Friday, January 16, 2009

Johann Hari: You are being lied to about pirates

"... In 1991, the government of Somalia collapsed. Its nine million people have been teetering on starvation ever since – and the ugliest forces in the Western world have seen this as a great opportunity to steal the country's food supply and dump our nuclear waste in their seas.

Yes: nuclear waste. As soon as the government was gone, mysterious European ships started appearing off the coast of Somalia, dumping vast barrels into the ocean. The coastal population began to sicken. At first they suffered strange rashes, nausea and malformed babies. Then, after the 2005 tsunami, hundreds of the dumped and leaking barrels washed up on shore. People began to suffer from radiation sickness, and more than 300 died.

Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."

At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."

This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence". ..."

~ more... ~

[ via ]

Philip Morris, BAT sought to influence smoking policy

Two of the world's biggest tobacco companies tried to undermine anti-smoking efforts in Asia by seeking to influence health policy in China and scientific research in Thailand, according to two new studies.

British American Tobacco Plc, Europe's largest cigarette maker, helped form the Beijing Liver Foundation “to reprioritize the agenda of the Ministry of Public Health,” one study said, citing company documents. A senior scientist at Philip Morris International Inc., the world's biggest cigarette maker, gained a “disturbing” and “inappropriate” influence over teaching at a Bangkok research institute, the second study said.

Smoking could kill 1 billion people this century, 10 times more than in the past 100 years, and is “the single most preventable cause of death,” according to the World Health Organization. The two reports, funded by the U.S. National Cancer Institute, show how cigarette makers seek to counter anti-smoking measures by forging ties with policymakers and scientists.

“Such links are of great concern to the public health community, which is working hard to reduce deaths and disease due to tobacco,” said the editors of the journal that published the studies, PLoS Medicine, part of the Public Library of Science.

The studies examined the Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, a collection of almost 10 million documents produced by tobacco companies in response to litigation in the 1990s.

Companies Respond

“British American Tobacco welcomes sensible regulation and we always seek, wherever possible, to engage with regulators to work towards balanced legal frameworks,” Catherine Armstrong, a London-based BAT spokeswoman, said in an e-mail. “Far from undermining laws, we believe our input can mean the laws are workable and realistic and can be implemented effectively.”

The research is being published now because the full collection of documents became available online only this year, Kelley Lee, who participated in the BAT study, said in an e-mail.

“Focusing on decades old documents does nothing to progress the objective of achieving effective and comprehensive regulation of tobacco today,” Marija Sepic, a spokeswoman for Philip Morris in Lausanne, Switzerland, said in an e-mail. “The use of these documents is disingenuous as they do not reflect Philip Morris International's views today.”

In the first study, Monique Muggli and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, studied reports from London- based BAT, the maker of Dunhill and Lucky Strike brand cigarettes. The company helped form the Beijing Liver Foundation to “reprioritize the agenda of the Ministry of Public Health,” and “to divert the public attention from smoking and health issues to liver diseases” in China, the study says, citing internal reports obtained from BAT.

~ more... ~

Musical Innerlube: Mark Isham - 'Tibet'

Windham Hill Series with Music by Mark Isham

Part 1

A Dann Moss Production with Windham Hill Productions, Inc. Original Score by Mark Isham. Mere mention of the word Tibet evokes images of a rich and magical country, its culture shrouded by a remote and inaccessible location. This program provides a look at the place called the "Roof of the World", a place where the heavens and the earth meet, and where centuries old rhythms continue. It is a brief glimpse of vast stretches of empty, high plains and snow-capped peaks. The monasteries and the monks who live there are the last of an ever diminishing religious culture which has no parallel in the West. 5.1 Remix from original multi-tracks supervised by Mark Isham. Audio commentary from Mark Isham.


'Prisoner' star Patrick McGoohan dies at 80

Patrick McGoohan, creator of The Prisoner and star of Danger Man, has died after a short illness in a hospital in Santa Monica, California, aged 80.

The Irish American actor's work in the 60s foreshadowed concerns about freedom and personal privacy that remain key political issues today, thanks to the erosion of liberties pushed forward by governments as necessary in the fight against terrorism. What's less remembered is that the depiction of technology in the The Prisoner in particular was decades ahead of its time. The series was among the first to depict cordless telephones and miniature surveillance cameras, among other innovations that only became commercially available years later.

McGoohan was born in New York but moved back with his Irish-born parents to County Leitrim soon after his birth, resettling in Sheffield, England, seven years later. The teenager left school at 16 and went through various menial jobs before working in a theatre, initially as a manager, where he filled in as an actor, launching a career on the stage and (less comfortably) in British film with the Rank Organisation.

After that unhappy experience, McGoohan insisted on more control in agreeing to take over the role of secret agent John Drake in Danger Man. He insisted that the agent use his brain before a gun and that all fist fights (McGoohan was an accomplished amateur boxer) needed to be different. He also insisted on the absence of romantic sub-plots.

McGoohan went onto to make four seasons of Danger Man in the 1960s. His charecterisation would go on to shape the secret agents that followed him, from Harry Lime to Jason Bourne.

McGoohan reportedly turned down the roles of James Bond (in Dr No) and Simon Templar (The Saint) during this period, before becoming weary of the character. Producer Lew Grade was keen to retain his services and agreed to give McGoohan unprecedented control with a new series that became The Prisoner. George Markstein, script editor on Danger Man, is credited with helping to develop the initial concept of the series, a spy trapped in a resort-like prison.

