Monday, April 30, 2012

Daily Digest April 29-30, 2012




Canadian banks got $114B 'bailout' during recession
Support for banks 'much more substantial than Canadians were led to believe':
Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives. report.
� we have not had to put any taxpayers� money into our financial system in Canada, nor do I anticipate that we�ll be obliged to do so.�
Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance

�Without wanting to appear arrogant or vain, which would be quite un-Canadian... while our system is not perfect, it has worked during this difficult time, I don�t want the government to be in the banking business in Canada.�
Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance

�It is true, we have the only banks in the western world that are not looking at bailouts or anything like that...and we haven�t got any TARP money.�
Stephen Harper, Prime Minister

Tory stumbles and NDP strength spell trouble for Liberals
A federal minister paying top dollar for a glass of nutritious orange juice at a luxe hotel
she moved to so she could smoke is not only great irony.
It may have briefly been the most hazardous episode yet to the political health of the Conservatives.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper has given us a year of transformation
There has been no Stephen Harper revolution. But there can be little doubt,
as he celebrates the first anniversary of his majority Wednesday, Harper has delivered a year of transformation..



  • The UN May Have Silenced the Afghan Public
  • What is the Afghan public's opinion regarding the U.S. Afghan Strategic Partnership Agreement? Does anyone know?

  • Welcome to the Asylum
  • The final chapter of this sad experiment in human history will see us sacrificed as those on the outer reaches of empire were sacrificed.

  • Deir Yassin Remembered
  • This year marks the 67th anniversary of the massacre at Deir Yassin, one of the most appalling crimes carried out by the Jewish Irgun and Stern gangs in Palestine.

  • Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions  Inciting Murder of Jewish Children By professors who teach in U.S universities
  • The Horowitz Center's advertisement seeks to shut down informed debate.

  • Challenging Notions of a Jewish People
  • Israeli Professor Shlomo Sand talks about the ideas of his book, The Invention of the Jewish People, challenging the underlying logic of the State of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish People.
  • You Are All Suspects Now What Are You Going To Do About It?
  • You are all potential terrorists. It matters not that you live in Britain, the United States, Australia or the Middle East. Citizenship is effectively abolished.
  • U.S. Military Drones Reported Operating Across the United States
  • These modern killing machines represent science fiction reborn as science 'faction.'
  • American Exceptionalism: In Defense of Torture:CIA Torturer Has No RegretsVideo CBS 60 Minutes
  • Jose Rodriguez, the former head of the CIA's Clandestine Service, defends the "enhanced interrogation techniques" used on high-level al Qaeda detainees and says he has no regrets. Lesley Stahl reports.
  • The FBI, Elaborate Entrapment and Hannah Arendt on Secret Police
  • It took 11 months of meandering discussion and a promise of $250,000 to lead him, with three co-conspirators he recruited, to plant fake bombs at two Riverdale synagogues.

  • Celebrating our "Warrior President"
  • The Democratic case for Obama's foreign policy greatness is most significant for what it blissfully ignores.

  • May Day Started Here
  • If you get to a point where the existing institutions will not bend to the popular will, you have to eliminate the institutions.
  • 21 killed in north Nigeria church service attacks: Gunmen attacked worship services at a university campus and a church Sunday in northern Nigeria, killing at least 21 people in coordinated assaults that saw panicked Christians gunned down as they tried to flee, witnesses and officials said.

  • 10 Afghan Police Killed by IED: The blast happened in the Chak district of Wardak when their car struck an improvised explosive device planted in the road, provincial spokesman Shahidullah Shahid said Sunday.

  • 4 Killed in Attack on Afghan Governor Compound: Two attackers hiding handguns in their shoes infiltrated a compound of the governor of Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province Saturday, sparking a fierce gunbattle that left two guards and both assailants dead.

  • 3 NATO roccupation force service members killed in Afghanistan: The coalition says all three service members died Saturday.

  • US 'kills three militants' in Pakistan: Three "militants" were killed and two others wounded in a US drone attack in Pakistan's restive tribal region near the Afghan border on Sunday, security officials said.

