‘Ukraine’s acting president has called for the resumption of military operations against pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country, claiming two of his party’s supporters had been “tortured to death”, in a further blow to an unravelling international peace plan.
Oleksandr Turchynov said “counter-terrorist” operations in the region, suspended as part of the peace agreement in Geneva last Thursday, should restart after the bodies of two men, one a pro-Kiev politician, had been found near the rebel-held town of Slavyansk.
The politician has been named as Vladimir Rybak, a town councillor and member of the Batkivshchyna party, who went missing on 17 April.
“The terrorists who effectively took the whole Donetsk region hostage have now gone too far, by starting to torture and murder Ukrainian patriots. These crimes are being committed with the full support and connivance of the Russian Federation,” Turchynov said, hours after a joint appearance with the US vice-president, Joe Biden.’
‘Lies have shorter and shorter legs. Two months after the change of regime in Kiev, the Polish press has disclosed the role of Donald Tusk’s government in preparing the coup. The new revelations belie Western discourse and demonstrate that the current interim government of Oleksandr Tourtchynov was imposed by NATO in violation of international law.
In his capacity as EU negotiator, Radosław Sikorski signed a crisis settlement agreement with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, in the evening of February 21, 2014. The following morning, the men he had secretly trained in Poland were about to take power.
This article is based on information obtained by the Polish opposition. I erroneously cited as my source the satirical weekly Nie, which published a pastiche mixing truths and non-truths. The data it provides needs to be verified.
In any case, the matter concerning the training of Pravy Sector members has in the meantime been brought before the Attorney General of Poland.’
‘Tony Blair will call on Britain today to back “revolution” against anti-Western interests in the Middle East and beyond to combat the growing threat of radical Islam.
In a significant and controversial intervention, the former Prime Minister will suggest that, as a result of failures in Iraq and Afghanistan, governments in Europe and America have become “curiously reluctant to acknowledge” Islamic extremism.
This unwillingness to confront Islamism risks the 21st century being characterised by “conflict between people of different cultures”, he will warn.’
‘It has been four years and nearly five months since the inquiry into the Iraq War was launched.
Yet two years after Sir John Chilcot was due to deliver the results of his £7.5 million probe, nothing has been heard.
Last week Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg hinted that former Prime Minister Tony Blair had been delaying its publication.
Today Lord Morris, ex Labour MP and Attorney General in Mr Blair’s Government from 1997 to 1999, calls for its immediate publication…’
‘The Citizens Commission on Benghazi, a self-selected group of former top military officers, CIA insiders and think-tankers, declared Tuesday in Washington that a seven-month review of the deadly 2012 terrorist attack has determined that it could have been prevented – if the U.S. hadn’t been helping to arm al-Qaeda militias throughout Libya a year earlier.
‘The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known al-Qaeda militias and figures,’ Clare Lopez, a member of the commission and a former CIA officer, told MailOnline.
She blamed the Obama administration for failing to stop half of a $1 billion United Arab Emirates arms shipment from reaching al-Qaeda-linked militants.
‘Remember, these weapons that came into Benghazi were permitted to enter by our armed forces who were blockading the approaches from air and sea,’ Lopez claimed. ‘They were permitted to come in. … [They] knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed..’
‘A backpack. Spare clothes. A notebook. Some keepsake photos. Crackers.
Though they may not have a home in which to secure their stuff, homeless people still have possessions like everyone else.
Yet the city of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida is on the cusp of passing a new regulation that would make it illegal for anyone to store their personal things on public property. Specifically, it would empower police to confiscate any personal possessions stored on public property, provided they have given the homeless person 24-hours notice. If the homeless people wish to retrieve their items, they must pay the city “reasonable charges for storage and removal of the items,” though that fee is waived if the person is able to demonstrate he or she cannot afford to pay. The city may dispose of any possessions not retrieved within 30 days. One of the driving factors behind the measure, according to the legislation, is the city’s “interest in aesthetics.”’
‘Millions of households have missed out on a £50 saving on their energy bill because a green tax cut has been swiped by suppliers.
All of the big six firms — British Gas, EDF Energy, Eon, Npower, Scottish and Southern Energy and Scottish Power — will save money this year after the Government slashed network charges and the cost of implementing green schemes.
And they will no longer have to pick up the tab for a Warm Home Discount — which gives vulnerable customers a £135 reduction on their electricity bill.’
‘A halt has been called to the routine use of controversial ‘expert witnesses’ in life-changing custody battles.
The Ministry of Justice said growth in the use of so-called experts – often psychologists or independent social workers – was causing misery for children left stuck in care waiting for reports to be finished.
