Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Chevron Tries to Apologise for Pennsylvania Fracking Explosion with Free Pizza

00 pizza and beer. 09.12

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Last Tuesday, residents of the small town of Bobtown PA woke to an explosion and a massive high-temperature fire, at the site of a fracking well owned by Chevron Corporation. Last Tuesday, a Chevron well in the preparation stages for hydraulic fracturing exploded 50 miles south of Pittsburgh PA causing a fire that lasted for four days and left one Chevron contractor unaccounted for and another one injured. It took five days for emergency crews to extinguish the fire; the explosion shook the small town of Bobtown, located in the far southwestern corner of the state. The blast gave off a loud hissing noise that one could hear hundreds of yards away.

One resident told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that the explosion in a shale formation where Chevron spent time fracking “sounded like a jet engine going five feet above your house”. John Kuis, 57, of nearby Dilliner PA, said that his dog started growling unusually at 06.45 on 11 February, “then, the house just sort of shock and there was a big loud bang”. The Philadelphia Daily News since discovered that residents of Bobtown… a census-designated place of fewer than 1,000 people that revolves mostly around coal mining… started to receive coupons for one free pizza and a two-litre soda from a local Bobtown pizzeria.

On its website, the company said, “Chevron recognises the effect this has had on the community. We value being a responsible member of this community and will continue to strive to achieve incident-free operations. We’re committed to taking action to safeguard our neighbours, our employees, our contractors, and the environment”. Daily News reporters were able to confirm with Bobtown Pizza that it was, in fact, Chevron that bought about 100 of the 12 USD (430 Roubles. 13.25 CAD. 13.35 AUD. 8.75 Euros. 7.20 UK Pounds) coupons, which expire on 1 May 2014.The coupon is for one free large pizza and a two-litre drink at Bobtown Pizza, a shop a few miles away from the drill site.

Activists say that the pizza coupon is just the most outlandish of the many ways Chevron and other oil and gas companies have tried to soften their image, as fracking stirs controversy over environmental and health impacts. Gloria Forouzan, a leader with Pittsburgh-based anti-fracking group Marcellus Protest, said, “How arrogant and stupid do they think people are? What (fracking companies) are doing in terms of PR is insidious. They advertise, and they advertise heavily, and for that, (people) are basically willing to lie down and let the companies walk all over them”.

19 February 2014

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_19/Chevron-apologizes-for-Pennsylvania-fracking-explosion-with-free-pizza-0282/

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Graffiti-Spraying 84-Year-Old Nun Jailed for Three Years for Breaking into Nuclear Facility

00 Sr Megan Rice. 19.02.14

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On Tuesday, local media reported that a federal judge sentenced an elderly nun who broke into the supposedly-most carefully-guarded nuclear facilities in the USA to nearly three years in prison. Sister Megan Gillespie Rice, 84, cut through fences and several layers of security at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge TN along with two other members of Transform Now Plowshares (a part of the Plowshares Movement pacifist group) in July 2012. They spent two hours in the complex before security guards caught them. During that time, they hoisted banners, spray painted messages like “work for peace, not war”, and tossed human blood on a building used to store and process highly enriched uranium used to make nuclear bombs. The incident prompted a congressional review of security at American nuclear facilities.

Rice, imprisoned since her conviction last year, urged the judge to impose the maximum sentence for her crimes at a four-hour sentencing hearing. The Tennessean quoted Rice as saying, “Please, have no leniency on me. To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honour you could give me”. Federal judge Amul Thapar {a Hard Right appointee of G W Bush: editor} said that he struggled to find the right sentence to balance Rice’s past good works with the need to deter others from breaking the law to pursue political goals. Thapar didn’t oblige, but he did say that breaking the law wasn’t the right way to pursue political goals. He said that he hoped a significant prison sentence would deter others from following the same path and bring them “back to the political system I fear that they’ve given up on”. The newspaper reported that he sentenced Rice to 35 months in prison. Thapar sentenced fellow anti-nuclear activists Michael Walli, 64, and Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, to five years and two months in prison because of their “criminal histories”.

