Skip to main content


Showing posts from May 14, 2008

Food prices in Ethiopia continue to soar :: Ethiopian Review

Food prices in Ethiopia continue to soar :: Ethiopian Review: "(Panapress) — Food prices in Ethiopia have continued to soar with reports of an alarming hike of the cost of the cheapest grain, maize, in some markets of the drought-hit Somali Region reaching 700 birr (about US$70) per 100-kg bag, up from about 350 birr (US$35).

Meanwhile, poor performance of the short rains (belg) season in the first half of the year has forced farmers to switch to planting early maturing crops, according to reports by the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the World Food Programme (WFP).

In a weekly update on the food situation in the east African country, the two agencies Tuesday said that the impact of the rains had been limited in Somali, Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nations Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) regions.

Approximately 80 percent of farmers were switching to plantation of early maturing crops after missing the chance to plant long cycle crops due to th… - Freedom Rider: America Brings Hell to Somalia - Freedom Rider: America Brings Hell to Somalia
The U.S. "war on terror" is in fact a war on international law and civilization, a catch-all category of assaults on the weak. Under the anti-terror banner, Washington grinds Somalia into the sand, through hi-tech weaponry and the deployment of Ethiopian surrogates. No more rationale is offered for murderous aggression in the Horn of Africa than the presence of people the U.S. calls "Islamists" - a label designed to excuse any and all American crimes against Muslims. "More than 600,000 Somalis have fled from their homes and at least 6,000 are dead." The savaging of Somalia is nonpartisan - Democrats are as bloody-handed as Republicans. "It takes foolish optimism to think that the willing accomplices to crime will change their ways when Bush is gone."

George Monbiot: The survivors' stories leave no doubt: Guantánamo makes us all less safe | Comment is free | The Guardian

George Monbiot: The survivors' stories leave no doubt: Guantánamo makes us all less safe | Comment is free | The Guardian: "In reading the histories of Guantánamo, and of the kidnappings, extrajudicial detention and torture the US government (helped by the United Kingdom) has pursued around the world, two things become clear. The first is that these practices do not supplement effective investigation and prosecution; they replace them. Instead of a process which generates evidence, assesses it and uses it to prosecute, the US has deployed a process that generates nonsense and is incapable of separating the guilty from the innocent. The second is that far from protecting innocent lives, this process is likely to deliver further atrocities. Even if you put the ethics of such treatment to one side, it is surely evident that it makes the world more dangerous."

Collapse of the Fourth Estate -- In These Times

Collapse of the Fourth Estate -- In These Times
In March, on the five-year anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, the nation’s major news outlets reflected on the war and what led us to the half-decade mark. But few evaluated their own roles in the disaster that has maimed countless Iraqis and U.S. troops, killed hundreds of thousands and, according to economists Linda Blimes and Joesph Stiglitz, could ultimately cost up to $3 trillion.
Fortunately, two new books do examine the media’s role. Greg Mitchell’s So Wrong for So Long: How the Press, the Pundits — and the President — Failed on Iraq (Union Square, March 2008) lays out a timeline of the media’s damning missteps, while When the Press Fails: Political Power and the News Media from Iraq to Katrina (University of Chicago, May 2007), co-authored by W. Lance Bennett, Regina G. Lawrence and Steven Livingston, shows how these missteps are not aberrations, but byproducts of the American press.
In So Wrong, Mitchell, the editor at E…

The Push to Privatize PEMEX -- In These Times

The Push to Privatize PEMEX -- In These Times: "Halliburton is licking its chops at the prospect of Mexico’s state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos going private.

Petróleos Mexicanos, or PEMEX, withstood a tsunami of privatizations of formerly state-owned companies in the late 1980s and ’90s. But now, with pro-business President Felipe Calderón in office, the effort is being revisited — and the Mexican left is coming out en masse to defend the 70-year-old company, a long-time source of national pride and a symbol of Mexican sovereignty.

On April 8, Calderón, who served as energy secretary under former President Vicente Fox, proposed a reform package that calls for forging “strategic alliances” with private oil companies and opening 37 of PEMEX’s 41 divisions to private subcontractors. Although Calderón carefully specified that the reforms would not amount to privatization, many in Mexico are not convinced. The Mexican Constitution forbids private drillers from reaping profits from oil dis…

The Vendetta Against Black Men -- In These Times

The Vendetta Against Black Men -- In These Times: "Despite the rise of Sen. Barack Obama, black men remain in the bull’s-eye of governmental repression and police brutality.

The government is currently re-trying six black men who have already faced two hung juries in a case accusing them of planning to blow up both the Sears Tower in Chicago and the Miami FBI headquarters.

Known as the “Liberty City 7,” after the low-income Miami neighborhood in which they lived, the seven arrested men could soon become domestic casualties in the war on terror. (In December, the jury acquitted one of the men but then deadlocked on the remaining six. On April 16, a second trial also ended with a hung jury.)"

Axle of Evil -- In These Times

Axle of Evil -- In These Times: "The strike began Feb. 26, when AAM demanded steep wage concessions, from $27 per hour to $14 per hour. In order to stay in business, AAM says, it must secure “competitive” labor costs. “AAM is simply asking for the same changes the UAW has already agreed to with our U.S. competitors,” reads the company website, referring to recent UAW deals with companies like Delphi — GM’s bankrupt auto-parts division — which slashed wages and benefits two years ago. AAM has said it may move production to its Guanajuato, Mexico, plant if its demands are not met.

However, Rob Segura, a machinist at AAM’s Detroit plant, points out that the company is in much better financial shape than the rest of the auto industry. The company turned a $37 million profit last year, while its main competitor, the Dana Corporation, only recently emerged from bankruptcy protection."

Arab Hater: It makes you sick!

Media Matters - Imus corrected Dietl's slur against Arabs: "It's, uh, 'camel humpers' ": "While discussing the rising price of gasoline on the May 12 edition of ABC Radio Networks' Imus in the Morning, frequent guest of the show Richard 'Bo' Dietl said that 'there should be a congressional investigation ... into all these former presidents,' before asking: 'What kind of money is being influxitated [sic] into their libaries [sic]? I'm talking about this guy sitting across from me, Bill Clinton. They have hundreds of millions of dollars that were pumped in there from these Aba Daba Doos over there in the Middle East, controlling the oil. Right now in the Middle East, you've got Saudi Arabia, who's got their finger. Why doesn't Fredo [President Bush] get on his Air Force One, fly over to Riyadh, get those little hamel humpers over there, sit 'em down, and say, 'Look, we got our F-16s --' ' Host Don Imu…

Media Matters - Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR

Media Matters - Military analysts named in Times exposé appeared or were quoted more than 4,500 times on broadcast nets, cables, NPR
Summary: A New York Times article detailed the connection between numerous media military analysts and the Pentagon and defense industries, reporting that "the Bush administration has used its control over access and information in an effort to transform" media military analysts "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks." A Media Matters review found that since January 1, 2002, the analysts named in the Times article -- many identified as having ties to the defense industry -- collectively appeared or were quoted as experts more than 4,500 times on ABC, ABC News Now, CBS, CBS Radio Network, NBC, CNN, CNN Headline News, Fox News, MSNBC, CNBC, and NPR.