Saturday, January 28, 2012

Anonymous Message To Monsanto; We fight for farmers!

Anonymous DDOS attacked Monsanto.com and released a video explaining why. Source: Anonymous via YouTube To the free-thinking citizens of the world: Anonymous stands with the farmers and food organizations denouncing the practices of Monsanto We applaud the bravery of the organizations and citizens who are standing up to Monsanto, and we stand united with you against this oppressive corporate abuse. Monsanto is contaminating the world with chemicals and genetically modified food crops for profit while claiming to feed the hungry and protect the environment. Anonymous is everyone, anyone who can not stand for injustice and decides to do something about it, we are all over the earth and here to stay. To Monsanto, we demand you STOP the following:
  • Contaminating the global food chain with GMOs;
  • Intimidating small farmers with bullying and lawsuits;
  • Propagating the use of destructive pesticides and herbicides across the globe;
  • Using “terminator technology”, which renders plants sterile;
  • Attempting to hijack UN climate change negotiations for your own fiscal benefit;
  • Reducing farmland to desert through monoculture and the use of synthetic fertilizers;
  • Inspiring suicides of hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers;
  • Causing birth defects by continuing to produce the pesticide “Round-up”;
  • Attempting to bribe foriegn officials;
  • Infiltrating anti-GMO groups
Monsanto, these crimes will not go unpunished. Anonymous will not spare you nor anyone in support of your oppressive illegal business practices. AGRA, a great example: In 2006, AGRA, Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, was established with funding from Bill Gates and the Rockefeller Foundation. Among the other founding members of AGRA, we find:
  • Monsanto
  • Novartis
  • Sanofi-Aventis
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Procter and Gamble
  • Merck
  • Mosaic
  • Pfizer
  • Sumitomo Chemical
  • and Yara.
The fact that these corporations are either chemical or pharmaceutical manufacturers is no coincidence. The people of the world see you, Monsanto. Anonymous sees you. Seeds of Opportunism Climate change offers these businesses a perfect excuse to prey on the poorest countries by swooping in to “rescue” the farmers and people with their GMO crops and chemical pesticides. These corporations eradicate the traditional ways of the country’s agriculture for the sake of enormous profits. The introduction of GMOs drastically affects a local farmer's income, as the price of chemicals required for GMOs and seeds from Monsanto cripples the farmer’s meager profit margins. There are even many cases of Monsanto suing small farmers after pollen from their GMO crops accidentally cross with the farmer’s crops. Because Monsanto has a patent on their brand of seed, they claim the farmer is in violation of patent laws. These disgusting and inhumane practices will not be tolerated! Anonymous urges all concerned citizens to stand up for these farmers. Stand up for the future of your own food. Protest, organize, spread info to your friends. Say no to poisonous chemicals in your food. Say no to GMO. Say no to Monsanto. We are Anonymous. We are legion. We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us! This is a transcript of an announcement sent from Anonymous to Monsanto via YouTube

CIA to pull officer from NYPD after internal probe

A series of AP articles have exposed close collaboration between the CIA and NYPD in domestic spying operations that put Muslim communities in New York under scrutiny.  It is illegal for the CIA to spy domestically; so the public have demanded investigations and explanations. Now the CIA and NYPD have made contradictory claims regarding the legal basis for the cooperation between the two agencies and the sharing of intelligence.

Source: Wall Street Journal

...the CIA's inspector general faulted the agency for sending an officer to New York with little oversight after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and then leaving him there too long. ...

The inspector general opened its investigation after a series of AP articles that revealed how the NYPD, working in close collaboration with the CIA, set up spying operations that put Muslim communities under scrutiny.

Plainclothes officers known as "rakers" eavesdropped in businesses, and Muslims not suspected of any wrongdoing were put in intelligence databases. ...

Police Commissioner Kelly said the new officer was working at the NYPD to help share foreign intelligence. Federal officials, however, said he was there on a management sabbatical and was not sharing intelligence. ...

This fall, Kelly told the city council that the collaboration was authorized under a presidential order. ...

A CIA spokeswoman, Jennifer Youngblood, said Sanchez was sent to New York at the direction of then-CIA Director George Tenet...

