A selection of this week's celebrity news... Vivienne Jolie-Pitt's Salary Revealed: Angelina Jolie's Daughter Earns $3,000 a Week for Maleficent http://eonli.ne/V48fvL Zero Dark Thirty: Osama bin Laden Shooter Says Jessica Chastain's Performance Was "Awesome" http://eonli.ne/XGhSgJ Kate Upton, Katherine Webb, Fellow Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Models Do Late Show Top 10 http://eonli.ne/V1tGxv Alyssa Milano's Dog Diesel Dies of Cancer: "Rest in Peace," Actress Tweets http://eonli.ne/V0vLd9
Billionaire Rupert Murdoch's propaganda machine has a penchant for using Green Left Weekly as a metaphor for left-wing opinion. This was on the sports page of the February 4 issue of its giveaway tabloid mX: “Shane Warne played Statesman last week with his ambitious Where is Australian Cricket At? Volume 1 ... it contained more utopian fantasy than your average issue of Green Left Weekly.”
It started in Colombia in 2000, moved on to Mexico in 2008 and now rages in Central America. Since the beginning of the century, the US-backed “war on drugs” has progressively spread throughout the northern part of Latin America, leaving tens of thousands of lost lives in its wake. An in-depth investigative piece published by the Associated Press explains how this so-called “war” ― which relies on US funding, training, equipment and troops ― has grown in recent years to become “the most expensive initiative in Latin America since the Cold War”.
The doctrine of national security imposed by the United States on Latin America, which fostered the dictatorships of the 1970s and '80s, is making a comeback in Honduras. A new law is combining military defence of the country with police strategies for maintaining domestic order. The law created the National Directorate of Investigation and Intelligence (DNII), a key agency in the security structure that does not appear to be accountable to any other body, and does not appear to be under democratic civilian control.
“I saw men, women and children die during that time,” former US drone pilot Brandon Bryant told the December 10 Der Spiegel. “I never thought I would kill that many people. In fact, I thought I couldn’t kill anyone at all.”
Greenwash: Big Brands & Carbon Scams Guy Pearse Black Inc., 2012 264 pages, $29.99 (pb) The response of big business to global warming, their propaganda would have us believe, is to ride to the rescue by reducing their carbon emissions. As Guy Pearse shows in Greenwash, however, this is just a marketing ploy to attract the dollars of environmentally concerned customers.
Protests against the Al-Khalifa regime have escalated in Bahrain ahead of the two-year anniversary of the uprising's start in mid-February and planned national talks between the opposing camps. The protests were spurred on by court rulings against jailed activists and more deaths caused by security forces. On January 13, 88-year-old Habib Ibrahim Abdullah died after inhaling tear gas fired by security forces at a protest in Malkiya, sparking protests in the capital. Security forces attacked demonstrators at his funeral the same day.
There has been much speculation in the international media over the future of Venezuela in light of the poor health of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. The Venezuelan government reported on February 4 that Chavez's recovery in Cuba, from a cancer-related operation in December, was proceeding well.
It appears that the movement for a cultural boycott of Israel can claim another victory. On January 5 guitarist Stanley Jordan announced he will not be performing at the winter installment of Israel’s Red Sea Jazz Festival. In a brief statement on his Facebook page, Jordan stated: “My performance at the Red Sea Jazz Festival has been cancelled. I apologize for any inconvenience to anyone.” Jordan, an acclaimed an innovative guitarist, had been billed as a headliner at the festival.
President Barack Obama's nomination of John Brennan to head the CIA underscores the administration's drive to assert absolute executive power in the “war on terrorism” without any outside constraints or possibility of review. Brennan was a public defender of the use of torture and "special rendition" under the Bush administration.
The Save Coburg group has already registered a win. The group was formed at a public meeting of about 60 residents, facilitated by newly elected Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton. The main concern at the meeting was the scale of a development proposed by Moreland Council, which will create two huge corridors of 10-storey buildings on Louisa, Waterfield and Bell Street.
The shale gas industry-commissioned white paper, The Global Anti-Fracking Movement: What it Wants, How it Operates and What’s Next, makes for some very interesting reading. It was produced late last year by Control Risks, an “independent, global risk consultancy specialising in helping organisations manage political, integrity and security risks in complex and hostile environments”.