North American News


NSA Finalizes $6.7 Billion in Classified Tech Contracts

 

23rd Oct 2018

After two years, the NSA finished rebidding its “Groundbreaker” program and is beginning work on a secretive new set of communications contracts.

The National Security Agency is quietly beginning work on a new series of three communications contracts valued at $6.7 billion.

Details are sparse because the classified contracts—collectively called Greenway—were secretly awarded to telecommunications giant AT&T and defense contractors General Dynamics and ManTech International over the past year. Redacted legal documents following a protest of one of the contracts in March indicate the NSA’s goal is to “technically evolve” its IT environment.

NSA’s Greenway program is a continuation of its classified Groundbreaker program, which dates back to then-NSA Director Michael Hayden’s decision to outsource the agency’s IT operations to industry.

At the time, Hayden said the contract would allow NSA to “refocus assets on the agency’s core missions of providing foreign signals intelligence and protecting U.S. national security-related information systems by turning over several information technology infrastructure services for industry’s purview.”

NSA awarded the first $5 billion Groundbreaker contract in 2001 to a joint alliance of contractors called the Eagle Alliance, led by Computer Science Corp., which became CSRA. The same Eagle Alliance companies, which included Northrop Grumman, held the business for well over a decade before the NSA decided to break the Groundbreaker program up into smaller pieces, resulting in Greenway.

 

 

 

 

source/Read more: https://www.nextgov.com/it-modernization/2018/10/nsa-finalizes-67-billion-classified-tech-contracts/152165/

Monsanto to Pay $289.2M in Landmark Roundup Lawsuit Verdict

11 AUG 2018

A San Francisco jury returned a verdict today in the case of a former groundskeeper with terminal cancer against Monsanto Company, ordering the agrochemical giant to pay $39.2 million in compensatory damages and $250 million in punitive damages for failing to warn consumers that exposure to Roundup weed killer causes cancer.

Dewayne “Lee” Johnson filed the lawsuit (case no. CGC-16-550128) against St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. on Jan. 28, 2016, alleging exposure to the Roundup herbicide he sprayed while working as a groundskeeper for the Benicia Unified School District caused him to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL).

On June 18, 2018, his case was assigned to Judge Suzanne Ramos Bolanos for the Superior Court of San Francisco, California. Johnson’s case was the first of its kind to proceed to trial due to his terminal diagnosis.

After eight weeks of trial proceedings, the jury found unanimously that Monsanto’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused Mr. Johnson to develop NHL, and that Monsanto failed to warn of this severe health hazard. Importantly, the jury also found that Monsanto acted with malice, oppression or fraud and should be punished for its conduct.

Monsanto Co. continues to refuse to warn consumers of the dangers of its multi-billion-dollar product Roundup despite the world’s foremost authority on cancer—the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)—listing glyphosate as a probable carcinogen in 2015.

Lee Johnson is one of more than 4,000 people from across the country to file suit against Monsanto in state and federal courts based on allegations linking Roundup to cancer.

He was represented at trial by Brent Wisner of Baum, Hedlund, Aristei and GoldmanDavid Dickens of the Miller Firm and Mark Burton of Audet & Partners LLP.

Co-lead trial counsel Brent Wisner said today’s verdict was a result of newly-revealed, confidential company documents.

“We were finally able to show the jury the secret, internal Monsanto documents proving that Monsanto has known for decades that glyphosate and specifically Roundup could cause cancer,” Wisner said. “Despite the Environmental Protection Agency’s failure to require labeling, we are proud that an independent jury followed the evidence and used its voice to send a message to Monsanto that its years of deception regarding Roundup is over and that they should put consumer safety first over profits.”

For years Monsanto has claimed that there is no evidence that Roundup causes cancer, yet a mountain of testimony and documents was admitted during the trial. Johnson’s attorneys proved through testimony from Monsanto’s witnesses that company employees “ghostwrote” scientific articles and paid outside scientists to publish the articles in their name.

