TurboJourno - Archives
Source: The Guardian
The world is getting warmer, countering the doubts of climate change sceptics about the validity of some of the scientific evidence, according to the most comprehensive independent review of historical temperature records to date.
Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley, found several key issues that sceptics claim can skew global warming figures had no meaningful effect.
The Berkeley Earth project compiled more than a billion temperature records dating back to the 1800s from 15 sources around the world and found that the average global land temperature has risen by around 1C since the mid-1950s.
This figure agrees with the estimate arrived at by major groups that maintain official records on the world's climate, including Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa), and the Met Office's Hadley Centre, with the University of East Anglia, in the UK.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011...
Source: The Guardian
Oil company rejects watchdog's claims that its local contracts made it complicit in the killing of civilians
David Smith Monday October 03 2011
Shell has fuelled armed conflict in Nigeria by paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to feuding militant groups, according to an investigation by the oil industry watchdog Platform, and a coalition of non-government organisations.
The oil giant is implicated in a decade of human rights abuses in the Niger delta, the study says, claiming that its routine payments exacerbated local violence, in one case leading to the deaths of 60 people and the destruction of an entire town.
Platform's investigation, which includes testimony from Shell's own managers, also alleges that government forces hired by Shell perpetrated atrocities against local civilians, including unlawful killings and systematic torture.
In Counting the Cost: Corporations and Human Rights in the Niger Delta, Platform says that it has seen testimony and contracts that implicate Shell in the regular awarding of lucrative contracts to militants. In one case last year, Shell is said to have transferred more than $159,000 (£102,000) to a group credibly linked to militia violence.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/0...
Militants of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta
travelling between camps.
Shell oil paid Nigerian military to put down protests, court documents show
Secret papers reveal that in the 1990s the oil giant routinely worked with the army to suppress resistance to its activities
John Vidal | Monday October 03 2011
Shell has never denied that its oil operations have polluted large areas of the Niger Delta – land and air. But it had resisted charges of complicity in human rights abuses.
Court documents now reveal that in the 1990s Shell routinely worked with Nigeria's military and mobile police to suppress resistance to its oil activities, often from activists in Ogoniland, in the delta region.
Confidential memos, faxes, witness statements and other documents, released in 2009, show the company regularly paid the military to stop the peaceful protest movement against the pollution, even helping to plan raids on villages suspected of opposing the company.
According to Ogoni activists, several thousand people were killed in the 1990s and many more fled that wave of terror that took place in the 1990s.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/oct/0...
By VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press – Sun Oct 2, 7:11 pm ET
NEW YORK – The protesters who have been camping out in Manhattan's Financial District for more than two weeks eat donated food and keep their laptops running with a portable gas-powered generator. They have a newspaper — the Occupied Wall Street Journal — and a makeshift hospital.
They lack a clear objective, though they speak against corporate greed, social inequality, global climate change and other concerns. But they're growing in numbers, getting more organized and showing no sign of quitting.
City officials "thought we were going to leave and we haven't left," 19-year-old protester Kira Moyer-Sims said. "We're going to stay as long as we can."
"We don't care whether mainstream media covers this or people see us on television. What counts are the more than 30,000 viewers following our online live stream," he (Jared Schy) said. "We heard from a lot of them, and they're joining us now!"
Read more: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20111002/ap_on_...
Source: Sydney Morning Herald
September 23, 2011 - 10:47AM:
It sounds like science fiction: while volunteers watched movie clips, a scanner watched their brains. And from their brain activity, a computer made rough reconstructions of what they viewed.
Scientists reported that result Thursday in the US and speculated such an approach might be able to reveal dreams and hallucinations someday.
In the future, it might help stroke victims or others who have no other way to communicate, said Jack Gallant, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, and co-author of the paper.
He believes such a technique could eventually reconstruct a dream or other made-up mental movie well enough to be recognisable. But the experiment dealt with scenes being viewed through the eyes at the time of scanning, and it's not clear how much of the approach would apply to scenes generated by the brain instead, he said.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/technology/sci-tech/...
... Wait, Fox News is a 15-year-old? That explains so much!"
In his 2003 Oscar acceptance speech, Michael Moore denounced President Bush and the invasion of Iraq. Overnight he became the most hated man in America. In an exclusive extract from his new book, Here Comes Trouble, he tells of the bomb threats, bodyguards and how he fought back.
