Mysterious blasts, slayings suggest covert efforts in Iran
The Los Angeles Times-December 4, 2011
Attacks on nuclear scientists and sites suggest that the U.S. and Israel are trying to covertly stop Iran’s programs. On November 12, a big explosion ripped through an Iranian military base, where engineers were working on weapons that intended to be used against Israel. Most of the buildings collapsed, and 17 people were killed, including the founder of Iran’s ballistic missile program. Iran called the blast an accident, but many former U.S. intelligence officials and Iran experts think that the explosion-the most destructive of at least 24 unexplained blasts in the last two years-was part of a covert effort by the U.S., Israel, and allies to disable Iranian missile and nuclear programs. The intention of the CIA’s counter proliferation division is to slow Iran’s weapons of mass destruction program. Patrick Clawson, who directs the Iran Security Initiative at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, says that this is the 21rst century form of war-comprised of a campaign of assassinations, sabotage, and cyber war.
NAACP warns black and Hispanic Americans could lose right to vote
The Guardian-December 5, 2011
NAACP is petitioning the UN over what is sees as an effort to disenfranchise black and Latino voters ahead of the 2012 presidential elections. Evidence of what the group sees as a deliberate attempt to “block the vote” by the state legislatures will be presented to the UN High commissioner on human rights. Next March, the NAACP will send legal experts to Geneva to get the support of the UN human rights council. Fourteen southern and western states have passed a sum of 25 measures. These states have the fastest growing black populations (Florida, Georgia, Texas, and North Carolina) and Latino populations (South Carolina, Alabama, and Tennessee). In 2008, more than 2 million extra black and Hispanic voters each turned out over 2004, an increase of 15% for blacks and 28% for Hispanics. Moves that would have a disproportionate negative impact on blacks and Hispanics include: blocks on voter registration drives, blocks of voting with a criminal offence, blocks on early voting, and requirements of voters to have photo IDs on election day.
Japan Split on Hope for Vast Radiation Clean Up
The New York Times-December 6, 2012
After nearly 90,000 people evacuated Futoba, Japan, the country is developing clean up plans so those who were displaced can return to their homes. This clean up effort, however, is experiencing criticism from Japanese citizens and from the international community. Japan hopes to be able to decontaminate the area to reflect Japan’s rebirth, but the logistics are not currently in place for such a large operation to be successful and reducing radiation in the area is no small feat. Domestic problems over the allocation of contaminated soil and the safety of clean up are just a few of the major issues surrounding the task that, in time, Japan hopes will be a major success.
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