The Plight of Children in a Neoliberal World | New Eastern Outlook

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27-12-18 09:53:00,

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The NYT wrote yesterday, Christmas Day, that an 8-year old Guatemalan boy died in US Border Control custody. The circumstances are not clear, or are simply not reported. A month earlier, a 7-year old girl, also from Guatemala, died also in US Border Control custody. Here too, the circumstances are not revealed. How many more children, not mentioned by any media, or any statistics have already perished, trying to make their way to a better future? – A better future, because their real and beloved future in their own countries has been miserably destroyed by the US empire’s imposed corporate abuse and fascist-like dictatorships. But who cares, they are just children of illegal immigrants; children separated from their parents – to dissuade parents to migrate to the US of A. – Welcome to paradise of hell!

Currently a large portion of the US Government is shut down, due to a budget dispute between President Trump – and the ultra-rightwing of the Republican Party breathing down his neck – and the Democrats. At stake are US$5 billion for a Border Wall Trump requests as part of the general budget, and the Democrats refuse to sign-off on it. The Border Wall would have countless nefarious and more serious killer effects. More kids in border custody, some dehydrated, some simply exhausted from the long journey, some sick – all separated from their parents, maybe for good, and neglected by US Authorities – and most of them just simply left to their plight – which in many cases may be death.

Welcome to the Land of the Free, the land of exemplary democracy!

Are Trump and his handlers murderers? – Yes, they are. There is absolutely no doubt. Not just for the abject, inhuman abuse of migrants and migrant children – but for killing children and adults in the ever-increasing number of wars and conflicts around the globe, waged and initiated by the US, NATO – and the European puppets’ armies. He – Trump, could stop them at once. He may risk his life, but somebody who aspires to such high office must take risks. Besides, his life may be at stake for many more reasons. Enemies abound. A life is just a life – highly precious, though, to be saved by all means – but killing wantonly millions of children – the future of civilization – what is that,

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“Everything Is Fake”: Ex-Reddit CEO Confirms Internet Traffic Metrics Are Bullshit

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27-12-18 09:51:00,

“It’s all true: Everything is fake,” tweeted Former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao regarding a Wednesday New York Magazine article which reveals that internet traffic metrics from some of the largest tech companies are overstated or fabricated. In other words; they’re bullshit. 

Pao was responding to a tweet by the Washington Post’s Aram Zucker-Schariff, quoting the following segment of the article: 

The metrics are fake.

Take something as seemingly simple as how we measure web traffic. Metrics should be the most real thing on the internet: They are countable, trackable, and verifiable, and their existence undergirds the advertising business that drives our biggest social and search platforms. Yet not even Facebook, the world’s greatest data–gathering organization, seems able to produce genuine figures. In October, small advertisers filed suit against the social-media giant, accusing it of covering up, for a year, its significant overstatements of the time users spent watching videos on the platform (by 60 to 80 percent, Facebook says; by 150 to 900 percent, the plaintiffs say). According to an exhaustive list at MarketingLand, over the past two years Facebook has admitted to misreporting the reach of posts on Facebook Pages (in two different ways), the rate at which viewers complete ad videos, the average time spent reading its “Instant Articles,” the amount of referral traffic from Facebook to external websites, the number of views that videos received via Facebook’s mobile site, and the number of video views in Instant Articles.

Can we still trust the metrics? After the Inversion, what’s the point? Even when we put our faith in their accuracy, there’s something not quite real about them: My favorite statistic this year was Facebook’s claim that 75 million people watched at least a minute of Facebook Watch videos every day — though, as Facebook admitted, the 60 seconds in that one minute didn’t need to be watched consecutively. Real videos, real people, fake minutes. –NYMag

“It’s all true: Everything is fake,” tweeted Pao, adding “Also mobile user counts are fake. No one has figured out how to count logged-out mobile users, as I learned at reddit.

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Perfect Storm is Brewing in Georgia | New Eastern Outlook

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27-12-18 02:47:00,

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It takes little imagination to understand that a perfect storm must be brewing when a shift in US foreign policy and a contested presidential election in another country occur at the same time. Add to the mix a dispute over who will be accepted as the next ambassador to that country and you have a geopolitical “accident” waiting to happen.

John Bolton, the US National Security, or better said, “Insecurity Advisor” to Donald Trump visited Georgia in late October, having also made quick visits to Armenia and Azerbaijan. He admitted that the purpose of this visit was to understand the “very significant geographical role” the countries of the region have “in dealing with Iran, dealing with Russia and in dealing with Turkey.”

John Bolton’s language does not speak of diplomacy but of engagement, provocation and closing ranks. Diplomacy has never been his calling card. He is perhaps one of the most unsavory characters ever to serve in a diplomatic role, even in the history of the US, and his reputation so far precedes him that even Time Magazine has rumbled him.

The visit should be seen within the context of the recent Georgian presidential election runoff, which produced an outcome which was not the most conducive to US foreign policy, and also something of a shock as it potentially upsets the “greater scheme of things” concerning Iran, Russia and Turkey.

It also came in the midst of a quiet but public debate over who will be the next US Ambassador to Georgia, with the most likely candidate already having her own basket of dirty laundry. Foreign Policy, a US based magazine, has already published an article which claims that “Georgia will not accept the nomination of Bridget Brink, a career foreign service officer with extensive experience in Europe and two past tours in Georgia, because of her alleged predisposition toward former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili” and her warmongering tendencies.

The Georgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs says that the above mentioned article in Foreign Policy, which states that the Georgian government itself has rejected Brink’s nomination, is “far from reality.”But the history of US Ambassadors to Georgia, previously outlined in this journal,

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The GMO Issue Reaches Boiling Point in India

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27-12-18 02:35:00,

Interview with Aruna Rodrigues

Image source here.

In a recent article published on the India-based News18 site (CNN), prominent US biologist Nina Federoff was reported as saying it is time for India to grant farmers access to genetically modified (GM) crops. In an interview with the site, she says there is no evidence that GM crops are dangerous when consumed either by people in food or by animals in feed. Federoff says that the commercial release of various GM crops in India has been halted by the Indian government due to opposition from environmental activists.

She adds that we are rapidly moving out of the climate regime in which our primary crops were domesticated, arguing that that they do increasingly worse and will yield less as temperature extremes become common and pest and pathogen populations change. She says GM will become more or less essential in an era of climate change.

In recent weeks, aside from Federoff’s intervention, GM has been a hot topic in India. In late November, a paper appeared in the journal Current Science which argues that India doesn’t need GM crops and that the track record of GM agriculture is highly questionable. The paper is notable not just because of what it says but because of who is saying it: distinguished scientist P.C. Kesavan and M.S. Swaminathan, renowned agricultural scientist and geneticist and widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution in India.

I recently spoke with prominent campaigner Aruna Rodrigues about developments surrounding the GM issue in India, particularly the views of Federoff. Rodrigues is lead petitioner in a case before India’s Supreme Court that is seeking a moratorium on GM crops and selective bans.

Colin Todhunter: What do you make of Nina Federoff’s recent comments advocating for GM in India?

Aruna Rodrigues: Nina Federoff is a long-time supporter of GMOs. The last time she offered advice to India (in her role as scientific advisor to Hilary Clinton) was when Bt brinjal (eggplant) was being pushed for commercialisation. She advised that Bt brinjal would be good for India!

CT: She is a high-profile scientist. Did government officials take her advice?

AR: Her advice was straightforwardly ignored by the then Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh.

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Video: Faced with the Risk of Nuclear War, Italy Plays the Three Little Monkeys – Global Research

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26-12-18 10:27:00,

What was the reaction to the warning by Russian President Putin when he said that the world underestimates the peril of nuclear war, and that this tendency is increasing?

