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LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Glypho 0516wrp opt(Photo: EcoWatch)Four Nebraskan agricultural workers have filed a lawsuit against Monsanto Co. alleging that the agribusiness giant’s cancer-linked product, Roundup, gave them non-Hodgkin lymphoma after many years of exposure.

The plaintiffs have also accused Monsanto of purposely misleading consumers about the safety of its blockbuster product, which contains glyphosate as its controversial main ingredient.

The plaintiffs allege that Monsanto mislabeled the product in defiance of the “body of recognized scientific evidence linking the disease to exposure to Roundup.”

Glyphosate, the most widely used herbicide in the world was infamously classified as “probably carcinogenic to humans” by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in March 2015.

“Case-control studies of occupational exposure in the USA, Canada, and Sweden reported increased risks for non-Hodgkin lymphoma that persisted after adjustment for other pesticides,” the IARC said about the herbicide, adding that there is also “convincing evidence” that it can cause cancer in laboratory animals.

The plaintiffs in the case are farmers Larry Domina and Robert Dickey both of Cedar County, York County farmer Royce Janzen and Dodge County agronomist Frank Pollard, the Lincoln Journal Star reported. They are represented by Omaha-based Domina Law Group and New York-based Weitz & Luxembourg.

LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

FrackingBad 0516wrp opt(Photo: EcoWatch)Unconventional oil and gas (UOG) operations such as fracking might allow for cheaper prices to heat your home, but a growing number of scientists are becoming concerned about its unacceptable health implications.

In the first comprehensive literature review to date on the respiratory health risks associated with UOG, experts from the Center for Environmental Health, the Institute for Health and the Environment, Physicians for Social Responsibility and the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments have found that these operations are particularly harmful to infants and young children.

The study, Hazards of UOG Emissions on Children’s and Infants’ Respiratory Health, was published today in the journal Reviews on Environmental Health.

The the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) found that there are nearly 700 chemicals used in the fracking process. Fracking fluids can contain a toxic slew of hazardous chemicals that can affect human health and the environment, but oil and gas companies are not required to disclose exactly what they are.

According to the study, at least five chemicals associated with unconventional oil and gas operations and fracking—tropospheric ozone, particulate matter, silica dust, benzene and formaldehyde—are linked to respiratory health issues on infants and children, including asthma, reduced lung and pulmonary function, increased susceptibility to infection, chest discomfort, difficulty breathing, lung inflammation and other adverse outcomes.

LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Glyphosate 0513wrp(Photo: Glyphosate USA)Last month, Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) volunteered to take a urine test to see if glyphosate—the cancer-linked weedkiller—is in their system. Forty-eight MEPs from 13 different European Union countries participated in the test, and now the results are in.

According to ELISA test results from the accredited Biocheck Laboratory in Germany: “All participants excreted glyphosate by urine.”

The experiment was spearheaded by the Green Party in the European Parliament, which wants a ban on the controversial herbicide in the European Union.

The group noted in a press release of their so-called “#MEPee” test:

On average, the MEPs had 1.7 micrograms/liter of glyphosate in their urine, 17 times higher than the European drinking water norm (0.1 microgram/litre). This means that everyone we tested was way above the limit for residues of pesticides in drinking water.

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

2106may trumpbutlerDonald Trump's former butler and present acquaintance clearly echoes the billionaire's racism, misogyny and bigotry, just in cruder fashion if that can be believed. (Image: Philip Cohen)

The rabid, vile racism of Trump's former butler at his Florida Mar-a-Lago estate sucked the air out of the news for a few hours yesterday.

According to David Corn of Mother Jones, Anthony Senecal became a part-time "historian" of Mar-a-Lago after his retirement -- although the Trump campaign claims that they don't see each other anymore -- and has spent a lot of time on Facebook posting racist and other contemptible rants, including "express[ing] profound hatred for President Barack Obama and declar[ing] that he should be killed."

CNN posted an article last night that Trump's campaign has "disavowed" Senecal's statement threatening President Obama:

"Tony Senecal has not worked at Mar-a-Lago for years, but nevertheless we totally and completely disavow the horrible statements made by him regarding the President," [Trump] campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks said.

