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Citizen’s arrest or kidnapping? US militias told to stand down after catching 300+ migrants...

US authorities are warning wannabe vigilantes against taking the law into their own hands after an...
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Video: ‘10yrs for saving girl’s life’: Hacker jailed after exposing hospital for medical kidnapping

READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/9qup Hacktivist Martin Gottesfeld was sentenced to 10 years in prison for exposing Boston Children's Hospital for a medical ... Via Youtube

Arizona seeks to mandate DNA collection… and those sampled would be made to foot...

A new law being considered in Arizona would force state employees, parent volunteers and those seeking...
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Video: ‘Corruption is in Russia’s DNA’: NYT opinion piece slammed for ‘xenophobia’

A recent New York Times opinion piece has claimed, controversially, that 'corruption is in Russia's DNA'. The article was met with harsh criticism from...

DNA-testing company sparks furor after teaming up with FBI (VIDEO) — RT USA News

Published time: 6 Feb, 2019 12:07 One of the largest at-home DNA-testing companies has acknowledged that...

Uncle Sam Wants Your DNA

Airline offers ‘DNA discounts’ for Americans with Mexican blood — RT USA News

Mexico's top airline is capitalizing on the ongoing US border wall drama with an ad campaign...

Arizona cops collect clinic staff DNA in hunt for father of comatose woman’s baby...

Police are rounding up the DNA of all male employees of the Arizona healthcare facility where...

‘I’m not a person of color!’ DNA test haunts Warren as she kicks off...

It seems like Sen. Elizabeth Warren will never be able to catch a break from being...

US military academy embarrassed after cadets kidnap & injure rivals’ mascot falcon — RT...

The US Military Academy at West Point has apologized for cadets who pulled off a daring...

UK govt apologizes for ‘illegally’ forcing DNA tests on Gurkha and Afghan families —...

Home Secretary Sajid Javid has admitted that Afghan and Gurkha families - some of whom...
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Video: Native Americans React to Elizabeth Warren’s DNA Test: Stop Making Native People “Political...

https://democracynow.org - Native Americans across the country are criticizing Senator Elizabeth Warren's decision to use a DNA test to assert her Native ... Via Youtube
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Video: Chief spreading bull: Cherokee Nation rejects Elizabeth Warren’s DNA results

Native Americans have expressed outrage - over what they see as the politically-motivated hijacking of their identity... by Senator Elisabeth Warren. She took a...

It’s frighteningly easy to track someone down via DNA, scientist reveals — RT US...

A scientist at Israeli genealogy firm MyHeritage has published a paper revealing that public genealogy databases...

Medical Kidnapping – LewRockwell

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Video: Adnan Syed Prosecutor On What The Serial Case Means For His State’s Attorney...

In wake of an appeals court ruling that upholds overturning the conviction of Adnan Syed, prosecutor Thiru Vignarajah talks about what the case says...
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Video: Taliban rejects ceasefire during Muslim holiday, ambushes buses and kidnaps passengers

Taliban has kidnapped about 200 bus passengers in Afghanistan. That's after Afghan president offered the terroristic group a three-month ceasefire for ... Via Youtube

Teen fakes her own kidnapping to get $400 from father — RT US News

A Kentucky teenager has been accused of going to extreme lengths to get some spending money...

Is Adoption Legalized Kidnapping? | Dissident Voice

Kidnap is a verb that is defined as: To take (someone) away illegally by force, typically to obtain a ransom.  Synonyms include: abduct, carry off,...

Kidnapped model recounts efforts to escape captor by having him ‘fall in love’ with...

Model Chloe Ayling, who was drugged, bundled into a suitcase and kidnapped in Italy last...

Trump makes $1mn DNA test offer to Elizabeth Warren — RT US News

The internet has gone into meltdown after Donald Trump told a rally he will donate $1...
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Video: ‘This is a show’: Warrant issued for ex-president Rafael Correa for kidnapping

The National Court of Justice of Ecuador has ordered the preventive detention of the country's former president Rafael Correa and requested that Interpol ... Via...

UK complicit in ‘inexcusable’ kidnap and torture of terrorist suspects post-9/11 – official reports...

Two long-awaited parliamentary reports have found that UK intelligence agencies were more involved in the...

Kidnapper Trump as Symptom

Photo by Jonathan McIntosh | CC BY 2.0 Moral Atrocity, Bad Optics The malevolent  brute Donald Trump darkened his ugly blot on history by ordering thousands...

US intelligence developing human DNA-like models to hoard your personal data — RT US...

As US intelligence services struggle to store the trove of data collected during its snooping operations,...

Chloe Ayling’s kidnapper jailed for 16 years after drugging and abducting glamor model —...

Chloe Ayling’s kidnapper has been jailed for 16 years; found guilty of kidnapping the aspiring...

Tony Blair refuses to apologize to man kidnapped, tortured thanks to UK intel —...

Tony Blair has refused to apologize to rendition victim Abdel Hakim Belhaj, who was tortured...
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Video: UK apologises to leader of Libyan opposition group for allegedly kidnapping him

The British PM has apologised 'unreservedly' for the UK's complicity in handing over an Al-Qaeda-linked Libyan opposition leader and his pregnant wife, to the...

Libya rendition victim sent to Gaddafi torture house settles case over UK involvement in...

Rendition victim Abdul Hakim Belhaj has reportedly reached an out-of-court settlement, ending an epic legal...
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Video: “I Learned to Duck Bullets Before I Learned to Read”: Edna Chavez at...

https://democracynow.org - Hundreds of thousands rallied for gun control in Washington, D.C. today for the March For Our Lives. The march was organized by...

Israel: DNA Tests May Provide Answers on Missing Babies

Thousands of Israeli families who have been searching in vain for answers since their babies mysteriously disappeared in the early 1950s – shortly after...

First modern Brits were black, groundbreaking DNA test on 10,000-year-old fossil reveals — RT...

A pioneering genetic analysis of the UK’s oldest complete skeleton, which is around 10,000 years...

Ancient Phoenician DNA Suggest They Were

By Andrew Masterson Sott.net January 23, 2018 ...

Man who ‘kidnapped, raped, killed’ niece gave other victim ‘10 minutes to live,’ court...

A young woman has told how a “psycho” builder slit her throat and wrists before...

Uncle ‘kidnapped, raped niece before hiding her body in freezer,’ court hears — RT...

An “obsessed” man kidnapped, raped and slit his niece’s throat before hiding her body in...

Bitcoin Exchange CEO Kidnapped Leaving Office

Being a "Bitcoin Billionaire" just got a bit more complicated after reports surfaced that the CEO of EXMO, a UK-based Bitcoin exchange,...

Husband jailed after DNA evidence reveals he raped his wife — RT UK News

Published time: 11 Dec, 2017 14:46 Edited time: 12 Dec, 2017 07:40 A woman who...

Chloe Ayling’s ‘kidnapper’ claims model plotted stunt to become famous — RT UK News

Published time: 13 Dec, 2017 08:06 The man accused of kidnapping aspiring British model Chloe...

Cops Can Get Your DNA

Police can request your DNA without your knowledge or consent via ancestry websites —...

Published time: 18 Nov, 2017 16:21 Sending a sample of your DNA through the post may...

Billionaire shuts down Gothamist & DNAinfo after journalists vote to unionize — RT US...

Two of New York City’s top digital news outlets have been shuttered just days after reporters...

The Trump Government Has Basically Kidnapped This 10-Year-Old Girl | By Robert C. Koehler

Basically, it’s kidnapping. Were the Border Patrol agents wearing MAGA hats when they grabbed Rosa Maria Hernandez as she left her hospital room? “It’s a shocking...
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Video: Kidnapping, Drug and Refugee Trafficking Behind the Financing of ISIS (3/3)

Journalist Loretta Napoleoni says European heads of state still refuse to see their foreign policy as the root of the crisis Help support The...

Man denies kidnapping, raping & butchering teenager before stuffing her into a freezer —...

Published time: 13 Oct, 2017 15:49 A man accused of kidnapping and raping a teenage...

‘Kidnapped’ topless model Chloe Ayling criticized for making money from her ‘ordeal’

Chloe Ayling, who alleges she was kidnapped by a dark web sex slavery gang, has...

Kidnapping of topless model Chloe Ayling could be ‘publicity stunt,’ court hears

British glamor model Chloe Ayling’s claim she was kidnapped to be sold on the dark...

Gene-editing unlocks ‘crucial’ DNA in ‘gamechanger’ for IVF, pregnancy research

UK scientists have used a genome-editing tool to change the development of early human embryos...
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Video: New DNA Evidence Cited As Missouri Governor Stays Execution of Prisoner Marcellus Williams

https://democracynow.org - Missouri Governor Eric Greitens issued a last-minute stay of execution for death-row prisoner Marcellus Williams just hours before he ... Via Youtube

DNA evidence may exonerate death row inmate whose time is almost up

A man scheduled for an imminent execution in Missouri is innocent, his lawyers say, and they...

Chloe Ayling: Brother of topless model’s alleged kidnapper to fight Italy extradition

The brother of the chief suspect in the alleged kidnapping of British glamor model Chloe...

Police investigating case of British model kidnapped for ‘sex slavery’ make arrest

The brother of the man who allegedly kidnapped British model Chloe Ayling to sell her...

‘Kidnapped’ British topless model insists ‘everything I’ve said is true’

The British model who says she was kidnapped in Italy by a gang called Black...

‘Kidnapped’ model signs up as £2,000-a-time after-dinner speaker on sex trafficking

Published time: 10 Aug, 2017 09:18 Edited time: 11 Aug, 2017 09:24 The British model...

British topless model’s ‘kidnapper’ says he was not involved in any crime

The chief suspect in the kidnapping of a British model in Milan has denied knowingly...

British model ‘to be sold for sex in Middle East’ went shoe shopping with...

A British glamor model who says she was kidnapped to be sold for sex in...

British model doing ‘topless photoshoot to cope with kidnap trauma’ – agent

Chloe Ayling’s agent has said it is “hard” to answer whether she has any doubts...

British glamor model describes her kidnapping by ‘sex slavery gang’ in Italy

A British model, who says she was kidnapped in Italy and told she would be...

20yo UK model kidnapped in Italy, drugged & threatened to be auctioned unless $300,000...

A Polish man has been arrested in Italy for kidnapping a 20-year-old British model for...

DNA breakthrough means ‘superior’ designer babies could form new social elite, geneticist tells RT

‘Superior’ designer babies born into the upper class with genetically modified physical appearances and intelligence...

DNA of human embryos edited for 1st time in US – report

A team of researchers in Oregon have become the first to attempt to create genetically modified...
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Video: Mexico Spied on Human Rights Investigators & Families of Missing Students Instead of...

https://democracynow.org - The Mexican government reportedly used an Israeli-made spy software called Pegasus to surveil a team of international ... Via Youtube

US citizen latest victim in spate of kidnappings in Afghanistan

Published time: 18 Jun, 2017 14:10 Edited time: 18 Jun, 2017 14:10 A US citizen has...

Subway ‘concerned’ DNA tests show its chicken is more than 50% soy

Published time: 28 Feb, 2017 05:12 Chicken may sound like a healthier fast food option, but customers...

Gang kidnap man by dragging him out of busy Bristol bar (VIDEO)

CCTV footage showing a man being kidnapped by a gang of thugs from a busy...

Culture Etched on Our DNA More Than Previously Known, Research Suggests

Common ancestry, common culture, common environment — all these factors contribute to the genomes of individuals of the same ethnic groups.  Now,...

The Real Racists: Examining the Outrage Over the Chicago Kidnapping

The recent kidnapping and torture of a special needs teen has inspired a massive amount of outrage on social media. Many people, including a considerable...

Hate Crime Charges Filed in Torture, Kidnapping of White Man in Chicago

Hate crime and kidnapping charges have been filed against four African-Americans who abducted and tortured an 18-year-old white man with special needs...

The Chicago Kidnapping Is Exactly Why We Need to Discuss Racial Differences

Four blacks have been taken into custody after they kidnapped and tortured an innocent White man. In a stunning display of idiocy, the suspects...

Friends Have More DNA in Common than Strangers

People may unsuspectingly choose friends who have some DNA sequences in common with them, a new analysis finds. Researchers compared gene variations...

Duterte Says He Tossed Kidnapper Out of Helicopter, Threatens to Do Same with Corrupt...

Hardman Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has said that once he threw out a kidnapper from a helicopter when he was mayor of...
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Video: Bashar & Asma Assad visit orphans at ancient Saidnaya monastery at Christmas

Note: Sound is mute at source. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma visited orphaned children at the Saidnaya monastery on Sunday. At...

CCTV footage shows woman kidnapped and forced into van by gang (VIDEO)

Distressing CCTV footage has emerged showing a woman being kidnapped and forced into a van...

New ISIS video shows Briton John Cantlie alive in Iraq, 4 years after kidnap

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) has released a new propaganda video showing John Cantlie, a...

Is alcoholism in your DNA? Pill could suppress genetic craving for drink

A pill to stop people craving alcohol may be just around the corner after scientists identified a gene that makes people more likely to...

Danney Williams, Bill Clinton, and Their DNA

If you’ve seen pictures of Danney Williams you know he bears an uncanny resemblance to former President Bill Clinton who Danney claims his father....

US warns extremists ‘may attack, kidnap or blow up’ Americans in Istanbul

The US consul-general in Turkey has called on US citizens in Istanbul to steer clear of...

Soldier kidnapped & attempted to murder comrade in love triangle rage, court told

A serving British soldier kidnapped, bound and gagged a Household Cavalry trooper with cling film...

Bill Clinton paternity saga: Prostitute’s son wants DNA test

The son of a former prostitute has renewed calls for Bill Clinton to take a paternity...

DNA Dragnet: In Some Cities, Police Go From Stop-and-Frisk to Stop-and-Spit

The five teenage boys were sitting in a parked car in a gated community in Melbourne, Florida, when a police officer pulled...

Say goodbye to DNA testing: US researchers tout revolutionary hair-protein identification method

A potential forensic game-changer is emerging, as US government scientists have found a substitute for DNA...

Rabbi & Orthodox Jew arrested for ‘chilling plot’ to kidnap & murder man whose...