Michael Moore | Wednesday September 07 2011 20.00 BST
Wishes for my early demise seemed to be everywhere. They were certainly on the mind of CNN's Bill Hemmer one sunny July morning in 2004. Holding a microphone in front of my face on the floor of the 2004 Democratic National Convention, live on CNN, he asked me what I thought about how the American people were feeling about Michael Moore: "I've heard people say they wish Michael Moore were dead." Hemmer said it like he was simply stating the obvious, like, "of course they want to kill you!" He just assumed his audience already understood this truism, as surely as they accept that the sun rises in the east and corn comes on a cob.
To be fair to Hemmer, I was not unaware that my movies had made a lot of people mad. It was not unusual for fans to randomly come up and hug me and say, "I'm so happy you're still here!" They didn't mean in the building.
Why was I still alive? For more than a year there had been threats, intimidation, harassment and even assaults in broad daylight. It was the first year of the Iraq war, and I was told by a top security expert (who is often used by the federal government for assassination prevention) that "there is no one in America other than President Bush who is in more danger than you".
How on earth did this happen? Had I brought this on myself? Of course I had. And I remember the moment it all began.
Colouring books, colouring young minds
By Imran Garda in Americas on Tue, 2011-09-06 18:04.
This work is licensed under Creative Commons. Please read our attribution policy
"Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?" —
George W. Bush
Florence, South Carolina; January 11, 2000
A commemorative 9/11 coloring book that rapidly sold out its initial ten thousand print run has opened up a vista to a few uncomfortable questions on the ten year anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
The Stream discussed this and gauged the online community’s reaction to the comic books.
Unsurprisingly, Ibrahim Hooper, from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), aired his disgust at the publication of the book.
The publisher, Wayne Bell from Really Big Coloring Books, Inc. claims they approached CAIR, and asked them to be involved in the development of the book.
CAIR declined, as Hooper says, because it is clear when a “group has an agenda,” which in this case was to “smear Islam”, it’s pointless working together.
Bell says his goal is only “truth”. This is the publisher’s video, designed to promote the book and also answer critics like Hooper:
“We Shall Never forget” is a phrase pasted and posted in numerous places around the United States as the country remembers the decade that has passed, which many believe has changed the world.
But for many elementary or primary school-age children, a philosophical conundrum emerges.
Children that young are incapable of “never forgetting” something they did not experience or would not remember in the first place.
So as with most narratives of the past that involve national trauma - like the folklorish stories Serb children hear from their elders about Kosovo Polje, or Palestinian children hear about the 1948 Nakba - the task is assumed by the elders; those in the know, in an effort to educate the malleable minds of the next generation so they might carry the patriotic mantle into the collective consciousness of an uncertain future.
Framing that narrative, is the contentious part.
When I entered my first year at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa, it had been barely six years since apartheid came to an end, ushering in democracy.
A literature professor gave us some “Black Consciousness” poetry to read and digest; the context was rooted in the 1970s, at the height of apartheid, but the language, for some of my fellow students, was unduly harsh towards white South Africans.
They protested, and claimed he was opening up old wounds by giving us the poetry. What’s done is done. Can’t we move on and stop blaming whites?
The professor responded by handing out photocopies of an article by the writer Zakes Mda, where Mda noted the irony that those calling for an end to the discussion about apartheid - which ended just a few years ago and affected us all with its ongoing legacy - are the very people who insist on having a Holocaust memorial every year.
The lecture hall lit up with emotion.
Is there a moral relativism as to how anniversaries are marked?
As the discussion unfolded on air, @Hetshepsit_ tweeted in to @AJStream:
It would’ve been interesting to hear Bell’s response to that. He had agreed to appear on the show, before backing out at the last minute.
Here’s an excerpt from the book:
"Children, the truth is, these terrorist acts were done by freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists. These crazy people hate the American way of life because we are FREE and our society is FREE. We must be prepared to know and understand the truth. America is FREE. Ask your mother and father, your teacher, your preacher what this really means. What does it mean to be FREE? Why are we a FREE people?"
In what is possibly the most frequent use of the word free outside of any infomercial in history, the colouring book has employed words as weapons. Americans are FREE (always in caps) - the other side is therefore in a crude binary alternative, unfree.
“Freedom-hating radical Islamic Muslim extremists” is a mouthful. Even harder to say than al-Qaeda, it would seem.
And this is at the heart of Hooper’s criticism of the book: “The target audience, being children...doesn’t have the cognitive ability to differentiate between those who carried out the attacks and the faith of Islam itself and the 1.6 billion Muslims.”