The commentary in the La Republica is significant, speaking of his “highly alarming tone”. The almost absolute silence of the whole Parliamentarian arc is also eloquent. As if Italy had nothing to do with the race to stock up nuclear weapons which, warned Putin in his end-of-year Press conference, could lead to the “destruction of all civilisation or even the whole planet”. The scenario is not alarmist, but a realistic assessment by scientists who study the effects of nuclear weapons.

A specific danger – emphasises Putin – is the “tendency to lower the bar for the use of nuclear weapons, by creating tactical low-impact nuclear charges which may lead to a world-wide nuclear disaster”. This is the category including the new B61-12 nuclear bombs which the USA will begin to deploy in Italy, Germany, Belgium, Holland, and perhaps in other European countries, during the first half of the year 2020.

“High precision and the possibility of using less destructive warheads”  – warns the Federation of American Scientists – “may lead military commanders to insist on the use of nuclear  bombs in an attack, knowing that radioactive fallout and collateral damage would be limited”.

Italy shares the responsibility for the growing danger of nuclear war, since, in  violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty and not being a signatory of the UNO Treaty forbidding nuclear weapons, it is providing the United States with a primarily anti-Russian capacity, not only with its bases, but also aircraft and pilots for the deployment of nuclear bombs. This comes with the explicit or implicit consent (by renouncing real opposition) of the entire arc of Parliament.

The other danger – warns Putin – is the “disintegration of the international system for arms control”, initiated by the retreat of the United States from the ABM Treaty (Anti Ballistic Missile Treaty) in 2002. Created in 1972 by the USA and the USSR, it forbade each of the two parties to deploy interceptor missiles which, by neutralising reprisals by countries under attack, would have favoured a « first strike »,

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US Corporations Are Micromanaging Curricula to Miseducate Students

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26-12-18 10:26:00,

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Over the past year, the Trump administration’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) educational program garnered $300 million in pledges from big tech companies. Implicit in this push is the commonly accepted though questionable notion that millions of cutting-edge STEM jobs await US workers but go unfilled because public schools have failed to prepare students for them. The STEM bandwagon rolls on at the expense of social studies, art, history and literature — all deemed “irrelevant” to career success and to education as a commodity — while promoting often biased and inaccurate corporate curricula.

Open inquiry scarcely figures in corporate-funded curricula, according to Gerald Coles’s recently published book, Miseducating for the Global Economy. Coles points to materials developed by the Bill of Rights Institute (an organization created by the billionaire Koch brothers) as an example of the ideological distortions present in corporate-funded educational materials. For example, the curriculum developed by the institute teaches students that “the Occupy movement violated the rights of others.”

Though Occupy protested abuses of the richest 1 percent, the Bill of Rights Institute curriculum is not concerned with this. Instead, according to Coles, it asks whether the police crackdown on Occupy was justified — and answers “yes,” because the New York Occupy demonstrators had purportedly damaged both the park and adjacent neighborhood. Somehow this was construed as a First Amendment violation and “consequently the government had a right to inflict pain (with pepper spray, for example) on the Bill of Rights abusers.” Occupy protesters in Tulsa, Oklahoma, engaged in similar malfeasance, according to the lessons.

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Coles reports that the institute has also developed curricula for North Carolina,

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Genetically Engineered Bt Cotton: Reckless Gamble for Profit that Placed Indian Cotton Farmers in Corporate Noose – Global Research

genetically-engineered-bt-cotton-reckless-gamble-for-profit-that-placed-indian-cotton-farmers-in-corporate-noose-8211-global-research

26-12-18 10:23:00,

The dubious performance (failure) of genetically engineered Bt cotton, officially India’s only GM crop, should serve as a warning as the push within the country to adopt GM across a wide range of food crops continues. This article provides an outline of some key reports and papers that have appeared in the last few years on Bt cotton in India.

In a paper that appeared in December 2018 in the journal Current Science, P.C. Kesavan and M.S. Swaminathan cited research findings to support the view that Bt insecticidal cotton has been a failure in India and has not provided livelihood security for mainly resource-poor, small and marginal farmers. This paper was not just important because of its content but also because M.S. Swaminathan is considered to be the father of the Green Revolution in India.

The two authors provided evidence that indicates Bt crops are unsustainable and have not decreased the need for toxic chemical pesticides, the reason for these GM crops in the first place.

The authors cite the views of Dr K.R. Kranthi, former Director of the Central Institute for Cotton Research in Nagpur. Based on his research, he concluded in December 2016:

“Bt-cotton plus higher fertilizers plus increased irrigation also received a protective cover from the seed treatment of neonicotinoid insecticides such as imidacloprid, without which majority of the Bt-cotton hybrids which were susceptible to sucking pests would have yielded far less. It can safely be said that yield increase in India would not have happened with Bt-cotton alone without enhanced fertilizer usage, without increased irrigation, without seed treatment chemicals, and the absence of drought-free decade.”

In effect, levels of insecticide use are now back to the pre-Bt era as is productivity due to pest resistance and crop failures.

Following on from this, an April 2018 paper in the journal Pest Science Management indicates there has been progressive bollworm resistance to Bt cotton in India over a seven-year period. The authors conclude:

“High PBW [pink bollworm] larval recovery on Bt‐II in conjunction with high LC50 values for Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab in major cotton‐growing districts of central and southern India provides evidence of field‐evolved resistance in PBW to Bt‐I and Bt‐II cotton.”

This alongside other problems related to Bt cotton has had disastrous consequences for farmers.

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Obama, ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood | New Eastern Outlook

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26-12-18 10:10:00,

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There is a great uproar over the recent decision by US President Trump to pull US troops out of Syria, announcing his reason for doing so is that ISIS, the so-called Islamic State, has largely been defeated. What lies behind the decision and more important, what was behind the surprise emergence of ISIS across Syria in 2014 brings the spotlight to yet-classified documents of the Obama term. If the reorganized Justice Department is compelled to make these documents public in lawsuits or Freedom of Information requests, it could rock organizations such as the CIA and many in the Obama camp.

In 2010 the US Administration under President Barack Obama developed a top secret blueprint for the most ambitious and far-ranging series of US-backed regime change across the Islamic Middle East since World War I and the Anglo-French Sykes-Picot agreement. It was to set off a wave of wars and chaos, of failed states and floods of war refugees unimaginable to the most cynical veteran diplomat, and beyond the belief of most lay persons in the world.

In August, 2010, six months before Tunisia’s Jasmine Revolution was launched by the Washington NGOs including the NED, the Soros Foundations, Freedom House and others, President Obama signed Presidential Study Directive-11 (PDS-11), ordering Washington government agencies to prepare for “change.”  The change was to be a radical policy calling for Washington’s backing for the secret fundamentalist Islamic Muslim Brotherhood sect across the Middle East Muslim world, and with it, the unleashing of a reign of terror that would change the entire world.

According to US Congressional testimony of Peter Hoekstra, former Chairman of the US House of Representatives Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the Obama Administration PSD-11 directive–as of March 2017 still classified Top Secret–“ordered a government-wide reassessment of prospects for political reform in the Middle East and of the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in the process. “

A Grandiose Task Force

To draft the contents of PSD-11, a top secret task force was established within the Obama National Security Council (NSC), headed by Dennis Ross, Samantha Power, Gayle Smith, Ben Rhodes and Michael McFaul.

The PSD-11 Task Force members were remarkable in many regards. Samantha Power, who would go on to become Obama’s UN Ambassador and lead the demonizing of Russia after the CIA’s Ukraine Color Revolution coup in 2014,

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What is Really Happening in Venezuela? – Global Research

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26-12-18 10:03:00,

In the history of democracy… there isn’t one case in which a country has been attacked on so many different fronts … both from the internal power factors to foreign governments over such an extended period of time as in the case of Venezuela.” – Steve Ellner (from this week’s talk.)