A rabbi and another Orthodox Jewish man have been arrested in New York for an alleged plot to kidnap and murder a man whose...
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Video: Russian airstrike killed senior ISIS leader al-Adnani in Aleppo – Moscow

The killing of a top figure in the terrorist group Islamic State, Abu Muhammed al-Adnani, was the result of an airstrike conducted by a...

Brittanee Drexel: Kidnapped, Raped, Shot and Fed to Alligators

Editor's Note: Brittanee Drexel was 17 years old. She was a product of Marxist anti-White brainwashing that told her to always trust blacks...

Police take step toward creating ‘wanted’ posters from DNA, thanks to new study

It’s no secret that there is a genetic aspect to our looks ‒ how many times...

DNA traces origins of Iceman's ragtag wardrobe

DNA analysis of Oetzi the Iceman's clothes has traced their origin to at least five different species of animal. Among his kit...
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Video: RAW: Boko haram reportedly publishes video featuring kidnapped Chibok schoolgirls

Footage purportedly showing Boko Haram's new leader has emerged online, displaying a masked gunman demanding that Nigeria's government release their ... Via Youtube

Cougar kidnapping: Child survives mountain lion ‘abduction’ near Idaho campsite

A four-year-old girl was lucky to escape serious injury, or even death, when a wild cougar pounced and almost carried her off into the...

China's about to rewrite human DNA using a revolutionary tool for the first time

Next month, Chinese researchers will edit adult human DNA using the revolutionary CRISPR/Cas-9 tool, commonly known as CRISPR, for the first time anywhere...

RAF kidnap-plotters seen in ‘dry run’ days before attempt

Two men who tried to abduct an RAF serviceman at knifepoint while he was out jogging close to his base in Norfolk may have...

Mars prep mission makes history with underwater DNA sequencing

A DNA sequencer has been used under the sea for the first time ever as part...
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Video: Heartbroken Mums & Dads Tell Richie Allen How & Why The State Kidnapped...

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lEnSykUGrk&w=580&h=385] Please Support The Show – http://richieallen.co.uk/ https://www.facebook.com/therichieallenshow http://www.youtube.com/RichieAllenShowMedia Tune in at ... Via Youtube

Atoning for Washington’s ‘Mass Kidnapping’ in the Indian Ocean

One week after British voters decided to exit the European Union, the...

Atoning for Washington’s ‘Mass Kidnapping’ in the Indian Ocean

United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency personnel arrive, 1971. (Photo: Kirby Crawford / Wikipedia) One week after British voters decided to exit the European...

MI6 won’t be charged over kidnap, torture of Libyans

Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced Thursday that no charges will be brought against British...

3 parent babies could carry mutated DNA, study claims

Scientists striving to create a three-parent baby have discovered that mutated DNA can in fact...
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Video: Courageous mother saves daughter from shocking kidnap attempt in grocery store

The extraordinary moment a man tried to abduct a teenager from a Florida supermarket has been captured on CCTV, showing the failed kidnapper dragging...

Help us find them alive: Mother of Boko Haram-kidnapped girl appeals to US via...

A mother of one of 219 Nigerian girls still in Boko Haram captivity is begging the...

Tsar quality: Prince Phillip’s DNA could unlock mystery of last murdered Russian royals

DNA samples taken from Prince Philip will be used to help identify the remains of...

800 DNA & fingerprint records of suspected terrorists ‘accidently deleted’ by police

Police have accidentally deleted the DNA and fingerprint evidence of up to 800 terror suspects...

Step closer to AIDS cure: US scientists ‘cut out’ HIV DNA from infected animals

A cure for AIDS now seems to be closer than ever, since US scientists have managed...
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Video: Eyewitness evidence: Brutal killings & kidnappings by militant group spared from UN terror...

Eyewitnesses from Zara, an Alawite Syrian village, have revealed brutal killings and kidnappings at the hands of Ahrar al-Sham and Al-Nusra fighters to RT. Via...

Tests find rat and human DNA in US hamburgers

Think that burger you’re biting into is all-beef? Even if it’s advertised that way, there’s a small chance that you could ingesting be ingesting...

1000+ yr shelf life: Microsoft buys into synthetic DNA for data storage

Microsoft has purchased ten million strands of synthetic DNA to advance cutting edge digital data storage...

Sex gene: Scientists find DNA determines the age you lose your virginity

Scientists claim to have discovered the ‘risk-taking’ genes that influence the timing of when people...
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Video: ‘Rebels kidnapped & killed my 45-day-old son trying to recruit me’ Syrian soldier...

Brutal recruitment methods FSA rebels have allegedly been using in 2012 revealed in RT's exclusive interview with former Syrian Army conscript. RT LIVE ... Via...
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Video: Beauty Secrets of the Spies: CIA Begins Investing in Skin Care Products That...

http://democracynow.org - The Intercept's Lee Fang discusses his recent exposé on how In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the Central Intelligence Agency, ... Via Youtube

'Compact & durable’: Scientists encode, retrieve 10,000 gigabytes stored on DNA molecules

Researchers at the University of Washington and Microsoft are developing one of the first complete storage...

CIA teaming up with skincare line that collects DNA in unconventional way

The CIA is funding a new product, and it has nothing to do with spying. The...

Kidnappers & pedophiles could steal smartphone movement data – report

Phone tracking software used by hundreds of thousands of people is being sold on for...

Britain & US reportedly knew location of 80 girls kidnapped by Boko Haram but...

Britain and the US reportedly knew where Islamist militant group Boko Haram had taken at...

DNA profiles of 7,800 terror suspects held in police database

(RT) - DNA profiles and fingerprints for more than 7,800 suspected terrorists are held by...
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Video: Adnan Syed Presents New Evidence in Court, Seeks New Trial

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zWvrx9qqqRQ&w=580&h=385] TRNN's Jaisal Noor speaks to advocates and attorneys about the latest in the case of the Baltimore-area man made famous on the Serial...
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Video: Youth Activist Kidnapped by Congo’s Secret Police

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pRWOXkZuigs&w=580&h=385] Friends of the Congo's Kambale Musavuli discusses how the United States has supported Congo's President Joseph Kabila despite human rights abuses. Via Youtube
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Video: Arun Kundnani (Author of “The Muslims Are Coming!”) on Donald Trump

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XguhN9Zj4LU&w=580&h=385] The nine leading Republican presidential candidates squared off last night in the first debate since Donald Trump shook up the race by proposing...

DNA tests clear wrongfully convicted man after 16-year imprisonment

A wrongfully convicted man was exonerated after serving 16 years behind bars on rape and sexual assault charges. DNA results not only conclusively showed...
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Video: ‘Legally Kidnapped’: US child protective services accused of separating families for profit

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-6n_-Fvd0s&w=580&h=385] Separating children in danger from troubled families is supposed to protect the innocent, but accusations are being leveled in one US state that...

Israel Frees Khader Adnan

by Stephen Lendman (RINF) - He hunger struck for justice and prevailed - for 55 painful days leaving him close to death. He was arrested...

Palestinian Hunger Striker Khader Adnan In ‘Critical Condition’, Ends Hunger Strike

(RINF) - Islamic Jihad leader Khader Adnan has agreed to end his hunger strike after 56 days, after it was recently announced that he...

Citing Bin Laden raid, US Special Forces testing DNA scanners for ‘juicy missions’

(RT) - Officials at US Special Operations Command said they were testing rapid DNA scanners for use in sensitive overseas missions, citing DNA identification...
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VIDEO: Innocent Man Assaulted and Kidnapped by Police for Walking at Night

A Missouri man’s cell phone video captured the epitome of what’s become Police State USA. Chris Hoglan was out for a walk last September when...

How DNA Is Turning Us Into a Nation of Suspects

Reprinted with permission of Washington's Blog By John Whitehead, constitutional and human rights attorney, and founder of the Rutherford Institute. “The year is 2025. The population...

Cop Who Illegally Kidnapped and Beat Down Syndrome Man Says He Would Do It...

Vista, CA— On Tuesday, we reported that the police had admitted that San Diego Sheriff’s Deputy Jeffrey Guy broke the law when he assaulted 22-year-old Antonio...

The FBI’s plan to collect everyone’s DNA just got a huge boost from congress

In 2011, 1 in 25 Americans was arrested. In a few years, if the FBI has its way, the federal government will possess the...

‘Junk DNA’ from million-year-old viruses actually plays vital role in human intelligence

A study released today by researchers at Lund University in Sweden indicates that inherited viruses may be responsible for creating the complex neural networks that...

UK security aid may have funded Brit’s Ethiopian kidnappers

British taxpayers' money is being used to provide Masters-level training for Ethiopian security sector officials, despite that country's recent kidnapping of a British citizen,...

FBI, Local Police Set Up Checkpoint, Mark People’s Hands With X’s In Search for...

The FBI and Armada Police are stopping every vehicle attempting to enter or leave the Village of Armada. Agents and officers are marking an X...

Feds: 6 Philly Narcotic Cops Robbed, Kidnapped Drug Dealers

Six former members of the Philadelphia Police Dept.'s narcotics unit have been federally indicted, charged with using robbery, kidnapping and other tactics to shake...

NYPD Running License Plates, Examining Cellphone Transmissions, Collecting DNA in Brooklyn Bridge White Flags...

Investigators are running license plate numbers, scouring social media, examining cellphone transmissions and collecting DNA as part of their investigation into who climbed the...

Junk food gets encoded in DNA of future children, scientists discover

The next time you wolf down that Big Mac with large fries consider you may be affecting more than your own waistline. Scientists now...

Were the Three Settler Kidnappings an Israeli “False Flag” Operation?

Karin Brothers RINF Alternative News Evidence that came to light after Israel removed its gag order on information regarding the June 12 kidnapping and murder of...

What was the Israeli connection to the 3 settler kidnappings?

Karin Brothers RINF Alternative News Evidence that came to light after Israel removed its gag order on information regarding the June 12 kidnapping and murder of...

Israelis close their ears to reasons for kidnap

Middle East Eye – 20 June 2014

The apparent abduction of three teenagers – blamed by Israel on the Palestinian Islamic group Hamas – has provoked a wave of revulsion in Israel but almost no readiness to examine the causes of the incident or the appropriateness of Israel’s response.

The youths, one aged 19 and the two others 16, have been missing since they were seen hitchhiking in a settler area of the West Bank late on 12 June. A huge Israeli military operation, which has involved mass arrests of Palestinians, a lockdown of the city of Hebron and raids on hundreds of homes, has so far failed to locate them.

There are indications that tensions are rising rapidly. On Friday morning, a 16-year-old Palestinian was reported to have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers during a raid on the West Bank village of Dura, and another seriously injured during confrontations in Qalandia. Israeli airstrikes on Gaza have left six people, including four children, wounded.

But with most Israeli Jews welcoming Israel’s harsh response, a Palestinian member of the Israeli parliament, Haneen Zoabi, discovered the cost of not joining the chorus of outrage. She was assigned a bodyguard this week after receiving a flood of death threats, but is also being investigated by state prosecutors for incitement.

In an interview, she refused to dismiss those who carried out the abductions as simple “terrorists”, describing them instead as people driven to desperate acts by living under occupation.

Foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman responded by calling Zoabi a terrorist, adding: “The fate of the kidnappers and the fate of Zoabi, an inciter, should be the same.” A popular Israeli Facebook page, meanwhile, urged the army to “Shoot a terrorist every hour – until the boys are returned”.

Kidnapped Palestinians

Reflecting on the furore, Zoabi said she was “surprised” by the controversy “since the injustice inflicted on the other side is so much greater. There are thousands of abducted Palestinians in Israeli prisons.” She concluded: “Just as I want the kidnapped Palestinian prisoners to be freed, I want the [Israeli] boys to be freed.”

That kind of moral equivalence – however justified – is one very few Israeli Jews, or many in the international community, are willing to countenance. But if they hope to avoid a future of ever-escalating violence that sucks in both Israelis and Palestinians, they need to listen to Palestinians like Zoabi.

As Zoabi noted, Palestinian attempts to abduct Israelis are intimately tied to the issue of the 5,000 Palestinians in Israeli prisons, especially the nearly 200 of them held without charge in administrative detention. More than half of the latter group are nearly two months into a hunger strike to protest their continuing incarceration.

Palestinian groups have long seen abductions of Israelis as leverage to free prisoners, as occurred in dramatic fashion in 2011 with the release of more than 1,000 prisoners in return for an Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, captured by Hamas five years earlier.

Gaining bargaining chips has become an even more valued goal since Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, reneged in April on a promise to release a final batch of long-term prisoners. The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, had engaged in months of fruitless peace talks in return for an agreement to free more than 120 prisoners.

In fact, Netanyahu has responded to the abductions not with a new wariness on the issue of prisoners’ rights but by massively adding to Palestinian grievances about the prisoners.

Mass arrests

The Israeli army is making mass arrests across the West Bank of politicians and anyone with the loosest connection to Hamas. It is also re-imprisoning many of the Palestinians who had been released in return for Shalit. The chances that any of the more than 350 people arrested so far have information on the abductions is highly unlikely, as even Israeli military analysts have conceded.

In addition, the government is racing through legislation to force-feed the hunger-striking prisoners, and has okayed the effective reintroduction of torture as standard procedure against the people it is arresting. This reverses a ruling 15 years ago by Israel’s supreme court that for the first time severely limited the use of torture.

Even more emotive in this case than the general issue of the prisoners is the matter of Israel’s treatment of Palestinian children. Up to 700 pass through Israeli prisons each year, most held for throwing stones on evidence their lawyers have not seen, often based on forced confessions from the child himself or other children in detention. The conviction rate of minors stands at over 99 per cent.

Human rights groups note that Israel is the only country that systematically prosecutes children in a military court system.

The Israeli army’s night-time raids on Palestinian homes, in which children as young as 10 or 11 can be seized from their beds at gunpoint, and then transferred into prisons in Israel in violation of Israeli law, look every bit like abductions to most Palestinians.

Israelis and international observers might arrive at the same conclusion were they to watch the horrifying footage contained in a recent documentary on Australian television, Stone Cold Justice.

Nakba Day executions

So the slogan visible on T-shirts across Israel – “Bring back our boys” – could just as easily be worn by Palestinians in the streets of Ramallah or Nablus.

