Meldungen (Feeds)

As “Snowden” Opens, Three Largest Rights Groups in U.S. Call on Obama for a Pardon

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 21:21

The day after the New York premiere of Oliver Stone’s new movie, “Snowden,” the three largest human rights organizations in the U.S. teamed up to launch a campaign calling on President Obama to pardon the NSA whistleblower.

Snowden himself spoke via video from Moscow at a press conference Wednesday morning alongside representatives from the ACLU, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

Snowden called whistleblowing “democracy’s safeguard of last resort” and argued that if the Obama administration does not reverse its practice of prosecuting whistleblowers, it would leave a legacy of secrecy that is damaging to democracy.

“From time to time we see that governments redraw the boundaries of our rights behind closed doors,” said Snowden. “If we are to sustain a free society for the next century, we must ensure that whistleblowers can act safely.”

Panelists pointed out that Snowden’s disclosures led to the first congressional surveillance reform bill in decades, a court decision declaring the bulk collection of phone records illegal, and a change in executive branch surveillance policy. Snowden’s disclosures also pressured technology companies to start encrypting their services by default.

The White House has previously denied efforts by activists to seek a pardon for Snowden.

In July 2015, after a petition on the White House’s “We the People” website quickly gained over 100,000 signatures, officials responded to the petition by accusing Snowden of “running away from the consequences of his actions,” and “hid[ing] behind the cover of an authoritarian regime.”

But speakers on Wednesday had an answer for those criticisms — pointing out that if Snowden returned to the U.S. from his exile in Moscow and faced trial under the Espionage Act, he would not be legally allowed to raise the public interest value of his disclosures as a defense.

Other supporters of the campaign include Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, actors Daniel Radcliffe, Martin Sheen, and Susan Sarandon, and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg.

On Wednesday, former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders told The Guardian that he supports granting Snowden “some form of clemency or a plea agreement that would spare him a long prison sentence or permanent exile.”

Update: 4:15 p.m. ET 

Asked about a possible pardon for Snowden, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest denied that Snowden should even be called a whistleblower.

“Edward Snowden is not a whistleblower. There actually is a specific process that is well-established and well-protected that allows whistleblowers to raise concerns that they have, particularly when it relates to confidential or classified information, to do so in a way that protects the national security secrets of the United States,” Earnest said. “That is not what Mr. Snowden did.” 

Snowden claims to have repeatedly raised concerns through official whistleblower channels, and says his concerns were brushed off.

Earnest also said that Snowden’s disclosures “put American lives at risk,” while not citing any evidence.

Top photo: Edward Snowden speaks via video link at a news conference for the launch of a campaign calling for President Obama to pardon him.

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The post As “Snowden” Opens, Three Largest Rights Groups in U.S. Call on Obama for a Pardon appeared first on The Intercept.

Donald Trump’s Not Anti-War, He Just Wants the U.S. Military to Focus on Stealing Oil

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 18:24

Donald Trump’s attempt to present himself as an anti-war candidate is based on his perfect 20/20 hindsight of the disastrous consequences of regime change in Iraq and Libya — military campaigns he publicly supported when they were popular, and only turned against after they went wrong.

To better understand that Trump really is, as he insisted during the Republican primary campaign, “much more militaristic” than even George W. Bush, it helps to look at how often he has presented his bizarre plan to use the United States military as the muscle in a global protection racket, aimed at extorting oil from countries we destroy.

Trump began to make this case at a crucial moment, in early 2011, when he was flirting with a run for the presidency and the Obama administration was trying to decide how to use American power in Libya and Iraq.

That February, when President Obama was considering the intervention in Libya that his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, strongly advocated, Trump demanded immediate action to topple Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi in a statement posted on his YouTube channel.

“I can’t believe what our country is doing,” Trump said on February 28, 2011, two weeks before the Obama administration got Security Council authorization “to protect civilians” in Libya. “Qaddafi in Libya is killing thousands of people, nobody knows how bad it is, and we’re sitting around we have soldiers all have the Middle East, and we’re not bringing them in to stop this horrible carnage and that’s what it is: It’s a carnage.”

“After it’s all done, we go to the protesters, who end up running the country,” Trump added, “and we should then say, ‘By the way, from all of your oil, we want reimbursement.’”

A month later, as Bill O’Reilly quizzed him on how he would handle foreign policy as president, Trump revealed that he had an entirely new plan for Iraq: American troops should be withdrawn, but only from those parts of the country without oil fields.

TRUMP: I’ve never said this before. This is a first, on your show. Good luck with it, run with it. In the old days, when you had wars, you win, right? You win. To the victor belong the spoils. So when we go to Iraq, we spend $1.4 trillion so far and thousands of lives are lost, right? And not to mention all the poor guys and gals with one arm and no arm and all the problems, right?

O’REILLY: Absolutely. Right.

TRUMP: And we’re going to leave and as sure as you’re sitting there, Iran is going to come over, take over not only Iraq but perhaps more importantly to them, take over the second biggest oil fields in the world, right? And I like the old system better: You won a war, you stay there, and you keep the oil. And you know, then those people will not have died in vain. Forget the money we spent, they will not have died in vain. Now, they’re not going to come as long as we’re there, but 15 minutes after we leave, Iran is going to go into Iraq. …

You stay and protect the oil, and you take the oil and you take whatever is necessary for them and you take what’s necessary for us and we pay our self back $1.5 trillion or more. We take care of Britain, we take care of other countries that helped us, and we don’t be so stupid. You know, we’re the only country and if you look at wars over the years and I study wars, OK? My whole life is a war. You look at wars over the years. A country goes in, they conquer and they stay. We go in, we conquer, and then we leave. And we hand it to people that we don’t even know. … So, in a nutshell, we go in, we take over the second largest oil fields, and we stay.

