they believe, just look at politics and religion. Just because you didn't like some of the comments and had your feelings hurt, you change everything that you stood for. Unless I was mistaken about you and this was what you wanted all along.

I'm very sorry to see the change.
Yet another:
I have been an avid reader of Sott for at least the last 4 years, bought several books, contributed and I had enjoyed access to real unbiased, unmolested news and views that do not make it to Lame Street Media or that have been twisted and distorted and robbed of essential facts and information.

Sadly, I no longer see the real news in your New Age and Mystic groupings. Should you still continue to give the news as before, but under different headings then I am missing the mark and therefore I do not stand by this confusing new look.

I do commend you on you sterling efforts to offer something new and improved however, I find that it now has some aforementioned elements missing.

This is important to myself and no doubt others on being able to get a handle on what is going on in the world around me/us, as I cannot trust the MSM to give me a straight and unbiased answer. I do not want to sound bitter, but the new look does rather defeat my reasons for dropping by and contributing now and again to the sott cause. I find it sad that there would be precious little on the sott site to hold my interest.

Sincerely hoping that you can address the loss of real news as we knew it.
Keep your coins, I want change
© n/a
Unlike Obama, SOTT delivers Change!
First of all, these changes were discussed and planned long before the Chemtrails article. In fact, you could say that the Chemtrails article was a first salvo of change. Such a topic would never have been covered on SOTT before except perhaps in the "Haunted Planet" category. If you search the SOTT database for "chemtrails" you will find less than a dozen articles on the topic. However, it will now receive more coverage under the "High Strangeness" category. So will many other important things that fell by the wayside.

Let us assure you that our coverage of news from the Middle East will not cease. It will, however, be re-categorized under the heading "Society's Child." That's where you will find news that is "anthropological." That will include politics, social movements (including 9-11 Truth, anti-Big Pharma, etc), murder and mayhem, psychopaths in action, (including government and economics), and so forth. The point of this change is to consolidate all anthropological phenomena on a more-or-less level playing field.


Non GMO Month: An Interview with Jeffery Smith

Jeffrey Smith, founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, is leading the movement to eliminate genetically modified foods in the United States.

Here, Smith offers an update on this important mission to protect your health, and that of your children and grand-children.


Video Transcript [PDF]


Australia: Floods a rallying call for neighbours in need

qld flood
© RACQ Central Queensland Rescue helicopter crew

As water creeps into Brisbane suburbs, there is no panic as residents evacuate.

Yesterday, as it became clear Brisbane and Ipswich were in for an historic flood, Premier Anna Bligh called on the people to band together.

In the Brisbane suburb of Rosalie those words have been a rallying call as muddy waters flood people's homes and businesses.

The cafe precinct has been described as Little Venice, with the sandbagging only going so far to protect shops.

This morning strangers walking past joined business owners in forming human chains in the floodwaters to frantically get food and stock out of the area.