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

Police get help with vets who are ticking bombs

Source: USA TODAY

The Justice Department is funding an unusual national training program to train local police to deal with an increasing number of volatile confrontations involving highly trained and often heavily armed combat veterans.

Developers of the pilot program, to be launched at 15 U.S. sites this year, said there is an "urgent need" to de-escalate crises in which even SWAT teams may be facing tactical disadvantages against mentally ill suspects who also happen to be trained in modern warfare.

"We just can't use the blazing-guns approach anymore when dealing with disturbed individuals who are highly trained in all kinds of tactical operations, including guerrilla warfare," said Dennis Cusick, executive director of the Upper Midwest Community Policing Institute. "That goes beyond the experience of SWAT teams."

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at USA TODAY

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Paul Newsletter: OK City Was An Inside Job

Editor's Note:

While Ron Paul was running one of the largest OBGYN practices in Texas a newsletter was being published in his name. This newsletter included some content that is now being used against Dr. Paul as he runs for President. Paul claims that he was not the author of the questionable content and he was too busy with his medical practice to manage his newsletter.

Most of the mainstream media are focusing on the parts of Paul's newsletter that sound racist, but a few are pointing out Paul's mention of conspiracy theories related to "false-flag" terrorism. Dr. Paul has frequently questioned the official story described in the 9/11 Comission Report. This Buzzfeed article explains how Paul's newsletter included a "false-flag" conspiracy theory for the OKC bombing of the Murrah building.  

It's a side of Ron Paul that most people never hear about. I happen to find it refreshing that somebody in congress questions authority and discusses some of the more crazy possiblilities with the American people. Our government has lied to us on many occasions and I think consideration and discussion of alternate theories is a healthy exercise regardless of how insane some of the theories may sound. Dr. Paul clearly takes his position very seriously and he doesn't let fear of ridicule stand in the way of honest discussions about his thoughts and fears.

Source: BuzzFeed

A 1995 issue of the Ron Paul Survival Report, a newspaper published by the future presidential candidate, speculates that the federal government bombed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The previously unreported newsletter, part of a series which Paul began publishing early in his congressional career in the late 1970's, was part of a trove this reporter discovered when originally breaking the story for The New Republic in 2008. Full of racist, anti-Semitic, and homophobic statements, not to mention a variety of quack science and conspiracy theories, the newsletters have once again become an issue as Paul seeks to stay in the Republican presidential primary for the long haul.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at BuzzFeed.

Why All the Robo-Signing?

Source: Truthout

The Wall Street Journal reported on January 19 that the Obama administration was pushing heavily to get the 50 state attorneys general to agree to a settlement with five major banks in the "robo-signing" scandal. The scandal involves employees signing names not their own, under titles they did not really have, attesting to the veracity of documents they had not really reviewed. Investigation is revealing that it did not just happen occasionally, but was an industry-wide practice, dating back to the late 1990s; and that it may have clouded the titles of millions of homes. If the settlement is agreed to, it will let Wall Street bankers off the hook for crimes that would land the rest of us in jail - fraud, forgery, securities violations and tax evasion.

To the president's credit, however, he seems to have shifted his position on the settlement in response to protests before his State of the Union address. In his speech on January 24, President Obama did not mention the settlement, but announced instead that he would be creating a mortgage crisis unit to investigate wrongdoing related to real estate lending. "This new unit will hold accountable those who broke the law, speed assistance to homeowners and help turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many Americans," he said.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Truthout

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Bush’s CIA director: We determined attacking Iran was a bad idea

Source: The Cable

President George W. Bush's administration concluded that a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities would be a bad idea --and would only make it harder to prevent Iran from going nuclear in the future, former CIA and National Security Agency (NSA) chief Gen. Michael Hayden said Thursday.

"When we talked about this in the government, the consensus was that [attacking Iran] would guarantee that which we are trying to prevent --an Iran that will spare nothing to build a nuclear weapon and that would build it in secret," Hayden told a small group of experts and reporters at an event hosted by the Center for the National Interest.

Hayden served as director of the NSA from 1999 to 2005 and then served as CIA director from 2006 until February 2009. He also had a 39-year career at the Air Force, which he ended as a four-star general.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Cable.