The experts, who can rake in thousands of pounds in fees, are used in 92 per cent of care cases, with an average of almost four reports per case.
But studies have shown many are advising on matters for which they are not qualified – while others are no longer working in their field and are simply ‘professional expert witnesses’ making a fortune from the family courts.’
‘Border guards have been banned from asking EU nationals how long they intend to stay in the UK or even what they plan to do here.
The Brussels move, confirmed by the Home Office, prompted incredulity among MPs, who called for Britain to regain control of its borders.
EU officials claim asking new arrivals even basic questions would breach free movement rules. The diktat’s existence, revealed last night in a report by MPs, means the Home Office is powerless to count net migration to Britain accurately.’
‘David Cameron’s constituency office has come under fire for calling the police on the Bishop of Oxford and Reverend Hebden as they attempted to present him with an open letter on food poverty.
Their letter, part of the End Hunger Fast campaign, was signed by 42 Anglican bishops and more than 600 clerics and called on the three party leaders to work with the parliamentary inquiry into food poverty to implement its recommendations.
However, despite David Cameron’s Witney office expecting their visit, they were barred from presenting the letter and instead greeted by three police officers. Around 40 people had walked to his office following a service, and while the congregation stood on the opposite side of the road, the Rt Revd John Pritchard and Rev Hebden went to deliver the letter on their own. The police “weren’t there very long” when they realised the situation, Reverend Keith Hebden told The Independent, saying that they could see Cameron’s office staff looking out the window as they were forced to abandon their visit.’
‘An eight year old child with special needs will face a day in court to answer to two felony charges after police were called by school officials when the boy ran away.
The parents of Edward Hart are furious that their son, who they say has anger problems, is being subjected to such punishment. The boy ran away from Hillside Learning and Behavior Center in Allegan, Michigan last month, and was quickly found by school staff at a local store.
Instead of calling the boy’s parents or even attempting to deal with the matter themselves, the school employees called the cops.’
‘Yesterday the Department of Homeland Security announced that it is seeking an ammunition dealer who can provide 25 million shotgun rounds to the agency over a five year period, adding to its already enormous arsenal of ammo.
The solicitation posted on FBO.gov states that U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a department under DHS, is seeking “shotgun ammunition for use by all applicable agencies in the Department of Homeland Security,” more specifically three million rounds of shotgun slugs per year and two million rounds of buckshot per year for five years.
“The ammunition will be used as appropriate at all Department of Homeland Security (DHS or department) component locations nationwide and outside the CONUS [continental United States,]” the notice reads.’
‘An internal UK Ministry of Defense report has revealed there have been over 260 nuclear safety incidents at its naval facilities in western Scotland over the past five years. The report worryingly details a series of ‘false alarms and system failuresa’ related to the computer systems that monitor nuclear warheads. The document also states that a problem with a lightning protection system located at an explosives depot at the Faslane nuclear base remains unresolved.’
‘This year, 150,000 children will be added to the list of victims of forced vaccination. The leaders of New York City have mandated that all children under the age of six years old who attend day care or preschool must be vaccinated with the flu vaccine.
The official requirement mandates that all children between the ages of six months and five years who will be attending day care or preschool in New York City must be vaccinated between July 1 and December 31 of any given year. One health official claims that the rule won’t officially be enforced until the end of 2014, and a press release from the New York City Board of Health states that they will begin issuing violations on January 1, 2016.  
New York City already mandates that children must be vaccinated against measles, mumps, rubella, pertussis, chicken pox, and tetanus. The new mandate is expected to affect 150,000 children under the age of six. Daycare and preschool facilities will be required to enforce the mandates or they will face fines.’
I often write about the dangers of authorities of any kind. Authorities play a control game, and you are being controlled. We have submitted to authorities from the beginning of our lives, and we’ve been caught in this wheel for millennia. Our parents teach it to us, just as they had learned it. Then they send us to school and church, where the teachers and priests claim themselves as authorities.
Our parents also put us in front of televisions for hours. We would believe what we saw on television. The man on the news was an authority. So throughout our childhood, in the hopes of good guidance and protection, we submitted ourselves to many authorities. We are taught to trust and believe our authorities, as if they are being truthful to us. But how can they teach truth, when they themselves have been programmed with lies? Authorities have no credibility.’
‘John Archibald Wheeler was one of the physics giants of the 20th century, and was a colleague of Einstein’s. But what if everything is happening all at once? Moreover, what if there is no time at all?
