World's longest bullet train service launched in China


China launched services Wednesday on the world’s longest high-speed rail route, the latest milestone in the country’s rapid and — sometimes troubled — super fast rail network.

The opening of the new 2,298-kilometre (1,425-mile) line between Beijing and Guangzhou means passengers will be whisked from the capital to the southern commercial hub in just eight hours, compared with the 22 hours previously required.

State broadcaster China Central Television showed the 9:00 am (0100 GMT) departure of the first train live from Beijing West Railway Station and its arrival later in Guangzhou at about 5:00 pm.

It also carried occasional live reports inside the train throughout the day, showing passengers toting cameras to apparently snap commemorative photos, as well as shots from outside as it sped through the countryside.

Another train departed Guangzhou for the capital at 10:00 am, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The train departing Beijing travelled at an average speed of 300 kilometres per hour and made stops in four cities — Shijiazhuang, Zhengzhou, Wuhan on the Yangtze River and Changsha before arriving in Guangzhou.

State media have reported that December 26 was chosen to start passenger service on the Beijing-Guangzhou line to commemorate the birth in 1893 of revered Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

African migrants face 'impossible' life in Greece


Stuck in a small Athens flat all day to avoid being caught by police, earning another stint in prison and possibly a beating, 29-year-old Cameroonian Eugene Manaa rues the day he came to Greece.

“Life is not just difficult here. It’s impossible,” says Manaa, who recently spent two months in prison on the island of Crete for illegal entry into Greece.

“There’s no work, no money, no housing,” he tells AFP. “There are fifteen of us sharing a flat, we face police checks at every corner, we are subjected to racism and we cannot go to another country.”

Like many of his compatriots, Manaa is among tens of thousands of undocumented migrants caught in a vicious trap.

Lured to the European Union from war-torn homes in search of safety and a better future, they find themselves in Greece at the worst possible moment in the country’s postwar history.

— Hostile environment —

Near-bankruptcy, recession and soaring unemployment have created a hostile environment for migrants and refugees who are seen to be taking jobs from suffering, law-abiding, tax-paying Greeks.

For the past few months, the government has been rounding up migrants who cannot prove residency and placing them in detention centres for repatriation. Over 61,000 people have been inspected since August and over 4,000 have been detained according to police figures.

Ironically, the operation is code-named Xenios Zeus, named after supreme ancient Greek god Zeus, protector of guests.

“You go out to buy bread and you vanish for three months, it happened to me,” says Eric, an Ivorian just released from a detention centre in Corinth.

Worse still, gangs of racist thugs now roam Athens and other main cities by night, looking for foreigners to beat up.

Violent attacks on migrants have escalated after the political success of a neo-Nazi group, Golden Dawn, which in June won over 400,000 votes in national elections and sent 18 lawmakers to parliament.

Though police have been unable to find hard evidence linking Golden Dawn to the attacks, migrant groups say victim testimonies incriminating supporters of the ultra-nationalist group are irrefutable.

A Congolese man who declines to give his name takes out his cellphone to show a picture of a friend, lying on a hospital bed after being stabbed on the street in one such attack.

“Four people attacked him,” says Guy, a fellow Congolese from Kinshasa.

“They chased him down the street like a goat.”

“When I first arrived in Greece in 2011 there was not so much racism. Now it’s very hard,” says Guy, lowering his head.

The response of police authorities to these attacks is at best half-hearted. Rights groups say migrants are often discouraged from lodging complaints, and some officers are themselves suspected of beatings that go unpunished.

Out of a population of 10.9 million, Greece has around 1.5 million immigrants of whom around 600,000 lack residency papers. The largest group is Albanian but most come from Asian and African countries.

“A month ago, the other residents of the building who are Greek held a meeting and told us to leave,” says Eric.

“A few days later at the bakery, a woman spat at me, saying ‘Black man, why are you here, go back to your country’,” adds Eugene.

Many of these men would like nothing more than to leave Greece for other EU countries, where some have relatives and friends.

But hundreds are intercepted at the country’s borders, or by authorities in neighbouring countries and sent back to Greece.

