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Eugene

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Hometown: Boston, MA
Member since: Wed May 12, 2004, 05:41 PM
Number of posts: 52,425

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British man arrested on suspicion of giving bleach-based 'cure' to Ugandans

Source: The Guardian

British man arrested on suspicion of giving bleach-based 'cure' to Ugandans

Sam Little arrested after Guardian exposed massive distribution network of MMS in Uganda that was being supervised by US pastor

Alon Mwesigwa in Kampala and Ed Pilkington in New York
Thu 23 May 2019 19.06 BST Last modified on Thu 23 May 2019 19.27 BST

A British man has been arrested in Uganda on suspicions of “intoxicating the public” after he claimed to have carried out a trial of a “miracle cure” on local villagers using industrial bleach.

Sam Little, 25, from Arlesey in Bedfordshire was picked up by Ugandan police at 6am on Thursday in a village church in Kitembi, a few miles outside Fort Portal in western Uganda. Also arrested were two Ugandans who are suspected of being involved in the distribution of the bleach, which is known by advocates as MMS or Miracle Mineral Solution.

The arrests come five days after the Guardian exposed a massive distribution network of MMS in poor areas of Uganda that was being supervised by an American pastor from New Jersey. The network by its own estimation was handing out quantities of the bleach to up to 50,000 Ugandans every month and telling them that it was a cure-all for almost every serious disease including HIV/Aids and cancer.

Little supported the network with a donation of $10,000.

In the wake of the Guardian’s reporting, the US government put out an official warning in Uganda. The US mission, an outpost of the US embassy in Kampala, issued a public statement saying that it was aware of reports that MMS was being distributed by an American pastor in the country and stating: “We strongly condemn the distribution of this substance, which is extremely dangerous and is NOT a cure for any disease.”

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/23/british-man-arrested-on-suspicions-of-giving-bleach-based-cure-to-ugandans

Purdue Pharma accused of 'corrupting' WHO to boost global opioid sales

Source: The Guardian

Purdue Pharma accused of 'corrupting' WHO to boost global opioid sales

‘Unscrupulous’ manufacturer replicated false marketing claims to change WHO guidelines, report by members of Congress alleges

Chris McGreal
Wed 22 May 2019 18.09 BST First published on Wed 22 May 2019 14.00 BST

Purdue Pharma, the drug manufacturer that kickstarted the US opioid epidemic, corruptly influenced the World Health Organization in order to boost painkiller sales across the globe, according to a report by members of Congress.

An investigation by Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers, who represent districts in Massachusetts and Kentucky hard hit by the US opioid epidemic, accuses Purdue of replicating its false marketing claims about the safety and effectiveness of opioids to change WHO prescribing guidelines in an attempt to expand foreign markets for its drugs.

“The web of influence we uncovered paints a picture of a public health organization that has been corrupted by the opioid industry,” said Clark. “The WHO appears to be lending the opioid industry its voice and credibility, and as a result, a trusted public health organization is trafficking dangerous misinformation that could lead to a global opioid epidemic.”

The report, called Corrupting Influence. Purdue and the WHO, accuses Purdue of using pharma-funded organisations and specialists to influence the writing of WHO policy to encourage much wider prescribing of addictive high-strength opioids across the globe. It said that, as a result, “WHO guidelines are serving as marketing materials for Purdue”.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/22/purdue-pharma-opioid-world-health-organization-painkiller-global-sales

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Related: Corrupting Influence: Purdue & the WHO (Offices of Representatives Katherine Clark and Hal Rogers]

UK suffers crushing defeat in UN vote on Chagos Islands

Source: The Guardian

UK suffers crushing defeat in UN vote on Chagos Islands

General assembly strongly condemns British occupation of Indian Ocean territory

Owen Bowcott and Julian Borger
Wed 22 May 2019 18.56 BST Last modified on Wed 22 May 2019 21.19 BST

The United Nations general assembly has overwhelmingly backed a motion condemning Britain’s occupation of the remote Chagos Islands in the Indian Ocean.

The 116-6 vote left the UK diplomatically isolated and was also a measure of severely diminished US clout on the world stage. Washington had campaigned vigorously at the UN and directly in talks with national capitals around the world in defence of the UK’s continued control of the archipelago, where there is a US military base at Diego Garcia.

The vote was in support of a motion setting a six-month deadline for Britain to withdraw from the Chagos island chain and for the islands to be reunified with neighbouring Mauritius. It endorsed an advisory opinion issued by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in February, calling on the UK to relinquish its hold on the territory in order to complete the process of decolonisation.

The US, Hungary, Israel, Australia and the Maldives backed the UK in the vote and 56 countries abstained, including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland and Romania. Other European allies including Austria, Greece, Ireland, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland voted for the UK to relinquish sovereignty.