I recently saw a description of the universe as it is perceived in physics. To quote William Brown (not to be confused with the William Brown who works with The Resonance Project):
“What science has discovered in exploring deeper levels of reality is that our universe is structured in layers of creation. Layers of creation, from the superficially diverse macroscopic classic world of day-to-day perceptions, to the deeper levels, the molecules, the atoms, and the nucleus, and sub-nuclear particles, worlds within worlds within worlds.”’
‘Late last week, a bill to legalize gold and silver as legal tender was passed through the Oklahoma state house. The vote was 74-12.
Senate Bill 862 (SB862), was introduced by Sen. Clark Jolley and Rep. Gary Banz, with cosponsorship from Sen. Natham Dahm. It reads, in part:
Gold and silver coins issued by the United States government are legal tender in the State of Oklahoma. No person may compel another person to tender or accept gold or silver coins that are issued by the United States government, except as agreed upon by contract.’
‘It has now been four years since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded, killing 11 men and leaking an estimated 210 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. The media attention has disappeared, but the oil that continues to wash up along the Gulf Coast is a constant reminder to those who call this area home of BP’s toxic legacy.
In spite of the massive evidence of fraud and malfeasance on behalf of BP, Transocean, and Halliburton, only one set of criminal charges was filed in the four years since the disaster. Those charges were filed against BP engineer Kurt Mix, who has since been found guilty of obstruction of justice for deleting text messages about the true size of the oil leak. However, Mix has yet to be sentenced, and the judge is currently weighing a defense motion to dismiss the charges altogether.
The three companies involved — BP, Transocean, and Halliburton — have paid criminal fines for their actions, money that is supposed to go to states and individuals for the damage they suffered as a result of the spill. But thanks to the dirty tricks employed by BP, those payments have slowed to a trickle.’
‘The ethnic cleansing by the British of an entire small population and culture – the Chagos Islanders – is probably the most despicable act by Britain of my lifetime. As if the Iraq War and Extraordinary Rendition were not enough, New Labour’s moral dereliction – or more properly evil – was confirmed by the breathtaking cynicism of David Miliband’s proclamation of a Marine Protected Zone around the islands, designed to protect the American base on Diego Garcia and make it impossible for the Chagos Islanders to return to their living as native fishermen, and keep away any eyes that might see the secret prison inmates.
Extraordinarily and to their eternal shame, a number of prominent British environmentalists and conservationists lent their support to the Diego Garcia marine protected zone. These purblind fools, obsessed with a single cause and blind to wider policy and justice, are in the same category as the ridiculous “feminists” who were co-opted by the neo-conservatives agents (be they propaganda media or secret service or both) to frustrate the aims of Julian Assange and Tommy Sheridan.
In truth, if colonial conquest and force majeure are legitimate grounds of sovereignty, and if extermination of a population can wipe out the legal right to self-determination, then in international law Britain has the right to Diego Garcia and to give it as tribute to their US overlords. But if international law has any relationship of any kind to principles of justice, then Britain should not be permitted to reap the dubious benefit of genocide. What international law actually is in the neo-conservative era is the real question before the UN tribunal now looking at the Diego Garcia question.’
‘US destroyer “Donald Cook” with cruise missiles “Tomahawk” entered the neutral waters of the Black Sea on April 10. The purpose was a demonstration of force and intimidation in connection with the position of Russia in Ukraine and Crimea. The appearance of American warships in these waters is in contradiction of the Montreux Convention about the nature and duration of stay in the Black Sea by the military ships of countries not washed by this sea.
In response, Russia sent an unarmed bomber Su- 24 to fly around the U.S. destroyer. However, experts say that this plane was equipped with the latest Russian electronic warfare complex. According to this version, “Aegis” spotted from afar the approaching aircraft, and sounded alarm. Everything went normally, American radars calculated the speed of the approaching target. And suddenly all the screens went blank. “Aegis” was not working any more, and the rockets could not get target information. Meanwhile, Su-24 flew over the deck of the destroyer, did battle turn and simulated missile attack on the target. Then it turned and repeated the maneuver. And did so 12 times.
Apparently, all efforts to revive the “Aegis” and provide target information for the defence failed. Russia’s reaction to military pressure from the United States was profoundly calm, feels the Russian political scientist Pavel Zolotarev:’
‘Building societies made more than 1,000 interest rate cuts to savings accounts last year – even though the Bank of England base rate remained at an all-time low of 0.5 per cent.
But the resulting financial pain suffered by millions of savers – with many depending on the interest to boost retirement income – was not shared by those who occupy the boardrooms of organisations that are supposed to belong to members.
Just under half of chief executives, 13, enjoyed double-digit percentage increases to their pay packages.’