Judge Orders Defendant to Decrypt Laptop

Source: Threat Level | Wired.com

A judge on Monday ordered a Colorado woman to decrypt her laptop computer so prosecutors can use the files against her in a criminal case.

The defendant, accused of bank fraud, had unsuccessfully argued that being forced to do so violates the Fifth Amendment’s protection against compelled self-incrimination.

“I conclude that the Fifth Amendment is not implicated by requiring production of the unencrypted contents of the Toshiba Satellite M305 laptop computer,” Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn ruled Monday.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Threat Level | Wired.com.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Scientists claim major breakthrough in seaweed biofuel

Source: The Raw Story
 
A team at the Berkeley, California-based Bio Architecture Lab engineered a form of E. coli bacteria that can digest seaweed’s sugars into ethanol, it said.

“Our scientists have engineered an enzyme to degrade and a pathway to metabolize the alginate, allowing us to utilize all the major sugars in seaweed," said Daniel Trunfio, chief executive at Bio Architecture Lab. The advance “makes the biomass an economical feedstock for the production of renewable fuels and chemicals,” he said.

Seaweed is seen as an appealing option for biofuel because, unlike corn and sugar cane, it does not use arable land and so does not compete with crops grown for food.

At peak production, seaweed could produce 19,000 liters per hectare annually, about twice the level of ethanol productivity from sugarcane and five times higher than the ethanol productivity from corn.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Raw Story

Much of Britain was exposed to bacteria sprayed in secret trials

Source: The Guardian

The Ministry of Defence turned large parts of the UK into a giant laboratory to conduct a series of secret germ warfare tests on the public.  A government report just released provides for the first time a comprehensive official history of Britain's biological weapons trials between 1940 and 1979.

Many of these tests involved releasing potentially dangerous chemicals and micro-organisms over vast swaths of the population without the public being told.

One chapter of the report, 'The Fluorescent Particle Trials', reveals how between 1955 and 1963 planes flew from north-east England to the tip of Cornwall along the south and west coasts, dropping huge amounts of zinc cadmium sulphide on the population.

In another chapter, 'Large Area Coverage Trials', the MoD describes how between 1961 and 1968 more than a million people along the south coast of England, from Torquay to the New Forest, were exposed to bacteria including e.coli and bacillus globigii , which mimics anthrax.

The report also reveals details of the DICE trials in south Dorset between 1971 and 1975. These involved US and UK military scientists spraying into the air massive quantities of serratia marcescens bacteria, with an anthrax simulant and phenol.

Similar bacteria were released in 'The Sabotage Trials' between 1952 and 1964. These were tests to determine the vulnerability of large government buildings and public transport to attack. In 1956 bacteria were released on the London Underground at lunchtime along the Northern Line between Colliers Wood and Tooting Broadway. 

Experiments conducted between 1964 and 1973 involved attaching germs to the threads of spiders' webs in boxes to test how the germs would survive in different environments. These tests were carried out in a dozen locations across the country, including London's West End, Southampton and Swindon. The report also gives details of more than a dozen smaller field trials between 1968 and 1977.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Guardian

Articles: The Proposed Enemy Expatriation Act: Sending American Citizens into Exile

Source: American Thinker

This January, Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Congressman Charles Dent (R-PA) introduced legislation to empower the federal government to dispossess citizens of their citizenship and send them into stateless exile.  The fact that reliable weathervanes of the liberal House GOP establishment like Frank Wolf (R-VA) have co-sponsored this bill confirm that this bill is not an outlier.

Introduced as S. 1698 in the Senate and as H.R. 3166 in the House of Representatives, the Enemy Expatriation Act is expressly designed to "add engaging or supporting hostilities against the United States to the list of acts for which United States nationals would lose their nationality."

These bills are inconsistent with current law and Supreme Court precedent.  They appear to be tailored to cow the American people, without regard for the 14th-Amendment guarantee prohibiting Congress from divesting an American citizen of his citizenship.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at American Thinker

Friday, January 20, 2012

Federal Official In Arizona To Plead The Fifth And Not Answer Questions On 'furious'

Source: Fox News

Patrick J. Cunningham, the chief of the Criminal Division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Arizona, is refusing to testify before Congress regarding Operation Fast and Furious, the federal gun-running scandal that sent U.S. weapons to Mexico. 