“Some of these men have lost four, five consecutive air tickets after being intercepted at the airport,” says Father Maurice Joyeux, a Jesuit priest who holds mass for them every Sunday.

Unable to make a living, the small group face additional humiliation in having to ask their families and friends in Africa for help.

“I have to ask friends in Africa to send money so I can pay my rent,” says Manaa, reflecting on the bitter irony of his condition.

‘White Student Union’ founder compares club to neo-Nazi Greek party


The founder of a “White Students Union” at Towson University cited Greece’s neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party as a model in an interview explaining his intentions to RT on Friday.

In the interview, Matthew Heimbach outlined his plans for the organization becoming a positive influence on the school, saying it was “kind of [like] the idea where you have political parties like Golden Dawn, which take care of Greek people first.”

After winning 18 seats in the Greek parliament for the first time in May, Golden Dawn’s leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, warned that “The time for fear has come for those who betrayed this homeland.” The party has subsequently been accused of engaging violent assaults against immigrants, a practice abetted by Greek police.

Heimbach obliquely referenced this practice, saying his group engaged in “safety patrols” looking for “people who have perpetrated violent crimes.”

The group will also bring in guest speakers to discuss “white identity” issues, Heimbach said, and protest policies like affirmative action, which he accused of being discriminatory against white students, and the North American Free Trade Agreement, which he said “sent our jobs overseas to third-world countries like Mexico that undercut our wages and put us out of work.”

Watch the interview, posted on YouTube on Friday by RT

"Blacks are not likely to number themselves among the forty-six million Americans today who can trace the origins of their family wealth to the Homestead Act of 1863, because almost all of that land was allocated to whites through restrictions expressly designed to deny access to blacks.’ They cannot include themselves among the major beneficiaries of the trillions of dollars of wealth accumulated through the appreciation of housing assets secured by federally insured loans between 1932 and 1962 because 98 percent of FHA loans made during that era went to whites via the openly racist categories utilized in the agency’s official manuals for appraisers.’ Most blacks know that past discrimination continues to influence contemporary struggles to accumulate assets because wealth is inherited and passed down across generations.

In recent years, moreover, changes in the tax code have further skewed opportunities and life chances along racial lines by giving favored treatment to those forms of income most likely to represent the fruits of past and present discrimination like inheritance income and capital gains, while lessening the value of income gained through work. The living legacy of past discrimination combines with the impact of contemporary discriminatory practices in mortgage lending, real estate sales, automobile credit financing, and employment to impose artificial impediments against asset accumulation among African Americans."

George Lipsitz (via wretchedoftheearth)

For all those white people who like to think that their ancestors bootstrapped themselves out of poverty without any reliance on government assistance.

(via downlo)

(via downlo)

"Conservatives cannot govern well for the same reason that vegetarians cannot prepare a world-class boeuf bourguignon: If you believe that what you are called upon to do is wrong, you are unlikely to do it very well."

political scientist Michael Wolfe, quoted in Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine (2007)

(Source: newsfrompoems)

Uruguay takes 'war on drugs' in new direction: The state as dealer


Uruguay has long been at the vanguard of social reform in Latin America. Today, it is on the verge of passing into law one of its most radical ideas yet.

The Broad Front – the center-left coalition that holds power – is proposing a state monopoly over the production and distribution of marijuana, making Uruguay the first national government to sell cannabis directly to citizens. The government says the measure is necessary to combat rising drug-related crime, decrease health risks for users, and counter ineffectiveUS policies on drugs. But within Uruguay, interest groups have labeled the legislation totalitarian, while some international bodies argue it breaches global conventions.

“We’re putting this forward as international policy,” says Sebastian Sabini, president of the parliamentary commission created to debate the bill. “The war on drugs has failed. There are more consumers and more violence.”

Uruguay is often overshadowed by the far larger economies of its neighbors Brazil and Argentina. But the country has made a name for itself with a long history of pushing the envelope on social issues.