‘The student data processing organization inBloom will shut down in the coming months, its chief executive officer said Monday following criticism that led to the recent loss of the startup’s last active client — New York state.
“It wasn’t an easy decision and the unavailability of this technology is a real missed opportunity for teachers and school districts seeking to improve student learning,” a statement from CEO Iwan Streichenberger on the inBloom website said.
Launched in 2013 with $100 million in financing from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Carnegie Corp., the nonprofit’s goal was to give educators a data-based tool to personalize instruction. InBloom, based in Atlanta, offered to store and synthesize student data, such as grades, disciplinary actions and disability records in cloud-based servers.’
‘Over the last decade world grain reserves have fallen by at least a third and that decline looks set to continue. For the last half of the 20th century overproduction was the order of the day. Huge grain surpluses, butter mountains and milk lakes dominated the news.
During this period the United States had a farm programme where land lay idle to prevent even more surpluses, this provided a cushion against shortages, the land could be planted up if the surpluses fell to levels considered to be too low. In the UK land was left fallow and green manured to enrich it for the following season. The crops were rotated and the harvests were generally very good. In addition there was the carryover: The amount of grain left in the massive storage silos at the time the next crop is harvested. Other western nations had similar systems.
1965 is a good year to show how the system cushioned against disaster.’
‘Zooming through a Stockholm intersection on his bicycle one morning, 18-year-old Max Tegmark never saw the truck that hit him. The blast of a horn, the screech of tires and a sickening thud followed in quick succession, extinguishing a young life filled with promise.
It never happened, of course. As the adult Dr. Tegmark, now 46, relates in the opening pages of this provocative new book, young Max swerved at the last instant and continued on to school — and an academic career that eventually took him to the faculty of M.I.T. and the top ranks of the world’s cosmologists.
But wait: That fatal accident did happen, Dr. Tegmark writes. Yes, he came through unscathed that day, but he was also killed, and he was severely injured, and slightly injured. He endured every possible outcome, happy and unhappy, that can befall a bicyclist who encounters a speeding truck.
All of these happened, he argues, because everything that can happen does happen — in at least one of an infinite number of universes.’
‘An arid region of Chile off the South Pacific Coast has been declared an environmental catastrophe after tests revealed the presence of toxic heavy metals like lead and arsenic in rivers, lakes and groundwater serving nearby population centers. The Santiago Times reports that the city of Arica is particularly affected, as contaminated water piped into the city is making children sick.
The issue stems from 20,000 tons of toxic smelting waste that was imported into the port of Arica some 30 years ago from Sweden. A Swedish mining company known as Boliden had made an arrangement with the Chilean company Promel to recycle this waste, a project that reports indicate was never actually completed.
As a result, the waste was dumped on nearby lands and abandoned, where for years it seeped into groundwater unbeknownst to locals who continued to use it for other purposes. The region also became an industrial hotspot for mining and other operations that contributed even more pollution to the area, including water sources that irrigate crops growing in the Azapa Valley.’
‘You might say the chieftains of America’s largest restaurant corporations want it every which way and then some.
Having read the polls supporting a minimum wage hike, they’re skittish about trashing the idea personally. So they pay their DC lobby machine to do their dirty work. And it’s not enough for them to shove the costs of their low-wage model onto Joe Schmo taxpayer. These CEOs are also making the rest of us pay for their own fat paychecks.
How’s that again? Yes, ordinary taxpayers are not only covering the cost of billions of dollars in public assistance for restaurant workers who earn poverty wages. We’re also subsidizing the pay of our nation’s notoriously overpaid CEOs.’
Google wants your money. Or, more precisely, Google wants your bank account and credit card info.
‘At Quartz, Chris Mims reports that Google appears to be accelerating its roll-out of a service that will allow gmail users to send money via email to whomever they want as easily as sending an attachment. Sounds great — but wait, there’s more!
Here’s what’s brilliant about offering the “send money” feature: Google almost certainly doesn’t care whether you use it to send money. What it cares about is getting you to sign up to Google Wallet and capture your bank account and credit-card information. And it’s using Gmail, which has a reach comparable to that of Facebook—425 million as of June 2012, the last time Google released numbers—to do it.
Once Google has your payment info, it can then implement PayPal-like functionality throughout the Google universe — YouTube, search, Maps, you name it. Anywhere you travel online while logged into your Google Account, you will have the ability to click-and-pay.’
‘Reports indicate that the United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) is expanding its operations on the continent. A series of naval maneuvers and exercises are currently taking place in West Africa.
AFRICOM was formed in 2008 by the George W. Bush administration and has been expanded and enhanced under Barack Obama. A series of navy operations known as Obangame Express is now in its fourth year with additional European, African and at least one South American state, Brazil, involved.’