The court didn’t immediately update its records to show the sentences imposed and we couldn’t reach either the prosecutors or the Plowshares group for an immediate comment. The New York Times said that Rice, a native New Yorker, has had 50 arrests for acts of civil disobedience and once served a six-month prison term. It said that the authorities arrested her in 1998 she at a protest at the School of the Americas, a US Army school at Fort Benning in Georgia that taught Latin American soldiers to fight leftist insurgencies. It said that some went on to commit human rights abuses. Rice served six months in federal prison. She said in a 2012 interview with the Times, “It was a great eye-opener. When you’ve had a prison experience, it minimises your needs very much”. Rice said that nuclear arms were “the issue”, the most pressing one of our times, noting, “It’s the criminality of this 70-year industry. We spend more on nuclear arms than on the Departments of Education, Health, and Transportation, disaster relief, and a number of other government agencies that I can’t remember”.

19 February 2014

Voice of Russia World Service

http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_02_19/Graffiti-spraying-84-year-old-nun-jailed-for-three-years-for-breaking-into-nuclear-facility-1570/

Editor’s Note:

Judge Thapar is an extreme Hard Rightist… not only was he a Bush appointee, he hangs around with nutter groups such as the Federalist Society, a Hard Right “libertarian” group (they believe in “free enterprise” anarchy with no government regulation to protect people from the rapacious rich). One can see why he sentenced these “criminals” to such disproportionate terms. It looks like he wants to muzzle the left… but that he doesn’t want to seem to be “unconstitutional” about it (at least, that puts him a notch above McCarthyites, who didn’t care how they attacked people).

Betcha that Thapar makes a fuss about “Russian totalitarianism” in his rants at the country club and amongst his rightwing pals. His sentence proves that the clamour raised by the USA about Russian “illegality” and injustice” is just mere wind. The USA DOES have political prisoners and I’d say that judges like Thapar are the Freislers of today. The USA has no grounds to complain about the Pussy Riot sentence or the Russian laws on homosexuality and minors… the USA puts people in prison for embarrassing the government. I’ll bet you that one reason Thapar issued these sentences was that his greedster pals at the country club would ostracise him if he didn’t, and he’d lose his entrée to Hard Right venues. Of course, I don’t know this for certain, but it isn’t without the realm of possibility. Shitbirds of a feather DO flock together. The nun and her pals deserved a year in the can for trespassing, creating a public nuisance, and vandalism… that is, the judge should’ve sentenced them to “time served”. The sentence he actually passed was overly harsh and out of proportion. You can see what hanging around Hard Righties does to one’s sense of propriety, don’t you?

One last thing… the security at the nuclear site was “privatised“… that is, the greedsters cut corners on operations so that the owners could get more “return” (it also shows us that entrusting our security to private corporations is a joke). They were the ones who deserved to be in the dock. If there was real (not bogus) security, the activists would’ve never even gotten in. Note well Judge Thapar’s SILENCE on that. Ah, yes, they JOYS of the “Free Enterprise” system…

BMD

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The Situation in the Ukraine: Russia Calls it an Attempted Coup

00 Kiev riots. 19.02.14

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The Kremlin believes that one can interpret the recent events in the Ukraine as an attempted coup, and that the responsibility for the bloodshed lies exclusively upon extremist oppositionists. Moscow demanded that the leaders of the Maidan mob stop the bloodshed and to resume dialogue with the authorities.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich designated Thursday (20 February) as a day of mourning for those killed in the riots. Clashes erupted late Tuesday in central Kiev, according to the latest figures, 25 people are dead. The MVDU reported arresting 58 people and opening nearly 40 criminal cases related to the riots. To prevent theft of weapons, ammunition, and other military hardware, Minoborony Ukrainy beefed up security at military arsenals and warehouses. At the same time, it denied reports that it deployed army units to disperse the rioters in Kiev.

The SBU began an investigation into the actions of individual politicians in re their attempt to seize state power.  In turn, the MVDU blamed the violence in Kiev on opposition politicians. MVDU chief Vitaly Zakharchenko said that the MVDU warned opposition politicians of firearms carried by extremists on the Maidan, noting. “We told them about the radicals’ stance, that they’re ready and prepared to use weapons. In my opinion, all responsibility for the events that occurred should lie on the shoulders of these irresponsible politicians”. Radical groups continue to occupy administrative buildings and they continue to block firefighters and other first responders from controlling fires in Kiev.

