Monday, May 11, 2009

How tax havens helped to create a crisis

By Sol Picciotto (Financial Times)

5 May, 2009

Banks employ large teams of highly paid people to devise transactions mainly for the purpose of avoiding tax. These activities seem to be far more profitable than the humdrum business of managing payments and channelling savings towards investment. Why?

The answer shows the close link between tax avoidance and the speculation that has fuelled financial instability for 30 years. There were clearly other causes of the current crisis but the faults of the international tax system were a big contributory factor.

International tax co-ordination depends on treaties based on a model devised 80 years ago. To prevent double taxation, the treaties generally give governments the right to tax returns from an investment in the investor's country of residence. Business profits, meanwhile, are taxable in the “source” country where the activity takes place.

But for most of the past century, international investment was dominated by multinational corporations, which could choose the location of their sources of funds and organise their affiliates' capital structures. This enabled them to devise techniques to ensure that they were not taxed unfairly, as they saw it, exploiting ambiguities in the concepts of residence and source using legal entities formed in convenient jurisdictions. Such methods were also pioneered, with rather less legitimacy, by wealthy people resentful of high income taxes.

The relaxation and final abandonment of exchange controls in the 1970s led to the blossoming of “offshore” finance and a boom in tax havens. These depend on both outright tax evasion and the exploitation of grey areas by tax avoidance. Since large multinationals are as much financial as business entities, they have freedom to devise complex financial structures – financial institutions, such as banks, even more so: in recent separate surveys by the US Government Accountability Office and the Tax Justice Network, the largest user of tax havens in every country surveyed was a bank. Tax authorities have enormous problems puzzling out these structures. If they can, it is often hard to characterise them as shams.

The leading countries themselves are also host to major financial centres, from which most of these activities are directed. The revenue authorities in these countries, not least the US and the UK, have been cowed into accepting these activities for fear of losing finance business.

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And, from Lies, damned lies and tax haven nonsense

Something pernicious is going on in the undergrowth. British tax havens are trying to establish clear blue water between their activities and those of their commercial rivals in Austria, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg and Switzerland. This is based on lies. "We are transparent they say: we do not have banking secrecy and we have signed up to tax information exchange agreements that meet the OECD standard."

Let's nail this nonsense before it goes any further. The British tax havens do not rely on banking secrecy, because they use a far more secretive mechanism for protecting their tax evading clients. This mechanism is called a trust. Trusts are a British common law entity which extend as far back as the Crusades to Palestine. But they have become the basis of highly abusive practices because they are not registered with any public authority and they are not required to reveal any information on public record. Trusts provide the underpinning for the British tax evasion industry, which is probably the largest in the world when you take account of all the British satellite tax havens on the Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories.

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How Obama's tax reforms could impact Microsoft's bottom line

By Todd Bishop (Tech Flash)

10May, 2009

President Obama's proposal to overhaul U.S. tax policy on international profits, unveiled last week, has raised objections from big companies that would end up paying considerably more in taxes under the plan. One is Microsoft, whose financial statements provide a case study in the benefits and drawbacks of the current system.

Microsoft in its 2008 fiscal year reduced its effective tax rate by 7 percent, or more than $1.6 billion, as a result of foreign earnings taxed at lower rates, according to its latest annual report. That and other factors cut Microsoft's tax bill to $6.1 billion last year, on $23.8 billion in pre-tax income. That's an effective tax rate of less than 26 percent, compared with the U.S. statutory rate of 35 percent.

By comparison, five years earlier, Microsoft trimmed only 1 percent from its tax bill as a result of international earnings. The subsequent increase in tax savings accompanied an overall jump in Microsoft's business overseas. But the company also was among those listed on a recent Government Accountability Office report on large U.S. corporations with subsidiaries in notorious tax havens.

The debate hinges on policies that let companies with international operations avoid higher U.S. tax rates by reinvesting their foreign earnings overseas.