Trump really had no choice but to renounce Senecal's threats to the life of the president, because it is a federal crime to encourage a president's assassination. According to CNN, Senecal readily admitted to his recent deadly Facebook screeds:

Anthony Senecal, who served as Trump's butler for 17 years and now takes groups on tours of the presumptive Republican nominee's Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, wrote in a Facebook post Wednesday that Obama "should have been taken out by our military and shot as an enemy agent in his first term," according to Mother Jones, which first reported on Senecal's post.

Reached for comment by CNN on Thursday, Senecal, 84, confirmed he wrote the post, but disputed one point, "I think I said hung."

House in Germany using alternative energy(Photo: Mahtab)LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Article reprinted with permission from EcoWatch

On May 8 -- a particularly sunny and windy day -- Germany's renewable energy mix of solarwind, hydropower and biomass generated so much power that it met 88 percent of the country's total electricity demand, or 55 GW out of 63 GW being consumed.

This means, as Quartz reported, "power prices actually went negative for several hours, meaning commercial customers were being paid to consume electricity."

"We have a greater share of renewable energy every year," said Christoph Podewils of Agora Energiewende, a German clean energy think tank.

"The power system adapted to this quite nicely. This day shows again that a system with large amounts of renewable energy works fine."

2016.12.5 BF Koehler(Photo: mrami)ROBERT C. KOEHLER FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

And the race goes on. So does the war, but you'd never know that the one had anything to do with the other.

Even when the mainstream media trouble themselves to acknowledge that the primary season remains open on the Democratic side, that Bernie Sanders -- and his millions of supporters -- are still in the race, the Bernie revolution is never portrayed as addressing foreign policy and the still-failing, still-catastrophic war on terror.

Yet the war is there, shredding the national economy as it shreds much of the Middle East and, indeed, the whole planet.

Noam Chomsky, in his new book Who Rules the World?, quoting terrorism specialists Peter Bergen and Paul Cruickshank, says the Iraq War "generated a stunning sevenfold increase in the yearly rate of fatal jihadist attacks, amounting to literally hundreds of additional terrorist attacks and thousands of civilian lives lost; even when terrorism in Iraq and Afghanistan is excluded, fatal attacks in the rest of the world have increased by more than one-third."

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

2016may12 91123Have Americans been doubly betrayed in the war on terror? (Photo: Wikipedia

Yesterday, I committed the heresy of speculating that US weapons manufacturers may be pleased that the war on terrorism does not appear to have an end. Why? Because billions and billions of dollars might be lost in contracts from the Pentagon and CIA if terrorism were halted. 

Today, I'll let the co-chair of the 2002 official joint congressional 9/11 inquiry -- former US Senator Bob Graham -- take on another sacred cow in the so-called "war on terror": Saudi Arabia. Graham, who also served as the governor of Florida, has long claimed that a number of Saudi Arabians -- some in the government -- financed and aided al-Qaeda in planning the 9/11 attacks. This assertion is considered heretical by the foreign policy, congressional and White House fossil fuel "pragmatists" because such an allegation, if proven true, would endanger the relationship of the US with the second-largest oil producer in the world (after the US itself, which ranks first). In fact, the White House is vigorously opposing congressional legislation that would allow survivors and surviving family members of 9/11 to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for alleged involvement in enabling the 9/11 attacks. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is threatening to financially harm the United States if the bill becomes law.

Graham charges that there has been a long-term effort to keep a 28-page section of the official report secret from the public. In a recent column for US Today, Graham wrote:

On April 11, CBS's "60 Minutes" led with an important segment about the tragedy of 9/11 and how a 28-page chapter of the final report of a congressional investigation has been withheld from the American people for almost 13 years.

This was not a cover-up. It was the result of aggressive deception. Your government has purposely used deceit to withhold the truth.

LORRAINE CHOW OF ECOWATCH ON BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

DAPL 0511wrp opt(Photo: EcoWatch)The campaign to oppose the construction of the Dakota Access pipeline (DAPL) continues to gain steam with Leonardo DiCaprio and actors from the upcoming Justice League film joining the cause.

