Torture, and impunity in US courts


Torture, and impunity in US courts.

Why state senator wants to end death penalty


 

No death penalty
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Why state senator wants to end death penalty.

Why state senator wants to end death penalty

 
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Should Washington eliminate the death penalty?

Thank you for voting!

Yes.

 
87%  
 
 
 No.
 
13%

There is a growing movement to put an end to the death penalty in Washington State.

A bill has been introduced in the Senate that would replace the death penalty with life in prison without possibility of parole.

Its supporters say one of its biggest benefits would be to save our cash-strapped state money.

The death penalty is more than a legal or legislative matter for State Senator Debbie Regala, whose brother-in-law was killed in 1980.  The killer was never found.

„I am not speaking in theory,“ Regala said at a news conference on Wednesday. „I am someone who lost a family member to murder.“

„The pain of having lost a loved one to murder never goes away,“ Regala said.

Still, she’s the prime sponsor of a bill that would end the death penalty for emotional and financial reasons.  She said a death penalty case can cost the state up to $2.5 million more than a non-death penalty murder case.    

A defense team on Wednesday argued against the death penalty for Michele Anderson and Joseph McEnroe.  They’re accused of killing six members of Anderson’s family in Carnation on Christmas Eve in 2007. 

The prosecutor has said he will ask for the death penalty for both if they are found guilty in a trial that begins this May.

Supporters of Regala’s bill say it will protect the public by sending murderers to prison for life without possibility of parole.  And they say it will save money at time when the state is more than $1 billion in the red.  

„That money can go for education. That money can go toward services for children who are in families where it’s not the best environment,“ Regala said.

Kyrgyzstan: Prison inmates stitch their mouths fighting for bright future – English pravda.ru


Cells where the prison's worst inmates were kept.
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Prison inmates stitch their mouths fighting for bright future – English pravda.ru.

Prison inmates stitch their mouths fighting for bright future

27.01.2012
 

Hundreds of prisoners organized a desperate action of protest in Kyrgyzstan. The inmates mutilated themselves under patriotic slogans. Officials say that the action was organized by criminal kingpins, who demand so-called open cells in prisons.

The action of protest behind the bars took place under the following slogans: „If you’re for the people – stitch up!“ and „If you’re for the future – stitch up!“ As many as 1,087 prison inmates stitched up their mouths in the morning of January 25. Many of them went on hungerstrike, Interfax reports.

In the meantime, officials with the State Service for the Execution of Punishment of Kyrgyzstan say that the situation is far from being dramatic. The night in Kyrgyz prisons and colonies, where the action of protest took place, was quiet. „The number of inmates, who stitched up their mouths in Kyrgyz prisons, has not increased,“ officials said. „The situation at penitentiary institutions is quiet despite various rumors that appeared earlier,“ they added.

„On Tuesday night, 385 inmates took part in the protest action at the central detention station of the Kyrgyz capital, Bishkek. However, three people refused from the action and requestion protection against the criminal community. They were transferred to closed cells,“ officials said.

„The majority of inmates did not want to mutilate themselves, but they had to do so because they were concerned about their own lives. Criminal kingpins forced many to take part in the action – they stitched their mouths in cells,“ officials said.

As many as 271 people asked for medical help at the hospital of the central detention center of Bishkek. Forty-eight of them had their mouths stitched. All of them said that they were concerned about the fact that the government did not show any reaction to their action.

According to the State Service for the Execution of Punishment, the inmates demand at least one „open“ or „common“ cell be arranged in each penitentiary institution of the country. The inmates staying at such cells have an opportunity to move to other cells.

In the event the authorities do not meet the requirements, the inmates say that they will attract their relatives and friends. The latter will either start to stitch up their mouths in public or go on hungerstrike near the buildings of the parliament and the government. 

McDonalds forced to disclose all chemical ingredients on food sold in Russia


McDonalds forced to disclose all chemical ingredients on food sold in Russia viaMcDonalds forced to disclose all chemical ingredients on food sold in Russia.

Russian consumer rights‘ group recently filed a lawsuit against McDonald’s at Moscow’s Tverskoy Court. The consumer groups involved in the suit say that McDonald’s milkshakes are falsely named because they contain little milk.

McDonald’s shakes don’t deserve to be called milkshakes

Analysis of milkshakes sold at McDonald’s outlets in Russia revealed the beverages contained more vegetable oil than dairy product. Experts at the Institute of Laboratory of Nutrition, say that by Russian law these drinks can be called „milk-containing“ but cannot be labeled as „milk“. Consumer rights advocate Mikhail Anshakov, says that the „McMilkshake“ is falsely named, „They do not list the ingredients of their products which is a strict requirement for organizations of the type they are registered as in Russia. Moreover, their products contain excessive amounts of several ingredients, which is why the product name is insufficient.“

Representatives of the Consumer Rights Protection Society (CRPS) charge that by „concealing the content“ of its products McDonald’s misleads consumers. „You might be able to get away with this type of fraud in America, but not Russia“ said Yogi Protovokov of Moscow. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit do not seek any money from McDonald’s, but want the company to redesign the packaging of their products to reveal the ingredients in its menu items, rather than simply listing the calories, protein, fat and carbohydrates. Altering product packaging would entail a multi-million dollar expense to the fast food purveyor.

