* STATEMENT BY THE W.H. PRESS SECRETARY ON THE G-8 AND NATO SUMMITS
Source: The White House
In May, the United States looks forward to hosting the G-8 and NATO Summits. To facilitate a free-flowing discussion with our close G-8 partners, the President is inviting his fellow G-8 leaders to Camp David on May 18-19 for the G-8 Summit, which will address a broad range of economic, political and security issues. The President will then welcome NATO allies and partners to his hometown of Chicago for the NATO Summit on May 20-21, which will be the premier opportunity this year for the President to continue his efforts to strengthen NATO in order to ensure that the Atlantic Alliance remains the most successful alliance in history, while charting the way forward in Afghanistan.
TRANSLATION BY JERRY BOYLE:
For those who don’t speak bullshit, here’s a translation to plain English: “We thought this would be a good launch for the campaign, showcasing President 1%’s status as a world leader, but Occupy Chicago changed that, so now it’s a damage control operation.”
Occupiers: Do not underestimate how much they fear you.
… MORE (h/t Rob Poe):
OFFICIAL STATEMENT OF THE CANG8 ORGANIZING COMMITTEE:
G8 Moving to Camp David
Protestors claim victory, to continue plans to march on May 19th
Today, the White House announced that the G8 summit, scheduled for Chicago on May 19-20, will be moved to Camp David, although the NATO summit will still take place in Chicago May 20-21.
The Coalition Against NATO/G8 War & Poverty Agenda (CANG8) and Occupy Chicago issue the following statement:
The G8 moving to Camp David represents a major victory for the people of Chicago. The leaders of the 1% are moving because of the overwhelming resistance to the NATO/G8 war and poverty agenda in Chicago. Our city is filled with tens of thousands of people who are struggling to keep their heads above water, fighting against the effects of the economic crisis caused by the leaders who would have been gathering here. The communities of Chicago are fighting to save their schools, keep healthcare available, and to defend their jobs from cutbacks that are a hallmark of the governments of the G8.
The city has carried out a campaign to intimidate and vilify protesters, claiming that protests lead to violence. In fact, the main source of violence in the world today is the wars being waged by NATO and the US. “We will march on May 19th to deliver our message: Jobs, Housing, Healthcare, Education, Our Pensions, the Environment: Not War! We and tens of thousands will be in the streets that day for a family friendly rally and march, with cries so loud they will be heard in Camp David and across the globe. We will be in the streets that day to fight for our future, and speak out against the wars and their cutbacks are designed to benefit the 1% at the expense of the 99% of the world.”
* MATT TAIBBI’S TEACH-IN AT BRYANT PARK, NYC
* TRIAL OF ICELAND EX-PM HAARDE OVER 2008 CRISIS BEGINS
The trial of former Icelandic Prime Minister Geir Haarde, on charges of negligence over the 2008 financial crisis, has begun in Reykjavik.
Mr Haarde is thought to be the first world leader to face criminal charges over the crisis.
He rejects the charges as “political persecution” and has said he will be vindicated during the trial.
The country’s three main banks collapsed during economic turmoil and the failure of Icesave hit thousands. […]
* GREECE SPECIAL REPORT
* LAWMAKERS SECRETLY WORK ON BIPARTISAN DEFICIT GRAND BARGAIN
By Eric Wasson, The Hill
A small, bipartisan group of lawmakers in both the House and Senate are secretly drafting deficit grand bargain legislation that cuts entitlements and raises new revenue.
Sources said that the task of actually writing the bills is well underway, but core participants in the regular meetings do not yet know when the bills can be unveiled.
The core House group of roughly 10 negotiators is derived from a larger Gang of 100 lawmakers led by Reps. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) and Health Shuler (D-N.C.), who urged the debt supercommittee to strike a grand bargain last year.
That larger group includes GOP centrists like Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), who has said Republicans should abandon their no-new-tax-revenue pledge, as well as Tea Party-backed members like Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.).
The key test in the coming months will be to see whether the core group can get buy-in from many of the 100 members who vaguely support “going big” on the deficit once real cuts and tax increases are identified.
The talks are so sensitive that some members involved do not yet want to be identified. […]
* MURDER IS LEGAL, SAYS ERIC HOLDER
By David Swanson, War Is A Crime
Attorney General Eric Holder on Monday explained why it’s legal to murder people — not to execute prisoners convicted of capital crimes, not to shoot someone in self-defense, not to fight on a battlefield in a war that is somehow legalized, but to target and kill an individual sitting on his sofa, with no charges, no arrest, no trial, no approval from a court, no approval from a legislature, no approval from we the people, and in fact no sharing of information with any institutions that are not the president. Holder’s speech approached his topic in a round about manner:
“Since this country’s earliest days, the American people have risen to this challenge – and all that it demands. But, as we have seen – and as President John F. Kennedy may have described best – ‘In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger.'”