In 1918, Uruguay became one of the first countries in the region to officially separate the state from the Roman Catholic Church. It implemented South America’s oldest mandatory pension system in 1896, and a bill to decriminalize abortion is expected to pass later this year.

Florida man charged with hate crime says he ‘only shot a ni**er’


Walton Henry Butler, a 59-year-old white male, was arrested after he admitted shooting Everett Gant with a .22 rifle. Butler was charged with attempted murder with a hate crime enhancement.

Gant, an African-American, is in stable condition at Bay Medical Center.

According to the arresting affidavit, an incident occurred earlier in the day when a Pamela Rogers came to Butler’s apartment in the Pine Ridge Apartment complex on Garrison Avenue in Port St. Joe with a child in tow. Butler immediately used a racial slur to refer to the child.

Investigators discovered that Butler had been making similar racial slurs to other children in the complex during recent days.

Rogers became upset and left Butler’s apartment and Gant went to Butler’s apartment to discuss the comments.

Upon arriving at the apartment, Butler shot Gant between the eyes and shut his sliding glass door, leaving Everett to bleed outside the door.

Butler called 911, finished cooking supper, sat down and began eating. Nugent arrived on the scene and contacted Butler by phone, at which time Butler told Nugent to come in, he was eating dinner and had put up the gun.

Nugent said Butler acted as if inconvenienced when put under arrest, saying he could not understand the problem as “he had only shot a ni**er.”

 Butler was in the Gulf County Jail after first appearance this morning.

India floods kill 79, displace two million


GUWAHATI, India — At least 79 people have died and 2.2 million forced to leave their homes over the last week as torrential monsoon rains triggered floods across India’s northeast, officials said Monday.

Assam state, which borders Bhutan and Bangladesh, has been worst hit with the massive Brahmaputra river breaching its banks, while extensive flooding has also hit the states of Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur and Meghalaya.

The Assam state government said 26 of 27 districts had endured flash floods as heavy rains destroyed thousands of flimsy homes, blocked roads and swamped fields.

“The people of Assam are facing one of the worst floods in recent times that has inflicted considerable damage,” Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said in the state capital Guwahati after touring the area by helicopter.

“The central and state governments are doing everything possible to provide relief to the people,” he added.

The Assam government said in a statement that an estimated 2.2 million people had been displaced, with thousands of homes wrecked and more than 500,000 people being sheltered in relief camps.

(via fsufeministalumna)

"Here’s a question: if Barack Obama had to go through a brutal process of defending the doctrines, sermons and ideology of a church he merely attended, why is Mitt Romney exempted from explaining the doctrines and statements and ideology of a church he was an actual leading official in?"

Andrew Sullivan, at The Dish.


(via thesmithian)

That’s a very good question…

(via abaldwin360)



(via womanistgamergirl)

‘Trayvon Martin’ gun range targets sold out in two days



A person selling gun range targets modeled after slain Florida teen Trayvon Martin says that their “main motivation was to make money off the controversy.”

WKMG’s Mike DeForest reported on Friday that the unidentified seller told him that the targets “sold out in 2 days.”

“The response is overwhelming,” the seller said.

While the item appears to have been removed from, a cached version of the page was still available at the time of publication.

Photos of the item, which was titled “10 Pack Trayvon Martin Targets,” showed crosshairs over a hoodie similar to the one Trayvon Martin was wearing when he was shot by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman in February. The figure has a bag of Skittle in his pocket and is holding what appears to be a can of iced tea, similar to what Martin had purchased before being gunned down. The pack of 10 targets was being sold for $8.

“Everyone knows the story of Zimmerman and Martin,” a description on the targets reads. “Obviously we support Zimmerman and believe he is innocent and that he shot a thug. Each target is printed on thick, high quality poster paper with a matte finish! The dimensions are 12″x18″ ( The same as Darkotic Zombie Targets) This is a Ten Pack of Targets.”

The seller’s ID was listed as “hillerarmco” from Virginia Beach, Virginia. A website by the same name is registered to Hiller Armament Company in Virginia Beach, but the associated phone number had been disconnected.

Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara told WKMG that this type of “hatred” just makes his client’s defense even more problematic.


(via blarghblat-deactivated20120525)


There are more bullets to this list, but it’s telling that they list death as the first way to escape your student loans.


There are more bullets to this list, but it’s telling that they list death as the first way to escape your student loans.


I think this an accurate summary of the horrors policy makers face today; both the sheer weight of work to be gotten through, and the total lack of public understanding of the impreciseness of the state when it comes to big issues of the day.


I think this an accurate summary of the horrors policy makers face today; both the sheer weight of work to be gotten through, and the total lack of public understanding of the impreciseness of the state when it comes to big issues of the day.

(via green-street-politics)

(Source: anarchistart, via radicalstellnotales)


Yeah, silly Sue!


Yeah, silly Sue!

(via scar-lip-deactivated20120709)

A Brief History of Cuba:

Cuba is located ninety miles south of Key West, and lies at the entrance to the Gulf of Mexico between Florida and Central America. It is the largest island in the West Indies. Cuba’s geography is diverse. Most of Cuba is low, rolling country with hilly parts. The eastern end of the island is mountainous. Most of the southern part of the island is very flat and suffers from tsunamis driven by hurricanes. The highest point in Cuba is Pico Turquino, in the southeast. Its altitude is 6560 feet. From the east the land drops suddenly under the sea. There are few inland lakes, and the only navigable river is the Rio Cauto. Cuba has a tropical climate and a flora and fauna that are generally found in this climate. A large population of reptiles, insects and wide array of plants. Cuba was discovered by Cristobal Colon in 1492. It was settled nine years later in 1511 by his son Diego Colon who founded the city of Santiago three years later. Its original inhabitants the Arawak Indians were wiped out by the Spaniards. Cuba remained under Spanish rule for the next four centuries. Except for a brief period of British occupation in the eighteenth century. The soul of the Cuban nation was forged during the nineteenth century. Its teacher born in Havana on November 20, 1788 was Father Felix Varela. The culminations of his philisophical writings in Cuba was his Lecciones de filosofia which was for decades the textbook in logic, metaphysics, ethics, natural philosophy, and chemistry in the colleges of not only of Cuba, but of Mexico and other countries of Spanish origin. A random sample of the section headings give you an idea of Varela’s thought: “On the Good Use of Reason and on Its Opposites, Fanaticism and Pedanticism;” “On the Light of Reason and Natural Right;” “On the relations of Man with Society;” “On the Nature of Society and of Patriotism;” “The Knowledge Which Man Has of His Creator and His Consequent Obligations.” He viewed science and religion as not being in conflict. That one could not be blind to the truth surrounding one, and that truth would lead one closer to God. Among his studentswere the leaders of the ten years war. The Ten Years’ War was led by the Cespedes and Agramonte families who liberated large number of slaves that joined together for the independence of Cuba. Although this struggle failed it led to further uprisings in the 1890’s. One of the leaders described Varela as “the one who taught us Cubans to think.” These works and students went on to have a dramatic influence on Jose Marti the “Apostol” of the revolt against Spain in the 1890’s.

Jose Marti was born in Havana in 1853. At 17 he was exiled to Spain for his opposition to colonial rule. While in Spain he published a pamphlet exposing the horrors of political imprisonment in Cuba, which he himself had experienced. During his exile he became an accomplished writer and journalist drifting throughout Latin America trying to avoid living under dictatorship. His views on racism, liberty, class, patriotism, were heavily influenced by Varela. Marti stated, “there is no racial hatred, because there are nor races… the universal identity of man is evident in his victorious love and his turbulent appetites. The same soul, equal and eternal, emanates from bodies different in shape and color.” He was annoyed at the talk of social classes. Because to “recognize their existence is to contribute to them.” To refuse to would result in their destruction which was his end goal. Marti’s analysis of societal conflicts were that the root cause was not race or class based, but rather the ancient conflict between good and evil. In 1878 he returned to Cuba under a general amnesty, but he conspired against the Spanish authorities and again was banished. Marti then lived in New York from 1881 to 1895. In 1895, he left to join the war for Cuban independence that he had painstakingly organized. There he died in one of the first battles.

