Luke Rudkowski: Don’t Become What You Are Fighting

Byard Duncan | Alternet.org

On March 24, 2010, the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College, in Ithaca, NY announced that award-winning independent journalist Jeremy Scahill would receive the second annual “Izzy Award.” The Izzy, which is named after the legendary muckraker I.F. Stone, celebrates outstanding achievement in independent media. Last year’s winners were Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! and Glenn Greenwald of Salon.com.

Scahill is a two-time Polk Award winner, and a regular contributor to The Nation, Democracy Now! and AlterNet. His book, Blackwater: the Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, is an international bestseller. In 2009, he published dozens of stories detailing Blackwater’s secret presence in Pakistan; its involvement in 2007′s Nisour Square massacre; and its CEO’s alleged complicity in murder.

“The judges chose Scahill for his relentless efforts in 2009 to push these issues into mainstream debate,” said Jeff Cohen, director of the Park Center for Independent Media. “We are awed by Scahill’s success, and also by the sheer number of outstanding candidates for the award this year; both reflect the growing importance of independent media in our country.”

Scahill, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, will appear at Ithaca College on April 19 to receive his award. AlterNet’s Byard Duncan caught up with him Wednesday morning to discuss the award and the future of independent journalism (interview is edited for length and clarity).

Byard Duncan: What does it mean to be an “independent journalist?”

Jeremy Scahill: I would define an independent journalist as someone that’s totally un-embedded when it comes to their relationship with the powerful. In other words, you don’t get into bed with any political party. I’m not a Democrat; I’m not a Republican. I’m a journalist. It means that you don’t get in bed with the military, with the CIA, or wealthy corporations, and you don’t compromise your journalistic or your personal integrity in the pursuit of anything, including a story.
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Rama Lakshmi | WashingtonPost.com

In this country of 1.2 billion people, Inderjit Chaurasia could not prove his identity.

When the migrant worker tried to open his first bank account in New Delhi, he was turned away because he had only a driver’s license for identification. Then he applied for a government food-subsidy card but was rejected for the same reason.

“Everywhere I go, they ask me for proof of residence and income tax that I do not have,” said Chaurasia, 32, adding that he has never voted or paid taxes. “We are migrant workers. We go where the job takes us. Where do we find identity papers?”

Millions of Indians like Chaurasia are unable to tap into government and financial services because they lack proper identification. And, many here say that corrupt officials routinely stuff welfare databases with fake names and steal money meant for the poor.

But a mammoth project underway aims to address that problem by assigning all Indians a unique identity number backed by their biometric details and storing that information in a gigantic online database. The government says the new system — which its creator calls a “turbocharged version” of the Social Security number — will cut fraud and ensure that people who need assistance can get it.

By bringing more people into the banking system, Indian officials also hope to raise the number of people paying income taxes, which currently stands at 5 percent.

“A large number of Indians do not have bank accounts. They have no identity papers to establish who they are,” said Nandan Nilekani, who was a successful software entrepreneur before joining the government to launch the identity project. “The unique identity will bring in financial inclusion and will also help national security in the long term.”

India’s plunge into biometric identification comes as countries around the globe are making similar moves.
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Paul Craig Roberts | CounterPunch.org

There was a time when the pen was mightier than the sword. That was a time when people believed in truth and regarded truth as an independent power and not as an auxiliary for government, class, race, ideological, personal, or financial interest.

Today Americans are ruled by propaganda. Americans have little regard for truth, little access to it, and little ability to recognize it.

Truth is an unwelcome entity. It is disturbing. It is off limits. Those who speak it run the risk of being branded “anti-American,” “anti-semite” or “conspiracy theorist.”

Truth is an inconvenience for government and for the interest groups whose campaign contributions control government.

Truth is an inconvenience for prosecutors who want convictions, not the discovery of innocence or guilt.

Truth is inconvenient for ideologues.