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Atlantic nuclear submarine accident


A TMS interview with Jan Oberg, Founder of the Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Research (TFF), about the Nuclear Submarine collision in the Atlantic Ocean, 3-4 February.

~ Source: The Transnational Foundation for Peace and Future Reseach ~

Prosecution of Bush Six back on

The Daily Beast's Scott Horton reports that a judge in Spain decided today that an investigation of Bush officials involved in torture policy will go forward and can lead to prosecution.

In a ruling in Madrid today, Judge Baltasar Garzón has announced that an inquiry into the Bush administration's torture policymakers now will proceed to a formal criminal investigation. The ruling came as a jolt following the recommendation of Spanish Attorney General Cándido Conde-Pumpido against proceeding with a criminal inquiry, which was reported in The Daily Beast on April 16.

Judge Garzón previously initiated and handled investigations involving Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, Argentine “Dirty War” strategist Adolfo Scilingo and Guatemalan strongman José Efraín Ríos Montt, often over the objections of the Spanish attorney general. His case against Pinochet gained international attention when the Chilean general was apprehended in England on a Spanish arrest warrant. Scilingo was extradited to Spain and is now serving a sentence of 30 years for his role in the torture and murder of some 30 people, several of whom were Spanish citizens.

Now, Garzón has announced a preliminary criminal inquiry into the Bush administration torture policy, specifying the evidence that a crime had been perpetrated against Spanish subjects, but not yet specifying the specific targets of the investigation. Judge Garzón's decision revealed a deep engagement with documents which had been released in Washington in the last two weeks, particularly a group of memoranda prepared by lawyers in the Bush Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, a report of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and a memo released by the Senate Intelligence Committee, making it likely that he would focus on the authors of the torture memoranda and other lawyers who worked with them.

The OLC memoranda gave a green light to the use of techniques such as waterboarding, hypothermia, stress positions, sleep deprivation of as much as 11 days, and confinement in a coffin-like environment with stinging insects in exploitation of a prisoner's phobias with respect to specific prisoners, demonstrating that the lawyers had been deeply engaged in the process of application of torture techniques and not merely giving abstract legal guidance. The Senate Armed Services Committee report provided a detailed chronology of the process of formulation of policy respecting the treatment of prisoners, with a special focus on the introduction of torture techniques. The Senate Intelligence Committee memo detailed the steps leading to issuance of the OLC memos and identified the Justice Department lawyers and others involved in the process. Garzón noted, they "reveal what had previously been mere conjecture: namely an authorized and systematic program for the torture and mistreatment of persons denied their freedom without any charge whatsoever and without the rights the law grants any detainee."

Garzon's investigation focuses on charges of conspiracy to introduce and implement a regime of torture at the detention facilities at Guantánamo in Cuba, where five prisoners investigated by Garzón were held. Four of the prisoners have now filed claims with Garzón in which they press charges that they were tortured during their captivity and their claims were validated at least to some extent by a June 2006 ruling of the Spanish Supreme Court, which overturned a conviction on the grounds that it was secured with evidence gathered through torture. The case has been pending since the time of their turnover from U.S. authorities with Judge Garzón, who has attempted to prosecute the five under counterterrorism statutes.

Garzón is also seeking to have the criminal complaint of a Spanish human-rights organization against the Bush Six—six top Bush administration officials—recently reassigned by the chief judge of the Audiencia Nacional to Judge Eloy Velasco, referred back to him for purposes of consolidation with his new preliminary investigation.

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What do you mean, "It's a free country?"

From Hope is poison of the will in the face of fear

by Herb Ruhs, MD (Unknown News)     

1 May, 2009

Out of a sense of decency for the mental suffering of those who may read my words, I have maintained authorial silence in the face of the now iconic "first hundred days." I am tempted to twist the oft repeated lefty bad joke about the new boss and say, "Meet the first hundred
days, same as the last hundred days." Not exactly the same of course. We can never step in the same polluted stream twice. At least until time travel comes.

