December 15, 2009
By Daniel Tencer
December 14th, 2009
The United States Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear an appeal by four former Guantanamo inmates who want to sue the US government for torture they say they endured during their stay at the prison camp, a move the inmates’ lawyers say could pave the way for future torture practices by the US military.
The four plaintiffs — Rhuhel Ahmed, Jamal al-Harith, Asif Iqbal and Shafiq Rasul — say they were subjected to numerous forms of physical abuse and religious humiliation, including having their beards shaved, being threatened with dogs and being placed in cells that were alternately very hot or very cold. The lawsuit also alleges that one of the guards at Guantanamo flushed a Koran down the toilet to anger and humiliate the prisoners. One of the inmates, Ahmed, has also alleged “sexual abuse.”
Three of the detainees — Ahmed, Iqbal and Rasul — are British residents who say they were in Afghanistan in 2001 to provide humanitarian relief in the wake of the US invasion when they were kidnapped by Afghan warlord Rashid Dostum, a US ally, and accused of belonging to Al Qaeda. Read the rest of this entry »
December 14, 2009
December 13th, 2009
Report: 95% of soy, 80% of corn grown in US is genetically altered
Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto Co.’s business practices reveal how the world’s biggest seed developer is squeezing competitors, controlling smaller seed companies and protecting its dominance over the multibillion-dollar market for genetically altered crops, an Associated Press investigation has found.
With Monsanto’s patented genes being inserted into roughly 95 percent of all soybeans and 80 percent of all corn grown in the U.S., the company also is using its wide reach to control the ability of new biotech firms to get wide distribution for their products, according to a review of several Monsanto licensing agreements and dozens of interviews with seed industry participants, agriculture and legal experts.
Declining competition in the seed business could lead to price hikes that ripple out to every family’s dinner table. That’s because the corn flakes you had for breakfast, soda you drank at lunch and beef stew you ate for dinner likely were produced from crops grown with Monsanto’s patented genes. Read the rest of this entry »
December 13, 2009
December 12th, 2009
The vast majority of an estimated $352 billion in proceeds of organized crime, mostly from the drug trade, was funneled through the global banking system during the financial crisis of the past two years, and in some cases, the money rescued banks from collapse, says the head of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
Antonio Maria Costa told the UK Observer that intelligence agencies and prosecutors alerted him 18 months ago to evidence that drug money was being “absorbed into the financial system.”
“In many instances, the money from drugs was the only liquid investment capital,” Costa said. “In the second half of 2008, liquidity was the banking system’s main problem and hence liquid capital became an important factor.” Read the rest of this entry »
December 4, 2009
By Daniel Tencer
December 3rd, 2009
Far from being a necessary part of the US’s national security strategy, the Afghanistan war is actually a threat to it, says Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich.
In a statement released two days after President Barack Obama announced a 30,000-troop surge for the war effort and a July, 2011, beginning for troop withdrawal, Kucinich argued that extending the war would destabilize the United States at home.
“America is in the fight of its life and that fight is not in Afghanistan — it’s here,” Kucinich declared. “We are deeply in debt. Our GDP is down. Our manufacturing is down. Our savings are down. The value of the dollar is down. Our trade deficit is up. Business failures are up. Bankruptcies are up. Read the rest of this entry »
November 27, 2009
By Daniel Tencer
November 26th, 2009
The office of Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the highest-ranking soldier in the US, tried to intimidate a reporter working on a story about security contractor Blackwater’s operations in Pakistan, the reporter claims.
Jeremy Scahill — whose story alleging secret assassination and bombing campaigns inside Pakistan run by Xe Services, formerly Blackwater, appeared in The Nation on Monday — said he received a phone call from Adm. Mullen’s office the day before the story appeared, informing him that his story “didn’t match up with reality.” Read the rest of this entry »
November 21, 2009
By Agence France-Presse
November 20th, 2009
The government is to review an air defense system established after the September 11, 2001 attacks to determine whether the costly program is still necessary, the New York Times reported Friday. Read the rest of this entry »
November 21, 2009
By Sahil Kapur
Friday, November 20th, 2009
Police arrested 52 students protesting a tuition hike Thursday at the University of California-Davis and held them in jail overnight without food. One was reportedly beaten by police, a source close to the incident tells Raw Story. Read the rest of this entry »