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Fox News.

MRCU: Release on modified mosquitoes 'misleading'

Source: Cay Compass

Genetically-engineered mosquitoes released in Grand Cayman in 2009 to help fight the potential outbreak of dengue fever are not reproducing as some organisations have claimed recently, said the head of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit in the Cayman Islands. 

The Cayman Islands saw an 80 per cent reduction in the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, which is a known carrier of dengue fever in the test area, according to the MRCU officials. 

A release published 12 January by several organisations opposed to genetic modification claiming that Oxitec – the company that provided genetically-modified mosquitoes released during a six-month trial period in East End – concealed important information is “inaccurate and makes no sense,” said Dr. Bill Petrie, director of the Mosquito Research and Control Unit in Grand Cayman. 

In its report, the Friends of the Earth US, GeneWatch UK and Third World Network had claimed that the, “mosquitoes described by their manufacturer, UK company Oxitec, as ‘sterile’ are in fact not sterile and their offspring have a 15 per cent survival rate in the presence of the common antibiotic tetracycline.” 

Dr. Petrie acknowledged the impact the antibiotic may have on the insects but took exception to the veracity of those assertions by saying, “tetracycline is the antidote for the genetically-modified state the insects are in and is required to be able to breed the mosquitoes in the lab. However, it would need to be 150 times higher in concentration that is usually found in sewage for it to be effective. Furthermore, they claim that dengue carrying mosquitoes breed in sewage, which is not true here and has never been found to be so.” 

“They don’t care what lies they tell,” he said. “Only male mosquitoes were released and they cannot bite and do not live long.” 

“These are people with an agenda and it’s scare mongering,” Dr. Petrie said. “The report is targeting Oxitec rather than us here in the Cayman Islands, but they have even said that we have no regulations here which is not true.”  

“We have heard nothing for the advantages of the study,” Dr. Petrie said. “Their view is biased.”  
 
This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the Cay Compass.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cocaine: The New Front Lines

Source: The Wall Street Journal The Saturday Essay

Colombia's success in curbing the drug trade has created more opportunities for countries hostile to the United States. What happens when coca farmers and their allies are in charge?

Once concentrated in Colombia, a close U.S. ally in combating drugs, the cocaine business is migrating to nations such as Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, where populist leaders are either ambivalent about cooperating with U.S. antidrug efforts or openly hostile to them.

Since 2000, cultivation of coca leaves—cocaine's raw material—plunged 65% in Colombia, to 141,000 acres in 2010, according to United Nations figures. In the same period, cultivation surged more than 40% in Peru, to 151,000 acres, and more than doubled in Bolivia, to 77,000 acres.

More important, Bolivia and Peru are now making street-ready cocaine, whereas they once mostly supplied raw ingredients for processing in Colombia.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Wall Street Journal

Israeli Mossad posed as CIA to recruit terrorists to fight Iran

Source: Foreign Policy

A series of CIA memos describes how Israeli Mossad agents posed as American spies to recruit members of the terrorist organization Jundallah to fight their covert war against Iran.

Buried deep in the archives of America's intelligence services are a series of memos, written during the last years of President George W. Bush's administration, that describe how Israeli Mossad officers recruited operatives belonging to the a Pakistan-based Sunni extremist organization Jundallah by passing themselves off as American agents.

Jundallah, according to the U.S. government and published reports, is responsible for assassinating Iranian government officials and killing Iranian women and children.
...
There is no denying that there is a covert, bloody, and ongoing campaign aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear program, though no evidence has emerged connecting recent acts of sabotage and killings inside Iran to Jundallah. Many reports have cited Israel as the architect of this covert campaign, which claimed its latest victim on Jan. 11 when a motorcyclist in Tehran slipped a magnetic explosive device under the car of Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, a young Iranian nuclear scientist. The explosion killed Roshan, making him the fourth scientist assassinated in the past two years. The United States adamantly denies it is behind these killings.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Foreign Policy.