But to a first approximation, the first hundred days of Obama are similar enough to the last hundred days of Bush to pass for identical at an appropriate distance. Sure there have been some heart warming reversals of key cruel policies, and for the aid these changes have brought to the needy and suffering we give thanks, but we are still at war using massive weapons against innocent civilians, we are still watching our treasury being actively looted, the military budget is still growing, houses continue to be repossessed by the same banks that are draining the treasury and condemning our children and grandchildren to perennial debt peonage, organized criminal syndicates are still operating with impunity in the US and around the world essentially unmolested, military recruiters are still wooing early teens into the military like so many serial pederasts (my personal favorite example of legalized child abuse), but ...

Oh hell! Anyone with a modicum of intelligence could make a list a mile long of such abuses instituted by government at the behest of wealthy individuals and large corporations who have invested in their political futures by participating in the system of legalized bribery that we euphemistically call "campaign contributions." It is a big picture problem.

Here at the one hundred and first day of the Obama administration I think it is time to begin letting go of the denials that we have perfumed with hope, so we can stand the stench of our rotting minds. Hope is such a funny thing. The kind person never seeks to undermine a person's hope as they confront great challenges to their survival. But it is a mistake to generalize from the individual to the general public. For the general public, the custodian of  consensual reality, hope is often a poison of the collective will, a collective surrender in the face of fear, of the ability to test reality. For a people to undertake the future in a blinded condition is to ensure that disaster will strike.

The US population is locked in this state of agitated immobility. You can practically hear the mental gears grinding and shearing metal as people vainly try to incorporate their current experience with the propagandized myths that they have being fed their entire lives. What do you mean, "It's a free country?"

Our democracy has been leached away by a mass media that has no incentive to deal with substantial issues and controversies and every incentive to provoke the public to a condition of automatic emotional reactivity that is the social equivalent of a lobotomy.

But there is good news on the horizon. At some point, and for many, many people already, the damage caused by a government, a military, a corporate management elite and a mass media, all under the control of organized crime, will force folks to awake from their trance and start to think about how to confront the depth of corruption that we have allowed to develop.

One good sign is that, in some states at least, folks are beginning to dismantle the old political horse-trading system where red meat was regularly thrown to enough extreme interest groups to establish effective rule by coalitions of the insane coddled by a class of corrupt professional politicians. The awakening of the New England region to its humanistic traditions after a century of somnolence, as evidenced by the epidemic of marriage law reform at the moment, is heartening. The success of clean money campaigns in a number of states has brought enough ordinary people into representative government to have succeeded in making state governments the current beach head in the war to protect the civil and human rights that our thoroughly corrupt Federal government has rejected, along with much of the rest of the Constitution, with extreme prejudice.

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Greek offshore companies are more then 10,000 and dispose of EUR 500 bln

11 May, 2009 (FOCUS News Agency)

Athens. According to data of World Tax Justice Network Greek offshore companies are more then 10,000, Ta Nea informs.
“We know there are many offshore companies, which hide taxes or do not pay them. However, we do not have full information,” head of organization international sector John Christensen said for newspaper.

According to unofficial information losses for state incomes are at the amount of EUR 6 bln. Greek offshore companies dispose of about EUR 500 bln, Ta Nea informs.

Death in the Orchard of Eden

By Michael McCarthy, Environment Editor (The Independent)

8 May, 2009

In Biblical legend, it grew in the Garden of Eden. In reality, it grew wild in Kazakhstan. And now the world's original apple tree, the progenitor of all our modern apple varieties, is threatened with extinction.

It is one of nearly 50 trees, including the original apricot and the original walnut, which have become endangered in a belt of forests in Central Asia – a region home to more than 300 wild fruit and nut species, including, plum, cherry, and many other important food trees from which domesticated varieties are thought to descend.

In the past 50 years an estimated 90 per cent of these forests have been destroyed, and a new survey has pinpointed the threat to the very existence of many of the wild tree species they contain. The Red List of Trees of Central Asia identifies 44 tree species in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan as threatened with extinction.

