‘Weaponizing Human Rights’: UN Chief Bachelet’s Venezuela Report Follows US Regime Change Script – Global Research

‘weaponizing-human-rights’:-un-chief-bachelet’s-venezuela-report-follows-us-regime-change-script-–-global-research

14-07-19 06:26:00,

Former UN special rapporteur Alfred de Zayas slams UN High Commissioner Bachelet’s report on Venezuela as a politicized collection of baseless accusations by “advocates of regime change”

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When United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet traveled to Venezuela earlier this year, she met with an array of citizens who lost family members to right-wing violence in the country.

Among them was Inés Esparragoza, whose 20-year-old son, Orlando Figuera, was doused with gasoline and lit on fire by an opposition mob during violent anti-government riots, known as guarimbas, in May 2017.

“He was stabbed, beaten and cruelly burnt alive,” Esparragoza declared before Bachelet in March. “Simply because of the color of his shirt, the color of his skin, and because he said he was Chavista.”

While Esparragoza poured her family’s torment out before the former Chilean president, Bachelet scribbled notes and glanced down at horrific photos which captured the moment masked men attacked Figuera. As the young man knelt to the ground, a gang of anti-government thugs poured petrol over his body before lighting a match.

“I call on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to make justice,” she said. “These are not peaceful protesters, they are bloodthirsty.”

Yet shockingly, when Bachelet released her long-anticipated report on the situation in Venezuela on July 5, it was as though that meeting never took place.

Apparently unmoved by the testimony of Figuera’s grieving mother, or anyone else’s story of injury and suffering, Bachelet made no mention of opposition violence in her report. Her failure to properly detail the plight of Venezuelans who have suffered at the hands of anti-government rioters was just one of many glaring omissions which has one of the top international legal experts to have served at the UN calling the high commissioner’s objectivity into question.

Alfred de Zayas became the first UN rapporteur to visit Venezuela in 21 years, traveling to the country in 2017 to examine the social and economic impact of unilateral coercive measures applied by the US. He determined US-led sanctions were largely to blame for the country’s hardship, accusing Washington of waging “economic warfare,” and comparing its harsh measures to “medieval sieges of towns.”

De Zayas was no less scathing towards Bachelet’s report,

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Human Rights Hypocrisy: Defending Billionaires, Destroying Journalists | New Eastern Outlook

human-rights-hypocrisy:-defending-billionaires,-destroying-journalists-|-new-eastern-outlook

28-05-19 06:56:00,

JNA4534522

In the wake of Thailand’s recent elections, US and European-backed opposition forces were caught flatfooted, reeling from losing the popular vote to the military-linked Palang Pracharath Party (PPRP).

Additionally, “rising political star” as the Western media refers to him, billionaire heir Thanathorn Jungrungreangkit, head of the opposition Future Forward Party (FFP), has found himself in legal turmoil, facing various corruption cases and charges of sedition.

Defending a Billionaire

Thanathorn’s FFP is favoured by the West as an appropriate proxy to roll back Thai-Chinese relations and eliminate Thai institutions impeding Western interests in Thailand.

So favoured by the West is Thanathorn and his Future Forward Party, that when he was summoned by Thai police to hear charges against him, he was accompanied by over a dozen representatives of Western embassies including from the US, UK, Canada, Finland, the Netherlands, France, Germany and EU diplomats.

Responding to what was blatant interference in Thailand’s internal political affairs, Thailand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) would release a statement noting (our emphasis):

Regardless of the intention, the presence of Embassies’ representatives the police station with such a visibility and the publicity it generated were clearly an act of political significance, seen by the Thai public largely as a show of moral support to Mr. Thanathorn.

In other words, it was a political act, or a political statement on the part of the Embassies.

It clearly amounted to the Embassies choosing to be a player in Thai domestic politics, at least by having taken side in the country’s political landscape.

The Royal Thai Government considers such action to be in breach of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (VCDR), Article 41, and the internationally recognised principle of non-interference in internal affairs of sovereign nations.

The statement was posted most visibly by “Thailand senior researcher” at Human Rights Watch (HRW) Sunai Phasuk, who would himself add in a social media post:

Baring fangs to please military government, [the Thai MFA] attempted to harass western diplomats only to be told that observation of major lawsuits; court proceedings is standard practice for countries that respect human rights and due process. 

