The war in Yemen explained: Planet America

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Snopes Takes Money From Monsanto To ‘Debunk’ Cancer Claims

By Sean Adl-Tabatabai

Facebook fact-checking organization Snopes has been caught accepting money from Monsanto in exchange for debunking articles that claim their pesticides cause cancer.

Facebook fact-checking organization Snopes has been caught accepting money from Monsanto in exchange for debunking articles that claim their pesticides cause cancer. 
Snopes, who have been caught promoting Hillary Clinton propaganda in the past and embezzling their profits on prostitutes, are now embroiled in yet another scandal where their CEO has been caught deliberately ignoring the facts in the name of profits.
Foodbabe.com reports: The recent series of events below demonstrates how Snopes has been influenced by Monsanto into manipulating the public opinion about the dangers of their bestselling product, Roundup weedkiller (aka glyphosate).
Monsanto has made BILLIONS off of the weedkiller Roundup (aka glyphosate) along with their Roundup-Ready GMO seeds, but sales have been plummeting since the truth about this toxic product is coming out. They are doing everything they can to keep those profits coming in!
Food Democracy Now! and The Detox Project conducted a report showing how this popular weedkiller is present in many popular American foods and when my blog post went viral (Millions of views!), Snopes came out with an article claiming that it was a “MIXTURE” of truth and fiction.

Snopes suddenly changed their assessment to FALSE about 24 hours later:

Did the facts really change? Why would they call this information FALSE?
When you compare both versions of Snopes’ article, you see that they edited it to suit a narrative that fits Monsanto’s agenda – it’s outrageous!
It’s as if Monsanto edited it themselves and sent it off to Snopes for publication. Entire sentences and paragraphs were removed that were hurtful to Monsanto. Important data was removed entirely. The wording was changed to make the findings of an independent FDA-registered laboratory seem less scientific or credible…

The data about how Cheerios and Stacy’s Pita Chips were found to have MORE glyphosate than the level permitted by the U.S. government in drinking water (700 ppb) was completely removed! Apparently Snopes believes it’s not factual or important to mention that some foods were found to have more weedkiller in them than even our lax regulations allow…

 

In this first revision, Snopes makes a huge mistake in stating that the World Health Organization’s International Agency For Research on Cancer’s (IARC) finding that glyphosate is probably carcinogenic to humans was “overturned in March 2016”, which is NOT TRUE…

IARC’s 2015 assessment has NOT been overturned, this is just what Monsanto dreams would happen. In reality, the team of international independent cancer scientists at IARC who made the finding that glyphosate “probably causes cancer in humans” are defending their decision, while being attacked by Monsanto with their lobbying group attempting to cut off IARC’s funding. The 17 independent scientists at IARC came to an unanimous decision that isn’t muddled by industry ties, and Monsanto is trying to shut them up.
The subsequent 2016 Joint FAO-WHO Meeting on Pesticide Residues (JMPR) is not reliable as the scientists on the panel have a giant conflict of interest in working with ILSI Europe, a group funded by Monsanto, CropLife, and big food companies, along with a board of trustees comprised of industry execs from Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Nestle and others. Snopes is WRONG to say their finding is the “current consensus amongst the world’s regulatory agencies”. That’s the industry-funded view!
A large body of peer reviewed research links glyphosate to cancer, reproductive problems, liver, kidney and skin cell damage, antibiotic-resistance, and more – but Monsanto doesn’t want the world to know the truth. The industry has a long history of of concealing health risks about their products from the public.
“Historically, the same thing happened with tobacco, the same thing happened with asbestos, the same thing happened with arsenic. It’s not junk science.” ~ Aaron Blair, PhD, MPH, internationally renowned epidemiologist and the author of more than 450 scientific papers, who spent thirty years at the National Cancer Institute. Dr. Blair led the IARC panel.
After Snopes realized their mistake, they revised this section of their article YET AGAIN for a second time…
Which just goes to show they don’t properly research the facts before publishing stories!

