As it has done daily since it assumed control of the air war and naval blockade against Libya on March 31, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on April 25 posted on its website a report on the number and nature of air missions flown by warplanes assigned to it over Libya the preceding day.
The North Atlantic Alliance flew 143 sorties on April 24, of which 62 were described as strike sorties; that is, air deployments involved in the dropping of bombs and firing of missiles. As of the above date, NATO aircraft had flown a total of 3,725 sorties and 1,550 strike sorties since the Western military bloc took command of the war against Libya from U.S. Africa Command’s Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn. By April 25 the figures had risen to almost 4,000 and over 1,600, respectively.
“Deficit terrorists” are gutting governments and forcing the privatization of public assets, all in the name of “deficit reduction.” But deficits aren’t actually a bad thing. In today’s monetary scheme, in which most money comes from debt, debt and deficits are actually necessary to have a stable money supply. The public debt is the people’s money.
Former Vice President Dick Cheney famously said, “Deficits don’t matter.” A staunch Republican, he was arguing against raising taxes on the rich; but today Republicans seem to have forgotten this maxim. They are bent on stripping social programs, privatizing public assets, and gutting unions, all in the name of “deficit reduction.”
WASHINGTON, Apr 26, 2011 (IPS) – Starting in late 2005, U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan began turning detainees over to the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS), despite its well-known reputation for torture.
Interviews with former U.S. and NATO diplomats and other evidence now available show that United States and other NATO governments become complicit in NDS torture of detainees for two distinctly different reasons.
The Federal Reserve is not going to push the economy into Zimbabwean hyperinflation. That’s pure bunkum. The Fed’s plan is to weaken the dollar to boost exports and to force China to let its currency appreciate to its fair-market value. The policy should help to lower the US’s bulging current account deficit. By purchasing $600 billion in US Treasuries (QE2), the Fed effectively reduces the supply of risk-free assets, which sends investors into riskier assets like stocks and commodities. Is there an element of class warfare in the policy?
International agencies, the nuclear industry and governments ignore important scientific data about the consequences of the 1986 nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. A screw up or a cover up? Authors of a new book, Chernobyl: Consequences of the Catastrophe for People and the Environment published by the New York Academy of Sciences say it was a massive cover up. They say that almost a million people worldwide died as a result of Chernonbyl — not 4,000 as officially claimed by the International Atomic Energy Agency and the World Health Organization. Book co-author, Professor Alexey V. Yablokov, Councilor of the Russian Academy of Sciences and former environmental advisor to Russian President Boris Yeltsin, tells Earth Focus that international organizations are ignoring scientific data published in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus, countries most severely affected by the fallout from Chernobyl, because of their links to the nuclear industry. Professor Yablokov and book editor, US toxicologist Janette Sherman, MD, book note that effects of Chernobyl continue to be felt today by countries as far away as Germany and the the United Kingdom. Wild boars harvested by hunters in Germany continue to be tested for radioactivity and restrictions are still in place on the movement, sale and supply of sheep in parts of the United Kingdom. Book authors say there is evidence that links exposure to radioactivity with diminished human intelligence, as recent studies with schoolchildren in Sweden indicate, as well as breaks in chromosomes that lead to devastating birth defects and mental handicaps. The effects of Chernobyl will last for seven generations or more.
Image by Roads Less Traveled Photography via Flickr
The disaster at Chernobyl’s reactor on April 26, 1986 continues to expose humans, flora and fauna to radioactive lethality especially in, but not restricted to, Ukraine and Belarus. Western countries continue to reflect an under-estimation of casualties by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).
IAEA’s figures top off at 4000 fatalities since 1986 that is highly questionable given IAEA’s conflict of interest between its role of promoting nuclear power and monitoring its safety. An agreement between the IAEA and the World Health Organization (WHO) provides for WHO’s deference to IAEA’s casualty figures which has compromised WHO’s priority of advancing health in the world. The United Nations naturally adopts the IAEA figures and the West’s nuclear regulatory agencies, similarly committed to promotional functions, ditto these under-estimations.