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Showing posts from September 21, 2007

Making a killing: how private armies became a $120bn global industry - Independent Online Edition > Middle East

Making a killing: how private armies became a $120bn global industry - Independent Online Edition > Middle East: "In Nigeria, corporate commandos exchange fire with local rebels attacking an oil platform. In Afghanistan, private bodyguards help to foil yet another assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai. In Colombia, a contracted pilot comes under fire from guerrillas while spraying coca fields with pesticides. On the border between Iraq and Iran, privately owned Apache helicopters deliver US special forces to a covert operation. This is a snapshot of a working day in the burgeoning world of private military companies, arguably the fastest-growing industry in the global economy. The sector is now worth up to $120bn annually with operations in at least 50 countries, according to Peter Singer, a security analyst with the Brookings Institution in Washington.In Nigeria, corporate commandos exchange fire with local rebels attacking an oil platform. In Afghanistan, private …

Rather: Government influencing newsrooms - 09/21/2007 - MiamiHerald.com

Rather: Government influencing newsrooms - 09/21/2007 - MiamiHerald.com: "NEW YORK -- Dan Rather said Thursday that the undue influence of the government and large corporations over newsrooms spurred his decision to file a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former parent company. 'Somebody, sometime has got to take a stand and say democracy cannot survive, much less thrive with the level of big corporate and big government interference and intimidation in news,' he said on CNN's 'Larry King Live.'"

ei: A bankrupt Ramadan in Gaza

ei: A bankrupt Ramadan in Gaza: "Just a couple of hours before Iftaar, the time of day after sunset when Muslims break their fast during the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims around the globe shop to prepare. Gaza's crowded Khan Younis is no exception. However, though they may be thronged with people, Gaza's markets are lacking any holiday festivity or commerce. In the middle of Khan Younis' Jalal Street, shopkeeper Ahmad al-Agha idly sat in silence, playing with his mobile phone. "

ei: Hamas supporters tortured by West Bank security forces

ei: Hamas supporters tortured by West Bank security forces: "The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights is deeply concerned by the continuation of detentions by Palestinian security forces in the West Bank against Hamas activists and supporters, and interrogating them on their relationship with Hamas and the Interior Ministry Executive Force. In addition, they are coerced into signing commitments to cut off their ties with Hamas. The Centre is also concerned by the continuation of torture and abuse against the detainees and their families, as well as the physical and psychological pressure exerted on them to maintain silence. PCHR's fieldworkers face difficulties in convincing victims to submit statements. In addition, the victims request that their names are not published. The Centre fears that these victims are threatened by security forces if these violations are reported to human rights organizations."

Free Press : Chicago's Media: Big, But Not Diverse

Free Press : Chicago's Media: Big, But Not Diverse: "The Tribune Company dominates the Chicago media landscape, owning the area’s most-read newspaper, most listened-to radio station, popular TV stations, the area’s only 24 hour local cable news channel and more. Past the Tribune, Chicago media outlets are mainly owned by other large conglomerates like News Corp, GE, CBS, Clear Channel and Bonneville International."

'Too late to avoid global warming,' say scientists - Independent Online Edition > Climate Change

'Too late to avoid global warming,' say scientists - Independent Online Edition > Climate Change: "A rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now 'very unlikely' to be avoided, the world's leading climate scientists said yesterdayA rise of two degrees centigrade in global temperatures – the point considered to be the threshold for catastrophic climate change which will expose millions to drought, hunger and flooding – is now 'very unlikely' to be avoided, the world's leading climate scientists said yesterday"

Trophy video exposes private security contractors shooting (2005)

A "trophy" video appearing to show security guards in Baghdad randomly shooting Iraqi civilians has sparked two investigations after it was posted on the internet, the Sunday Telegraph can reveal.

The video has sparked concern that private security companies, which are not subject to any form of regulation either in Britain or in Iraq, could be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent Iraqis.



Hessians Redux: Blackwater, U.S. and England 

Hessians Redux: Blackwater, U.S. and England It's strange that most of our American brethren have forgotten the Hessians, the mercenaries the British hired to fight against us in the Revolutionary War. You may recall that George Washington and his small band of patriots, men who were fighting for their country, crossed the Delaware River during the icy winter season in small boats and caught the Hessians unaware in Trenton and defeated them and broke the spirit of the British regulars who had depended on the famed Hessian mercenaries to finish off General Washington and his troops.
.........One of the reasons our military went on a major bombing and killing spree in the early days of the Iraq occupation was that 4 mercenaries were attacked and brutally killed. These men knew they were taking risks for a huge salary—some of these 3 men were reputed to make thousands of dollars per day, and they were on missions to kill Iraqis.

I hate to see anyone killed for any reason. But, in this …