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Lab-grown HUMAN ‘mini-brains on the move’ hook up to muscle of their own free will

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19-03-19 09:00:00,

A miniature brain grown in a lab from human stem cells has developed a mind of its own – or at least enough awareness to send out neural ‘tendrils’ to connect to the spinal cord and muscle tissue of a mouse, then flex that muscle.

We like to think of them as mini-brains on the move,” said Madeline Lancaster of Cambridge University, who led the experiment with the Medical Research Council’s Laboratory of Molecular Biology and published the results in Nature: Neuroscience.

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The mini-brain is their most sophisticated “organoid” yet, approaching the complexity of a 12-16 week old fetus’ brain. While the researchers claim it’s “too small and primitive to have anything approaching thoughts, feelings or consciousness,” there’s no accurate way to measure consciousness, and the “organoid” has a couple million neurons – meaning it’s operating with the same grey matter equipment as the average cockroach.

After placing a tiny 1mm-long piece of spinal cord and back muscle from a mouse next to the germinating brain-blob, the researchers watched (presumably in awe) as the brain shot out neuronal connections to intertwine with the spine, eventually sending out electrical impulses and causing the mouse muscle to twitch.

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‘Jaw-dropping moment’: Scientists discover mysterious new communication mechanism in the brain

The size of the organoid had previously been limited by its ability to access nutrients – once the “blob” got too large, the center starved. This time, the researchers just cut it into tiny slices and placed them in nutrient-rich liquid, allowing the insides to thrive while connections between the slices continued to grow and develop in complexity for a full year.

The researchers plan to use their mini-brains to study nervous system development and brain disorders – that is, unless the brains become self-aware and start studying them first.

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‘Influencing human behavior’: UK MoD-funded psychological research project leaked

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14-03-19 08:10:00,

The UK Defense Ministry is actively looking for a contractor for its new psychological research, which is allegedly aimed at boosting troops’ performance and well-being. Some details of the project are quite unnerving, though.

The ministry’s agency known as the Defense Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) has been seeking contributions from specialists in the fields of psychiatry, neuroscience and social sciences that would help the military shape its future strategies and policies. The University of Cambridge was particularly shortlisted by the DSTL among the four organizations it said were eligible for taking part in an almost £70 million ($92.4 million) research program known as the Human and Social Sciences Research Capability (HSSRC).

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At first glance, the whole study appears to be mostly aimed at supporting the troops and improving their performance in the rapidly changing environment of the “21th century in the UK and globally.” Five out of six research areas listed in the Cambridge tender bid that gives a detailed insight into what appears to be the nature of the project are dealing with typical personnel issues pretty much every country’s military could face nowadays.

The list includes providing “novel approaches… to support delivery of a sufficient, capable, motivated and cost-efficient workforce,” helping the military to develop necessary skills, optimizing personnel performance and improving the troops’ psychological and physical health.

Boosting army’s image?

The sixth area, however look far less innocent as it is called “understanding and influencing human behavior” and requires any future Defense Ministry partners to develop “information activities and outreach…as non-kinetic components of military full spectrum effects” as well as to enable “messaging of the UK domestic and Defense internal audiences that promotes attraction … of our people (military and civilian).”

Although it could be simply regarded as another effort to boost the military’s image among its own ranks, as well as among the domestic population, it still looks like an attempted con on the public.

The whole situation starts to look even grimmer as the layout of the project also says from the very onset that it would provide funding to mitigate some “reputational risks” for Cambridge stemming from its participation in the MoD-funded research as well as to promote “the positive impact of the university’s involvement.” After all,

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Pushback on Human Rights in France. Resurgence of Police Violence. Devastating Neoliberal Policies. Suppression of the Yellow Vests – Global Research

pushback-on-human-rights-in-france-resurgence-of-police-violence-devastating-neoliberal-policies.-suppression-of-the-yellow-vests-8211-global-research

10-03-19 03:41:00,

The Secretary-General has received the following written statement which is circulated in accordance with Economic and Social Council resolution 1996/31 [8 February 2019]

Pushback on human rights in France: “The Republic on the move”- but in the reverse gear(1)

1. For some months now, France has been the scene of turbulent upheaval. Fierce social conflict has long been a defining feature of the country’s political life. It has been a historical given in a nation constructed, for the most part, post-1789 on the basis of a revolution of universal scope that, along with the social advances won in 1936, 1945 and 1968, still exerts a strong hold on the collective memory and the country’s institutions, despite attempts to eradicate all traces of it.

