Human Rights Defenders Call Out Israel on Dangerous Herbicides Sprayed over Gaza – Global Research

human-rights-defenders-call-out-israel-on-dangerous-herbicides-sprayed-over-gaza-8211-global-research

10-01-19 04:20:00,

A number of human rights organizations have called on Israel to stop spraying dangerous herbicides over the Gaza Strip, as they endanger health and crops in the besieged coastal enclave, a press release by Adalah – The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel said, on Wednesday.

Al Mezan Center for Human Rights in Gaza, Gisha – Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, and Adalah wrote to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his role as Minister of Defense, Military Advocate General Sharon Afek, and Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit with an urgent demand to refrain from conducting further aerial spraying of herbicides inside and near the Gaza Strip, due to the severe damage to crops and the risk to the health of Gaza residents caused by the spraying.

According to media reports and accounts from Gaza residents, on December 4, the Israeli military sprayed herbicides, from the air, over areas inside the Gaza Strip and near the fence separating it from Israel. A variety of crops grown in fields near the fence inside the Strip were damaged, as a result.

WAFA further reports that, in December of 2015, the military confirmed that it uses planes to spray herbicides near the fence in order to clear terrain. Farmers and local organizations in the Strip report that spraying has occurred since 2014. In June 2016, Gisha, Adalah and Al Mezan submitted a complaint on behalf of eight farmers from Gaza whose crops had been damaged by spraying, calling on the Israeli authorities to refrain from the practice and compensate the farmers, to no avail.

In the letter submitted on Monday, the organizations emphasize that the spraying is a highly destructive measure, infringing on fundamental human rights and violating both Israeli and international law. Contrary to Israel’s official position, whereby the military only sprays herbicides over Israeli territory, farmers in Gaza report that the planes spray over the Strip’s aerial space.

The letter further notes that even if the spraying were to, in fact, take place only on the Israeli side, the chemical agents used are carried by wind over to the Gaza Strip, causing severe damage to crops and disproportionate financial losses to local farmers, meaning that there is no justification or legal basis for the continued use of this destructive practice.

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

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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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First Human Images Revealed From World’s Only Full-Body 3D Scanner

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29-11-18 09:46:00,

The EXPLORER consortium is a multi-institutional group that has developed the world’s first total body medical imaging system that can capture 3D models of the entire human body simultaneously.

The scanner, called EXPLORER, produces images 40-fold higher resolution than current commercial scanners and is expected to open up entirely new ways in which PET/CT can be used in biomedical research and clinical practice.

The University of California, Davis researchers Simon Cherry and Ramsey Badawi are the brainchildren behind this revolutionary scanner.

EXPLORER produces a whole-body diagnostic scan in as little as 20 seconds. It can also generate 3D movies that track radiotracers in drugs as they circulate the body. The machine can scan up to 40 times faster, or use up to 40 times less radiation dose, than traditional scanners, making it better for cancer detection; studies of trafficking patterns in cell-based therapies; toxicological research; studies of metabolic disorders; autoimmune disease and other chronic conditions; and research in overall systems medicine.

“The trade-off between image quality, acquisition time and injected radiation dose will vary for different applications, but in all cases, we can scan better, faster or with less radiation dose, or some combination of these,” Cherry explained.

The first human images were developed in collaboration with Shanghai-based United Imaging Healthcare, which built the prototype system and will be the manufacture for series production. 

“While I had imagined what the images would look like for years, nothing prepared me for the incredible detail we could see on that first scan,” said Cherry. “While there is still a lot of careful analysis to do, I think we already know that EXPLORER is delivering roughly what we had promised.”

In the first video, the researchers used the scanner to surveil the delivery and distribution of glucose in real time. 

“The level of detail was astonishing, especially once we got the reconstruction method a bit more optimized,” said Badawi. “We could see features that you just don’t see on regular PET scans. And the dynamic sequence showing the radiotracer moving around the body in three dimensions over time was,

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Playing The Human Rights Game | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

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27-11-18 09:52:00,

By Janet Phelan

A proliferation of human rights agencies now litter the political landscape. While these organizations and agencies profess to honor and protect human rights at large, a scrutiny of the activity of these international organizations indicates that they are highly tilted towards protecting and buttressing the agenda of the US, both at home and abroad.

I was recently asked to address a human rights conference in Atlanta, Georgia on the topic of what obstacles are encountered when one attempts to engage international human rights organizations. The idea of an American doing so is strange to many. Does not the US have its own mechanisms for dealing with human rights abuses?

WHY WOULD AN AMERICAN SEEK JUSTICE ABROAD?

On paper, indeed this is so. However, in practice we have found ourselves in a human rights crisis in the US that is of a considerable magnitude. The fact that the mainstream media veers away from reporting on this US human rights crisis does not in any way diminish its reality. As a result of this crisis, US citizens are having their most fundamental rights violated, and in many cases, losing not only their freedom, not only their property, but in many cases, losing their lives. Our press remains largely silent, averting its collective gaze.

The US human rights crisis manifests itself in a number of ways. According to killedbypolice.net, police officers in the US  killed 1194 people in 2017, up marginally from 1171 in 2016. It is rare that there is any culpability whatsoever for the involved officers.