Israelis’ current expectations of Palestinian remorse for the abductions are also unlikely to stir much soul-searching among Palestinians. They wonder instead why there was so much less interest from either Israelis or the international community when Israeli soldiers executed, rather than abducted, two Palestinian children near Ramallah last month during Nakba Day protests.

Rather than evoking the outcry being heard now, most Israelis rejected the evidence clearly visible in video footage of the killings of Nadim Nuwara, 17, and Mohammed Abu al-Thahir, 16. Both were unarmed when they were shot. A recent autopsy confirmed what was already obvious: they were killed with live ammunition by Israeli sharpshooters.

Israel’s dangerous self-absorption – and its refusal to consider the wider political and military framework within which the abductions occurred – is only reinforced by the international response. World leaders who leapt to issue condemnations of the abductions have failed to offer similar denunciations of even graver Israeli atrocities against Palestinians, such as the Nakba Day killings.

Red Cross intervenes

Human rights organisations have performed no better. The International Committee of the Red Cross, the official arbiter of the Geneva Conventions, the bedrock of international humanitarian law, issued a statement urging the three Israeli teenagers’ immediate release.

But the Red Cross carefully avoids making critical statements about Israel’s many war crimes in enforcing the occupation. As was expected, the Red Cross refused requests to issue a similar call for Israel to release the Palestinian children it is holding.

What the international responses have overlooked is the context for Palestinian acts of violence, such as the abductions: Israel’s nearly half-century of belligerent occupation. That is a continuous and inciting act of violence against the Palestinian people, to which they sometimes react with their own, more limited acts of violence.

Instead of facing this fact, Israel has responded by putting its military boot even more firmly on Palestinians’ throats. It is now exploiting outrage at the abductions to justify eradicating Hamas’ political presence in the West Bank, even though so far there is no evidence linking the kidnappings to Hamas. (With the assistance of the Palestinian Authority’s security services, Israel arrested most of Hamas’ military leaders in the West Bank following the capture of Shalit in 2006.)

Weakening Hamas

Israel has not even tried to hide its intentions. One senior commander, Nitzan Alon, said this week: “Hamas will come out of this confrontation weakened both strategically and operationally. We’ll continue weakening them for as long as it takes.”

Israel’s economy minister, Naftali Bennett, was more forthright: “We will turn membership in Hamas into an entry ticket to hell.” While Alex Fishman, an analyst with close ties to the security services, said Israel was treating this as a “one-time operational opportunity” to “castrate” Hamas in the West Bank.

According to the Israeli media, Israel’s intention is not only to arrest the Hamas leadership in the West Bank, including its political leaders, and break up its charitable networks, but also to exile the West Bank leadership to Gaza. In short, Israel intends to interfere directly in Palestinian politics, guaranteeing a one-party statelet – under the Fatah party of Abbas – in the West Bank and restricting Hamas to the tight confinement of Gaza.

Given that the Palestinian factions recently agreed to a unity government, and are preparing for elections in the coming months, Netanyahu is actually intending to prise apart the Palestinian reconciliation and strip Palestinians of the chance to elect their leadership. Or as Israeli military analyst Amos Harel wondered of the current operations’ goals: “Will the campaign go on until Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas publically renounces the agreement with Hamas?”

‘Gates of hell’

Netanyahu is again having his cake – refusing to engage in real negotiations on Palestinian statehood – and eating it: upending Palestinian efforts to seek other diplomatic options to end the occupation. It is confirmation that Netanyahu is the one, far more so than the abductors, who is threatening any chance of peaceful coexistence between Palestinians and Israelis.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said that expulsions from the West Bank to Gaza would “open the gates of hell”. Another Hamas official has warned more realistically that another intifada – or uprising – is coming, and will be ignited “when enough pressure is exerted on the Palestinian people”.

But the trickier question for Palestinians is what strategies of resistance do they really have? And herein lies the paradox.

Because, as Israel has confined them to ever smaller spaces inside the occupied territories, Palestinians have found the tools available to them to resist more and more restricted too. This is particularly apparent in Gaza, where militants have adopted a strategy of rocket fire into Israel – to much condemnation around the world – largely because there is no enemy to confront directly. A war against the drones hovering out of sight above, watching, is not yet feasible.

As Haneen Zoabi suggested in her interview, abductions of Israelis are a weapon of the weak, a way Palestinians can strike back against those stealing their lands without risking the suicidal course of taking on the might of the Israeli army.

Hi-tech surveillance

But Israeli intentions to weaken the formal political-military structures in Palestinian society represented by Fatah and Hamas will not make acts of opportunistic violence like the abductions of the Israeli teenagers less likely. In fact, it can be expected to make such incidents more common.

Bureaucracy-heavy groups like Fatah and Hamas, dependent on centralised planning, have found it increasingly difficult to act against Israel in an era of hi-tech surveillance. The preparations for resistance operations have invariably left a footprint visible to Israeli intelligence.

Instead, there are indications that much smaller cells, largely independent of these traditional structures, are starting to emerge, possibly based around families, where the bonds of loyalty are tighter and less likely to be penetrated by Israel.

Israel’s difficulties solving the current abductions suggest that just such a cell may be behind this operation. Breaking apart Hamas and Fatah, and thereby weakening them, could simply accelerate this process.

Such developments promise a treacherous future for Palestinians even more than Israelis. Samir Awad, a politics professor at Birzeit University, near Ramallah, has observed that the collapse of political factions could lead to what he calls the “Aghanistanisation” of the occupied territories, with tribal warlords taking over small enclaves that become their personal fiefdom.

Meanwhile, analyst Chemi Shalev warned recently that the abductions were pushing Israelis to the edge of a collective “insanity”, overwhelmed by self-righteousness and intolerance, “a society losing its grip”.

The public hounding of Zoabi for speaking a few simple truths is a further sign that most Israelis would rather continue living in dangerous denial than confront the destructive reality of the occupation.

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Prime Minister Zeidan was held over suspicion that he allowed al-Libi’s abduction to take place, despite publicly raising concerns over the illegality of the snatch to US authorities. Reports indicate that Zeidan's abductors were not willing to let him go, and that another militia – calling itself the 'Reinforcement Force' – intervened and freed the prime minister by force. The Libyan leader escaped unharmed, certainly the best scenario that could have resulted from this crisis. Information trickled out slowly in the tense few-hour period during which Zeidan’s whereabouts were unknown, and had allied militias not come to his aid, the situation could have spiraled into a hostage crisis or worse.

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Nile Bowie is a Malaysia-based political analyst and a columnist with Russia Today. He also contributes to PressTV, Global Research, and CounterPunch. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.

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Published time: March 08, 2013 01:17

A Libyan man checks the site of a break-in at Alassema television station in Tripoli on March 7, 2013 (AFP Photo / Mahmud Turkia)

Dozens of armed assailants stormed a private TV station in Tripoli on Thursday, abducting its owner and five staff, releasing most captives soon after. The parliament’s human rights commission has urged the interior ministry to take immediate action.

An editor at the state-owned Lana network said the attackers locked the other workers inside one office, torched the surroundings and fled with the six hostages in a jeep to an undisclosed location. They later released five people, but kept Joumaa al-Usta, the wealthy owner, captive

One of the anchors at the Alassema station where the attack took place, Mohammed al-Sharkassi, told another news network that he had also been accosted outside his workplace by “individuals who identified themselves as former rebels.” He told Libya al-Ahrar television that he would be freed if he left Tripoli immediately. He added that the rebels were angered by the channel’s editorial policies, giving no further details.

Libya al-Ahrar says the attack occurred in the afternoon. The assailants stormed the channel, entering through the windows. The Lana network added that the gunmen smashed equipment. Security forces arrived at the scene promptly after the attack.

Libyan security forces stand guard outside Alassema television station in Tripoli on March 7, 2013 (AFP Photo / Mahmud Turkia)

The precise origin of the perpetrators is unknown, although a Lana editor views the attack as a response to Alassema’s persistent criticism of the rebels’ and as revenge for the channel’s coverage of the attack on the National General Congress earlier in the week, when a siege lasted for hours. The lawmakers were at work on a bill to prevent officials from the Gaddafi era from holding political posts in future.

The Alassema station has ties to Libya’s National Forces Coalition, who bested the Muslim Brotherhood in the legislative elections in July of last year. The liberal coalition’s head, Mahmoud Jibril – the country’s western-inclined ex-prime minister, masterminded the 2011 coup that ousted Muammar Gaddafi.

Since Gaddafi’s overthrow, media has flourished. But during the bloody revolution that lasted from February to October, pitting Gaddafi loyalists against rebels and NATO forces, tens of thousands lost their lives and the economy of the oil-rich country was dealt a huge blow.

A Libyan man checks the site of a break-in at Alassema television station in Tripoli on March 7, 2013 (AFP Photo / Mahmud Turkia)


Yes, Bob Woodward Is A Liar, But On The DNA Of The Sequester….

So there was a media kerfuffle hyped by the wingnuts yesterday, which featured none other than Bob Woodward, who's been a dangerous Villager buffoon for a very long time. He claimed he was threatened by the White House over his ridiculous piece on the sequester.

Conservatives in the media have found themselves armed with political ammunition in their battle with President Barack Obama over the impending sequester from a surprising source — Bob Woodward. The journalism icon’s fact check on the sequester in The Washington Post over the weekend and the subsequent blowback has caused a major stir, with pundits and reporters pouncing on the item. In his piece, Woodward laid the blame on the White House for the sequester, pinpointing the administration as responsible for coming up with the plan for automatic spending cuts and calling out Obama for claiming it was created by Congress...read on

His piece was factually wrong, but then Woodward took the story in a crazier direction by saying that he was threatened via email by someone high up in the White House over that piece. Politico released the email in question and it revealed that Woodward over-hyped the "threat" because it wasn't a threat at all. He just wanted to keep the story alive.

From Gene Sperling to Bob Woodward on Feb. 22, 2013

Bob:
I apologize for raising my voice in our conversation today. My bad. I do understand your problems with a couple of our statements in the fall — but feel on the other hand that you focus on a few specific trees that gives a very wrong perception of the forest. But perhaps we will just not see eye to eye here.

But I do truly believe you should rethink your comment about saying saying that Potus asking for revenues is moving the goal post. I know you may not believe this, but as a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim. The idea that the sequester was to force both sides to go back to try at a big or grand bargain with a mix of entitlements and revenues (even if there were serious disagreements on composition) was part of the DNA of the thing from the start.

It was an accepted part of the understanding — from the start. Really. It was assumed by the Rs on the Supercommittee that came right after: it was assumed in the November-December 2012 negotiations. There may have been big disagreements over rates and ratios — but that it was supposed to be replaced by entitlements and revenues of some form is not controversial. (Indeed, the discretionary savings amount from the Boehner-Obama negotiations were locked in in BCA: the sequester was just designed to force all back to table on entitlements and revenues.)

I agree there are more than one side to our first disagreement, but again think this latter issue is different. Not out to argue and argue on this latter point. Just my sincere advice. Your call obviously.My apologies again for raising my voice on the call with you. Feel bad about that and truly apologize.

Gene

From Woodward to Sperling on Feb. 23, 2013

Gene: You do not ever have to apologize to me. You get wound up because you are making your points and you believe them. This is all part of a serious discussion. I for one welcome a little heat; there should more given the importance. I also welcome your personal advice. I am listening. I know you lived all this. My partial advantage is that I talked extensively with all involved. I am traveling and will try to reach you after 3 pm today.

Best, Bob

So Woodward tells Sperling that their earlier scuffle is no big deal in his email response and then goes on to tell journalists that he was being threatened in the same email. I have two words that describes Bob in this instance:

Lying asshole.

However, Digby actually read Sperling's response to Woodward and found some terribly disappointing information about how the White House feels about cutting entitlements.


It's in their DNA:

I don't know that anyone's ever admitted that in public before or that the president was completely, shall we say, honest when he ran for his second term about that specific definition of "a balanced approach". I haven't heard anyone say publicly that the sequester "deal" as far as the White House was concerned was to cut "entitlements" in exchange for new revenues. I wonder how many members of congress were aware of this "deal" when they voted for the sequester? The public certainly wasn't.

I wish I could understand why it is so important to Barack Obama to cut these vital programs before he leaves office. It seems to be his obsession. But there you have it. It's not just in the DNA of the sequester, it seems to be in the DNA of this White House.

Wingnuts like Bill O'Reilly want America to believe that Obama only wants tax hikes to fix the sequester, but in reality that's not the truth at all. I still can't believe that it has only been the insanity of the tea partiers that has kept our safety nets safe from cuts in benefits that the president has offered so far.

Who would have thunk it?

British Worker Feared Kidnapped In Nigeria

Police in northern Nigeria say gunmen have kidnapped seven foreign workers - with British citizens among them. The attack happened at a construction company in Bauchi state overnight Saturday. Local government chairman Adamu Aliyu said that those kidn...

45 people, mostly women and children, kidnapped in Syria — reports

45 people, mostly women and children, kidnapped in Syria

45 people, mostly women and children, kidnapped in Syria

A group of armed men have attacked a bus in Syria and kidnapped 45 people, mostly women and children, who were traveling from Idlib province to Damascus, RIA Novosti reported citing Al Mayadeen TV.

­No details on the incident were immediately available.

The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since March 2011, and has claimed the lives of nearly 70,000 people, according to UN estimates.

Increase In DNA Collection and GPS Tracking

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During a news conference yesterday, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker announced proposals for the use of GPS tracking for restraining orders and the expansion of DNA collection, from an extra 68,000 individuals from across the state.