Sensing that Trump might not have considered the implications of his proposal to essentially colonize Iraq by looting its natural resources, an incredulous O’Reilly stifled a laugh as he said, “So you’re going to take over the Iraqi oil fields?”

“Don’t smile!” an offended Trump replied.

“I’m just saying,” O’Reilly said, “if you’re going to go into the Iraq oil fields and take them over, there’s gonna be a lot of blowback.”

Five months later, after the U.S.-led air campaign had forced Qaddafi from power in Libya — and Trump had decided not to challenge Obama for the presidency — the star of “The Apprentice” posted another YouTube clip, complaining that the administration should have waited longer to aid the Libyan rebels, to force them to agree to surrender half of the country’s oil reserves.

“What we should’ve done is we should’ve asked the rebels when they came to us — and they came to us, they were being routed by Qaddafi, they were being decimated — we should’ve said, ‘We’ll help you, but we want 50 percent of your oil,’” Trump said. “They would’ve said, ‘How about 75 percent?’”

Speaking to Matt Lauer last week about his qualifications to be commander-in-chief, Trump argued that the rise of the Islamic State could have been prevented if only his plan to keep Iraq’s oil fields under American military control had been put into place. He was not asked to imagine how those anti-Western militants, or Iraq’s elected government, might have been expected to react to an open-ended military occupation by a foreign power intent on the illegal confiscation of their country’s natural resources.

Top photo: “No Blood for Oil” signs held by protesters against the invasion of Iraq at a demonstration in Washington on Dec. 4, 2002.

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The post Donald Trump’s Not Anti-War, He Just Wants the U.S. Military to Focus on Stealing Oil appeared first on The Intercept.

Chelsea Manning Ends Hunger Strike, Will Get Gender Affirming Surgery

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 17:35

U.S. Army whistleblower Chelsea Manning will receive gender affirming surgery, and is ending her hunger strike after five days, her lawyers have confirmed.

“I am unendingly relieved that the military is finally doing the right thing,” Manning said in a statement. “I applaud them for that. This is all that I wanted — for them to let me be me. But it is hard not to wonder why it has taken so long.”

Until her surgery, the military will still require Manning to keep her hair short.

Manning’s psychologist formally recommended surgery in April 2016. Despite recommendations dating back to 2014 that she be allowed to grow her hair out, the military has not allowed her to do so.

Since her arrest in 2010, Manning has suffered numerous abuses, including being forced to strip naked, prolonged solitary confinement, disciplinary charges for such things as having expired toothpaste in her cell, and being denied medical care.

Manning still faces a hearing on Sept. 20 concerning charges related to her suicide attempt.

Manning’s struggle to obtain medical care mirrors the struggle of transgender inmates nationwide. Despite major medical associations recognizing reassignment surgery as necessary medical care for gender dysphoria, no transgender prisoner has ever received gender reassignment surgery in a U.S. prison, according to the ACLU.

Chase Strangio, Manning’s lawyer with the ACLU, issued the following statement: “This is a monumental day for Chelsea, who can now enjoy some peace knowing that critically needed medical care is forthcoming. This medical care is absolutely vital for Chelsea as it is for so many transgender people — in and out of prison — who are systemically denied treatment solely because they are transgender. Thankfully the government has recognized its constitutional obligation to provide Chelsea with the medical care that she needs and we hope that they will act without delay to ensure that her suffering does not needlessly continue.”

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The post Chelsea Manning Ends Hunger Strike, Will Get Gender Affirming Surgery appeared first on The Intercept.

Milliardenübernahme: Bayer kauft Monsanto

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 17:31

(14.09.2016/dpa)

Die Milliardenübernahme des US-Biotechnologiekonzerns Monsanto durch Bayer ist perfekt. Das teilte Bayer am Mittwoch in Leverkusen nach einer Sitzung des Aufsichtsrats mit. Der Pharma- und Agrarchemiekonzern hatte das Angebot für Monsanto zuvor noch einmal erhöht. Vorausgegangen war ein monatelanges Ringen der beiden Konzerne.

Bayer und Monsanto unterzeichneten eine bindende Fusionsvereinbarung, die Bayer die Übernahme von Monsanto für 128 US-Dollar je Aktie in bar ermöglicht. Das entspricht einem Kaufpreis von rund 66 Milliarden Dollar (knapp 59 Milliarden Euro).

Der Monsanto-Deal ist die bislang größte Übernahme durch einen deutschen Konzern und macht Bayer zur weltweiten Nummer eins im Geschäft mit Agrarchemie. Bayer hatte im

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Juncker-Plan: Mehr als 600 Milliarden Investitionen gegen Wirtschaftsflaute

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 17:31

(14.09.2016/hg/dpa)

Mit neuen Milliardeninvestitionen gegen die Wirtschaftsflaute und dem Versprechen verbesserter Sicherheit nach innen und außen will die Europäische Union aus ihrer tiefen Krise herauskommen. Kommissionspräsident Jean-Claude Juncker präsentierte am Mittwoch dem Europaparlament ein ganzes Bündel konkreter Projekte – vom freien WLAN auf öffentlichen Plätzen bis zum Hilfsplan für Afrika – und bekam dort auch einige Rückendeckung.

Als nächstes berät am Freitag das EU-Treffen in Bratislava, wo die Prioritäten liegen sollen, um Europa zu einen und die Bürger dafür zu begeistern. Großbritannien wird dort nach dem Brexit-Votum der Bevölkerung nicht vertreten sein.

Der angekündigte Austritt des Landes aus der Staatengemeinschaft verschärfte die nach

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Alcohol Industry Bankrolls Fight Against Legal Pot in Battle of the Buzz

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 17:00

The fight against legalized pot is being heavily bankrolled by alcohol and pharmaceutical companies, terrified that they might lose market share.