Dakota Access—a subsidiary of Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners LP—has proposed a $3.7 billion, 1,168-mile pipeline that will transfer up to 570,00 barrels of crude oil per day from the North Dakota Bakken region through South Dakota and Iowa into Illinois.

The DAPL, also referred to as the Bakken pipeline, would cross the Missouri River less than a mile away from the Standing Rock Reservation that stands in North and South Dakota. The Missouri River, one of the largest water resources in the U.S., provides drinking water for millions of people.

The people of Standing Rock, often called Sioux, warn that a potential oil spill into the river would threaten the water, land and health of their reservation.

In DiCaprio’s tweet, the Oscar-winning actor and clean energy advocate said he was “standing with the Great Sioux Nation to protect their water and lands,” and linked to a Change.org petition that urges the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to stop the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

 

MARK KARLIN, EDITOR OF BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

2016may11 terrorwareisenIn the absence of newly declared war, how would the military-industrial complex prosper without terrorism? (Image: KAZ Vorpal)

The National Priorities Project recently sent out an email with the subject line, "Terrorism means business, if you're a defense contractor." The message bluntly states:

If you're a defense contractor, terrorism means business, and business is good.

According to recent reports, the corporate defense behemoth Lockheed Martin's revenue rose 15.7% and shares rose 1.5% following the news that President Obama was committing an additional 250 troops in Syria. 

Lockheed Martin was the biggest federal contract in 2014, pulling in more than $32 billion in federal contracts, including $25 billion in Pentagon contracts. Its federal haul makes it practically an honorary state.

In fact, the Project states that the contracts received by Lockheed Martin in 2014 exceed federal grants allotted to each individual state, with the exceptions of the high-population states of California, New York and Texas.

In a blog entry on the National Priorities Project site, research director Lindsay Koshgarian states, "Lockheed and its defense industry companions have made enough profits from taxpayer dollars. It’s past time to show them that terrorism doesn’t pay.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016 07:19

Louisiana Number One in Incarceration

BILL QUIGLEY FOR BUZZFLASH AT TRUTHOUT

Chain1 0511wrp(Photo: Toni Lozano)In 2014, the US Department of Justice confirmed Louisiana remained number 1, among the 50 states, with 38,030 in prison, a rate of 816 per 100,000 over 100 points ahead of next highest state Oklahoma.  Because the US leads the world in incarcerating its people, this means Louisiana is number one in the world.  Compare Louisiana’s rate of 816 people per 100,000 with Russia’s 492, China with 119, France with 100, and Germany with 78.

Louisiana first became number 1 in the nation in 2005 when it was imprisoning 36,083 people.  Louisiana remained number 1, in 2010 with 35,207 in prison, an incarceration rate of 867 per 100,000 people, over 200 points head of the next highest state Mississippi.

It was not always so.  In 1965, Louisiana ranked 13th nationally in putting its citizens in jail with a rate of 109 prisoners per 100,000 people.  In 1978, Louisiana only held 7,291 people behind bars.  By 1986, Louisiana was 5th highest in the nation in putting its own citizens in prison, with 14,580 behind bars, a rate of 322 per 100,000, according to the US Department of Justice.   In 1990, Louisiana rose to 3rd highest in the nation, putting 18,599 behind bars, a rate of 427 per 100,000.  In 2000, Louisiana moved to 2nd highest in the nation, imprisoning 35,047 behind bars, a rate of 801 per 100,000.

The number of prisoners expanded nation-wide as a result of the “war on drugs” which was conducted in a racist way to target blacks.  But in Louisiana, the prisons also backed up when the practice of releasing prisoners for good behavior after 10 years and 6 months of their life sentences was ended in the 1970s.

Louisiana has been much more severe in sending black people to prison than whites, at least after black people were no longer slaves.   In 1860, when the Civil War started, the population of the Louisiana penitentiary was two-thirds white.  But by 1868, the population of Louisiana’s penitentiary was two-thirds black.

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