Apple admits some suppliers overworking staff

Source: Aljazeera English

Apple has admitted some of its suppliers continue to overwork and underpay employees, as it threw open its factory doors to monitors after a spate of suicides at a Chinese plant.

... an annual internal audit of its supply chain showed that just 38 per cent of the company's suppliers adhered to Apple's own standard of a maximum 60-hour work week and minimum one day off per week.

One-third of its suppliers were negligent in managing hazardous substances, and the same portion were below standard in injury prevention practice.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Aljazeera English

U.S. troops quietly surge into Middle East

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

The Pentagon has stationed nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait, adding to a small contingent already there. The new units include two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit -a substantial increase in combat power after nearly a decade in which Kuwait chiefly served as a staging area for supplies and personnel heading to Iraq.

The Pentagon also has decided to keep two aircraft carriers and their strike groups in the region. Earlier this week, the American carrier Carl Vinson joined the carrier Stennis in the Arabian Sea, giving commanders major naval and air assets in case Iran carries out its recent threats to close the Strait of Hormuz, a strategic chokepoint in the Persian Gulf, where one-fifth of the world's oil shipments passes.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the San Francisco Chronicle.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Mountain Dew Will Dissolve Rats On Contact

Source: The Smoking Gun

In a court response to a motion filed by Ronald Ball--who claims to have found the dead mouse in a Mountain Dew can about three years ago--PepsiCo filed a fascinating/revolting affidavit from Lawrence McGill, a veterinarian who noted that he was “familiar with the effects an acidic fluid, such as common soda drinks including Mountain Dew, will have on mice and other animals.”

According to McGill, if a mouse is submerged in Mountain Dew between four and seven days, the rodent “will have no calcium in its bones and bony structures.” During those days of soft drink immersion, “the mouse’s abdominal structure will rupture.” Additionally, “its cranial cavity (head) is also likely to rupture within that time period,” McGill noted.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Smoking Gun

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The New York Times misleading public on Iran - Opinion

Source: Al Jazeera English

The New York Times is misleading the public with allegations that say that Iran is developing "weapons of mass destruction". In an article attributed to Steven Erlanger on January 4 ("Europe Takes Bold Step Toward a Ban on Iranian Oil"), this paragraph appeared:

The threats from Iran, aimed both at the West and at Israel, combined with a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear programme has a military objective , is becoming an important issue in the American presidential campaign. [emphasis added]

The claim that there is "a recent assessment by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran's nuclear programme has a military objective" is misguided. As Washington Post's Ombudsman Patrick Pexton noted on December 9:

But the IAEA report does not say Iran has a bomb, nor does it say it is building one, only that its multiyear effort pursuing nuclear technology is sophisticated and broad enough that it could be consistent with building a bomb.

Indeed, if you try now to find the offending paragraph on the New York Times website, you can't. They took it down. But there is no note, like there is supposed to be, acknowledging that they changed the article, and that there was something wrong with it before. Sneaky, huh?

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Al Jazeera English

Panetta admits Iran not developing nukes

Source: The Raw Story

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta let slip on Sunday the big open secret that Washington war hawks don’t want widely known: Iran is not developing nuclear weapons.

Appearing on CBS’s Face the Nation on Sunday, Panetta admitted that despite all the rhetoric, Iran is not pursuing the ability to split atoms with weapons, saying it is instead pursuing “a nuclear capability.” That “capability” falls in line with what Iran has said for years: that it is developing nuclear energy facilities, not nuclear weapons.

“I think the pressure of the sanctions, the diplomatic pressures from everywhere, Europe, the United States, elsewhere, it’s working to put pressure on them,” Panetta explained on Sunday. “To make them understand that they cannot continue to do what they’re doing. <b>Are they trying to develop a nuclear weapon? No. But we know that they’re trying to develop a nuclear capability</b>, and that’s what concerns us. And our red line to Iran is, do not develop a nuclear weapon. That’s a red line for us.”