  • Obama's Death Panels: Jeremy Scahill at the Drone Summit : "The real death panels that we have in this country were unleashed on our own citizens. Republicans like to talk about death panels having to do with health care. President Obama is the one that is operating secret death panels" that include United States citizens and often include non-US citizen
  • Beheaded body of kidnapped British aid worker found in Pak; The beheaded and bullet- riddled body of a British employee of the Red Cross, who was kidnapped in January, was found by police in Quetta city of southwest Pakistan today.
  • More than 20 people reported dead in bomb blast in Idlib in Syria: The majority of those killed were members of the security forces

  • At least nine killed in Damascus militant attack: � At least nine people have been killed as a result of a militant attack on various targets in the Syrian capital Damascu
  • Blast in Syrian military camp - four soldiers killed: Four Syrian soldiers were killed Sunday after an explosion in a military camp south of Aleppo, dpa quoted the opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as reporting.
  • Syria says West-backed Al-Qaeda behind bombings:
  • State newspapers on Sunday charged that Al-Qaeda was operating in Syria and carrying out its trademark suicide bombings with the support of Washington and some Arab countries, The Daily Star reported.

  • Ban is 'biased': Syria has derided UN chief Ban Ki-moon as biased and called his comments "outrageous" after he blamed the regime for widespread ceasefire violations � the latest sign of trouble for an international peace plan many expect to fail.

  • Hide-and-ship: Did the US know Libyan weapons were en route to Syrian rebels?: The US and NATO have some questions to answer about the massive weapons cargo seized by Lebanese intelligence officials, Franklin Lamb tells RT. He says they surely knew the shipment was on its way to Syrian rebels, but still turned a blind eye.

  • U.S. Amasses Stealth-Jet Armada Near Iran: The U.S. Air Force is quietly assembling the world's most powerful air-to-air fighting team at bases near Iran. - The Raptor-Eagle team has been honing special tactics for clearing the air of Iranian fighters in the event of war.

  • Former Israeli premier against Iran strike: Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has added his voice to a growing chorus of Israeli officials against a military strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. Olmert spoke to Israel's Channel 10 TV from New York Sunday.,7340,L-4222303,00.html

  • Former Mossad chief, Israeli minister trade accusations at New York conference: Meir Dagan defends statements made by former Shin Bet security service chief, criticizing Netanyahu and Barak over Iran; Minister Gilad Erdan says Dagan sabotaging international efforts to halt Iran's nuclear program; Ex-PM Olmert joins in defense of Dagan, Diskin.

  • Netanyahu readies for early Israeli elections, sources say: Likud sources said on Saturday that the national elections are likely to be held between September and November.

  • South Tel Aviv residents protest refugees' presence: Firebombs were hurled overnight Friday at four homes in which African migrants reside and towards another apartment which also serves as a kindergarten.,7340,L-4222349,00.html
  • Israel's politics of discrimination: How an informal process of decision making keeps Ashkenazi men at the top, while women, Arabs and Mizrahim are denied their fair share of power and resources.
  • Major British supermarket chain announces boycott of produce made in illegal West Bank settlements: This is the first move by a major company to end all dealings with companies that export products from within the Green Line and from the settlements.
  • Ex-Libya PM found dead in Danube: Shukri Ghanem, a former Libyan premier and oil minister who abandoned Muammar Gaddafi's regime to support the rebels who ultimately toppled the dictator, has been found dead in a section of the Danube river flowing through Vienna, Austria.
  • Libya's ruling council keeping Cabinet in place despite criticism, no-confidence vote: Libya's interim ruling council decided Sunday to keep its current Cabinet despite an internal row over dismissing it for alleged incompetence, with a crucial election less than two months away.

  • Gaddafi 'paid Nicolas Sarkozy': FRENCH president Nicolas Sarkozy was secretly funded by late Libyan tyrant Colonel Gaddafi, according to damning new evidence.

  • Bahrain police 'continue to torture detainees': Human Rights Watch has accused Bahrain's police of continuing to beat and torture detainees, including minors.