Yet for nearly 40 years, France, like all the other countries of the North without exception, has found itself encased in the deadly straitjacket of devastating neoliberal policies, policies that can only be seen as an extraordinary act of social violence, an assault on labour. Their destructive effects – on individuals, society and even the environment – are propagated by a State that works hand-in-glove with whoever currently wields the most power. They are further aggravated by the constraints of the anti-social content of European Union treaties that the French rejected in the 2005 referendum but which were imposed on them in a denial of democratic process – an additional assault on an entire people. It is this particular perspective, as well as the general context of a systemic crisis of global capitalism, that explains the waves of popular uprisings of increasing intensity that have taken place in recent decades – strike in 1995, riots in the suburbs in 2005-2007, demonstrations in 2000 and 2010. There is now widespread discontent and a general feeling of malaise. The so-called “yellow vests” movement that began in October 2018 is one expression of this, but it is coming up against the worst resurgence of police violence since the Algerian war. In the face of the various protests, all demanding greater social justice, the authorities have chosen to respond with greater repression, to the extent that human rights are regressing at an alarming rate.

 State of emergency: origins of the crackdown

2.

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UN human rights rep demands ‘full investigation’ on France’s ‘excessive force’ against Yellow Vests

un-human-rights-rep-demands-full-investigation-on-france8217s-excessive-force-against-yellow-vests

07-03-19 11:29:00,

UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has called for a full investigation into reports of excessive use of force by the French police against Yellow Vest protesters resulting in over 2,000 injured and dozens being maimed.

We encourage the government to continue dialogue – including follow-up to the national discussions which are currently underway – and urge full investigation of all reported cases of excessive use of force,” the former Chilean President said in her annual address to the UN Human Rights council in Geneva. Her speech highlighted how the Yellow Vests’ demand for “respectful dialogue” has seemingly been met with over the top violence by the state.

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Bachelet spoke highly of France’s weekly Yellow Vest protests which take place in cities across France, describing their struggle against “inequalities and deteriorating economic and social conditions” in Macron’s France and arguing that they intend to inspire “genuine reform.

The French police force’s heavy handed response to the yellow clad demonstrators has been widely criticized, particularly after videos began to surface of participants having their limbs blown off and eyes gouged out. According to government figures,  over 2,000 protesters and over 1,000 police officers were injured since November.

While the violence has hardly been one sided and a large number of police have also sustained injuries in the course of clashes with demonstrators, not a single police officer has actually been reprimanded for excessive force.

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‘I do not recognize my country’: Yellow Vests who have lost eyes, limbs demand justice from Macron

The majority of severe injuries among demonstrators have came from “non-lethal” crowd control weapons such as rubber-bullets, tear gas and stun grenades. Attempts by human rights activists and community leaders to roll back the use of these arms have been unsuccessful, leading some to accuse the government of complicity in the violence.

Paris responded swiftly,

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Human Rights Watch Appears to Be a Propaganda Organization – PaulCraigRoberts.org

human-rights-watch-appears-to-be-a-propaganda-organization-8211-paulcraigroberts.org

24-02-19 10:04:00,

Human Rights Watch Appears to Be a Propaganda Organization

Big Lies by Human Rights Watch on Venezuela

by Stephen Lendman stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman

In cahoots with its corporate donors and Washington, HRW is part of the anti-Bolivarian propaganda campaign, supporting regime change – based on a litany of bald-faced Big Lies.

HRW: Last “May, President Nicolas Maduro won presidential elections against an opposition badly weakened by years of government repression, and amid widespread allegations that the polls had not met international standards of freedom and fairness.”

Fact: Alleged Venezuelan repression is a cooked up media supported US Big Lie. Whenever Venezuelan elections are held, around 25 in the Bolivarian Republic, international observers always call them open, free and fair – polar opposite the US money-controlled process. HRW lied claiming otherwise.

HRW: “No independent government institutions remain today in Venezuela to act as a check on executive power.”

“A series of measures by the Maduro and Chavez governments stacked the courts with judges who make no pretense of independence.”

“The government has been repressing dissent through often-violent crackdowns on street protests, jailing opponents, and prosecuting civilians in military courts. It has also stripped power from the opposition-led legislature.”

