Cuadrilla Resources, which is exploring for natural shale gas in north-west England, has admitted its use of the notorious process of “fracking” was responsible for earthquakes in the region this year, BusinessInsider.com said on November 7. Fracking is a dangerous process involving fracturing rock with pressurised liquid. Some of the health and environmental dangers of the process were revealed by the film Gasland, about the impact of the practice in the United States.
"Lou Reed and Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello are among the first signatories of Occupy Musicians”, a November 22 British Guardian article said. supports Occupy Wall Street and the global movement against inequality. The Guardian said the website aims to co-ordinate performances at Occupy sites and showcase new works by signatory artists. It said: "Occupy Musicians is a sister site to the bookish campaign at Occupy Writers, the lensing of Occupy Filmmakers and the speech-bubbles atOccupy Comics."
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said that his government would nationalise the exploration and exploitation of gold and related activities, AVN said on August 17. Chavez said: "I will soon propose an enabling law so as to begin taking control of the gold area and I expect you to support me, because anarchy rules in this zone, there are mafias, smuggling. "This is a great wealth, one of the world’s largest. There is plenty of gold, precious stones, diamonds, bauxite and iron in Guyana.
A Microsoft PR twitter account came under fire for cynically exploiting the death of British soul singer Amy Winehouse, Mashable.com said on July 25. The small PR account for Xbox tweeted: “Remember Amy Winehouse by downloading the ground-breaking ‘Back to Back’ album over at Zune ...” Zune is Microsoft's entertainment marketplace. Mashable.com said the tweet sparked a furore, with tweets in response such as “classy", "crass much?" and "Microsoft — failing at social media".
“US computer giant Apple has culled a Palestinian application from its iPhone offerings at the request of Israel,” a June 27 IOL.co.za article said. “The Arabic-language app ThirdIntifada, released by Apple just days ago, provides users with details of upcoming anti-Israel protests, access to news articles and editorials, and links to Palestinian nationalist material.” Pro-Palestinian demonstrators pointed out the term intifada, which means mass uprising, did not refer to violence.
“In all of the mainstream media analysis of WikiLeaks' recent release of Detainee Assessment Briefs (DABs) from Guantanamo, relating to almost all of the 779 prisoners who have been held at the prison over the last nine years and four months,” Andy Worthington wrote in a may 11 TruthOut.org article, “one group of prisoners has so far been overlooked: the Yemenis.”
The Scottish government announced on May 20 that it was aiming to use only renewable energy by 2020, EarthTimes.org said on May 22 — increasing its target from 80%. Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond, from the Scottish National Party (SNP), said: “Because the pace of development has been so rapid, with our 2011 target already exceeded, we can now commit to generating the equivalent of 100% of Scotland's own electricity demand from renewable resources by 2020. “Offshore wind will play a key role in achieving our ambitions.”
The home of Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) was attacked on May 21, CNN.com said that day. It was the second attack on Rajab's house in a month. The BCHR said the attack occurred in the early hours of the morning while Rajab and his family were sleeping. It said the attackers launched teargas grenades into the house, breaking the window of Rajab's brother, the group said.
“Bolivia is set to pass the world’s first laws granting all nature equal rights to humans,” the Guardian said on April 10. “The Law of Mother Earth, now agreed by politicians and grassroots social groups, redefines the country’s rich mineral deposits as ‘blessings’ and is expected to lead to radical new conservation and social measures to reduce pollution and control industry”, the article said.
BP has asked United States regulators for permission to resume drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, the New York Times said on April 3. The request comes less than a year after the devastating oil spill in the gulf, caused by an explosion in BP’s Deepwater Horizon rig in which 11 workers died. The NYT said: “BP is seeking permission to continue drilling at 10 existing deepwater production and development wells in the region in July in exchange for adhering to stricter safety and supervisory rules, said one of the officials.
US coal giant Drummond paid right-wing paramilitaries accused of murder and human rights abuses for protection of its Colombian operations, Colombiareports.com said on March 16. The article said the information was revealed in secret diplomatic cables sent between 2006-2010 released by WikiLeaks to the Colombian paper El Espectador,
“Commanders in Afghanistan are bracing themselves for possible riots and public fury triggered by the publication of ‘trophy’ photographs of US soldiers posing with the dead bodies of defenceless Afghan civilians they killed”, said the March 21 British Guardian. The photos, compared by officials in NATO’s occupying forces to the infamous Abu Ghraib pictures depicting US soldiers torturing Iraqis, were published by German newspaper Der Spiegel.
“Pakistan has demanded an apology and explanation from the United States over a drone strike in a tribal region, which officials said killed 35 people,” ABC.net.au said on March 18. It said it was the seventh US drone strike in nine days. The article said it was the most lethal drone strike North Waziristan region since the US military escalated its bombing of Pakistani areas near the Afghan border in 2008. A Pakistani foreign ministry spokesperson Tehmina Janjua said: “The government of Pakistan strongly condemns the drone strike which has resulted in a large number of casualties …
Squatters have taken over a mansion in London owned by the son of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, AFP said on March 8. The eight-bedroom house in Hampstead, north London, is owned by Seif al-Islam Gaddafi. The article said: “Members of a campaign group called ‘Topple the Tyrants’ said they had occupied the mansion and wanted it transferred to the people of Libya.” “The plush home, in a secluded, leafy close surrounded by some of Britain’s most expensive residential streets, boasts an indoor swimming pool, a sauna room and a cinema room.”
A NATO airstrike killed nine children collecting firewood in eastern Afghanistan on March 2, Afghan officials have said. A March 2 WashingtonPost.com article said the deaths in Konar province “became the latest irritant in the tense relationship between President Hamid Karzai and the international force in the country”. The top NATO commander, US general David Petraeus, issued an apology for the error, which the occupying forces blamed on “faulty communication”.
“Haiti’s infamous dictator ‘Baby Doc’ Duvalier, returned to his country this week, while the country's first elected President, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, is kept out”, Mark Weisbrot wrote in the January 20 Huffington Post. “These two facts really say everything about Washington’s policy toward Haiti, and our government's respect for democracy in that country and in the region.”