McGoohan not only starred in and produced the series but also wrote three episodes and directed two others. The main character in the series, a former secret agent who's abducted after he resigns, spends the series trying to escape from The Village, an agreeably quaint but nonetheless oppressive penal colony.

Addressed as Number Six by his captors, a label memorably rejected in the speech "I am not a number, I'm a free man", McGoohan's character engaged in a battle of wits with his captor while trying to discover who ran the village and to escape. Leo McKern appeared in three episodes as McGoohan's nemesis, Number Two.

~ more... ~

4th and final part of "The Prisoner Puzzle" interview from OECA, 1977.

[ more from Prison Planet ]

THE PRISONER - Banned Episode

"LIVING IN HARMONY" unaired during the series first run on American tv.
The climate of that time is shown here thru graphic newsreel footage.

'Those snarky ancient Greeks!'

Put another way: Snark is glorified bathroom graffiti.

Denby, a film critic for the New Yorker magazine and author of Great Books, describes snark as "the sour underside of a liberated media culture, bumper stickers for the electronic age." He delves into the muck and resurfaces with this extended essay, which mixes historical research with thoughtful criticism and entertaining writing. He explores how emerging media have changed the way we communicate and allowed snark to infiltrate traditional journalism.

"We are in a shaky moment, a moment of transition, and I think it's reasonable to ask: What are we doing to ourselves? What kind of journalistic culture do we want? What kind of Internet culture? What kind of national conversation?"

This is Denby at the top of his game. Anyone concerned with the future of the media should necessarily be concerned with content, and Denby lays out a solid argument that is a clarion call for journalistic integrity.

Most important, Snark is enjoyable to read. Filled with witty one-liners, pop-culture deconstruction and a fair amount of highbrow snark, Denby's strong narrative voice propels the reader through the text, and even turns a history lesson into entertainment as he traces the roots of snark back to the ancient Greeks. (That's right, those snarky ancient Greeks!)

~ more... ~

Fabled Enemies

Jason Bermas' Fabled Enemies on the intelligence apparatus and its involvement in 9/11.

Photographing the incoming Obama administration

A great portfolio from the New York Times here.

Musical Innerlube: Neil Young - 'Fork in the road'

From Neil Young's blog on the Huffington Post:
Neil Young - Fork In The Road

Lyrics to "Fork in the Road"

Got a pot belly. 
It's not too big. 
Gets in my way 
when I'm driving my rig.
 Driving this country
 in a big old rig, 
things I see
 mean a lot.

My friend has a pickup.
 Drives his kid to school.
 Then he takes his wife
to beauty school.

 Now she's doin' nails.
 Gonna get a job.
 Got a good teacher.

There's a fork in the road ahead.
 I don't know which way I'm gonna turn.
 There's a fork in the road ahead.

Forgot this year, 
to salute the troops. 
They're all still there
 in a fucking war. It's no good.
 Whose idea was that?

I've got hope,
 but you can't eat hope. 
I'm not done. 
Not giving up. 
Not cashing in.
 Too late.

There's a bailout coming but it's not for me. 
It's for all those creeps watching tickers on TV. 
There's a bailout coming but it's not for me.

I'm a big rock star.
 My sales have tanked,
 but I still got you.
 Download this.
 Sounds like shit.

Keep on bloggin' 'til the power goes out,
 and your battery's dead.

Twist and Shout. 
On the radio.
 Those were the days.
 Bring 'em back.

There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 It's for all those creeps hiding what they do.
 There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 Bailout coming but it's not for you.

Got my new flat-screen.
 Got it repo'd now. 
They picked it up.
 Left a hole in the wall.
 Last Saturday.
 Missed the Raiders game.

There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 There's a bailout coming but it's not for you.
 It's for all those creeps hiding what they do.

Hot words in finance: 'for sale'

Christina S. N. Lewis reports in the Wall Street Journal:

"...The carnage in the upper echelons of finance is hitting the high-end real-estate market, particularly in traditional finance centers. In Manhattan, the fourth quarter showed a sharp increase in the inventory of homes costing $3 million and up, according to several brokerage reports. Many of the listings were purchased just a few years earlier and have been recently renovated.

"Some Bear Stearns stuff hit the market" in the fall, says Meredyth Hull Smith, of Sotheby's, referring to the collapsed investment bank. London brokers say they're also beginning to see financiers selling in the desirable Chelsea and Kensington areas.

It's a stark reversal of fortune, particularly for financiers whose appetite for amenities like 24-hour concierge service and gated estates drove prices to dizzying heights. Now, many find themselves needing to downsize in an increasingly glutted high-end market, which is falling so rapidly brokers say it's difficult to discern how listings should be priced.

Of course, not every finance chief is selling a home because of the crisis. But all sellers are pitching their homes in a changed world. "It's a terrible time to list right now," says Wilbur Gonzalez, of Brown Harris Stevens.

In early November, Scott Freidheim, former chief administrative officer at Lehman Brothers, put his just-purchased Greenwich, Conn., mansion up for sale for $13.75 million, according to Greenwich listing records. He and his wife bought it a year earlier for $12.4 million. The house is also for rent. The sale is tied to Mr. Freidheim's relocation to Chicago, where he is now executive vice president of operating and support businesses at Sears Holdings Corp., says his real-estate agent, Joe Barbieri, of Sotheby's International Realty..."