Presidential spokesman Dmitri Peskov said that President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich discussed the situation the night before. However, he emphasised that Moscow didn’t give and doesn’t intend to give advice to the Ukrainian leadership on how to resolve the situation, saying, “The Russian leadership’s position and that of the President of the Russian Federation on the events in the Ukraine is to wait for a speedy settlement of the situation. How, in what way, and by what means this settlement will come, the president (of Russia) thinks that such is the exclusive prerogative of the legitimate Ukrainian authorities. The President of the Russian Federation will never give or gives advice to his Ukrainian counterpart on the subject of what to do, how to act, and so on, and has no intention to give such advice in future”.

Moscow believes that one can interpret the actions of Ukrainian radicals as an attempted coup, and that all responsibility for what happened lies upon the extremists. Peskov said, “From the point of view of the Russian leadership, responsibility for what’s happening in the country lies entirely on extremist elements, in our view, one should treat their actions as an attempted coup”. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID) said that Russia intends to use all its influence in the Ukraine to restore peace and tranquillity. The MID noted that Moscow demands that the “leaders” on Maidan “stop the bloodshed and immediately resume dialogue with the legitimate authorities, without threats and ultimatums”. The Embassy of the Russian Federation said that the clashes in central Kiev injured no Russian citizens. The Embassy strongly recommended all Russian citizens to avoid confrontation zones in Kiev and other cities. The diplomatic mission is still operating normally.

19 February 2014

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On Tuesday, when the Rada resumed work, large-scale riots broke out again in Kiev. Oppositionist elements demanded a return to a parliamentary-presidential form of government and restoring the 2004 constitution. According to the SBU, the radicals fired first. The SBU statement said that Ukrainian radicals gained access to 1,500 firearms and 100,000 rounds of ammunition, observing, “Just in the last day, more than 1,500 firearms and 100,000 rounds of ammunition fell into the hands of criminals”.

19 February 2014

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On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that responsibility for the unrest in the Ukraine lies not only on domestic extremists, but also with the Maidan oppositionist leaders, as well as upon some Western politicians. After talks with Kuwaiti Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammad Sabah al-Salem al-Sabah, Lavrov said, “Clearly, the main fault lies upon the extremists; over the past weeks and months they sought to introduce a violent solution to the situation. However, a serious share of the responsibility lies upon oppositionists who refused to compromise and put forward rational proposals. … Their demands were outside ordinary legality, eventually, they refused to carry out their agreements, including in the Rada. I won’t say who’s responsible. … Elements in many Western countries tried to interfere in the course of events, encouraging the opposition to act outside the law; sometimes, they even directly flirted with the militants”.

19 February 2014

RIA-Novosti

http://ria.ru/world/20140219/995835797.html

http://ria.ru/world/20140219/995852072.html

http://ria.ru/world/20140219/995845700.html

Editor’s Note:

The oppos fired first. Let’s keep that in mind. In other words, this smells like the same sort of provocation that Langley pulled in ’08 with the South Ossetia fiasco. The Ukrainian oppos have arms, they’re organised, and they’re centrally led. Klichko and Yatsenyuk are as guilty as Tyagnibok is, perhaps, even more so. Klichko just ostentatiously gave up his official German residence, but he’s still ineligible to run as President, for present Ukrainian law demands that a candidate for President live in the Ukraine for the ten years before the election. No doubt, you can see why he wants the law changed… otherwise, he can’t run (poor baby!). Ashton, Kerry, Barroso, et al are lying hypocrites. They wink at American drone strikes in the Hindu Kush, the effectual American occupation of Kosovo, Libya, and Iraq, and lawless American kidnapping of people abroad to face “justice” in American kangaroo courts (who have no jurisdiction over the cases brought in such circumstances). Yet, they condemn Viktor Yanukovich for trying to contain violent elements (if the same occurred in Washington, London, or Berlin, the police would crush it ruthlessly, in short order).

None dare call it evil…

BMD

 

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