Snopes completely removed their inquiry into the possibility that Monsanto has influence over the FDA and commentary about the potential harm of glyphosate to humans…

Monsanto has a long and sordid history of infiltrating the government and our regulatory agencies such as the FDA and EPA.
The FDA has been caught having closed-door meetings with industry representatives several times in the past. There is evidence that Monsanto met with the FDA specifically to discuss glyphosate residues in food in 2016:
“In April of this year, Monsanto’s international regulatory affairs manager Amelia Jackson-Gheissari emailed FDA asking to set up a time to talk about “enforcement of residue levels in the USA, particularly glyphosate.” ~ Huffington Post, September 2016

Monsanto also had secret talks with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about glyphosate and are trying to hide the documentation from the public.
“The plaintiffs’ attorneys say at least four specific documents they have obtained are clearly in the public interest and “illuminate that one of Monsanto’s chief business strategies is its secret and untoward influence on EPA.”Huffington Post, January 2017
Likewise, the industry group CropLife (which represents Monsanto and agrochemical companies) tried to stop the EPA from convening their scientific panel to review the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate. Read their August 24, 2016 letter to the EPA here. (The meeting took place in December, and the EPA’s findings have not yet been made public.)
Yet, my post was called “unsubstantiated”…

Who is really speaking the truth here? Who is distorting the facts? Why is Snopes helping Monsanto bury this story? Remember: Snopes makes all of their money from advertising.
Advertisements on Snopes website for Monsanto/Bayer:

The Shocking Revelation! Why Snopes Changed Their Article To “False”…
It was brought to my attention that after Snopes first called our piece a “MIXTURE” of truth, Monsanto’s operative (aka Kevin Folta) swept in and started bullying the reporter at Snopes into changing his article to claim that the information we presented was “FALSE”.
Kevin Folta tweeted Snopes and their reporter (Alex Kasprak) multiple times, again, and again, and again, and again, until they agreed to listen to him…

Kevin Folta is the scientist that has been widely discredited in the New York Times for his secret dealings with the industry and Monsanto.
He is NOT independent and works right along with Monsanto executives, industry consultants, and lobbyists to spread their propaganda…

Here, Kevin Folta solicited for and received a $25,000 grant from Monsanto to help them with their “3rd party approach to developing advocacy”.
In other words, this is how Monsanto quietly paid Kevin Folta to advocate for them…

Kevin Folta will now gladly point you to his funding page in an attempt to show that he is “independent” and “transparent”, however it shows he receives funding from…
  • The American Seed Trade Association – self described “advocates for the industry” led by corporate executives from Bayer, AgReliant Genetic, Dupont Pioneer.
  • The Oregon Farm Bureau – a powerful lobbying group for the industry and Big Ag.
  • Manitoba Canola Growers – funded by canola check off program, a major GMO crop.
  • In 2016, he was paid a $5,000 honorarium by the Florida Agrichemical and Fertilizer Association – an industry trade group for makers of pesticides and herbicides, of which he claims the funds are used to support his “science communication outreach program”. How is this outreach “independent” again?
It’s apparent from this series of events that Snopes edited their article to be favorable to Monsanto at the request of Kevin Folta.
Just as I had reported, Monsanto is scrambling to bury this story and Snopes is just one channel that they are using to make people believe that any story speaking negatively about Roundup and GMOs is false. This is a dirty fight and Monsanto’s propaganda is in full force. This Snopes piece is all marketing. Marketing for Monsanto!
We contacted Snopes, but they refuse to correct their story:
Snopes response to Food Babe: “The change in rating was mainly the result of my narrowing the focus of the claim to the alleged conspiracy to suppress residue data. This was in response to criticism from ‘both sides’ about a lack of clarity my original approach took. The issue with the FDN study, of course, is that its methods have not been peer-reviewed or even made public, outside of the fact that the report states the tool was an LC-MS-MS in an FDA-certified lab… My approach is to take the totality of these data, which argues that at environmentally relevant concentrations there is no harm through diet, while allowing that debate still exists within the the scientific community. That remains my position.”
After all of this… Kevin Folta admits that the glyphosate tests that we reported on were 100% CORRECT…
That’s right. He contacted Anresco Laboratories and found that their testing was done 100% correctly and obtained honestly. In fact, in his podcast he admits he should have contacted them first. Yet Snopes still calls this report FALSE. Isn’t this ridiculous?
Read Anresco Laboratories test results here and the statement on the validity of their testing here.