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This week’s Global Research News Hour features a radio version of an October 19 2018 Winnipeg talk, delivered by Steve Ellner.

The presentation, delivered at the historic Fort Garry Hotel to about 100 audience members was entitled What is Really Happening in Venezuela. The main sponsor of the talk was the Winnipeg-based Venezuela Peace Committee, a group which sprang up in 2017 in reaction to the hostile actions, including sanctions, taken by the U.S. and Canadian governments toward the Venezuelan government.

According to a recent report coordinated by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee, the UN Refugee Agency, and the International Organization for Migration, the outflow in recent times of more than 3 million Venezuelans to neighbouring countries and beyond constitutes “the largest in the modern history of Latin America and the Caribbean.” The same report attributes this exodus to “the ongoing political, human rights and socio-economic developments in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.” Based on current trends, fully 5.3 million refugees and migrants will have left the country by the end of 2019. [1][2]

Further, a series of anti-Maduro protests have erupted inside Venezuela in the last four years with efforts to disrupt them being blamed for violence resulting in a death toll exceeding 170. [3]

Critics in the countries like the U.S. and Canada invariably use this crisis to bolster the claim that mismanagement on the part of the Maduro government and President Chavez before him. Nevertheless, such analyses conceivably ignore some of the recent historical and geopolitical context in which the Venezuelan people are now situated. [4]

Steve Ellner, who admits the Venezuelan situation is ‘complex’ attempts to provide that context in this Winnipeg presentation, recorded by Community videographer Paul Graham, and edited for radio by Global Research News Hour host / producer Michael Welch.

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Israel’s Christmas Attack on Syria Wasn’t Surprising but It Revealed an “Inconvenient Truth” About Russia’s S-300s Anti-Air Missiles – Global Research

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26-12-18 10:02:00,

All the pieces were in place for it to happen sooner than later, but striking Syria on Christmas night sent a terrifying message that’s sure to backfire against “Israel” but will probably also get people to wonder why the S-300s didn’t deter this from happening in the first place. 

Reports are streaming in that “Israel” launched an attack against Syria on Christmas night after a brief hiatus of a couple of months following what President Putin previously described as the “chain of tragic circumstances” that led to the downing of a Russian spy plane over the Arab Republic’s airspace in mid-September. Many people are shocked by the audacity of striking Syria on one of the world’s holiest days but a lot of those who have also been following the country’s conflict lately are surprised that it even happened at all.

Certain forces in the Mainstream and Alternative Medias pushed forth the narrative that Russia’s highly publicized dispatch of S-300 anti-air missiles to Syria in the aftermath of the mid-September incident was supposed to have made this scenario impossible, though the reality is that the Russian military has yet to hand control of these systems over to the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) and might ultimately never end up doing so as part of a possible backroom deal between Moscow and Tel Aviv in order for “Israel” to continue having the so-called “freedom” to strike IRGC and Hezbollah positions in the country at its convenience.

Those same voices who said that this wouldn’t ever happen again tended to also gloss over the developments of the past few weeks which saw Russia and “Israel” publicly set aside their largely exaggerated differences since September by exchanging high-level military delegations and agreeing to once again cooperate with one another. Coming in the immediate run-up to Trump’s decision to initiate the US’ conventional on-the-ground withdrawal from Syria, the writing was on the wall that “Israel” would soon resume its bombing operations in the country at America’s behest.

One of the Mideast’s worst kept “secrets” is that Russia passively facilitated over 200 of these same bombings from January 2017 to September 2018 by the admission of its own Defense Ministry following the aforementioned midair incident that tragically downed its spy plane,

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Washington Speaks Openly of Using “Low Yield” Nukes against Russia: If Truth Cannot Prevail Over Material Agendas We Are Doomed – Global Research

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26-12-18 10:00:00,

Throughout the long Cold War Stephen Cohen, professor of Russian studies at Princeton University and New York University was a voice of reason. He refused to allow his patriotism to blind him to Washington’s contribution to the conflict and to criticize only the Soviet contribution. Cohen’s interest was not to blame the enemy but to work toward a mutual understanding that would remove the threat of nuclear war. Although a Democrat and left-leaning, Cohen would have been at home in the Reagan administration, as Reagan’s first priority was to end the Cold War. I know this because I was part of the effort. Pat Buchanan will tell you the same thing.

In 1974 a notorious cold warrior, Albert Wohlstetter, absurdly accused the CIA of underestimating the Soviet threat. As the CIA had every incentive for reasons of budget and power to overestimate the Soviet threat, and today the “Russian threat,” Wohlstetter’s accusation made no sense on its face. However he succeeded in stirring up enough concern that CIA director George H.W. Bush, later Vice President and President, agreed to a Team B to investigate the CIA’s assessment, headed by the Russiaphobic Harvard professor Richard Pipes. Team B concluded that the Soviets thought they could win a nuclear war and were building the forces with which to attack the US.

The report was mainly nonsense, and it must have troubled Stephen Cohen to experience the setback to negotiations that Team B caused.

Today Cohen is stressed that it is the United States that thinks it can win a nuclear war. Washington speaks openly of using “low yield” nuclear weapons, and intentionally forecloses any peace negotiations with Russia with a propaganda campaign against Russia of demonization, villification, and transparant lies, while installing missile bases on Russia’s borders and while talking of incorporating former parts of Russia into NATO. In his just published book, War With Russia?, which I highly recommend, Cohen makes a convincing case that Washington is asking for war.

I agree with Cohen that if Russia is a threat it is only because the US is threatening Russia. The stupidity of the policy toward Russia is creating a Russian threat. Putin keeps emphasizing this. To paraphrase Putin: “You are making Russia a threat by declaring us to be one,

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GMOs in Many Foods Will Go Undisclosed Under Trump’s Final GMO Rule – Global Research

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26-12-18 09:58:00,

Today the Department of Agriculture released a final rule to implement the mandatory GMO disclosure law passed in 2016. It will allow the genetically engineered ingredients in many foods to remain hidden from consumers. Below is a statement from Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group:

No one should be surprised that the most anti-consumer, anti-transparency administration in modern times is denying Americans basic information about what’s in their food and how it’s grown.

The Trump administration has yet again put the interests of pesticide and biotech companies ahead of the interests of ordinary Americans.

The final GMO disclosure rule fails to meet the clear intent of Congress to create a mandatory disclosure standard that includes all genetically engineered foods and uses terms that consumers understand. A fair standard should address the needs of consumers who don’t have expensive phones or who live in rural places with poor cell service but the rule put forward today simply fails to do that.

At a time when consumers are asking more and more questions about the use of genetic engineering, today’s rule will further undermine the technology by sowing greater confusion among Americans who simply want the right to know if their food is genetically modified – the same right held by consumers in 64 other countries.

Despite today’s disappointing, and likely unlawful, decision, we are pleased that companies that trust consumers – including Campbell’s, Mars, Danone, Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola and Unilever – will voluntarily disclose all GMOs in all their foods, not just in those required by the final rule.

EWG is announcing today that it has created a new portal on its Food Scores website for consumers who want to seek out certified organic and non-GMO options. The website lists more than 3,000 food products that are both certified organic and certified GMO-free.

The Environmental Working Group is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that empowers people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. Through research, advocacy and unique education tools, EWG drives consumer choice and civic action.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). The Centre for Research on Globalization will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.

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German Hyperinflation & the Dawes Plan | Armstrong Economics

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26-12-18 09:57:00,

The German Hyperinflation was by NO MEANS about inflation created by an increase in the money supply under the Quantity Theory of Money (QTM). Today, Angela Merkel has forcefully imposed Austerity upon the whole of Europe because she really does not understand what even caused the hyperinflation. It was at the Palace of Versailles outside Paris when Germany signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th, 1919 with the Allies, officially ending World War I. AT that time, the English economist John Maynard Keynes attended the peace conference. However, Keynes left in protest of the treaty becoming the first outspoken critic of what would prove to be the most punitive agreement that only set the stage for World War II and the rise of Adolf Hitler in 1933.