Italy’s Ex-Intelligence Chief Given 10-year Sentence for Role in CIA Kidnapping

A US State Department official on Monday "expressed concern" about what he called "a 'climate of impunity' over abuses by police and security forces" - in Egypt. The official, Michael Posner, warned that failure to investigate Egyptian state agents responsible for "cruel treatment of those in their custody" - including torture - creates "a lack of meaningful accountability for these actions". Last week, I wrote that "I've become somewhat of a connoisseur of US government statements that are so drowning in obvious, glaring irony that the officials uttering them simply must have been mischievously cackling to themselves when they created them," and this American denunciation of Egypt's "climate of impunity" almost certainly goes to the top of the list.Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, was kidnapped in 2003 by the CIA from the streets Milan and sent to Egypt. (Photograph: EPA)

After all, Michael Posner works for the very same administration that not only refused to prosecute or even investigate US officials who tortured, kidnapped and illegally eavesdropped, but actively shielded them all from all forms of accountability: criminal, civil or investigative. Indeed, Posner works for the very same State Department that actively impeded efforts by countries whose citizens were subjected to those abuses - such as Spain and Germany - to investigate them. Being lectured by the US State Department about a "culture of impunity" is like being lectured by David Cameron about supporting Arab dictators.

To see just how extreme the US "culture of impunity" is, consider the extraordinary 2003 kidnapping by the CIA of the Muslim cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr (Abu Omar), from the streets of Milan. Nasr, who in 2001 had been granted asylum by Italy from persecution in Egypt, was abducted by the CIA and then shipped back to Egypt where he was imprisoned for four years without charges and, he says, brutally tortured by America's long-standing ally, the Mubarak regime.

Der Spiegel described just what a standard kidnapping it was: Nasr "was seized in broad daylight on the open street, pushed into a white van, taken to the Aviano military airport and then flown to Egypt via the US Ramstein Air Base in Germany". Yesterday, an Italian appellate court sentenced the country's former intelligence chief, Niccolò Pollari, to ten years in prison "for complicity" in that kidnapping:

The appeals court, in Milan, sentenced the former chief, Niccolò Pollari, to 10 years and his former deputy Marco Mancini to nine years for their role in the kidnapping of the cleric, Hassan Mustafa Osama Nasr . . . . Three Italian secret service officials were also sentenced to six years each.

Mr. Nasr was kidnapped under the practice of 'extraordinary rendition', in which people suspected of being Islamic militants were abducted in one country and then transferred to another, often one where torture was common.

While Mr. Nasr was initially charged with membership in an illegal organization, the charges were ultimately dropped. He has since been released.

In other words, not only did the CIA kidnap Nasr and deliberately send him to an allied regime notorious for torture - a serious crime no matter who he was - but, as it turns out, he was guilty of absolutely nothing. What made him a kidnapping target was that, according to the New York Times, his "anti-American speeches and calls to jihad were resonating with young Muslim men who were attending his Islamic center".

Despite being convicted of no crime (other than criticizing US aggression), he was imprisoned in Egypt without charges for four years until a Cairo court found his detention unfounded and ordered him released. Upon release, he said "he had been reduced to a 'human wreck' by torture he had undergone in a Cairo jail". Nasr detailed the truly horrific kidnapping and torture he endured in a 2008 interview with Peter Bergen for Mother Jones, who used Italian court documents to write a comprehensive report on the case:


"A little before noon on February 17, 2003, Abu Omar was headed to his mosque, incongruously located inside a garage. He strolled down Via Guerzoni, a quiet street mostly empty of businesses and lined with high, view-blocking walls. A red Fiat pulled up beside him and a man jumped out, shouting 'Polizia! Polizia!' Abu Omar produced his ID. 'Suddenly I was lifted in the air,' he recalled. He was dragged into a white van and beaten, he said, by wordless men wearing balaclavas. After trussing him with restraints and blindfolding him, they sped away.

"Hours later, when the van stopped, Abu Omar heard airplane noise. His clothes were cut off and something was stuffed in his anus, likely a tranquilizing suppository. His head was entirely covered in tape with only small holes for his mouth and nose, and he was placed on a plane. Hours later he was hustled off the jet. He heard someone speaking Arabic in a familiar cadence; in the distance, a muezzin was calling the dawn prayer. After more than a decade in exile, he was back in Egypt. . . .

"Spreading his arms in a crucifixion position, he demonstrates how he was tied to a metal door as shocks were administered to his nipples and genitals. His legs tremble as he describes how he was twice raped. He mentions, almost casually, the hearing loss in his left ear from the beatings, and how he still wakes up at night screaming, takes tranquilizers, finds it hard to concentrate, and has unspecified 'problems with my wife at home.' He is, in short, a broken man."

Yesterday's 10-year sentence was based on a 2010 finding by an Italian judge that "the Italian secret service was most likely aware of, 'and perhaps complicit in,' the operation". In 2009, an Italian criminal court found 23 individual CIA agents (including the Milan station chief, Robert Lady) guilty of kidnapping and other crimes, but was forced to try them in abstentia because the US (first under Bush and then Obama) pressured the Italian government to suppress extradition requests issued by Italian courts to compel those CIA agents to travel to Italy to stand trial.

This entire case reveals vital facts about the culture of impunity for high-level officials that prevails in the US even when they commit the most egregious crimes:

First, it is completely inconceivable that anything like what just happened in Italy could happen in the US. Even in the face of overwhelming evidence that the highest-level US officials had systematically committed felonies under the War on Terror rubric, both political parties, bolstered by a virtual consensus of the DC press, united to block all forms of accountability. A sacred rule in US political culture is that high-level state officials are to be shielded from all accountability, let alone criminal punishment, for how they abuse power.

In sum, US officials are not subject to the rule of law but reside above it. Neither party's establishment nor their Adversarial Press Corps would ever tolerate the CIA Director being prosecuted for his crimes the way Italy's just was. The defense offered to the press by Lady, the CIA's Milan station chief - I was just following orders - is exactly what resonates in US elite circles as an excuse for all crimes: if the US government does it, then it is, by definition, shielded from legal punishment.

Second, both Bush and Obama officials continuously attempted to apply coercive pressure on Italian magistrates to obstruct this investigation, and when that failed, applied the same pressure to the Berlusconi and Prodi governments. Indeed, numerous diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks detail those efforts, and the Italian journalist Stefania Maurizi of L'Espresso described that campaign of obstruction in her book "Dossier WikiLeaks. Segreti Italiani."

One 2006 cable describes a meeting between US Ambassador Ronald Spogli and Italy's new Undersecretary to the Prime Minister Enrico Letta in which the US made not-so-subtle threats about the need of the Italian government to suppress extradition requests for the CIA agents:

In the context of keeping our excellent bilateral relationship on sound footing, the Ambassador explained to Letta that nothing would damage relations faster or more seriously than a decision by the GOI to forward warrants for arrests of the alleged CIA agents named in connection with the Abu Omar case. This was absolutely critical. Letta took note of this and suggested the Ambassador discuss the matter personally with Justice Minister Mastella, who Letta suggested should be invited to Washington for an early meeting with the Attorney General.

A 2007 cable describes plotting between the US and Italian governments to thwart the judicial investigation. They agreed that the US should "send something in writing to [the Italian justice official] explaining that the US would not act on extradition requests in the Abu Omar case if tendered", which "could be used pre-emptively by the GOI to fend off action by Italian magistrates to seek the extradition of the implicated Americans". In response, "the [US] Ambassador agreed that we should work to avoid having extradition requests forwarded."

A 2010 cable details a meeting between Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Berlusconi in which Gates "asked Berlusconi for his assistance in affirming US jurisdiction" over one of the high-level CIA defendants." A 2011 cable noted that "Justice Minister Mastella has so far kept the lid on recurring judicial demands to extradite presumed CIA officers allegedly involved in a rendition of Muslim cleric Abu Omar."

This US pressure campaign succeeded in quashing the efforts of the Italian judiciary to hold these CIA agents criminally accountable for their crimes in Italy. Indeed, as Maurizi told me yesterday, "five different Italian ministers of Justice refused to forward extradition requests for CIA agents." After Italy's highest court upheld the convictions of the CIA agents last September, the Guardian noted: "successive Italian governments denied all knowledge of the case and consistently ruled out extradition."

Under serious pressure from two successive US administrations, the Italian justice ministers simply refused to forward their own courts' extradition demands. The Italian courts were thus left to imprison their own officials for the ancillary role they played in the kidnapping because the US government, as usual, draped its own officials with a full-scale shield of immunity.

Third, what allowed this accountability in Italy is exactly what the US so tragically lacks: a brave and independent judiciary willing to perform its core ostensible function of applying the law equally to everyone, including those who wield the greatest power. Indeed, a 2005 US diplomatic cable complained that "Italian magistrates [prosecutors] are fiercely independent and are not answerable to any government authority/entity, including the Minister of Justice" and that "consequently, it is nearly impossible to prevent them from undertaking action in Italy that they wish to carry out."

This prosecution was possible in the first instance only because a single Italian magistrate, Armando Spataro, insisted on pursuing it despite all sorts of attacks against him. This 2009 Der Spiegel article reports that, as a result of his pursuit of the case, "his communications were monitored, the Italian intelligence service placed him under observation and there were even investigations into whether he had betrayed state secrets. The government tried again and again to silence him." But the magistrates ignored those repressive efforts, eventually even seizing Lady's retirement villa in Italy to cover court costs.

Numerous cables show Italian officials, especially Berlusconi himself, attacking the Italian magistrates and assuring the US that Italian courts would eventually stop them. One 2005 US cable celebrates that Minister of Justice Roberto Castelli "took the unusual step of publicly criticizing a member of Italy's highly independent magistracy" over this case, specifically that he "called Armando Spataro a "militant'. meaning a communist" (ironically, Spataro previously "faced accusations of right-wing bias when he led prosecutions of the Red Brigade terrorist organization in the late 1970's and 1980's".) That public denunciation of the magistrate happened, recounted the US cable, after he "presented Castelli with requests for the provisional arrest in contemplation of extradition for 22 Americans involved in the alleged rendition of Egyptian Imam Abu Omar from Milan."

Assuring Washington that the prosecution of the CIA agents was politically motivated and would be stopped, this US cable claimed:


"In the 1960s and 1970s Italian communists made a concerted effort to 'infiltrate' the judiciary; today, many Italian judges are considered to be sympathetic to the left and some have made decisions that undermine our shared security objectives. . . .

"Berlusconi's government certainly believes that judicial treatment of the Abu Omar case is an example of a politically motivated action directed, not at the US, but at Berlusconi in an further attempt to embarrass the Prime Minister. Castelli's very public criticism of Spataro is a sign he is willing to risk criticizing the judiciary in order to avoid precipitous action in this case."

The 2010 cable describing the meeting between Gates and Berlusconi describes how "Berlusconi gave an extended rant about the Italian judicial system - which frequently targets him since it is 'dominated
by leftists' as the public prosecutor level." Moreover, "Berlusconi predicted that the 'courts will come down in our favor' upon appeal, noting that higher-level appellate courts are significantly less politicized than local courts."

But that did not happen. Indeed, the opposite happened: Italian appellate courts were even more aggressive and steadfast in demanding accountability than the lower courts. Just two weeks ago, an Italian appellate court vacated the acquittals of three CIA agents whom a lower court had protected on the ground of diplomatic immunity and then sentenced one of them - former CIA Rome station chief Jeffrey Castelli - to seven years in prison. Last September, it was Italy's highest court that upheld the convictions of the 23 CIA agents. And yesterday's 10-year sentence for Italy's ex-intelligence chief was also imposed by an appeals court.

So what Berlucsoni predicted never happened. Italian courts exercised great independence and courage in applying the law to both the American and Italian kidnappers without regard to their power and position.

The contrast with the US federal judiciary is stark. American federal judges have proven themselves indescribably servile to the US government. It is impossible to imagine American federal judges - except in the most aberrational and quickly-overturned instances - defying the wishes of the US government when it comes to claims of national security and secrecy.

Indeed, not a single victim of the abuses of the US War on Terror - not one - has even been allowed by the US federal judiciary to have a day in court, let alone obtain accountability for what was done to them. Federal judges have obediently slammed the courthouse doors shut in the faces of War on Terror victims even when everyone recognizes that the victims were treated savagely and were guilty of nothing. Indeed, US courts have refused even to hear cases brought by rendition (kidnapping) victims. Instead, US federal judges, over and over, have meekly submitted to the decrees of US national security state officials that the mandates of secrecy and national security shield them from any form of judicial review even when they kidnap and torture innocent people.

An independent judiciary, willing to apply the law even to the most powerful political officials, is a prerequisite to a healthy political system that functions under the rule of law. As this case vividly demonstrates, Italy has that and the US does not. Of all the US institutions that have shamefully abdicated their duties in the post-9/11 era, the federal judiciary is at the top of that list. That is why even the former head of Italy's intelligence service faces criminal punishment for kidnapping an innocent person while such accountability is inconceivable in the US. It is why the "rule of law" is a ludicrous joke when it comes to US elites.

We also see here, yet again, how monumentally important leaks are. Almost everything we know about the conduct of the US government in this case comes from diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks and allegedly disclosed by Bradley Manning. It is remarkable how often major media outlets rely on WikiLeaks documents to report to their readers what is happening in the world. For exactly that reason, it is no mystery why the US government is so eager to punish so severely those responsible for leaks generally and these disclosures specifically: precisely because nothing sheds light on their bad acts the way whistleblowing does.

Madeleine McCann lookalike DNA results revealed

DNA tests have confirmed a New Zealand girl is not the missing youngster Madeleine McCann, police have announced.

The girl has twice been mistaken for Madeleine by members of the public and British police asked for testing to be carried out to confirm she was not the missing child.

The first sighting was last March and the second on New Year's Eve.

New Zealand police have said in a statement that they have sent the DNA samples to Scotland Yard officers who are still investigating Madeleine's disappearance.

Detective Inspector Steve McGregor said: "We have received confirmation from Scotland Yard that a DNA sample provided voluntarily from a girl mistaken as missing British girl Madeleine McCann on New Year's Eve in Queenstown last year does not provide a match for that of the missing girl.

"At the time of the sighting police made thorough inquiries into the sighting and were completely satisfied that the girl was not Madeleine McCann."

New Zealand police say the unnamed girl's family has requested privacy.

A Scotland Yard spokesman confirmed that following the DNA submission police were "satisfied" that the girl identified in New Zealand was not Madeleine.

Madeleine was nearly four when she disappeared from her family's holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in Portugal's Algarve on May 3, 2007 as her parents dined at a tapas restaurant with friends nearby.

Kate and Gerry McCann, of Rothley, Leicestershire, have campaigned tirelessly for information on their daughter's whereabouts, battling for a review by the Metropolitan Police, which has now been under way for more than 18 months.

