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Index April 2011

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2011-04-01: America’s mental illness and dementia epidemic: It turns out that the drugs are the problem;
2011-04-01: Cruel sera le réveil:
2011-04-02: Nuclear power—not now, not ever;
2011-04-03: The glossary of greed;
2011-04-04: Carter meets Castro about jailed US citizen;
2011-04-05: Abandon the import of nuclear reactors: Dr A Gopalakrishnan;
2011-04-06: Mothers saved;
2011-04-07: Truth, Propaganda and Media Manipulation;
2011-04-08: Rules Of Rebellion;
2011-04-08: Crimes sexuels: le Parlement demande des poursuites d’office  Droits de la femme/Egalité des chances;
2011-04-09: Ingushetia: The peaceful exception – A new president has worked wonders;
2011-04-10: Rain contains radioactive material;
2011-04-11: Militarized Conservatism and the End(s) of Higher Education;
2011-04-12: Graph of the week: number of Americans receiving food stamps;
2011-04-13: A Question of Values and Ethics;
2011-04-14: Alternative Laureates Want Nuclear Plants and Weapons Abolished;
2011-04-15: American Authorities Accused of Torturning Wikileaks Informant;
2011-04-16: Retweeting Democracy: The Role of Social Media;
2011-04-17: Sing with the world … ;
2011-04-18: The Cerrado: Brazil’s other biodiverse region loses ground;
2011-04-18: REPARATION DES SEQUELLES DES MGF: Renforcer les compétences des prestataires;
2011-04-19: A Simple Alternative to Ethanol;
2011-04-20: Chade-Meng Tan: Everyday compassion at Google;
2011-04-21: Health: Gay teen suicide risk lower in supportive areas;
2011-04-21: La pauvreté dans les Etats de l’Union européenne;
2011-04-22: The Awful Revolution: Is Neoliberalism a Public Health Risk;
2011-04-22: The First Earth Day: Recalling Wisconsin Senator and Founder Gaylord Nelson;
2011-04-23: Race, class struggle and organised labour in the age of Wisconsin;
2011-04-24: The Lost Traditions Of Daghestan;
2011-04-24: Titanwurz: In Basel blüht die grösste Blume der Welt;
2011-04-25: Towards a New International;
2011-04-26: Fille ou garçon? Non, intersexué;
2011-04-26: Gitmo Papers Reveal Hundreds of Innocent People Held and are Still Held;
2011-04-27: NSA: Deconstructing a Secrecy Blunder, A Study in Dysfunction;
2011-04-27: Naturwissenschaftliche Realitäten versus UFO-Phänomene;
2011-04-28: U.S. Congresswoman Condemns Chinese Attack on Change.org;
2011-04-29: China goes into the world news business;
2011-04-30: Swiss banks, Swiss neutrality and the poor.

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Swiss banks, Swiss neutrality and the poor

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A reaction to Mgcini Nyoni’s statement in Making a difference, my comment as a modest Swiss women watching Swiss politics:

Our neutrality:

  • Neutrality is not meant when we face suffering and all the rest of world’s mess, but yes, some use the concept of neutrality as an excuse for zero responsibility for other countries.
  • We Swiss feel ourselves being like all normal people, sometimes egoist and sometimes giving rather much of our personal money to charities for Africa and elsewhere, but then often we observe how our money disappears in endemic corruption and never reaches the real poor.
  • Thus, our Swiss neutrality is in the collimator of opposite realities which fight each other. We the Swiss people make ourselve our legislation, often for the best of ourselves, not for the best of the rest of this world, a world showing behaviors we cannot understand nor accept.
  • Our neutrality – like all human goods – can be, and is – misused by humans having the opportunity to do so. Misused to justify retirement of the world instead of acting in it.   Continue Reading…

China goes into the world news business

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Published on Le MondeDiplo, by Pierre Luther, April 2011.

