Poster by Aaron Calland
‘Prime Minister David Cameron should pledge to increase state spending on Britain’s armed forces for a full five years, according to a pressure group of military experts and retired commanders.
British military lobby, the UK National Defence Association (UKNDA), warned on Tuesday in an open letter to David Cameron that Britain’s military might would no longer be credible unless the Ministry of Defence’s [MoD] budget was taken care of following the next election.
Failure to do so would render David Cameron a “laughing stock,” one of the pressure group’s key members claimed.’
‘Like many food producers supplying some of the most popular foods, some baby food companies, such as Purity Brands, are going GMO-free due to public demand. But other companies stuffed with the hot air of their own inflated CEO’s egos refuse – Nestlé International, the parent company of both Nestlé USA and Gerber baby foods – is adamant about using GMOs in their products. It looks like it’s time for another boycott.
Many parents in the U.S. and North America are unknowingly feeding their infants and small children Gerber Baby Foods which contain genetically modified corn and soy, both of which contain Bt toxins, a registered pesticide with the USFDA.’
‘In a surprise U-turn, China’s Ministry of Agriculture has decided not to continue with a program which developed genetically-modified rice and corn. Some environmentalists say public concerns about GM crops played a key role in the decision.
On August 17, when these permits were up for renewal, the Ministry of Agriculture decided not to extend them. In 2009, the ministry’s Biosafety Committee issued approval certificates to develop the two crops, rice and corn.
Developed by the Huazhong Agricultural University, near Wuhan, it was hoped that the GMO strains would help to reduce pesticide use by 80 percent, while raising yields by as much as 8 percent, said Huang Jikun, the chief scientist with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, told Reuters in 2009. It is illegal to sell genetically-modified rice on the open market in China.’
‘Tens of thousands of Pakistanis opposed to Pakistan’s ruling parties and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have breached barricades surrounding the so-called ‘red zone’ in the nation’s capital city of Islamabad on Wednesday as they fulfilled their vows to march on Parliament and other halls of power in order to reclaim the government.
Led by former cricket star-turned politician Imran Khan, who now heads the Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party, and cleric and activist Tahirul Qadri of the Pakistan Awami Tehreek party, the demonstrators have been marching from various regions of the country towards the city center for weeks with promises of overthrowing the current power structure.’
‘Russian natural gas exporter Gazprom said on Thursday that Ukraine’s outstanding debt for gas supplies stood at $5.3 billion (3.2 billion pounds) as of Aug. 1 and called on Kiev to ensure that gas continues to transit without disruption to Europe.
“Gazprom counts on Naftogaz of Ukraine to stick to its obligations on redemptions of arrears for the supplied gas and provision of smooth gas transit via Ukraine’s territory,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said.
Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on June 16 in a dispute over unpaid bills. However, Russian gas shipments to Europe via Ukraine have flowed without interruptions since.’
‘At night, the residents of Vestal can see the orange glow of the gas pads being flared across the Pennsylvania border. For some, the wells represent the promise of an economic prosperity that has been absent from the region in recent decades. To others, they are a threatening reminder of what could happen if New York’s moratorium on hydraulic fracturing is lifted.
With political support for natural gas running high, the focus for many anti-fracking activists has shifted to the municipal level. But where many communities across the U.S. have passed bans or moratoria on the controversial drilling technique, others remain divided by arguments on both sides of the debate.’
‘Silicon Valley has been in the media spotlight for its role in gentrifying and raising rents in San Francisco, helping the NSA spy on American citizens, and lack of racial and gender diversity. Despite that, Silicon Valley still has a reputation for benevolence, innocence and progressivism. Hence Google’s phrase, “Don’t be evil.” A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll found that, even after the Snowden leaks, 53% of those surveyed had high confidence in the tech industry. The tech industry is not seen as evil as, say, Wall Street or Big Oil.
One aspect of Silicon Valley that would damage this reputation has not been scrutinized enough—its involvement in American militarism. Silicon Valley’s ties to the National Security State extend beyond the NSA’s PRISM program. Through numerous partnerships and contracts with the U.S. military, intelligence and law enforcement agencies, Silicon Valley is part of the American military-industrial complex.
Google sells its technologies to the U.S. military, FBI, CIA, NSA, DEA, NGA, and other intelligence and law enforcement agencies, has managers with backgrounds in military and intelligence work, and partners with defense contractors like Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman.’
‘Everyone from Warren Buffett to Robert Reich is talking about a favorite Wall Street trick called stock buybacks. But what are they and what do they mean to you?
William Lazonick is a leading expert on the history of the American business corporation. A professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he directs the Center for Industrial Competitiveness, he has long been watching a trend that has only recently been attracting media attention and forcing many to reassess the nasty form of capitalisim that has been unleashed on us in recent decades.’
‘The Israeli Military Governor in the West Bank has signed a military order expelling Palestinian Legislative Council Member and Addameer board member Khalida Jarrar to Jericho for a period of six months, with immediate effect.
At 1.30 A.M on 20 August 2014 approximately 50 Israeli occupying soldiers surrounded Jarrar’s home in Ramallah. An Israeli captain then proceeded to hand Jarrar an order which states that Jarrar must not leave the district of Jericho for the next six months and can only leave with the express permission of the Israeli military commander in the West Bank. Accompanying the order was a map outlining the boundaries of Jericho district. The order states, based on secret information, that Jarrar is a threat to the security of the area. She was given 24 hours to leave Ramallah. Jarrar refused to sign the order.’
‘Scores of protesters have taken to the streets in the Afghan capital Kabul to call for the immediate release of the results of the disputed presidential runoff vote, Press TV reports.
On Thursday, more than a hundred civil society activists chanted slogans and expressed their outrage over what they described as the violation of the Afghan constitution.
The demonstrators also emphasized that the delay in announcing the results of the June vote is against the interests of Afghanistan.’
‘US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel says the Pentagon will continue its operations against the ISIL militants in Iraq, calling the group an “imminent threat” to the United States.
“They are as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group,” Hagel said on Thursday.
“This is beyond anything we’ve seen. We must prepare for everything,” he added.’
‘Indonesian police have clashed with supporters of former general Prabowo Subianto who lost last month’s presidential vote in the capital Jakarta.
The demonstrators on Thursday tried to force their way past lines of riot police and barbed wire blocking the road to the Constitutional Court, prompting officers to fire tear gas and water cannon into the crowd.
“We warned them, but the demonstrators did not stop so we had to force them to disperse,” Jakarta police spokesman Rikwanto said, putting the number of the protesters at about 5000.’