Ray Nagin was the business executive who swept into City Hall on promises of reforming how government does business, only to see those ideas disintegrate. He was the face of the city after Hurricane Katrina, shouting anguished distress calls to the world, seeming urgent but also at times unhinged. He was the nontraditional politician who corralled support across racial groups and then turned divisive with an awkward attempt at welcoming back storm-displaced African Americans to a “chocolate city.”
Nagin was the first New Orleans mayor indicted and tried on federal charges for corruption. On Wednesday, he was the first to be convicted.
Jurors overwhelmingly agreed with the prosecution’s narrative in finding him guilty on 20 of 21 charges: Nagin sold his office for personal gain. (more…)
(CNN) — The Department of Justice is investigating the death of Alfred Wright, a physical therapist who disappeared and died under mysterious circumstances in an isolated section of Texas, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee said Monday.
Wright, 28, a resident of Jasper, Texas, was last seen alive November 7 when he stopped at a liquor store because he was having trouble with his pickup truck. He was on his way to treat a patient.
Local law enforcement authorities searched but gave up. His family found his partially clothed body 19 days later in an area that officers had supposedly searched.
Adding more confusion, a medical examiner said the death was accidental, but a different pathologist hired by the family said there appeared to be “severe trauma” to the body. (more…)
Everything you do on your iPhone may be open to NSA snooping thanks to a covert software the agency can install without users’ knowledge. Apparently the app, called Dropout Jeep, can remotely send all of your text messages, contacts and voicemails to the NSA, and can activate your iPhone’s camera or mic for real time surveillance, too.
In a presentation at the 30th Chaos Communication Congress in Germany, security researcher Jacob Applebaum detailed the NSA’s iPhone spying capabilities. Along with being able to use Dropout Jeep to collect your conversations and contacts, the agency can use cell towers to find your location, and can remotely push new files to user’s iPhones.
The NSA documents Mr. Applebaum referenced say it has a perfect track record for installing Dropout Jeep on targeted iPhones, meaning they have been able to successfully install the software on every iPhone they want. Based on the agency’s success rate and the amount of data they’re able to collect, Mr. Applebaum questions Apple’s involvement.
He said in a presentation at the conference,
I don’t really believe that Apple didn’t help them. I can’t really prove it, but they [the NSA] literally claim that anytime they target an iOS device, that it will succeed for implantation. Either they have a huge collection of exploits that work against Apple products, meaning that they are hoarding information about critical systems that American companies produce and sabotaging them, or Apple sabotaged it themselves. Not sure which one it is. I’d like to believe that since Apple didn’t join the PRISM program until after Steve Jobs died, that maybe it’s just that they write shitty software.
Dominican Republic To End Citizenship Of Those Whose Parents Entered Illegally
By EZEQUIEL ABIU LOPEZ and DANICA COTO
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — Experts warned Friday that a Dominican court decision to strip citizenship from children of Haitian migrants could cause a human rights crisis, potentially leaving tens of thousands of people stateless, facing mass deportation and discrimination. Officials promised to create a path to Dominican citizenship, but gave no details about how it would work or who would be covered.
The ruling by the Constitutional Court is final and gives the electoral commission one year to produce a list of people to be excluded from citizenship. The decision applies to those born after 1929 – a category that overwhelmingly includes descendants of Haitians brought in to work on farms. It appears to affect even their grandchildren, said Wade McMullen, a New York-based attorney at the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights.
A U.N.-backed study released this year estimated that there are nearly 210,000 Dominican-born people of Haitian descent and roughly another 34,000 born to parents of another nationality.
Many of those “are now effectively stateless,” McMullen said. “We really don’t know what’s going to happen to those people … Based on what the Dominican government is saying, these people are not Dominican citizens and will have to leave and effectively go to Haiti, where they are also not citizens. It creates an extremely complicated situation.” The majority of them don’t have Haitian citizenship, have little or no ties to Haiti and likely don’t speak Creole, he said. Getting Haitian citizenship can be complicated too because it is difficult to comply with requirements to prove descent from a Haitian national. (more…)
What you’re not being told and all you need to know about Syria in a little over 15 minutes.
Anderson Cooper and CNN have been caught staging fake news about Syria to justify military intervention.
By JG Vibe, Intellihub.com
The primary “witness” that the mainstream media is using as a source in Syria has been caught staging fake news segments. Recent video evidence proves that “Syria Danny”, the supposed activist who has been begging for military intervention on CNN, is really just a paid actor and a liar.