The scale of the defeat for the UK and US came as a surprise even to Mauritius, in view of the concerted campaign pursued by London and Washington.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/22/uk-suffers-crushing-defeat-un-vote-chagos-islands

Internal memo orders military to restrict information it shares with Congress

Source: Washington Post

Internal memo orders military to restrict information it shares with Congress

By Missy Ryan and Greg Jaffe May 22 at 5:00 AM

Acting defense secretary Patrick Shanahan has mandated new restrictions on the way the Pentagon shares information with Congress about military operations around the world, a move that is straining ties with key Republican and Democratic lawmakers.

In a May 8 internal memo, which was obtained by The Washington Post, Shanahan lays out the criteria for when Pentagon officials may provide congressional offices or committees information they request about operational plans and orders.

The memo comes as lawmakers from both parties complain that the Trump administration has withheld information that prevents them from executing their constitutionally mandated oversight role. Some lawmakers are also concerned about whether Shanahan has allowed the military to be drawn too deeply into President Trump’s immigration agenda.

“Congress oversees the Department of Defense; but with this new policy, the department is overstepping its authority by presuming to determine what warrants legislative oversight,” Reps. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) and Mac Thornberry (R-Tex.), the chair and ranking Republican of the House Armed Services Committee.

The memo was shared widely inside the Pentagon but was sent to key lawmakers only after inquiries by The Post. It outlines a half-dozen guidelines, including requirements that military officials and political appointees evaluate whether the request “contains sufficient information to demonstrate a relationship to the legislative function.” The memo urges Defense Department officials to provide a summary briefing rather than a requested plan or order itself.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/lawmakers-bristle-at-new-rules-for-sharing-pentagon-information-with-congress/2019/05/21/79315df9-d792-41df-a42e-10df9af7306e_story.html

Trump administration tells judge Congress did not deny border wall funds when it declined to appropr

Source: Washington Post

Trump administration tells judge Congress did not deny border wall funds when it declined to appropriate money for it

By Fred Barbash May 17 at 7:34 PM

OAKLAND — In the first court hearing over President Trump’s border wall funding plan, administration lawyers on Friday vigorously pressed their controversial argument that Congress did not in fact deny him the money when lawmakers excluded it from the appropriations bill they enacted in February.

To bar spending, Deputy Assistant Attorney General James M. Burnham told a federal judge here, Congress would have had to explicitly say that “no money shall be obligated” in any form to construct a barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. Having failed to do that, Burnham argued, the administration is free to tap funds never intended for border security .

“That just cannot be right,” responded Douglas Letter, general counsel for the House of Representatives, which participated as amicus in the case brought by nearly two dozen states and the Sierra Club, an environmental advocacy group. They are challenging Trump’s national emergency declaration to redirect taxpayer money for the wall. The House has filed a separate suit in Washington, D.C. “No money may be spent unless Congress actually appropriates it,” he said.

Letter likened the situation to that of an underage teenager who requires his mother’s signature to join the Army — but she wants him to go to college instead. “He says, ‘Mom, you can just sign this form?’ And mom walks out of the room” instead of signing it.

“Nobody can say that’s not a denial,” Letter said. This is exactly what Congress did when it balked at Trump’s request for more than $4 billion for the border wall beyond the $1.375 billion it did appropriate, he added.

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Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/trump-administration-tells-judge-congress-did-not-deny-border-wall-funds-when-it-declined-to-appropriate-money-for-it/2019/05/17/3018d35e-786d-11e9-b3f5-5673edf2d127_story.html

Tackle white supremacy as terrorism, experts say

Source: CNN

Tackle white supremacy as terrorism, experts say

By Mallory Simon and Sara Sidner, CNN
Updated 0444 GMT (1244 HKT) May 15, 2019

New York (CNN) — Americans are being killed. Murdered not for what they have done or being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Slaughtered again and again because, whether Jewish, or black, or simply not "pure" white, they are seen as a pestilence to be purged.

Their murderers are followers of a vile and hateful ideology that meets the FBI definition of terrorism. But some top current and former law enforcement officials say that they are not treated as terrorists, because they are American, and they are white.

But amid the rising number of deadly white supremacist attacks, the officials say that must change. White supremacy must be called terrorism and tackled with the same vigor as ISIS and al Qaeda.

Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance came to that realization while investigating the homicide of a black man in the center of New York City.

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Read more: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/05/14/us/white-supremacy-terrorism-soh/index.html

Trump's new tool for collecting social-media-bias stories has one unusual question on it: Are you a

Source: Business Insider

Trump's new tool for collecting social-media-bias stories has one unusual question on it: Are you a US citizen?

Nick Bastone 16h

The White House's new online tool for people to report perceived bias or censorship on social media platforms asks users to submit screenshots, links and any other details that could show they were penalized for their political views.

It also wants to know if you're an American citizen.