On the heels of a filing last week that revealed that a synthetic cannabis company is financing the opposition to legal marijuana in Arizona comes a new disclosures this week that a beer industry group made one of the largest donations to an organization set up to defeat legalization in Massachusetts.

The Beer Distributors PAC, an affiliate that represents 16 beer distribution companies in Massachusetts, gave $25,000 to the Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, tying it for third place among the largest contributors to the anti-pot organization.

William A. Kelley, the president of the Beer Distributors of Massachusetts, did not respond to a request for comment, but his organization’s decision to oppose legalization is hardly unique in the alcohol industry.

In Arizona, one of the five states with marijuana legalization ballot measures this November, the Arizona Wine and Spirits Wholesale Association donated $10,000 to a group opposing legalization. In 2010, the last time California considered marijuana legalization, another alcoholic beverage distribution group provided financing to a law enforcement-backed campaign to defeat legalization.

The alcohol industry is nowhere near unified over pot policy, however, with several craft brewing firm welcoming laws that relax restrictions over pot.

Securities and Exchange Commission filings reveal that heavyweight alcohol companies have disclosed to investors that pot could pose a challenge to their bottom line.

The Boston Beer Company, the parent company of Sam Adams, told investors in its 10-k filing that laws that allow the “sale and distribution of marijuana” could “adversely impact the demand” for beer.

The Brown-Forman Company, makers of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey and Finlandia Vodka, similarly warned in its 10-k filing that “consumer preferences and purchases may shift due to a host of factors, many of which are difficult to predict, including … the potential legalization of marijuana use on a more widespread basis within the United States, and changes in travel, leisure, dining, gifting, entertaining, and beverage consumption trends.”

Research about the impact of marijuana legalization on consumer habits is split. Daniel Rees, a professor of economics at the University of Colorado Denver, has claimed that consumers will substitute marijuana for alcohol when given the chance. But tax revenue in Colorado, which legalized pot in 2012, suggests consumers have continued to purchase alcohol at almost the same rate as before legalization.

Paul Varga, the chief executive of Brown-Forman, told investors during an earnings call in August 2014 that marijuana legalization was emerging as a “big threat.” But four months later, in another discussion with investors, Varga backpedalled a bit. “I wouldn’t say I’m losing sleep over the legalization of marijuana,” he noted. “But I’m paying attention to it.”

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The post Alcohol Industry Bankrolls Fight Against Legal Pot in Battle of the Buzz appeared first on The Intercept.

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 42016-Der Bock als Gärtner

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 14:31

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 4/2016

Der Bock als Gärtner

Regine Naeckel

Anmerkungen und Quellen

(1) Karin Priester, Der populistische Moment, Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 3/2005, S. 306
(2) Ebenda, S. 302
(3) Immanuel Kant, Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?, Kapitel 1, Erstveröffentlichung 1784
(4) Karin Priester, Der populistische Moment, Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 3/2005, S. 306

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 42016-Falsche Versprechungen

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 14:31

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 4/2016

Falsche Versprechungen

Thomas Wagner

Anmerkungen und Quellen

(1) David Salomon: Demokratie. Köln 2012, S. 9
(2) ebd.
(3) ebd.
(4) Jan-Ole Prasse: Der kurze Höhenflug der NPD. Rechtsextreme Wahlerfolge der 1960er Jahre. Marburg 2010, S. 74
(5) Dieter Stein: Phantom „Neue Rechte“. Die Geschichte eines politischen Begriffs und sein Missbrauch durch den Verfassungsschutz. Berlin 2005, S. 175
(6) Franz Walter: Im Herbst der Volksparteien. Bielefeld 2009, S. 114

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 42016-Grün ist die Hoffnung?

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 14:31

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 4/2016

Grün ist die Hoffnung?

Philipp Koebnik

Anmerkungen und Quellen

(1) Vgl. Ehrenfreund, Max, What Jill Stein, the Green presidential candidate, wants to do to America, in: The Washington Post (02.08.2016) https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/08/02/what-jill-stein-the-green-presidential-candidate-wants-to-do-to-america/; Green Party's Jill Stein: U.S. Should Stop Funding Israel Saudi Arabia, in: Democracy Now (18.08.2016) http://www.democracynow.org/2016/8/18/green_partys_jill_stein_us_should; Milman, Oliver, Jill Stein dismisses perception she is anti-vaccines as 'ridiculous', in: The Guardian (18.08.2016) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/18/jill-stein-anti-vaccination-green-party-ridiculous
(2) Vgl. Hahn, Dorothea, „Unsere Partei ist eine Bedrohung“, in: taz (02.02.2012) http://www.taz.de/Gruene-in-den-USA/!5101711/; http://www.gp.org/history
(3) Vgl. Hill, Marc Lamont, For real progressives, Jill Stein is now the only choice,

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Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 42016-Gefährlich präzise

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 14:31

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 4/2016

Gefährlich präzise

Thomas Wagner

Anmerkungen und Quellen

(1) Sascha Karberg: „Superwerkzeug. Gene Editing revolutioniert die Gentechnik und ermöglicht völlig neue Kreationen. Genforscher aus aller Welt diskutieren ihre Anwendungen“, in: Technology Review/6/2016
(2) Vgl. GID-Redaktion: „Hoffnungsträger Präzision“, in: GID. Gen-ethischer Informationsdienst. Nr.234, Februar 2016
(3) Antonio Regalado: „Tauschbörse für Erbgut. Eine gemeinnützige Organisation sammelt Erbmaterial aus Forschungslaboren und verschickt es in alle Welt – ein Onlineversand für Biosynthetiker“, in: Technology Review/6/2016
(4) Uta Wagnmann: „Kollektive Kapitalisierung“, in: GID. Gen-ethischer Informationsdienst. Nr.234, Februar 2016, S. 24
(5) Christof Potthof: „Gentechnik-Regulierung offen“, in: GID. Gen-ethischer Informationsdienst. Nr.234, Februar 2016
(6) Sascha

