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Popular Articles

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Highways Now a Death Trap for Humans and Wildlife: Industry Drives Raising of Speed Limits

Highways Now a Death Trap for Humans and Wildlife: New 120 k /hr highways = machine guns; wildlife bridges needed throughout B.C. 
by David Ellis - Enderby, BC

Yesterday not far from the Coquihalla summit I saw a black bear dead on the road. If I had hit this bear at 120 km/h I very likely would have been dead too.

Cars and trucks going this fast are like so much machine gun fire to wildlife and unless many more capable and hard working environmental and First Nations campaigners get onto this issue we will lose many smaller populations of deer, elk, bear.
 
Wildlife Bridges Can Work, if Built

"Three sections of B.C. rural highway will be set at the maximum 120 km/h speed limit, including Highway 5 (the Coquihalla) from Hope to Kamloops, Highway 97C from Aspen Grove to Peachland, and Highway 19 from Parksville to Campbell River on Vancouver Island.Jul 2, 2014"

And snakes such as rattlers in Okanagan, and frogs etc. all need much more consideration in highway and railway conduction. Not to speak of the 1000s of people that will die too, until these local populations of precious wildlife are all gone.

Petronas Buy-a-Band Bid Fails in BC

Lax Kw’alaams rejects Billion-dollar LNG deal; Lake Babine signs paltry one
by Damien Gillis - Common Sense Canadian
The BC Liberal government and LNG industry suffered a blow this week with a final losing vote amongst Lax Kw’alaams Band members over a billion-dollar package offered to support Petronas’ Pacific NorthWest LNG plant near Prince Rupert.
 
At the same time, a much smaller, quieter deal was being signed by the elected leadership of the Lake Babine Nation, pertaining to the pipeline that would feed the coastal plant – the Prince Rupert Gas Transmission line. On the table in this “Project Agreement” between the 2,440-member band and pipeline contractor TransCanada was a comparatively paltry $3.56 million, plus a piece of a $10 million a year revenue sharing deal to be split amongst a number of First Nations along the pipeline route if it becomes operational.
 
According to the Prince George Citizen, the upfront sum of $3.56 million will be issued in the following phases:

When the agreement takes effect Lake Babine Nation will get $324,000, when construction begins they get $1.62 million, and then the same amount when the pipeline is in operation.

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Counting the Heads of Middle East's Exodus

The Arab Boat
by Ramzy Baroud - CounterPunch
In a western capital far away from Gaza and Cairo, I recently shared a pot of tea with an “Egyptian refugee”.
 
The term is familiar to me, but never have I encountered an Egyptian who refers to himself as such. He stated it as a matter of fact by saying: “As an Egyptian refugee ..” and carried on to talk about the political turmoil in his country.
 
It made me shudder as I tried to conjure up a possible estimation of Arabs who have been made refugees in recent years. But where does one start the estimation if we are to set aside the Palestinian Nakba in 1948? Or forget the successive waves of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians that followed, and disregard the various exoduses of Lebanese civilians as a result of Israeli invasions and civil war?
 
Iraq can be the start – the country that served as a foundation of everything Arab. Their culture, history and civilization, which extends to the very beginning of human civilization, ushered in the new Arab exodus.
 

Putting Pandora Back in the Box: America's "Uncontained" Military

The American Military Uncontained: Chaos Spread, Casualties Inflicted, Missions Unaccomplished
by William J. Astore  - TomDispatch
It’s 1990. I’m a young captain in the U.S. Air Force. I’ve just witnessed the fall of the Berlin Wall, something I never thought I’d see, short of a third world war. Right now I’m witnessing the slow death of the Soviet Union, without the accompanying nuclear Armageddon so many feared. Still, I’m slightly nervous as my military gears up for an unexpected new campaign, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, to expel Iraqi autocrat Saddam Hussein’s military from Kuwait. 
 
It’s a confusing moment. After all, the Soviet Union was forever (until it wasn’t) and Saddam had been a stalwart U.S. friend, his country a bulwark against the Iran of the Ayatollahs. (For anyone who doubts that history, just check out the now-infamous 1983 photo of Donald Rumsfeld, then special envoy for President Reagan, all smiles and shaking hands with Saddam in Baghdad.) 
 
Still, whatever my anxieties, the Soviet Union collapsed without a whimper and the campaign against Saddam’s battle-tested forces proved to be a “cakewalk,” with ground combat over in a mere 100 hours.
 

Cameron Majority's Job One? Scrap Human Rights!

What Does It Say About the Tories That They Want to Scrap Human Rights Legislation?
by Andy Worthington

May 14, 2015

The Human Rights Act, passed in 1998, which the Tories, idiotically, want to repeal. After last Thursday’s General Election, as the Tories entrench themselves in power, without even the need of Lib Dem stooges to prop them up, we hear that the Cabinet spent a whole minute thumping the table at their first meeting, demonstrating a gracelessness and arrogance that is typical of the bullies, sociopaths and misfits who make up the upper echelons of the party.