Taxes and ingredient lists

The current lawsuit hinges in part on another Russian court ruling last year. McDonald’s won its case against the Moscow territorial division of the Federal Tax Service. That case concluded with a judge determining that McDonald’s in Russia is not a restaurant but company which sells food products as a store. The result of the suit seemed favorable to McDonalds at the time, resulting in a 10 percent rather than 18 percent Value Added Tax.

However, by Russian law, a store which sells food products which it also manufactures must provide accurate information regarding the ingredients in its food, as well as any biologically active supplements and the presence of the GMOs, as well as the date and place of the food’s manufacturing. Russian law also stipulates that a food store must provide information on the product packaging about the potential effects of its food for people with conditions and certain diseases.

Consumer watchdog groups in Russia say McDonald’s wants to have it both ways, gaining the tax benefits of being classified as a store, while not fulfilling the obligations such a status incurs according to Russian law. The CPRS website explained the need for the suit, saying „The McDonald’s restaurant chain deliberately violates the Russian consumer rights legislation, profiting twice from the privileged situation created by Moscow’s Arbitration Court decision.“

McDonald’s representatives claim not to have received notice of the lawsuit and it was also absent in the court’s database, according to an official statement sent to The Moscow News. But personnel at the Tverskoi court confirmed to the Russian business newspaper Vedomosti that the lawsuit has been filed. Some Russian legal experts say it will be difficult for the consumer group to win its case against McDonald’s, pointing out that the milkshakes in question are produced using a technology certified by the Russian branch of Europe’s biggest milk product manufacturer Ehrmann.

The new lawsuit comes on the heels of a year of both expansion and litigation for McDonald’s in Russia, where it has operated since 1990. In 2011, the company opened 40 new restaurants in Russia. They also faced lawsuits from customers. In one case, a man who won $50 damages plus the cost of his sandwich after getting food poisoning from consuming a Big Mac. In another suit, in which a St. Petersburg man received $3,500 to cover dental expenses for the broken tooth he got when the salad he ordered at McDonald’s contained a stone.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/034810_McDonalds_ingredients_Russia.html#ixzz1kvLYshKk

http://rt.com/business/news/mcrussia-milkshake-revelation-885/

Angels We Have Heard On High: Activist Priest, 83, In Solitary Confinement | Common Dreams


Angels We Have Heard On High: Activist Priest, 83, In Solitary Confinement | Common Dreams.

01.27.12 – 1:54 PM
Angels We Have Heard On High: Activist Priest, 83, In Solitary Confinement
by Abby Zimet

Jesuit priest and peace activist Father Bill „Bix“ Bichsel, 83, is in his second week of a hunger strike to protest solitary confinement at Washington’s SeaTac Federal Detention Center, where he’d been held for an earlier action against a proposed nuclear power plant in Tennessee. A member of Disarm Now Plowshares, Bichsel has been arrested several times for nonviolent civil disobedience at military bases, nuclear weapons manufacturers, and the School of the Americas. He is currently being punished – including having to wear shackles at his hearing – for an „unauthorized“ visit by two Buddhist monks who drummed and prayed outside for him. Despite cold and health problems, Father Bichsel says he sings to himself in his cell. His resolve remains strong to fight against nuclear weapons and other US policies „that are without conscience.“ He has alot of work ahead of him.

Addresses:

William J. Bichsel, S.J
# 86275-020 SHU
P.O. Box 13900
Seattle, WA 98198 – 1090

Here is list of people to contact:

Charles E. Samuels, Jr.
Director, Federal Bureau of Prisons
320 First St., NW,
Washington, DC 20534
Office hours: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Eastern time
Monday through Friday
For general information, call 202-307-3198.

Marion Feather, Warden
Federal Detention Center SeaTac
P.O. Box 13901
Seattle, WA 98198
Phone: 206-870-5700
Fax: 206-870-5717
E-mail: mxfeather@bop.gov

Terry McGuire
The Catholic Northwest Progress
710 9th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98104
Terry.McGuire@seattlearch.org
Phone: 206-382-4560
Fax: 206-382-4840

The News Tribune
P.O. Box 11000, Tacoma, WA 98411
Phone: 253-597-8742
Matt Misterek
(253) 597-8472
matt.misterek@thenewstribune.com

The Seattle Times
PO Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111
Newsroom: (206) 464-2200
Newsroom fax: (206) 464-2261
Newsroom and Seattletimes.com staff
Main: (206) 464-2111
Accepts letters of up to 200 words at opinion@seattletimes.com