Today many whose goal once was the discovery of truth are now paid handsomely to hide it. “Free market economists” are paid to sell offshoring to the American people. High-productivity, high value-added American jobs are denigrated as dirty, old industrial jobs. Relicts from long ago, we are best shed of them. Their place has been taken by “the New Economy,” a mythical economy that allegedly consists of high-tech white collar jobs in which Americans innovate and finance activities that occur offshore. All Americans need in order to participate in this “new economy” are finance degrees from Ivy League universities, and then they will work on Wall Street at million dollar jobs.

Economists who were once respectable took money to contribute to this myth of “the New Economy.”

And not only economists sell their souls for filthy lucre. Recently we have had reports of medical doctors who, for money, have published in peer-reviewed journals concocted “studies” that hype this or that new medicine produced by pharmaceutical companies that paid for the “studies.”

The Council of Europe is investigating the drug companies’ role in hyping a false swine flu pandemic in order to gain billions of dollars in sales of the vaccine.

The media helped the US military hype its recent Marja offensive in Afghanistan, describing Marja as a city of 80,000 under Taliban control. It turns out that Marja is not urban but a collection of village farms.

And there is the global warming scandal, in which NGOs. the UN, and the nuclear industry colluded in concocting a doomsday scenario in order to create profit in pollution.

Wherever one looks, truth has fallen to money.

Wherever money is insufficient to bury the truth, ignorance, propaganda, and short memories finish the job.

I remember when, following CIA director William Colby’s testimony before the Church Committee in the mid-1970s, presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan issued executive orders preventing the CIA and U.S. black-op groups from assassinating foreign leaders.

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Daniel Whitten, Nicholas Johnston and Mark Chediak | Bloomberg.com 

Companies that make smart meters, thermostats and other elements of an electric transmission system gained in New York trading yesterday as the U.S. announced an $8 billion upgrade to the nation’s grid.

Echelon Corp. of San Jose, California, rose 4.5 percent, St. Louis-based ESCO Technologies Inc., gained 3.5 percent and Liberty Lake, Washington’s Itron Inc.climbed 3.2 percent after President Barack Obama announced the U.S. was giving out $3.4 billion.

Recipients will kick in the rest of the money. Most of the federal aid will go to utilities to install meters, transformers and other equipment that can control the flow of electricity and reduce power use and homeowner bills.

“The industry was in a state of paralysis, waiting for these awards,” Ben Schuman, an analyst for Pacific Crest Securities in Portland, Oregon, said yesterday in a telephone interview.

The investment is a down payment on what Energy Secretary Steven Chu told Bloomberg Television would be hundreds of billions of dollars in investments to upgrade the power grid.

The goal is to jumpstart spending in technologies that would lead to more efficient energy use, and clear the way for renewable electricity adoption, he said.

“This is not about selling widgets, this is about technology deployment, this is about getting more bang for the buck,” said Christine Tezak, an analyst for Robert W. Baird & Co. “The better you understand electricity usage, the better your investments are going to do.”

Tezak said that the money will test a range of technologies and determine whether national deployment of a comprehensive so- called smart grid is feasible.

Electric Utilities

FPL Group Inc., of Juno Beach, Florida, the largest producer of wind power;Constellation Energy Group of Baltimore; and Charlotte, North Carolina-based Duke Energy Corp. will each spend at least $250 million to add to the federal grants. Publicly traded and municipal electric utilities were among 100 grant winners in 49 states to upgrade the power grid.

Smart-grid equipment makers such as Itron, Echelon, EnerNOC Inc. of Boston and ESCO stand to benefit from the government funding, Schuman said.

“We look forward to the momentum that these grants will generate in the industry and the economy,” Malcolm Unsworth, Itron’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

The grants, ranging from $400,000 to $200 million, will be used to develop and install technology to make electricity transmission more reliable and aid the delivery of energy generated from sources such as wind and solar power.