Madoff ruling ridicules justice system

Twenty-five years, $50 billion and a $10 million bail. In 25 years Bernard Madoff managed to create a Ponzi scheme of $50 billion, only to get off on a $10 million bail to live in his penthouse as he awaits his trial that he will likely delay for several years before he manages to hide all the money he made and pass it off to family and friends. Even after the FBI caught him mailing off envelopes of jewelry valuing over a million dollars, the judge still failed to revoke bail because the state “had not proven beyond a preponderance of evidence that Bernard Madoff could cause harm to the people around him or that he was a flight risk.” Not cause harm to the people around him? Madoff managed to bankrupt several major Jewish charities, short people as much as a billion dollars, and even lead a man who lost everything to commit suicide in France. The “Chanukah present” jewelry he sent out so it could not be confiscated was worth millions. Millions that could go to repay those who have lost their fortunes or restart charities that have failed. This scandal has shown us what a joke our criminal justice system is, and how it ignores the big guy while hitting hard on small crime.

So what exactly did Madoff do? To keep it simple, he went to Peter, John and Mary and said I'll invest your money. He sent them fake reports, telling them they all made 11 to 15 percent profit on what he invested. John had an economic problem, and needed to divest his funds. Madoff then used the money Peter paid him to pay off John, plus a little of Mary's money too. John was more than satisfied, and went to Joe, Mike and Bill and told them about his profits. They all gave their money to Madoff, who kept most of the money to himself and kept reserves if anyone divested their funds, continuing to send out false profit reports, even during economic turmoil. In the end, Madoff walked off with $50 billion. The Securities and Exchange Commission paid no attention to the fact that Madoff was reporting profit even during recessions, and to tipsters who noticed something wrong with Madoff. It was not until his own sons turned him in this December did we find out the largest investment firm was a hoax. Madoff's total “investments” were $50 billion.

~ more... ~

Urban radicalism in Europe & terrorism

Urban radicalism in Europe as portrayed by the recent riots in Athens is a constant worry of the European security services, since there is ample evidence of wider connections between radicals and terrorists.

There are two major themes to be looked upon. Firstly the relationship between the extreme-leftist terrorist groups that operate in the so-called "Mediterranean axis" - France, Italy, Greece and Spain - and secondly, the connection of these groups to Islamic extremists.

The radical - anarchist movement in Europe is pretty strong and well organized with thousands of loyal supporters. Back in 2005, the riots in Paris proved that the radicals and second-generation Muslim immigrants in France were able to form the political agenda of that time, although they were not successful in preventing Sarkozy's ascendance to power 18 months later.

In June 2008, the French authorities and in particular the Direction générale de la sécurité extérieure (French Directorate-General for External Security or DGSE) announced that French anarchists were behind the attempted sabotage of the TGV railway, that if successful could have killed hundreds of people. It was also revealed that the anarchist group labeled "The Invisible Cell" was in contact with other Italian and Greek groups over the previous period.

The French paper "Journal Du Dimanche" in a recent article entitled "Towards an International Ultra-Left in Europe," described a pan-European radical network strongly rooted in the European Mediterranean countries. Also, one of the French anarchists that had been arrested in connection with the railway incident was also apprehended by the Greek police in 2007 when he participated in violent clashes in the city of Thessaloniki.

In Italy, the local press revealed in 2006 that the remains of the Red Brigades were forming a strategy of collaboration with Islamists in order to create a common front against Western capitalism. The information came after the Italian intelligence services tapped the phones of the Italian terrorist group shortly before the group was about to launch new attacks.

In the same country, popular youth radical magazines such as "Voce" propagate with great enthusiasm the works of Hizballah and Hamas. It is also public knowledge that radical NGOs across continental Europe support illegal immigration into Europe and express a great interest in attacking any traditional aspects of contemporary Western civilization and culture.

~ more... ~

[ via International Analyst Network ]

About 70 contract killings done in Greece a year: Skai radio

Athens.  There is a huge boom of crime in Greece, the Greek Skai radio informs. In the frames of only 20 days 11 cold-blooded killings were committed. 6 kidnappings and hundreds of robberies and thefts had happened for a period of 6 months, while citizens see the situation getting more and more out of control every other day.

The fact that only for 24-hours after the kidnapping of the tycoon Periklis Panagopoulos at least 10 serious crimes were registered, is showing enough, the radio comments.

According to the police, new forms of crime have emerged since the 1990s, which could be to a certain extent explained with the opening of the border and the entrance of illegal immigrants.

The information further mentions that about 70 contract killings are done per year in Greece.

~ FOCUS Information Agency ~

Greece: 'Remember, remember 6 December'

Helena smith reports in New Statesman:

Happy New Fear

15 Jan, 2009

Sick of a corrupt political elite, young Greeks continue to take to the streets. Their words of rage echo through the capital

If painted slogans could tell the story of a city, then, at present, that city would be Athens. Like most things in the Greek capital, graffiti arrived late. But when it did come, it erupted with a vengeance, leaping from street corner to street corner and pillar to pillar, exhorting anyone whose eyes might skim it to “fuck authority” and “bring down the system” and “kill the rich”.

This was long before early December, when Epaminondas Korkoneas, a special guard seconded to the police, allegedly shot dead Alexis Grigoropoulos, a tousle-haired teenager, plunging Greece into an orgy of violence not seen since the collapse of military rule in 1974. And long before thousands of rock-throwing students and schoolchildren took to the streets in protest.

But like so many others, I failed to see the warning signs, to read the writing on the walls. Now words of rage are everywhere, splashed across buildings, banners, hoardings and road signs. In squares, streets and boulevards, passers-by are told that "Athens is burning", that "Cops are murderers and pigs", and urged to "Remember, remember 6 December", the day young Grigoropoulos died from a bullet to his chest, the day "the uprising was born". Self-styled anarchists have sprayed one word across the four pillars of Athens University's ornate neoclassical façade: XAOS (chaos).

