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Month: May 2016

After Iraq War, Monsanto, Cargill & Dow Chemical Took Over Iraqi Agriculture

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

In the aftermath of the Iraq War, Iraq’s seed and agriculture industry was destroyed by U.S. corporations, with the aid of the U.S. government.

In May 2003, after the war officially ended, U.S. diplomat Paul Bremer became the head of the occupational authority, essentially controlling Iraq’s government. He issued 100 orders that set the strategy for rebuilding efforts, including Order 81, “Patent, Industrial Design, Undisclosed Information, Integrated Circuits and Plant Variety Law.”

Dr. Dahlia Wasfi, a physician and environmental activist, explained the devastating impact of this order in a 2008 speech.

“Before 2003 they had a well functioning, centrally-controlled seed industry that had developed over the years a rich seed variety for almost variation of wheat in the world today,” she said.

Texas Grand Jury Won’t Indict Cop Who Shot Naked, Unarmed Black Teen

Posted in Austin, Journalism, and MintPress News

On Tuesday, a grand jury declined to indict a police officer who shot a naked, unarmed black teen early this year.

Geoffrey Freeman, an Austin police officer, who is also black, shot David Joseph on the morning of Feb. 8 after police received calls about a neighborhood disturbance. Police say Joseph charged at Freeman as he exited his vehicle.

“In a matter of seconds, Freeman commanded Joseph to stop, then opened fire twice, hitting Joseph in the chest and leg, authorities have said,” the Austin American Statesman reported.

How A 100 Year-Old British Colonial Contract Continues To Shape The Middle East

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Tuesday marked the 100th anniversary of a decision by French and English diplomats to divide the Middle East into competing empires — a decision that continues to influence unrest in the region even today.

The historic Sykes-Picot agreement, named for its authors, diplomats Mark Sykes of Great Britain and François Georges-Picot of France, was secretly signed on May 16, 1916, although the world was not aware of its existence until after the Russian Revolution of 1917.

Signed by the U.K. and France during a meeting at Downing Street in London, with the agreement of the Russian Empire, it was intended to divide the two imperialist nations’ sphere of influence after an anticipated victory against the Ottoman Empire in World War I.

Britain took control of land between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, including modern-day Jordan, southern Iraq, and the Mediterranean ports of Haifa and Acre. France took parts of Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, while Russia took Istanbul, Armenia, and the Turkish Straits.

WikiLeaks: Brazil’s Acting President Michel Temer Is US Diplomatic Informant

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Brazil’s new acting president is a known U.S. informant who has provided Washington with insider information about the Brazilian government on multiple occasions.

Michel Temer’s ties to the U.S. government, as revealed by WikiLeaks’ Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy, add to the growing body of evidence that the parliamentary impeachment of Brazil’s democratically-elected president, Dilma Rousseff, was supported by allies in Washington.

Temer, who has served as Brazil’s vice president since 2011, took power Thursday after Brazil’s parliament suspended Rousseff pending the results of impeachment proceedings.

Via Twitter, WikiLeaks highlighted two diplomatic cables from the U.S. Embassy in São Paulo that document Temer’s history of sharing insider information with Washington from his position as the leader of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, or PMDB, Brazil’s largest political party.

No Sneakers For Nakba: Reebok Denies Shoe Celebrating Israeli ‘Independence’

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Under intense pressure from activists, a global manufacturer of athletic footwear and clothing has backed away from plans to honor Israel with a special sneaker.

On Monday, Reebok announced a blue and white sneaker with “Israel 68” emblazoned on the heel to mark the 68th anniversary of the signing of the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, an Israeli national holiday known as Yom Ha’atzmaut, or Independence Day.

“Moshe Sinai, the CEO of Reebok Israel, explained that these sneakers were to be a one time celebratory release as a collector’s item in Israel and the world,” The Jerusalem Post reported on Tuesday. (The article was later deleted from the news outlet’s website, but can still be found in Google’s web cache.)

Supporters of the global Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement flooded social media with condemnations of the sneaker.

Noam Chomsky: Europe Shows ‘Real Cowardice’ In The Face Of US Imperial Power

Posted in Journalism, and MintPress News

Noam Chomsky, a renowned political philosopher and scholar, accused Europe of exhibiting cowardice in the face of American imperial power.

The author of over 100 books on topics ranging from linguistics to anarchy, spoke with Zain Raza, senior editor of independent media outlet acTVism Munich, for an interview published on Monday.

Chomsky said that the United States has acted since the 1950s to keep Europe from becoming a world power on par with the U.S. or the former Soviet Union.

“Those concerns still exist and are in some ways even greater,” he explained. “Europe does have the capacity under German initiative to move in an independent direction.”