The money comes from the $787 billion economic stimulus legislation approved by Congress in February. Jared Bernstein, chief economic adviser to Vice PresidentJoe Biden, told reporters Oct. 26 that the grants will “save or create tens of thousands” of jobs.

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Emma Barnett | Telegraph.co.uk

The bill has caused ripples across the technology world, most notably because of its proposals regarding the suspension of repeat filesharers’ internet connections and a recent proposal from the Liberal Democrats giving the High Court the power to issue an injunction against a website accused of hosting “substantial” amounts of copyright-infringing material. This latest amendment, which the House of Lords passed by 165 votes to 140 at the beginning of March, means that websites such as YouTube – which has, in the past, been criticised by record labels and media companies for hosting unsanctioned video clips of their artists or TV shows – could be shut down.

Internet freedom campaigners have reacted with dismay to the proposed changes to the Digital Economy Bill. Jim Killock, executive director of the Open Rights Group, told The Telegraph many websites could be forced offline simply by the prospect of expensive legal action. “This would open the door to a massive imbalance of power in favour of large copyright holding companies,” he warned. “Individuals and small businesses would be open to massive ‘copyright attacks’ that could shut them down, just by the threat of action.”
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A new page containing 400 Medical Professionals has been added to the PatriotsQuestion911.com website at http://patriotsquestion911.com/medical.html.

This page lists many prominent medical professionals who have publicly spoken out in support of 9/11 Truth, including:

* Jonathan Weisbuch, MD, MPH – Former Chief Health Officer for the States of Wyoming and North Dakota, as well as Los Angeles County, CA, and Maricopa County, AZ (Phoenix, Mesa, Scottsdale)
* Mary Ellen Bradshaw, MD – Past President, American Association of Public Health Physicians. Former Chief, Bureau of School Health Services, Department of Public Health, Washington, DC
* Herbert J. Hoffman, MA, PhD – Former Chief Mental Health Coordinator and Director of Manpower Development and Training, Massachusetts Department of Mental Health.
* John W. Travis, MD, MPH – Physician and author. A leading figure in the Wellness Movement.
* Douglas Nixon Everingham, MB BS – Former Minister for Health and former Member of Parliament, Australia
* Joanna Santa Barbara, MB BS, FRANZCP, FRCP(C) – Past Vice President, International Physicians for Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW)

The website now features statements by more than 2,500 credible individuals that criticize, question, or contradict the official account of 9/11, with more being added all the time.

Jim Fitzgerald | WashingtonPost.com

Defense says NY synagogue-bomb plot was feds’ idea

Four men accused of trying to bomb synagogues and shoot down planes in New York last spring did little more than go along with a fake plot proposed, directed and funded by the federal government, defense lawyers claim in asking the court to dismiss the case.

A federal informant chose the targets, offered payment, provided maps and bought the only real weapon involved, a handgun, the attorneys said in a dismissal motion filed this week in federal court.

They alleged the defendants were not inclined toward any crime until the informant began recruiting them.

“The government well knew that their case had been a government-inspired creation from day one and that the defendants had not been independently seeking weapons or targets,” the motion said.

Federal court spokesman Herb Hadad said the government would file its response next month.

The defense has suggested from the start that an entrapment claim was likely.

Defendants James Cromitie, 55, Onta Williams, 32, David Williams, 28, and Laguerre Payen, 27, all of Newburgh, are charged with placing what they thought were bombs outside two synagogues in the Bronx last May. They also are accused of planning to use what they thought was a Stinger missile against planes at an Air National Guard base 50 miles north of New York City.

They have pleaded not guilty and face up to life in prison if convicted.

The FBI was in on the plot, and the bombs and missiles involved were dummies, prosecutors said.

The defense lawyers said they based their account of the case on evidence shared by the government, including recordings and agents’ affidavits. Those materials have not been made public.

In a separate motion, they demanded more information on inducements that the informant may have offered the defendants.

