Business Group Fawns Over Trump

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Many U.S. business groups groused about President Obama even as their companies thrived but are lavishing praise on President Trump despite doubts over his first four months, notes Barbara Koeppel. By Barbara Koeppel We’ve heard a lot about fake news.…Read more →

Vía Consortiumnews http://ift.tt/2qq5dmG

U.S. Dooms IS Fighters Leaving Raqqa to Death

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On May 26, the US-backed and formed of Kurdish and Arab units Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) announced that they are ready to guarantee safety for ISIS terrorists if they leave Raqqa within the next few days, ARA News reported. Besides, according to a source in the SDF command, who preferred to remain anonymous, the Kurds […]

Vía Veterans Today http://ift.tt/2rrGpyV

Carla Ortiz: My Transition from Screen Actress to Syrian War Correspondent

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by Carla Ortiz I arrived to the coast line in Syria at 1 am and I woke up few hrs later to the horrible cry of an entire city 20 minutes away from me. There were 10 explosions in total: 4 in Tartous where 36 people died and 55 where injured. Also there was 6 […]

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Norwegian Billionaire Funds World’s Largest Yacht To Clean Up Ocean Plastic

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Wealth is an interesting thing. Some people hold onto every penny for their entire lives just for the sake of it. It becomes a burden when they pass away, their family agonizing over its dispersal more than their death.

There are people who never stack up cash because they spend every penny they have, leaving them in dire situations on occasion, and infuriating others. Wealth in our modern day world is often defined through money — though there are certainly many forms, be it the wealth of love, health, happiness, and so on.

When it comes to the wealth of money, there is often a stigma surrounding the beholder. They are full of themselves, greedy, ruthless. A former fisherman-turned-billionaire from Norway was once one of those businessmen viewed in such a light… until he announced his plans to give most of his fortune away, that is.

Kjell Inge Roekke, the tenth-richest man in Norway, has a net worth of over $2 billion. With a reputation of being “a flamboyant billionaire with an explosive temper and a taste for the supersized, can also call himself an oil baron.”

But in a recent interview with Oslo’s Aftenposen newspaper,  he gave people the opportunity to see him in a whole new light, as he revealed plans to use his money for the betterment of society, beginning with a state-of-the-art ship that will perform marine research.

He plans to use the ship to remove five tonnes of plastic daily from the ocean, melting it down to ensure it does no further harm.

 “Sea covers 70 percent of Earth’s surface and much is not researched,” he said.
With more than eight million tonnes of plastic dumped in our oceans every year, we are, simply put, being overwhelmed by our own waste. Plastics pollution has a direct and deadly effect on wildlife, with thousands of seabirds and sea turtles, seals, and other marine mammals killed annually as a result of ingesting plastic, or getting entangled in it. Endangered wildlife are among them.
But it doesn’t just hurt marine species. It’s also harmful to people, with plastic debris floating in the seawater absorbing harmful pollutants like PCBs, DDT, and PAH, which are highly toxic and have various chronic effects including cancer. Animals eating these plastic pieces absorb the toxins, which then get passed up the food chain.
Roekke, 55, is using his fame and fortune to help alleviate this issue.
Having built his fortune by buying up old boats and modifying them into industrial trawlers, Roekke eventually acquired a stake in a 173-year-old Norwegian conglomerate, where he bought up to 40% of its shares and then merged it with his own Resources Group International. The result? According to media, a pioneer of the American-style of “aggressive capitalism” in Norway.
Despite coming off as charming and friendly, his temper can be nothing short of explosive, so much so that he spent 23 days in prison after being convicted of bribing his way to a boating license. Interesting to note, however, is that after his release, he spent more than $3,000 buying takeout pizzas for his old cellmates.

From pizza to ship, Roekke clearly knows his money is more meaningful than status, even if his reputation gets in the way.

“I want to give back to society the bulk of what I’ve earned,” he said. “This ship is a part of it. The idea of ​​such a ship has evolved over many years.”

The ship, which will be called REV, short for research expedition vessel, will seek to tackle how to control the ever-growing amount of plastic filling up our waters. It will come fitted with various high-tech features, including air drones, an auditorium, and extensive lab space. Conservation organization WWF will manage the ship, with complete independence.

“We are far apart in [our] views on oil, and we will continue to challenge Røkke when we disagree with him,” WFF chief Nina Jensen said, “but in this project we will meet to collectively make a big difference in the environmental struggle.”

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2rrVQHu

Activism Worked! After 146 Years, The Ringling Brothers Take A Final Bow

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What was once known as “the Greatest Show On Earth” has now come to an end, as the Ringling Brothers gave their final performance on Sunday, March 20th in New York. Many across America were saddened by the news that this travelling circus, a household name for 146 years, would be no more. To many others, however, this marked a huge achievement for animal rights and welfare.