  • Egypt parliament demands govt. dismissal: Parliament has demanded the military-backed Prime Minister Ganzuri government's dismissal, as they believe it only plunges the nation into a deep crisis and is not respecting parliament which is the only freely elected body in Egypt today.

  • Clash between Egypt's Islamists, military grows: Anger against the country's military rulers also spilled into the streets where a protester was killed late Saturday in a demonstration outside the Ministry of Defense. Protesters clashed for three hours with unidentified assailants supporting the military, throwing rocks, firebombs and glass bottles.

  • Sudan 'declares emergency' on border with South Sudan: Sudanese local authorities have ordered a group of 12,000 ethnic South Sudanese people to leave Sudan within a week.
  • U.S. foreign policy, brought to you by ExxonMobil: When Indonesian rebels threatened ExxonMobil gas fields, the Bush administration brought the heat.

  • Federal agents to begin protecting 'Red Zone' for NATO next week: Starting next week, expect to see a showing of federal law enforcement in "battle" gear, weapons slung, in a highly visible effort to protect a perimeter that encompasses the federally operated buildings in the Loop.

  • US pastor burns Koran again: Controversial US pastor Terry Jones has burned more copies of the Koran and a depiction of the prophet Mohammed to protest the imprisonment in Iran of a Christian clergyman, The Gainesville Sun reported.
  • Buy your way to Heaven! The Catholic Church brings back indulgences: These days, you can get a deal on anything. Even salvation! Pope Benedict has announced that his faithful can once again pay the Catholic Church to ease their way through Purgatory and into the Gates of Heaven.
  • Outsourced: India bails out US from jobless crisis: As the U.S. struggles to avoid a double-dip recession, emerging economies are racing to take advantage of the American market. Indian companies are now expanding their workforces in the US - where unempoyment is on the rise.

  • UC Davis Students and Faculty Face Prison Time for Peaceful Protest Against Bank: The pepper spraying of UC Davis students shocked the nation, but the persecution that the Davis Dozen protesters face is far worse.
  • 25 Horrible Statistics About The U.S. Economy: The human capacity for self-delusion truly is remarkable. Most people out there end up believing exactly what they want to believe even when the truth is staring them right in the face.

  • The Children of Fallujah The Hospital of Horrors
  • Stillbirths, disabilities, deformities too distressing to describe - what lies behind the torments in Fallujah General Hospital?

  • In Case You Missed It "The Real Terrorist Was Me" Video
  • "Racism is a vital weapon employed by this government."

  • Make Love, then War
  • Maybe Dylan will surprise us all by refusing to receive his Freedom Medal from such a war-monger, and break all protocols by ambushing his bloody host with, "Come you masters of war.

  • "We Assassinate Their leaders" - CNBC Video
  • "My job was to corrupt high officials in countries and get them to accept huge loans to sign off on them to make a lot of money."

  • The NSA Is Watching You
  • Three targeted Americans: - None of these U.S. citizens was charged with a crime, but they have been tracked, surveilled, detained-sometimes at gunpoint-and interrogated, with no access to a lawyer.

  • How The "Cyber Intelligence Sharing And Protection Act" Would Affect You (faq):
  • CISPA would "waive every single privacy law ever enacted in the name of cybersecurity," Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat and onetime Web entrepreneur, said during the debate. "Allowing the military and NSA to spy on Americans on American soil goes against every principle this country was founded on."
  • In Case You Missed It The Spy Factory Video
  • An eye-opening documentary on the National Security Agency. NOVA exposes the ultra-secret intelligence agency's role in the failure to stop the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent eavesdropping program that listens in without warrant on millions of American citizens.

  • Joseph McCarthy Reborn
  • Rep. West, beware: In the flammable pool of toxic paranoia that passes these days as patriotism in America, a single careless match can light an inferno.

  • EuroSpeak for "Starve the Beast" The Meaning of "Austerity Measures"
  • Unemployment in Spain is the highest in Europe at 24 percent. (Youth unemployment is over 50 percent) Even so, Spain's right wing PM Mariano Rajoy is attempting to reach the deficit targets demanded by the troika which will push unemployment higher while further deepening the depression.

