❖ “The Syrian National Coalition, the umbrella opposition group recognised by the west, has called on the UN security council to allow its inspectors in Cyprus to enter Syria to search for chemical weapons.” Meanwhile, 173 people were killed yesterday.
❖ “Obama moving toward sending lethal arms to Syrian rebels, officials say.”
❖ Syria, red lines, etc., explained (scroll to video).
❖ Are anti-Assad groups targeting Shia towns inside Lebanon? Hezbollah leader Nasrallah, “has confirmed . . . that members of the powerful Shia organisation are helping President Bashar al-Assad fight the uprising against his rule”.
❖ “At least 14 members of an anti-al-Qaeda Sunni militia have been killed in two attacks by militants near . . . Fallujah”.
❖ Everybody, including the UN, has failed the people in northeast Congo. Now they are fighting alone for their very existence: “Students, our children, our little brothers, our big brothers…the papas, quite old, and even women, everyone came together to fight for their country”. But there is a negative side, too.
❖ US “State Department is expected to release its annual Country Report on Terrorism in the latter half of May”, well past the April 30th deadline. Cuba will continue to be listed as a state sponsor of terrorism.
❖ “[W}hat has kept Gitmo open is a chain of elected and appointed officials making sure there's no way they can be blamed if the detainees there commit a crime in the future." Congress has played it's role, but so have Obama, the courts, etc.
❖ The death toll from the factory building collapse in Bangladesh now exceeds 400.
❖ Deeply disturbing: 452,679 victims of child trafficking cases in India in three years, but only 25,006 prosecutions.
❖ Two major trade deals are being negotiated by the Obama administration: the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the US-European Union "free Trade" Agreement. Both are "intended to make the world more lucrative for major corporations by weakening regulations and by strengthening intellectual property laws." The former is also an attempt to help the US contain China. Both deals "are Trojan horses to erode or eliminate national regulations." They're conducted in secret, with US-multinational corporations present. Much more.
Money Matters USA
❖ Matt Taibbi assures us the finance sector is freaking out. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and David Vitter (R-LA)'s have a bill, the "'Brown-Vitter TBTF Act' for short," which will require banks with $500bn+ in assets to "maintain higher capital reserves than are currently required." Smaller banks like it; Standard & Poor's hates it.
❖ "U.S. oil inventories reached an 82-year high" last week.
❖ They've retrieved that 9/11 plane part found wedged between two New York City buildings. No human remains found.
❖ President Obama will name Tom Wheeler, "former cable and wireless industry lobbyist", to head the Federal Communications Commission. "Wheeler raised more than $500,000 for Obama's re-election effort", etc.
❖ 48% of those polled "would like one party to control both houses of Congress and the White House." 41% favor Democrats, 37% Republicans in the Congressional mid-terms.
❖ It's U.S. Representative Edward Markey (D-MA) versus former Navy SEAL Gabriel Gomez (R) for John Kerry's old Senate seat. Gomez has already been on the teevee saying he "would have voted in favor of expanding background checks for gun purchases".
❖ Do not miss: Larry Flynt endorses former SC Gov. Mark "Appalachian Trail" Sanford for US House Rep from SC. So did Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) [*yawn*].
❖ Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI) will seek the senate seat of retiring Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI).
❖ PA Gov. Tom Corbett (R), low in the polls, is resisting efforts to get him to specify his position on a bill in the PA legislature that would split the state’s electoral votes proportionally.
❖ Terry McAuliffe (D) has released a teevee ad in his run for the VA governorship.
❖ MO Representative Billy Long (R) claims people in MO tell him, “They want to see more sequestration, not less.”
❖ George Zimmerman has “waived his right to seek immunity from prosecution for the murder of Trayvon Martin under Florida’s controversial stand-your-ground law.”
❖ A teevee ad is out attacking “Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT) for voting ‘no’ on a bill that would have expanded background checks on gun buyers, while pressuring [him] to support the next round of gun legislation.”
❖ 29% of those surveyed “Think Armed Rebellion Might Soon Be Necessary”.
The War on Women
❖ US “Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Plan B One-Step for women aged 15 and older without a prescription.”
❖ “How State Lawmaker Are Working To Make Abortion Too Expensive For Low-Income Women”.
❖ A [w]oman in El Salvador with uncontrolled lupus is carrying an anencephalic fetus. She’s “desperately ill and facing renal failure.” International effort underway to persuade the government to let her terminate the pregnancy.
Planet Earth News
❖ Another culprit in bee colony collapse disorder: High-fructose corn syrup which beekeepers feed “their colonies to supplement their honey”.
❖ Found: The Donald Trump Caterpillar! Venomous little critter, too.
❖ “General Motors urges Obama and Congress to unite on climate change”.
❖ Might CA’s San Onofre nuclear power plant be shut down?
❖ Bolivian President Evo Morales is expelling the US Agency for International Development for “seeking to undermine his government.”
❖ “Chileans Rise Up Against Privatization of Nation’s Water Supply” with “more than 100 environmental, social and indigenous organizations and over 6,000 protestors” rallying in Santiago this week.
❖ A change in relations between the US and Mexico in the War on Drugs? The US is used to polygraphing Mexican security officials; Mexico is now wondering about polygraphing US agents. Tighter reins are being applied on sharing of info, etc.
❖ Seems the Jamestown settlers resorted to cannibalism to survive.