Internal documents revealed that a scientific advisor hired by Monsanto told the company that past testing for Roundup was insufficient because glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, was tested in isolation without the other chemical ingredients that make up the Roundup formulation.

“Many of these confidential Monsanto documents were unsealed for the first time,” co-lead counsel David Dickens said. “They show that Monsanto knew that its testing was insufficient and that there was a synergistic effect when glyphosate is combined with surfactants which help the glyphosate penetrate both plant and animal cell walls.”

In other now-public documents, Monsanto employees reacted to California EPA’s listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen by calling Californians “liberals and morons,” overwhelming Monsanto like a “zombie movie” that they had to take out one at a time starting with the 2016 presidential election.

In addition to hearing from expert witnesses, the jury listened to heart-wrenching testimony from Lee Johnson and his wife, Araceli.

Araceli recalled for the jury the many sleepless nights Lee spent crying in bed when his children were not around. “He tried to hide it, and I think he tried to show that he was strong,” she said. “He tried to be positive; he wanted to be…for us and the kids.”

After her husband began chemotherapy, Araceli took a second job working 14-hour days to help pay the family’s rising medical bills while still driving her two sons an extra 45 minutes to Napa Valley School District in hopes of providing them better educational opportunities.

When Lee took the stand, he told the jury how scared and confused he was after receiving the news that he had cancer. He also described the times he contacted Monsanto to see if the skin lesions he developed were related to his use of Roundup. When he did not hear back from the company, he continued to use the herbicide.

Most notably, Johnson testified that he would never have used Roundup if he had known of the dangers, and accused Monsanto of concealing Roundup’s safety risks to continue profiting from its billion-dollar herbicide.

“I never would’ve sprayed that product on school grounds or around people if I knew it would cause them harm,” Johnson said during emotional testimony. “It’s unethical. It’s wrong. People don’t deserve that.”

 

 

source/read more: https://www.organicconsumers.org/blog/monsanto-roundup-trial-verdict

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-6049007/Roundup-cancerous-jury-declares.html

 

Antifa smashes the windows of US Marine Corps Recruiting office and damage 22 car

Grow up, you fucking idiots.

8th Aug 2018

The extreme leftist terrorist organization Antifa went on yet another rampage smashing the windows of Shattuck Ave US Marine Corps Recruiting office in #Berkeley

Members of the far left extreme group smashed out the windows of the U.S. Marine Corps recruiting office in Berkeley, California during a violent protest, on Sunday.

During the violent protest, Antifa also set a vehicle on fire and damaged 21 other cars in the city, slashing tires and smashing out windows, Fox News reported. The extremist group also lit trash cans on fire, adding more to destruction across the city in what they called its protest against members of the “alt-right.” Police arrested 20 people throughout the day who were allegedly involved in the violence and vandalism.

Berkeley police tweeted out a photo of weapons they confiscated from the protest, including knives, metal poles, pieces of wood and mace.

Witness and filmmaker Ford Fischer told Fox News that after the windows of the Marine recruitment office were broken, Antifa threatened him and told him to flee the scene.

“After I filmed the Antifa break the Marine Corps office window and throw a torch into a dumpster, one of them called a few over to confront me,” Fischer said. “They basically told me to leave, implying attack if I didn’t. I left. ‘Get the f*** back. Cops aren’t here. They won’t help you.’”

Neither group protesting received the required permits to host rallies in the city and authorities banned masks as well as a list of objects that could have been used as weapons Friday.

Photos and names of some of the people arrested by Berkeley Police:

 

 

source/read more:http://milnenews.com/2018/08/07/video-antifa-smashes-the-windows-of-us-marine-corps-recruiting-office-and-damage-22-cars-20-arrested/

Facebook bans Infowars for using ‘hate speech’ as Apple removes Alex Jones’ podcasts

4th August 2018

Facebook has shut down InfoWars’ page saying the conservative news outlet used hate speech. An editor at the website says the social media giant failed to tell it what the offending posts were.

