Malaysian Airlines MH370 and MH17. A Criminologist Questions: What are the Probabilities? Is it a Mere Coincidence?

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Both the MH17 and the MH370 crashes are currently in the news. While MH17 is the object of the UN Security Council Resolution, US officials confirm that debris of MH370 have been found in the French island of La Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

This incisive July 2014 article by Criminology Professor Jason Kissner of California State University analyzes the relationship between the two Malaysian airline crashes.

Darker Horizons Ahead: Rethinking the War on ‘IS’

As much of the Middle East sinks deeper into division between competing political camps, the so-called ‘Islamic State’ (‘IS’) continues its unhindered march towards a twisted version of a Muslim caliphate. Many thousands have lost their lives, some in the most torturous ways, so that ‘IS’ may realize its nightmarish dream.

Of course, violence meted out by ‘IS’ is hardly an anomaly, considering that the group was spawned in a predominantly violent environment. It is difficult to imagine, for example, that, if the Syrian regime and its opposition had sought a political solution from the early days of the uprising, ‘IS’ would have found a stable foothold for itself in Syria.

Viet Nam a Half Century Later

Jimmy Carter called a war waged in Vietnam by the United States — a war that killed 60,000 Americans and 4,000,000 Vietnamese, without burning down a single U.S. town or forest — “mutual” damage. Ronald Reagan called it a “noble” and “just cause.” Barack Obama promotes the myth of the widespread mistreatment of returning U.S. veterans, denounces the Vietnamese as “brutal,” and has launched a 13-year, $65 million propaganda program to glorify what the Vietnamese call the American War

The Politics of Betrayal: Obama Backstabs Kurds to Appease Turkey

The Kurdish militias (YPG, PKK) have been Washington’s most effective weapon in the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But the Obama administration has sold out the Kurds in order to strengthen ties with Turkey and gain access to Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base. The agreement to switch sides was made in phone call between President Obama and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan less than 48 hours after a terrorist incident in the Turkish town of Suruc killed 32 people and wounded more than 100 others.

President Obama’s Hypocrisy

In March 2014 Obama declared that “although Russia has legitimate interest in what happens in a neighbouring state that does not give it the right to use force as a means of exerting influence inside of that state”. While we can ignore his blatant lie in alleging that if there had been the slightest indication of any such operation, the story would have been headlined on page one of the New York Times) we can’t overlook the fact that Obama enthusiastically approved the use of shattering military force as a means of exercising influence within other countries that were far from being neighbours of the United States.

Chechen girls swindle ISIS fighters for travel money

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Chechen police have detained three female con artists who talked fighters of the terrorist group Islamic State into sending them money for traveling to Syria.

The young women turned the tables on Islamic State (formerly ISIS/ISIL) by using their primary recruitment tool, social media, against them. Russia’s predominantly Muslim Chechen Republic is a prime target for Islamic State propagandists, who call on young men and women to join their cause and travel to the Middle East to become join their jihadist campaign.

The Lawless Manipulation of Bullion Markets by Public Authorities

Image Credit: Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited

The supply of bullion in the futures markets is increased by printing uncovered contracts representing claims to gold. This artificial, indeed fraudulent, increase in the supply of paper bullion contracts drives down the price in the futures market despite high demand for bullion in the physical market and constrained supply. We will demonstrate with economic analysis and empirical evidence that the bear market in bullion is an artificial creation.

70th anniversary of the use of “The Bomb” against civilians

It has been 70 years since the United States became the only nation in history that deployed two atomic “weapons of mass destruction” against civilian populations. On August 6, 1945, a B-29 known as the Enola Gay took off from Tinian island, north of Guam. After flying six hours to the main Japanese island of Honshu, pilot Paul Tibbets flew his aircraft over the city of Hiroshima released “Little Boy”, an atomic bomb with the explosive power of 16 kilotons of TNT.

Aleppo: A City Ravaged by “Islamic State” and Imperialism

Aleppo before the conflict.