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Google Now Tracks Your Credit Card Purchases and Connects Them to Its Online Profile of You

By Michael Reilly

The search giant wants to know how online ads translate into offline sales, but says it is taking steps to ensure users’ privacy isn’t breached.

Google’s new ability to match people’s offline credit card purchases to their online lives is a stunning display of surveillance capitalism in action.
The capability, which Google unveiled this week, allows the company to connect the dots between the ads that it shows its users and what they end up actually buying. This is a crucial link for Google’s business that, for all of the company’s inventiveness, remains a matter of attracting users to its predominantly free services, collecting user data, and leveraging that data to sell advertising. If Google can show that someone who saw an ad for a furniture store in Google Maps, say, then went and made a big purchase at that store, the store’s owner is much more likely to run more ads.
Of course, Google has been able to track your location using Google Maps for a long time. Since 2014, it has used that information to provide advertisers with information on how often people visit their stores. But store visits aren’t purchases, so, as Google said in a blog post on its new service for marketers, it has partnered with “third parties” that give them access to 70 percent of all credit and debit card purchases.
So, if you buy stuff with a card, there’s a less than one-in-three chance that Google doesn’t know about it.
Google has talked a bit about the lengths it goes to in order to preserve user privacy. A piece in the Washington Post on the new service has the following:
Google executives say they are using complex, patent-pending mathematical formulas to protect the privacy of consumers when they match a Google user with a shopper who makes a purchase in a brick-and-mortar store.
The mathematical formulas convert people’s names and other purchase information, including the time stamp, location, and the amount of the purchase, into anonymous strings of numbers. The formulas make it impossible for Google to know the identity of the real-world shoppers, and for the retailers to know the identities of Google’s users, said company executives, who called the process “double-blind” encryption.
The companies know only that a certain number of matches have been made. In addition, Google does not know what products people bought.
Beyond that, us regular folks pretty much have to take it on faith that this system works. Given how few “anonymous” data points are required to identify an individual from credit card data, it’s hard to believe that linking people’s behavior on services as diverse as Gmail, YouTube, Google Maps, and others to offline buying habits couldn’t result in someone’s privacy being compromised, especially if it ever fell into the hands of hackers.
But let’s not single Google out. For one thing, we users do willingly hand our personal data over to Google—that’s part of the service agreement (whether we have consented to let credit card companies hand our purchase records over in this way is potentially another matter). And for another, Google isn’t alone: Facebook is engaged in essentially the same practice of marrying online information with our offline lives.
So, you know, everyone’s doing it.

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False flags exposed on USA’s biggest Muslim TV show

By Kevin Barrett

As Ramadan begins – shortly after the latest apparent false flag in Manchester – let’s take a few minutes to  listen to the Muslim point of view.
Literally millions of non-Muslims, virtually all of whom know very little about Muslims or Islam, are clogging the world’s communications arteries with hate propaganda. One of them is Alex Jones, who recently lied outrageously about a supposed “incredible response by the Muslims everywhere celebrating the attack in Manchester.”
In reality, Muslims are disgusted by such events. Polls show that Muslims oppose terrorism (attacking civilians) far more than non-Muslims do. That’s because Islam’s scriptures clearly prohibit such abominations. No real Muslim would ever bomb a crowd of innocent civilians. Ever.
Gallup, for example, found that Muslims overwhelmingly oppose terrorism – while the worst pro-terrorism nation on earth is the USA, where almost half the population thinks terrorism is “sometimes justified.” (Source.)