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at The Raw Story.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Supersoldier ants created in the lab by reactivating ancestral genes

Source: PhysOrg.com

There are over 1100 species of Pheidole genus ants, and most individual ants belong to either the worker or soldier caste. In only eight of the Pheidole species, some individuals can belong to a "supersoldier" subcaste instead, and these ants fight off predatory army ant species and bar their way by blocking off the entrances to the nest using their over-sized heads. Now, scientists have managed to create supersoldiers in other species by reactivating ancestral genes.

It is not known why only eight of the species retain the ability and the remainder simply abandon the nests if they are invaded by predatory army ants, but Abouheif said the genes might have been repeatedly reactivated. This would explain anomalies such as the rare instances of supersoldiers he noted in the P. morrisi ants, which is a species not threatened by army ants.

Dr. Abouheif and colleagues think that their work in unlocking ancestral features could find application in fields such as agriculture, where it might be used to breed crops with greater nutritional value. Abouheif also suggests the work might also shed some light on the growth of cancers, which he said could be "the unleashing of some kind of ancestral potential," which might be reversible if it could be identified.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at PhysOrg.com

Sunday, January 1, 2012

US and Iran continue war of words over Hormuz - Middle East

Source: Al Jazeera English

The Strait of Hormuz is a choke point at the entrance to the Gulf through which more than a third of the world's tanker-borne oil passes.

Iranian Vice President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned earlier this week that "not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz" if the West followed through with planned additional sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. Admiral Habibollah Sayari, a navy commander, backed that up by saying it would be "really easy" to close the strait.

A US defence department spokesman said on Wednesday that "interference with the transit ... of vessels through the Strait of Hormuz will not be tolerated".

But Brigadier General Hossein Salami, the deputy commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, told the Fars news agency on Thursday that "our response to threats is threats". "We have no doubt about our being able to carry out defensive strategies to protect our vital interests. We will act more decisively than ever," he was quoted as saying. "The Americans are not qualified to give us permission" to carry out military strategy, he said.

Sayari said the US aircraft carrier was monitored by Iranian forces as it passed from the Strait of Hormuz to the Gulf of Oman, state television reported, while broadcasting footage of an aircraft carrier being shadowed by an Iranian plane.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Al Jazeera English.

Obama will free Afghan prisoners to appease Taliban

Source: Russia Today

Terrorists aligned with al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, at the time in Afghanistan, attacked the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, an action that yielded the George W. Bush administration to launch an attack on Afghanistan and bin Laden. After nearly a decade of fighting, bin Laden was executed by American troops earlier this year.

If America is awarded any victory in the lengthy bout, it was come by way of the opening of the Taliban’s first official office. The US has expressed hopes over the last few months to establish an embassy of sorts for the insurgency in hopes that it will open the door for negotiations between the enemies.

An Obama administration official speaking under condition of anonymity told the New York Times earlier this year that such a structure would serve “like a residence where they can be treated like a political party,” and would allow the Taliban’s political structure to operate “free from the threat or harassment or arrest.” Under negotiations, such an office is expected to be opened up in Qatar, a Middle Eastern state outside of the United Arab Emirates, a current crucial ally in America’s budding war with Iran.

Although insurgency remains rampant overseas, American officials are also expected as part of the deal with Afghanistan to transfer captured soldiers allegedly aligned to the Taliban from their current captivity in the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to an overseas institution. The US had earlier asked if they could release the inmates to a third-party country, such as Qatar, which was met with opposition from the Taliban. Insiders reveal to the Associated Press, however, that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is demanding that the captured men be released into Afghanistan and nowhere else.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Russia Today.

Chavez: U.S. May Be Behind Leaders’ Cancer

Source: Bloomberg

Hugo Chavez said the Central Intelligence Agency was behind chemical experiments in Guatemala in the 1940s and that it’s possible that in years to come a plot will be uncovered that shows the U.S. spread cancer as a political weapon against its critics. “It’s very difficult to explain, even with the law of probabilities, what has been happening to some of us in Latin America,” Chavez said in a nationally televised speech to the military. “Would it be so strange that they’ve invented technology to spread cancer and we won’t know about it for 50 years?” Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner was just diagnosed with thyroid cancer. Chavez, who was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer in June and had a baseball-sized tumor removed in Cuba, has called for a regional summit of leaders who have battled cancer including Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff , her predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva and Paraguay’s Fernando Lugo.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at Bloomberg

The NDAA: The Good, the Bad, and the Laws of War–Part I

Source: Lawfare

Editorial pages and blogs have been overrun in the past couple of weeks with analyses and speculation about the detainee provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act, which the President has just signed into law. One of the major disputes concerns whether and howi the NDAA might alter the status quo.