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Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 42016-Die Automatisierung der Politik

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 14:31

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 4/2016

Die Automatisierung der Politik

Andreas von Westphalen

Anmerkungen und Quellen

(1)  Zitiert nach: Eli Pariser: Filter Bubble, S. 224.
(2) Vgl.: Andreas von Westphalen: Big Data: Der kalkulierte Mensch und die berechnete Demokratie. In: Hintergrund 3/2016.
Andreas von Westphalen: Big Data: Willkommen in der Kontrollgesellschaft. In: Hintergrund 2/2016.
(3) http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/medien/google-gruendet-in-den-usa-government-innovaton-lab-13852715.html
(4) http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/medien/google-gruendet-in-den-usa-government-innovaton-lab-13852715.html
(5) http://www.bpb.de/apuz/202242/zur-beschleunigung-menschlicher-erkenntnis?p=all
(6) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/27/us/turning-the-granting-of-bail-into-a-science.html?_r=0
http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Justice/2016/0803/Courts-use-risk-algorithms-to-set-bail-A-step-toward-a-more-just-system
(7) https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing
(8) https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing
(9) http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/Angele%20Christin.pdf
(10) http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/Angele%20Christin.pdf
(11) http://www.spiegel.de/netzwelt/netzpolitik/schwarze-straftaeter-in-den-usa-vom-algorithmus-diskriminiert-a-1093932.html
(12) http://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/27/us/turning-the-granting-of-bail-into-a-science.html?_r=0
(13) http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/Angele%20Christin.pdf
(14) http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/Angele%20Christin.pdf
(15) https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing
(16) https://www.propublica.org/article/machine-bias-risk-assessments-in-criminal-sentencing
(17) http://www.law.nyu.edu/sites/default/files/upload_documents/Angele%20Christin.pdf
(18) http://www.justice.gov/opa/speech/attorney-general-eric-holder-speaks-national-association-criminal-defense-lawyers-57th
(19)

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Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 42016-Stiller Völkermord

Hintergrund.de - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 14:31

Das Nachrichtenmagazin – 4/2016

Stiller Völkermord

Andreas von Westphalen

Anmerkungen und Quellen

(1)    Zitiert nach: Anja Tippner: Die Blockade durchbrechen. Hunger, Trauma und Gedächtnis bei Lidija Ginzburg. In: Osteuropa, August-September 2011, S. 281.
(2)    Jörg Ganzenmüller: Das belagerte Leningrad 1941 – 1944: Die Stadt in den Strategien von Angreifern und Verteidigern, S. 9.
(3)    Johannes Hürter: Die Wehrmacht vor Leningrad. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 3/2001, S. 390.
(4)    Ueberschär, Gerd: Der deutsche Überfall auf die Sowjetunion, S. 278f.
(5)    Johannes Hürter: Die Wehrmacht vor Leningrad. In: Vierteljahrshefte für Zeitgeschichte 3/2001, S. 391.
(6)    http://www.zeit.de/2004/04/A-Belagerung_L/komplettansicht
(7)    Jörg Ganzenmüller: Das belagerte Leningrad 1941

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Paulinho da Força no controle da Reforma Agrária

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 13:00

Uma das mudanças mais interessantes a serem observadas no governo de Michel Temer envolve a atuação do Incra, órgão responsável pela reforma agrária no país. Entre outros fatores, pelo fato de Dilma Rousseff ter feito um trabalho bastante ruim numa área em que o ex-presidente Lula e o próprio PT cultivaram por mais de duas décadas uma de suas principais bases de sustentação no campo social. Embora não tenha sido decisivo para seu destino político, é fato que Dilma perdeu esse capital de apoio. O MST não foi às ruas defender seu mandato de maneira significativa. E, agora, com Temer? Qual será o papel desempenhado pelo Incra?

O Instituto Nacional de Colonização e Reforma Agrária tem como função essencial redistribuir as terras do Brasil, acabando com grandes propriedades de terra improdutivas, dividir essas porções em lotes e entregá-los para famílias que dependem do campo e buscam condições básicas para plantar.

A gerência política dessa área do governo Temer foi entregue, após uma negociação sem contratempos, a Paulo Pereira da Silva, líder há 22 anos ininterruptos da Força Sindical, o segundo maior grupo de sindicatos do país e a principal apoiadora da ascensão de Michel Temer ao poder entre representantes de trabalhadores. Paulinho foi uma das primeiras e principais vozes dentro da Câmara a favor do impeachment de Dilma Rousseff. É ele quem dá o aval para nomeações dentro do órgão – informalmente, claro, seguindo à risca as regras tácitas da política brasileira.

Brasília – O deputado federal e presidente da Força Sindical, Paulo Pereira da Silva (Paulinho da Força), fala à imprensa após reunião com o presidente interino Michel Temer, no Planalto.

Foto: Marcelo Camargo/Agência Brasil

Algumas coisas chamam a atenção para a entrega do Incra para os desígnios de Paulinho da Força, para além da demonstração clara de que o fisiologismo continua imperando. A primeira é que ele é um sindicalista urbano. A segunda é que, em seus três mandatos como deputado federal, Paulinho jamais apresentou um único projeto relacionado ao assunto da reforma agrária. Ele também nunca integrou uma comissão da Câmara que discutisse projetos relativos ao tema, ou apresentou emendas parlamentares para, por exemplo, beneficiar assentamentos rurais.