Ali Doon https://www.facebook.com/AJStream |wrote to us on facebook> saying the colouring book should be viewed in the context of a broader, historical cultural prejudice towards those that the US is engaged in hostilities with:
"This is part of the American Culture; popeye the sailor man fought the Nazis, Superman fought the Commis and Japs... The people in power in US grew up with this type of attitude towards external enemies. Some extremists always abuse these sentiments. At least Muslims are not in "War Relocation Camps" as Japanese were subjected after Pearl Harbor."
Leila, @LSal92 tweeted in to @AJStream, saying:
Leila opens up another avenue in the discussion. Not only was there a cleric saying Mickey Mouse was haraam, or forbidden, for Muslim children, but who can forget Farfour, the Mickey Mouse-like character on Hamas-run Al Aqsa TV?
Farfour was ostensibly a children’s TV character designed to highlight the jarring, grinding inhumanity of the Israeli occupation as it affects Palestinians on a daily basis - but he also added a substantial dose of anti-Semitic venom in his broadcasts, attacking not only Israel but Jews on an ontological level.
Popular subtitled English-language translations of Farfour and his successor, Nahoul have been made available by MEMRI, The Middle East Media Research Institute.
While MEMRI does provide accurate translations of the Arabic-language videos, it is something of a cherry-picking paradise; providing the equivalent of a website located somewhere in the East that posts translated excerpts of The Jerry Springer Show, televangelist Pat Robertson’s rants, and music videos of Lady Gaga - and portraying them as representative of American culture.
From colouring books to TV shows, ideology plays a major role in educating the next generation about a nation’s past - especially when it involves war.
It forces kids to take sides, before they were aware there were any sides to take; forces them to maybe even pick a fight, before they were conscious that a fight ever existed.
And children - like the colouring books - come with a semblance of shape and form; but we can create endless possibilities with how we choose to colour their minds.
Source: The Guardian
Comedian whose phone was hacked says he was motivated to sue NoW by seeing Andy Coulson 'at the heart of power'
James Robinson | Monday September 05 2011 21.09 BST
Steve Coogan recalls clearly the moment he decided to sue the News of the World. "What motivated me was seeing Andy Coulson
The actor and comedian adds: "I remember thinking 'Andy Coulson should not be at the heart of power.' That was my gut instinct. That man shouldn't be there."
Over lunch in New York, where he is filming an adaptation of a Henry James novel, Coogan says: "Two years ago I rang my publicist and said 'Look, there's some information that my phone may have been hacked.' I was told: 'That story's gone away, it's not going to come back and Coulson's at the heart of Downing Street now, he's surrounded by a ring of steel.' "
Despite the warning, Coogan started legal action, becoming one of a handful of celebrities to do so. His legal battle has played a pivotal part in the fight to uncover how widespread the practice was at the NoW, giving him a leading part in the revolt against tabloid excess. As Coogan developed his own case, he obtained some crucial evidence about related hacking activities undertaken by Glenn Mulcaire, the private investigator employed by the tabloid.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/sep/0...
Steve Coogan, whose phone was hacked by the News of the World,
said News Corp's senior executives should be held to account.
Photograph: Sam Hollenshead/Polaris
Source: The Guardian
Secret documents detail clandestine lobbying of Nato and even Obama following fear of full-scale US invasion
Luke Harding in Tripoli | Thursday 25 August 2011 21.19 BST
The Gaddafi regime carried out an extraordinary clandestine lobbying operation to try to stop Nato's bombardment of Libya, and believed the western allies were likely to launch a full-scale invasion in "either late September or October".
Secret documents in Tripoli seen by the Guardian reveal the desperate attempts made by the Libyan government in its final months to influence US and world opinion. It approached key international opinion formers from the US president Barack Obama downwards.
The regime tried to persuade the Democratic congressman Dennis Kucinich – a well-known rebel who voted against Nato military action in Libya, and opposed the Iraq war – to visit Tripoli as part of a hastily arranged "peace mission". The Libyan government offered to pay all Kucinich's costs related to the trip, including "travel expenses and accommodation".
On 22 June a letter sent to Libya's prime minister, Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi, by a US-based lobbyist for the regime, Sufyan Omeish, noted that Kucinich was "concerned that his personal safety in Tripoli could not be guaranteed". He preferred to conduct meetings with regime officials outside Libya. The plan was for Kucinich to meet "senior Libyan officials, including Gaddafi". The proposed trip never took place. Kucinich visited Syria instead.
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/aug/2...
A rebel fighter poses for a photo as he sits on a two seater couch that framed by golden mermaid with the face of Aisha Gadhafi
the daughter of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in her house in Tripoli, Libya, Wednesday, Aug. 24. A defiant Moammar Gadhafi
vowed Wednesday to fight on "until victory or martyrdom," as rebel fighters tried to end scattered attacks by regime loyalists
in the nervous capital. http://photoblog.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/...
