By Michael Nevradakis

Longtime ABC News and NPR correspondent Kati Marton talks about her best-selling book, The Polk Conspiracy: Murder and Cover-Up in the Case of CBS News Correspondent George Polk, its recent re-release as part of the Forbidden Bookshelf series of e-books, and about the murder of US journalist George Polk in Greece during the country’s civil war in 1948 and the alleged conspiracy behind his killing.

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By Frances Stonor Saunders

On 25 January 1933, the 16-year-old Eric Hobsbawm marched with thousands of comrades through central Berlin to the headquarters of the German Communist Party (KPD). When they arrived at Karl Liebknecht Haus, on the Bülowplatz, the temperature was –18°C. They shuffled and waited in the bone-numbing cold for four hours to hear the podium speeches of the party cadres. As Hobsbawm would recall much later, there was singing – ‘The Internationale’, peasant war songs, the ‘Soviet Airmen’s Song’ – with intervals of heavy silence. The red flags and banners could not dispel the greyness – of the shadowy buildings, the sky, the crowd – or the realisation that ‘the inevitability of world revolution’ had been postponed, that what faced the beleaguered movement in the short term was a reckoning: ‘danger, capture, resistance to interrogation, defiance in defeat’.​[Unless otherwise stated, all Hobsbawm quotations are from his autobiography, Interesting Times: A 20th-Century Life (2002).] Not the New Jerusalem, then, but a new circle of hell.

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By EA Dyson

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, WikiLeaks released draft text of the all-important investment chapter of the Trans Pacific Partnership trade agreement. A Friends of the Earth analysis of the leaked TPP investment chapter text shows that the U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman and the White House have been misrepresenting the implications of TPP investment provisions, saying that the TPP provisions for investor-state dispute resolution are similar to U.S. constitutional standards (as when the state highway department takes a family’s backyard for a road expansion and must pay them just compensation).  In fact, the TPP investment chapter text exposed by WikiLeaks departs significantly from U.S. constitutional standards.

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By Jim Dwyer

New York University’s fraught tenure as an intellectual prize of the Middle East has taken a new and mysterious turn: A private investigator has been making inquiries about an N.Y.U. professor who criticized the exploitation of migrant workers building the university’s campus in Abu Dhabi.

The same investigator, working for an as-yet unidentified party, has also sought information on a reporter for The New York Times who wrote last year about the harsh conditions endured by those workers.

The revelation that a private investigator has been collecting information about the professor, Andrew Ross, and the reporter, Ariel Kaminer, alarmed university officials. “The university has no knowledge of this and no involvement,” John Beckman, an N.Y.U. spokesman, said in a statement. “It’s reprehensible and offensive on its face, and we call on whoever is involved to desist immediately.”

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by Jon Rappoport

“The combined death rate from scarlet fever, diphtheria, whooping cough and measles among children up to fifteen shows that nearly 90 percent of the total decline in mortality between 1860 and 1965 had occurred before the introduction of antibiotics and widespread immunization. In part, this recession may be attributed to improved housing and to a decrease in the virulence of micro-organisms, but by far the most important factor was a higher host-resistance due to better nutrition.” —Ivan Illich, Medical Nemesis, Bantam Books, 1977

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WASHINGTON—Why is no one in the D.C. political class and media bubble talking about the Jeffrey Epstein affair? Well, it’s not true that they’re not talking about it at all; they’re just not (for the most part) talking about it honestly or asking the right questions. And the right questions are: Exactly how tight is the friendship between former President and potential future first gentleman Bill Clinton and Mr. Epstein, who owns a private island in Florida and is now accused of having sex with girls as young as 12 and procuring young girls for sex with other friends of his? What was Bill Clinton doing on the island with Mr. Epstein on multiple occasions and why did he fly overseas on Mr. Epstein’s plane at least 10 times?

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By Henry Norr

I never expect much from the U.S. mainstream media, especially when it comes to the Middle East, but still I’ve been genuinely shocked by the sorry coverage of the conflict surrounding Iran’s nuclear program and Netanyahu’s recent speech to Congress.

As other critics have already pointed out, the biggest problem is not so much what the media have been reporting as what they leave out: not just critical perspectives, but also undisputed facts that are essential to understanding the situation. See, for example, “Somebody Needs to Tell The NY Times: Israel Has The Bomb,” by TimesWarp’s Barbara Erickson and “What Was Missing From Coverage of Netanyahu’s Speech” by Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting’s Jim Naureckas.

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By Ellen Brown

Wars over California’s limited water supply have been going on for at least a century. Water wars have been the subject of some vintage movies, including the 1958 hit The Big Country starring Gregory Peck, Clint Eastwood’s 1985 Pale Rider, 1995’s Waterworld with Kevin Costner, and the 2005 film Batman Begins. Most acclaimed was the 1975 Academy Award winner Chinatown with Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway, involving a plot between a corrupt Los Angeles politician and land speculators to fabricate the 1937 drought in order to force farmers to sell their land at low prices. The plot was rooted in historical fact, reflecting battles between Owens Valley farmers and Los Angeles urbanites over water rights.

Today the water wars continue on a larger scale with new players. It’s no longer just the farmers against the ranchers or the urbanites. It’s the people against the new “water barons” — Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Monsanto, the Bush family, and their ilk — who are buying up water all over the world at an unprecedented pace.

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The Islamic State is getting outside help, with plane drops providing ammunition for the terrorist organization, according to an RT Arabic report. Iraqi government soldiers also say this is a recurring theme and the group is as strong as ever.

The battle for Iraq’s Anbar Province continues to rage, despite bombing campaigns from the US and their coalition allies. Notwithstanding a big offensive to try and win back territory lost to the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) last summer, local Iraqi government soldiers say the militant group is still a potent force.

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By Pam Martens and Russ Martens

Wall Street Journal oil reporter, David Bird, set out from his New Jersey home for a brief walk on January 11, 2014 and disappeared without a trace. Last Wednesday, 14 months after his disappearance and the very same day David Bird’s family had launched a web site to urge the public to help them locate their beloved husband and father, Bird’s body was found in the Passaic River. It was conclusively identified through dental records.

A search had been underway for Bird since the evening of his disappearance. He had left his home on Long Hill Road in the Millington section of Long Hill Township, New Jersey to take a short walk. The circumstances were inconsistent with someone who intended to disappear: he was wearing a bright red jacket with yellow zippers; he was a recipient of a liver transplant and did not take the anti-rejection, prescription medicine that he was required to take daily to stay alive.

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