“There’s no trade without war; there’s no war without trade,” the famous quip by Jan Pieterzoon Coen, a leading officer of the Dutch East India Company in the 17th century, not only points to the dark beginnings of capitalism, it also spells out a basic fact: You need money to wage war, loads of it. So from where does the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) gets its money and how stable are its finances?

Much has been said about ISIS’s professional organizational structure with regional governors and specialized agencies for portfolios like propaganda, secret services, military and finance. The organization indeed publishes an annual report like corporations do. On 400+ pages it outlines what kind of activities it has pursued ranging from car bombs to proselytizing. Apart from gaining an intra-organizational overview of operations and strategy, the document is obviously meant to attract endorsements and raise finance. Yet there is a major difference to your average corporation report: funding sources are not mentioned. The report tries to give the air of accountability without delivering it.

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In a video uploaded to YouTube on SaturdayLawrence and Leigh musician Andrew Kalleen is seen being assaulted and arrested by NYPD- even after knowing his rights and proving to the officer that he had not broken any laws.

The video, which was filmed at the Lorimer Street/Metropolitan Avenue station around 1:30 am on Friday, begins with Kalleen already explaining to the officer that he is not breaking any laws.

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Much has been written in the international press in the past two years regarding the decline of free speech rights and the freedom of the press. Well-publicized incidents such as the shutdown of ERT and the arrest of journalist Kostas Vaxevanis on charges relating to his publication of the so-called “Lagarde List” made international headlines, leading to a general consensus in the international media that press freedoms in crisis-hit Greece are on the decline.

This decline has been confirmed by media watchdog groups such as Freedom House and Reporters without Borders. Since 2009, Greece has seen the sharpest decline of any country in Freedom House’s annual press freedom index, dropping into the “partly free” category in the 2013 rankings and falling further, to 92nd place worldwide, in 2014, placing it in last place in the European Union and behind countries such as Mozambique, Burkina Faso and Botswana. Similarly, Greece has fallen to 99th place worldwide in the 2014 World Press Freedom Index published by Reporters without Borders, dropping from 84th place the previous year and falling behind countries such as Zambia, Malawi and Kyrgyzstan.

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Contamination from depleted uranium (DU) munitions is causing sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq, according to numerous Iraqi doctors.

Iraqi doctors and prominent scientists believe that DU contamination is also connected to the emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukemia, renal and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah during 2004, and Basra during the 1991 US war on Iraq.

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Jeff Leen, the Washington Post’s assistant managing editor for investigations, begins his
renewed attack
 on the late Gary Webb’s Contra-cocaine reporting with a falsehood.

Leen insists that there is a journalism dictum that “an extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.” But Leen must know that it is not true. Many extraordinary claims, such as assertions in 2002-03 that Iraq was hiding arsenals of WMDs, were published as flat-fact without “extraordinary proof” or any real evidence at all, including by Leen’s colleagues at the Washington Post.

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Nokia’s former Technology Chief, Matti Niemelä, was involved in the development the world’s first mobile phones, but fell seriously ill himself from mobile-phone microwave radiation.

In addition, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Some studies suggest that radiation may increase the risk of even MS.

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As the plaintiffs in the otherwise successful challenge to Texas Republicans’ polling place Photo ID restriction law pointed out during theiremergency petition to the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this week — after an appeals court panel had temporarily stayed a lower court’s determination that the law was discriminatory and thus, stricken down — it was the High Court itself which, when it gutted a central provision of the Voting Rights Act last year, promised there were other provisions still standing in the landmark VRA that could adequately be used to prevent discriminatory voting laws in all 50 states.

“Our decision in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting found in [Section] 2″ of the Voting Rights Act, the John Roberts Supreme Court majority declared at the time. Apparently they were just kidding.

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Is it futile to combat computerized vote-counting fraud, given the more general disenfranchisement of the American public? This and the emerging battlefield of corporate versus public interest is explored in this adapted excerpt from “CODE RED”by Jonathan D. Simon.

Many despairing observers of The New American Century have asked me whether – given the recent revelations about NSA surveillance, along with other signs that American democracy is deteriorating irrespective of which party governs – an honest vote counting system would even matter anymore.  A fair question to which I believe the ultimate, if uneasy, answer is “Yes.”

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Despite rising income and sales figures, Wal-Mart announced plans on Tuesday to terminate health benefits for 30,000 part-time employees at the end of the year. Majority shareholders and heirs to the Wal-Mart fortune, the Walton family refuses to provide a living wage to their workforce who requires public assistance in order to survive. Endorsing international slave labor, Wal-Mart purchases inventory from a food conglomerate that routinely commits human rights violations against unpaid and abused workers.

In a blog ironically titled “Providing Quality Health Benefits for Our Associates,” Wal-Mart Senior Vice President Sally Welborn declared America’s largest retailer will no longer provide health benefits to part-time employees working less than 30 hours per week. In 2011, Wal-Mart cut benefits for new associates working less than 24 hours per week. And in 2012, the corporation ceased offering coverage to new employees working less than 30 hours per week. But starting on January 1, 2015, all associates working less than 30 hours will be affected.

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by Susie Greaves

In July 2014 Dr Shigeru Mita wrote a letter to his fellow doctors to explain his decision to move his practice from Tokyo to Okayama city in the West of Japan [1]. In it, he appeals to their sense of duty to answer the anxieties of parents in Japan who do not believe the information coming from the authorities. He says “I must state that the policies of the WHO, the IAEA or the Japanese government cannot be trusted.” and “if the power to save our citizens and future generations exists somewhere, it does not lie within the government or any academic association, but in the hands of individual clinical doctors ourselves.”

Mita claims that all 23 districts of Tokyo are contaminated, with the eastern area worst affected — up to 4 000 Bq/kg. (The becquerel is a unit of radioactivity. One Bq is the activity of a quantity of radioactive material in which one nucleus decays per second.) These findings confirm what the nuclear physicist Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds Nuclear Education found in 2012, when he picked up five random soil samples in Tokyo from between paving stones, in parks and playgrounds. The levels of contamination were up to 7 000 Bq/kg; in the US, anything registering these levels would be considered nuclear waste [2].

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