InfoWars Editor-at-large Paul Joseph Watson said in a tweet that the account has been “permanently banned” for “unspecified” hate speech. Visitors to InfoWars page are now greeted with a message saying: “Sorry, this content isn’t available right now”.

Describing the development as a “chilling precedent for free speech,” Watson said that Facebook did not tell the media organization what the offending posts were.

“To all other conservative news outlets – you are next. The great censorship purge has truly begun,” he wrote.

Facebook said in a blog post on Monday that it was banning four of the pages belonging to Infowars founder Alex Jones for repeatedly uploading content in breach of the social network’s community standards.

The company said that when it deletes content, the removal counts as a strike against the person that uploaded it. It added that the reason for removing Jones’ pages was not related to concerns over false news.

“All four Pages have been unpublished for repeated violations of Community Standards and accumulating too many strikes,” Facebook explained.

“While much of the discussion around Infowars has been related to false news, which is a serious issue that we are working to address by demoting links marked wrong by fact checkers and suggesting additional content, none of the violations that spurred today’s removals were related to this.”

Jones is being sued by parents of the Sandy Hook school shooting for claiming that the attack was a hoax. Late last month the parents slammed Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg for failing to protect them from harassment by conspiracy theorists.

The development comes after Apple removed Jones’ daily podcasts from its podcast directory.

“Apple does not tolerate hate speech, and we have clear guidelines that creators and developers must follow to ensure we provide a safe environment for all of our users,” an Apple spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

“Podcasts that violate these guidelines are removed from our directory making them no longer searchable or available for download or streaming. We believe in representing a wide range of views, so long as people are respectful to those with differing opinions.”

Apple Podcasts is arguably the most important platform in the podcasting industry. It drives a substantial amount of traffic to the podcasts it features on its homepage or in its charts.

 

 source/read more: :https://www.rt.com/usa/435217-infowars-banned-facebook-apple/

Twitter hires academics to monitor its ‘health’ and combat hate speech

1st Aug 2018

Twitter has hired academics from institutions including Oxford University to help it combat “intolerant discourse” and monitor the “health” of the social network.

The firm is working with social psychology Professor Miles Hewstone and John Gallacher, along with Dr Marc Heerdink from the University of Amsterdam, to study the spread of hate speech.

The move is part of Twitter’s aim to create algorithms that better distinguish between hate speech and conversations that break the “norms of politeness”.

 

source/read more: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2018/07/30/twitter-hires-academics-monitor-healthand-combat-hate-speech/

Dangerous Gardasil drug should be banned in US (An Aunty’s letter)

25th July 2018

To the editor

My 11-year-old great niece was a happy, healthy child until — upon the recommendation of her pediatrician — she received a Gardasil shot. The next day she woke up with bruises all over her body. Blood work found ITP — a rare blood disease that can be fatal. She bled from her mouth and nose; she was put into the Intensive Care Unit when the doctors feared that she would bleed on her brain and die.

A week of IVIG treatments were unsuccessful, and she was discharged. The next month she had chemo treatments — 10 hours of infusion each time. Today — 6 months after her vaccination, her blood platelets have gone from a low of 100,000 to 132,000 (150,000 to 400,000 is normal).

Her pediatrician filed a report with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention about the effects Gardasil had on her; her doctor recommended that she not get the second dose. Believe it or not, Gardasil is still being promoted in America as safe, effective and vital for ages 9 to 26.

Very few parents know that Gardasil has come under intense scrutiny from medical professionals around the world in the past few years. Very few know that the Federal Drug Administration reported 85 deaths from Gardasil between June 2006 and June 2013. Very few have ever watched the many YouTube videos that reveal the deaths, paralysis and serious side effects Gardasil has brought to many young women all over the world. Very few have searched on websites where renowned doctors and medical journals question everything about Gardasil.