The dismissal motion identified the government’s agent as Shaheed Hussain, a “professional informant” for the FBI. The defense claimed he was directed to visit suburban mosques, find members with anti-American leanings and recruit them to join a fake terror plot supposedly funded by a Pakistan-based group.

He suggested there could be as much as $250,000 available and the government provided him with a BMW, a Hummer and other cars to make him appear well-funded, the defense filings said.
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Bernanke footnote: Fed wants end to ‘minimum reserve requirements’Stephen C Webster | RawStory.com 

In the footnotes of a speech U.S. Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke would have given to the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 10, lies a unique and startling disclosure.

Hosted on the Federal Reserve’s own servers, the written testimony of the bank’s chairman explains in plain text what expanding the Fed’s powers will do.

“The Federal Reserve believes it is possible that, ultimately, its operating framework will allow the elimination of minimum reserve requirements, which impose costs and distortions on the banking system,” footnote number nine, at the bottom of the page, explains without additional qualification.

Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), who is not running for reelection, is currently pushing a financial reform bill that would grant the Fed unprecedented new powers to regulate financial markets, including insurance companies and small lenders, under the auspice of forcing such firms to lessen their exposure to risky investments.

Wondering how that would have prevented a collapse the likes of which nearly sank the financial system at the end of George W. Bush’s presidency, Forbes writer John Carney mocked Dodd’s planas “incredibly stupid.”

“[The] Federal Reserve had regulators in place inside of Lehman Brothers following the collapse of Bear Stearns. These in-house regulators did not realize that Lehman’s management was rebuking market demands for reduced risk and covering up its rebuke with accounting sleight-of-hand. When Lehman actually came looking for a bailout, officials were reportedly surprised at how bad things were at the firm. A similar situation unfolded at Merrill Lynch. The regulators proved inadequate to the task.”

Yet, by the Federal Reserve’s stated assumption, that it will one day be able to eliminate the requirement forcing financial institutions maintain even a fraction of their depositors’ assets, it’s proposed mass-regulation of the financial sector sustains a brand of logic, however skewed.

Unhinging banks from even basic deposit standards would essentially create a class above the daily requirements of capitalism, resting atop a pool of funds with infinite depth, removing the need for what’s currently known as “fractional reserve banking.”

Such a system is described by Investopedia as such: “A banking system in which only a fraction of bank deposits are backed by actual cash-on-hand and are available for withdrawal. This is done to expand the economy by freeing up capital that can be loaned out to other parties. Most countries operate under this type of system.”

What Bernanke is flatly stating is the need for that fraction, representing the actual wealth by which the bank’s capital multiplies, could soon be eliminated for the U.S. Federal Reserve, making free-floating, infinitely self-replicating capital a pervasive reality.

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Sibel Edmonds Blog 

 

Recently released FBI documents prove the existence of highly sensitive National Security and criminal investigations of “Turkish Activities” in Chicago prior to September 11, 2001. These documents add further support to many of the allegations that former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has claimed, in public and in Congress, since 2002. The documents were released under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request into an organization called the Turkish American Cultural Alliance (TACA), an organization repeatedly named by Ms. Edmonds as being complicit in the crimes that she became aware of when she was a translator at the FBI.

 

The documents released under FOIA are almost completely redacted, but they do support many of Edmonds’ claims, including:

 

There were a number of very serious FBI investigations into “Turkish activity in Chicago” involving a number of targets, including TACA

These investigations were related to “National Security” among other things.

These investigations were regarded as so sensitive that no files were to be uploaded to FBI’s computer system.

Congressional corruption was involved.

The FBI repeatedly conducted actual “physical surveillance” against Turkish and American targets.

Some of these investigations were shut down in 2001.

The documents comprise primarily of internal FBI ECs (Electronic Communications) between FBI offices. Most of the ECs are titled “Turkish American Cultural Association” although one from Feb 2000 is titled “Turkish Investigations in Chicago” which indicates that there were at least seven different pending investigations into Turkish activity in Chicago, and another later document from July 2001 indicates that there were at least ten investigations into TACA alone.