This is an authentic report from an Aleppo resident whose identity is protected for their own security. They are living through the daily hardships of life in an externally created war zone. Water and electricity shortages, NATO and US backed terrorists embedded in multiple areas of the city creating random buffer zones where the risk of being sniped or shelled is a daily occurrence.

Big Pharma’s Profiteers: You Want Us to Pay What for These Meds?

It is no secret that the pill profit party is over for drug companies. Bestselling pills like Lipitor, Seroquel, Zyprexa, Singular, Concerta, Cymbalta and Abilify have gone off patent and Wall Street is moving on to industries that offer better returns.

To combat investor disenchantment, drug companies have rolled out expensive drugs that treat such rare conditions, they almost sound like satire.

Image Source: E-Magine Art/Flickr

Sweden’s 3rd largest city hit by multiple blasts, police plead for help to tackle violence spike

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Four grenade attacks this week have rocked Malmö, the third largest city in Sweden, prompting police to sound an alarm over the increasing violence. Multiple explosions, shootings and arson struck the city, which has a large migrant population.

On Sunday, the southern Swedish city of Malmo saw the fourth grenade attack in under a week as the a hand grenade was detonated in a car park in the district of Värnhem in the morning, local media reported.

The Eurasian Big Bang – How China and Russia Are Running Rings Around Washington

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Let’s start with the geopolitical Big Bang you know nothing about, the one that occurred just two weeks ago. Here are its results: from now on, any possible future attack on Iran threatened by the Pentagon (in conjunction with NATO) would essentially be an assault on the planning of an interlocking set of organizations — the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa), the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization), the EEU (Eurasian Economic Union), the AIIB (the new Chinese-founded Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank), and the NDB (the BRICS’ New Development Bank) — whose acronyms you’re unlikely to recognize either. Still, they represent an emerging new order in Eurasia.

Condemnation After UK Lifts Ban on Bee-Killing Neonicotinoids

Oilseed rape fields are sprayed with neonicotinoids. (Photo: Chafer Machinery/flickr/cc)

The UK government this week temporarily lifted a ban on controversial pesticides linked to widespread harm to bees and other insects—a move which one environmental group said “shows a blatant disregard for our wildlife.”

The ban was lifted under an “emergency” measure in response to an application by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Under the statute, farmers cultivating around 300 square kilometers of oilseed rape will have access for 120 days to two neonicotinoid pesticides, or neonics, from agrochemical giants Bayer and Syngenta.

Dutch Journalist, MH17 Expert: ‘UN Tribunal a Desperate Attempt to Hide Kiev’s Responsibility’

12 months after the crash world still waiting for Dutch report

The proposed UN-backed MH17 tribunal is a “desperate attempt to hide Kiev’s responsibility”, Dutch journalist and blogger Joost Niemoller argues in his post “How Chess Player Putin Wins the MH17 Game”.

Niemoller is no layman. In October 2014 he published a book on the MH17 disaster whose title De Doofpotdeal (“The Cover Up Deal”) summarizes its key argument.

Greek Austerity and its Resemblance to African Debt Peonage

Alexis Tsipras, leader of Greece’s Syriza party. (Photo credit: FrangiscoDer)

Only 10 days after the Greeks voted ‘No’ by a substantial majority against the Troika’s demands, Tsipras went further and put $55 billion of Greece’s national assets into a privatization ‘trust’ fund under EU supervision. This comes from Tsipras who had pledged to halt privatization in January’s election campaign. The deal is so harsh that even the IMF has criticized it.

It would be missing the point to say that Tsipras was hostile to the Troika. International finance institutions like it best when seemingly ‘radical’ figures do the dirty work for them rather than the professed neo-liberals. They would actually spin and portray the ‘reforms’ as ‘good for the people’. Even better so if the ‘radicals’ do not wear a tie.

The $1.5 Quadrillion Global Derivatives Time Bomb

When investing becomes gambling, bad endings follow. The next credit crunch could make 2008-09 look mild by comparison. Bank of International Settlements(BIS) data show around $700 trillion in global derivatives.