On 5 January, gunmen pumped 40 bullets into a 21-year-old policeman standing guard outside the culture ministry - a brazen attack, conducted in broad daylight, that has fueled fears of a resurgence of domestic terrorism. Four days later, when Eastern Orthodox Christians had barely celebrated Epiphany, thousands of student protesters again took to the streets. Fresh clashes erupted between Molotov cocktail-wielding youths and police and, in a sign of the union unrest also gathering pace, farmers erected roadblocks on highways nationwide.

On 12 January, as anti-terror police intensified their hunt for those who had attacked the police guard a week earlier, Pericles Panagopoulos, a prominent Greek shipping tycoon, was also targeted by gunmen. He was abducted with his driver - who was later released unharmed - as he travelled to his office along the Athenian Riviera. A ransom of ?40m has reportedly been demanded.

The euphoria that enveloped Athens during the 2004 Olympic Games seems a long way away. Pessimism, like the acrid tear gas that has become so commonplace, hangs heavily in the air. For politicians, who have been left speechless by the intensity of the protests, the destruction they have wreaked and the discontent they have exposed, the new year could not have begun more ominously.

At no time in the past two decades of reporting from Greece have I encountered such despondency. The shooting of 15-year-old Grigoropoulos ignited the wrath of a nation that has never had much time for the police, but it was also the flame that lit the inferno. The country is a tinderbox. Its state apparatus, institutions and political and ecclesiastical elite - ossified and corrupt, archaic and scandal-ridden - no longer inspire confidence or trust.

As I write, workers are planning yet more mass strikes over fiscal policies that have brought many to their knees; far-left groups are readying for rallies; children are moving to take over schools; university students are announcing sit-ins, and employees are occupying factories. And the global financial and economic crisis hasn't reached these parts yet: Greeks know that with their public sector labouring under unprecedented debt, and their economy so dependent on tourism, things are likely to get a lot worse before they get better.

The ruling conservatives, already clinging to power with a parliamentary majority of one, also know this, because they understand that the young and disenfranchised - those behind the protests - have nothing to lose.

The generations who worked to re-establish democracy after civil war, decades of authoritarian right-wing rule and, in 1974, the end of military dictatorship, had dreams for a better Greece. In many ways these dreams have been shattered. But younger Greeks, who have seen their parents exhaust themselves to educate them, who have laboured through private language schools and college education and are now finding themselves jobless and struggling to make ends meet, aren't going to give up so easily.

"All my life I have only known scandals and corruption with nobody ever paying the price," 25-year-old Fotini Papadopoulos told me as we marched together through the centre of Athens. "It's sickening. My parents own a kiosk in a rural town. My mother wasn't allowed to go to college because her father said it would turn her into a slut, so I worked hard to go to university, to study psychology, to fulfil her dreams. Now, without connections, I have no chance of getting a decent job. Please write that it's people like me who personify what is going on here."

In the absence of any credible alternatives in a political system that appears increasingly blocked, young Greeks say the street is the only place where they can "fight and be heard".

Whether their protests will morph into an organised movement of civil unrest is anyone's guess. What is certain is that Greece's children have been surprised by their own runaway success. "We won't sit quietly," says another slogan. "Merry Crisis and a Happy New Fear."

Helena Smith is the Guardian's Athens correspondent

Greek far-left group threatens police, calls for armed uprising

Greek far-left outfit Revolutionary Struggle on Thursday threatened fresh attacks on police after two hits in which a young policeman was injured and called for an armed uprising to overthrow capitalism.

In an eight-page manifesto published in Greek weekly Pontiki, the elusive group considered Greece's most dangerous extremist organisation said it fired on police to avenge the fatal shooting of a teenager by an officer last month.

"We respond to bullets with bullets ... from now on, we can only defend with arms the value of human life of the poor, the outcasts, the damned," it said.

The death of 15-year-old Alexander Grigoropoulos on December 6 sparked a wave of violence unseen in Greece for decades. Young protestores battled police across the country and hundreds of stores were vandalised, which the group said was "a good message for what is to follow."

"Society is a boiling cauldron. The cop's bullet sparked a long-awaited social conflagration which heralds even wider uprisings.

"For the first time in many decades, a path opens ... to overthrow the political and economic system," the manifesto said.

"Are we going to let capitalism overcome the crisis or are we going to overthrow it?" it said.

Best known for firing an anti-tank rocket at the US embassy in Athens in 2007, Revolutionary Struggle said the attacks on police also came in reprisal for a long tradition of unpunished brutality to protesters and migrants.

"The cop who aimed at and killed 15-year-old Alexander Grigoropoulos gave the coup-de-grace to a dying social tolerance towards the countless crimes of organised political and economic power," the group said.

The manifesto is considered authentic, a police source said.

The group said two of its members on January 5 ambushed a police patrol behind the Greek culture ministry and seriously injured policeman Diamantis Matzounis, 21, who is still hospitalised after multiple surgery.

A fortnight earlier, Revolutionary Struggle said it had fired shots at a riot police van that missed the 23 officers on board.

~ more... ~

Actions report from Greece


More than 270 people have been arrested in connection to actions, since the beginning of the insurrection, on December 6th, in 15 cities. 67 of them have been detained, while 50 immigrants that were arrested the first 3 days, were rapidly condemned to 18 months of imprisonment and are being deported. 19 arrestees in Larissa face charges under the anti-terrorist law. Countless of people were brought to the police departments but were released with no charges in the end.