Polls also show that about 80% of Muslims reject the official account of 9/11. (Examples here and here.) Even more know its prime beneficiary was the enemies of Islam. Ditto for all other false flags pinned on “radical Muslim” patsies.
Get to know Muslims and their actual viewpoints and attitudes. Watch the Deen Show episode above. You may also want to check out Eddie’s recent response to Alex Jones:
“Islam is Not Radical: Alex Jones gets the message from Muslims”
“Al-Haqq fouqa kull shay” (Truth above everything). Al-Haqq (Truth/Reality) is one of the most beautiful names of God.

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North Korean ‘conflict’ won’t lead to World War III – analyst

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2017-04-26T090317Z_976396550_RC1834D57140_RTRMADP_3_NORTHKOREA-USA-940x580

A military drill marking the 85th anniversary of the establishment of the Korean People’s Army (KPA) is seen in this handout photo by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) made available on April 26, 2017. Pic: Reuters
AS tensions continue to mount over North Korea’s ballistic missile tests in recent months, a defence analyst has dismissed global fears that a full-blown armed conflict in the region would lead to World War III.
Prof. Narushige Michishita, a security expert at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS) in Tokyo, Japan, said while military strikes could be catastrophic for the Northeast Asian region, China and Russia would not intervene on a conflict involving South Korea, Japan, and the United States.
“I think they (Russia and China) will stay out (of a full-blown war) as much as possible,” he told a group of foreign reporters on Tuesday. “If they commit their forces on the outset (of a conflict), they will suffer in a big way.”
Narushige was responding to a question posed during a talk entitled Japan’s Security Challenges: Briefing and Discussion on Security Issues in East Asia, and the Movement for Constitutional Reform, at the institute.
The expert was briefing a group of 15 reporters taking part in the Jefferson Fellowship 2017 programme hosted by the Honolulu-based East-West Center. The journalists are in Japan this week as part of a three-week course spanning four key cities in the Asia Pacific, namely Honolulu, Tokyo, Beijing, Shenzen, and Manila.
SEE ALSO: Waking up to World War III
Narushige added, however, that for strategic reasons, China or Russia could still intervene at the end of the potential conflict.
“That would be the easiest way to maximise on the benefits,” he pointed out.
“The North Korean forces would more or less be wiped out, (and) the US and South Korea would be suffering from fatigue, both militarily as well as politically.”
He said China and Russia could then seize the opportunity to enter the region and intervene at the northern border area of North Korea to gain some influence.
Prof. Narushige Michishita says conflict with North Korea would unlikely lead to World War III. Source: A. Azim Idris
“It is more likely for the Chinese to do that, rather than Russians, because there are not many Russian forces deployed in the region compared to the massive Chinese presence,” he said.
“For long, China has been considered a buffer zone so it would be rational for China to maintain its influence in the North Korean peninsula.”
He said the Korean peninsula may be an important strategic asset for the US and China, but it was not important enough to trigger World War III.
“So I think the war could be quite limited for the US and China but not limited for the North Koreans,”
However, he said the potential of a major war involving the world’s superpowers was difficult to predict due to changing circumstances stemming from emotions running high over the North’s fast-developing weapons programme.
He added China might exploit the opportunity to invade the Sengkaku islands, a cluster of uninhabited islands controlled by Japan in the East China Sea, if the US focused all its attention on the North.
“China might use the opportunity to end the (territorial) problem,” he said, adding China’s potential intervention would not be direct in the event of conflict in the Korean peninsula.
On Sunday, North Korea fired a ballistic missile that flew 700km (430 miles), days after a new leader took office in the South pledging to engage in dialogue with Pyongyang.
The missile was fired from the region of Kusong, northwest of Pyongyang, where the North in February successfully test-launched an intermediate-range missile that it is believed to be developing.
Japan said the latest missile reached an altitude of more than 2,000km (1,245 miles) and flew for 30 minutes before dropping into the sea between North Korea’s east coast and Japan.
The North has consistently test-fired missiles in that direction.
Sunday’s launch, at 5:27am Seoul time, came two weeks after North Korea fired a missile that disintegrated minutes into flight, marking its fourth consecutive failure since March.
Despite international condemnation, Pyongyang has maintained that it will continue its nuclear weapons tests.
US President Donald Trump has not discounted the possibility of a major conflict with North Korea, while China has raised concerns that the situation on the Korean peninsula could escalate or slip out of control.
In a show of force, the United States has sent the nuclear-powered USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier group to waters off the Korean peninsula to join drills with South Korea to counter a series of threats of destruction from North Korea, formally known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).
Reclusive North Korea has carried out five nuclear tests and a series of missile tests in defiance of UN Security Council and unilateral resolutions. It has been conducting such tests at an unprecedented rate and is believed to have made progress in developing intermediate-range and submarine-launched missiles.
The US is seeking more help from China, the North’s major ally, to rein in Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development. Trump has praised Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a “good man”.
Tension on the Korean peninsula has been high for weeks over fears the North may conduct a long-range missile test, or its sixth nuclear test, around the time of the April 15 anniversary of its state founder’s birth.
North Korea, technically still at war with the South after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a treaty, regularly threatens to destroy the United States, Japan and South Korea and has said before it will pursue its nuclear and missile programmes to counter perceived US aggression.