Notable among them is Kazakhstan's wild apple, Malus sieversii, which scientists from the University of Oxford have recently judged to be the genetic progenitor of all domestic apples in cultivation today. (The name of Kazakhstan's former capital city is Almaty, which means "Father of Apples".)

It is thought that as the wild apples were domesticated and bred, they gradually spread westwards down the Silk Road, the great trading highway for camel caravans which linked Asia to the Middle East and ultimately Europe, and that this process was repeated with other fruits and nuts. It happened with the wild apricot, Armeniaca vulgaris, from which all the current varieties of apricot stem – 6,000-year-old apricot seeds have been discovered during archaeological excavations in the region – and the wild walnut, Juglans regia. Both of these species are now to be found on the Red List.

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Failures Of U.S. Foreign Policy - January 2009

United States foreign policy after World War II often failed to accomplish its objectives and behaved counterproductive. Force replaced diplomacy. Military solutions trampled negotiations. Counter-insurgency produced insurgents. The U.S. identified anti-communism as its principal guide to foreign policy during the Cold War, but similar policies continued after the Soviet Union's collapse and disintegration.

U.S. foreign policy in Europe during the Cold War has been considered successful. However, a comprehensive review of American foreign policy towards countries in other regions and in different eras, including post Cold War Europe, expose a consistent lack of statesmanship, ineffective methods of diplomacy and a disposition to use military force. Regarded as the winner of the Cold War, the U.S. has been excluded from socio-economic blocs. An ever-enlarging European Union, a Latin America Mercour, which is composed of more radical and less-friendly regimes to the U.S., and an Association of Southeast Asian nations plus three (ASEAN +China, Japan, South Korea), in which China is gaining a dominant role, are challenging U.S. political hegemony and economic leadership.

If the presentation appears one-sided, it is because U.S. administration policies have been one-sided and have exhibited patterns that caused international catastrophes. Interference in internal affairs of nations and direct American military involvement have not brought peace and stability to the world.

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Balochistan is the ultimate prize

From REBRANDING THE LONG WAR, Part 2

By Pepe Escobar (Asia Times)

PART 1: Obama does his Bush impression

It's a classic case of calm before the storm. The AfPak chapter of Obama's brand new OCO ("Overseas Contingency Operations"), formerly GWOT ("global war on terror") does not imply only a surge in the Pashtun Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). A surge in Balochistan as well may be virtually inevitable.

Balochistan is totally under the radar of Western corporate media. But not the Pentagon's. An immense desert comprising almost 48% of Pakistan's area, rich in uranium and copper, potentially very rich in oil, and producing more than one-third of Pakistan's natural gas, it accounts for less than 4% of Pakistan's 173 million citizens. Balochs are the majority, followed by Pashtuns. Quetta, the provincial capital, is considered Taliban Central by the Pentagon, which for all its high-tech wizardry mysteriously has not been able to locate Quetta resident "The Shadow", historic Taliban emir Mullah Omar himself.

Strategically, Balochistan is mouth-watering: east of Iran, south of Afghanistan, and boasting three Arabian sea ports, including Gwadar, practically at the mouth of the Strait of Hormuz.

Gwadar - a port built by China - is the absolute key. It is the essential node in the crucial, ongoing, and still virtual Pipelineistan war between IPI and TAPI. IPI is the Iran-Pakistan-India pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline", which is planned to cross from Iranian to Pakistani Balochistan - an anathema to Washington. TAPI is the perennially troubled, US-backed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India pipeline, which is planned to cross western Afghanistan via Herat and branch out to Kandahar and Gwadar.

Washington's dream scenario is Gwadar as the new Dubai - while China would need Gwadar as a port and also as a base for pumping gas via a long pipeline to China. One way or another, it will all depend on local grievances being taken very seriously. Islamabad pays a pittance in royalties for the Balochis, and development aid is negligible; Balochistan is treated as a backwater. Gwadar as the new Dubai would not necessarily mean local Balochis benefiting from the boom; in many cases they could even be stripped of their local land.