Even though this circus was loved and adored by many, it no longer made sense for the Ringling Brothers to continue performing, as declining ticket sales — largely the result of a shift in public opinion regarding circus animal welfare — could no longer support their tremendous operating costs.

I remember the last circus I went to, about 12 years ago with my sister. I was so excited to see all of the acrobatics, tricks, elephants, etc. But, it wasn’t long before I felt like I needed to get out of there, that I wanted no part in supporting something like that. Seeing those giant, majestic animals being forced to perform tricks, so far removed from their natural habitat, was absolutely heartbreaking.

When you then consider the travelling requirements of most circuses, how these animals often spend hours and hours a day cramped inside a small cage inside a moving vehicle — all to entertain us for a few hours — you’re really forced to question your values.

What Do We Value?

I believe that if we were able to see all aspects of what it takes to actually put on a circus and what the animals have to endure we would reconsider visiting such attractions. That is most likely why audiences for the Ringling Brothers have been declining so much in recent years, as awareness is continuing to be raised about what really goes on behind closed doors, and much of the general public no longer wants to support it.

Consider the colossal costs of the travelling circus. It must support the many men, women, and children involved, as well as the animals, their trainers, and their transportation. It needs travelling schoolrooms, musicians, and insurance to cover the whole operation. And somehow, it must turn a profit. Feld Entertainment, the family operation that owns the circus, has determined that the business model simply no longer works.

Voting With Your Dollar

I’d like to point out here that this is a prime example of activism at work. There is tremendous power in voting with your dollar, and as the consumer, you and I have the choice to create the type of world we want to live in. We do this by deciding carefully where we would like to spend our dollars. It’s putting your money where you mouth is in the most literal sense.

You don’t agree with animals being treated unfairly? Then don’t support the circus or other avenues that exploit animals such as aquariums and zoos. Without public consumer support, these businesses — such as the Ringling Brothers Circus and now Seaworld, which will put an end to their orca shows this year — cease to exist.

This is possible because of YOU, the consumer. I won’t get too off topic here, but you can do this with every single thing you spend your money on. Always consider what that money will be supporting and the ethics of the company. This is one extremely powerful way we WILL change the world.

What Will Happen to Ringling Brothers Elephants?

Now that this circus has come to an end, what will be the fate of the elephants who have had their freedom taken away from them? They will be able to retire on a 200-acre-ranch that is already home to 30 other elephants who live a life of relaxation, free of ogling tourists and demanding trainers.

Although this sounds like a nice way to retire, it is important to note that Ringling does continue to breed additional elephants at the conservation centre and plans to eventually put them on public display at a tourist destination.

This is obviously not ideal, but it is a huge step in the right direction. It is much better than having the elephants constantly travelling around and being trained using stressful and potentially harmful methods. And who knows? Maybe no one will show up to support this tourist attraction, and these beautiful creatures can live out their years in peace.

Much Love

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2qZ9pwu

U.S. Army Lost $1 BILLION Worth Of Arms & Equipment In Iraq, Yet The Media Remains Silent

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The Office of Inspector General for the Pentagon’s findings from September 2016 were finally made available to the public on Wednesday as a result of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the human rights group Amnesty International.

The government audit revealed that the Department of Defense (DoD) “did not have accurate, up-to-date records on the quantity and location” of a significant amount of equipment coming into Kuwait and Iraq to provision the Iraqi Army.

You may be wondering, how does the government, the organization we are expected to “trust,” lose track of such an extensive amount of arms? More importantly, where are they going to end up and why are our taxpayer dollars being wasted like this?

How the US Army “Lost Track” of $1 Billion Worth of Weaponry 

This past Wednesday, it was confirmed that the U.S. army lost over $1 billion worth of arms and military equipment designated under the Iraq Train and Equip Fund (ITEF), which was on its way to the Iraqi government in order to help them combat the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS). Now, these items are completely unaccounted for, so they’re literally “lost in transit.”

The Army’s 1st Theater Sustainment Command “did not have effective controls to maintain complete visibility and accountability of ITEF equipment in Kuwait and Iraq prior to transfer to the Government of Iraq, the audit said. Let’s keep in mind that this isn’t just small war items being transferred, but large commercial vehicles and weaponry.

Patrick Wilcken, Amnesty International’s Arms Control and Human Rights Researcher, explained: “This audit provides a worrying insight into the US Army’s flawed – and potentially dangerous – system for controlling millions of dollars’ worth of arms transfers to a hugely volatile region.”