Through our broken electoral system, the Tories have convinced themselves they have a mandate for even more of the destruction to the British state than they undertook over the last five years, propped up by the Lib Dems, even though the 50.9% of the seats that they took came with the support of just 24.4% of those eligible to vote.


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Gorilla Radio with Chris Cook, Richard Boyce, Michael Gould-Wartofsky, Janine Bandcroft May 13, 2015

This Week on GR
by C. L. Cook - Gorilla-Radio.com

Despite years of protest from broad segments of British Columbia's population, the plan to run pipelines from Alberta's infamous Tar Sands across the Rockies, and through the valleys and coastal mountains of BC, some of the most rugged terrain found anywhere, to Superports on the Pacific coast is moving forward.

But the coast is hardly the end of the treacherous journey for the condensate soaked bitumen torn from the northern boreal forests in massive strip mines. Once on the coast, tankers must then navigate through a network of islands and shoals, reefs and shifting sandbars before making its transpacific journey to Asia.
 
Vancouver Island environmental filmmaker, Richard Boyce kayaked along the proposed route these poison-laden leviathans would traverse and discovered the islands and other natural features the oil companies failed to chart in their PR campaigns.
 
Listen. Hear.

Coastal Tarsands: Journey to the Deleted Islands is the result, and it will be airing in a special presentation this Thursday night right up here at the UVic's Cinecenta theatre.
 
Richard Boyce in the first half.
 
And; if you thought Jean Chretien's Sgt. Pepper attacks against APEC protesters in Vancouver in 1997, or the massively excessive police violence that came to be known as the 'Battle of Seattle' two years later was appalling back then, you truly hadn't seen anything yet. In the interim years, police in the United States and Canada have come to resemble a military occupying force more than peace officers. And it's not just the hardened attitudes and thuggish demeanor we've witnessed on television, and perhaps experienced at road stops, and check points differentiating today's police from those halcyon days when pepper spray and German shepherds were likely the worst things you'd face at a demo gone wrong. Now, the cops are armed to the teeth with the latest military grade surplus weaponry, and more.
 
Michael Gould-Wartofsky is a writer and researcher, scholar, artist, educator, and author. His writing has been recognized with Harvard's James Gordon Bennett Prize and the Times' James B. Reston Award. His articles have appeared at the Washington Post, the Nation, Salon, and the Jacobin amongst others, and his first book, 'The Occupiers: The Making of the 99 Percent Movement' is described as essential reading for "everyone interested in understanding not just the Occupy movement but recent US history in general."
 
Michael Gould-Wartofsky and the two sides of war and occupation in the second half.
 
And; Victoria Street Newz publisher emeritus and CFUV Radio broadcaster, Janine Bandcroft will join us at the bottom of the hour to bring us up to speed with some of what's good to do in and around our town, and beyond there too, for the coming week. But first, Richard Boyce and a journey through the deleted islands.

Chris Cook hosts Gorilla Radio, airing live every Wednesday, 1-2pm Pacific Time. In Victoria at 101.9FM, and on the internet at: http://cfuv.uvic.ca, and now heard at Simon Fraser University's http://www.cjsf.ca . He also serves as a contributing editor to the web news site, http://www.pacificfreepress.com. Check out the GR blog at: http://gorillaradioblog.blogspot.ca/
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Legitimizing Bin Laden Myth: Seymour's Kool-Aid Moment

Seymour Hersh Succumbs To Disinformation
by Paul Craig Roberts - Dissident Voice
 
May 11th, 2015

Seymour Hersh has published a long account of the homicide of Osama bin Laden. He concludes that the Obama regime’s account of the killing of bin Laden is a total fabrication except for the fact that bin Laden was killed.
 
I do not believe Hersh’s story for three reasons.

One reason is that bin Laden was suffering from disease that no one can survive for a decade. His death was widely reported in 2001.

One reason is that even Hersh’s “true” account of “what really happened” is contradicted by eye witnesses and the initial Pakistani TV interviews of eye witnesses. One reason is that Hersh’s story is too convoluted for an assassination raid, a routine event.

He exposes lies within lies, indecision within decision, payoffs within payoffs, and reports such a huge number of people with advance knowledge of the raid that it cannot possibly have been kept a secret.
 
I could add a fourth reason–the US government’s lack of credibility.