The online form, launched on Wednesday and officially called the Tech Bias Story Sharing Tool, asks about nationality in the third question, right after users enter their first and last names.

"Are you a US citizen or permanent resident?" the form asks.

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The problem is that the form doesn't say exactly how the information will be used, which in the case of non-US citizens or permanent residents could be potentially dangerous. The Trump administration has pushed for stricter immigration laws, and has called for deporting immigrants who are in the country illegally without the usual legal process.

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Read more: https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-new-social-media-bias-tool-asks-about-citizenship-status-2019-5

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Yesterday in LBN: White House escalates war against Facebook, Google and Twitter with a campaign asking users to share stories of censorship

4th death of migrant child since December raises new alarms

Source: Associated Press

4th death of migrant child since December raises new alarms

By NOMAAN MERCHANT
May 16, 2019

HOUSTON (AP) — Advocates raised new alarms Thursday about the U.S. government’s treatment of migrant families after a 2˝-year-old Guatemalan child became the fourth minor known to have died after being detained by border agents since December.

“The death of a single child in custody of our government is a horrific tragedy,” said Jess Morales Rocketto, chair of the advocacy group Families Belong Together. “Four in six months is a clear pattern of willful, callous disregard for children’s lives.”

The boy died Tuesday after several weeks in the hospital, American and Guatemalan authorities said. Tekandi Paniagua, Guatemala’s consul in Del Rio, Texas, said the boy had a high fever and difficulty breathing, and authorities took him to a children’s hospital where he was diagnosed with pneumonia.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection said the boy’s mother told Border Patrol agents her son was ill on April 6, three days after they were apprehended near an international bridge in El Paso, Texas.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/868e932ae76a4269a5dedab74f0ee9b4

Asia Bibi's lawyer to defend couple on death row over blasphemy

Source: The Guardian

Asia Bibi's lawyer to defend couple on death row over blasphemy

Pakistani Christian man and wife sentenced to death for text messages sent to Muslim

Harriet Sherwood Religion correspondent
Wed 15 May 2019 05.00 BST Last modified on Wed 15 May 2019 05.04 BST

The case of a Christian couple on death row in Pakistan after being convicted of blasphemy has reportedly been taken up by the lawyer who defended Asia Bibi.

Shagufta Kousar and Shafqat Masih were accused of sending blasphemous text messages to a Muslim man. They were sentenced to death, but have appealed to the high court in Lahore.

Lawyer Saiful Malook, who briefly fled Pakistan after receiving death threats when Bibi’s conviction for blasphemy was overturned last October, is to appeal against the couple’s 2014 conviction under the same law.

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The couple, who have four children, are from Gojra, Punjab province, where Kousar was employed as a cleaner at a church school. A Muslim man in the city complained to officials at his mosque that he was sent blasphemous messages in English on his phone, and the complaint was passed on to the police.

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The couple are illiterate and have argued they could not send text messages in English. They also said the sim card used to send the text messages was bought in Kousar’s name after her identity card was stolen.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/may/15/asia-bibi-lawyer-defend-couple-death-row-blasphemy-pakistan

No Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

Source: The Guardian

No Iran threat in Syria or Iraq, top British officer says, contradicting US

Deputy commander of anti-Isis coalition rebuts White House justification for sending troops

Julian Borger in Washington
Tue 14 May 2019 18.32 BST Last modified on Tue 14 May 2019 19.16 BST

The top British general in the US-led coalition against Isis has said there is no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq or Syria, directly contradicting US assertions used to justify a military buildup in the region.

Maj Gen Christopher Ghika, who is a deputy commander of Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition conducting counter-terrorist operations against Isis in Iraq and Syria, was repeatedly questioned by reporters about the threat from Shia militias in Syria and Iraq, cited by US officials over the past week as justification for speeding up the deployment of an aircraft carrier strike group in the Gulf and for sending B-52 Stratofortress bombers and an anti-aircraft battery to the region.

“No – there’s been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria,” Ghika said in a videolink briefing from Baghdad to the Pentagon. “We’re aware of that presence, clearly. And we monitor them along with a whole range of others because that’s the environment we’re in. We are monitoring the Shia militia groups. I think you’re referring to carefully and if the threat level seems to go up then we’ll raise our force protection measures accordingly.”

The general’s comments are likely to heighten concerns that fabricated or exaggerated intelligence may be being used by administration hawks led by the national security adviser, John Bolton, to further the case for war against Iran, in a manner reminiscent of the buildup to the Iraq invasion.

The New York Times reported on Monday night that the acting defence secretary, Patrick Shanahan, had presented the White House with a plan that involved sending up to 120,000 troops to the Middle East in the event of an Iranian attack or departure from the constraints of the 2015 nuclear deal that the US abrogated a year ago.

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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/may/14/no-iran-threat-in-syria-or-iraq-says-top-british-officer-in-defiance-of-us
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