Her disappearance has sparked a number of  false sightings around the world.

Portuguese police closed the case in 2008 after failing to find out what happened to her.

Double trouble: French rape case impeded by twins’ identical DNA

Researcher using a GeneChip of US company Affymetrix which manufacturates DNA microarrays, in a laboratory of French biopharmaceutical company Genfit (AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen)

Researcher using a GeneChip of US company Affymetrix which manufacturates DNA microarrays, in a laboratory of French biopharmaceutical company Genfit (AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen)

Police in Marseille have arrested identical twin brothers for a string of sexual assaults. Officers believe one, if not both men are to blame, but cannot be sure as the pair’s DNA is nearly indistinguishable.

Police have charged both men, identified as 24-year old unemployed delivery drivers Elwin and Yohan, over the rapes. Both are being held with bail.

Standard DNA tests are unable to differentiate between their DNA, only far more difficult and potentially cost prohibitive tests would be necessary to figure out who is the culprit.

The pair deny any involvement in the rapes of six women, aged 22 to 76, between September and January.

Police were able to track down the men after being identified by CCTV footage shot on a bus. A cell phone allegedly stolen from one of the victims was also found in the brothers’ possession. The victims were also able to identify their attacker, but not tell them apart.

"It's a rather rare case for the alleged perpetrators to be identical twins," chief investigator Emmanuel Kiehl told AFP.

Kiehl said DNA evidence was discovered at some of the crime scenes, though the cost of extensive-enough tests would be "onerous."

Due to the highly complicated nature of the tests, it could reportedly cost up to $1.3 million dollars to carry them out.

One DNA expert told the French newspaper La Provence "For a normal analysis we compare 400 base pairs[of nucleotides].” In order to differentiate between the twins, "We would be looking at billions," he added.

Madeleine Lookalike Sends DNA Sample To Police

A New Zealand girl repeatedly mistaken for missing Madeleine McCann has given police a sample of her DNA which will be sent to Scotland Yard.

The girl, who has not been named, is understood to have a similar eye defect to Madeleine, prompting members of the public to believe she is the missing child.

The DNA sample is a conclusive way of proving her identity, said Detective Senior Sergeant Kallum Croudis of Dunedin Police.

"The results of this process will not be known for some time," he told New Zealand newspaper The Southland Times.

On New Year's Eve police launched a five-day investigation when a retailer became suspicious of a man and a young girl, who bore a resemblance to Madeleine.

However, they said they were "absolutely satisfied" she was not Madeleine, and it was not the first time she had been mistaken for the missing girl.

Madeleine was nearly four when she vanished from her family's Portuguese holiday apartment in Praia da Luz in 2007 as her parents dined at a nearby restaurant with friends.

Madeleine's parents, Gerry and Kate McCann, have never abandoned their high-profile campaign to find their eldest daughter, who would now be nine.

Sightings have also been reported in Sweden, Belgium and Australia.

It is not the first time a child has been DNA-tested in relation to the case of the missing British girl.

In 2011, a young girl spotted in India with a Belgian man and French woman was tested and was also found not to be Madeleine.

EFF to Supreme Court: Blanket DNA Collection Violates Fourth Amendment

SAN FRANCISCO - February 4 - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the Supreme Court Friday to block DNA collection from everyone arrested for a crime, arguing that law enforcement must get a warrant before forcing people to give samples of their genetic material.

EFF's amicus brief was filed Friday in Maryland v. King – a case challenging a law in the state of Maryland that requires DNA collection from all arrestees, whether they are ultimately convicted of a crime or not. Maryland officials claim that DNA is necessary for definitive identification, but they do not use the sample to "identify" the arrestee. Instead, they use the sample for other investigatory purposes – retaining and repeatedly accessing the wealth of personal information disclosed by an individual's genetic material despite lacking individualized suspicion connecting the arrestee to another crime. This violates the Fourth Amendment.

"Your DNA is the roadmap to an extraordinary amount of private information about you and your family," said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. "It contains data on your current health, your potential for disease, and your family background. For government access to personal information this sensitive, the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant."

In addition to Maryland, 27 states and the federal government have laws that mandate DNA collection from anyone arrested, even if they are not yet convicted of a crime. EFF has filed amicus briefs in a number of cases challenging these unconstitutional laws. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has shown increasing sensitivity to the power of sophisticated technology to undermine traditional privacy protections.

"Let's say you were picked up by police at a political protest and arrested, but then released and never convicted of a crime. Under these laws, your genetic material is held in a law enforcement database, often indefinitely," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "This is an unconstitutional search and seizure."

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in Maryland v. King later this month.

For the full brief in Maryland v. King:
https://www.eff.org/document/amicus-brief-16

Contacts:

Jennifer Lynch
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   jlynch@eff.org

Lee Tien
   Senior Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   tien@eff.org

EFF is the leading civil liberties group defending your rights in the digital world. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations.

EFF to Supreme Court: Blanket DNA Collection Violates Fourth Amendment

SAN FRANCISCO - February 4 - The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) urged the Supreme Court Friday to block DNA collection from everyone arrested for a crime, arguing that law enforcement must get a warrant before forcing people to give samples of their genetic material.

EFF's amicus brief was filed Friday in Maryland v. King – a case challenging a law in the state of Maryland that requires DNA collection from all arrestees, whether they are ultimately convicted of a crime or not. Maryland officials claim that DNA is necessary for definitive identification, but they do not use the sample to "identify" the arrestee. Instead, they use the sample for other investigatory purposes – retaining and repeatedly accessing the wealth of personal information disclosed by an individual's genetic material despite lacking individualized suspicion connecting the arrestee to another crime. This violates the Fourth Amendment.

"Your DNA is the roadmap to an extraordinary amount of private information about you and your family," said EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch. "It contains data on your current health, your potential for disease, and your family background. For government access to personal information this sensitive, the Fourth Amendment requires a warrant."

In addition to Maryland, 27 states and the federal government have laws that mandate DNA collection from anyone arrested, even if they are not yet convicted of a crime. EFF has filed amicus briefs in a number of cases challenging these unconstitutional laws. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has shown increasing sensitivity to the power of sophisticated technology to undermine traditional privacy protections.

"Let's say you were picked up by police at a political protest and arrested, but then released and never convicted of a crime. Under these laws, your genetic material is held in a law enforcement database, often indefinitely," said EFF Senior Staff Attorney Lee Tien. "This is an unconstitutional search and seizure."

The Supreme Court is set to hear arguments in Maryland v. King later this month.

For the full brief in Maryland v. King:
https://www.eff.org/document/amicus-brief-16

Contacts:

Jennifer Lynch
   Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   jlynch@eff.org

Lee Tien
   Senior Staff Attorney
   Electronic Frontier Foundation
   tien@eff.org

EFF is the leading civil liberties group defending your rights in the digital world. EFF fights for freedom primarily in the courts, bringing and defending lawsuits even when that means taking on the US government or large corporations.

Halal Products Withdrawn After Pork DNA Found

The company which supplied halal food found to contain traces of pork DNA has removed all products from the manufacturer. Food distributor 3663 carried out its own tests on the products after initially fearing five of its halal products may have conta...

‘Russian mafia’ carves ‘thief’ on kidnapped Irish tycoon’s forehead over debts

Businessman Kevin Michael McGeever.(Screenshot from YouTube user allbitsofegg)

Businessman Kevin Michael McGeever.(Screenshot from YouTube user allbitsofegg)

An Irish real estate tycoon suddenly released after eight months being held hostage has accused Russian mafia and the IRA of kidnapping, torturing and carving "thief" on his forehead over the debts he owes to the criminals.

­Kevin McGeever appeared to have the word “thief” carved into his forehead. During interviews with the police, the 68-year-old revealed that he was seized and kept in a “darkened container” because of his debt to Russian gangsters and the IRA.

Mr McGeever told the detectives that he was kidnapped from the garden of his £2.5million mansion by three masked men. The abductors had demanded a ransom but he did not know if it was delivered. 

McGeever also told the officers that his captors gave him a mobile phone when he was freed and told him to keep it with him at all times.

The KMM Properties developer was found by a couple in Ballinamore, on a remote country road on Tuesday night with serious injury to his forehead and in a malnourished state. He was wrapped in a plastic bag and wasn't wearing shoes.

Catherine Vallely, who found him told the Daily Mail, that the developer was “skin and bones” with three-inch finger nails and a long beard.

McGeever went missing in June 2012. Prior to his disappearance, he had been involved in a property development company dealing primarily with real estate in Dubai. During the economic boom, he sold luxury homes to wealthy Irish and British clients.

Police are looking into the debt claims related to property transactions, including some in Dubai. So far, law enforcement is yet to confirm any of Mr McGeever’s claims.

 "It may be some time before a clearer picture emerges but we are sceptical that this was the work of foreign-based criminals," a police source has revealed to the Irish Herald. 

McGeever is being guarded at Mulligar Hospital where he is receiving treatment for malnutrition and dehydration.

Halal Prison Food Found To Contain Pork DNA

A company which supplies Halal meat to prisons has had its contract suspended, after traces of pork DNA were found in pies and pasties. The Ministry of Justice said it had withdrawn the products immediately, while justice minister Jeremy Wright said t...

AL Kidnapper Beat A Dog To Death, Shot At Neighbors

Watch More News Videos at ABC There is no hell quite like living with a crazy, menacing neighbor. Maybe the most sensible thing we can do about this type of gun threat is to allow something like a grand jury panel to assess confidential complaints an...

Italy convicts ex-CIA chief of kidnapping

Milan’s appeals court has sentenced a former Central Intelligence Agency chief to seven years in prison for kidnapping an Egyptian Muslim cleric.

Jeff Castelli was found guilty along with two other agents, who were each given six years for abducting Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar, as part of the CIA's ‘extraordinary rendition’ program in 2003.

The trio had been acquitted at their first trial in 2009 due to diplomatic immunity but prosecutors had appealed against the verdict.


Abu Omar, who was kidnapped in a joint operation by the CIA and the Italian military intelligence agency SISMI, enjoyed political asylum in Italy at the time.

He was allegedly taken to a US air base in northeast Italy and then transferred to a US base in Germany and subsequently to Cairo.

The Muslim Cleric, who was released in 2007, claims he was tortured in prison by his kidnappers.

Last year, Italy's Court of Cassation upheld the convictions of 23 CIA agents over the same incident and ordered new appeals trials for five Italian intelligence agents, including Italy's top two former military intelligence officers, Nicola Pollari and his ex-deputy Marco Mancini.

The Italian Supreme Court ordered the 23 CIA agents to pay one million euros in damages to Abu Omar and 500,000 euros to his wife.

The ‘extraordinary rendition’ program was launched by former US president George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks as an operation for the global apprehension and incarceration of suspected terrorists.

TE/HMV

Horse DNA: Burger King Dumps Irish Supplier

Burger King has issued full page newspaper apologies after discovering horse DNA in patties from its supplier in Ireland.

The fast food chain said sorry to customers as it confirmed it was cutting ties with Silvercrest, the food processing plant that supplied contaminated burgers to UK supermarkets.

Burger King said its own tests for equine DNA in its burgers had come back negative and that four samples from the Silvercrest plant that did test positive were from a product that did not make it into restaurants.

The Miami-based chain said the failure to deliver 100% British and Irish beef patties was a violation of contracts.

The UK newspaper ads include a statement from Diego Beamonte, Burger King Corporation's vice president for global quality, who said: "While the Food Safety Authority of Ireland has stated that this is not a food safety issue, we are deeply troubled by the findings of our investigation and apologise to our guests, who trust us to source only the highest quality 100% beef burgers.

"Our supplier has failed us and in turn we have failed you. We are committed to ensuring that this does not happen again."

The Irish authorities said that their investigations had traced filler product used in the burger processing facility to a supplier in Poland.

It contained a mixture of beef and horse offcuts.

Experts from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) yesterday told the Commons Environment Committee that they could not be sure whether the contaminated burgers were being sold for more than a year.

Bosses at the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI), who identified and publicised the controversy, or Department of Agriculture chiefs have yet to be questioned at a similar level in Dublin.

At least 10 million burgers were put into storage following the scandal. Silvercrest's parent company ABP Food Group initially said they would be destroyed.

Silvercrest had a contract to supply Burger King in the UK, Ireland and Denmark. It is understood the deals with the fast food chain and Tesco were worth in the region of £39m.

The Ballybay processing factory, closed since the scandal broke two weeks ago, employed 112 people.

Burger King said it had carried out its own internal investigation including scientific tests, inspection of the Silvercrest facility and scrutiny of traceability records over the last fortnight.

It has been using approved suppliers from Germany and Italy as a precaution since.

Burger King's apology came after Aldi suspended its contract with beefburger supplier Dalepak, having found small traces of horsemeat DNA in its products.

The supermarket withdrew three beefburger lines earlier this month after traces of pig meat and horsemeat were discovered, and launched an investigation.

"Aldi UK's customers are our absolute priority," a spokesman said. "This is why we immediately withdrew these products until such a time that we could verify that there was no risk to our customers.

"We are deeply angry and feel let down by our supplier and we are pursuing more tests until we are certain that we understand how the production line was contaminated."

Burger King UK finds horse DNA in patties

LONDON (Reuters) - Fast food chain Burger King said traces of horse DNA were found in samples of patties from a food-processing plant in Ireland but that the meat never reached its eateries. "Four samples recently taken from the Silvercrest plant have...

World on a string: DNA to be used for data storage

RIA Novosti / S. Solovjev

RIA Novosti / S. Solovjev

From cave paintings to cloud computing, man has sought out increasingly complex ways to store data. Now researchers have found that nature’s own hard drive – DNA - can be synthesized to back up a world of knowledge in the information age.

On Wednesday researchers from the UK-based European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI) published findings in the journal, Nature, describing how they had stored all 154 of Shakespeare’s sonnets, a digital photo of their lab, a PDF of the 1953 study that described the structure of DNA, and a 26-second sound clip from Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, in manufactured DNA.

"We already know that DNA is a robust way to store information because we can extract it from bones of woolly mammoths, which date back tens of thousands of years, and make sense of it," says study co-author Nick Goldman of the EBI.