On Saturday 17/01 there will be a nationwide demonstration in Larissa, for solidarity to the arrestees.

One person has been arrested and detained since yesterday in Thessaloniki. He is being accused for explosion (felony) and for organising a gang (minor offence, luckily not connected with the anti-terrorist law), related to the effort for arson for a police department. There was a solidarity demonstration, on Tuesday night, outside the Police Headquarters, where he is kept. He is going in front of the Interrogator and the Public Prosecutor on Thursday noon.

Liberated spaces

The building of the Journalists' Union is still occupied by young people and employees in the media. In solidarity to the revolt of December, they also focus on employment problems, pushing the mainstream media for alternative coverage of the actions, etc.

A municipality cafe on a central street of Zografou district, has been ocupied by antiauthoritarians, in order for it to function as an open space for counter-information, discussion and co-ordination of actions.

Solidarity to Konstantina Kouneva

Employees and workers from 27 first-grade unions, had a sit-in in the office of Evangelismos hospital, where Konstantinta Kouneva is being treated. This hospital is also using cleaning services by subcontracting agencies, similar to the one Konstantina was hired by.

The Worker Unions' Center in Volos, after having been occupied by activists for 2 days, was released in the morning. It was an action of solidarity to Konstantina Kouneva and the arrestees of the revolt in December.
*Konstantina Kouneva, a woman, immigrant and unionist, was violently attacked with acid on her face, due to her political action against the employers.

Universities and High schools

A lot of general student union meetings have been taking place in Universities all over Greece, 62 faculties are currently occupied, while many of others stay open, due to the support by the communist, the socialdemocrat and the pro-government student parties.

An education-wide demonstration will also take place on Thursday in many Greek cities.

Parents of a high-school in Pireas, protest against the authorities of the schools, who terrorise the students that took part in the school occupation in October, where a lot of students were beaten up and sent to court.

The students of the 3rd High-school of Ilioupolis, Athens, have occupied their school, against the decision of the teachers to move 4 students to another school and not allow another 5 to attend courses, for 5 days, as a punishment. They are also protesting for the surveilance cameras outside their school building.

Workers' struggles

120 people were sacked, last month, from the iron-nickel factory in Larimna.

3 people were fired from a local Athens TV station.

The employees of the water supply company in Thessaloniki are on a strike, staying in the building (despite being terrorized by their employers), making sure that there will be no problem with the water supply. . They are against the privatization of the company. the inner corruption and they ask for more personnel to be hired.

The Higher court decided for the second time against the construction of a mall in Eleonas.

War in Palestine

A demonstration for the war in Palestine is being organised for Saturday 17/1.

Arion, the ship of the Free Gaza movement, that transfers doctors and food towards the Gaza people, is threatened to be stopped by the Israeli authorities. The greek government and the mainstream media didn't pay attention to the issue.

Meanwhile, people, student unions and organizations of the left have mobilized for a demonstration on Thursday, in order to prevent transfer of US weapons towards Israel, through the private port of Astakos, on the Aegean Sea.

Mainstream Media reports

Mainstream media published the results of the official police ballistic report on Alexis Grigoropoulos' shooting, stating that the bullet hit a marble ball (functioning as a barrier in the edge of the sidewalk) which was next to Alexis, and then turned towards his body. Commentors think that this proves that the cop actually fired towards the young persons.

Mainstream media announced that the so-called "terrorist organisation" named "Revolutionary Struggle", (as it had been suspected by the police) issued a communique for the shooting against three police officers in Athens, resulting into the serious injury of one of them.

~ ~

Man to go cashless for a year

An economics graduate is about to begin a year-long mission to live without money.

Mark Boyle, 29, plans to put his potatoes where his mouth is and become the ultimate 'freeconomist' by ditching cash for 12 months.

He intends to live completely off the land and waste products he scrounges around his borrowed caravan at Timsbury, near Bath.

And he'll even use his very own composting toilet for good measure.

"I've been preparing a lot over the last couple of months, but the challenge will be the things I can't plan for - a broken arm, exhaustion or the worst case scenario, a family bereavement," he said.

"I suspect the most difficult thing will be socialising in a world that revolves around money. I'll be living on a day-to-day basis, hand to mouth, which means I'll never really know where my next meal comes from."

Mark plans to scour skips and other people's rubbish to find what he needs. He'll also make use of a scheme called Freecycle, a network of recycling enthusiasts; and Freeconomy which allows people to swap skills.

~ more... ~

Iran: Revolutionary inroads

Iason Athanasiadis explores America's quixotic and sometimes clumsy attempts to engineer non-violent regime change by promoting democracy in Iran.

Anahita was standing outside the McDonald's on Istanbul's bus-choked Taksim Square in the shimmering early morning sunlight, shaking her long tresses into the summer breeze. She had just arrived on a flight from Tehran, and a few hours later, she would board another aeroplane to her eventual destination: a clandestine conference for prominent dissident Iranian exiles in Prague.

The wind in her hair was a novel feeling for Anahita; in Iran, the law dictates that women must wear Islamic head-coverings in all public places. A committed feminist in her early 40s, Anahita had resisted the social pressure to get married by her mid-20s and, bucking traditional mores, she lived alone in an apartment set back from a busy motorway in east Tehran and poured all her energies into the student-dominated movement clamouring for women's rights.