John Maynard Keynes wrote in his The Economic Consequences of the Peace, which he published in December 1919, that the harsh war reparation payments and other harsh terms that they were to impose on Germany by the treaty would lead to the financial collapse of the country. Keynes further warned that this Treaty would result in serious economic and political repercussions on Europe and the world as a whole. The political trend at the time refused to listen. This was all about punishing Germany.

We must also understand that wars are created by politicians – not the people. Prior to the Treaty of Versailles signed in June 1919, there was the German Communist Revolution which began the Weimar Republic. It was this 1918 German Communist Revolution which was inspired by the 1917 Russian Revolution that resulted in the overthrown of the monarchy in Germany ending the Emperors and the king of Prussia. The revolutionary period lasted from November 1918 until the adoption in August 1919. But what also seems to be omitted from many accounts taught in school, is the simple fact that the German government interfered in the Russian Revolution and was instrumental in creating the Russian Revolution.

The German Emperor Wilhelm II Imperial Government actually feared that Russia would enter World War I. The rising communist movement in Russia was anti-war. Germany saw a chance for victory in Europe if it kept Russia out of the war.

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Latest Political Goings-on in Japan | New Eastern Outlook

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26-12-18 09:55:00,

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In recent months, Japan has borne witness to a series of various important events occurring with a greater frequency. And as they become increasingly staggered, processes within the nation’s political life begin to speed up as a result.

We could refer, for instance, to the issue (discussed on numerous occasions in the New Eastern Outlook) of relocating the US base, Futenma, in Okinawa. This situation has not been diffused, and instead it will, in all likelihood, transform from a relatively local conflict between the central government and the prefecture’s administration into one of national importance.

The problem of increasing labor shortages (stemming from long-standing issues of lower birth rates and an ageing population) also seems significant, and the government plans on resolving it by using migrant workers.

These and other issues have become subjects of lively debates at political forums, in administrative bodies and the National Diet. This war of words among supporters of various political factions will probably only intensify as the date, scheduled for July 2019, to re-elect half the members of the upper house in the House of Councillors approaches.

Since the last time we broached the topic of moving the Futenma base, several events have transpired that demonstrate the situation is really not ready for a resolution. And this, seemingly, is what the Japanese Central Government as well as the US military command (for now in the observer’s role) had been hoping for.

The new Governor of Okinawa, Denny Tamaki, supported by the Prefectural Assembly, has been increasingly active in trying to resolve this issue. Once his invitation, extended to US senators, to visit Okinawa was declined, he then went to the United States in the middle of December.

In the USA., Denny Tamaki proposed an initiative to stage three-way negotiations (i.e. in the format the US administration – Japanese government – Governor of Okinawa Prefecture) on revising the plans to relocate the Futenma base from Ginowan to the scarcely populated Henoko Bay area, also located on the Okinawa Island. Second-tier officials from the US Department of State met with the Governor and informed him that Washington was inclined to honor the agreements, reached on this issue with Tokyo.

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The Psychological Warfare Behind Economic Collapse | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

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25-12-18 10:02:00,

By Brandon Smith

The concept of using the economy as a weapon is not an alien one to most people. Generally, we understand the nature of feudalism and how various groups can be herded onto centralized plantations to be exploited for their labor. Some people see this as a consequence of “capitalism,” and others see it as an extension of socialism/communism. Sadly, many people wrongly assume that one is a solution to the other — meaning they think that crony capitalism is a solution to communist centralization or that communism is a solution to the corruption of crony capitalism. The reality is that this is just another false paradigm.

What is most disturbing is that the majority of the public have no grasp whatsoever of the true solution to the problem of corrupt or totalitarian economies: free markets.

Free markets have not existed within the global economy on a large scale for at least the past 100 years. The rise of central banking has eroded all vestiges of freedom in production and trade. Crony capitalism with its focus on corporate power and monopoly has nothing to do with free markets, despite the arguments of rather naive socialists who blame “free markets” for the problems of the world. If you ever hear anyone making this claim, I suggest you remind them that corporations and their advantages are a creation of governments.

The protections of corporate personhood, limited liability, unfair taxation of small business competition and legislation shielding corporations from civil lawsuits are all generated by government. Therefore, corporations and crony capitalism are much more a product of socialist-style systems, not free markets. In a true free market devoid of constant government interference and favoritism, corporations could not exist and would be obliterated over time by the competitive environment. And without limited liability, business moguls that violate the rule of law and harm others would be subject to personal prosecution and jail time instead of simply paying a fine. The cost/benefit ratio for corrupt business would disappear and thus corrupt businesses would flounder.

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Coup d’etat in Slowmotion
by Ole Dammegard

For almost 30 years investigator Ole Dammegård has been on a quest to find the truth behind some of the worst conspiracies in the history of world – such as the murders US President John F.

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US Withdrawal From Syria Paves Way for Israeli Strikes | New Eastern Outlook

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25-12-18 04:51:00,

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The US suddenly and unexpectedly announced the withdrawal of US troops from Syria after years of illegally occupying the country. The US presence aimed at ousting the Syrian government, boosting militant groups the US and its partners have armed and backed since the 2011 conflict started, and denying Damascus access to its own resources, particularly oil concentrated east of the Euphrates River.

The US occupation of Syria is only one part of a much larger, decades-long campaign of achieving, maintaining, and expanding US hegemony across North Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia – as well as the ultimate goal of encircling and containing both Russia and China.

A genuine withdrawal from the Syrian conflict would signal a seismic shift in US foreign policy and mark an irreversible decline in American hegemony.

It is difficult to believe such a seismic shift could happen, and so suddenly.

It is also a shift not founded in US foreign policy or fact.

There are several key possibilities to consider:

  • A US withdrawal paves way for unilateral Israeli strikes;
  • It also paves the way for an expanded Turkish incursion;
  • US troops won’t be on the ground as targets in the immediate aftermath of any wider conflict Israel or Turkey provokes;
  • US troops can re-enter theater with renewed pretext to fight Damascus directly in defense of allies Israel or Turkey and;
  • US troops can re-enter theater along the better formed and protected front Turkey seeks to create.

The above possibilities are drawn not from speculation, but from multiple US policy papers spanning decades.

US Withdrawal From Syria Removes Obstructions to Escalation, Not Peace 

US policymakers have drawn up plans for years regarding US primacy in the Middle East. In the 2009 policy paper published by corporate-financier funded think tank – the Brookings Institution – the use of US proxies like Israel to carry out major attacks on Iran were given its own chapter.

However, the only obstruction to this option was the necessity of Israeli warplanes to fly over either US-ally Jordan or US-occupied Iraq.

The report would claim under a chapter titled, “Leave it to Bibi: Allowing or Encouraging an Israeli Military Strike” (.pdf) that (emphasis added):

An Israeli air campaign against Iran would have a number of very important differences from an American campaign.

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A Brief History Of Fake News

a-brief-history-of-fake-news

25-12-18 10:30:00,

Authored by Joe Schaeffer via Liberty Nation,

The biggest weakness of liberal editors is that they need to reflect their world view.

When news broke out of Germany that an award-winning reporter for Der Spiegel had been exposed as a serial fabricator, my first inclination, before delving into the details, was to assume a certain way the story would unfold. It would involve a writer reporting from a leftist viewpoint in a highly literary, as opposed to fact-driven, manner.