The earliest document is a November 1999 EC from the FBI’s National Security Division (NS-2D) to FBI field offices in Chicago, Washington DC, Los Angeles and New York (although there is a reference to a September 1999 EC from NSD.) The timing is significant. In an article in The American Conservative by Phil Giraldi, Ms. Edmonds notes that although there were investigations into Turkish activity dating back to 1996, most of that activity was being monitored by Counter-Intelligence based on FISA warrants because the main targets were foreigners, however in 1999 investigations were opened into ‘US Persons‘ and “they wiretapped the congressmen directly.

The FBI was obviously concerned about ‘campaign donations’ being paid to Congressional Representatives by these groups. Ms. Edmonds has repeatedly referred to certain groups making “different kinds of campaign contributions – legal and illegal, declared and undeclared” to various congressional members. Two days after an EC from the National Security Division, Chicago reviewed the Federal Electoral Commission (FEC) database which contains details of donations to congressional campaigns. Chicago was apparently interested in donations made by “three individuals who attended the meeting at TACA.”

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Invisible Empire: All Conspiracy, No Theory available April 15th.

Paul Joseph Watson | PrisonPlanet.com

Would society really collapse if Americans stopped trusting government wholesale, or would only the corrupt in power be threatened?

Considering the number of times governments have been caught lying over the last few decades, we have to ask the question, should the belief that major world events and political developments happen as a result of a conspiracy of some form or other be the default position in contemporary thinking, or should we continue to blindly trust government and afford it the credibility it plainly doesn’t deserve in order to maintain a perceived sense of order?

Knowing their track record, trusting governments has become the height of foolishness. It would be like betting your mortgage on a horse that has lost every race it ever ran to win the Kentucky Derby.

And yet under the Obama administration, Americans are not only being told to trust government but to serve government, a complete reversal of the role of the state as laid down by the founders.

Would society really collapse if the vast majority of Americans distrusted government and authority figures as a reflex response, or would such a prevalent attitude lead to the most rapid restoration of freedom ever witnessed?

With corruption and injustice so virulently entwined in just about every sector of the federal government, a vacuum of power would inevitably ensue, leading potentially to a temporary state of anarchy. However, the common need for limited government would create fertile soil for the organic growth of more representative bodies.

The only way for the conspiratorial view of history to be dislodged from the prominent position in the body politic it has come to occupy would be for governments to start telling the truth again and stop lying to the public on an almost habitual basis. This is why reflex distrust of government is inherently healthy for a free and prosperous society.
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Paul Joseph Watson |  PriosnPlanet.com

Documents recently obtained by the ACLU show that the government warned the 9/11 Commission against getting to the bottom of the September 11 terror attacks in a letter signed by Attorney General John Ashcroft, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and CIA Director George J. Tenet.

In a letter dated January 6, 2004, the Commission was refused permission to question terrorist detainees, with inquiry leaders Hamilton and Kean being told there was “A line that the Commission should not cross,” in the course of its investigation.

A PDF of the letter (page 26) can be read here.

The government urged the Commission, “Not to further pursue the proposed request to participate in the questioning of detainees,” according to the letter, citing the need to “Safeguard the national security, including protection of Americans from future terrorist attacks.”

The warning was just one example of how the Bush administration fiercely struggled to prevent the 9/11 Commission from conducting a deeper probe into the attacks. Bush and Cheney refused to appear before the Commission separately and both refused to testify under oath, instead meeting with panel members informally and in private, with no recordings of the meeting allowed.

“It appears that David Addington took the lead on refusing the 9/11 Commission’s request,” writes the FireDogLake blog. “It appears Addington got the draft of the letter from 9/11 Commission–which was addressed to Rummy and George Tenet. Tenet and Addington clearly had a conversation about how to respond. But it seems that Addington drafted the response, got Condi, Andy Card, and Alberto Gonzales to review it, and then sent it to Tenet (and, presumably, Rummy) to okay and sign the letter.”