Apesar dessa distância do tema em sua atuação legislativa, um dos processos aos quais responde na Justiça é justamente por ilegalidades na… reforma agrária. Ele foi condenado em primeira instância pela Justiça Federal por improbidade administrativa por participar, como presidente da Força Sindical, de uma fraude de R$ 3 milhões no Banco da Terra para a compra superavaliada de um terreno inviável para destinação à reforma agrária.

É ele quem apadrinha o novo presidente do Incra, Leonardo Góes Silva, inclusive com notícia exaltando suas qualidades no site do Solidariedade, partido político criado em 2013 por Paulinho. É dele também a indicação de outros dirigentes, incluindo o responsável pelo desenvolvimento de novos projetos de assentamentos, Ewerton Giovanni dos Santos — este filiado ao Solidariedade em Minas Gerais e que advoga para ao menos um fazendeiro no Estado.

Mais que isso, Paulinho bancou a nomeação de seu filho para comandar uma das superintendências regionais mais importantes do país, a de São Paulo. Alexandre Pereira da Silva é, desde o dia 4 de julho, o responsável por questões relativas, entre outras, à luta pela terra na região do Pontal do Paranapanema, próximo à divisa com o Mato Grosso do Sul, uma das mais conflituosas do país.

O que, afinal, quer Paulinho à frente do Incra? Recentemente, a Coluna Esplanada, do UOL, relatou que ele está criando um braço rural para a Força Sindical, com o nome de Força Rural, para ser  um contrapeso para o MST (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem-Terra). Ainda não há nada oficial a respeito, mas a Força Sindical já tem um braço de atuação voltado especificamente para os trabalhadores rurais assalariados — ou seja, aqueles que trabalham no campo para agricultores. Nem CUT, maior central sindical do país, tem uma secretaria com esse perfil.

Apesar de o governo planejar um corte de metade da verba programada para a reforma agrária em 2017, o controle sobre o Incra tem um alto valor. Direcionar a seleção dos beneficiados com novos assentamentos, as verbas para melhorias da estrutura das terras cedidas para a reforma agrária e os mais de R$ 200 milhões que o governo planeja para 2017, para a compra de novos terrenos, pode servir para garantir um bom capital político a ele, à sua central sindical e ao seu partido político entre os hoje sem-terra.

Aliado do agronegócio controla desapropriação de terras

A falta de um compromisso mais claro dos novos dirigentes do Incra com a causa da reforma agrária está presente, também, na nomeação de Luiz Antônio Possas de Carvalho para a Diretoria de Obtenção de Terras e Implantação de Projetos de Assentamentos — cargo que já tinha ocupado por apenas 45 dias no governo Dilma.

Possas de Carvalho, avalizado por Paulinho, é uma indicação pessoal do deputado federal Carlos Bezerra, do PMDB de Mato Grosso. Ele, que agora cuidará de interesses daqueles que querem tirar terras de grandes proprietários rurais, já advogou para importantes fazendeiros e pecuaristas — entre eles, em processo contra o Incra, numa desapropriação de terras da família de Jonas Barcellos Corrêa Filho.

Jonas Barcellos é conhecido como o “rei do gado” brasileiro. É um dos maiores criadores de boi nelore do país e conhecido por seu poder de lobby e alto trânsito entre autoridades da República. Uma de suas marcas é a feijoada que oferece a poderosos em sua fazenda em Uberaba (MG). Está longe de ser um entusiasta da reforma agrária.

Em levantamento feito pelo The Intercept Brasil, considerando somente os casos que tramitam ou tramitaram na Justiça Federal de Mato Grosso, Possas de Carvalho surge como advogado em oito ações contra o Incra, em defesa de proprietários rurais ou grandes empresas agropecuárias. Outro nome conhecido que já foi representado por ele em processo contra o órgão do qual agora é diretor estratégico é Flávio Pentagna Guimarães, presidente do banco BMG.

A gestão do Incra está paralisada …o TCU determinou a paralisação de todos os processos de escolha de novos beneficiários.

Possas de Carvalho já tinha sido pivô de uma operação de barganha política no apagar das luzes do governo de Dilma Rousseff. Ele foi nomeado por Dilma no fim de março deste ano, para o mesmo cargo, com o objetivo de agradar o peemedebista Carlos Bezerra, do Mato Grosso, um dos estados com maior presença do agronegócio, onde 114 pessoas foram ameaçadas de morte e seis delas foram assassinadas entre 2000 e 2010 em disputas por terras, segundo a Comissão Pastoral da Terra.

No entanto, com o voto de Carlos Bezerra a favor da admissibilidade do impeachment, Carvalho foi imediatamente exonerado pela então presidente, recuperando o posto assim que Michel Temer assumiu o governo interino.

A gestão do Incra está paralisada, em grande parte, por força de decisão tomada pelo Tribunal de Contas da União em abril deste ano. Foi encontrada uma gigantesca lista de absurdas irregularidades no órgão, especialmente na seleção de beneficiados para os assentamentos criados pelo instituto. Na decisão, o TCU determinou a paralisação de todos os processos de escolha de novos beneficiários, assim como de qualquer apoio a assentamentos já existentes.

Há dinheiro para terras de grilheiro, mas falta para modernizar o Incra

Mesmo com a decisão que, na prática, congela a criação de novos assentamentos, a área de obtenção de terras seguiu funcionando a pleno vapor. Na sua primeira passagem pela diretoria de obtenção de terras, Possas de Carvalho assumiu oficialmente no dia 28 de março. De janeiro deste ano até aquele dia, o Incra tinha liberado R$ 2,2 milhões para a desapropriação de três terrenos, conforme dados levantados pelo The Intercept Brasil no sistema Siga Brasil, de acompanhamento da execução do Orçamento federal. Nos três dias que se seguiram à posse de Carvalho, foram 16 liberações, num total de R$ 34 milhões. Até o momento em que foi exonerado por Dilma, ele já tinha carimbado R$ 76,4 milhões para essas desapropriações. Depois, quando voltou sob Temer, foram mais R$ 16,8 milhões para proprietários rurais até o fim de julho.