China would like the world to see the news its way. And it’s willing to pay big money to set up news media in those places from which the West is withdrawing cover

If soft power is the ability to influence ideas and behaviour, news and its global diffusion are among soft power’s strategic components. The People’s Republic of China has launched a campaign of seduction, prestige and omnipresence in countries where, for lack of money or interest, former big media players are disappearing. There are cooperation agreements, plus free news bulletins, text articles and radio programmes, and the creation of media.  Continue Reading…

U.S. Congresswoman Condemns Chinese Attack on Change.org

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Linked on our blogs with Change.org. – Published on Change.org/Blog, by Benjamin Joffe-Walt, April 26, 2011.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) asks U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to denounce attacks on the U.S.-based social action platform Change.org after a campaign by famous art museums calling for Chinese artist Ai Weiwei’s release went globally viral on the site … //

… Last week Chinese hackers launched a highly sophisticated cyber-attack on the US-based social action platform after more than 90,000 people in 175 countries endorsed an online call for the release of internationally acclaimed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei, an increasingly outspoken critic of the Chinese government. The petition now has more than 120,000 signatures.

Rep. DeLauro urged Sec. Clinton “to condemn this attack on Change.org and call on the Chinese government to take swift action to ensure that this attack and others like it in the future are stopped swiftly and that the perpetrators are brought to justice.”  Continue Reading…

Naturwissenschaftliche Realitäten versus UFO-Phänomene

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Update May 24: read first Twenty-Five Rules of Disinformation, on Global Research.ca, by Washinton’s Blog, May 21, 2011.

Ein paar Ueberlegungen:

Unser Wissen über die ganze Naturwissenschaft ist immer noch inkomplet. Wir blenden einen wichtigen Teil davon aus.
Schon in den achziger Jahren erzählten Physiker, der von uns als greifbar wahrgenommene physische Teil der Realität pendle laufend (Nachtrag: spekuliert wird 1 Mio/sec) hin und her zwischen dem Zustand, der allen unseren naturwissenschaftlichen Gesetzen entspricht (in diesem Zustand sind die bekannten Gesetze also wahr), und einem anderen Zustand, der mal als eine Art Energie, oder als Kleinstteilchen, in Science Fiction mal als Plasma, oder Antimaterie beschrieben wird. Dieses Hin- und Her pendeln passiere derart schnell, dass beide Teile praktisch immer gleichzeitig präsent seien (wie die zwei Seiten eines Geldstücks).  Continue Reading…

NSA: Deconstructing a Secrecy Blunder, A Study in Dysfunction

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National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 342 – Published on NSA, by John Prados, April 21, 2011.

… The United States Government’s system for the release of classified material into the public domain continues to be riddled with error, ignorance, arbitrary actions, and simple inaction, while often impaired by parochial agency interests that have nothing to do with the protection of national security secrets, an analysis of a recently declassified document plus associated materials shows. The Obama administration’s efforts to cope with a backlog of more than 400 million pages of documents that have long been queued up for declassification review (see the Archive’s new 2011 FOIA Audit) will remain hamstrung as long as the underlying system rewards inaction amid mounting—and significant—costs both to the American taxpayer and to genuine national security interests … //   Continue Reading…

Gitmo Papers Reveal Hundreds of Innocent People Held and are Still Held

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Watch this video, 12.36 min, published on The Real News Network TRNN, by Paul Jay, April 26, 2011.

Fille ou garçon? Non, intersexué

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Publié dans Le Monde Magazine, par Frédéric Joignot, le 22 avril 2011.

… Herculine-Abel Barbin aurait été oublié sans son journal publié en 1874 dans une revue médico-légale, dont l’écrivain allemand Oscar Panizza tirera en 1893 le roman Un scandale au couvent. En 1978, Michel Foucault l’exhume dans Herculine Barbin dite Alexina B. (Gallimard).

Le philosophe voit dans la décision de l’état civil d’en faire un homme la volonté nouvelle de diviser le monde en deux “vrais sexes”. Chaque personne serait nécessairement d’un sexe, pas d’un autre.

Ce serait une donnée naturelle, associée à des spécificités physiques et psychiques irréductibles impliquant les parties génitales, l’appareil de procréation, la morphologie ; formatant profondément l’individu : le sexe nous ferait “fort” ou “faible”, actif ou passif, intelligent ou intuitif, et plus encore : méritant un gros salaire, ayant le droit de vote ou non, étant chef de famille ou pas, etc.  Continue Reading…

Towards a New International

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Published on ZNet, by Michael Albert, April 22, 2011.