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Australian researchers use silkworms to repair damaged eardrums

MELBOURNE, May 29 (Xinhua) — Silkworms could have the potential to repair damaged eardrums, a team of Australian researchers has found.
The team of researchers, based in Melbourne and Perth, have developed a device that incorporated silk into the “ClearDrum” ear implant, a device similar in appearance to a contact lens which a recipient’s cells can grow on.
Marcus Atlas, the leader of the research team, said that flexibility made silk ideal for the device.
“We felt that it had shown previously to support cell growth and proliferation, and the ability to be able to change into various forms was a really appealing thing for us, particularly when we started to mix it with other products to create different mechanical and acoustic criteria,” Atlas told Australian media on Monday.
“The skin cells are there – it’s getting them to come across and heal, so it’s sort of a scaffold.”
By removing sericin, the adhesive agent in silk, researchers were able to heat proteins into a liquid from which they created the device.
Sandra Bellekom, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ear Science Institute, said it was the first implant ever developed that successfully mimicked an eardrum.
“What we find is that the cells, which are called keratinocytes, they love to thrive and migrate and move across this scaffold which helps the healing process,” she said.
“That’s why we want to use silk because we know that it works.”
The device, for which clinical trials are being planned, is surgically placed under a damaged eardrum to provide a platform on which new tissue can grow.
For smaller perforations in the drum, the device dissolves over time after the hole is repaired but for larger-scale damage the device remains in place indefinitely.
The Wellcome Trust, a charity based in Britain, has provided 2.9 million U.S. dollars to fund a clinical trial of the device.
“We are looking at recruiting patients that have chronic middle ear disease, active and inactive, so patients who have more simple perforations – and also patients that have far more complex perforations with disease state present,” Bellekom said.

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The rapid rise of Libya’s General Hifter

A man holds a picture of Gen. Khalifa Hifter during a demonstration in support of the Libyan army under the leadership of Khalifa in Benghazi, Libya, Nov. 6, 2015.  (photo by REUTERS/Esam Omran Al-Fetori)

When Gen. Khalifa Hifter was about to launch Operation Karama (Dignity) in Benghazi, he appeared to be signing his own death warrant when he appeared on TV on May 17, 2014, making an announcement in which he declared war on terror, suspending the interim constitution and suspending the government and the elected General National Congress. No one took him seriously then, and his operation seemed like another episode in Libya’s sporadic mini-wars.