Holder quotes that and then immediately rejects it, claiming that our generation too should act as if it is in such a moment, even if it isn’t, a moment that Holder’s position suggests may last forever:
“Half a century has passed since those words were spoken, but our nation today confronts grave national security threats that demand our constant attention and steadfast commitment. It is clear that, once again, we have reached an ‘hour of danger.’
“We are a nation at war. And, in this war, we face a nimble and determined enemy that cannot be underestimated.” […]
* THE SAD TRUTH TO WHY MOST PEOPLE MAY NOT WAKE UP!
* BEE EXPOSURE TO TREATED SEED SUST DURING PLANTING CONFIRMED
Source: Occupy Monsanto
Beyond Pesticides, February 28, 2012
A study by researchers at the University of Padova in Italy and published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology has confirmed the findings of previous research showing that honey bees are exposed to toxic neonicotinoid insecticides during spring seed planting. Neonicotinoids are known to be highly toxic to honey bees and, yet, are used on millions of acres through North America every year. These findings lend even greater urgency to the need to take these chemicals off the market and ensure the continued survival of honey bees and the essential pollination services that they provide for our food system.
Neonicotinoids, including clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam, are most commonly applied by coating crop seeds with the chemical. When these treated seeds are planted, the chemical becomes part of the plants vascular system and stays in the plant for the duration of its lifetime, expressing itself in the pollen. Previously, it had been thought that bees were only exposed to these chemicals through pollen and water droplets from treated plants, which would occur later in the season once the plants had grown and bloomed. However, the Italian study shows that bees are actually exposed to high levels of clothianidin, imidacloprid, and thiamethoxam during the spring corn planting season. This occurs because, when the seeds are planted using a mechanical seeder, small amounts of the chemical coating can be scraped off of the seeds and expelled through the planter’s exhaust as dust. Bees that are near the area or are flying through then come into direct physical contact with the chemical dust.
The findings of the Italian Research team, led by Professor Andrea Tapparo, confirm that high amounts of neonicotinoids are present in the exhaust of corn seed planters and that bees are exposed to these potentially lethal concentrations of the chemical simply by flying through the area during planting. In analyzing bees that were induced to fly through planter exhaust in a field that was being planted, the team found that there were high concentrations of clothianidin and thiamethoxam in and on the bees themselves. These concentrations were “significantly higher” than known lethal doses of the chemicals for honeybees, according to the researchers. The study included analyses of several different kinds of seed coatings as well as seed planting machines, but the team found that no modifications to seeds or planters resulted in any significant decrease in the emission of chemical dust or the contamination levels of the bees themselves. In conclusion, the authors note that,
This emission source of particles with acute toxic effects on bees (and on other insects too) is of concern for both apiculture and crop productions based on bee pollination. But it is also a widespread ecological problem that, in view of the worldwide increase in corn production partly promoted by government subsidies to renewable energy sources, and the consequent predictable exacerbation of the problem, should require a deeper analysis of the related agricultural policies.” […]
* SPILL FROM HELL: DILUTED BITUMEN
Poisoned air. Sunken gunk. A clean-up nightmare. What we’re learning from the oil sands ‘DilBit’ dump into the Kalamazoo River
By Mitchell Anderson, The Tyee
On a July morning in 2010 in rural Michigan, a 30-inch pipeline owned by Calgary-based Enbridge Energy Partners burst and disgorged an estimated 843,000 gallons of thick crude into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. This was no ordinary crude — it was the first ever major spill into water of diluted bitumen from the Alberta oil sands.
The cleanup challenges and health impacts around Kalamazoo were unlike anything the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had ever dealt with, and raise serious questions about the preparedness in British Columbia to respond to such a disaster on the B.C. coast — or the Vancouver harbour.
Each year, increasing numbers of tankers filled with diluted bitumen leave Vancouver loaded from the existing Kinder Morgan pipeline from northern Alberta to a terminus in Burnaby.
Tankers exiting Vancouver harbor must transit through the shallow Second Narrows channel during “high slack water” — a short tidal window of about 20 minutes that provides loaded tankers with less than two metres of under-keel clearance. […]
* BIOMETRICS, TURNING A ‘CITIZEN’ INTO A ‘SUBJECT’: USHA RAMANATHAN
In the wake of controversies concerning the NATGRID and UID project involving collection of biometric data of the Indian population, noted law researcher Usha Ramanathan speaks to Newsclick about the politics behind this move.