Brave New Films has put Robert Greenwald’s anti-Fox News documentary Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism online in its entirety.
The film charts the rise of Fox News, outlining the marketing-based techniques that make the channel such “compelling” viewing — the “Fox News Alert,” the blurring of journalism and commentary, and the deceptive use of the chyron, i.e. the lower third of the viewing area on a typical television screen. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-12k – Michael’s Blog
The NYPD is the biggest police force in the country, with over 34,000 uniformed officers patrolling New York’s streets, and 51,000 employees overall — more than the FBI. It has a proposed budget of $4.6 billion for 2013, a figure that represents almost 15 percent of the entire city’s budget.
NYC’s population is a little over 8 million. That means that there are 4.18 police officers per 1,000 people. By comparison, Los Angeles, the second largest city in the U.S. with 3.8 million people, has only 9,895 officers–a ratio of 2.6 police per 1,000 people. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-12g – Michael’s Blog
From the dingy donut shops of Manhattan to the cloistered police watering holes in Brooklyn, a number of black NYPD officers say they have experienced the same racial profiling that cost Eric Garner his life.
Garner, a 43-year-old black man suspected of illegally peddling loose cigarettes, died in July after a white officer put him in a chokehold. His death, and that of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, has sparked a slew of nationwide protests against police tactics. On Saturday, those tensions escalated after a black gunman, who wrote of avenging the black deaths on social media, shot dead two New York policemen. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-126 – Michael’s Blog
In early October, New York lawyer Stanley Cohen found himself at the forefront of a private effort to negotiate the release of Islamic State captive Abdul-Rahman (Peter) Kassig, documented in a recent report by The Guardian. Cohen, whose past legal clients have included members of Hamas and Hezbollah, used his extensive contacts in the region to help arrange a promising dialogue between a prominent Jordan-based Salafi Islamist scholar and his counterpart in Islamic State.
Barely a month later, Kassig was dead at the hands of his captors — thanks to U.S. authorities who refused to intervene with a friendly government, Cohen now says. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-124 – Michael’s Blog
A year on from a U.S. drone strike in Yemen that hit a wedding convoy, killing 12, the United States government have refused to formally recognise the attack, or publicly acknowledge that unarmed civilians died as a result of the strike. However, recent investigations have found that they have secretly paid a record sum of over $1 million in compensation to the families of the victims.
According to the victims, on 12th December 2013, Abdallah Mabkhut al-Ameri, his new wife and about 60 of their friends and family, were travelling in a wedding procession outside the city of Rada’a when four Hellfire missiles hit the convoy, resulting in the deaths of more than 10 people, including the groom’s son from a previous marriage, and injury of 24 more. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-120 – Michael’s Blog
For the past eight months, there has been a furious battle raging behind closed doors at the White House, the C.I.A., and in Congress. The question has been whether the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence would be allowed to use pseudonyms as a means of identifying characters in the devastating report it released last week on the C.I.A.’s abusive interrogation and detention program. Ultimately, the committee was not allowed to, and now we know one reason why.
The NBC News investigative reporter Matthew Cole has pieced together a remarkable story revealing that a single senior officer, who is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.—a woman who he does not name—appears to have been a source of years’ worth of terrible judgment, with tragic consequences for the United States. Her story runs through the entire report. She dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-11Y – Michael’s Blog
The day before US missiles began raining down on Muammar el-Qaddafi’s Libya, hundreds of miles away—across the Red Sea—security forces under the control of Yemen’s US-backed president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, massacred more than fifty people who were participating in an overwhelmingly peaceful protest in the capital, Sana. Some of the victims were shot in the head by snipers.
For months, thousands of Yemenis had taken to the streets demanding that Saleh step down, and the regime had responded consistently with defiance and brute force. But on March 21, a severe blow was dealt to Saleh that may prove to be the strike that sparked the hemorrhaging that ultimately brought down his regime. That day, the most powerful figure in Yemen’s military, Gen. Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar, commander of the First Armored Division, threw his support behind the protests and vowed to defend Yemen’s “peaceful youth revolution.” Other senior military figures soon followed suit. Senior civilian officials, including scores of ambassadors and diplomats, announced their resignations. Important tribal leaders, long the most crucial element of Saleh’s grip on power, swung to the opposition. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-11W – Michael’s Blog
An 18-year-old armed teenager identified as Antonio Martin has been shot by officers in the St. Louis area, police confirmed. The incident was followed by protesters clashing with police at the scene, accompanied by the sound of loud bangs.
A police officer was conducting a routine check at the Mobil gas station in the suburb of Berkeley, St. Louis at about 11:15 pm local time, St. Louis County Police said. The officer saw two male suspects and approached them. One man pulled a handgun and pointed it at the police officer. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-11U – Michael’s Blog
John Mellencamp first heard his 2003, antiwar, anti-Bush song on the radio while driving around his home state of Indiana with one of his sons. The DJ played “To Washington,” his update of the Woody Guthrie protest anthem, and asked listeners to call the station to report their reaction. One angry caller captured the mood: “I don’t know who I hate more, Osama bin Laden or John Mellencamp.” Mellencamp’s son asked his dad how he felt about having a freshly painted bull’s-eye on his back for right-wing venom, and he dispensed some fatherly wisdom, “Sometimes when you stick your neck out, your head gets cut off.”
For the first couple of days after the publication of my essay criticizing military worship, “You Don’t Protect My Freedom,” I certainly felt like my head was resting in the guillotine. On the day of publication I woke up to check my email and found thousands of messages, ranging from the mild (“I hope you die and burn in hell”) to the touching (“If I ever see you on the street, I will kill you.”) [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-11I – Michael’s Blog
Last month I wrote about the threat that TTIP represented to data protection and privacy in the EU because of its likely insistence that data flow as freely as goods. We still don’t know for sure how TTIP will be approaching this area, but today we had an important leak of a section from TISA – the Trade in Services Agreement – that forms part of a kind of trinity of trade agreements along with TTIP and the TransPacific Partnership agreement (TPP).
Although it is entitled “Trade in Services Agreement Proposal: New Provisions Applicable to All Services”, one of the biggest impacts of the text proposed by the US will be in the area of data protection. I was already concerned about the effect that TISA would have here when I wrote about the previous leak, but the new document is much worse. [Read more]
– http://wp.me/p4sUqu-11A – Michael’s Blog