Cuba’s independence came about when the United States won the Spanish American War in 1898 and granted Cuba independence in 1902 after four years of U.S. occupation. The Platt Amendment was the price the Cuban rebels paid to get a withdrawal of U.S. troops. This amendment, grafted into the Cuban constitution of 1902, guaranteed the right of the U.S. to intervene in Cuban affairs to protect U.S. interests on the island. During the next thirty two years the U.S. continuously intervened in Cuban internal affairs.

The result was the rise of a corrupt political culture with two parties: Liberal and Conservative (which by the way wasn’t conservative) who often had business holdings with American corporations. This process continued until the election of Machado in 1924. Extending his rule to a second term by dubious means Machado’s administration fell right into the Great Depression. This aggravated the already existing resistance to his regime. In 1933 the crisis reached breaking point. Major uprisings along with pressure from U.S. ambassador Sumner Welles led to Machado’s resignation and the establishment of a U.S. backed regime under Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, son of the same named patriot of the Ten Years’ War. On September 4, 1933, Sergeant Fulgencio Batista led a revolt with student revolutionaries. Fulgencio Batista, a mulatto of modest background, would oversee and manipulate the Cuban political landscape for the next 26 years. Ramon Grau San Martin, a university professor, became provisional president, but refused to swear allegiance to a the 1901 Constitution with the planks that contained recognition of the Platt Amendment as US warships circled the island. 127 days later his government is brought down by a Batista led coup. Grau’s government had not been recognized by the United States. In 1934 the U.S. recognized that the Platt Amendment had been abolished. The end of the liberal and “conservative” governments led to the formation of two new parties “el Autentico” and later “el Ortodoxo” which claimed to be against the “corrupt Autentico’s.” Between 1934 and 1940 Batista controlled the Cuban government through a series of puppet regimes. In 1940 a constitutional convention meets in which all political forces in Cuban society are represented. After the new Cuban constitution is established in 1940. Batista is elected in 1940 as the constitutional president. The communist party made up part of the coalition that brought Batista to power. Batista described himself as a “progressive socialist.” He used the communist party to take control of the labor unions.

In 1944, Batista is defeated in a fair election and Grau San Martin is elected President. In 1948 Grau’s successor Carlos Prio Socarras is elected President. During the Autentico regime’s rule political gangsterism swept through Cuba and shook Cuban society to its very core. According to the constitution of 1940 the University of Havana was an area in which civil and millitary police were not allowed. The result was that these political gangsters were able to murder with impunity and use the University as refuge from the authorities. These groups were used by the Autentico’s to wipe out communist infiltration of the Unions. The situation worsened under Prio Socarras to the point that Fulgencio Batista was able to justify a coup de etat which took place on March 10, 1952. One of these political gangsters Fidel Castro would plan an ill fated attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953. Thanks to Batista’s abrogation of the constitution and an economic downturn in the 1950’s opposition to Batista begins to grow. Less than two years after the failed attack, Batista declares an amnesty in which the Castro brothers are released from prison. Castro leaves for Mexico to train and organize. He returns on the Granma and lands in Cuba. Taking up residence in the Sierra Maestra. Four months later the Directorio Revolucionario assaults the Presidential palace, but fails in assassinating Batista and are crushed. Leaving Castro’s July 26 movement as the main opposition group. Nearly a year later a general strike fails. Towards the end of 1958 the United States under the Eisenhower Administration began an arms embargo on the Batista Regime which is interpreted as U.S. support for Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries.