Não se tratam de novos decretos de desapropriação, mas do pagamento desses valores, que costumam rodar anos em ações judiciais de contestações de valores. Entre essas liberações, a maior delas, no valor de R$ 24 milhões, aconteceu no primeiro dia de sua gestão. Foi para garantir a desapropriação da Fazenda Nacional, localizada no município de Água Boa, em Mato Grosso, seu estado. Outras três, num total de R$ 19 milhões, beneficiaram Antonio Martins dos Santos, conhecido no meio rural como “Galo Velho” e apontado como o maior grileiro de terras de Rondônia — onde estão as fazendas pagas pelo Incra.

Atualmente, Antônio Martins dos Santos é um dos alvos de um inquérito sigiloso no STJ por suspeita de falsidade ideológica, falsificação de documentos, corrupção ativa e associação criminosa.

O latifundiário é ligado a Amir Lando, ex-senador que sempre teve ascendência sobre a superintendência do Incra em Rondônia, que, por sua vez, é aliado político de Carlos Bezerra. Ambos fizeram dobradinha no início do governo Lula. Lando era o ministro da Previdência Social, enquanto Bezerra presidia o INSS.

Entre as novas autorizações para desapropriação, em portaria publicada em agosto, o caso com maior valor envolve uma propriedade de uma família de usineiros de Pernambuco. Será comprada por R$ 21 milhões, mas o dinheiro ainda não foi liberado.

O governo quer fazer passar no Congresso um projeto de lei que autoriza a venda de grandes propriedades de terra para estrangeiro

Apesar dessa fartura de liberações de recursos para a compra de terras num contexto nebuloso, há outros detalhes da nova gestão do Incra que chamam a atenção. O novo presidente do órgão, Leonardo Góes Silva, assinou duas resoluções, no último dia 29 de julho. Em uma delas, mandou cancelar, por falta de dinheiro, uma parceria com a UFRJ para “realização de pesquisa voltada à análise da trajetória de desenvolvimento dos assentamentos rurais e o modelo atual de atuação do Incra”, com o objetivo de gerar “subsídios para que o Incra planeje e organize a sua atuação futura no âmbito do Programa Nacional de Reforma Agrária”. A parceria custaria ao Incra pouco mais de R$ 3 milhões. Na outra, também alegando falta de verbas, suspendeu decisão tomada em março deste ano pela gestão anterior, que havia aprovado as “diretrizes gerais, bem como as estimativas orçamentárias do Projeto de Modernização Tecnológica do Incra”. 

No horizonte, há ainda mais um ponto que colocará o Incra no centro de uma polêmica. O governo quer fazer passar no Congresso um projeto de lei que autoriza a venda de grandes propriedades de terra para estrangeiros. O texto roda na Câmara desde 2007. Ganhou fôlego no ano passado e, já há alguns meses, está pronto para ser votado em plenário, e com apoio do presidente da Câmara, Rodrigo Maia. O texto não impede que terras ainda não declaradas para fins de reforma agrária pelo Incra sejam vendidas para estrangeiros. Um dono de uma vasta e improdutiva porção de terra pode achar mais negócio fechar um acordo com uma empresa de fora do que esperar a burocracia do governo para receber dinheiro de desapropriação.

Caso o projeto seja aprovado dessa forma, será uma boa forma de verificar o grau de republicanismo do Incra e seus dirigentes, já que uma maior lentidão para produzir laudos e pegar terras para a reforma agrária pode levar as áreas improdutivas atuais a serem vendidas para interessados que há anos esperam a oportunidade de explorar o campo brasileiro.

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In Leaked Emails, Iraq War Architect Expressed Relief That Brexit Distracted From U.K. War Inquiry

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 04:48

Newly leaked emails show how a key U.K. architect of the Iraq war expressed relief that the “Brexit” vote to leave the European Union would reduce media coverage of the devastating results of an inquiry into the United Kingdom’s role in the the war.

On July 4, former British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw emailed former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell to discuss the upcoming release of the Chilcot Report– a document detailing the British government’s inquiry. The report probed, among other things, the depth of private British commitment and support for the American-led war in Iraq.

In anticipation of coming press coverage, Straw asked Powell to review a statement in a Word document he drafted. He wrote that the “only silver lining of the Brexit vote is that it will reduce medium term attention on Chilcot — thought it will not stop the day of publication being uncomfortable.”

Powell told Straw he should also share the statement with Condoleezza Rice, and that he would contact Richard Armitage — two other Bush-era officials who were involved in planning and executing the war.

He showed skepticism towards a part of Straw’s statement which claimed that an additional United Nations resolution prior to the conflict would have avoided the invasion. He wrote back to Straw, “I can’t disagree or disagree with your judgement that a second resolution would have prevented conflict. I doubt it, but I don’t know.” (In Straw’s final statement released to the press, the claim remained.)

Nearly a month later, on August 3, Powell emailed Straw to tell him that the Chilcot report “didn’t amount to anything over here” and that he assumes the inquiry simply “faded away.”

“Yes, the Chilcot story has faded altogether here too. It was unpleasant on the day but almost all the focus was on Tony [Blair],” Straw wrote back. He noted that “there is some stuff about some relatives of soldiers killed in Iraq trying to get a legal action against Tony on its feet buy [sic] it’s hard to see how that could work.”

