Professional Scam Artists – part 49

“‘The wicked Samaritans’: Big Companies Initiating Tobacco Smoking to School Pupils in Zambia” by Chris Zumani Zimba (Afrodemocracy Journal via The Most Revolutionary Act)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

This is why I call them “WICKED SAMARITANS”, trust me, all tobacco farmers, cigarette manufacturers and suppliers across the world are pretty aware that smoking is a guaranteed path to Self-Suicide as tobacco is dangerously harmful and brutally toxic to human live [sic]. By introducing tobacco smoking to minors, children and teenagers around all schools via heavy and colorful adverts in shops, kiosks, food outlets, mobile vendors, it is clear that these tobacco companies are heartlessly only interested in increasing sales and profits as they don’t respect the public health of innocent minors or adhere to the core values of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC); “doing everything in the best interest of the child”.

Big Companies that are initiating Tobacco Smoking to School Pupils in Zambia

According to a 2018 study that was launched in March, 2019 conducted in the context of the Tobacco Industry Accountability (TIA) Project funded by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids (CTFK) and implemented by the African Tobacco Control Alliance (ATCA) and its country partner, Tobacco-Free Association of Zambia (TOFAZA), there are specific tobacco companies and cigarette brands that are initiating Tobacco Smoking to School Pupils and children in Zambia. The study revealed that the tobacco companies or cigarette brands that are heavily advertising their cigarettes and aggressively sponsoring their tobacco related products around Zambian schools targeting pupils are 1. Chelsea, 2. Pull Mall [sic], 3. Guards, 4. Express Royal, 5. Pacific Blue, 6. Peter Stuyvesant, 7. Safari and 8. Monte Carlo among others.


An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On April 16, 2019, the New York Times made a mistake. The newspaper acknowledged it swiftly, publishing a three-line correction…

Miscounting an ex-agent’s career by three years is the only mistake the journalists and the newspaper’s management admit to making in their analysis of the facts Haspel presented to Trump, and of the “perilous situation for the CIA” resulting from the president’s disbelief…

The newspaper claims that in one case, in March of 2018, Haspel overcame Trump’s scepticism by presenting evidence that in the Skripal case, “Ms. Haspel also tried to show him that Mr. Skripal and his daughter were not the only victims of Russia’s attack. Ms. Haspel showed pictures the British government had supplied her of young children hospitalized after being sickened by the Novichok nerve agent that poisoned the Skripals. She then showed a photograph of ducks that British officials said were inadvertently killed by the sloppy work of the Russian operatives…Mr. Trump fixated on the pictures of the sickened children and the dead ducks. At the end of the briefing, he embraced the strong [sanctions] option.”

“The outcome was an example, officials said, of how Ms. Haspel is one of the few people who can get Mr. Trump to shift position based on new information.”

The problem is obvious. The “new information” – dead ducks, sickened young children in hospital, British Government photographs – was false and the photographs faked. Haspel knew before she presented to Trump. She then lied to Trump.

The five reporters – Julian Barnes, Adam Goldman, Eric Schmitt, Michael Schmidt, Matthew Rosenberg – did not check the details. Questioned since their publication, they will not clarify what they reported as true. The newspaper management refuses to publish a correction.

“Annexation of West Bank may provide key to unlocking Netanyahu’s legal troubles” by Jonathan Cook (Jonathan Cook)

The culmination of his dirty tricks campaign was an election-day stunt in which his Likud party broke regulations – and possibly the law – by arming 1,200 activists with hidden cameras, to film polling stations in communities belonging to Israel’s large Palestinian minority…

The PR firm behind the stunt admitted another motive. The goal was for the cameras to be quickly discovered by police and thereby scare the one in five citizens who are Palestinian into staying home. A low turnout by Palestinian voters in Israel would ensure a stronger parliamentary majority for Netanyahu’s coalition…

His coalition, comprising settler factions and religious fundamentalists, will even include a party hosting political refugees from the previously outlawed Kach party – anti-Arab racists banned in the US as a terror organisation…

In other words, Netanyahu will face no serious domestic or international obstacles as he implements the agenda of the right…

The biggest trouble facing Netanyahu once he forms a new government will not be political but legal.

During the election campaign, Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, announced that Netanyahu would soon be indicted on a series of corruption charges…

The other option is to arm-twist his coalition partners into agreeing a retroactive immunity law making it impossible for prosecutors to indict the prime minister while in office. Some of his coalition partners are already on board.

How he might achieve this feat is through an “annexation for immunity” deal. In other words, Netanyahu gives the far-right and the settlers what they want – annexation of parts or all of the West Bank – and in return, they back immunity legislation.

You’ve got to give Netanyahu credit. He really knows how to be immoral. He’s very clever and will remain so either until he dies or Armgageddon disappears him. Jonathan could have picked a better title for his article. “Unlocking” could have been, for example “removing.”

“Hey, Justin, there will never be two states – A response to Canada’s simpleminded Prime Minister” by Jim Miles (Axis of Logic)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

On April 12 Canada’s PM Justin Trudeau released a statement congratulating Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu on his fifth electoral victory. Two statements stood out for their misleading role in creating a contrived narrative.

The first statement concerns democracy, “During the conversation, the two leaders spoke of the underlying democratic values shared by both countries.” Indeed, there is a common democratic sharing between the countries. Both are colonial settler countries, one has successfully sidelined/cleansed its indigenous population, the other is still working on settlements in order to create a racist apartheid state. There is a strong possibility that the first was a model for the second.