Check and check. Claas Relotius, honored in 2014 as CNN’s “Journalist of the Year,” was especially adept at a stylized form of “reporting” that read like good fiction. His articles often featured lazy anti-American stereotypes that serve as easy comfort food for European leftists: vigilantes on the Mexican border, death penalty eyewitnesses. Relotius provided himself a lively palette from which to paint his biased fiction.

Relotius will go down in shame with other famous journalist hoaxers, yet the people who most enabled his betrayal of the reader will likely avoid similar ignominy.

Which is head-scratching because if a criminal profiler were to come up with a pattern for these kinds of frauds, they would find one constant: editors who were hoodwinked because their fake reporters were writing exactly what they wanted to read.

Janet Cooke

The original black eye to the mainstream leftist journalism machine came in 1980 with the infamous Janet Cooke caper at The Washington Post. Cooke, a 26-year-old reporter, won the Pulitzer Prize for an article on an 8-year-old heroin addict named Jimmy. The article featured that same literary style of reporting that reads like a good book instead of an informative news article. And it fit perfectly into a liberal editor’s wheelhouse with its stirring, highly-personalized account of a minority social crisis in need of a solution, as written by a black woman.

The Post’s ombudsman at the time, Bill Green, wrote a lengthy report on the Jimmy fiasco in 1981 for the newspaper. It revealed that Cooke was hired by the newspaper not for who she was,

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Mattis is out, and Blackwater is back: ‘We are coming’

mattis-is-out-and-blackwater-is-back-we-are-coming

25-12-18 10:11:00,

Recently, representatives of the unrecognized Kyiv Patriarchate have voiced manipulative theses about the support of the Ukrainian authorities by the Local Orthodox Churches. In particular, head of the UOC-KP Filaret stated that autocephaly for the schismatics will be supported by 12 out of 15 (although the recognized autocephalous churches at the moment are only 14) Churches.

The UOJ has prepared a selection of statements by representatives of the Orthodox Churches, upon which one can make sure that the fullness of Orthodoxy condemns the split and does not accept its legalization in any form. Priests of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church can print out this material and deliver the truth to their parishioners.

Alexandrian Orthodox Church

On June 29, 2018 Metropolitan Luke of Zaporozhye and Melitopol took part in the Liturgy in the Greek city of Berea and communicated with representatives of the Orthodox Churches, in particular with the Patriarch Theodoros II of Alexandria.

Regarding the initiative of the Ukrainian authorities, the Patriarch of Alexandria noted that modern politicians are more likely to harm the Church than to help it. They and we need to remember that “even hair cannot fall from our head without the will of God” (see Matthew 10, 29), therefore not always what they want will be pleasing to God, Who does everything for our eternal salvation, and not for up-to-the-minute whims.

Patriarch Theodoros II stressed that the issues of autocephaly should be resolved through fraternal discussion, since only general support can contribute to their solution.

“Let us pray to God, Who does all for our good, that He will impart wisdom to everyone by solving these problems. If the schismatic Denisenko wants to return to the bosom of the Church, then he must go back to where he left. What has fallen off must return to where it fell from. God is merciful to those who repent. So the Church forgives and accepts in its maternal embrace all those who repent,” said the Primate of the Alexandrian Orthodox Church.

Serbian Orthodox Church

On May 23, 2018 Primate of the Serbian Orthodox Church Irinej stated the following: “Everyone knows the feat of hundreds of thousands of Serbs who fought to the death for holy Orthodoxy. Therefore, I think,

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Global Economy Teeters on the Brink of a Recession That Will Transform Geo-Politics – Global Research

global-economy-teeters-on-the-brink-of-a-recession-that-will-transform-geo-politics-8211-global-research

24-12-18 07:29:00,

As we approach 2019 the global economy teeters on the brink of yet another recession which will plunge geo-political relations into a period of great upheaval and rapid change. In 2019 global stock markets will continue to face unprecedented volatility and gigantic losses as the Ponzi scheme pumped up by the cartel of central banks comes crashing down.

The central bank cartel of the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank, Bank of Japan, and Bank of England together with the Bank of China have flooded their national economies with astronomical sums of money since 2008 in an attempt to stave off collapse of the global financial system.

Their money printing experiment has driven global debt from $177 trillion to over $277 trillion today while interest rates have been artificially suppressed enabling a wealth transfer to the 1% of historic proportions. This massive expansion of central bank balance sheets is illustrated below.

During this period global stock markets surged to new historic heights pumped up as they were by the financial heroin provided by the central bank cartel. The chart below clearly illustrates the correlation between the tremendous growth of the S&P 500 and the money printing by the central bank cartel.

Now the chickens are coming home to roost as the global economy slows down and the central bank cartel tries to end their money printing colloquially known as Quantitative Tightening.

The withdrawal of this financial heroin is behind the collapse of global stock markets during 2018 that has wiped trillions off the values of a range of inflated assets.

There is a 

very clear correlation

 between the shrinking balance sheets of global central banks and the continuing crash of stock markets. The collapse of the stock values of globally systemic banks poses great dangers to the global economy.

The central bank cartel policies of quantitative tightening, as they attempt to wean financial markets off their monetary heroin, are taking us towards a period of stagflation, reminiscent of the 1970s, which will usher in a period of depressed economic growth and rising inflation. Geo-political relations, as in the 1970s period of stagflation,

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The IMF Is Dismantling Argentina All Over Again

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24-12-18 07:15:00,

In September, Argentine president Mauricio Macri accepted the 2018 Atlantic Council’s Global Citizen Award. In attendance were many of world’s neoliberal power players and policy makers, among them International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde.

Facing the crowd, Macri gleefully admitted that “with Christine, I have to confess we started a great relationship some months ago,” referring to a series of loan agreements with the IMF amounting to $57.1 billion dollars. “I expect that this is going to work very well, and we will end up with the whole country crushing on Christine,” he continued. This dynamic of chasing an improved image with the world’s big banks and the dominant economies in the West is emblematic of Macri’s priority to secure a relationship with the IMF and improve the country’s image with global financial institutions. But it comes at a devastating cost for the majority of the population who will suffer from neoliberal policy prescriptions of structural adjustment and slashed social spending, as well as the resulting growing unemployment and poverty.

Meanwhile, Argentina’s debt to the IMF continues to climb. In June, Macri and the IMF agreed on a $50 billion loan. In September, the amount increased to an unprecedented $57.1 billion over three years. During an announcement from the presidential office in August regarding recent agreements with the IMF, Macri told the people of Argentina that this “decision will put an end to any uncertainty that has come about regarding our image on an international level.” In other words, seeking the approval of the world’s international banks and global power players (the U.S. included) is worth the conditions of austerity, the havoc wreaked on the lives of Argentina’s poor, working and middle classes, and the limitations that it will put on future generations of Argentina’s leadership (a limitation that we have seen most recently in Mexico as President López Obrador pushes back against decades of neoliberal policies and conditions agreed to by his predecessors).

In order to afford the repayment plan, the 2019 budget eviscerates social spending, slashing it by 35 percent while increasing debt payments by 50 percent. Christine Lagarde recently defended the evisceration of social welfare, citing a current program in its place that allocates $6 per person among the 13 million poor in Argentina for the last six months of 2018.

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Sorry, Trump: Most ISIS Recruits in America Aren’t Immigrants, a New Study Suggests

sorry-trump-most-isis-recruits-in-america-arent-immigrants-a-new-study-suggests

24-12-18 03:27:00,

Ask someone to close their eyes and picture a typical homegrown, American recruit for the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Chances are the image that springs to mind is of a brown-skinned person with an immigrant background, likely with ties to the Middle East, South Asia, or North Africa. That image of the average accused terrorist might be out of date, a new study published by the Rand Corporation suggests. In the study, “Trends in the Draw of Americans to Foreign Terrorist Organizations from 9/11 to Today,” which sought to explore why ISIS has relative successes recruiting in the U.S., researchers found that in recent years the most common demographic profile for an accused terrorist motivated by “radical Islam” has been a native-born American, either white or African-American.