Dr. Dianne Harper, one of 50 HPV experts in the world, said Gardasil is neither safe nor effective. She told CBS it is essentially useless. Dr. Chris Shaw — professor at the University of British Columbia — said Gardasil “is a vaccine that’s been highly marketed, the benefits are overhyped, and the dangers are underestimated.” The American College of Pediatricians has linked Gardasil to premature menopause in girls. Studies in medical journals like Pediatrics, Cancer Epidemiology and Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics conclude that doctors have issues with Gardasil.

Perhaps most telling are the revelations of Dr. Bernard Dalbergue, a former pharmaceutical industry physician with

Gardasil manufacturer Merck. In an April 2014 interview published in Principes de Sant (Health Principles) he said, “The full extent of the Gardasil scandal needs to be assessed: everyone knew when this vaccine was released on the American market that it would prove to be worthless. I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all time because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers. Gardasil is useless and costs a fortune!”

Gardasil has been banned in Japan. The people of Spain are crying out for its removal from their country. Sadly, it is still used in 100 countries, including this great United States of America.

Chris Dutil,

Stockbridge

 

 

 

source/read more: https://www.berkshireeagle.com/stories/letter-dangerous-gardasil-drugshould-be-banned-in-us,544073

Behind closed doors, Guantánamo secret court talks about the CIA, torture and rights

21st July 2018

The CIA used an alleged accomplice in the Sept. 11 terror attacks as a test subject to train new interrogators. Agents diapered or left naked a one-legged CIA captive during his time in secret overseas detention. Taking showers still traumatizes the alleged USS Cole bomber, whom the CIA waterboarded in 2003.

These and other details emerged from McClatchy’s review of 1,300 pages of partially declassified transcripts of Guantánamo’s secret death-penalty case sessions that have been gradually made public since February.

Although still heavily redacted, the transcripts show a consistent theme across 30 hours of closed war-crimes hearings: When the public and accused terrorists aren’t allowed to listen, the legal arguments are often about the CIA’s secret overseas prison network, the circumstances of Guantánamo detention and how now outlawed Bush-era interrogation methods might affect future justice.

In 2002 and 2003, “Essentially the United States government is running a Turkish prison. And that’s an insult, probably, to Turkey, frankly,” Navy Cmdr. Brian Mizer, a defense attorney, told a judge in a May 2014 court argument initially labeled top secret.

To mount a proper death-penalty defense in the USS Cole bombing case, Mizer said, his team needs “the gritty, granular detail” of what U.S. agents did to Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, the Saudi man accused of plotting al-Qaida’s suicide bombing that killed 17 American sailors on Oct. 12, 2000. His jury needs to “smell the urine, the feces, the blood, the sweat and see just how vile and disgusting this process was.” Then, if Nashiri were convicted, defense lawyers can ask the jury, “Do you have to kill him now?”

The transcripts come from a renewed Pentagon effort to clear a four-year backlog of transcripts at the Guantánamo court. In December, the Sept. 11 trial judge, Army Col. James L. Pohl, complained to prosecutors that the government wasn’t following his order to “expeditiously” release an unclassified version of the transcripts for the public to see, according to the declassified tranche.

Before the transcripts were released, security officials blacked out portions that remain classified and began posting redacted versions on a Pentagon website in February.

What has emerged is a puzzling patchwork of information. Some full pages are blacked out. Sometimes the censors released only fragments of sentences, making for quirky reads like this, which came at the end of four full pages of remarks that are entirely blacked out: Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, the chief prosecutor, declares on Jan. 11, 2018, “When the transcript comes out, they’ll all be able to see all the stuff I just said because [REDACTED].”

Still, the transcripts yielded some intriguing information from hearings that were closed to both the public and the defendants:

  • Guantánamo’s covert lockup, Camp 7, was built in 2004. That was two years before the CIA delivered Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the accused chief plotter of the Sept. 11 attacks, and 13 other black-site captives to the island prison for trial. The year of construction, revealed in June 3, 2016, testimony, was long considered secret — so much so that the prison commander declined to answer the question during a meeting with reporters in June, even as he made a pitch for money from Congress to build a more efficient $69 million version, complete with a hospice wing for aging captives.
  • A defense attorney declared in May that from their September 2006 arrival at Guantánamo until January 2007, those accused of planning the Sept. 11 attacks were “essentially entirely CIA prisoners” — not strictly detainees of the U.S. military. “I’ve never disclosed that information to anybody,” defense attorney Jay Connell told the judge, according to a declassified transcript. In open court he had used an approved intelligence-community talking point that Camp 7 “continued under CIA operational control for some period of time.” Those four months matter because in January 2007 FBI agents interrogated the terror suspects to gather evidence apart from their years of CIA abuse. And now defense lawyers want the judge to exclude those so-called clean-team interrogations from trial as tainted by torture.
  • In CIA custody, alleged 9/11 plot deputy Walid bin Attash “was stripped of his clothes and photographed while nude; he was subjected to long periods of nudity; he was interrogated while nude,” defense attorney Cheryl Bormann told a war court judge on Feb. 25, 2016, a description that was not contained in the declassified section of the torture report released by the Senate intelligence committee. “When not forced to urinate and defecate into a diaper, he was forced to urinate and defecate into a bucket while monitored.”
  • In a January hearing, Air Force Capt. Brian Brady, a defense lawyer, told the judge that defense lawyers need to know what U.S. intelligence agencies are operating at Guantánamo. If there was an active presence of the National Security Agency or Defense Intelligence Agency at the detention center, Brady argued, lawyers might be able to argue that some trial evidence was manipulated by the intelligence community.
n an image obtained by McClatchy. The 9/11 charge sheet says he went by “Khallad,” an alias.

Pohl inquired: “Let’s say, for example, either the CIA or the detention facility themselves record a conversation, and then they forward the recording or the information to the NSA or the DIA. Would that be the type of involvement you’re talking about, or are you talking about the direct involvement at the time?” Brady replied: “Both, judge.”

In February 2007, Khalid Sheik Mohammed reportedly boasted to a military panel that he personally beheaded Wall Street Journal correspondent Daniel Pearl “with my blessed right hand.” Mohammed has never been charged with the 2002 murder in Pakistan. But in a passing remark at the same closed January session, prosecutor Bob Swann told the judge that Mohammed “has provided many statements” about the grisly beheading — leaving unclear whether they were obtained through surveillance or interrogations.

The transcripts also provide new details about day-to-day operations at Camp 7, for high-value detainees, such as the 9/11 plotters, who were waterboarded, sleep-deprived, had their heads slammed into walls and were subjected to forced rectal feeding or rehydration during their years of secret CIA custody:

  • A Navy medic and nurse are on duty around the clock but there generally is no after-hours doctor on site.
  • Each cell has an adjoining outdoor recreation yard that each inmate can open or close, one commander said.
  • At times the detention center has allowed communal prayer.
  • The U.S. military videotapes “forced cell extractions,” a tackle-and-shackle technique to remove a defiant inmate from a cell but troops don’t record when guards force a defiant captive into his cell.

In early 2016, two Pentagon intelligence programs classified above top secret called ACCMs, Alternative Compensatory Control Measures, were operating at Guantánamo. They were so highly classified that only the few officials who were deemd ACCM “indoctrinated” were allowed to stay in the courtroom while the measures were discussed. Any discussion of the program is blacked out in the released transcripts. Later that year, a transcript shows, one of the ACCMs had been disbanded. Their code names, however, are still secret.

Anti-gun protester David Hogg — protected by armed guards?

24th June 2018

David Hogg is a VIP now.

The 18-year-old attended the Parkland, Florida school where a student murdered 17 people in February, then made himself famous with relentless calls for gun control in the wake of the tragedy.

Now he’s got a book deal, and publicists — and armed guards.

Sean Di Somma snapped some pictures of Hogg strolling the streets of New York City recently with his new entourage in tow.

 

 

 

source/read more: http://www.theamericanmirror.com/anti-gun-protester-david-hogg-struts-through-nyc-with-armed-guards/

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5877331/Parkland-survivor-David-Hogg-seen-New-York-City-armed-security-guards.html