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“Human Rights Movement” Shifts for Focus to Rohingya Conflict yet Again | New Eastern Outlook

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27-11-18 09:50:00,

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From time to time the world community is reminded about the existence of the nation called Myanmar (formerly Burma) only because the spotlight is shifted once again to highlight the Rohingya tragedy, reported on by NEO on more than one occasion.

The focus here is on a country in Southeast Asia, which is equal in size to France (with a somewhat lower population) and that possesses vast natural resource reserves of various types.

Myanmar could very well become yet another Asian Tiger. However, it remains one of the poorest nations in the world, torn apart by internal conflicts, exacerbated by various external problems.

Myanmar is home to more than 100 ethnic groups, with the Burmese one accounting for approimately70% of the population. Other prominent ethnicities (Shan, Kachin) demand (often by means of long-term military conflict) some form of autonomy from the central government from time to time. By autumn 2016, Myanmar was home to 1 million Rohingya, who constitute 1.5 % of the nation’s population.

The long-term conflict between the government and the Rohingya people is complex in nature, but one key issue at stake stems from religious differences, the Rohingya are mainly Muslim, while the majority of Myanmar’s populace is Buddhist.

At the end of August 2016, armed insurgents, belonging to one of the movements that demand independence for the Rohingya, attacked Myanmar’s border post from the neighboring nation of Bangladesh, causing escalation in the conflict. In response, police and military units destroyed hundreds of Rohingya villages thus forcing approximately 700,000 Rohingya peoples to take refuge across the border (mainly in Bangladesh).

As for the “refugees” the Reuters agency wrote about an incident, on 18 November, involving the Myanmar police opening fire on two “smugglers” during their arrest in one of the temporary camps in Myanmar, housing the Rohingya who had lost their homes. Witnesses reported that the police actions prevented yet another smuggling operation by sea from taking place (supposedly headed to Malaysia), involving transportation of 106 people, including 20 children, in rickety boats.

It was also reported that the “smuggling business” had been prospering in Myanmar long before the tragic events of 2016. After all, Africa is not the only place where businessmen make money off people’s misfortune by luring them with promises of “beautiful” countries.

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The Geopolitics of Human Gene Editing | New Eastern Outlook

The Geopolitics of Human Gene Editing | New Eastern Outlook

20-10-18 08:39:00,

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A cursory warning was left by renowned physics professor Stephen Hawking regarding a future where a race of superhumans, manipulating their DNA, would taking control of their own evolution. The warning came just before his death in March of this year.

The Washington Post in its article, “Stephen Hawking feared race of ‘superhumans’ able to manipulate their own DNA,” would explain (my emphasis):

Before he died in March, the Cambridge University professor predicted that people this century would gain the capacity to edit human traits such as intelligence and aggression. And he worried that the capacity for genetic engineering would be concentrated in the hands of the wealthy.

To be clear, Professor Hawking wasn’t warning about the technology in and of itself, but its monopolization by a handful of wealthy interests.

The Threat of Technological Monopolies 

When we look at any chapter in human history, disparity in technology has always led to tragic episodes of exploitation, violence, atrocities and even genocide. The invention and use of firearms by Western Europeans against tribes everywhere from Asia and Africa to North and South America provide us one look at how huge advantages in technology have been abused against those who lack access to it.

The invention of the atomic bomb gave the United States a period of time where it held a virtual monopoly over nuclear weapons. It eagerly used not one, but two atomic bombs on the already defeated Japanese at the end of World War II. Before America’s nuclear monopoly was finally broken up by first Soviet and then Chinese nuclear weapon tests, the US had considered using further nuclear weapons during the Korean War and at at least two junctures during the Vietnam War.

Today, corporate monopolies over the very sort of biotechnology that will give rise to the race of superhumans Professor Hawking warned about, are already a source of constant, steeply controversial use and abuse.

Whether it is deceptive business practices by large agricultural corporations like Cargill, Monsanto and Bayer peddling unsafe genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or pharmaceutical corporations seizing, then price gouging charity and publicly-funded breakthroughs like gene therapy, we can already see attempts being made to concentrate biotechnology in the hands of the wealthy,

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An Alternative View of Human Nature | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

An Alternative View of Human Nature | Light On Conspiracies – Revealing the Agenda

30-09-18 06:18:00,

September 16th, 2018

By Steve Taylor, Ph.D

Guest writer for Wake Up World

Kindness and cooperation are more natural to human beings than selfishness.

For a long time, there has been a general assumption in our culture that “human nature” is essentially negative. Human beings — so it was assumed — are strongly disposed to traits like selfishness, domination, and warfare. We have strong natural impulses to compete with one another for resources, and to try to accumulate power and possessions. If we are kind to one another, it’s usually because we have ulterior motives of some form. If we are good, it’s only because we have managed to control and transcend our natural selfishness and brutality.

This view of human nature has been justified by biological theories like the “selfish gene” (as popularized by the UK science writer Richard Dawkins) and the field of evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology describes how present-day human traits developed in prehistoric times, during what is termed the “environment of evolutionary adaptedness” (EEA). The EEA is usually seen as a period of intense competition, when life was a kind of Roman gladiatorial battle in which only the traits that gave people a survival advantage were selected, and all others fell by the wayside. Life was such a struggle that selfishness and the desire for power and wealth were “selected” by evolution. Because people’s survival depended on access to resources (such as rivers, forests, and animal groups), there was bound to be competition and conflict between rival groups, which led to the development of traits like racism and warfare.

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