This isn’t the only time the U.S. has lost arms, either. The U.S. Government Accountability Office has published ample evidence proving the Pentagon has poorly managed its finances, such as when it lost $500 million in U.S. military aid to Yemen. The public feared that the military equipment would be found and used by terrorist groups, much like the situation now in Iraq. However, let’s keep in mind that this wouldn’t be anything “new” per se, since the U.S. government already sells arms to terrorist groups overseas. You can read more about that in our CE article here.

Wilcken continued: “It makes for especially sobering reading given the long history of leakage of US arms to multiple armed groups committing atrocities in Iraq, including the armed group calling itself the Islamic State.”

Congress actually decided that the ITEF would receive $715 million more last year in funding, despite already being a $1.6 billion program. Perhaps the program will receive less funding now that the U.S. army has proven its incompetence (though this was already known given its previous “lost” arms).

According to Amnesty International, the transfers included  “tens of thousands of assault rifles worth $28 million, hundreds of mortar rounds and hundreds of Humvee armoured vehicles” to the Iraqi Army.

Wilcken concludes:

After all this time and all these warnings, the same problems keep re-occurring. This should be an urgent wake-up call for the US, and all countries supplying arms to Iraq, to urgently shore up checks and controls. Sending millions of dollars’ worth of arms into a black hole and hoping for the best is not a viable counter-terrorism strategy; it is just reckless.

Despite the Pentagon’s promise to do better, many people doubt their capabilities given their previous track record.

The Pentagon Has Lost Trillions of Dollars

Unlike every other business and organization in the United States, the Pentagon does not get audited on a yearly basis. To be clear, this is illegal. Legislation that was passed in the early 90s states that all government agencies must be audited on an annual basis. However, since the Pentagon doesn’t get audited yearly, an astounding $10 trillion in taxpayer money has gone completely unaccounted for since 1996.

“Over the last 20 years, the Pentagon has broken every promise to Congress about when an audit would be completed,” the director of the Audit the Pentagon coalition, Rafael DeGennaro, explained. “Meanwhile, Congress has more than doubled the Pentagon’s budget.”

Not only has the Pentagon’s budget increased year after year, but it will continue to do so without question, despite the fact that tons of this money is wasted or unaccounted for. This seems strange, especially after the Washington Post exposed that the Pentagon had recently buried a report that proved they wasted $125 billion. The Pentagon even tried to hide this internal study out of fear that the U.S. government would decrease its budget, making it more than a little ironic that the Trump administration chose to increase it instead. You can read about this in our CE article here.

There are many more examples of the army losing money. The army lost $5.8 billion worth of supplies between 2003 and 2011, which it claimed was the result of moving equipment between reserve and regular units. As a result, the Pentagon Inspector General explained in a 2012 report that units “may experience equipment shortages that could hinder their ability to train soldiers and respond to emergencies.”

You can read more in the following CE article:

The Pentagon Has Never Been Audited & Trillions Of Dollars Are Unaccounted For. Where Has It Gone?

Why Is There No Mainstream Media Coverage?

Given the gravity of the situation at hand, it seems strange that mainstream media hasn’t covered this topic extensively (yet). This isn’t necessarily a surprise, since it’s well-known that mainstream news outlets are essentially owned and operated by the government.

Corporations and government agencies have the ability to manipulate news stories and will often completely halt them if the information is too sensitive or paints them in a negative light (even if it’s the truth). Though this may not be what’s happening here, it’s certainly a possibility.

For further information on this subject, I suggest you look into Sharyl Attkisson and Amber Lyon, who are both well-known mainstream media reporters and journalists that exposed how news outlets cater to political, corporate, and other special interests and are actually funded by them. Mainstream media outlets are routinely paid by the U.S. government as well as foreign governments to selectively report and distort information on certain events. (source)(source)

Let’s not forget about Operation Mockingbird, a CIA-based initiative to control mainstream media.

Despite the lack of transparency within the world of current events today, I encourage you to use your critical thinking skills and continue to search for the truth! More disclosure is occurring every year and we’ve seen major hurdles such as the Freedom of Information Act and the slow demise of the cabal’s power. Let’s continue to share information and uncover the truth!

Vía Collective Evolution http://ift.tt/2qtSHBN

Taking Down the Real Monuments to Slavery

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  By Jack Mullen for Veterans Today “Envy, that does with misery reside, The joy and the revenge of ruin’d pride.“ —John Dryden European-America is being stolen; with hardly any notice or opposition, white, European America is being deconstructed. All over the South, America’s history, monuments, heritage, identity and culture is being erased. Marxists, nihilists, Zionists/Communist, deconstructionists, […]

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Egypt strikes ‘terrorist camps’ in Libya in response to attack on Coptic Christians (VIDEOS)

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Egypt’s president also vowed to continue striking bases used to train militants and who carry out terrorist attacks in his country, regardless of the camps’ location.

Vía Infowars http://ift.tt/2qm0AOt