Who Profits from the Beirut Blast?

Ammonium nitrate is quite stable, making it one of the safest explosives used in mining. Fire normally won’t set it off. It becomes highly explosive only if contaminated – for instance by oil – or heated to a point where it undergoes chemical changes that produce a sort of impermeable cocoon around it in which oxygen can build up to a dangerous level where an ignition can cause an explosion. Why, after sleeping in Hangar 12 for seven years, did this pile suddenly feel an itch to explode?

The New Dark Age

7 August 2020 — Asia Times

Making the case that the explosion resulted from an attack

Pepe Escobar

The narrative that the Beirut explosion was an exclusive consequence of negligence and corruption by the current Lebanese government is now set in stone, at least in the Atlanticist sphere.

And yet, digging deeper, we find that negligence and corruption may have been fully exploited, via sabotage, to engineer it.

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This member of the banana tree family could help us cut COVID-19 plastic waste

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(Volodymyr Hryshchenko, Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Harry Kretchmer, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • The abaca tree, a relative of the banana, produces fibre that’s being made into COVID-19 PPE products, including facemasks.
  • Conservationists say single-use plastic PPE is adding to marine pollution.
  • Abaca fibres – used in banknotes, teabags and Mercedes Benz cars – are as tough as polyester but break down organically.
  • Philippines is leading producer of abaca fibre, delivering 85% of global supply.

In the Philippines, long golden fibres from the abaca tree hang drying in the sun. They could be part of your next face mask.

According to Bloomberg, the Philippine government expects demand for biodegradable abaca to grow exponentially in 2020, with 10% of all production being diverted to medical uses. Factories are doubling output.

It comes as the consequences of single-use plastic PPE are becoming clear. There are reports of plastic face masks washing up on beaches, adding to the estimated 8 million metric tons of plastic that enter the ocean each year.

 

Plastic Ocean

[…]

via This member of the banana tree family could help us cut COVID-19 plastic waste — The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology – europeansting.com

Era of US Domination of Latin America Coming to an End

By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers
Popular Resistance.

Despite its failings at home, the United States intervenes in countries across multiple continents seeking to control their governments and resources.

This week, we look at the US’ latest efforts in Nicaragua, Venezuela, and Bolivia to undermine their independence and force them to serve the interests of the US government and transnational corporations.

In all three countries, the US has displayed a lack of understanding of the people and their support for their revolutionary processes, and as a result, is failing. As US empire fades, so might the Monroe Doctrine come to an end.

Sandanista- FSLN rally in Nicaragua.

Nicaragua: USAID Multi-Year Destabilization Plan Exposed

A US Agency for International Development (USAID) document revealed by reporter William Grigsby describes covert plans to overthrow the democratically-elected Nicaraguan government in the next two years. USAID seeks to hire mercenaries “to take charge of the plan . . . to disrupt public order and carry out other [violent] actions before, during, and/or after the 2021 elections.”

USAID is creating Responsive Assistance In Nicaragua (RAIN), allotting $540,000 in grants to remove the Sandinista government in what it calls “Nicaragua’s transition to democracy.” Daniel Ortega won the 2016 election with 72 percent of the vote in what election observers from the Organization of American States (OAS), a US tool, described as taking “place in a calm, smooth and pacific manner, with no large incidents.”

Brian Willson, who has opposed US efforts to dominate Nicaragua since the 1980s Contra war, concludes the US realizes Ortega will win the 2021 election. In fact, this week, a poll showed support for Ortega’s party, FSLN, at 50% and for the opposition at 10%. One of USAID plans, as they tried in Venezuela in 2018, is for the opposition to boycott the election since they know they will lose, then call it illegitimate and create a political and economic crisis.

The real goal is not a democracy but domination so US transnational corporations can profit from the second poorest country in the hemisphere by putting in place a neoliberal economy to privatize public services, cut social services, and purge all traces of the Sandinistas. USAID also plans to “reestablish” the police and military to enforce their rule. Another goal is to stop Nicaragua from being the “threat of a good example” for its economic growth, reduction of inequality, poverty, illiteracy and crime.

Ben Norton points out in the Grayzone that “the 14-page USAID document employed the word ‘transition’ 102 times” making clear the intent is regime change.  A “sudden transition without elections,” a euphemism for a coup, is one of three possible regime change scenarios.

John Perry writes about “US interference in Nicaragua, going back at least as far as William Walker’s assault on its capital and usurpation of the presidency in 1856.” Since the 1979 Sandinista Revolution, the US has sought to take back control of Nicaragua.