As the nature of terrorism changes, the average “jihadi” in the United States is starting to look less like the type of person President Donald Trump wants to ban from the country.

As the nature of terrorism changes — both ideologically and under the influence of new technologies like social media — the average “jihadi” in the United States is starting to look less like the type of person President Donald Trump wants to ban from the country. The finding has serious implications for immigration policies like the so-called Muslim ban, which posit terrorism as something naturally emanating from immigrant communities, particularly of Middle Eastern extraction.

The Rand study identified 476 individuals implicated in cases of “jihadist terrorism” in the United States in the 16 years following the September 11 attacks. (The Intercept also maintains a running database of terrorism cases called “Trial and Terror,” which includes a broader scope of offenses.) Of the individuals in the Rand study, 206 were of Middle Eastern, North African, and/or South-Central Asian background, accounting for about 43 percent of the cases. The study, however, notes that this number is “somewhat surprisingly” trending downward over time, stating that “in percentage terms the number of individuals of Middle Eastern, North African, and/or South Central Asian descent has declined in recent years relative to other demographics.”

The main driver of this phenomenon appears to have been the rise of ISIS. In the years 2014 to 2016 — the peak years of ISIS recruitment in the U.S.

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The So-Called Adults in the Room Have Given Us Only Forever War

the-so-called-adults-in-the-room-have-given-us-only-forever-war

24-12-18 03:24:00,

This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.com.

Leave it to liberals to pin their hopes on the oddest things. In particular, they seemed to find post-Trump solace in the strange combination of the two-year-old Mueller investigation and the good judgment of certain Trump appointees, the proverbial “adults in the room.” Remember that crew? It once included Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former ExxonMobil CEO, and a trio of active and retired generals — so much for civilian control of the military — including Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly. Until his sudden resignation, Mattis was (just barely) the last man standing. Still, for all these months, many Americans had counted on them to all but save the nation from an unpredictable president. They were the ones supposedly responsible for helming (or perhaps hemming in) the wayward ship of state when it came to foreign and national security policy.

Too bad it was all such a fantasy. As Donald Trump wraps up his second year in the Oval Office, despite sudden moves in Syria and Afghanistan, the United States remains entrenched in a set of military interventions across significant parts of the world. Worse yet, what those adults guided the president toward was yet more bombing, the establishment of yet more bases, and the funding of yet more oversized Pentagon budgets. And here was the truly odd thing: every time The Donald tweeted negatively about any of those wars or uttered an offhand remark in opposition to the warfare state or the Pentagon budget, that triumvirate of generals and good old Rex went to work steering him back onto the well-worn track of Bush-Obama-style forever wars.

All the while, a populace obsessed and distracted by the president’s camera-grabbing persona seemed hardly to notice that this country continued to exist in a state of perpetual war. And here’s the most curious part of all: Trump wasn’t actually elected on an interventionist military platform. Sure, he threw the hawkish wing of his Republican base a few bones: bringing back waterboarding as well as even “worse” forms of torture, 

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Silicon Noir and the End of Techno-Optimism: The Intercept’s 2018 Tech Coverage

silicon-noir-and-the-end-of-techno-optimism-the-intercepts-2018-tech-coverage

24-12-18 03:24:00,

This will likely go down as the year in which technology, once envisioned as an empowering and equalizing force, finally went headlong down the path toward dystopia and oppression. Our story this summer about Google planning to return to China with censored search at first shocked Silicon Valley, but it was the dark nature of what followed — internal dissent squelched, executives dissembling, Chinese users to be closely tracked — that proved most surprising.

Other depressing developments seemed right out of an ominous sci-fi film like “Blade Runner,” whether it was reporting that revealed the National Security Agency’s prowess at voice recognition, Facebook’s plans to use artificial intelligence to predict users’ future behavior, or just how badly ultrawealthy Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos was exploiting underlings. As tech enters 2019, its brightest days seem to be well behind it.

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THE NEW COLD WAR HAS TURNED JOURNALISM INTO SATIRE

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24-12-18 01:00:00,

THE NEW COLD WAR HAS TURNED JOURNALISM INTO SATIRE
24 December 2018

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In two separate major interviews – the first published in India’s leading news magazine, Frontline, the second broadcast on RT – John Pilger describes the rise of a second cold war and the conversion of much of journalism to unconscious satire – ‘beckoning a real, unreported danger’.

Read the Frontline article

Watch RT’s Going Underground

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Infanrix Hexa Vaccine Found To Contain 65 Unknown-to-science Compounds, Latest Corvelva Investigative Assays Reveal | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

infanrix-hexa-vaccine-found-to-contain-65-unknown-to-science-compounds-latest-corvelva-investigative-assays-reveal-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

24-12-18 12:55:00,

By Catherine J. Frompovich

Vaccines are not what they are cracked up to be in more ways than one, most especially in scientific analyses and assays findings, according to a December 13, 2018 Italian research firm’s findings. 

Below are some rather astounding, plus frightening, data sets that must be taken seriously by all government health agencies, especially Inspectors General of the United States Health and Human Services, the CDC and FDA.

In Infanrix Hexa we found chemical contamination from the manufacturing process or cross-contamination with other manufacturing lines; chemical toxins; bacterial peptide toxins; insoluble and indigestible macromolecule that reacts to the protein assay, but cannot be recognized by any protein databases.

We have not found: Protein antigens of diphtheria toxoids, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, haemophylus influenzae B, Poliomyelitis 1-2-3; Formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, phenoxyethanol, antibiotic residues indicated in the composition;

However, this is what really should have the medical community “up in arms” about vaccine pseudo-consensus science:

In Infanrix Hexa there are six antigens

Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis toxoids, D antigens of Poliomyelitis 1-2-3, hepatitis B proteins obtained with genetic engineering and Haemophylus polysaccharides chemically linked to tetanus toxoid as carrier. Toxoids are created by treatments with formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde that should remove toxicity keeping intact their ability to stimulate protective antibodies against original toxins.

We were expecting to find the three toxoids and the other antigens not modified by treatment with formaldehyde and glutaraldehyde, to separate the antigens from each other and to be digestible by the enzyme specific for proteins (trypsin). We have found instead a real polymer, insoluble and indigestible, that we supposed to be the set of antigens chemically bound together (has to be defined if this is present as an aggregate of the individual antigens or a single macromolecule), on which we can find in literature partial information regarding the single antigens.

This macromolecule could not be recognized in any way by the protein databases, and in fact it turned out to be a solid compound of an unknown chemical structure.

Proteins solubility and their digestion (i.e. the capacity to divide them into small peptide fragments) are two typical proteins characteristics that not only makes it possible to study them through some specific analysis methods but are also fundamental for the interaction with the immune system to create protective antibodies,

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UK-funded psyop, war-torn Yemen & Bush’s criminal legacy: John Pilger looks back at 2018

uk-funded-psyop-war-torn-yemen-amp-bushs-criminal-legacy-john-pilger-looks-back-at-2018

24-12-18 12:17:00,

Journalist John Pilger has recapped major events and crises that unfolded across the globe this year in an interview to RT.

The recent emerging scandal around the shadowy UK government-funded Integrity Initiative (II) leaked by Anonymous hacktivists has been hitting the headlines over the past month. Commenting on the II motto which is ‘Defending Democracy against Disinformation’ Pilger said: “I would say ‘satire’ but it isn’t satire.”

Also on rt.com
Integrity Initiative is the biggest story of 2018 – but not because of anything it did

“It’s been dug from a hole marked Cold War. It sounds like 1950,” the investigative journalist told RT’s Going Underground, apparently referring to the notorious CIA-led Operation Mockingbird which pursued similar aims.

