Tipping Point in America
1 week ago
"Piracy", as applied to Somali fishermen put out of work by foreign flagged factory-ship ocean rape and the pollution caused by the dumping of toxic waste (up to and including low-level nuclear waste washing ashore in barrels from Mafia controlled waste management companies in Europe) is a misnomer, and undoubtedly an intentional one on the part of the major shipper of the world and their cronies on the international committees that oversee maritime law.
But in essence these so-called "pirates" ARE the Somali Coast Guard.
KAYELEKERA, Malawi, Aug 22 (IPS) - "We are serious about the integrity of the environment," says Neville Huxham, the country director for Paladin Energy Africa.
"We're taking the uranium out of the ground, we're exporting it to be used for productive purposes, so we should be getting a medal for cleaning up the environment." [In Full]
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4. Nuclear Waste Pools in North Carolina
...The threat exists, however, without the speculation of terrorist attack. Should the cooling system malfunction, the resulting fire would be virtually unquenchable and could trigger a nuclear meltdown, putting more than two hundred million residents of this rapidly growing section of North Carolina in extreme peril. A recent study by Brookhaven Labs estimates that a pool fire could cause 140,000 cancers, contaminate thousands of square miles of land, and cause over $500 billion in off-site property damage.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has estimated that there is a 1:100 chance of pool fire happening under the best of scenarios.
Ahmedou Ould-Abdallah, the UN envoy to Somalia, tells me: "Somebody is dumping nuclear material here. There is also lead, and heavy metals such as cadmium and mercury – you name it." Much of it can be traced back to European hospitals and factories, who seem to be passing it on to the Italian mafia to "dispose" of cheaply. When I asked Mr Ould-Abdallah what European governments were doing about it, he said with a sigh: "Nothing. There has been no clean-up, no compensation, and no prevention."
At the same time, other European ships have been looting Somalia's seas of their greatest resource: seafood. We have destroyed our own fish stocks by overexploitation – and now we have moved on to theirs. More than $300m-worth of tuna, shrimp, and lobster are being stolen every year by illegal trawlers. The local fishermen are now starving. Mohammed Hussein, a fisherman in the town of Marka 100km south of Mogadishu, told Reuters: "If nothing is done, there soon won't be much fish left in our coastal waters."
This is the context in which the "pirates" have emerged. Somalian fishermen took speedboats to try to dissuade the dumpers and trawlers, or at least levy a "tax" on them. They call themselves the Volunteer Coastguard of Somalia – and ordinary Somalis agree. The independent Somalian news site WardheerNews found 70 per cent "strongly supported the piracy as a form of national defence".
No, this doesn't make hostage-taking justifiable, and yes, some are clearly just gangsters – especially those who have held up World Food Programme supplies. But in a telephone interview, one of the pirate leaders, Sugule Ali: "We don't consider ourselves sea bandits. We consider sea bandits [to be] those who illegally fish and dump in our seas." William Scott would understand.
Did we expect starving Somalians to stand passively on their beaches, paddling in our toxic waste, and watch us snatch their fish to eat in restaurants in London and Paris and Rome? We won't act on those crimes – the only sane solution to this problem – but when some of the fishermen responded by disrupting the transit-corridor for 20 per cent of the world's oil supply, we swiftly send in the gunboats.
In full @ Alternet
A US ship, owned by a Pentagon contractor with "Top Security" clearance, was seized off the Somali coast. Reports say the US crew has retaken the ship. But the question remains: Why are the pirates attacking?
By Jeremy Scahill
The Somali pirates who took control of the 17,000-ton Maersk Alabama's cargo-ship in the early hours of Wednesday morning probably were unaware that the ship they were boarding belonged to a US Department of Defense contractor with "top security" clearance, which does a half-billion dollars in annual business with the Pentagon, primarily the Navy.
The ship was being operated by an "all-American crew", there were 20 US nationals onboard. "Every indication is that this is the first time a U.S.-flagged ship has been successfully seized by pirates, said Lt. Nathan Christensen, a spokesperson for for the U.S. Navy's Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. The last documented pirate attack of a US vessel by African pirates was reported in 1804, off Libya, according to The Los Angeles Times.
The company, A.P. Moller-Maersk, is a Denmark-based company with a large US subsidiary, Maersk Line, Ltd, that serves US government agencies and contractors. The company, which is based in Norfolk, Virginia, runs the world's largest fleet of US-flag vessels. The Alabama was about 300 miles off the coast of the Puntland region of northern Somalia when it was taken. The US military says the Alabama was not operating on a DoD contract at the time and was said to be delivering food aid.
In Full @ rebelreports.com
"I actually believe that Americans believe in their political system more than workers do in other parts of the world," Mr. Gerard said. He said large labor demonstrations are often warranted in Canada and European countries to pressure parliamentary leaders. Demonstrations are less needed in the United States, he said, because often all that is needed is some expert lobbying in Washington to line up the support of a half-dozen senators.(Steven Greenhouse, "In America, Labor Has an Unusually Long Fuse," New York Times, 5 April 2009)
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