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Showing posts from August 19, 2016

The Myth of the Surgical Strike

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[Targeted bombings by the US, Saudi Arabia and others have proven an ineffective—and destructive—weapon in the War on Terror. *RON*]

By Vijay Prashad, AlterNet / In These Times, 17 August 2016
What happens when the aerial bombardment takes place against civilian areas where there is no sign of combatants?

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.

The global war on terror—or whatever it is called nowadays—is not going well. From Afghanistan to Libya, the adversaries of the West seem undaunted by Western bombardment. The Taliban advances towards Lashkar Gar in Helmand Province (Afghanistan), while groups such as the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries and even ISIS hold their ground in central and eastern Libya.

The advantage of the West and its allies (Saudi Arabia and Israel) is its dominance of the skies. None of the groups—neither the Taliban nor ISIS—has an air force or serious ground-to-air capacity. They are at the mercy of the high-altitu…

Almost 18,000 died in Syria's prisons: Amnesty

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[Rights group says authorities are using torture, electric shocks, beatings and rape on a "massive scale". 300 per month; on an unheard-of scale, this represents a widespread and systematic crime against humanity. *RON*]

Source: Al Jazeera, 18 August 2016


Almost 18,000 Syrians have died in government jails since 2011, with authorities using torture, beatings, electric shocks and rape against prisoners on a "massive scale," a rights groups has said.

The UK-based Amnesty International said on Thursday that an average of 300 people were dying in the country's prisons each month in a report it said was based on the experiences of thousands of former prisoners, including 65 survivors of torture.They beat me until I passed out... when I woke up... my trousers had been opened and moved down a bit, my abaya [full length robe] was open and my undershirt was moved up. Everything was hurting. Umm Omar, Former detainee Interviewees said…

What's Fishy About the Feds' Salmon Promises?

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[Having been elected on a promise to act on the Cohen Commission recommendations, the Trudeau government smiles and flaps their gums, with no action to show for it. "The industry is entrenched and everyone is afraid to say 'this is not working,'" Alexandra Morton said. *RON*]
By Judith Lavoie, DeSmog Canada, 10 August 2016
As federal Fisheries and Oceans Minister Dominic LeBlanc was in West Vancouver Tuesday, promising that his government would act on all 75 recommendations from the 2012 Cohen Commission into the decline of Fraser River sockeye salmon, independent biologist Alexandra Morton was sailing into friendly waters on northern Vancouver Island and casting doubt on the government’s intentions.

“There is no substance to it,” said Morton, pointing out that LeBlanc has avoided any commitment to act on the Cohen recommendation to separate promotion of aquaculture from its duty to protect wild salmon or to put the brakes on the…

Site C Dam Already Cost $314 Million More than Expected, Behind Schedule, New Documents Show

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[Older, but I just ran across it. The Liberals changed the law to remove BCUC's decision-making authority over whether Site C was in the public interest, so the project is proceeding without due diligence. "We can expect nothing but escalating increases in the future if Site C is to go ahead," [former BC Hydro CEO] Eliesen said in an interview with DeSmog. "This is scheduled to become a big white elephant." *RON*]

By Sarah Cox, DeSmog Canada, 30 June 2016

In only its earliest phases of construction, the Site C dam project has already spent more money than projected and missed key benchmarks, threatening to undermine Premier Christy Clark’s commitment to taxpayers to keep the project on budget and on time.

BC Hydro documents filed June 10 with the province’s independent public utility watchdog, the B.C. Utilities Commission (BCUC), show that that Site C expenditures totalled $314 million more at the end of March than was or…

Aetna CEO Sent Despicable Ultimatum to Feds: Approve Merger, Or We'll Drop Obamacare

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[The DOJ since blocked the merger, and this week Aetna followed through on their word. The company claims it needs the efficiencies provided by the merger to afford to continue providing ObamaCare. This is a little hard to swallow since, a week earlier, it announced that Aetna CEO Received $27.9M In Compensation. *RON*]
By Robin ScherAlterNet, 17 August 2016

The announcement by insurance company Aetna earlier this week that it would no longer be accepting Obamacare in 11 of its 15 participating states on account of financial losses has proven to be a boon for critics of the Affordable Care Act. But as new evidence reveals, there’s a lot more to this story.

Through a FOIA request made by the Huffington Post, an ultimatum letter dated July 5 sent by Aetna to the Department of Justice paints a different picture of the insurers official reasons for its decision.

In the letter written by Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini, he said that his company would have…

Christy Clark Hopes You’re Not Reading This

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[BC's Climate Inaction Plan. "Now the province will continue touting its pie-in-the-sky goal of reducing emissions by 80 percent below 2007 levels by 2050 — without any credible pathway to get there." *RON*]

By Emma Gilchrist, DeSmog Canada, 18 August 2016
It’s 31 degrees outside and I was planning to go to the lake this afternoon — and I’d be willing to hazard a guess that many British Columbians are in the same boat.

That’s exactly why B.C. Premier Christy Clark chose tomorrow to release her Climate Action Plan —originally scheduled for release nearly six months ago.

Politicans often “take out the trash” on Fridays during the dog days of summer and this time is no different.

The plan — according to a leak in the Globe and Mail today — will fail to increase the carbon tax or update greenhouse gas reduction targets.

Those were two of the cornerstone recommendations from the province’s own expert committee.