To top it all, there's the New Great Game in Eurasia fact that Pakistan is a key pivot to both NATO and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Pakistan is an observer. So whoever "wins" Balochistan incorporates Pakistan as a key transit corridor to either Iranian gas from the monster South Pars field or a great deal of the Caspian wealth of "gas republic" Turkmenistan.

The cavalry to the rescue
Now imagine thousands of mobile US troops - backed by supreme air power and hardcore artillery - pouring into this desert across the immense, 800-kilometer-long, empty southern Afghanistan-Balochistan border. These are Obama's surge troops who will be in theory destroying opium crops in Helmand province in Afghanistan. They will also try to establish a meaningful presence in the ultra-remote, southwest Afghanistan, Baloch-majority province of Nimruz. It would take nothing for them to hit Pakistani Balochistan in hot pursuit of Taliban bands. And this would certainly be a prelude for a de facto US invasion of Balochistan.

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Does Echelon murder American scientists who challenge the special collection service?

Virginia McCullough (The Bay Cities Observer)

"Have I missed the  mark, or, like a true archer,  do I strike my mark?
Or am I a prophet of lies, a babbler from door to door?"
                                                      Cassandra, as reported by Agamemnon

In January of 1992 a committee investigating "Scientists and Human Rights in Guatemala" met with the Guatemalan Ambassador to the United States, Juan Jose Caso-Fanjul.  Among other concerns they expressed to him was their interest in seeing those responsible for the murder of  anthropologist Myrna Mack brought to justice.  Members of the committee gave the ambassador the committee's list of colleagues who were believed to have been killed for political reasons or who had simply disappeared.

One issue the committee addressed was "the attached list of 32 scientists, engineers, health professionals, and students of these disciplines, who are reported to have disappeared or have been murdered -- in some cases after being abducted".  [For the complete report please go to:  http://www.nap.edu/html/guat/mission.html ]

It would be very interesting to have just such a committee appointed to look into the kidnappings, disappearances and murders of scientists executed in the United States.  What type of outrage would be generated if just two of the murders connected to the Echelon technology could be examined?  Would there be justice for the family of Dr. Eric Rosskoss who was killed on June 29, 1990?  Would law enforcement suddenly find the killer of Alan David Standorf murdered in January of 1991?

This author was an associate and friend of investigative reporter, Joseph "Danny" Casolaro.  Danny was hot on the trail of what he called "The Octopus", an intricate web of black operations ranging from drugs-for-arms to pornography-for-control.  The common denominator was profit.  The gold and money was laundered through a variety of banks from Nugen Hand to BCCI, commonly called the Bank of Crooks and Criminals Inc.

Casolaro shared information with many reporters around the world and interviewed numerous CIA/DIA/DEA/NSA operatives in his quest for the truth.  He called me one evening and sounded very excited.  He said that he was going to meet a source at the Sheraton Inn in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  He claimed that the source was very close to Senator Byrd, the patron of the CIA.  He announced that this source was going to "give me [the solution to] the Inslaw case on a silver platter".

Two days later I received a call from a mutual friend who was crying.  She told me she had just talked with the owners of the Inslaw Corporation, Bill and Nancy Hamilton.  They were in shock and told her that Danny Casolaro had been found dead in his room at the Sheraton Inn.  His naked body was found in a bathtub filled with bloody water.  Both wrists had been slashed to the bone numerous times, drugs were found in his body, a 'suicide' note allegedly written in his own handwriting was found nearby.  His clothes were found neatly folded on the bed.  All of his countless files and reporter's notes were missing.  No files or paperwork was found in his car.  His body was embalmed before his family was notified as though someone was in a hurry to cover up a murder eventually labeled a suicide.   The vast majority of reporters who had worked with Danny believe to this day that Casolaro was executed by the very forces he was investigating.

The last person to see Danny Casolaro alive was a man named Bill Turner.  I interviewed Turner many times over the phone before he was arrested and jailed on phony bank robbery charges.  In one such interview, Turner told me that the only time he had seen the reporter depressed was in January of 1991, about six or seven months before his murder.  Turner said Danny was sad and told him that he had "lost a very important source" whose body was discovered "stuffed in the trunk of his car at the Washington Airport."