  • Austerity Measures Leading Europe To 'Suicide', Nobel Economist Says
  • Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said Europe is in a "dire" situation as a focus on austerity pushes the continent toward "suicide."

  • Food Stamps In Crosshairs Of Republicans' Plan To Save Military
  • The latest Republican plan to reconcile the budget and preserve defense spending extracts even deeper cuts from programs to help the poor.
  • 16 killed in clashes between rebels and Syrian troops:
  • Twelve rebels and four soldiers were killed in clashes Saturday in several areas across Syria, while the government claimed it had foiled an attempted "terrorist" infiltration by sea, DPA reported.

  • Syria : Suicide Bomber Hits Damascus, Killing At Least 10 : - A suicide bomber blew himself up across the street from a mosque in the Syrian capital Friday, killing at least 10 people and wounding nearly 30, state TV said. Three other smaller explosions also were reported in the capital, killing one person

  • Russia condemns "barbaric" attacks in Syria: Russia on Saturday condemned what it called "barbaric" attacks in Syria, stepping up criticism of rebels a day after an explosion authorities blamed on a suicide bomber killed at least nine people in the capital Damascus.

  • Lebanon says intercepted weapons shipment headed for Syrian rebels: The Lebanese navy intercepted three containers of weapons destined for Syrian rebel forces on board a ship originating from Libya, a security official told AFP on Saturday.

  • Russia backs delivering decisive rebuff to terrorists in Syria: The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that "we are convinced that the terrorists operating in Syria need a decisive rebuff." "All domestic and outside players need to prevent any support" from reaching the armed gangs, it added.
  • Russia, EU circulate UN drafts on Syria monitors: A key difference is the EU text, which diplomats say was drafted by France, "underlines the need for the Syrian government to agree rapidly with the United Nations the independent use of air assets" by the observer mission.
  • Engineering Consent For An Attack On Iran: Barak:
  • Iranians Determined to Fool the World:
  • Defense Minister says Israeli "stopwatch" on Iran is ticking faster than that of the US.

  • Israel ex-spy warns against "messianic" war on Iran: A former Israeli spymaster has branded the country's leaders unfit to tackle the Iranian nuclear program and "messianic" in the strongest criticism from a security veteran of threats to launch a pre-emptive war.

  • At Least 8 Killed In Bomb Attack On Iraq Coffee Shop : At least eight people have been killed and more than 20 injured after a coffee shop in Iraq's eastern Diyala province was struck by two near-simultaneous bombs, media reports citing Iraqi officials said late on Thursday.

  • Prison riot in Libya kills 3, injures 13: At least three people have been killed in Libya and 13 injured in a prison riot that broke out in the oasis town of Kufra. A group of armed men attacked the prison to free a prisoner involved in the death of Gen. Abdel Fattah Younes

  • Courthouse bomb in Libya's Benghazi injures one: A bomb exploded at a courthouse in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Friday, wounding one person and damaging surrounding buildings in a fresh challenge to the post-Gaddafi government's struggle to restore stability.

  • Gaddafi 'funded' 2007 Sarkozy campaign: The government of the late Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi agreed to fund French President Nicolas Sarkozy's 2007 election campaign with an estimated $66m, a French news website has reported.

  • French President Sarkozy appeals to neo-fascist vote:
  • Sarkozy is desperate to win the votes of the 6.5 million people who voted for the third placed candidate, the neo-fascist Marine Le Pen. He needs them to overtake Hollande in the runoff on May 6.

  • Saudi closes embassy in Egypt over protests: Cairo demonstrations over Egyptian lawyer arrested in Saudi Arabia lead Riyadh to recall ambassador and close missions.

  • Obama campaign questions Romney on bin Laden death: Barack Obama's campaign sought to make the death of Osama bin Laden a central part of the U.S. presidential election on Friday with a video that questioned whether Republican rival Mitt Romney would have made the same call to approve the mission that killed the al Qaeda leader.