“But it’s sort of more serious now because it does tell us where so much journalism has gone,” he added.

Posed as a charity fighting disinformation, the Integrity Initiative has been revealed to be conducting secret influence campaigns across Europe and working hand-in-glove with selected journalists to maintain high levels of anti-Russian sentiment within the mainstream media.

This is what I call Vichy journalism. This is journalism of those who are going along with the state.

Pilger told RT’s Afshin Rattansi that he finds it “difficult to believe” how some journalists “should allow themselves to be indulged” by the British government “at a time when there is a litany of lies about Russia, about China — about so many issues that endanger us.”

According to Pilger, the Cold War doesn’t exist in the most of the world. “Most of the world doesn’t know what it is about. It exists in the enlightened centers of London and Washington, and perhaps in Berlin or Brussels,” the legendary journalist said.

Also on rt.com
Do it CIA style: What you need to know about latest leak on UK-funded psyop

Saudi destruction of Yemen

Speaking on the major events of 2018, Pilger pointed at the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen that claimed thousands of lives since the start of the Saudi-led operation in 2015.

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Ho Ho No?! Washington Bears Gifts For Kiev’s Neo-Nazi Warmongering Regime

ho-ho-no-washington-bears-gifts-for-kiev8217s-neo-nazi-warmongering-regime

24-12-18 11:56:00,

Authored by Finian Cunningham via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Oh what a lovely big stocking-filler for the Kiev regime this week from Washington. Just in time for Christmas too, and only weeks after President Petro Poroshenko tried to incite a war with Russia from a naval provocation in the Kerch Strait.

First we had US government envoy Kurt Volker announcing this week that an additional $250 million in military weapons were being packaged in Congress for Ukraine. Then the DC-based international lending institutions, the IMF and World Bank, signed off on multi-billion-dollar loans for Poroshenko’s regime.

US government-owned Radio Free Europe described the new financial loans as a “victory” for Poroshenko. The apparent investor confidence bestowed by the Washington-based “development agencies” will boost the incumbent president’s re-election prospects in the forthcoming ballot in March. Up until recently, Poroshenko was trailing in opinion polls and looked set for a trouncing defeat in the election. How convenient that the IMF and World Bank – under the control of US government – should step up to the plate with a very big helping hand. And that’s not seen as interference in a country’s sovereign affairs?

Since the CIA-backed coup d’état in Kiev in February 2014 against the elected government of Viktor Yanukovych, it is estimated that the US has provided the cabal that seized power with up to $1 billion in military aid. And those dubious gifts keep coming, with the envoy Kurt Volker this week announcing to a forum in Brussels that the US Congress is processing an additional $250 million.

It doesn’t seem to bother American lawmakers that the Kiev regime is dominated by Neo-Nazi demagogues and paramilitaries who worship Stepan Bandera and other Ukrainian collaborators in the Third Reich’s Final Solution. Just recently President Poroshenko was photographed inspecting Ukrainian special forces some of whom were donning insignia of the Third Reich’s SS.

As Russian President Vladimir Putin pointed out in his annual press conference this week, the Kiev regime has been waging a war and a blockade against its own Ukrainian citizens in the eastern Donbas region for over four years, in which civilians continue to be killed on a daily basis.

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The Holiday Season “US Government Shutdown”. Trump’s Fortress America, $1.2 Trillion to Nuclear Weapons – Global Research

the-holiday-season-8220us-government-shutdown8221-trump8217s-fortress-america-1.2-trillion-to-nuclear-weapons-8211-global-research

23-12-18 07:54:00,

Shutdowns occur when Congress fails to pass a measure funding government operations or the president refuses to sign appropriations legislation.

When this happens, non-essential federal personnel are furloughed until the issue is resolved. Under Trump, it happened three times – from January 20 – 22, 2018, on February 9, and again post-midnight December 21.

With Dems controlling the House in January, further shutdowns over the next two years may happen. On Friday, Trump blamed Dems for what both sides of the aisle share blame, DLT most of all.

This time it’s over his fortress America demand along the US southern border with Mexico – wanting over $5 billion wasted on a wall, unable to stem the tide of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers from coming to America, no matter its length or height if fully built.

Walls don’t work. A previous article explained they’ll be breached, tunneled under, or gone around by water or air to reach America.

The only partially possible way to keep out unwanted aliens is by walling-in the entire country and putting an impenetrable roof over it. Even that won’t likely work. Trump’s scheme is hugely ill-conceived – solely for political reasons, nothing else.

Responsible legislators should overwhelmingly reject his scheme. If money poured down a black hole of waste, fraud, and abuse for walls, militarism, endless wars, and corporate handouts were used for vital homeland needs, especially healthcare, education, and other essentials, America would be safe and fit to live in.

Trump wants lots more than a border wall. He wants nationals from the wrong countries and religions banned from entering America.

He wants the nation more militarized.

He wants over a trillion dollars to upgrade America’s nuclear arsenal – instead of ordering vital denuclearization to save humanity from possible armageddon that may happen as long as these weapons exist, along with long-range ballistic missile delivery systems able to strike anywhere globally with pinpoint accuracy.

His belligerent agenda supported by the vast majority in Washington is polar opposite what just societies cherish. Partially shutting down federal operations is symptomatic of governance thumbing its nose to the citizenry.

Occurring during the holiday season makes Trump, other Republicans,

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The GMO Issue Reaches Boiling Point in India. The Devastating Impacts of Genetically Modified (GM) Crops – Global Research

the-gmo-issue-reaches-boiling-point-in-india.-the-devastating-impacts-of-genetically-modified-gm-crops-8211-global-research

23-12-18 07:53:00,

In a recent article published on the India-based News18 site (CNN), prominent US biologist Nina Federoff was reported as saying it is time for India to grant farmers access to genetically modified (GM) crops. In an interview with the site, she says there is no evidence that GM crops are dangerous when consumed either by people in food or by animals in feed. Federoff says that the commercial release of various GM crops in India has been halted by the Indian government due to opposition from environmental activists.

She adds that we are rapidly moving out of the climate regime in which our primary crops were domesticated, arguing that that they do increasingly worse and will yield less as temperature extremes become common and pest and pathogen populations change. She says GM will become more or less essential in an era of climate change.

In recent weeks, aside from Federoff’s intervention, GM has been a hot topic in India. In late November, a paper appeared in the journal Current Science which argues that India doesn’t need GM crops and that the track record of GM agriculture is highly questionable. The paper is notable not just because of what it says but because of who is saying it: distinguished scientist P.C. Kesavan and M.S. Swaminathan, renowned agricultural scientist and geneticist and widely regarded as the father of the Green Revolution in India.

I recently spoke with prominent campaigner Aruna Rodrigues about developments surrounding the GM issue in India, particularly the views of Federoff. Rodrigues is lead petitioner in a case before India’s Supreme Court that is seeking a moratorium on GM crops and selective bans.

CT: What do you make of Nina Federoff’s recent comments advocating for GM in India?

AR: Nina Federoff is a long-time supporter of GMOs. The last time she offered advice to India (in her role as scientific advisor to Hilary Clinton) was when Bt brinjal (eggplant) was being pushed for commercialisation. She advised that Bt brinjal would be good for India!

CT: She is a high-profile scientist. Did government officials take her advice?

AR: Her advice was straightforwardly ignored by the then Minister of the Ministry of Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh.

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UN “Country-Specific” Human Rights Reports: North Korea, A Grotesque Travesty of Reality – Global Research

un-country-specific-human-rights-reports-north-korea-a-grotesque-travesty-of-reality-8211-global-research

23-12-18 07:52:00,

On December 17, 2018, the UN General Assembly Plenary adopted a series of resolutions, many denounced for their double standards,  with fierce official statements of protest against the “country-specific” resolutions, the most nefarious and hypocritical of all. 

