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Rasmea Odeh: Victim of Institutional Oppression, From Israel to the US

Published on Truthout, November 22.

On November 10, leading Palestinian activist Rasmea Odeh, 67, was jailed after being found “guilty” of immigration fraud.

The US government claims Odeh lied on an immigration application when she said she had never been arrested, convicted or imprisoned.

Odeh is accused of concealing that she was charged by the Israeli military with bombing a supermarket when she was 22.

The charge is based on a “confession” obtained by rape and torture at the hands of members of the Israeli military (IDF) more than 40 years ago. Odeh, who moved to the United States in 1995 and serves as the associate director of the Chicago Arab American Action Network (AAAN), was alleged to have “confessed” to the bombing charges imposed by the Israeli military court.

“It was clearly not a fair trial,” Odeh’s lawyer Michael Deutsch, with the People’s Law Office, in Chicago, told Truthout. “The entire defense was gutted by the court’s rulings.”

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Climate Disruption Depression and 2013 Emissions Set New Records

Published on Truthout, 17 November 2014.

This month’s dispatch surveys global calls for massive carbon dioxide cuts from the European Union (EU) and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that are still not enough to truly mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD) or stem the massive wildlife disruptions that are now occurring globally, and highlights other glaring signs of an increasingly unstable climate across the globe.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) has concluded that, “Coal will nearly overtake oil as the dominant energy source by 2017 . . . without a major shift away from coal, average global temperatures could rise by 6 degrees Celsius by 2050, leading to devastating climate change.”

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Navy Plans Electromagnetic War Games Over National Park and Forest in Washington State

Published on Truthout, 10 November 2014.

Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington State are two of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the United States. Majestic glacier-clad peaks rise above temperate rainforest-covered hills. Gorgeous rivers tumble down from the heights and the areas are home to several types of plants and animal species that exist nowhere else on earth.

These protected national commons are also the areas in and near where the US Navy aims to conduct its Northwest Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program, wherein it will fly 36 of its EA-18G “Growler” supersonic jet warplanes down to 1,200 feet above the ground in some areas in order to conduct war games with 14 mobile towers. Enough electromagnetic radiation will be emitted so as to be capable of melting human eye tissue, and causing breast cancer, childhood leukemia and damage to human fetuses, let alone impacting wildlife in the area.

If it gets its way, this means the Navy would be flying Growler jets, which are electronic attack aircraft that specialize in radar jamming, in 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day.

What is at stake is not just whether the military is allowed to use protected public lands in the Pacific Northwest for its war games, but a precedent being set for them to do so across the entire country.

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Assigning a Cost to BP’s Gulf Oil Spill: Four Years On, Debate Continues

Published on Truthout, 5 November 2014.

In April 2010, the Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded, causing the single largest marine oil disaster in US history.

While the oil gushed from nearly a mile below the surface, BP promptly began to lowball the daily flow rate.

The US government established the Flow Rate Technical Group (FRTG) led by Marcia McNutt to determine the true amount of oil being injected into the Gulf of Mexico. The FRTG was composed of scientists from the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the US Geological Survey, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, the US Department of Energy and outside academics.

According to the FRTG, BP’s disaster led to at least 4.9 million barrels of oil being injected into the Gulf of Mexico. BP has challenged this calculation for numerous reasons, including asserting that this figure includes 810,000 barrels that was collected before it could enter the Gulf.

Yet a scientist who is part of the FRTG said early on that even the 4.9 million barrel figure, which means an average of roughly 56,000 barrels per day during the 87 days BP’s oil flowed, could be nearly three times too low.

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