Contact your government representatives
http://www.usa.gov/Contact/Elected.shtml

Patty Murray– http://www.murray.senate.gov/email/index.cfm
Tacoma Office
950 Pacific Avenue, Ste. 650
Tacoma, Washington 98402
Phone: (253) 572-3636
Fax: (253) 572-9488

Maria Cantwell – http://www.cantwell.senate.gov/contact/

Gov. Christine Gregoire
http://www.governor.wa.gov/contact/

Norm Dicks
http://www.house.gov/dicks/email.shtml

Archbishop Sartain
Archdiocese of Seattle, 710 9th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: 206-382-4560 | Fax: 206-382-4840

New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bills That …


US: New Hampshire Republicans Propose Bills That Prevent Police From Protecting Domestic Abuse Victims

Marie Diamond  Read it: Sott.net
ThinkProgress
2012-01-26 18:24:00

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Since the 1970s, New Hampshire police have operated under a progressive policy for handling domestic violence cases that has saved countless lives. Under current law the presumption is that an arrest will be made when police observe evidence of abuse. They have a large degree of discretion and don’t need to witness the assault firsthand or obtain a legal warrant before they can separate the alleged attacker from his victim.

All that will change if Republicans get their way. The state’s GOP legislators are pushing two bills that will reverse a half century of progress, the Concord Monitor reports:

China: Foxconn Workers Treated Like Animals Because Management Believes They Are Animals


 

Detail of The Death of Socrates. A disciple is...
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China: Foxconn Workers Treated Like Animals Because Management Believes They Are Animals

Davis MacMillan
Minyanville
2012-01-26 11:47:00

terry_gou_1327599559_cropped.jpg

Remember Foxconn? The massive Chinese conglomerate that manufactures products for Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, HP, and many, many other companies. That’s right, the one with all the human rights problems.

Recently, a group of Foxconn workers threatened to commit suicide in response to their abhorrent working conditions – of course, the company has had issues with worker suicides for a while, hence the infamous nets. According to a recent article in the Want China Times, the suicides made Hon Hai (Foxconn’s parent company) chairman Terry Gou aware that „China is no longer a cheap labor camp where young workers will accept any hardship.“

This revelation did not, however, make Gou any more sensitive to the plight of his workers. At a recent year-end party, he reportedly sought sympathy from his fellow guests over the difficulty he had in managing „one million animals.“

Apparently, Foxconn treats its workers like animals because, to the company, that’s what they are. Go figure.

Of course, the company is currently facing a bigger issue than terrible PR. As China’s population has become more educated, it has been increasingly difficult for the company to maintain its workforce and Gou fears future labor shortages.

Earthquakes Strike Regions of US Mt. St. Helens & Northern Italy


Earthquakes strike regions of US Mt. St. Helens and northern Italy

The Extinction Protocol and Sott@sott.net
2012-01-25 10:21:00

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A magnitude 3.4 earthquake occurred at 2:51 a.m. Wednesday about 10 miles north of Mount St. Helens. The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network reports mild shaking was felt in Longview, Castle Rock and Morton. The University of Washington reports the quake was followed by a half-dozen small aftershocks in the next hour. Small quakes are common in the area around the volcano in southwest Washington.

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A 5.1 magnitude earthquake struck the northern region of Italy at a depth of 10.2 km or 6.3 miles below the surface. The epicenter of the earthquake was about 13 km from Parma, Italy and about 368 km from Rome. The earthquake was preceded by a much shallower 4.0 foreshock some 47 km away. Italy has seen a growing amount of seismic unrest along the northern mountainous region of the country. The Alpide Belt which runs along the southern region of Europe and Asia continues to show signs of stress. In the meantime, we continue to monitor the stresses erupting along the planet’s lower southern hemisphere. A 5.1 magnitude earthquake was reported west of New Zealand’s South Island.

GREECE: SHOCKING EVIDENCE ON NEW HOMELESS PENOMENON SPRADING IN ATHENS


Greece: Shocking Evidence on „New Homeless“ Phenomenon Spreading in Athens

Stella Tsolakidou
Greek Reporter
2012-01-25 14:00:00  / Sott Net

new_homeless.jpg

Deputy Health Minister Markos Bolaris, Athens mayor George Kaminis, and representatives of the Athens Holy Archdiocese and the National Committee for the Rights of Man have submitted shocking evidence casting light on the tremendous dimensions of the „new homeless“ phenomenon spreading around in Athens.

According to the evidence, the continuous economic crisis has not only forced previously homeless people to return to the streets but has also created a new category of homeless, who were once well off and are now seeking shelter and food in charity.

The number of the „new homeless“ remains yet unclear due to lack of substantial evidence.

The „new homeless“ numbers are rising, while Greece is going through its fourth year of recession, with many families being directly affected by the financial difficulties and the harsh austerity measures, especially evident in the Greek capital, where the problem seems to be under no restraint.