The voting on the morning resolutions is revealing:

Item 74(b) A/73/589/Add2. Draft Resolution VII  “Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order.

The United States voted “No” against the Resolution.  The DPRK voted “Yes,”  in support of the Resolution.

Item 74(b) A/73/589/Add.2  Draft Resolution IX:  “The Right to Food”

The United States voted “No” against the Resolution.  The DPRK voted “Yes,” in support of the Resolution.

Item 74(b) A/73/589/Add.2 Draft Resolution VIII:  “Promotion of Peace as a Vital Requirement For the Full Enjoyment of All Human Rights By All”:

The United States voted “No,” against the Resolution.  The DPRK voted “Yes,” in support of the Resolution

Regarding Draft Resolution XI:  “Promotion and Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, Including the Rights to Peaceful Assembly and Freedom of Association,”  it is interesting to note that the United States voted “Yes,” despite its history of persecuting the millions of Americans who assembled, peacefully, to oppose the US war against Vietnam, the persecution, murder, destruction of families, and harassment of millions of American citizens for their political beliefs and associations during the infamous McCarthy witch hunts, and the criminal FBI Cointelpro program which secretly assassinated peaceful dissenters from official US Government policy and covertly destroyed the families and lives of others, forcing taxed American citizens to support the murderous regimes of Pinochet, Suharto, Geisel, Castelo-Branco, etc. etc,. whose human rights abuses and atrocities were among the most egregious in human history.

The afternoon of December 17 dramatically exposed the chicanery and double standards of the “country-specific” resolutions adopted by the Third Committee on “Human Rights.” Several nations opposed to these resolutions described the notorious methods by which “developed” countries (the US, UK, etc.) threatened and forced more vulnerable countries to support these resolutions, which were, in reality, a violation of the vulnerable country’s own interests.  These threats included cutting funds for development and humanitarian aid to more vulnerable countries, and the weaponizing of food and medicine, which were threatened to be withheld from weaker nations unless they obeyed the commands of the imperial states.

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The Implications of Macron Implosion | New Eastern Outlook

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23-12-18 03:58:00,

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The “Gilets Jaunes” will not let go. Not even – or especially not – after Macron‘s half-hearted, rather cynical and grandstanding concessions – of “too little and too late” – which when analyzed constitute a new lie, especially regarding the increase of the minimum wage. It was clear from his face, these concessions, of a President who campaigned on the basis of “never concessions’, were fake, as fake as his fake attitude of an apologist could be. Even without listening to his words, his body language of arrogance gives him away.

This past weekend, on Saturday, 15 December, another more than 100,000 Yellow Vests were marching on Paris; countrywide some 200,000. The police to oppress them, as officially reported, was about the same as the weekend before, 8,000 in Paris, close to 90,000 throughout France. Military assistance was not missing. Besides, in a state of emergency, who distinguished between police and military?

Interestingly, the international press – the MSM – is taking it seriously. Why? They fear that this relentless movement may spread to other countries, even countries beyond Europe – like “Trump Land”, the United States of America. And why not. The same malaise of capital being shifted upwards to the detriment of the poor and middle class exists everywhere, may even be most pronounced in the US, but nobody talks about it and pays attention to it, lest the people would have awakened to the growing disparity long ago – and taken to the streets massively – within the inner circles of the Washington Belt Way.

Chapeau to the French. Though their forefathers were among the most viscous and miserable exploiter, thieves, killers and committers of rape, in human history – when they ravaged for hundreds of years West Africa – and the elite still does, unbeknown even to (most) of the Yellow Vets. Is this movement going to change the future – the future of Europe, the future of the values of the western world, that has been so adamant in propagating neofascist ideas – that they have become the new normal; in most people’s brains? There is a saying: “When fascism comes again, it will not come saying I’m the new Fascism; it will come saying, I’m the Anti-Fascism”.

Isn’t that already true when you look at todays Europe,

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Ukrainian official invites British warship to cross Kerch Strait & see how Russia reacts

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23-12-18 03:58:00,

A deputy minister in Kiev suggested that the British Navy should send its warship to the Sea of Azov to test Russia’s response. Moscow described the idea as ‘bonkers.’

“When it is being said that Russia won’t allow the passage of a British ship, I have one remark – has anyone tried it?” Yuri Hrymchak wondered during a talk show aired live on a Ukrainian TV channel on Friday.

Hrymchak serves as deputy minister of temporarily occupied territories and internally displaced persons – a department tasked with facilitating the ‘future return’ of Crimea from Russia to Ukraine. He was discussing last month’s naval standoff near the Kerch Strait.

On November 25, the Russian Coast Guard intercepted and seized two Ukrainian gunboats and a tugboat. Moscow accused the sailors of trying to enter the busy strait, connecting the Black Sea with the Sea of Azov, while violating existing navigational procedures. In response, Ukraine accused Russia of unprovoked aggression against its vessels.

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Ukraine plans another incursion into Kerch Strait, hopes NATO ships will join in – top official

Since the Royal Navy hydrographic survey ship, HMS ‘Echo’ has no weapons on board, it is not bound by international regulations, which limit the activity of navies belonging to non-Black Sea states in the region, Deputy Minister Hrymchak argued.

“And it would be interesting to see how will [the Russians] would react if this ship sailed in a caravan” through the Kerch Strait, the Ukrainian official said. It is not entirely clear how serious he was about this idea.

Nevertheless, officials in Moscow blasted the suggestion as being out of touch with reality. It indicates “how dangerous the current regime in Kiev is for the world,” Russian Senator Frants Klintsevich said.

“This regime is descending deeper into a maniacal condition,” he added.

HMS ‘Echo’ was deployed to the Black Sea earlier this week. The vessel paid a visit to the port of Odessa, which hosts a Ukrainian naval base. The ship itself was visited by Secretary of State for Defense Gavin Williamson during his trip to the nation.

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Escobar: Russia, Ukraine, & The Minsk Agreement Fiction

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23-12-18 03:56:00,

Authored by Pepe Escobar via The Saker Blog

Rostislav Ishchenko is arguably the leading international analyst focused on the extraordinarily turbulent Russia-Ukraine relations. He posts regularly on Ukraina.ru, with frequent English translations here.

In contrast to the 24/7 “Russian aggression” demonization campaign effective on all corners of the Beltway and spreading towards selected European capitals, Ishchenko’s analysis, for instance of the information war deployed on all fronts of the Russia-Ukraine saga comes as a breath of fresh air.

Although we were not able to meet in person during my recent visit to Moscow, due to conflicting schedules (the meeting will take place later in the winter), Ishchenko graciously accepted to answer my most pressing questions regarding what could happen next on the Russia-Ukraine front, with translation by Scott Humor.

Ishchenko’s answers on the situation in Donbass should also be expanded to Crimea, after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov revealed he had information about Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko planning an armed provocation on the border with Crimea in the last ten days of December.

Considering the terrain in winter is usually propitious for tank advance, would Poroshenko, in desperation, go for a major provocation in the Donbass, perhaps between Christmas and New Year’s Eve? 

First of all, this winter is too warm and the area is not yet favorable for an offensive. Second, even if frost strikes and an attack becomes possible, it is too big of a risk for Poroshenko. He does not have enough military power to defeat the DPR/LPR forces, without even mentioning that surprises are still possible as it happened in August 2008 in South Ossetia. After all, the Minsk peace agreement has not been canceled yet, and it is unlikely that the West will be able to stand against Russia in a consolidated manner at the moment when Russia is conducting a peace coercion of the confectioner, who is out of his mind with fear, and whom the West has already written off. The West requires a mandatory holding of elections, and any war would mean a cancellation of elections. If the war is facilitated by Poroshenko, he will be blamed for the cancellation of the elections and there will be no need to protect him.

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