“It’s also incredibly small, dense and does not need any power for storage, so shipping and keeping it is easy,” he continued.

DNA is in fact such an effective means of storage that the researchers estimate that at least 100 million hours of high-definition video would fit in a cup of it.

“A gram of DNA would hold the same information as a bit over a million compact discs,” Goldman said. “Your storage options are: one thing a bit smaller than your little finger, or a million CDs.”

DNA is a long, coiled molecular "ladder" comprising four nucleobases –  adenine, cytosine, guanine and thymine – which are usually abbreviated as A, C, G and T. The various sequences of these four nucleobases are what encodes information in all known living organisms.

With the aid of a simple cipher, the scientists converted the ones and zeroes used in computing code into the four-letter alphabet of DNA code.

The EBI team is not the first to encode DNA. In 2012 a Harvard University research team published a paper in Science magazine, outlining their own method of DNA storage.

Goldman says their study stands apart because of the intrinsic measures that offset potential mistranslations.

Currently, technology only allows for the manufacture of DNA in short strings, and reading it is prone to error, as the same DNA letters are repeated over and over. But the researchers settled on a code structure that skillfully avoided both pitfalls.

“We knew we needed to make a code using only short strings of DNA, and to do it in such a way that creating a run of the same letter would be impossible. So we figured, let’s break up the code into lots of overlapping fragments going in both directions, with indexing information showing where each fragment belongs in the overall code, and make a coding scheme that doesn't allow repeats. That way, you would have to have the same error on four different fragments for it to fail – and that would be very rare," co-author Ewan Birney, Associate Director of EMBL-EBI, told Science Daily.

The code was then sent to Agilent, a US biotech company which produces synthetic DNA using a device similar to an inkjet printer.

"We downloaded the files from the web and used them to synthesize hundreds of thousands of pieces of DNA. The result looks like a tiny piece of dust," Emily Leproust of Aglient said.

Agilent then mailed the sample back to the EBI, where the researchers soaked the DNA in a solution to reconstitute it and used standard sequencing machines to decipher the code. All the files were recovered and read with 100 percent accuracy.

DNA could be useful for keeping huge amounts of information that must be kept for a long time but not retrieved very often, the researchers said. In order to store it, it would simply need to be freeze-dried and stored in a cold, dry and dark place, for anywhere between 600 to 5,000 years.

DNA storage does not come cheap, however. While Agilent Technologies worked pro bono for the sake of science, they say the commercial rate for DNA synthesis runs between $10,000 and $30,000.

But the researchers argued in Nature that “current trends in technological advances are reducing DNA synthesis costs at a pace that should make our scheme cost-effective for sub-50-year archiving within a decade.”

In the meantime, national archives and libraries will likely be the first beneficiaries, though it will eventually be possible for consumers to store information they want to have around in perpetuity, like wedding photos or videos for future grandchildren, Goldman said in an email to AP.

The researchers said they had no intention of ever putting the synthetic DNA into a living being, and it could never accidently become part of anything organic because its coding scheme would not be compatible.

"We have absolutely no intention of messing with life," said Goldman.

How America Became a Global Kidnapper and Torturer

January 21, 2013  |  

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The following is an excerpt from  Cruel Britannia: A Secret History of Torture (Portobello Books, 2012). 

Two days after the 9/11 attacks, during a meeting of Bush’s closest advisers, Cofer Black declared the country’s enemies must be left with ‘flies walking across their eyeballs’. It was an image of death so striking that Black became known among the President’s inner circle as ‘the flies on the eyeballs guy’. Unlike its allies – the UK, France, Spain and Israel – the US had little experience of serious terrorist attacks on its own territory, nor any understanding of the need for a patient response. Bush was impressed by Black. Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, could see that the President wanted to kill somebody. The problem, as successive attorneys general had warned one president after another, was that they did not enjoy unfettered powers of life and death over the nation’s enemies. The CIA had been banned from carrying out assassinations since 1976.

The President turned to his Department of Defense and found that it had no cogent, off-the-shelf plan for responding to an attack of this nature on the United States. The CIA, on the other hand, did have something in its arsenal: it had the rendition program.

Since 1987, the CIA had been quietly apprehending terrorists and ‘rendering’ them to the US for prosecution, without any regard for lawful extradition processes. In 1995, President Bill Clinton – apparently with the full encouragement of his vice-president, Al Gore – agreed that a number of terrorists could be taken to a third country, including countries known to use torture, a process that would come to be known as extraordinary rendition.

Mike Scheuer, the CIA officer who started that programme, faced few objections from Clinton’s national security advisers when he began taking prisoners to Egypt, where they could be interrogated under torture. ‘They just didn’t want to know what we were doing,’ he says.

Before 9/11, however, there were limits. In 1998, for example, the CIA had drawn up a plan to kidnap Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and take him to Egypt. A shipping container was installed inside a Hercules aircraft and inside that was bolted a dentist’s chair fitted with restraints. The CIA were all ready to go when, at the last moment, the FBI persuaded Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, that bin Laden’s inevitable death at the hands of the Egyptians would be an act of murder and that US officials would be responsible. Reno vetoed the plan.

By 13 September, with a still-unknown number of Americans dead and the President wanting action, all such legal squeamishness had vanished. President Bush and Dick Cheney both believed al-Qaida had succeeded because government lawyers had been expecting the CIA to do its job with one hand tied behind its back. Bush said as much to his attorney general, John Ashcroft, when he warned him: ‘Don’t ever let this happen again.’ So when the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, went to brief the President a few days after 9/11 and began to talk of the need to gather evidence for future prosecutions, he was promptly silenced by Ashcroft. Prosecutions were beside the point, Ashcroft said. All that mattered was stopping another attack.

That night, Cofer Black locked himself away at his office at Langley and within five days had drawn up plans for the CIA’s response. It would entail a vast expansion of the rendition pro-gramme. Hundreds of al-Qaida suspects would be tracked down and abducted from their homes and hiding places in eighty different countries. The agency would decide who was to be killed and who was to be kept alive in a network of secret prisons, outside the US, where they would be systematically tormented until every one of their secrets had been delivered up. The United States had been blindsided by al-Qaida on 9/11 and that situation would not be permitted to occur a second time.

Shocking Story of How the US Ignored International Law to Become to World’s Kidnapper...

January 21, 2013  |  

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Join our email list:

Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.

The following is an excerpt from   A Secret History of Torture (Counterpoint Press, 2012). 

Two days after the 9/11 attacks, during a meeting of Bush’s closest advisers, Cofer Black declared the country’s enemies must be left with ‘flies walking across their eyeballs’. It was an image of death so striking that Black became known among the President’s inner circle as ‘the flies on the eyeballs guy’. Unlike its allies – the UK, France, Spain and Israel – the US had little experience of serious terrorist attacks on its own territory, nor any understanding of the need for a patient response. Bush was impressed by Black. Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, could see that the President wanted to kill somebody. The problem, as successive attorneys general had warned one president after another, was that they did not enjoy unfettered powers of life and death over the nation’s enemies. The CIA had been banned from carrying out assassinations since 1976.

The President turned to his Department of Defense and found that it had no cogent, off-the-shelf plan for responding to an attack of this nature on the United States. The CIA, on the other hand, did have something in its arsenal: it had the rendition program.

Since 1987, the CIA had been quietly apprehending terrorists and ‘rendering’ them to the US for prosecution, without any regard for lawful extradition processes. In 1995, President Bill Clinton – apparently with the full encouragement of his vice-president, Al Gore – agreed that a number of terrorists could be taken to a third country, including countries known to use torture, a process that would come to be known as extraordinary rendition.

Mike Scheuer, the CIA officer who started that programme, faced few objections from Clinton’s national security advisers when he began taking prisoners to Egypt, where they could be interrogated under torture. ‘They just didn’t want to know what we were doing,’ he says.

Before 9/11, however, there were limits. In 1998, for example, the CIA had drawn up a plan to kidnap Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and take him to Egypt. A shipping container was installed inside a Hercules aircraft and inside that was bolted a dentist’s chair fitted with restraints. The CIA were all ready to go when, at the last moment, the FBI persuaded Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, that bin Laden’s inevitable death at the hands of the Egyptians would be an act of murder and that US officials would be responsible. Reno vetoed the plan.

By 13 September, with a still-unknown number of Americans dead and the President wanting action, all such legal squeamishness had vanished. President Bush and Dick Cheney both believed al-Qaida had succeeded because government lawyers had been expecting the CIA to do its job with one hand tied behind its back. Bush said as much to his attorney general, John Ashcroft, when he warned him: ‘Don’t ever let this happen again.’ So when the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, went to brief the President a few days after 9/11 and began to talk of the need to gather evidence for future prosecutions, he was promptly silenced by Ashcroft. Prosecutions were beside the point, Ashcroft said. All that mattered was stopping another attack.

That night, Cofer Black locked himself away at his office at Langley and within five days had drawn up plans for the CIA’s response. It would entail a vast expansion of the rendition pro-gramme. Hundreds of al-Qaida suspects would be tracked down and abducted from their homes and hiding places in eighty different countries. The agency would decide who was to be killed and who was to be kept alive in a network of secret prisons, outside the US, where they would be systematically tormented until every one of their secrets had been delivered up. The United States had been blindsided by al-Qaida on 9/11 and that situation would not be permitted to occur a second time.

Shocking Story of How the US Ignored International Law to Become World’s Kidnapper and...

January 21, 2013  |  

Like this article?

Join our email list:

Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.

The following is an excerpt from   A Secret History of Torture (Counterpoint Press, 2012). 

Two days after the 9/11 attacks, during a meeting of Bush’s closest advisers, Cofer Black declared the country’s enemies must be left with ‘flies walking across their eyeballs’. It was an image of death so striking that Black became known among the President’s inner circle as ‘the flies on the eyeballs guy’. Unlike its allies – the UK, France, Spain and Israel – the US had little experience of serious terrorist attacks on its own territory, nor any understanding of the need for a patient response. Bush was impressed by Black. Colin Powell, the Secretary of State, could see that the President wanted to kill somebody. The problem, as successive attorneys general had warned one president after another, was that they did not enjoy unfettered powers of life and death over the nation’s enemies. The CIA had been banned from carrying out assassinations since 1976.

The President turned to his Department of Defense and found that it had no cogent, off-the-shelf plan for responding to an attack of this nature on the United States. The CIA, on the other hand, did have something in its arsenal: it had the rendition program.

Since 1987, the CIA had been quietly apprehending terrorists and ‘rendering’ them to the US for prosecution, without any regard for lawful extradition processes. In 1995, President Bill Clinton – apparently with the full encouragement of his vice-president, Al Gore – agreed that a number of terrorists could be taken to a third country, including countries known to use torture, a process that would come to be known as extraordinary rendition.

Mike Scheuer, the CIA officer who started that programme, faced few objections from Clinton’s national security advisers when he began taking prisoners to Egypt, where they could be interrogated under torture. ‘They just didn’t want to know what we were doing,’ he says.

Before 9/11, however, there were limits. In 1998, for example, the CIA had drawn up a plan to kidnap Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and take him to Egypt. A shipping container was installed inside a Hercules aircraft and inside that was bolted a dentist’s chair fitted with restraints. The CIA were all ready to go when, at the last moment, the FBI persuaded Clinton’s attorney general, Janet Reno, that bin Laden’s inevitable death at the hands of the Egyptians would be an act of murder and that US officials would be responsible. Reno vetoed the plan.

By 13 September, with a still-unknown number of Americans dead and the President wanting action, all such legal squeamishness had vanished. President Bush and Dick Cheney both believed al-Qaida had succeeded because government lawyers had been expecting the CIA to do its job with one hand tied behind its back. Bush said as much to his attorney general, John Ashcroft, when he warned him: ‘Don’t ever let this happen again.’ So when the head of the FBI, Robert Mueller, went to brief the President a few days after 9/11 and began to talk of the need to gather evidence for future prosecutions, he was promptly silenced by Ashcroft. Prosecutions were beside the point, Ashcroft said. All that mattered was stopping another attack.

That night, Cofer Black locked himself away at his office at Langley and within five days had drawn up plans for the CIA’s response. It would entail a vast expansion of the rendition pro-gramme. Hundreds of al-Qaida suspects would be tracked down and abducted from their homes and hiding places in eighty different countries. The agency would decide who was to be killed and who was to be kept alive in a network of secret prisons, outside the US, where they would be systematically tormented until every one of their secrets had been delivered up. The United States had been blindsided by al-Qaida on 9/11 and that situation would not be permitted to occur a second time.

Army raid kills 11 kidnappers in Algeria

At least Seven foreign hostages and 11 kidnappers have been killed after Algerian military forces launched another hostage rescue raid on the desert gas filed controlled by armed assailants in eastern Algeria.

“The (army) assault took place mid-morning. Eleven terrorists lost their lives along with the foreign hostages,” a security source said Saturday.

“The Algerian army took out 11 terrorists, and the terrorist group killed seven foreign hostages,” Algerian state TV said.

Romania's Prime Minister Victor Ponta confirmed that a Romanian national was killed and another one injured in the recent incident, while the nationality of the others have not been confirmed so far.

Earlier in the day, the hostage takers said they were still holding seven foreign national hostages at In Amenas gas field located in eastern Algeria, near the Libyan border.

On January 16, the militants, known as the Signed-in-Blood Battalion, conducted an attack on a gas complex partly run by the oil giant British Petroleum (BP) in eastern Algeria, killing a French national and a British citizen and kidnapping several other gas workers.

The armed assailants, linked to the rebel forces fighting in neighboring Mali, said they have carried out the attack to avenge Algeria's support for the French-led military operation in Mali.

A day later, Algerian army forces launched its first rescue raid to save the hostages seized by militants, killing some 30 people, including 12 captives and 18 kidnappers. However, the operation turned out to be a failure.

Algeria has authorized French warplanes to employ its airspace for launching airstrikes on the northern parts of the West African country controlled by rebel forces.

France launched a military intervention in Mali under the pretext of halting the advance of militants in the African country on January 11.