A Yemen military official on Saturday says that at least fifteen people were either killed or wounded when a missile from a U.S. drone struck vehicles traveling on a road in the central province of al-Bayda.
‘Among the dead, according reports, are what the official claimed were targeted al-Qaeda militants traveling in two vehicles and also non-targeted passers-by traveling on the same road when the powerful U.S. bomb hit.
According to Reuters, “tribal sources said a drone had been circling al-Bayda for days and on Saturday struck two cars the suspected militants were in. Three civilians who happened to be in a nearby car were also killed, they said.”
A security source told Reuters that the missile “targeted cars that suspected al Qaeda militants were in and killed 13 of them.”
The Associated Press, however, reports that a “Yemeni official” said nine of the victims in the attack were militants while at least six were “innocent civilians.”‘
‘The IDF has installed a new crowd-dispersal weapon on top of the separation wall in Bethlehem.
The new weapon, which is remote-controlled and shoots “skunk” water (putrid-smelling liquid), began operating over the last month. According to the IDF Spokesperson’s Unit, the weapon can also fire tear gas, among other crowd-dispersal means.
In the past month, Palestinian residents of Bethlehem began noticing the new weapon perched on top of the separation wall in an area near where most of the protests against the occupation and the barrier take place. According to participants in last week’s Palestine Marathon, the new camera-equipped weapon moved on its axis and followed them as they passed by it during their run.’
‘There was a time when, growing up in a suburban area around Mansfield, a university town in northeastern Connecticut, I could go days without seeing a police car. These days, though, when I go back there to visit my old hometown, I see them everywhere. Where once there was one resident State Trooper for the township of Mansfield, today there’s a fleet of Troopers in squad cars, called “Interceptors.” The university too, which in my youth had a couple of university cops whose only real job was breaking up the occasional dormitory panty raid, now has a full-fledged police department, staffed with beefy cops who would be hard to distinguish from the troopers — or from recently furloughed military vets (which many of them probably are).
In communities and cities across the country, the number of police has soared, rising, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, from 603,000 in 1992 to 794,000 in 2010. This even as crime has been falling fairly steadily for over 30 years, even in cities that have had to cut back on their police staffing for budget reasons.’
‘The Syrian army has started an operation to break foreign-backed Takfiri militants’ siege on the northern city of Aleppo.
According to reports on Monday, the army regained control over an area extending from what used to be Syria’s economic capital to the town of Khanasir in the Aleppo province.
A convoy of trucks carrying food supplies and fuel arrived in the city through the road crossing Khanasir.
Foreign-sponsored militants attacked the road several times in the past to hamper the aid efforts. They, however, were repelled by government forces.
Efforts aimed at breaking the siege of Aleppo came as the army has made major gains across the country.
On Sunday, the Syrian forces also foiled an infiltration attempt by the militants in al-Lairamon and al-Zahraa areas in Aleppo.’
‘A group of demonstrators have taken to the streets in a northern Chilean city to protest against government-imposed camps to house people affected by an earthquake.
Protesters used burning barricades to block one of the main roads in the coastal city of Iquique on Monday night, calling on the government to move the emergency camps which pose health risks.
Residents argue that the emergency camps have been installed without prior approval or consultations with local residents.
A powerful 8.2-magnitude earthquake and subsequent aftershocks struck the country’s northern Pacific coast in early April, causing widespread damage to thousands of homes in the coastal city.’
‘South Sudan’s rebel leader Riek Machar has dismissed allegations that his forces were behind an alleged massacre in the oil-rich state of Unity last week.
Machar said he respects people, and that his troops cannot kill South Sudanese citizens.
“I contacted the field military commander in Bentiu who told me that such accusation is false. First of all we respect our people, and the majority of the forces are from the region and we can’t kill our citizens,” Machar said.
Meanwhile, the rebel spokesman Lul Ruai Koang said that rebel fighters were not responsible for the killings in Bentiu, and blamed others, including government forces for the act.
The exact number of people slaughtered in the fresh atrocities in the world’s newest country remains unclear.’
‘Jordan has summoned the Israeli ambassador to Amman to protest against a recent attack on Palestinian worshippers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds (Jerusalem).
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry on Monday condemned “radical Israeli attempts” to break into the mosque under the protection of Israeli forces and the arrest of worshippers at the holy site, the state-run Petra news agency reported.
The Jordanian ministry also called on Daniel Nevo to convey the country’s protest and rejection of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian worshipers.
Jordan also urged an end to the violence and warned that such Israeli attacks are “violation” of international agreements.’