  • Images of Osama bin Laden killing not to be released, judge orders:
  • A US federal court has backed the Obama administration in refusing to release pictures or video from military operation

  • Osama bin Laden's family preparing to live incognito in Saudi Arabia: The 14 members of Osama bin Laden's family who survived the US Navy Seal raid which killed him in May last year were on Friday preparing to live incognito - but apparently in some luxury - in Saudi Arabia after being deported from Pakistan

  • A cost of war: Soaring disability benefits for veterans: The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs expects to spend $57 billion on disability benefits next year. That's up 25% from $46 billion this year, and nearly quadruple the $15 billion spent in 2000, before the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan began.

  • Little Evidence That Torture Treatment Used By CIA Produced Any Counter-Terrorism Breakthroughs :
  • People familiar with the inquiry said it consisted of as much as 2,000 pages in narrative accounts of how the CIA interrogation program worked, including specific case histories in which enhanced interrogation tactics were used.

  • Padilla takes torture case to US Supreme Court: US citizen Jose Padilla, who was jailed for four years as an "enemy combatant" and claims to have been tortured, has asked the Supreme Court to reinstate his civil case against top US officials.

  • Military judge rejects motions to reduce charges against Bradley Manning: An Army judge on Thursday refused to dismiss a charge of "aiding the enemy" in the government's prosecution of accused whistleblower Bradley Manning, who faces military court martial this fall.

  • CISPA : Congressman Johnson " I know its 2012 but it sure Feels like 1984": Congressman Hank Johnson, who represents the eastern suburbs of Atlanta in the U.S. Congress, speaks against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) on the House floor. Apr 26, 2012.

  • Houstonians Revolt Over TSA On Buses: Dozens of outraged residents attended a Houston METRO board meeting yesterday to express their disgust at how TSA workers were used to interrogate passengers on buses during a so-called "anti-terror" exercise last week.

  • The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster Is Far From Over: Spent reactor fuel, containing roughly 85 times more long-lived radioactivity than released at Chernobyl, still sits in pools vulnerable to earthquakes.

  • Romney's religion: Who are evangelicals to question Mormonism?: Jokes about polygamy and funny long underwear aside, Mitt Romney's Mormon faith has not been, and will not become, a factor in the presidential campaign of 2012.

  • More than 68,000 US guns seized in Mexico: Many guns involved in Mexican violence were sourced from the US. The flood of tens of thousands of weapons underscores complaints from Mexico that the US is responsible for arming the drug cartels plaguing its southern neighbour.

  • Hundreds of Economists: Marijuana Prohibition Costs Billions, Legalization Would Earn Billions: Over 300 economists, including three Nobel Laureates, recently signed a petition that encourages the president, Congress, governors and state legislatures to carefully consider marijuana legalization in America.

  • New Poll: Almost Everyone Thinks It's Wrong to Jail People for Pot: Majorities of respondents in the three countries (Britain 56%, Canada 68%, United States 74%) welcome the concept of using alternative penalties-such as fines, probation or community service-rather than prison for non-violent offenders

  • Eurozone Retail Sales Plunge at Strongest Pace Since Late-2008; German Retail Sales Plunge Into Contraction; French Retail Sales Plunge at Record Pace; Record Job Losses, Record Retail Plunge in Italy

  • Ireland's Noonan Says Will Cut Growth Forecast by Almost Half: Irish growth may be about 0.75 percent this year, Noonan said in an interview with Dublin-based broadcaster RTE today, down from a December estimate of 1.3 percent.

  • US economic growth slows to 2.2% rate, official figures show:
  • US government cutbacks mean growth rate slows from 3% in the final three months of 2011

  • Exxon Makes $104 Million In Profit Per Day So Far In 2012: Last year, ExxonMobil, one of the world's most profitable companies, earned $1,300 in profits per second. As consumers paid record-high springtime gas prices, Exxon posted first quarter profits of $9.45 billion.

  • Wife of Active Duty Marine Shot 37 Times by Local Deputy and CHP Can Proceed to Trial: A wrongful death suit against a San Diego deputy sheriff is proceeding to trial after the deputy along with a group of California Highway Patrol officers killed an active duty Marine who was a veteran of the Iraq war, by shooting him 37 times after pinning his car at the side of the freeway.