Democracy also involves the acceptance and application of the “rule of law”, a mantra used by all nominally democratic countries in order to keep the populace acquiescent in the face of some hidden transgression…

The second statement carries even larger implications for democracy and “rule of law”: “The Prime Minister expressed Canada’s continued and strong support for Middle East peace efforts leading to a two-state solution while standing firmly with Israel in its right to live in peace and security with its neighbours. Canada and Israel cooperate closely on matters of regional security.”

Okay, sure, but there never will be a two state solution. It was never intended to happen and Israel’s history makes that very clear.

related: “Finally a ‘New York Times’ columnist says liberal Zionism is dead” by Philip Weiss (Mondoweiss)

“Snowden Archives At Great Risk—As Alarming As Assange’s Arrest” by Cathleen McGuire and Colleen McGuire (Popular Resistance)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Billionaire Pierre Omidyar, the owner of the Snowden archives through his company, First Look Media, has shut down the analysis, release, and custodial care of the archives claiming lack of funds. Since 2013, only 10% of the documents have been published.

The decision was made just this past March 2019, with the full participation of Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, star journalists with The Intercept, one of First Look Media’s various properties, as reported by MintPress News.

Laura Poitras (who with Glenn Greenwald was originally given custody of the documents by Edward Snowden in 2013 and works for Field of Vision, a First Look film company) was purposefully excluded from the decision, as was the company’s board of directors.

In 2014, Greenwald, Poitras, and Scahill launched The Intercept, an online publication whose initial raison d’etre was the reporting of the Snowden material. In short order, the effort of responsibly overseeing the security protocols and the analysis and release of the Snowden documents were turned over to a research group within First Look. (As planned, The Intercept went on to become the full news operation it is today.)

Aware of the historical significance of the Snowden cache, on March 13, Poitras went public informing the Daily Beast of the shutdown. On March 27, she released a series of emails which dramatically memorialized the play-by-play timeline. Poitras was basically screaming bloody murder as the research team investigating the valuable treasure trove was being eighty-sixed…

With Omidyar in control of the goods, only a trickle of the Snowden archives has seen the light of day. Although technically the documents are not in danger of disappearing, now that the entire archives research staff has been eliminated, the risk of the archives being publicly memory-holed has significantly increased, as Poitras so urgently tried to publicize.

Greenwald claims he is looking for the right partner with ample funds to maintain and publish the archives. Yet, Columbia Journalism Review reports that Omidyar’s net worth is $11.2 billion…

From In These Times:
Sheriff’s deputies arrest Cherri Foytlin (L) and another water protector opposing Louisiana’s Bayou Bridge Pipeline near Bayou Chene on Sept. 4, 2018. Although invited onto the property by a landowner, the two were charged with felony trespassing under the state’s new “critical infrastructure” bill. (Photo by Karen Savage)

“Fossil Fuel Companies Are Enlisting Police to Crack Down on Protesters” by Sarah Lazare (In These Times)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Researchers concluded in January that humanity has a hope, a 64 percent chance, of keeping the temperature rise below the international target of 1.5 degrees Celsius—if the phaseout of fossil fuel infrastructure begins now and every car, plane and power plant in existence gets replaced by a zero-carbon alternative at the end of its life span.

“We are basically saying we can’t build anything now that emits fossil fuels,” said Christopher Smith of the University of Leeds, the lead researcher.

Meanwhile, the multi-trillion-dollar fossil fuel industry is in the midst of an enormous infrastructure expansion…

Already, activists are countering industry influence by blocking pipeline construction, shutting down refineries, mobilizing coal towns against mountaintop removal mining and intervening in global climate talks. But the fossil fuel industry has the advantage of a national politics and a law enforcement apparatus that protect the interests of capital over those of the public.

As Dallas Goldtooth, a “keep it in the ground” campaigner for the Indigenous Environmental Network, puts it: “The oil industry and state collude to keep the status quo.”

When the carrot doesn’t work, the energy industry is happy to use the stick. In the 1990s, for example, Shell infamously pressured Nigerian police and military forces to orchestrate a crackdown on indigenous protesters in the oil-rich Ogoniland region, leaving an estimated 2,000 people dead and 30,000 homeless. In 2016 and 2017, police from across the United States and National Guard troops protected the interests of Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, by brutally suppressing water protectors at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation.

Now, state lawmakers across the country are advancing bills to increase penalties for demonstrators who interfere with “critical infrastructure,” such as pipelines and gas terminals. They are using model legislation developed by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which counts fossil fuel companies Koch Industries and Chevron among its members. (Other energy companies, including BP, Exxon and Shell, gave up their memberships as ALEC became more notorious). An analysis by In These Times found the oil industry has directly lobbied for these bills in many states—in effect, working with the government to redefine criminality and then using that definition to lock up its opponents. With the fate of the planet at stake, these frontline battles pose a crucial question about what constitutes harm against society. Is it “criminal” for an industry to drive the global climate crisis in order to reap profits? Or is it “criminal” to (literally) get in the way?

Meanwhile, the line is blurring between police and privately hired security firms. In 2013, energy infrastructure company Kinder Morgan asked a Pennsylvania police department for off-duty officers to “deter protests.” Though off-duty, the police were uniformed and driving squad cars. In 2017, after more than 400,000 gallons of oil spilled from the Keystone pipeline in Marshall County, S.D., TransCanada hired off-duty police to cordon off the area, including public roads. Several of the arrests in Louisiana were by off-duty police officers hired as guards by Energy Transfer Partners, which is building the pipeline.

“We thought we were talking to the law, but as it turns out, we were talking to the security for a pipeline company,” says Cherri Foytlin, an indigenous water protector who serves on the advisory council of the L’eau Est La Vie (Water Is Life) protest camp. “But then it turned out it was one and the same.”

related: “Capitalist Expansion Is Accompanied By Repression And Terror” by Abby Martin and Stephen Phillips (Empire Files via BitChute)

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