Pursuing that lead led to a conversation with Detective Joseph Young of the Airport Police.  Young acknowledged that a man named Alan David Standorf, 34, of Warrenton, Virginia, had been found in his car by an airport patrolman on January 29.  Young stated that Standorf had apparently been beaten to death several weeks earlier and his body was covered with luggage and personal effects.  Later Dr. Stephen Sheehy of the Medical Examiner's office in Northern Virginia would confirm that Standorf had died from a blunt force blow to the back of the head around January 4.

Police said that Standorf was a civilian employee at Vint Hill Farm, a military installation near Manassas, Virginia.  That facility is a US Army Information Systems Command Center that gathers electronic intelligence from spy satellites and other sources around the world.   It operates in top secrecy under the National Security Agency.  Standorf oversaw the repair and distribution of electronic equipment at Vint Hill.

Standorf's family stated that he had resigned from his civilian job the previous month because his Army Reserves had been called up for Persian Gulf War training at Fort Bragg, N.C.   Family members last saw him alive on December 28 and he was last seen alive by his landlady on January 2.

Standorf's mother would worry when Alan told her he might get out of military work to become a policeman.  Most of Standorf's military career has been spent in intelligence divisions around the world.  Alan's mother, Jeanette,  told him that a policeman's job was dangerous and her son responded, "What I do now is dangerous".

Within hours the Airport Police could or would no longer talk to reporters.  When told that Standorf had been a source to murdered Danny Casolaro, Lt. Norman Ford, of the airport police, said, "This is not strictly a police investigation anymore.  The government is involved too".  He acknowledged to this reporter that the FBI and Army authorities were working together with police from the airport and Martinsburg, West Virginia.  

It was later confirmed that Standorf and Casolaro had been meeting and copying documents in a hotel room in Martinsberg.  Someone did not appreciate their communicating and both men ended up murdered within the same year.  Did Echelon kill a reporter and the man working at Vint Hill?

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SAS 'assassinate' Taliban leader Mullah Noorullah

Mark Dodd (The Australian)

AUSTRALIAN special forces have taken part in a targeted assassination of a senior Taliban leader, an operation army commanders claim will disrupt the insurgents' campaign in southern Oruzgan.

Mullah Noorullah was killed in a combined operation involving coalition troops and Australian special forces, Defence said yesterday.

It did not say when Noorullah was killed but did say the incident occurred in Deh Rafshan district in southern Oruzgan, where the Australian Special Operations Task Group is based.

The SOTG tag is commonly used by defence as a synonym to describe elite Special Air Service operatives authorised to hunt and kill Taliban leaders in an Afghan variation on the Vietnam-era Phoenix Program.

The statement was vague about Noorullah's position within the Taliban hierarchy, but it claimed he had been involved in an April 12 attack on Australian reconstruction and mentoring soldiers, in which four insurgents were killed.

It was alleged the insurgent leader was implicated in other unspecified roadside bomb and rocket attacks against coalition forces.

Ten Australian soldiers have been killed in action in Afghanistan since 2001 and more than 60 wounded, many of them as a result of roadside bomb explosions.

Noorullah and one other insurgent were tracked moving into a tunnel system and then killed in a "targeted operation", Defence said.

"There were no civilian casualties resulting from the operation," it said.

Chief of Joint Operations Lieutenant-General Mark Evans said Noorullah's death would have a "degrading effect" on the Taliban's command and control ability.

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~ Source: Stop War.ca ~

'120 die' as US bombs village

Patrick Cockburn - The Independent

KABUL, May 7 - A misdirected US air strike has killed as many as 120 Afghans, including dozens of women and children. The attack is the deadliest such bombing involving civilian casualties so far in the eight years since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan.