In 2007, she endured a short stay in Section 209, the high-security ward inside Tehran's Evin Prison reserved for political prisoners; her crime was participating in a street demonstration broken up by the chador-clad, baton-wielding women of the Ministry of Interior's all-female police unit.

Anahita was released from prison without appearing in court, but an interrogator warned her that her case remained open. (Some names have been changed to protect Iranian sources.) Back on the streets of Tehran, her mobile phone produced strange sounds. Though she forfeited activism, her arrest raised her international profile. A discreet invitation was forwarded to her through a European contact in Tehran, making her the only activist from inside Iran to attend the Prague meeting. Anahita knew that if her presence was discovered by her government, she would likely be arrested and charged with espionage.

~ more... ~

White House e-mail in "true emergency conditions"

Magistrate judge orders search of all White House computers, grants plaintiffs' request for inventories and preservation of evidence

Washington, D.C., January 15, 2009 - The federal magistrate judge overseeing the White House e-mail litigation today said the issue had reached "true emergency conditions" with only "two business days before the new President takes office" and that "the importance of preserving the e-mails cannot be exaggerated," according to the court's Memorandum Opinion issued this morning along with an Order and posted on the National Security Archive website,

Magistrate Judge John Facciola formally ordered the White House to search all Executive Office of the President components' workstations and portable media for possibly missing e-mail -- enforcing yesterday's order from U.S. District Judge Henry Kennedy -- after government lawyers at a hearing yesterday represented that they would only search those EOP components that create federal agency records and leave out offices that create presidential records.

Today's order also granted plaintiffs' requests that a full inventory of all backup tapes and portable media containing White House e-mail be delivered to the Archivist of the United States and filed with the court, and that the full administrative record and all other evidence related to the White House e-mail be preserved under the custody of the Archivist.

"From the outset, the White House has fought tooth and nail against having to preserve sources of missing e-mail as well as other evidence relating to this case," said Sheila Shadmand of Jones Day, counsel for the Archive.  "For the umpteenth time, this Court has commanded that they do so.  We expect they will yet again object to the terms of these Orders, when instead they should be busy complying with it.  The clock is running out."

The hearing yesterday before Magistrate Judge Facciola included representations from Justice Department attorney Helen Hong that the White House had spent $10 million on an e-mail restoration project that had located some 14 million e-mail that had not been counted in a 2005 analysis by White House staff.