USAID and its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) have been funding the opposition. NED financed 54 projects from 2014-17 to lay the groundwork for a 2018 coup attempt, which  also involved USAID. Wiston Lopez writes the US has provided “more than 31 million dollars between the end of 2017 and May 1, 2020.” When the attempted coup in 2018 failed, the US also put in place illegal unilateral coercive measures, known as economic sanctions, supported by both Democrats and Republicans, to try to weaken the country.

The USAID’s RAIN program outlines the usual regime change steps, e.g. remake the police and military as enforcers of the new neoliberal order, move “quickly to dismantle parallel institutions,”  i.e. the Sandinista Front, the Sandinista Youth, and other grassroots institutions, and implement “transitional justice measures,” i.e., the prosecution of current government officials and movement leaders […]

Via https://popularresistance.org/era-of-us-domination-of-latin-america-coming-to-an-end/

Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution Will Be ‘Joint Venture’ Between CDC And Pentagon (US Military)

What? Exactly why does the US military have a role in vaccination? Sure sounds like martial law to me.

 

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Life Site News

AGR Daily News

Pandemics have been responded to with effective testing, tracking and isolation of infected individuals plus their contacts, but never in human history has an entire healthy population been locked up as if EVERYONE is infected. What makes this much worse, is that in past epidemics or pandemics, infected individuals have been locked up for between 14 to 40 days, but never before in human history has an entirely healthy population been put under house arrest for MONTHS, to potentially YEARS at a time, while also devastating an entire global economy..

What makes it even more strange is that just a few billionaires are PROFITING from this pandemic, as everyone else is suffering and dying. Could that be the plan? Until Communist China violated human and civil rights by locking up an entire region, this brutal human rights and Constitution violating tactic has never been attempted before. China is a despotic…

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General Strike: The Eviction Crisis Escalates

Cancel Rent! Cancel Mortgages! Sheet and Banner Drop ...
PoopularResistance.org

With an estimated 17 to 40 million people at risk of losing their homes by the end of September, and with the failure of the federal government to pass an eviction moratorium or an unemployment benefits extension, the greatest eviction and foreclosure crisis since the Great Depression is now upon us. In some states in the Southeast, as many as 60% of renters are at risk of being evicted, and people of color are likely to be hit disproportionately hard. The Census Bureau’s Household Pulse survey in July, for example, highlighted that 42% of Black renters felt little to no confidence in their ability to pay rent this August, compared to 21% of White renters. For the percentage of renter households at risk of eviction in each state.

It is no surprise that across the country, renters being threatened with destitution are taking a stand to put a stop to this brutal display of Capitalists’ commitment to profit over people. Courthouses have been blocked by protesters in New Orleans, Kansas City, and Brooklyn, and this trend will likely grow in the coming months. Protesters in all 3 cities have been working to disrupt eviction proceedings as much as possible and to publicize the complicity of lawyers and the justice system in the perpetuation of the eviction machine.

“‘Keep trying to evict tenants, and we’ll keep showing up and shutting down your office every day,’ the group Housing Justice for All tweeted alongside a video of one of the protests. ‘Other lawyers working for landlords: watch out, we’re coming for you next'” […]

Via https://popularresistance.org/general-strike-the-eviction-crisis-escalates/

Environmental Justice: Houston’s Cancer Cluster

Houston’s Cancer Cluster

Al Jazeera (2020)

Film Review

This is a documentary about the Houston group Impact, formed in 2016 to pressure the Texas Department of Health to investigate the large number of cancer deaths occurring in the majority African American Fifth Ward and Kashmere Garden neighborhoods.

In response to grassroots lobbying, the Department of Health performed an epidemiological study, which they released in September 2019. It revealed cancer rates in both neighborhoods were significantly higher than the state average.

Local families and health professionals blame the high cancer rate on creosote contamination of soil and groundwater from a nearby Union Pacific rail yard. Between 1911 and 1984, Union Pacific treated wooden railway ties with the preservative creosote (a toxic mixture of cancer causing chemicals). In January 2020, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee helped Impact organize a public meeting featuring nationally renowned anti-toxics activist Erin Brokovitch.

Impact demands that the state of Texas force Union Pacific (which made a profit of $6 billion in 2019) to address the creosote contamination, either by removing toxic chemicals from the soil and groundwater or paying for affect residents to move elsewhere.

In speaking with filmmakers, local activists reveal that regulators first learned about the contaminated groundwater in the 1980s but never informed residents.

In the US, communities of color are more likely to live near toxic and polluting industries because of the relatively low value of nearby land.