Along with credit default swaps and other exotic instruments, the total notional derivatives value is about $1.5 quadrillion – about 20% more than in 2008, beyond what anyone can conceive, let alone control if unexpected turmoil strikes.

Cameron is Engineering a “Color Revolution” in Great Britain

The current situation in British health care is far from what British Prime Minister, David Cameron promised in his pre-elections campaign. Should it be surprising then that anti-government sentiment in England has been on the rise in the recent period and that calls for a “color revolution” in this country are gaining momentum? There we have it! Plans for such “revolutions,” carefully engineered by Cameron’s assistants, could prove to be useful, despite that they were designed for other countries.

Italy’s unelected prime minister says BDS is “stupid and futile” and Greece’s Syriza signs military deal with Israel

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, center, listens as his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu introduces him in the Israeli parliament, 22 July. Office of the Prime Minister of Italy

Activists in Italy are hitting back at Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who declared during a visit to the Israeli parliament this week that “Italy will always be in the front line against all forms of boycott, which are futile and stupid.”

Meanwhile, Greece’s government, led by the left-wing Syriza party, signed a “status of forces” agreement with Israel which offers legal immunities to military forces from both countries while they train in each other’s territories.

“It’s Raining Missiles. A Nightmare that Refuses to End!” – Testimony from the War in Yemen

A picture of the shelling on the 13th of July that targeted civilians and a whole neighborhood in Bait Bous Area. (Taken by Assim Asda, my brother)

War is killing every beautiful thing inside us and inside our country. It is heartbreaking to lose that feeling of safety, to be in constant worry about your loved ones, to live endless terror unable to even have the slightest mean of life. Life has become a bleak vision for us, something we fantasise about. And that is how it’s like to be in a war.The air vanishes and we can listen to our hearts beating heavily as the bombardment begins, and we wonder whether it’s our turn coming up to join the victims under the ruins. The air disappears at the very thought of it. The kids shiver with great fear telling us that they don’t want to die.

Capitalism, Engineered Dependencies and the Eurozone

Near-term technological considerations aside, the question that the Greeks and other peoples of the West may wish to ask is why banks and bankers whose livelihoods derive from the public grant to create and allocate money should be allowed to use it to rule the world? The quote from economist Joan Robinson that ‘The only thing worse than being exploited by capitalism is not being exploited by capitalism’ refers to precisely this type of engineered dependency, not to a natural state of the world. Was the intent of the European Union a partnership of equals then Syriza would have been granted a distinctive voice. With its mandate to remain within the union it is but another set of bodies warming the chairs at ‘negotiation’ tables listening to the dictates of the Troika.

Italy’s Beppe Grillo: Nationalize Banks to Throw Off ‘Anti-Democratic Straitjacket’ of Eurozone

Beppe Grillo is the populist leader of Italy's second-largest political party, the Five Star Movement. (Photo: Liwax/flickr/cc)

Longtime critic of the Eurozone’s destructive commitment to austerity, Italian comedian-turned-political activist Beppe Grillo has launched what one news outlet called a “full-throated attack” on the single currency, saying his country should throw off that “anti-democratic straitjacket” by nationalizing its banks and taking a stronger stance against the demands of elite financial interests.

Worthless

British performer Agnes Töröka performs a three-minute poetic rallying call for those most impacted by the austerity fad, taking aim at revolving internships, impossible debt burdens and the slashing of budgets for social programs, juxtaposing it with the raiding of the…

More than 2,800 people are dead in Yemen – so why aren’t we outraged?

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In the summer of 2014, our screens were inundated with videos of the carnage from the streets of Gaza. The European media was outraged, and the sense of moral urgency was amplified across social media. Similar outrage greeted the destruction of UNESCO heritage sites in both Iraq and Syria with the condemnation of Islamic State’s barbarism reaching a crescendo when it overtook Syria’s majestic city of Palmyra.

Compare this coverage to the almost universal silence on the ongoing war in Yemen, which is largely absent from our TV screens, Facebook and Twitter trending topics sections and the front pages of broadsheet papers.