He quickly switched topics, asking Powell if he was coming to London anytime soon. “I met someone recently who had heard you speak and thought you were a wow,” Straw boasted.

Powell’s private e-mails were leaked by D.C. Leaks, a website that has in the past shared hacked emails from U.S. political and military figures. D.C. Leaks has a relationship with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker that many allege to have ties with Russian intelligence. D.C. Leaks provided access to Powell’s emails to a number of reporters on Tuesday, including The Intercept.

Straw and Powell at Camp David in March 2003.

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Colin Powell Urged Hillary Clinton’s Team Not to Scapegoat Him for Her Private Server, Leaked Emails Reveal

The Intercept - Engl. - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 01:50

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell attempted to discourage Hillary Clinton and her team from using him as a scapegoat for her private email server problems, according to newly leaked emails from Powell’s Gmail account.

“Sad thing,” Powell wrote to one confidant, “HRC could have killed this two years ago by merely telling everyone honestly what she had done and not tie me to it.”

“I told her staff three times not to try that gambit. I had to throw a mini tantrum at a Hampton’s party to get their attention. She keeps tripping into these ‘character’ minefields,” Powell lamented. He noted that he had tried to settle the matter by meeting with Clinton aide Cheryl Mills in August.  

Powell’s private messages were leaked by D.C. Leaks, an anonymously managed website that shares hacked emails from U.S. military and political figures. D.C. Leaks has a relationship with Guccifer 2.0, a hacker that many allege to have ties with Russian intelligence. D.C. Leaks provided access to Powell’s emails to a number of reporters on Tuesday.

The emails show Powell regularly corresponding with reporters and friends about the Clinton email server scandal, explaining that his situation was different. When Powell arrived at the State Department, the information technology system was badly dated, he argued. And unlike Clinton, Powell never set up a private server. Instead, he used his personal AOL account, on a server maintained by AOL, and used a government computer for classified communications.

“It is no secret that I used a unclassified personal email account in addition to my classified State computer,’” Powell wrote to the New York Times’ Amy Chozick. He implored the dozens of reporters and producers who emailed him to read his book, It Worked for Me: In Life and Leadership, in which he devoted an entire chapter to his efforts to revamp the State Department’s IT system.

The Clinton campaign’s effort to blur the lines between Clinton’s private email server and Powell’s AOL account left Powell deeply frustrated.

“They are going to dick up the legitimate and necessary use of emails with friggin record rules. I saw email more like a telephone than a cable machine,” Powell wrote last year to his business partner Jeffrey Leeds. “As long as the stuff is unclassified. I had a secure State.gov machine. Everything HRC touches she kind of screws up with hubris.”

Powell added in a tangential complaint: “I told you about the gig I lost at a University because she so overcharged them they came under heat and couldn’t any fees for awhile. I should send her a bill.”

Clinton sought Powell’s advice at a dinner on June 16, 2009 at former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s house, according to the emails. Powell gave Clinton “written guidance on why and how [he] had been doing it.” Also on attendance were former secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice, Lawrence Eagleburger, George Schultz, Warren Christopher, James Baker and Henry Kissinger.

“Dumb. She should have done a ‘Full Monty’ at the beginning,” Powell wrote. He added: “I warned her staff three times over the past two years not to try to connect it to me. I am not sure HRC even knew or understood what was going on in the basement.”

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Deutschlands Kriegsbilanz (II)

German Foreign Policy - Mer, 14/09/2016 - 00:00
(Eigener Bericht) - Beinahe 15 Jahre nach dem Beginn des NATO-Kriegs in Afghanistan und der unter starker deutscher Beteiligung durchgeführten Besatzung herrschen in dem Land katastrophale ökonomische und soziale Verhältnisse sowie eine miserable Sicherheitlage. Dem Krieg sind seit 2001 laut einer umfassenden Analyse mehr als 220.000 Menschen direkt oder indirekt zum Opfer gefallen. Die Sicherheitslage im Land hat sich zuletzt laut Einschätzung des Wehrbeauftragten des Deutschen Bundestags "dramatisch verschärft". Soldaten müssen inzwischen, wenn sie von einem Standort zum nächsten wechseln wollen, aus Sicherheitsgründen fliegen, weil die Fahrt mit gepanzerten Autos auf der Straße als unvertretbar gefährlich gilt. Die Zahl der afghanischen Flüchtlinge wird von den Vereinten Nationen aktuell auf 1,1 Millionen geschätzt - mit steigender Tendenz. Wichtigster Wirtschaftszweig ist weiterhin der Opiumanbau; 39,1 Prozent der Afghanen leben nach nationalen Standards in Armut, 2,7 Millionen sind unterernährt. Lediglich die Bundeswehr kann positive Tendenzen erkennen und rät zu "Geduld und Ausdauer". - (Teil 2 einer Serie, in der german-foreign-policy.com - aus Anlass der Ankündigung Berlins, in Zukunft stärker "global" intervenieren zu wollen, auch militärisch - die Folgen der deutschen Kriege aus den vergangenen zwei Jahrzehnten bilanziert.)

Census Shows Post-Recession Rebound — But Many Are Still Worse Off Than in 2007

The Intercept - Engl. - Mar, 13/09/2016 - 22:49

There is much to cheer in the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2015 report on American incomes, poverty, and health coverage released Tuesday.

Median real income household income rose 5.2 percent from 2014 to 2015, and the poverty rate declined by 1.2 percentage points.

The percentage of Americans without health insurance coverage declined to 9.1 from 10.4 in 2014. Overall, the number of Americans without health insurance declined to 29 million.