 

Move over plastic. Meet biodegradable, algae-based polyurethane flip-flops

Putting their customized foams to the test by immersing them in traditional compost and soil, the team discovered the materials degraded after just 16 weeks. During the decomposition period, to account for any toxicity, the scientists, led by UC San Diego’s Skip Pomeroy, measured every molecule shed from the biodegradable materials. They also identified the organisms that degraded the foams.

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Scientific Inquirer

As the world’s most popular shoe, flip-flops account for a troubling percentage of plastic waste that ends up in landfills, on seashores and in our oceans. Scientists at the University of California San Diego have spent years working to resolve this problem, and now they have taken a step farther toward accomplishing this mission.

Sticking with their chemistry, the team of researchers formulated polyurethane foams, made from algae oil, to meet commercial specifications for midsole shoes and the foot-bed of flip-flops. The results of their study are published in Bioresource Technology Reports and describe the team’s successful development of these sustainable, consumer-ready and biodegradable materials.

The research was a collaboration between UC San Diego and startup company Algenesis Materials–a materials science and technology company. The project was co-led by graduate student Natasha Gunawan from the labs of professors Michael Burkart (Division of Physical Sciences) and Stephen Mayfield (Division of Biological…

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Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk’s plans to colonize space are even crazier than we thought

Mars’ atmosphere is much thinner than Earth’s and the planet generates no electromagnetic field, meaning it gets pounded by cosmic rays and other harmful-to-humans energy. Due to cosmic radiation men would be temporarily and women permanently sterile.

The Extinction Chronicles

https://nypost.com/2020/08/08/billionaires-who-plan-to-colonize-space-live-in-a-dream-world/

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As a child, Elon Musk would read comic books and sci-fi novels and dream of fantastical worlds. Now the tech entrepreneur is on the verge of visiting one.

Musk’s focus narrowed some 20 years ago while poking around NASA’s website. He noticed that there was no timetable…

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UN Warns of Devastating Environmental Side Effects of Electric Car Boom

The report notes that metals such as cobalt, lithium, manganese, copper, and minerals like graphite “play a significant role in energy-related technologies such as rechargeable batteries that are used in a variety of applications ranging from electronics to electric vehicles as well as in renewable energies such as nuclear, wind, and solar power.” Several of these raw materials are quite rare and have few or no substitutes and they come from specific areas of the globe. The production of these raw materials “is often associated with undesirable environmental footprints, poor human rights and worker protection.

Counter Information

Global Research, August 07, 2020
Eco Central 3 July 2020

The United Nations (U.N.) announced Sunday the electric car boom will result in a number of devastating ecological side effects for the planet.

While the shift to electric cars reflects ongoing efforts to reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels, the UN warns that the raw materials used to produce electric car batteries are highly concentrated in a small number of countries and their extraction and refinement pose a serious threat to the environment.

The U.N. trade body, UNCTAD, has issued a new report breaking down some of the unintended negative consequences of the shift, which include ecological degradation as well as human rights abuses.

The report notes that metals such as cobalt, lithium, manganese, copper, and minerals like graphite “play a significant role in energy-related technologies such as rechargeable batteries that are used in a variety…

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Remote working and online shopping could drive 14 million cars off US roads – permanently

Quote

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article is brought to you thanks to the collaboration of The European Sting with the World Economic Forum.

Author: Sean Fleming, Senior Writer, Formative Content


  • In 2019, US motorists drove equivalent of 337 round trips from Earth to Pluto.
  • Lockdown meant a 64% drop in car usage, according to a KPMG report.
  • 14 million fewer cars may be needed if working and shopping trends continue.

As many as 14 million cars could disappear from American roads in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

That’s one of the findings of a KPMG report that estimates almost 40% of all jobs in the United States could be done from home, drastically reducing reliance on the private motor vehicle.

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The percentage of jobs that can be done remotely.
Image: KPMG

In 2019, US motorists collectively covered a distance equivalent to 337 round trips from Earth to Pluto – around 4.8 trillion kilometres. But as much of the country, and indeed the rest of the world, went into various forms of lockdown, there was a 64% drop in car usage, KPMG found. That decline refers specifically to something called vehicle miles travelled (VMT), an industry measure of cumulative car journeys.

If that trend continues, Americans will drive 435 billion fewer kilometres per year. That’s a drop of just over 9% […]

via Remote working and online shopping could drive 14 million cars off US roads – permanently — The European Sting – Critical News & Insights on European Politics, Economy, Foreign Affairs, Business & Technology – europeansting.com