At the time, Benghazi, in eastern Libya, was dominated by different Islamist militias accused of killing over 200 military officers, journalists and civil activists, as well as well-known female activist Salwa Bugaighis on June 14, 2014, right after she cast her vote for the 2014 general election. Back then, Hifter was embarking on what appeared to be an impossible mission to rid Libya’s second-largest city of radical groups once and for all.
The coalition Hifter opposed included Ansar al-Sharia Brigades, listed by the United Nations as a terror group and implicated in the killing of US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi in September 2012. The coalition also included hard-line Islamist militias such as Libya Shield 1, Rafallah al-Sahati Brigade, 17th February Brigades and Benghazi Revolutionary Shura Council. Benghazi was a dangerous city for almost any security official and police officer, and as a military officer himself, Hifter knew that he may also be an assassination target.
However, three years on and Operation Dignity is being celebrated, at least in eastern Libya, as a successful military operation that has so far liberated most of Benghazi, except for small neighborhoods by the seafront. In the meantime, Hifter has transformed himself from a small warlord into an important player in Libya’s chaotic political scene — however controversial he has been. He is now a make-or-break player in shaping the country’s future.
Being a career soldier, Hifter figured that his best chance to succeed is to reorganize the remnants of the Libyan Armed Forces (LAF) that survived the eight-month NATO air campaign in 2011, to oust longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. He started out with a few soldiers and a couple of professional officers who share his fear that they could well be on the assassination list unless they organize themselves into a fighting force.
Hifter reorganized units of LAF, and to help tap into the hundreds of former regime officers — living in hiding or exiled abroad, mainly in Egypt — he pushed the Tobruk-based parliament, which is backing him, to legislate a general amnesty law. This legislation offered amnesty to all former politicians and military cadres who do not have any criminal charges against them.
This was a clever move that earned Hifter wider public support across the country. More importantly, it enabled him to enlist the services of hundreds of well-trained officers from all over Libya, including cities and tribes associated with the former regime of Gadhafi. Today, LAF is truly representative and inclusive of all Libyans without the biases associated with militia formations on ideological, tribal or regional lines.
Many former officers and soldiers simply wanted to go back to their barracks, but not under militia rule, particularly in western Libya, and Hifter has been able to provide that conclusive mechanism. He even reinstated high-ranking officers who have all but been excluded from any official military duties since the regime fell in October 2011.
Today, Hifter leads a sizeable military force that is not only inclusive, but also one that has been able to bring its cadres together once again with one aim to fight terrorism and stabilize the country enough to complete its transition to stable democracy. At least, this is what Hifter has been saying all along.
His forces have recently scored well in their efforts against terror groups, particularly in Benghazi, and already have bases in Zintan and Wershafa in western Libya, as well as in the southern region.
Politically, Hifter has gained the trust of important regional countries including neighboring Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Russia. This is crucial for rebuilding a professional LAF capable of carrying out its duties.
On the third anniversary of Operation Dignity, Hifter chose to demonstrate a real show of force with a full military parade during a graduation ceremony of new recruits, including some 400 new officers and over a thousand soldiers. The celebrations were a message that he will continue his mission once described as suicidal.
In his speech to mark the anniversary, Hifter spoke of building professional armed forces that welcome its cadres, regardless of their backgrounds and loyal only to the country, promising “not to leave the capital Tripoli at the hands of militias,” as he put it.
It seems Hifter is undoubtedly moving ahead and his eyes are set on Tripoli, which is currently under the control of different militias, most of whom are his sworn enemies. It remains unclear if he is willing to use force to take the capital or perhaps find a negotiated way to bring about reconciliation — however difficult that seems to be. On May 2, Hifter met with Fayez al-Sarraj, the UN-backed prime minister, in Abu Dhabi and agreed to cease violence and encourage negotiations.
Whether Hifter is another Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the making — preparing to change his military outfit to a civilian one — or the savior of a shattered country, remains far from crystal clear yet; but for a man like him, the gamble is huge because the stakes are so high.

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