While Assad is definitely a tyrant like any head of state, a US invasion of the country is a worst case scenario for the people living there.
By pointing out that the mainstream media is orchestrating their entire coverage of this incident, we are not denying that there is a tremendous amount of death and violence in Syria right now. However, we are showing that the mainstream media version of events is scripted and staged propaganda. The following video shows him contradicting himself while off air, and even asking crew members to “get the gunfire sounds ready” for his video conference with Anderson Cooper on CNN. (more…)
US-NATO campaign to justify Syria war disintegrates as attack looms
By Thomas Gaist and Alex Lantier
29 August 2013
Washington’s campaign to justify war against Syria is disintegrating, as it becomes ever clearer that the war is illegal, and that Washington has no evidence to back up charges that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime used chemical weapons in Ghouta. Despite press reports of an imminent US-NATO attack, US and British officials suggested yesterday that they might delay launching the war.
There is rising concern inside the political establishment about how to package a war in Syria modeled on the hated 2003 invasion of Iraq. Again, Washington and London are moving to launch a war based on lies about weapons of mass destruction and without legal sanction from the UN Security Council—that is, in violation of international law. (more…)
The Obama administration appears to be pressing ahead with military strikes on Syria despite new obstacles at home and abroad. On Wednesday, an informal meeting of the United Nations Security Council failed to reach an agreement after Russia and China opposed any authorization of force in response to last week’s alleged chemical attack by Assad forces in Ghouta. After domestic pressure, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced he will seek parliamentary authorization for using force against Syria, and only after U.N. inspectors complete their current mission. And in Washington, the White House plans to brief lawmakers today following growing calls that President Obama seek congressional backing for any use of force. The administration is expected to make public soon some of its intelligence, but skeptics say there remains no smoking gun implicating the Assad regime. We host a debate on military intervention in Syria between Tariq Ali of the New Left Review and Steven Clemons of The Atlantic.
Facebook has been accused of being a facade for free speech as it has been known to censor controversial content. For example, earlier this year, Mark Zuckerberg was called out for practicing censorship when a Facebook ad by CREDO Mobile was pulled for criticizing his financial and political ties to the Keystone XL pipeline. The group March Against Monsanto announced yesterday on their Facebook page that Facebook removed an event page promoting a rally in St. Louis, MO, where the biotech giant is headquartered.
The rally is set to take place on Saturday, Oct. 12, with a broad coalition of regional groups and solidarity activists planning to converge at the company’s corporate headquarters. While the event did not contain derogatory or inappropriate content, it was removed for violating Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities. The group has since created a new event page for the rally.
Meanwhile back in real life the nation of Chile fights back again, Monsanto arguably the most evil corporation in the universe. See how here
Prince has a pretty illustrious career, having defined genres, inspired millions, charted new paths in gender identity and blurred the lines of human sexuality, but it’s safe to say nothing the Purple One has done is quite as amazing as the cover art he released for his new song. The visual for “Breakfast Can Wait” is literally an image of Dave Chappelle playing Prince in a sketch from “The Chappelle Show.” Take a look: (more…)
People are showing their depth of support for Bradley Manning by signing up to serve part of his prison time. Comments from people signing indicate great appreciation for Manning exposing the truth about U.S. foreign policy, especially the conduct of the wars, the drone program, Guantanmo and the operation of the State Department.
Here are some comments from those who have signed up: (more…)
A report by Jeremy Scahill in The Nation revealed that the largest mercenary army in the world, Blackwater (later called Xe Services and more recently “Academi”) clandestine intelligence services was sold to the multinational Monsanto. Blackwater was renamed in 2009 after becoming famous in the world with numerous reports of abuses in Iraq, including massacres of civilians. It remains the largest private contractor of the U.S. Department of State “security services,” that practices state terrorism by giving the government the opportunity to deny it.
Many military and former CIA officers work for Blackwater or related companies created to divert attention from their bad reputation and make more profit selling their nefarious services-ranging from information and intelligence to infiltration, political lobbying and paramilitary training – for other governments, banks and multinational corporations. According to Scahill, business with multinationals, like Monsanto, Chevron, and financial giants such as Barclays and Deutsche Bank, are channeled through two companies owned by Erik Prince, owner of Blackwater: Total Intelligence Solutions and Terrorism Research Center. These officers and directors share Blackwater.
One of them, Cofer Black, known for (more…)