Families in two villages in Farah province in western Afghanistan were digging for bodies in the ruins of their mudbrick houses yesterday. "There were women and children who were killed," said Jessica Barry, a Red Cross spokeswoman. "It seemed they were trying to shelter in houses when they were hit." Survivors said the number of dead would almost certainly to rise as the search for bodies continued...

US Marine Special Forces supporting the Afghan army apparently called in the air strike on Tuesday on two villages in Bala Baluk district after heavy fighting with the Taliban. Accounts by Afghans of high civilian casualties are often denied or dismissed by US officials. But a team from the Red Cross visited the scene of this attack. "There were bodies, graves, there were people burying bodies when we were there," said Ms Barry. She said a first aid worker for Afghanistan's Red Crescent died with 13 members of his family. "Dozens of dead bodies were seen in the two locations we went to." Rohul Amin, the provincial governor of Farah, told The Independent that "the dead numbered over 100". Villagers brought 30 bodies, including women and children, in a truck to Mr Amin in Farah City to prove it had happened...

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Massachusetts authorizes martial law in case of pandemic emergency

From Red Tide:

While Massachusetts residents were sleeping our Legislature rushed through a bill- in response to the recent Swine flu outbreak. This bill has been on the shelf but our state government felt this was the perfect time to slip this bill through. What is the big deal about the bill- S18? It gives the Governor power to authorize the deployment and use of force to distribute supplies and materials. It gives local authorities the permission to enter private residences for investigation and to quarantine individuals. Basically during an "emergency" our state can and will declare martial law; you lose your Constitutional rights.

This bill ('An Act Relative to Pandemic and Disaster Preparation and Response in the Commonwealth') has many disturbing facets.

I put these in general terms- read the full text of the bill here.

1. the state can enter your home or business without your permission ( they don't need a confirmed illness to enter)
2. the state can require you to take medications (vaccines, etc)
3. the state can destroy your property if it is contaminated.
3. the state can see your medical records without your consent.
4. the state can restrict your movements- not allow you to leave your home
5. the state can employ the national guard, state police, local police to force compliance.
6. the state will not punish those who report individuals for non-compliance (if it is done in good faith)

If you do not comply with these orders- you can be arrested or fined or both.

Fatal stabbing by Madrid fascist caught on surveillance camera

Surveillance cameras on the Madrid subway captured the brazen murder of Carlos Palomino at the hands of fascist Josué Estébanez.

Palomino was part of a crowd making their way to an anti-fascist demonstration. He approached his murderer, they exchanged words and he was stabbed in the heart. In the ensuing melee two others are injured. The fascist ran away from the scene but was caught by the mob in pursuit. A court has proposed a 30-year sentence. The video is available here.

G20 police 'used undercover men to incite crowds'

An MP who was involved in last month's G20 protests in London is to call for an investigation into whether the police used agents provocateurs to incite the crowds.

Liberal Democrat Tom Brake says he saw what he believed to be two plain-clothes police officers go through a police cordon after presenting their ID cards.

Brake, who along with hundreds of others was corralled behind police lines near Bank tube station in the City of London on the day of the protests, says he was informed by people in the crowd that the men had been seen to throw bottles at the police and had encouraged others to do the same shortly before they passed through the cordon.

Brake, a member of the influential home affairs select committee, will raise the allegations when he gives evidence before parliament's joint committee on human rights on Tuesday.

"When I was in the middle of the crowd, two people came over to me and said, 'There are people over there who we believe are policemen and who have been encouraging the crowd to throw things at the police,'" Brake said. But when the crowd became suspicious of the men and accused them of being police officers, the pair approached the police line and passed through after showing some form of identification.

Brake has produced a draft report of his experiences for the human rights committee, having received written statements from people in the crowd. These include Tony Amos, a photographer who was standing with protesters in the Royal Exchange between 5pm and 6pm. "He [one of the alleged officers] was egging protesters on. It was very noticeable," Amos said. "Then suddenly a protester seemed to identify him as a policeman and turned on him. He ­legged it towards the police line, flashed some ID and they just let him through, no questions asked."

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