Our friends over at ZNet are currently conducting a poll to test the appetite for a new internationalist radical organization. A letter signed by Noam Chomsky, John Pilger, Michael Albert and others states that:

“Since we would all benefit immeasurably from a massive, militant, coherent, and effective international organization that has branches in countries around the world, that galvanizes people around shared program while having sound organization – it would be a major benefit to folks working on all such endeavors to discover leftist reaction to this poll as widely as possible. It might tell us all that now is not the time. Or it might tell us all, as we who have signed below fervently hope, that now is the time, and that there is right now in the world a large, ready, and even eager constituency for such an undertaking.”  Continue Reading…

Titanwurz: In Basel blüht die grösste Blume der Welt

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Auf der Webseite des Schweizer Fernsehen SF1, 23. April 2011.

Unter dem Motto «Basel stinkt anders» ist die stinkende Sensation im Botanischen Garten am Karfreitag-Abend endlich wahr geworden: Die riesige und intensiv nach Aas riechende Blüte des Titanwurz hat sich geöffnet. In der Schweiz blühte die grösste Blume der Welt bisher ein einziges Mal – vor 75 Jahren.

Siehe das online Video, 0.52 min: … //  Continue Reading…

The Lost Traditions Of Daghestan

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Published on Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, by Uma Isakova, April 19, 2011.

Many of the news reports out of Japan in the wake of last month’s earthquake and tsunami noted the almost total absence of looting in the affected areas.

This fact stunned the world, since scenes of looting and selfish behavior have always been an integral part of news from disaster zones — whether we are talking about post-Katrina New Orleans in the United States, Haiti after the January earthquake there, or Russia during the devastating fires of last summer.

But there was almost no looting in Japan. It seems that in Japanese culture there is no imperative to “save oneself and let others fend for themselves.” I particularly remember news reports of how workers at several food-distribution points weren’t ready to begin work. Instead of rioting and storming the food depots over the heads of the crowds in front of them, the stoic Japanese stood in orderly queues and waited their turn. And when their turn came, they took only what they needed or even less, realizing that others were in equally desperate straits. No one was shoving; no one was shouting.  Continue Reading…

Race, class struggle and organised labour in the age of Wisconsin

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Published on Pambazuka News, by Ajamu Nangwaya, April 21, 2011.

While the recent protests in Madison, Wisconsin, may have given America’s working class ‘hint at the possibility of resistance’, the historic absence of support for ‘racialised’ sections of the working class exemplifies the stronghold of white supremacy over the US labour movement, writes Ajamu Nangwaya.

Madison, Wisconsin, may have given organised labour – or the labouring classes – a hint at the possibility of resistance in the streets of America. Or should the credit go to the children of Caliban[1] in the streets and squares of Egypt? Can you imagine the role reversal implied by the prospect of the children of Caliban’s teaching those of Prospero, the great civilizer, the art of being human or striving for moral autonomy … collective personhood?

Many commentators have asserted that if there had been no revolt in Egypt, and no forced departure of the pharaoh-like Hosni Mubarak, there would not have been mass protest action in that oh-so-white of a state Wisconsin. It is simply amazing to think that the fair citizenry of Wisconsin would require an external political stimulus to challenge their exploitation; the racialised section of the United States’s working-class has been bearing the brunt of the racist, sexist and capitalist battering of the welfare state structures since the 1980s without much sympathy from their white working-class counterparts. Continue Reading…

The First Earth Day: Recalling Wisconsin Senator and Founder Gaylord Nelson

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Published on Dundalk Patch, by Ron Cassie, April 22, 2011.

