Press**Watch: Marines in the Suez/Polar ice melting/New Depression

Try these links: http://english.aljazeera.net/ http://rawstory.com/ US media, including Time magazine, are reporting that the US has two of its Marine carriers, the USS Kearsarge and USS Ponce, in the Red Sea, ready to attack Egypt. According to the pro-war and sometime disinformation site Debka, the Kearsarge is even closer, in the Great Bitter Lake of the Suez, thus parked within easy helicopter range of Cairo. There are 2,200 Marines in the combined carrier battle groups. More on the strategic significance of the Suez, in a moment. .......................................................................................... Lisa Hajjar of Aljazeera English reports that the new Vice President of Egypt is a favorite of the US and Israel, and, of course, is a torturer. Here is an excerpt: http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/opinion/2011/02/201127114827382865.... At least one person extraordinarily rendered by the CIA to Egypt — Egyptian-born Australian citizen Mamdouh Habib — was reportedly tortured by Suleiman himself. Suleiman the torturer In October 2001, Habib was seized from a bus by Pakistani security forces. While detained in Pakistan, at the behest of American agents, he was suspended from a hook and electrocuted repeatedly. He was then turned over to the CIA, and in the process of transporting him to Egypt he endured the usual treatment: his clothes were cut off, a suppository was stuffed in his (....), he was put into a diaper - and 'wrapped up like a spring roll'. In Egypt, as Habib recounts in his memoir, My Story: The Tale of a Terrorist Who Wasn’t, he was repeatedly subjected to electric shocks, immersed in water up to his nostrils and beaten. His fingers were broken and he was hung from metal hooks. At one point, his interrogator slapped him so hard that his blindfold was dislodged, revealing the identity of his tormentor: Suleiman. Frustrated that Habib was not providing useful information or confessing to involvement in terrorism, Suleiman ordered a guard to murder a shackled prisoner in front of Habib, which he did with a vicious karate kick. In April 2002, after five months in Egypt, Habib was rendered to American custody at Bagram prison in Afghanistan - and then transported to Guantanamo. On January 11, 2005, the day before he was scheduled to be charged, Dana Priest of the Washington Post published an exposé about Habib’s torture. The US government immediately announced that he would not be charged and would be repatriated to Australia. ........................................................................................................ http://radiohc.cu/ingles/a_noticiasdelmundo/2011/febrero/9/mundo15.htm London, February 9 (RHC)-- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has appeared in a London court for a second day of hearings over his potential extradition to Sweden for questioning about alleged sex crimes. On Tuesday, Assange’s attorneys called to the stand a former Swedish prosecutor who attacked his country’s handling of Assange’s case. https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#drafts/12e100fbedbf7b9cAfter the hearing, Assange’s attorney, Mark Stephens, challenged Swedish prosecutor Marianne Ny to come to Britain and testify. Appearing with his attorney, Assange discussed WikiLeaks’ ongoing release of U.S. diplomatic cables. He said that WikiLeaks is publishing new cables every day and that his mission continues, despite attempts to stop him by trying to extradite him to Sweden. ............................................................................................ http://www.livescience.com/11819-january-arctic-sea-ice-hits-record.html Arctic sea ice was at its lowest extent in January compared with any other time in the last 32 years, according to a new report by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This winter has been cold and snowy in North America, but farther north, temperatures have been unusually warm. Data collected by NASA's Aqua satellite shows that ice was low in Canada's Hudson Bay, Hudson Strait and the Davis Strait between Canada and Greenland. Normally these areas are frozen over by late November, the NSIDC reported. This winter, they didn't free until mid-January 2011. The Labrador Sea was similarly ice-free. Arctic ice monitoring began in 1979. The previous record low for January ice was set in 2006; at a coverage of 5.23 million square miles (13.55 million square kilometers), this January beat that record by 19,300 square miles (50,000 square km). This January's ice cover was also 490,000 square miles (1.27 million square km) below the 1979 to 2000 average. In October, NSIDC reported an unusual late-season decline in Arctic sea ice. ........................................................................................................ http://www.gpb.org/news/2011/02/09/ruling-puts-walruses-facing-habitat-l... Ruling Puts Walruses Facing Habitat Loss In Limbo By Elizabeth Shogren Updated: 17 hours ago The Interior Department has decided that global warming is threatening the Pacific walrus but the government has decided not to list them on the endangered species list yet. The Interior Department is putting walruses in a kind of purgatory. They join some 250 animals and plants that deserve the protection of the endangered species list, but they aren't getting it. "Where walrus fall on this priority system is they're a little bit low on the totem pole, you might say," says Rosa Meehan, who manages marine mammals in Alaska for the Interior Department's Fish and Wildlife Service. She says there's no question that walrus numbers will be reduced as sea ice declines in northern Alaska. But the government has limited money and uses it for species most likely to go extinct. Meehan says the condition of walruses is less dire. That's because they live a long time and there still are lots of them. The Interior Department did list polar bears as a threatened species two years ago because of shrinking sea ice. Meehan says unlike polar bears, walruses don't need the ice to feed themselves. "They can rest on land and go out and feed in the water and return to land," she says. "And so because they have that ability to continue to feeding even if there's not ice, that's a pretty dramatic difference between walruses and polar bears." But some biologists say melting sea ice threatens walruses even more than polar bears because walruses depend on sea ice for reproduction. "The ice is disappearing. If they've got no ice, they've got to go on land. They go on land in the thousands," says University of Virginia professor Carleton Ray, who has been studying them for 50 years. "That would seem like it's alright but it's not because they get in these huge herds and if they are disturbed in some way, they tend to rush into the sea, and they trample a lot of the animals. Some calves get killed." And it's a lot harder for walruses to feed themselves on land. Most of their food sources are in the water. (snip)--more at link ....................................................................................................... The polar bears aren't the only ones under water: http://www.bullionbullscanada.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=arti... It wasn’t supposed to be like this. For three years, two successive U.S. administrations have made “fixing the housing sector” explicitly a top priority. Since that time, we have been assured by a plethora of politicians, housing “experts”, and media talking-heads that the U.S. housing sector had “bottomed”, and (like the U.S. economy itself) had begun a “recovery”. It was all fiction. New numbers show that roughly 27% of all U.S. mortgages are currently “underwater”, worse than the (supposed) “bottom” of the original collapse, when that number soared to a previous record of 25%. This single number exposes a multitude of myths. For three years, Americans have been told by both politicians and bankers that they were “working hard” specifically to eliminate/alleviate the blight of underwater mortgages. In fact, what this number proves is that these charlatans were “hardly working”. Their “progress” after three years is less-than-zero. For two years, Americans have been told by politicians and bankers that there is a “U.S. economic recovery” underway. Two years ago, the U.S. housing market was in the worst shape it had ever been in, after a collapse more severe than the worst years of the Great Depression. And now after two years of a “recovery”, it’s in even worse shape? Quite simply, one could spend their entire life scanning the annals of economic history, and would never find another example where a housing market which was already at a multi-decade bottom has deteriorated after two years of “an economic recovery.” There is no “U.S. economic recovery”. There never was a recovery. (Chart showing food stamp increase follows; more at link) ..........................................................................................

 

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