These numbers point to an economy that is seriously starting to rebound from the Great Recession. The Census also notes that number of “full-time, year- round workers increased by 2.4 million in 2015.”

But many Americans continue to see their incomes lag behind where they were around a decade ago.

Median household income increased from 2014 to 2015, but it is still 5 percent behind where it was in 2007.

“To the extent that families have climbed out of that deep recession hole, that’s obviously a positive near-term development, but it doesn’t erase a long period of broader stagnation,” Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget Policy Priorities and former economic adviser to Vice President Joe Biden, told The Intercept.

Economic Policy Institute economist Valerie Wilson, related the new census numbers with historical data and found that while African-American real median household incomes rose to $36,898 last year, they are still below where they were in 2007 ($39,584) and 2000 ($41,689).

“We’re happy to see the big boost over the last year but there was a really big hole to get out of,” Wilson told The Intercept.

One group didn’t see any gains at all between 2014 and 2015: rural Americans. Median income and poverty levels for Americans outside of cities and suburbs remained flat.

Top photo: A help wanted sign in El Cerrito, California, in 2013.

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Indústria farmacêutica financia campanha contra legalização da maconha temendo prejuízos

The Intercept - Engl. - Mar, 13/09/2016 - 21:53

Recentemente, executivos de empresas farmacêuticas americanas fizeram uma grande doação para uma campanha contra a legalização da maconha e a justificaram como sendo uma preocupação com a segurança das crianças. Mas o dossiê de investidores da empresa mostra que a maconha representa uma ameaça direta aos planos de lucrar com um produto de maconha sintética desenvolvido pela empresa.

Em 31 de agosto, a empresa Insys Therapeutics Inc. doou 500 mil dólares para a organização “Povo do Arizona por Políticas Responsáveis de Drogas” (Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy), se tornando o maior doador do grupo que lidera a campanha contra a aprovação do referendo para legalizar a maconha no Arizona.

A empresa farmacêutica, que atualmente fabrica uma versão de efeito acelerado do analgésico fentanil, garantiu a um repórter local que tinha feito a considerável doação pensando no bem comum. Um porta-voz contou ao Arizona Republic que a Insys se opõe à medida de legalização, Prop. 205, “porque ela não protege os cidadãos do Arizona, em especial, as crianças”.

Na sexta-feira (9), uma reportagem do Washington Post mencionou o potencial autointeresse por trás da doação da Insys.

O dossiê de investimento examinado pelo The Intercept confirma o óbvio.

No momento, a Insys está desenvolvendo um produto chamado Dronabinol Oral Solution (solução oral), um remédio que utiliza uma versão sintética do tetraidrocanabinol (THC) para aliviar náusea e vômito causados por quimioterapia. Em um dossiê relacionado ao dronabinol, onde são analisadas preocupações de mercado e concorrência, a Insys registrou uma declaração informativa com a Comissão de Valores Mobiliários (SEC, da sigla em inglês) deixando claro que a legalização da maconha é uma ameaça direta à sua linha de produtos:

“A legalização da maconha ou de outros canabinoides naturais nos EUA pode limitar significativamente o sucesso comercial de possíveis produtos de dronabinol. Se a maconha ou outros canabinoides naturais forem legalizados nos EUA, o mercado de produtos compostos por dronabinol seria consideravelmente reduzido, nossa capacidade de gerar receita e o futuro de nossos negócios seriam concretamente afetados de forma negativa”.

A Insys explica no dossiê que o dronabinol é “um dos poucos canabinoides sintéticos aprovados pela FDA [Food and Drug Administration – responsável pelo controle de alimentos e medicamentos] nos EUA e, “portanto, nos EUA, produtos de dronabinol não precisam concorrer com a cannabis natural ou canabinoides naturais”.

A empresa admite que a literatura científica defende que os benefícios da maconha são maiores do que os benefícios do dronabinol sintético, e que o apoio à legalização da maconha vem crescendo. No último formulário 10-K de desempenho financeiro arquivado com a SEC, em uma seção que aborda as ameaças da concorrência, a Insys alertou que diversos estados “já haviam aprovado leis que legalizavam a maconha para uso medicinal e recreativo”.

O Subsys, spray de fentanil fabricado pela Insys, é usado como um analgésico de efeito rápido. Ele é um opiáceo que foi manchete nos últimos anos, à medida que aumentou o número de americanos com overdose da substância. O fentanil é 50 vezes mais forte do que a heroína e foi associado à morte do cantor Prince no começo do ano. No mês passado, dois executivos da Insys se declararam culpados por um esquema em que usavam os honorários pagos a palestrantes para que médicos prescrevessem o Subsys a seus pacientes.

Os defensores da causa defendem que a maconha legalizada tem diversas finalidades médicas, incluindo o uso analgésico.

Não é a primeira vez que empresas farmacêuticas ajudam a financiar a oposição à reforma nas leis que regulam a droga. A Coalizão Comunitária Contra as Drogas da América (Community Anti-Drug Coalition of America), órgão sem fins lucrativos que organiza o ativismo em todo o país, recebe patrocínio corporativo da Purdue Pharma, fabricantes da Oxicodona, e da Janssen Pharmaceuticals, outro fabricante de opiáceos, há muito tempo.

J.P. Holyoak, presidente da Campanha para Regulamentar a Maconha como o Álcool (Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol), um grupo que apoia ao referendo de legalização, publicou uma nota condenando a doação da Insys. “Nossos adversários tomaram uma decisão consciente de se associarem com essa empresa”, contou Holyoak. “Estão financiando a campanha com os lucros da venda de opiáceos — e, talvez, até com a venda irregular de opiáceos”.

Tradução de Inacio Vieira

Foto principal: Planta de maconha cultivada no Perennial Holistic Wellness Center em Los Angeles.

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