MKA/HGH

Syria Terrorists Kidnapping: Ukraine and Russia working with Syria to save Ukrainian Journalist

Anhar Kochneva

The Syrian Embassy in Ukraine has said that the Syrian, Ukrainian and Russian authorities are cooperating to ensure the speedy release of Ukrainian journalist Anhar Kochneva, who was abducted by rebels in Syria.

“Our authorities, including our embassy, in cooperation with Ukrainian and Russian authorities, are doing all they can to release her,” the embassy told Interfax-Ukraine regarding the situation with the abducted Ukrainian.

According to the embassy, Kochneva is “significant prey” for the group that abducted her, as in this way they prevented her from objectively covering the events in the country.

The embassy said that an information war was currently being waged against Syria, during which a number of leading Western and Arab media “pledged to make misleading reports about the events in Syria.”

“The fact is that Syria is the only country in the Middle East that opposes the United States and its satellites on the implementation of the plan for the New Middle East. Accordingly, these countries set the goal of breaking Syria, and they don’t want it to exist as a strong independent country,” the embassy said.

The statement says that the “so-called Free Syrian Army” uses violence and acts of terror against the civilian population.

“The number of terror attacks grows every day, thousands of victims have been killed, both civilians and military personnel, and many people have been abducted, and if a ransom is not paid for them, they are killed (and sometimes they are killed even after the receipt of a ransom), not to mention sabotage against infrastructure. Unfortunately, among those abducted is Anhar Kochneva, who was objectively performing her journalistic duties, exposing the deception of some media involved in disinformation,” the embassy said.

The statement also says that 48 Iranian pilgrims were kidnapped in Syria five months ago, and owing to the joint efforts of the Syrian authorities and a number of other countries able to resolve such a problem, the abducted persons were released a few days ago.

As reported, Kochneva was abducted by gunmen of the Free Syrian Army in Syria in October 2012. The kidnappers of the journalist threatened to kill her if a ransom of $50 million was not paid.

The kidnappers even contacted Ukrainian journalists and expressed their indignation at the inactivity of the Ukrainian authorities in this matter, but Kyiv repeatedly said that it was doing everything to release Kochneva.

DNA Anonymity Under Threat

A person donating their DNA sequence anonymously for research purposes may in fact be identified by a few simple web searches, according to a paper published today (January 17) in Science.

Truthout’s Jason Leopold on His Upcoming Trip to Guantanamo, His Update on the Gitmo...

In this wide-ranging conversation with Jason Leopold, Truthout’s lead investigative reporter, he talks about his upcoming trip to Guantanamo, the impact of the new pro-torture film Zero Dark 30, the scheduled sentencing of former CIA agent Kiriakou, and his fifth report on the reported suicide of Gitmo prisoner Adnan Latif. We start with Leopold’s announcement that he’s been approved to cover the trial of Khaled Sheikh Muhammed at Guantanamo Bay, and will travel there at the end of January.  We talk about the sharp limitations on coverage and the rules of evidence that appear to preclude a fair trial.

We talk about the new film Zero Dark 30, and the way it cements the myths that torture is OK, and produces usable intelligence.  It also burnishes the image of the CIA, despite the numerous known cases where it tortured innocent people and bungled investigations.

Next, we discuss the recent plea deal taken by John Kiriakou, a CIA agent who helped capture Abu Zubaidah in 2002, who was mistakenly thought to be al Qaeda’s #3 leader.  Kiriakou, who was misled to believe that Zubaidah cracked during his first waterboarding, did not participate in torture sessions, but went public in 2007.  Leopold interviewed him in a 2010 video report, and asked Kiriakou about Deuce Martinez, whose name surfaced in the later investigation.  We talk about NY Times reporter Scott Shane’s remarkable January 6 report, which revealed Shane’s contacts with Kiriakou that drew Shane into the investigation, related to Martinez.  Ultimately, Kiriakou pled guilty to revealing a different agent’s name to a reporter, who did not even publish it.  So far, Kiriakou is the only person going to jail related to Bush’s torture program.

Finally, we talk about Leopold’s dogged efforts to get to the truth in the case of Yemeni Adnan Latif, who was reported a suicide on September 8, 2012 at Guantanamo.  We recap how Latif was not a terrorist, was approved for release by both Bush and Obama officials, and the contradictions in the initial death reports and his autopsy.

Correction:  In our interview, PBC states that the corporate media has barely covered the Latif story.  One exception is a recent “Op-Doc” posted on the NY Times website, a 9-minute video that shows the return of Latif’s remains to his family last December.  Credit is due to the producer, Laura Poitras.  The video is embedded in Leopold’s report.

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State crime lab analyst Kathryn Troyer was running tests on Arizona's DNA database when she stumbled across two felons with remarkably similar genetic profiles. The...

Police seek wider DNA data powers

WEST Australian Police have asked the state government to authorise them to take a DNA sample from anyone who is arrested, even for minor...

Police chiefs against universal DNA database

The majority of police chiefs are against a universal DNA database for the people of Britain. At a meeting during the Association of Chief Police...

The Surveillance Society report: DNA discussions

By Anthony Hildebrand | The report recognises the National DNA Database as a “valuable investigative tool, particularly in relation to police efforts to solve...

Take innocent people’s DNA off database, says Welsh MP

IC Wales | INNOCENT people would have their DNA taken off the Government’s controversial database under plans put forward by a Welsh MP. Jenny...

European court threat to British DNA database

By Sean O'Neill | Murder, rape and child abuse investigations will be hampered if a European court rules that more than 500,000 DNA samples...

Significance of DNA ‘matches’ in cases not always definitive

By Jason Felch and Maura Dolan | The 22-year-old San Francisco nurse had been sexually assaulted and stabbed in the heart. She lay on...

Australian police use national DNA data to solve crimes

Police in Australia's state of New South Wales have begun using a national D-N-A database to help investigate unsolved crimes. The database matches evidence...

London bus drivers to get DNA ‘spit kits’

London’s bus drivers who are spat at will be able to collect the saliva in a DNA ‘spit kit’ so the assailant can be...

Criminal DNA left unchecked for 13 months

PSCA | A report has found "significant shortcomings" in the Crown Prosecution's Service's (CPS) data handling. In January 2007 Dutch police sent a disc...

Watchdog: European DNA Database a Potential Nightmare

By Mick Meaney - RINF | Speaking at a news conference, European Data Protection Supervisor, Peter Hustinx, raised concerns over the European DNA Database,...

Feds to Collect Millions of DNA Profiles Yearly

By Ryan Singel | The feds will soon be collecting about one million DNA samples a year under a new program that lets federal agents collect cheek swabs from...

DNA database solves 1 in 800 crimes

A massive expansion in the Government's DNA database has brought fewer than a thousand criminals to justice, it was revealed last night. For every...

Sex offender DNA files expanded

BBC | Police in Fife have become the first in Scotland to fully manage DNA samples from non-registered sex offenders. The force has started...

Man freed by DNA testing after 27 years in prison

AP | A Dallas man who spent more than 27 years in prison for a murder he didn't commit was freed Tuesday, after being...

National “DNA warehouse” bill passes

AAPS | Passing the House of Representatives on a voice vote, S. 1858 has been sent to President Bush for signature. The Newborn Genetic...

Use of DNA results is expanding

By Don Thompson - Associated Press | SACRAMENTO - California Attorney General Jerry Brown said Thursday he is changing state policy to expand the use...

Police: DNA database ready as early as next year

By Elizabeth Roberts | Bermuda could have its own DNA database within a couple of years, to aid the Police in cracking more crimes....

DNA samples taken from polygamists’ kids

By Michelle Roberts | SAN ANGELO, Texas - Using cotton swabs and cameras, lab technicians began taking DNA samples Monday from hundreds of children and...

U.S. to Expand Collection Of Crime Suspects’ DNA

By Ellen Nakashima and Spencer Hsu | Washington Post Staff Writers | The U.S. government will soon begin collecting DNA samples from all citizens arrested...

5,000 children a month added to DNA database

Christopher Hope One in four people being added to the DNA database is a child, it emerged yesterday. The figure provides further evidence that the Government's...

Defense lawyers fight DNA sampling on the sly

By Amy Harmon The two Sacramento, California, sheriff detectives tailed their suspect, Rolando Gallego, at a distance. They did not have a court order to...

FBI looks at DNA technique

A DNA police technique used to hunt down a rapist is being lauded in the United States as an example of pioneering detective work. Avon...

Bill proposes violent criminals should submit DNA

Meg Bernhardt ANNAPOLIS -- A bill to allow officers to take a sample of DNA from people charged with certain violent crimes is close...

House panel passes measure on collecting DNA

Despite last-minute objections from Baltimore State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy, legislation to expand collection of DNA samples from suspects charged with violent crimes moved...

Don’t extend DNA database, says minister

The DNA database should probably not be extended and should certainly never become universal, Home Office Minister Tony McNulty has said, writes Matthew George. He...

Panel approves DNA bill testing for convicts

COLUMBIA - South Carolina would make DNA testing available for prisoners who claim they're innocent under a bill heading to the Senate Judiciary Committee. The...

DNA database will not be extended, says minister

MPs told that calls from senior police officers will not be answered. The government has no plans to extend the DNA database despite the...

Police: Put young children on DNA list

Primary school children should be eligible for the DNA database if they exhibit behaviour indicating they may become criminals in later life, according to...

DNA bill expected to pass key committee

A bill that would expand the criminal DNA database to include suspects of every violent crime appeared likely to pass a key House committee...

MoD requests ‘voluntary’ DNA samples

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) is asking armed forces personnel to voluntarily submit DNA samples leading to fears that they are becoming part of...

DNA register ‘labels children as criminals’

Campaigners condemn laws that have put 1.5 million juvenilies on a database Jamie Doward Nearly 1.5 million 10 to 18-year-olds will have been entered on the...

Met Police chief calls for European DNA database

Sir Ian Blair says scheme would have obvious benefits for crimefighting Computing Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair has called for the UK’s controversial DNA database...

30,000 children’s DNA on police database

By Christine Sexton THE DNA profiles of more than 30,000 Essex children are being kept on a police database. Figures released in response to a Freedom...

‘POLICE SHOULD TAKE DNA OF ALL BABIES’

BY SHAUN JEPSON A Former Derbyshire Deputy Chief Constable, who established the national DNA police database, believes genetic samples should be taken from everyone at...

DNA database threatens civil rights in health care

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Tether has secured a House of Commons debate on the impact of the proposed National DNA Database, which takes place...

A DNA recipe for injustice

Mixed results A national DNA database could well increase, not reduce, the number of wrongful convictions Allan Jamieson | The Guardian Three killers have been convicted this...

IBM scientists look to DNA to build future chips

DNA strings could become the template for nanotubes and nanowires by 2028 By Sharon Gaudin Looking for a way to continually shrink computer chips while still...

Insurance Fears Lead Many to Shun DNA Tests

By AMY HARMON Victoria Grove wanted to find out if she was destined to develop the form of emphysema that ran in her family, but...

The DNA database that will turn us into a Police State

Daily Mail  We seem to be busily building the world's first popular police state. Opinion polls show high levels of support for identity cards, surveillance cameras,...

Who Should be on The DNA Register?

Iain Dale Balancing the responsibilities of the State against the rights of the individual is one ofthe most difficult things for politicians to get right....

Police face DNA ban

Sean O’Neill, David Brown and Richard Ford European judges could strip the profiles of more than half a million people from the national DNA...

DNA database swabs over 100,000

More than 100,000 people in Kent have been added to the DNA database in the last five years it has been revealed. According to...

US says it has right to kidnap British citizens

David Leppard AMERICA has told Britain that it can “kidnap” British citizens if they are wanted for crimes in the United States. A senior lawyer for...

DNA database growth defended by police

More than a crime a day is being solved in Norfolk due to improvements in DNA sampling, according to police forensic experts. BEN KENDALL Almost 50,000...

Eventually all DNA will be recorded

Mark Brittain IN the 12 years since the national DNA database was inaugurated, our four police forces have contributed to it more than 260,000 profiles,...

Brown moots register for terrorists, DNA rights for MI5

By John Lettice Anti-terrorism proposals outlined by the Government today will include a sex-offenders style register for those convicted of terrorism offences, and will allow...

Lib Dems warn on DNA records

 The Liberal Democrats have described as "disturbing and illiberal" the policy of keeping the DNA profiles of children who have not been convicted of...

Police must not store DNA details of the innocent – report

Alok Jha The Guardian The government must prevent police from storing the profiles of innocent people on the national DNA database, an influential group of experts...

Europe to rule on whether police can keep DNA of innocent people

By Robert Verkaik Police could lose the power to keep DNA samples taken from suspects who have been cleared of any wrongdoing, in a landmark...

A ‘chilling’ proposal for a universal DNA database

By Nigel Morris A civil liberties storm erupted yesterday after a senior judge called for the genetic details of every person in Britain, and all...

DNA swab brings us closer to a police state

The move to widen the UK genetic database is yet another example of a relentless desire to monitor every aspect of our everyday lives Henry...

Police may be given power to take DNA samples in the street

Alan Travis The Guardian A forensic police officer swabs a drinks can for DNA. Photograph: Graham Turner   The Home Office is considering giving the police the power...

Police DNA database ‘risks criminalising non-offenders’

By Ben Russell People are being added to the Government's national DNA database at the rate of more than one a minute, figures from the...

Poisoned for Profit: We Are Not the Agrochemical Industry’s Guinea Pigs

Environmentalist Dr Rosemary Mason has just written to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) and the...

Encouraging Illegal Planting of Bt Brinjal in India: Political Posturing, Displaying Contempt for the...

In February 2010, the Indian government placed an indefinite moratorium on the commercial release of Bt brinjal. Prior to this decision, numerous independent scientific experts...

Ho Chi Minh City: Nguyen Thai Binh Street

Nguyen Thai Binh Street, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam There’s a street in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City called Nguyen Thai Binh Street. The United States had...

US militia hunting illegal migrants is cut from crowdfunding for ‘promoting hate & discrimination’...

The armed volunteer militia group, which has recently drawn much criticism and little praise for catching...

Vigilantes or patriots? FBI arrests head of militia rounding up illegal migrants at US...

Federal agents have detained the head of New Mexico’s people’s militia group, whose volunteer forces have...