In the President’s words, section 1022 is “ill-conceived and will do nothing to improve the security of the United States,” and “is unnecessary and has the potential to create uncertainty.”

Fortunately, amendments adopted late in the legislative process—particularly a change to the section 1022 waiver provision and the addition of a new provision that “[n]othing in [section 1022] shall be construed to affect the existing criminal enforcement and national security authorities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation or any other domestic law enforcement agency with regard to a covered person”—will, we think, ensure that section 1022 is mostly hortatory, and will in practice allow the President to adhere to his commitments that “suspected terrorists arrested inside the United States will—in keeping with long-standing tradition—be processed through our Article III courts, as they should be”; that “our military does not patrol our streets or enforce our laws—nor should it”; and that “when it comes to U.S. citizens involved in terrorist-related activity, whether they are captured overseas or at home, we will prosecute them in our criminal justice system.”

Thanks to an amendment introduced by Senator Feinstein, the detention authorization provision (section 1021) does not “affect existing law or authorities relating to the detention of United States citizens, lawful resident aliens of the United States, or any other persons who are captured or arrested in the United States.” For good measure, section 1022 also provides that its purported presumption of military detention “does not extend to citizens of the United States.”

This is a Suspicious News Bried. Read more at Lawfare

The End of Three Decades of US Tariffs on Imported Ethanol

I'm shocked at how little press coverage the expiration of the ethanol subsidy and tariff has gotten. As Iran and the US trade threats over blocking oil transport from the gulf, congress has allowed the tax credit for ethanol blenders to expire, along with a tariff that effectively kept out more efficiently produced foreign ethanol. The blenders’ subsidy extended a 45-cent subsidy per gallon of ethanol blended into gasoline. The tariff ended a 54-cent-per-gallon tax on imported ethanol, mainly from Brazil —which makes the stuff much more efficiently and environmentally friendly from sugar cane. Still in force is a federal mandate that requires a minimum amount of ethanol be used each year.

Source: PR Newswire - sacbee.com

For the first time in more than three decades of generous US government subsidies for the domestic ethanol industry, coupled with a steep tariff on imports, the United States market will be open to imported ethanol as of January 1st, 2012, without protectionist measures.

The adjournment of the 112th Congress means both the US$0,54 per gallon tax on imported ethanol and a corresponding tax credit of US$0,45 per gallon for blenders, the VEETC (Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit), will expire as expected on December 31st. "With Congress in recess, there are no opportunities for further attempts to prolong the tax credit or the tariff, so we can confidently say these support mechanisms will be gone at the end of 2011," said the Washington Representative for the Brazilian Sugarcane Industry Association (UNICA), Leticia Phillips.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at PR Newswire - sacbee.com

'Secret' Environment Canada presentation warns of oilsands' impact on habitat

Source: Vancouver Sun

Contamination of a major western Canadian river basin from oilsands operations is a "high-profile concern" for downstream communities and wildlife, says a newly-released "secret" presentation prepared last spring by Environment Canada that highlighted numerous warnings about the industry's growing footprint on land, air, water and the climate.

The warnings from the department contrast with recent claims made by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Environment Minister Peter Kent that the industry is being unfairly targeted by environmentalists who exaggerate its impacts on nature and people.
"Bitumen extraction uses between one (in situ) and three to four (mining) barrels of fresh (i.e. Not recycled) water per barrel of oil recovered," said the document. "Industry demand for water is expected to increase."

A related Environment Canada document, also produced in May and released earlier this month to Postmedia News, warned the government that the industry's economic future was in jeopardy because of a lack of "credible scientific information" required to counter campaigns and foreign regulations or legislation that crack down on products and industries with poor environmental performance.

This is a Suspicious News Brief. Read more at the Vancouver Sun.