Stop the Suits Tour: Trade Deals Threaten El Salvador's Land and People

Stop the Suits Tour: International Investment Agreements Threaten People and the Environment from El Salvador to Canada
by MiningInjustice.org
In anticipation of an imminent ruling from a little known investor-state arbitration tribunal at the World Bank that could force El Salvador to pay Canadian-Australian mining firm OceanaGold US$301 million, a Salvadoran delegation will visit Canada next week to discuss how investor-state arbitration threatens democratic decision-making, public health and the environment here and beyond our borders.

From May 11 to 15, Yanira Cortez, Deputy Attorney for the Environment for El Salvador’s Human Rights Prosecutor’s Office and Marcos Gálvez, President of the Association for the Development of El Salvador (CRIPDES, a founding member of the National Roundtable against Metal Mining) will travel from Montreal to Ottawa-Gatineau and Toronto.

They will speak publicly and meet with Members of Parliament to request support for the Salvadoran people’s struggle and warn of dangers that Canadians face through investor provisions in existing and proposed free trade agreements, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Canada and European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP).

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Justice and Omar: How Canada and America Fail to Measure Up

US Still Seeks Jail for ‘Fighter’ Captured at 15 in Afghanistan: Child Soldier released from jail by Canadian court
by Dave Lindorff - This Can't Be Happening
The good news is that an appellate judge in Canada has had the courage and good sense to uphold the release from jail on bail of Omar Khadr, a native of Canada who was captured as a child soldier at the age of 15 in Afghanistan by US forces back in 2002 and shipped off to Guantanamo, where he became one of the children held in captivity there illegally.
 
The bad news is that Khadr, who spent 13 years in captivity, most of them in America's Guantanamo hellhole, should never have been imprisoned in the first place. Brought along at the age of 14 to fight in Afghanistan by his father, a Canadian Muslim extremist who was killed in Afghanistan, the young Khadr should have, when captured, been treated under international law not as a combatant, illegal or otherwise. Under the Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty signed by the US and thus an integral part of US law, all children under the age of 18 captured while fighting in wars are to be offered “special protection” and treated as victims, not as combatants.
 
Instead, as Reuters reports, "Khadr claims that during at least 142 interrogations in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, he was beaten, chained in painful positions, forced to urinate on himself, terrorized by barking dogs, subjected to flashing lights and sleep deprivation and threatened with rape."
 
Under these circumstances, and fearing that he would never leave Guantanamo, Khadr in 2010, at the age of 23, agreed to plead guilty to the US military’s spurious murder charge, so that he could be sent to serve out his prison sentence in his home country of Canada. Now appealing his sentence, and renouncing his plea on the grounds that it was made under duress, he will be confined to the home of his attorney under the court’s order.
 

London Police Assault: Media Silent on First Major Act of Cameron Repression

Illegitimate Government: News Blackout on London Protest
by Craig Murray
The almost total blackout on broadcast media of the police attack on the popular protest by thousands outside Downing Street – with 30 injured and 17 arrests – is in stark contrast to the wall to wall coverage of the staged fake “riot” in Glasgow in which 6 people were slightly rude to Jim Murphy with no arrests and no injuries.
 
Thanks to the UK’s appalling electoral system, we now have a seriously right wing government with absolute power from an absolute parliamentary majority, but which 63% of voters voted against, and which was supported by only 23% of those eligible to vote. Many of the 38% who did not vote at all, were not apathetic but actively disgusted by a corrupt political system which offers little meaningful choice in most of the UK.

Legitimacy is a different question to legality. The government is undoubtedly legal under the current rotten system, but its legitimacy is a different question entirely. 
 
Legitimacy lies on the popular consent of the governed. With an extreme government supported by only 23% of the population, actively planning to inflict actual harm on many more than 23% of the population, there are legitimate philosophical questions to be asked about the right of the government to rule. 
 
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A Meeting of Criminal Masterminds: Kerry of Arabia

Kerry in Riyadh: A meeting of war criminals
by Bill Van Auken - WSWS

8 May 2015  

US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared side by side with his Saudi counterpart, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, in Saudi Arabia’s capital of Riyadh Thursday and praised the monarchical oil regime for its role in the bloody nearly two-month-old war against Yemen, the most impoverished nation in the Arab world.

The Saudi royals were to be commended, he said, for their “initiative to bring about a peaceful resolution through the announcement of their intent to establish a full, five-day, renewable ceasefire and humanitarian pause.”
 
Kerry used the word “intent” advisedly.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir
 
Even as he spoke, Saudi warplanes continued to pound Yemeni homes, schools and hospitals into rubble, carrying out at least seven airstrikes Thursday against the port city of Hudaydah and five against the northwestern provincial capital of Sa’ada, a stronghold of Yemen’s Houthi rebel movement that the Saudi regime is determined to crush.
 
Earlier, Saudi warships fired rockets into the town of Hajjah, striking the Maydi Hospital, and more than 100 airstrikes in other areas of the country left scores dead, many of them women and children.
 

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