Stephen Moore Gets Something Right: It’s Capitalism vs. Democracy

Photo by Nathaniel St. Clair Capitalism is a lot more important than democracy. I’m not even a big believer in democracy. – Stephen Moore, a potential...

Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away

Photo by Nathaniel St. Clair Whatever might come of the remaining details of the Mueller probe, lessons ‘learned’ by the American press won’t be among...

Top 20 Mueller Report “Findings”

Illustration by Nat St. Clair. There are a number of things that stand out as the most relevant and interesting in Robert Mueller’s Special Council...

Time is Blind, Man is Stupid

Drone footage of Notre Dame aflame. Victor Hugo: “The church of Notre-Dame de Paris is still no doubt, a majestic and sublime edifice. But, beautiful...

Is the American Psychological Association Addicted to Militarism and War?

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair When hijacked planes hit their targets on the morning of September 11, 2001, the American Psychological Association (APA) sprang into...

What Will It Take For Trump to Get His Due?

It is hard to recall now but before the 2016 election, blatant contempt for the rule of law and other longstanding (small-r) republican values,...

Annexation of West Bank May Provide Key to Unlocking Netanyahu’s Legal Troubles

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair After winning the Israeli election with a slim majority, in a campaign that grew more sordid and vilifying by the...

All Will be Punished

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair The image of London police dragging Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian embassy was so disturbing and resonant on so many...

Perverse Housing Policy Perverts Forest Policy

Photograph by Jeffrey St. Clair America needs forest–and housing–policy to include end-use of the trees we fell. As many Americans know all too well, concerns about...

RussiaGate is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Now that Mueller’s $40 million Humpty Trumpty investigation is over and found wanting of its original purpose (to retire Trump),...

To Ola Bini, a Political Prisoner Caught Up in the Assange Debacle

Photograph Source Christopher Michel from San Francisco – CC BY 2.0 Dear Ola, The last time we had a long conversation, it was about the night....

Hawai’i in Trouble

Heap of black stones from the Christian destruction of a temple for the worship of Hawai’ian gods. Ulupo Park, Kailua, Hawaii. Photo: Evaggelos Vallianatos  I...

Anti-Semitism as a Reactionary Political Tool

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair President Donald Trump recently perverted Ilhan Omar’s words as a means to stoke his Islamophobic, white supremacist base. In concert, Elan...

Washington’s Biggest Fairy Tale: “Truth Will Out”

Photograph Source thierry ehrmann – CC BY 2.0 The arrest of Julian Assange has produced rapturous cheering from the American political elite. Hillary Clinton declared...

the Persecution of Julian Assange

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair “The freedom of the press is not safe. It’s over. And I think our republic is in its last days,...

Talking Trash: Unfortunate Truths About Recycling

Americans have come to embrace recycling their trash with an almost religious fervor, but in some sense they are praying to a false god....

Ancestors of Stonehenge builders revealed in new research — RT UK News

Western British hunter-gatherers were not the forebearers of those that built arguably Britain’s most iconic...

Reflections on the Arrest of Assange

Photograph Source Elekhh – CC BY-SA 3.0 Will someone please explain to me why Martin Luther King, Jr. is considered a hero for violating laws...

Calling Assange a Narcissist Misses the Point

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair “Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards,” and “ha, ha, I hit them” say the pilots of a US Apache...

Why Julian Assange’s Extradition Must Be Opposed at All Costs

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair On Thursday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by the UK police inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he...

What Ivanka Told Us About Trump’s Meeting With el-Sisi

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Ivanka Trump, daughter of the US president and wife of Middle East “expert” Jared Kushner – he who has supposedly produced a Middle East...

Politics, Democracy and Environmental Rebellion

Pulp Mill, Longview, Washington. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. A question worth asking is: what conceivable national electoral outcome would resolve the political dysfunction that currently...

On False Dichotomies, Real and Fake, at MSDNC

Photograph Source Spud of Inside Cable news – CC BY 2.0 Not a False Dichotomy: (Eco-)Socialism or Exterminist Capitalism Antonio Gramsci would be impressed by the...

Mueller, Russiagate, and Fake Politics

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair So the Mueller investigation is over. The official “Report on the Investigation into Russian Interference in the 2016 Presidential Election”...

The Assange Arrest is a Warning From History

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair The glimpse of Julian Assange being dragged from the Ecuadorean embassy in London is an emblem of the times. Might...

Trump threatens to dump illegals in sanctuary cities — RT USA News

US President Donald Trump once again called on Democrats to support tighter immigration laws, threatening to...

What’s Wrong With The United States?

Photograph by Joshua Frank In his 1995 book, The Demon-Haunted World: Science As A Candle in The Dark, Carl Sagan wrote: I have a foreboding of...

Requiem for the Fourth Estate

This originally appeared at Consortium News. It is a very sad day for the rule of law. Today’s broad-daylight manhandling and kidnapping of Julian Assange from...

Requiem for the Fourth Estate

This originally appeared at Consortium News. It is a very sad day for the rule of law. Today’s broad-daylight manhandling and kidnapping of Julian Assange from...

Requiem for the Fourth Estate

This originally appeared at Consortium News. It is a very sad day for the rule of law. Today’s broad-daylight manhandling and kidnapping of Julian Assange from...

Free Julian Assange and All Political Prisoners

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair The American war against Iraq was among the more idiotic and gratuitous slaughters in human history. It was premised on...

The Causes of the Growth of Populism on Both Sides of the North Atlantic

Photograph Source NYyankees51 – CC BY-SA 3.0 One of the most influential documents of the 20th century—the Communist Manifesto—begins with the famous phrase: A specter is...

The Tragedy and Fallacy of NATO’s Balkan Experiment: 20 Years On

Photograph Source Darko Dozet – CC BY-SA 3.0 March 24, 1999 was an ordinary school day in Belgrademid-week (Wednesday). Suddenly, half of my high-school class...

Yemen’s Fate is in Trump’s Hands

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Congress has finally grown a spine. For the first time in more than forty years, Congress has invoked the War Powers...

Logging is the Lead Driver of Carbon Emissions From US Forests

Clearcut, Oregon Coast Range. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. Climate change is having a growing impact on Americans and, as the crisis escalates, communities face growing...

Responding to Trump on Puerto Rico

Image Source: Historical 1886 Map – Public Domain The debate about Puerto Rico, between President Donald Trump and American liberals and progressives has an ironic...

The Crippling of Britain in the Age of Brexit

Image Source: Christoph Scholz – CC BY 2.0 Future historians will look back at Britain in the age of Brexit and seek to explain why...

A 70-Year Alliance of Oppressors in Crisis

Image Source: Donarreiskoffer – CC BY SA 3.0 On the Limits of  Military Management of the International System Introduction The celebration of NATO’s 70 years of existence...

Climate Catastrophe and Extinction Rebellion

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair In the last years of his life, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke against what he called “the triple evils that...

This Israeli Election is Between the Right Wing and the Even More Right Wing

Photograph Source zeevveez from Jerusalem, Israel – CC BY 2.0 Nazareth. Israel’s election campaign, now in its last days, must be the first in which a...

Trump and the Global Rise of the Christian Right

Photograph By Shealah Craighead – Public Domain If Donald Trump goes to church regularly, he’s kept it a pretty good secret. He and his wife have...

Pardon the Confusion! Aid to Central America and the “Crisis” at the Border

Photograph Source Sgt. 1st Class Gordon Hyde – Public Domain The Trump Administration says there is a crisis at the U.S. border with Mexico. The...

Iraq’s WMDs Found…In Russia

White House photo by Eric Draper In late 2017, actor Morgan Freeman announced in a video created by a who’s who of senior U.S. Intelligence...

Russiagate is Not Watergate

Photograph Source White House Press Office Richard Nixon was a complicated man. He was arguably our last liberal president.  He transformed the political scene in countless...

Stealing Democracy in an Age of Kleptocrats

There’s something in me that revolts against injustice and wrong. Like the genes that transmit our genetic inheritance, there are intellectual forces – call...

Stealing Democracy in an Age of Kleptocrats

There’s something in me that revolts against injustice and wrong. Like the genes that transmit our genetic inheritance, there are intellectual forces – call...

Irritating Facts About Korea that Many in the West Would Rather Not Know

Photograph Source: Signal Corps Photo A huge amount of work in the US as well as in Korea, north and south, went into laying the...

Why All the Uproar Over the Green New Deal?

Pulp mill, Longview, Washington. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. Same ol’ same ol’ battle: The more things change, the more they stay the same On August 21,...

Egypt’s Brutal Crackdown on Workers’ Rights

daly3d abd – originally posted to Flickr as خالد ابو النجا – CC BY 2.0 Khaled Abol Naga – an outspoken critic of the Egyptian...

Professor suing university after being fired for ‘troubling’ views on gender dysphoria in kids...

A professor at the University of Louisville is suing his employer after being fired from a...

God and U.S. Foreign Policy: an Analysis

And Elohim Created Adam by William Blake, c. 1795 Mr. Pompeo’s Unoriginal Assertion Well, here we go again. God is back at work in support of...

US Supreme Court declares inmates have no constitutional right to ‘painless death’ — RT...

The Supreme Court has declared prisoners have no constitutional right to a “painless death,” allowing the...

Why Nobody in the Future Will Think Obama Was Wonderful

Photograph by Pete Souza It’s not difficult to predict how history will view Barack Obama. We have two historical examples to point to. 1. The eight...

Why Does the US Continue to Grovel to Israel?

U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv • Public domain Is there any other country on Earth with which America would dare collude on such a scale? Forget...

Liberalism as a Source of Trouble

Crop of Book Cover for The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities I first discovered John Mearsheimer’s work in 2014 when he published a...

America’s Dirty War on Immigrant Children

Photograph by Nathaniel St. Clair “These aren’t people. These are animals” – Donald Trump, May 17, 2018 President Trump is right about one thing: there is an...

Russia Was Never the Real Scandal

Photograph by Joshua Frank Robert Mueller won’t be filing any more indictments related to the “Russiagate” investigation. Though the search unearthed ample evidence that Russia wanted...

Can Christchurch Heal Our Collective Wounds?

Government House, New Zealand • CC BY-SA 4.0 I visited the city of Christchurch on May 23, 2018, as part of a larger speaking tour...

War, Peace and Presidential Candidates

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Forty-five years after Congress passed the War Powers Act in the wake of the Vietnam War, it has finally used...

Russiagate and the 1980s Crack Epidemic

White House Photographic Office • Public domain The release of the Mueller report and its conclusion that President Donald J. Trump and his top aides...

Russiagate: Tragedy, Not Farce

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair The left is an uplifting space of solidarity because it is a place that keeps track of the least of...

The Coldest Spot on Earth, Melting

Joe Mastroianni, National Science Foundation • Public domain Global warming is a fact of life that haunts society with consequences that hit hard, exponentially, but...

the Historical and Global Context

U.S. Department of State • Public domain In moving toward at least partial implementation of Title III of the 1996 Helms-Burton Act, the Trump administration...

CIA ad seeking Russian speakers mocked for broken grammar — RT USA News

An apparent CIA poster appealing to Russian speakers to join US intelligence has been derided for...

Democratic (Party) Socialism

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair No sooner had last November’s midterm election concluded than the next round in the electoral circus, focused on choosing the...

Re: The Green New Deal: First, Shoot the Economists

Photograph Source Senate Democrats Note: please do not shoot economists. The title is a metaphor. Soon to be released research from the United Nations is expected...

Rachel Maddow and the Muellers of Invention

Showers, Alcatraz. Photo: Jeffrey St. Clair. + Robert Mueller became like a Hollywood green screen that people could project their fantasies upon, none more baroquely...

A Trump-Boosting Triumph of Diversion and Inauthentic Opposition?

Photo by Nathaniel St. Clair Did the Russian government make some efforts to intervene on Donald Trump’s behalf in the 2016 United States presidential election?...

Here Are Three Political Storylines to Watch in Baseball This Year

Photograph Source abrowncoat – CC BY-SA 2.0 For many Americans, Opening Day of the Major League Baseball season elicits memories of childhood: playing with friends...

Brutality and Pathological Dishonesty Greet Immigrants in the Age of Trump

Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library • Public domain Do a Google search of braceros and you’ll find a picture of a line of...

Ziggy May’s Brexit Deal From Mars

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair “Narrow, rigid, unimaginative, sly, secretive and wholly lacking in the political skills necessary to win over voters or build alliances,...

First the Golan, Then the West Bank?

U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv • Public domain Nazareth. When President Donald Trump moved the US embassy to occupied Jerusalem last year, effectively sabotaging any hope of...

Russia and the Democrats

Image Source Screen Grab The Rachel Maddow Show Two years ago authors Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes wrote in their book Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s...

The Fox in the Henhouse: Bernhardt at Interior

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Everyone has heard the old saying about “the fox guarding the hen house” — which generally means you wind up with...

Pathological Deceit: The NYT Inverts Reality on Venezuela’s Cuban Doctors

by Lucas Koerner and Ricardo Vaz A New York Times “exposé” (3/17/19) of Cuban doctors’ supposed interference in Venezuelan elections was riddled with inaccuracies, omissions...

To Celebrate or to Not? The Mueller Question

Drawing by Nathaniel St. Clair Finally, it’s over. Well, sort of, anyway. Late Sunday afternoon, Attorney General Bill Barr released his much-anticipated summary of Bob...

How ISIS’s Brutal Project in the Middle East was Finally Overthrown

Jawad Shaar • CC BY 4.0 Up to its dying days the self-declared Islamic State has retained the ability to top the news agenda, even as its...

My Russia Hot-Air Balloon

March 26, 2019 by Elizabeth Keyes Wouldn’t you like to ride in my Russia hot-air balloon?Wouldn’t you like to malign...

a Militant Farmworker Brushed Out of History

Image Source Pakal Hatuey’s Youtube Video: Complete Interview With Epifanio Camacho Cesar Chavez is perhaps best known for his role in the 1965-1970 Delano grape...

Three Lessons for the Left from the Mueller Inquiry

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian Here are three important lessons for the progressive left to consider now that it is clear the inquiry...

Jailed whistleblower’s wife details his confinement to RT — RT USA News

Hacktivist Martin Gottesfeld was sentenced to 10 years in prison for exposing Boston Children’s Hospital for...