Founded in 1970 as an environmental teach-in by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson from Wisconsin after the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill, Earth Day rallies helped lead to passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Act … //

… At a fall conference in Seattle in 1969, Nelson, who passed away in 2005, announced that the following spring there would be a nationwide grassroots demonstration on behalf of the environment, inviting everyone’s participation. In his book, Nelson says that the April 22 date was chosen because it was before between mid-term and final exams on college campuses, and also before summer recess for grade schools and high schools.  Continue Reading…

The Awful Revolution: Is Neoliberalism a Public Health Risk

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Ben Winegard and Cortne Jai Winegard, April 19th, 2011.

The neoliberal revolution, which began in the 1970s, has produced inequality not seen since the gilded age.1 From circa 1942 to 1978, the top 10% of households held around 33% of the nation’s wealth. Currently, the wealth share of the top 10% stands at 47%. Even more strikingly, the top 0.1% (1 in 1,000) of households increased their share of income from less than 1% in 1978 to roughly 5% in 2008.2 The policies that produced this wealth disparity, including privatization, deregulation, and the promotion of macroeconomic stability, have attracted the opprobrium of critics and the plaudits of apologists … //

… Conclusion: Neoliberalism is a Health Risk:   Continue Reading…

La pauvreté dans les Etats de l’Union européenne

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Publié dans Horizons et Débats, (2 sources, voir en bas), 11 avril 2011.

Bien que l’UE finance toujours de nouveaux privilèges pour ses fonctionnaires et politiques déjà très bien payés, la pauvreté fait des ravages dans les Etats membres. Ainsi, en Allemagne, pays qui finance pratiquement tout (UE, ONU, Israël, etc.), un habitant sur six est menacé d’une relative pauvreté. C’est ce que nous apprend l’Office fédéral allemand des statistiques … //

… Dans une étude encore tenue secrète, la CIA met en garde contre «la possibilité de guerres civiles dans certaines parties de l’UE. 70% des délinquants incarcérés en Espagne et en France sont d’origine musulmane.  Continue Reading…

Health: Gay teen suicide risk lower in supportive areas

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Published on Xinhuanet, Editor: Zhang Xiang, April 19, 2011.

… The study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics found that LBG youth living in a social environment more supportive of gays and lesbians were 20 percent less likely to attempt suicide than LGB youth living in environments that were less supportive.

What’s more, the rate of suicide attempts among straight teens in conservative communities was also higher — by 9% — than in areas that were more politically and socially liberal.  Continue Reading…

Chade-Meng Tan: Everyday compassion at Google

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Watch this talk, 14,09 min, published on TED.com, filmed November 2010:
Google’s “Jolly Good Fellow,” Chade-Meng Tan, talks about how the company practices compassion in its everyday business — and its bold side projects.

A Simple Alternative to Ethanol

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Published on Dissident Voice, by Yves Engler, April 16, 2011.

“Surging food prices fuel ethanol critics,” noted a recent AFP headline. With the commodity food price index (a combined figure of various foodstuffs) up 40% over the past year the danger of feeding cars food has shot back onto the media/political radar.

By using land to feed cars, bio-fuels have unleashed a battle between automobile owners and the world’s two billion poorest people. George Monbiot explains: “the market responds to money, not need. People who own cars by definition have more money than people at risk of starvation: their demand is ‘effective’, while the groans of the starving are not. In a contest between cars and people, the cars would win.” They are already winning. Foreign investors have been buying large tracts of land in Africa to cultivate biofuels while the recent food price spike is one factor in the upheaval in northern Africa and the Middle East. Continue Reading…

REPARATION DES SEQUELLES DES MGF: Renforcer les compétences des prestataires

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Publié dans Le Pays, le 12 avril 2011.

La directrice de la Santé de la famille a ouvert le 11 avril 2011 à Ouagadougou, un atelier de formation des professionnels de la Santé sur la réparation des séquelles des mutilations génitales féminines. A la clinique SUKA, les participants suivront la formation en deux sessions : la première du 11 au 14 avril et la deuxième du 18 au 21 avril 2011.