~ more... ~


image from

Favorite Links

~325~ ~9-11...Who Really Did It~ ~10:10~ ~10 Zen Monkeys~ ~911 Truth~ ~13 Indigenous Grandmothers~ ~15O~ ~15th October~ ~Activist Post~ ~ACT UP~ ~Adbusters~ ~Aerogaz (greek)~ ~Afinity Project~ ~Aging Hipsters~ ~Alecto's Ophelia~ ~Al-Jazeera~ ~Alex Constantine's Blacklist~ ~Alliance for Human Research Protection~ ~All Things Cynthia McKinney~ ~All Things Pakistan~ ~Alternative Insight~ ~Alternative Press Review~ ~Alternet~ ~American Friends Service Committee~ ~American Street~ ~Anarkismo~ ~Andy Worthington~ ~Anglican Pacifist Fellowship~ ~Anomaly News Syndicate~ ~Another Day In The Empire~ ~AntiWar~ ~Antiwar League~ ~Anxiety Culture~ ~Appeal For Redress From The War In Iraq~ ~A Poetic Justice~ ~Artists Without Frontiers~ ~Art of Europe~ ~Arts And Letters Daily~ ~Attack the System~ ~Athens IMC~ ~Ballardian~ ~Black Box Voting~ ~BlackListed News~ ~Black Vault~ ~Blog Bioethics net~ ~Blog of the Unknown Writer~ ~Blondsense~ ~Boiling Frog~ ~Boiling Frogs Post~ ~BoingBoing~ ~Book Ninja~ ~Bookslut~ ~Bradley Manning Support Network~ ~Brand New Law~ ~Brainsturbator~ ~Bring Them Home Now~ ~Bruce Eisner's Vision Thing~ ~Buckminster Fuller Institute~ ~Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists~ ~Bureau of Public Secrets~ ~Business & Human Rights Resource Centre~ ~Buzzflash~ ~Campaign For Real Farming~ ~Catapult the Propaganda~ ~Campus Antiwar Network~ ~Cargo Culte~ ~Castan Centre for Human Rights Law~ ~Catch of the Day~ ~Censorship Paradise~ ~Center for Media and Democracy~ ~Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Afghanistan~ ~Centre for Research and Action for Peace~ ~Center on Law and Security~ ~Chapati Mystery~ ~Choike~ ~Chronicle of Higher Education~ ~Church of the FSM~ ~CIA & Drugs~ ~Citizens for Legitimate Government~ ~Citizens for Tax Justice~ ~Clandestina~ ~CODEPINK~ ~Coilhouse mag~ ~Collateral Murder~ ~Common Dreams~ ~Complete 9/11 Timeline~ ~Concerned Africa Scholars~ ~Connexions~ ~Conspiracy Archive~ ~Contra Info~ ~Corrente~ ~COTO Report~ ~Coup d'Etat in America~ ~Countercurrents~ ~Crapaganda~ ~Create Real Democracy~ ~Creative-i~ ~Crimes of the State~ ~CrimethInc~ ~Crisis Group~ ~Critical Legal Thinking~ ~Cronache da Mileto (Italian)~ ~Crooks and Liars~ ~Crowd Modelling~ ~Cryptoforestry~ ~Cryptome~ ~Cyclos~ ~Culture Change~ ~Cutting Through The Matrix~ ~Cyrano's Journal~ ~Daily What~ ~Damn Interesting~ ~Dangerous Minds~ ~Deliberative Democracy Consortium~ ~Democracy Center~ ~Democracy Journal~ ~Democracy Now~ ~Democratic Underground~ ~Detournement~ ~Digital Rights [greek lang.]~ ~Diplomacy Lessons~ ~Direct Power!~ ~Discoveries-Researchings-Visions-Understandings-Enlightenments~ ~Disinformation~ ~DistributorCap NY~ ~Dr Hugo Heyrman-Motions of the Mind~ ~Dylanology~ ~EAGAINST~ ~Earthnocentric~ ~Eco Tort~ ~Ectoplasmosis!~ ~Educate Yourself~ ~E-Flux~ ~Electronic Frontier Foundation~ ~Electronic Intifada~ ~Eliminate War Forever~ ~End Evil~ ~Energy Bulletin~ ~Eradicating Ecocide~ ~EROCx1 Blog~
~Europeanrevolution~ ~European Revolution~ ~Eurozine~ ~Exposing the Truth~ ~Extinction Protocol: 2012 and beyond~ ~Families of the Fallen for Change~ ~Fellowship of Reconciliation~ ~Financial Armageddon~ ~FKN Newz~ ~Food For Your Eyes~ ~Forward the Revolution~ ~Franchot's Band~ ~Free Bloggers in Greece~ ~Free Expression Network~ ~Free Press International~ ~Freethinking for Dummies~ ~Free Thought Manifesto~ ~From the Wilderness~ ~F-t-W's Peak Oil Blog~ ~G1000~ ~Ghostdancing in Venice~ ~GIMP~ ~Gilles Duley~ ~Global Guerillas~ ~Global Integrity~ ~Global Policy Forum~ ~Global Revolution~ ~Global Security Institute~ ~Global Voices Online~ ~Gold Star Families for Peace~ ~Government Dirt~ ~Greek Alert [greek lang.]~ ~Greek Assembly in London~ ~Green Left Weekly~ ~Groklaw~ ~Hack Democracy~ ~Hakim Bey and Ontological Anarchy~ ~Hiroshima Peace Institute~ ~History Is A Weapon Blog~ ~How Appealing~ ~How To Vanish~ ~Human Rights Law Review~ ~I Can't Believe It's Not a Democracy!~ ~Idler~ ~Impropaganda~ ~Independent Media Center~ ~INIREF~ ~Institute for Media Peace and Security~ ~International Action Center~ ~International ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism)~ ~In These Times~ ~Information Clearing House~ ~Information Liberation~ ~Infoshop~ ~Institute for Policy Studies~ ~Institute for War and Peace Reporting~ ~Insurgent American~ ~Intel Hub~ ~International Labor Rights Forum~ ~Intrinsic Impact~ ~Invisible History~ ~Iraq Citizens Against the War~ ~Iraq Freedom Congress~ ~Iraq Veterans Against the War~ ~Irish Peace Institute~ ~Issues and Alibis~ ~James Howard Kunstler~ ~Jesus Radicals~ ~John Zerzan~ ~Jorgen Schäfer's Homepage~ ~JUST~ ~Just For The Love Of It~ ~Justice Not Vengeance~ ~Kasama Project~ ~Keep Talking Greece~ ~Kia Mistilis~ ~Kill Me If You Can by Bob Miller~ ~Killer Coke~ ~Labor Rights~ ~Labor Rights Now~ ~Labour Start~ ~Lava Cocktail~ ~Lemon Gloria~ ~Lemony Snicket~ ~L'ennui mélodieux~ ~Lessig~ ~Liberation Theology~ ~Libertarians for Peace~ ~Life After the Oil Crash~ ~Life & Peace Institute~ ~Lunch Street Party~ ~Lycaeum~ ~Links by George~ ~Literary Kicks~ ~Lubinproductions~ ~MacNN~ ~Mad Cow Morning News~ ~Manageable Ants~ ~Mario