Source: The Guardian
Suzanne Goldenberg, US environment correspondent | Tuesday August 23 2011 22.00 BST
Humans share the planet with as many as 8.7 million different forms of life, according to what is being billed as the most accurate estimate yet of life on Earth.
The study, which is published in the journal PLoS Biology, underlines just how little humans know about what is out there – and which plants and animals will become extinct before scientists can even record their existence.
"Scientists have been working on this question of how many species for so many years," said Dr Camilo Mora of the University of Hawaii and Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
The quest was growing increasingly urgent. "We know we are losing species because of human activity, but we can't really appreciate the magnitude of species lost until we know what species are there," he said
Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011...
Source: The Weekly Standard
10:17 PM, AUG 21, 2011 •
The White House press office just sent out this statement from President Obama on Libya:
Tonight, the momentum against the Qadhafi regime has reached a tipping point. Tripoli is slipping from the grasp of a tyrant. The Qadhafi regime is showing signs of collapsing. The people of Libya are showing that the universal pursuit of dignity and freedom is far stronger than the iron fist of a dictator.
The surest way for the bloodshed to end is simple: Moammar Qadhafi and his regime need to recognize that their rule has come to an end. Qadhafi needs to acknowledge the reality that he no longer controls Libya. He needs to relinquish power once and for all. Meanwhile, the United States has recognized the Transitional National Council as the legitimate governing authority in Libya. At this pivotal and historic time, the TNC should continue to demonstrate the leadership that is necessary to steer the country through a transition by respecting the rights of the people of Libya, avoiding civilian casualties, protecting the institutions of the Libyan state, and pursuing a transition to democracy that is just and inclusive for all of the people of Libya. A season of conflict must lead to one of peace.
The future of Libya is now in the hands of the Libyan people. Going forward, the United States will continue to stay in close coordination with the TNC. We will continue to insist that the basic rights of the Libyan people are respected. And we will continue to work with our allies and partners in the international community to protect the people of Libya, and to support a peaceful transition to democracy.
Read more: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/obama-...
It is almost a week since violence erupted in the London borough of Tottenham.
The neighbourhood's sports centre has been turned into a refuge for the victims of the riots where many families have lost everything.
Many are now relying on the kindness of strangers to get them through.
Al Jazeera English's Emma Hayward reports from Tottenham.
Riot victim returns to burnt out home: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gESh2AB0lHU
The aftermath of the riots and the scars left behind: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzACImfIG_w
Yay! Go the rioters!!
English Tea 'Antiriot' Brews Online
August 11, 2011
By Kristin Deasy, Shahran Tabari
Parts of London ablaze, people screaming, mobs advancing. OK, it's time to pull out the big guns. Cue "Operation Cup of Tea."
No, it's not the next James Bond movie. It is a massive online campaign in response to this week's violence in England, in which scores of buildings and stores were demolished and more than 1,000 people arrested.
The new initiative, which describes itself as an "antiriot," recruits the calming, classically British beverage in a bid to end the violence.
"We don't need to riot, and this is how we will show it," says the Facebook page, in which people upload photos of themselves drinking tea. It now has some 300,000 fans and has become a hugely popular trending topic on Twitter (#OperationCupofTea).
Operation Cup Of Tea's homepage: http://www.operationcupoftea.com /
Amelia Gentleman asks Tottenham residents and community leaders if bad parenting is at the root of the lawlessness
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday August 10 2011 20.11 BST
Youth worker Clasford Stirling, who runs a football club in Tottenham,
north London, says criminality has been ‘glamorised’.
Photograph: Felix Clay for the Guardian
"Parents are fearful about how they chastise their children," Clasford Stirling, a veteran youth worker, who runs the football club at Broadwater Farm community centre in Tottenham, said. "There's been an erosion of authority for a long time. Parents move very gingerly not to upset their own kids – that's the reality."
Broadwater Farm estate is again at the centre of the unrest in London. Mark Duggan, whose death last week sparked London's riots, was brought up here, and sent one of his sons to Stirling's football classes. On Wednesday, Stirling was making arrangements for his wake.
Struggling to make sense of the violence that has turned buildings on Tottenham High Road into smouldering piles of rubble, Stirling wondered whether weakened parental authority might have something to do with it.
"Bad behaviour and criminality has been glamorised on the streets. Teachers are scared to punish children. The modern child isn't frightened of their parents. They don't care if the police lock them up," he said.
Full article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/aug/10/u...
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