Des médecins, des gynécologues, des attachés de santé, des sages-femmes et des étudiants en spécialisation de gynécologie obstétricale sont concernés par cet atelier de formation ouvert à la clinique SUKA, à Ouagadougou le 11 avril 2011. Cette formation est confiée à la Société des gynécologues et obstétriciens du Burkina (SOGOB). La première session de la présente formation s’étend du 11 au 14 avril 2011 et la deuxième session du 18 au 21 avril 2011 à la clinique SUKA … //   Continue Reading…

Des femmes de la commune de Mbour déclarent l’abandon de l’excision

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Publié dans Agence de Presse Sénégalaise APS, par ADE/SAB, le 11 avril 2011.

… Pour arriver à cette déclaration “d’abandon total et définitif”, quatre domaines d’intervention ont été retenus par les femmes de la commune de Mbour, a-t-elle souligné.

Elle a cité l’information des populations des zones cibles sur l’’information, l’éducation et la communication (IEC) sur les droits des femmes et des filles, sur la santé de la reproduction et sur les violences faites aux filles.  Continue Reading…

The Cerrado: Brazil’s other biodiverse region loses ground

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Published on Food Crisis and the Global Land Grab, by Fred Pearce, April 14, 2011.

While Brazil touts its efforts to slow destruction of the Amazon, another biodiverse region of the country is being cleared for large-scale farming. But unlike the heralded rainforest it borders, the loss of the cerrado and its rich tropical savanna so far has failed to attract much notice.

Brazil is justly proud of how much it has reduced deforestation in the Amazon, with rates of forest loss down 70 percent since 2004. Indeed, delegates to last year’s world biodiversity conference in Nagoya, Japan, and climate conference in Cancun, Mexico, could hardly miss the Brazilian government’s boasting about its conservation achievements.

But how has this been accomplished? The answer, at least in part, is by invading a new ecological frontier of equal importance — but with much less public visibility. Today, Brazil’s bush clearers from agribusiness are moving across the cerrado, the most biologically rich savanna in the world, which occupies a huge expanse of the high plains of central Brazil on the Atlantic side of the Amazon basin.  Continue Reading…

Sing with the world …

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Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir, Lux Aurumque: 185 participants, 6.20 min;

the making off Eric Whitacre’s virtual choir, 2000 voices strong – by TEDtalksDirector, 14.35 min;

Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir 2.0, Sleep, 9.31 min: The 2011 Virtual Choir video features 2052 performances of ‘Sleep’ from 1752 singers in 58 countries, individually recorded and uploaded to YouTube between September 2010 and January 2011, and also to his Website, named: Eric Whitacre’s Virtual Choir (again with a link to Sleep);

Eric Whitacre on YouTube, actually about 4′670 results.

Links: find Eric Whiteacre on en.wikipedia, on fr.wikipedia, and again on his website.

Retweeting Democracy: The Role of Social Media

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Watch this video, published on Global Research TV, 4.47 min:

The US is training anti-government activists from the Middle East and North Africa on how to spread democracy with the help of modern computer technology.

One of the latest developments is the “panic button”.

According to the State Department, the application can be uploaded onto activists’ cell phones. In case they get detained, the software instantly erases the contact book in their phones and sends a warning alert signal to other activists …

American Authorities Accused of Torturning Wikileaks Informant

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Watch this video, published on Global Research TV, 2.55 min, April 14, 2011:

The treatment of Wikileaks leaker Bradley Manning continues to concern people, with accusations that he is being tortured. In response, the American authorities say it’s standard treatment of all “high risk” detainees.

Recommended Articles: … (full text).

Alternative Laureates Want Nuclear Plants and Weapons Abolished

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Published on Global Perspectives, by Jutta Wolf, April 9, 2011.

… Grave as these dangers are, however, they are not as great as those arising from the possession, threat and use of nuclear weapons — weapons that have the capacity to destroy civilization and end most life on the planet, laureates of what is also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize warn.

The conclusion they draw from the nuclear power plant accident in Japan is that the human community, acting for itself and as trustees for future generations, must exercise a far higher level of care globally in dealing with technologies capable of causing mass annihilation, and should phase out, abolish and replace such technologies with alternatives that do not threaten present and future generations.

This, the statement published on March 29, 2011 says, applies to nuclear weapons as well as to nuclear power reactors.  Continue Reading…