Profaca's Cyberspace Station~ ~Maro Kouri~ ~Maud Newton~ ~May it Please the Court~ ~McSpotlight~ ~Medical Foundation for the Care of Victims of Torture~ ~Metta Center for Nonviolence~ ~Metanoia~ ~Michael Moore - Must Read~ ~Mind Control~ ~Military Families Speak Out~ ~Mind in Peace (greek)~ ~Miss Welby~ ~MK Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence~ ~Molly's Blog~ ~Mother Jones~ ~MungBeing Magazine~ ~n +1 mag~ ~National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee~ ~Natural Farming~ ~Neatorama~ ~Neuromarketing~ ~Neurosecurity~ ~New Internationalist~ ~News Dissector~ ~News Frames~ ~News Making News~ ~News Now~ ~New Tactics in Human Rights~ ~New World Dawning~ ~NEXUS~ ~NFAK~ ~Nomadic Academy Of Fools~ ~Non Fides~ ~Noor Images~ ~Not In Our Name~ ~Not Stupid~ ~Nuclear Resister~ ~NUTOPIA2~ ~[Occupy] 2012 Scenario~ ~Occupy America Social Network~ ~OCCUPY Cafe~ ~Occupy Istanbul~ ~Occupy Together~ ~Occupy Together Field Manual~ ~OWS~ ~Occupy Writers~ ~October 2011~ ~Odious Debts~ ~ODYS~ ~Olmaz~ ~On the Path to 2012~ ~Op Ed News~ ~Open Letters to George W. Bush from his ardent admirer,Belacqua Jones~ ~Open Revolt!~ ~Open Source Ecology~ ~Orthodox Peace Fellowship~ ~Orwell Today~ ~Outlaw Journalism~ ~OWNI~ ~Patriots Question 9/11~ ~Peace in Mind (greek)~ ~PeaceJam~ ~Peace Now~ ~Peaceful Tomorrows~ ~Peak Moment~ ~People's Assemblies Network~ ~Peter Frase~ ~Photography is Not a Crime~ ~Picture the Homeless~ ~Pieman~ ~Places the U.S. has bombed~ ~Pogo Was Right - privacy news~ ~Political ~Post Carbon Institute~ ~Praxis Peace Institute~ ~Primate Poetics~ ~Prisoner Solidarity~ ~Professors question 9/11~ ~Project Camelot~ ~Project Censored~ ~Project for the Old American Century~ ~Project on Corporations, Law and Democracy~ ~Psyche, Science and Society~ ~Psychogeography~ ~Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility~ ~Radical Anthropology~ ~Rainbow Family~ ~RawStory~ ~Reality Sandwich~ ~Real Democacy GR~ ~Real Democracy ~Rebel Dog~ ~Reflections on a Revolution~ ~Reporters Without Borders~ ~Re-public~ ~Resistance Studies Magazine~ ~Resource Based Economy Foundation~ ~Re-volt Radio~ ~Richard Heinberg's Museletter~ ~Rockefeller's War on Drugs~ ~Ruckus Society~ ~Sacred Texts~ ~Salon~ ~Save Orphan Works~ ~Scholars and Rogues~ ~Scoop~ ~SCOTUS Blog~ ~Secrecy News~ ~Service Academy Graduates Against the War~ ~Shadow Government Statistics~ ~Signs of the Times News~ ~Slovenia Peace Institute~ ~Smirking Chimp~ ~smygo~ ~SNU Project~ ~Soil And Health Library~ ~SourceWatch~ ~Speaking Truth to Power~ ~Spirit Horse Foundation~ ~Spunk~ ~Squattastic~ ~Starhawk~ ~Stockholm International Peace Research Institute~ ~StopCartel TV-GR~ ~Stop The Arms Fair~ ~Stop the ~Strangers in a Tangled Wilderness~ ~Students Against War~ ~Survival Acres~ ~Survival International~ ~Swan's Commentary~ ~Take The Square~ ~Tangible Information~ ~Tax Justice Network~ ~Tax Research UK~ ~Theatre of the Oppressed~ ~The Black Commentator~ ~The Black Vault~ ~The Borowitz Report~ ~The Carpetbagger Report~ ~The Center for Public Integrity~ ~The Daily Reckoning~ ~The Dark Age Blog~ ~The Digger Archives~ ~The End of Being~ ~The Guardian~ ~The Hidden Evil~ ~The Huffington Post~ ~The Intelligence Daily~ ~The Lazy Man's Guide To Enlightenment~ ~The Mountain Sentinel~ ~The Nation~ ~The National Security Archive~ ~The New Z-Land Project~ ~The Other Israel~ ~The Pathology Guy~ ~The Progress Report~ ~The Progressive Magazine~ ~The Real News~ ~The Situation Room~ ~The Truth Seeker~ ~ The Watcher Files~ ~Think Progress~ ~Third World Traveller~ ~This Land Is Ours~ ~This Modern World~ ~TomDispatch~ ~Total Collapse~ ~Total Dick-Head~ ~Transform!~ ~Transnational Institute~ ~Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research~ ~True Democracy~ ~Troops Out Now~ ~True Democracy Party~ ~Truthdig~ ~Truth News~ ~Truthout~ ~TW3 and fotografia la dolce vita~ ~Uncommon Thought~ ~United for Peace & Justice~ ~United States Institute of Peace~ ~Unknown News~ ~UNPA Campaign~ ~Urbanibalism~ ~US Labor Against the War~ ~VBS TV~ ~Veterans Against the Iraq War~ ~Veterans for Peace and Justice~ ~Video Rebel's Blog~ ~Vietnam Veterans Against the War~ ~Virusmyth - Rethinking AIDS~ ~visionOntv~ ~Voices for Creative Non-Violence~ ~Void Network~ ~Voice Memo~ ~Voters for Peace~ ~Waging Nonviolence~ ~Waking the Midnight Sun~ ~Want To Know~ ~War Costs~ ~War Crimes and Military Improprieties~ ~War Criminals Watch~ ~War on Society~ ~War is Illegal~ ~War Resisters International~ ~War Resisters League~ ~Was Jack Kerouac a Punjabi?~ ~Watergate Exposed~ ~West Point Graduates Against The War~ ~What Really Happened~ ~What’s On My Food?~ ~Why Work? Creating Livable Alternatives to Wage Slavery~ ~Wikileaks~ ~WikiLeaks Central~ ~Wild Wild Left~ ~willyloman~ ~Winning Cancer~ ~Win Without War~ ~Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)~ ~Wonkette~ ~World Prout Assembly~ ~Worldwide Hippies~ ~Yes Lab~ ~Yippie Museum~ ~Young Protester~ ~Youth Against War and Racism (YAWR)~ ~Zapatistas~ ~Zine Library~ ~Zippy Elder-at-Large~ ~ZMag~
~ Thank you for visiting Circle of 13 ~


This blog may contain videos with copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.