As FireDogLake rightly points out, this was part of an attempt to cover-up the systematic torture of detainees which did not fully come to light until the Abu Ghraib scandal was exposed in April 2004.

However, the refusal to allow access to detainees was also undoubtedly so that the Commission members couldn’t later blow the whistle on the fact that the men were nothing more than patsies and goat herders who had nothing whatsoever to do with the 9/11 attacks.

As we have constantly emphasized in the face of establishment media spin that has demonized the mere act of questioning the official 9/11 story, the majority of the 9/11 Commission members themselves have all gone on record to publicly slam the official story as untrue.

The senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission – John Farmer – said that the government agreed not to tell the truth about 9/11, echoing the assertions of fellow 9/11 Commission members who concluded that the Pentagon was engaged in deliberate deception about their response to the attack.

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AP | SeattleTimes.com

The first and only full body scanner at the nation’s second largest airport is now open for business.

Aviation officials at O’Hare International Airport showed off the technology to reporters Monday before starting to send passengers through the machine.

The scanner looks like two blue telephone booths standing side-by-side.

Federal transportation authorities say O’Hare will get more body scanners in the months to come, although they’re not yet sure how many.

Officials say they don’t expect the body scanner to slow down security lines in O’Hare’s Terminal 1, where the new machine is located.

Demand for the devices rose after an attempted airplane bombing on Christmas. The machines can effectively see through clothes for hidden weapons, but some complain that violates passengers’ privacy.

Devlin Barrett | AP|Yahoo.com

Attorney General Eric Holder told Congress on Tuesday that Osama bin Laden will never face trial in the United States because he will not be captured alive.

In testy exchanges with House Republicans, the attorney general compared terrorists to mass murderer Charles Manson and predicted that events would ensure “we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden” not to the al-Qaida leader as a captive.
Holder sternly rejected criticism from GOP members of a House Appropriations subcommittee, who contend it is too dangerous to put terror suspects on trial in federal civilian courts as Holder has proposed.

The attorney general said it infuriates him to hear conservative critics complain that terrorists would get too many rights in the court system.
Terrorists in court “have the same rights that Charles Manson would have, any other kind of mass murderer,” the attorney general said. “It doesn’t mean that they’re going to be coddled, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to be treated with kid gloves.”

The comparison to convicted killer Manson angered Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, who said it showed the Obama administration doesn’t understand the American public’s desire to treat terrorists as wartime enemies, not criminal defendants.

“My constituents and I just have a deep-seated and profound philosophical difference with the Obama administration,” Culberson said.
Holder, his voice rising, charged that Culberson’s arguments ignored basic facts about the law and the fight against terrorists.
“Let’s deal with reality,” Holder said. “The reality is that we will be reading Miranda rights to the corpse of Osama bin Laden. He will never appear in an American courtroom.”

Pressed further on that point, Holder said: “The possibility of catching him alive is infinitesimal. He will be killed by us or he will be killed by his own people so he can’t be captured by us.”

Much of the hearing centered around the Obama administration’s stalled plan to put the Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the professed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on trial. Last year, Holder announced the trial would take place in federal civilian court in New York City, not far from the site of the destroyed World Trade Center.
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MARILYNN MARCHIONE | AP|Yahoo.com

Law enforcement officers who worked near ground zero after the World Trade Center attacks seem to show early signs of heart problems at a higher rate than would be expected for their age, a new study suggests.
Nearly half of about 1,200 law enforcement workers who went to Mount Sinai Medical Center’s program in New York to monitor medical effects from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack showed some impaired heart function on ultrasound tests. The study was released Saturday at an American College of Cardiology conference.