Fact: Venezuela is the hemisphere’s leading democracy, polar opposite growing US-led Western tyranny – at war on humanity at home and abroad, including by police state toughness.

Fact: The above claims turned truth on its head, reading like lines scripted in Washington. Reality is polar opposite HRW’s Big Lies.

Venezuela’s judicial system shares equal importance to the law of the land, supporting international, constitutional, and the country’s statute laws, operating independently of other branches of government under the nation’s Supreme Court.

The Bolivarian spirit is stated straightaway in the Constitution’s Preamble, saying:

The law of the land “establish(ed) a democratic, participatory and self-reliant, multiethnic and multicultural society in a just, federal and decentralized State that embodies the values of freedom, independence, peace, solidarity, the common good, the nation’s territorial integrity, comity and the rule of law for this and future generations.”

It “guarantees the right to life, work,

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Human Rights Watch: Menschenrechte und Meinungsmache

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18-01-19 05:40:00,

Die Organisation Human Rights Watch (HRW) hat ihren jährlichen „Weltbericht“ vorgestellt. Darin nutzt HRW die Menschenrechte für Meinungsmache gegen Konkurrenten des Westens und misst mit zweierlei Maß. Von Tobias Riegel.

Der Tenor des diesjährigen „Weltberichts“ der Organisation Human Rights Watch deckt sich mit zentralen Aussagen der großen westlichen Medienkonzerne: „Wir“ sind die Guten, und wir müssen das erfolgreiche wirtschaftsliberale System gegen „Populisten“ verteidigen.

Zwar werden in den Berichten auch westliche Länder kritisiert – aber erheblich zögerlicher als etwa Russland, Syrien oder Venezuela. Und auch für den HRW-Bericht gilt das bekannte Prinzip: Wenn durch Gleichmacherei unterschiedliche Delikte auf eine Stufe gestellt werden, dann ist das für den schlimmeren Verursacher von Vorteil.

Zudem wird etwa zu Deutschland ausschließlich die Innenpolitik thematisiert, während andere Länder auch für ihre Außenpolitik gegeißelt werden, etwa Russland wegen Syrien und der Ukraine. Auch das ist vorteilhaft für den wirtschaftsliberalen Block. Denn es ist ein Wesenszug westlicher Politik: Viele der wirklich gravierenden Verbrechen werden – über geopolitische Kriege und aufgezwungene Handelsabkommen – ins Ausland verlagert. Wie sieht es also in jenen Ländern aus, wie wirken dort die westlichen Waffen, die westliche Geopolitik und die westlichen Handelsabkommen? Dieser Aspekt wird von HRW nicht angemessen aufgegriffen.

Human Rights Watch als Teil der westlichen Medienstrategie

Human Rights Watch wird durch diese Haltung Teil einer Medienstrategie, die „externe“ und angeblich „unabhängige“ Stimmen und Beurteilungen braucht, um sich besser zu verkaufen. Weitere Beispiele für diese Konstrukte sind mehr oder weniger eindeutig die Reporter Ohne Grenzen, die Syrische Stelle Für Menschenrechte oder Amnesty International.

Amnesty International lieferte vor einigen Jahren ein besonders offensichtliches Beispiel für Unterwanderung: So konnte Suzanne Nossel, eine Vertraute von Hillary Clinton, bis in den Vorstand von Amnesty USA vordringen, mutmaßlich um dort die Philosophie der „Responsibility To Protect“ zu unterstützen. Ein Gipfel der kriegerischen „Menschenrechts“-Propaganda durch Amnesty war sicher das Pro-NATO-Poster von 2012.

„Enge Beziehungen zur US-Regierung“

Auch Human Rights Watch kennt dieses Problem der versuchten Unterwanderung durch interessiertes Personal. Das haben die Friedensnobelpreisträger Adolfo Pérez Esquivel und Mairead Maguire sowie über einhundert US-amerikanische und kanadische Akademiker 2014 in einem offenen Brief an HRW verdeutlicht:

„Die engen Beziehungen der Organisation HRW mit der Regierung der Vereinigten Staaten stellen jedoch ihre Unabhängigkeit in Frage.

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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

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

first-human-images-revealed-from-world8217s-only-full-body-3d-scanner

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

playing-the-human-rights-game-light-on-conspiracies-8211-revealing-the-agenda

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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When Kelly Thomas, a homeless and unarmed mentally ill man, was beaten to death by police officers in Fullerton,

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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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