On January 1, 1959 Batista leaves Cuba and Castro takes over Cuba’s government. During the next year and a half Fidel Castro consolidates power and siezes properties. Castro allies himself with the Soviet Union. Due to the residual anti-Americanism left over from the Platt-Amendment the Cuban people enthusiastically support Castro’s independence from the United States. In 1961 Cuban exiles trained and armed by the C.I.A. formed Brigade 2506 which landed at the “Playa de Giron” otherwise known as the Bay of Pigs. Due to leaks within the State Department the Cuban government had for knowledge of the invasion. In addition to preserve “plausible deniability” the Kennedy administration renegged on its pledge of air and naval support. Cuban exile troops were left on the beaches to get shot up and or imprisoned. A number of American pilots refused to abandon them and died in action. Due to this fiasco and the Kennedy administration’s percieved or actual indecisiveness the USSR believed that it could place offensive missiles in Cuba. This would alter the strategic balance of power. In 1962, Soviet nuclear missiles could only reach Western Europe; while the United States had ICBM’s capable of targeting Soviet territory in the United States as well medium range weapons in Turkey. Missiles in Cuba would give the USSR the ability to accurately target U.S. assets and population centers.

The result of these developments was the Cuban Missile Crisis and the resulting Kennedy-Kruschev pact which guaranteed Castro’s rule for the next thirty years.In 1966 the Cuban Adjustment Act was signed into law. Over a million and a half Cubans sought political refuge in the United States. Building an enclave of economic and cultural power in Miami which has changed the face of South Florida. Cuban exiles organized into a huge umbrella of political and para-millitary organizations throughout this period. Groups such as Alpha 66, Commandos L, and Omega 7 targeted Castro agents abroad and millitary and security targets inside the island. In the 1970’s Cuba embarked on millitary adventurism in Africa and Latin America. Angola, Ethiopia, Nicaragua, and El Salvador just to name a few nations would experience revolutionary “struggles” aided and abetted by Cuban arms and or Cuban troops. In 1980, Cubans seeking freedom invaded the Peruvian embassy in Havana. The resulting wave of refugees came to be kn own as the Mariel boatlift. Castro in a cynical attempt to taint the exiles mixed in mental patients, homosexuals, and criminals into the mass of refugees. These elements totalled less than 5% of the over 125,000 Cubans that entered the U.S.A. During the Reagan Administration, Radio Marti began to operate. This terminated Castro’s monopoly on information. As a result human rights, and dissident groups began to gain strength and momentum. The knowledge that somone out their could know the truth filled them with hope and energy. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 placed the Castro regime in dire straits. It’s economy shrank by more than 60% as its Soviet subsidies dried up. During this special period Castro issued a new mantra for a weary populace: Socialism or Death. The Cuban people answered by taking to the ocean in innertubes and risking death on the high seas. In addition some of the banners proclaiming socialism or death were vandalized to read socialism is death. On July 13, 1994 a group composed of primarily women and children was attacked by the Cuban coast guard. According to eyewitness accounts the women begged for the lives of their children and the Castro’s henchmen responded by using high pressure hoses to wash women and babies overboard to their deaths. The coastguard then rammed and sank the ship. A month later, on August 5, 1994, this incident sparked uprisings in Havana. Once again Castro offered the people a chance to leave and the rafter crisis overshadowed the uprising. Scores of dissidents and human rights monitors were detained. One year later on July 13, 1995 a group of Cuban exiles traveled into Cuban waters to another those who died, a year earlier in the sinking of the 13 de Marzo. The flotilla’s lead boat Democracia, was rammed by two Cuban gunboats. Crew members were injured. Less than eight months later, on February 24, 1996, two Brothers to the Rescue Planes were shot out of the sky by Cuban MiGs. They had been shceduled to travel to the Bahamas, but thanks to the combined actions of the spy Roque, and the Cuban government they were forced to cancel their flight plan. Roque arrived earlier, with out Brothers To The Rescue’s knowledge, and incited the Cuban refugees in the Bahamian camps to riot. The Cuban government decided to send a delegation on February 24. Brothers to the Rescue was told not to land in the Bahamas. Leaving them their back-up plan which was to do a patrol in the Florida straits for Cuban rafters near the 24th parallel. They were assassinated in a premeditated fashion by the Cuban government. The Cuban government botched the assassination with their failure to blow Jose Basulto’s plane out of the sky. Thus, they were unable to turn Roque into a survivor and witness of Brothers to the Rescue’s intentions.


(Source: thepeacefulterrorist)