“This is the first study to suggest a potential link between exposure to ground zero and early preclinical heart abnormalities,” said Dr. Lori Croft, who led the work. Inhaling dust particles that can cause lung and heart disease may be to blame, she said.

The finding has many caveats. Researchers did not verify workers’ presence at the site, and they do not know how many may have had pre-existing heart problems. Nor is there any comparison to other New Yorkers, or to police in other urban areas exposed to pollution and similar job stress.
“This could be an occupational find, or I might even have this problem because I live in New York City,” Croft said.

Sicker workers also are more likely to seek testing than others who feel fine, making the portion found to have heart problems seem bigger than it may really be. The study was funded by the Fraternal Order of Police, which has encouraged workers to get suspected health issues checked.
The exams were done from January 2008 through June 2009. The study was limited to workers 40 to 50 years old because heart problems become more common after 50, Croft said. Workers with high blood pressure or heart valve problems were not included.
Among the rest, 47 percent had some degree of diastolic dysfunction — meaning the main pumping chamber of the heart does not relax properly between beats, so the heart can’t fill with blood as it should. Only 7 percent of people in their 40s in the general population have this problem, Croft said.
“People that are 40 years old shouldn’t have diastolic dysfunction. It means something. I don’t know what it means,” she said.
Previous research tied exposure to dust at ground zero to lung problems, asthma and post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Richard Gray | Telegraph.co.uk

A new study, funded by Nasa, has found that the most serious drought in the Amazon for more than a century had little impact on the rainforest’s vegetation.
The findings appear to disprove claims by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that up to 40% of the Amazon rainforest could react drastically to even a small reduction in rainfall and could see the trees replaced by tropical grassland.

The IPCC has already faced intense criticism for using a report by environmental lobby group WWF as the basis for its claim, which in turn had failed to cite the original source of the research.
Scientists have now spoken out against the 40% figure contained in the IPCC report and say that recent research is suggesting that the rainforest may be more resilient to climate change than had been previously thought.

It comes just days after the UN announced an independent review into the panel’s procedures following a series of scandals over its most recent report which was found to contain factual errors and claims which were not based on rigorous scientific research.
The InterAcademy Council, which is the umbrella organisation for the national academies of science around the world, will examine how the IPCC’s reports are compiled and communicated.
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Rob Edwards | HeraldScotland.com

“They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran Dan Plesch, director, Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy,” University of London

Hundreds of powerful US “bunker-buster” bombs are being shipped from California to the British island of Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean in preparation for a possible attack on Iran.

The Sunday Herald can reveal that the US government signed a contract in January to transport 10 ammunition containers to the island. According to a cargo manifest from the US navy, this included 387 “Blu” bombs used for blasting hardened or underground structures.

Experts say that they are being put in place for an assault on Iran’s controversial nuclear facilities. There has long been speculation that the US military is preparing for such an attack, should diplomacy fail to persuade Iran not to make nuclear weapons.

Although Diego Garcia is part of the British Indian Ocean Territory, it is used by the US as a military base under an agreement made in 1971. The agreement led to 2,000 native islanders being forcibly evicted to the Seychelles and Mauritius.

The Sunday Herald reported in 2007 that stealth bomber hangers on the island were being equipped to take bunker-buster bombs.

Although the story was not confirmed at the time, the new evidence suggests that it was accurate.

Contract details for the shipment to Diego Garcia were posted on an international tenders’ website by the US navy.

A shipping company based in Florida, Superior Maritime Services, will be paid $699,500 to carry many thousands of military items from Concord, California, to Diego Garcia.

Crucially, the cargo includes 195 smart, guided, Blu-110 bombs and 192 massive 2000lb Blu-117 bombs.

“They are gearing up totally for the destruction of Iran,” said Dan Plesch, director of the Centre for International Studies and Diplomacy at the University of London, co-author of a recent study on US preparations for an attack on Iran. “US bombers are ready today to destroy 10,000 targets in Iran in a few hours,” he added.
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