“I really was backed into a corner,” Ventura told RT. “I was left with no choice but to continue the litigation to clear my name because the story is fabricated.”
The story in question involves allegations first made by Navy SEAL Chris Kyle in his best-selling book, American Sniper. In Kyle’s first-person account telling of “the most lethal sniper in US military history,” he wrote that once he punched out Ventura at a bar after the former governor made disparaging remarks about the Navy. Kyle didn’t mention Venture by name in his memoir, but did identify the individual as such in subsequent media appearances. In the years since, Ventura has adamantly insisted he never told Kyle that the SEALs "deserve to lose a few" in the Iraq war, as alleged in American Sniper.
Kyle was killed early last year after being shot at a gun range in Texas, but Ventura followed through with suing his estate for libel. This week, a jury sided with plaintiff and agreed to award him $1.8 million for harm to his reputation and unjust enrichment.
Shortly after the jury’s verdict was announced, Ventura told RT that he was relieved that an outcome had finally been reached. Nevertheless, he said that it’s been impossible to shake Kyle’s accusations and that he no longer feels safe among his fellow SEALS.
“They hate me,” Ventura said of the servicemen. “And it’s frustrating because I didn’t do anything. This story was fabrication from day one and yet they don’t like me now.”
“I can’t go to reunions anymore because that was a place I always felt that I was safe — this fraternity that I was part of that I could truly be myself. That’s taken from me now. I can’t go there anymore because I’ll be looking over my shoulder now and I can’t function that way.”
Although Ventura, who now hosts a talk show, has never been shy to speak his mind, he denies that he ever made disparaging remarks about US soldiers, even if he has issues with the government they’re taking up guns for.
“I may criticize my government, but I have never criticized the soldier or the sailor or the airmen,” he told RT. “Wars happen because politics fails. Politicians fails. Then you have war. The military people are victims of that failure. I’ve always supported our military. I’ve never once spoke ill. And why would I do it?”
“Chris Kyle obviously was a tremendous sniper — there’s no doubt about it. He should have left the sniping over there. He came back home and put me in the crosshairs. And I guess I’m just fortunate that I only got wounded,” said Ventura.
On Wednesday, HarperCollins, the publisher of American Sniper, told the Associated Press that the passage containing allegations about the man later identified as Ventura will be removed from future editions.
Organizations such as Britain’s Community Security Trust are cataloging occurrences and attempting to make some sort of sense out of the data. Meanwhile, the American Agudath Israel organization linked the violence to the steady rise in anti-Semitic incidents in Europe over the last years, many of which have been connected to Muslim and Arab immigrants, recently issued a statement encapsulating the view of many Jews, the Jerusalem Post reports.
“The pretense that these attacks are not anti-Semitic, but merely a reaction to current events in the Middle East, is cynical and decidedly false. When a Paris mob besieges and throws bricks at a synagogue with 200 congregants inside, it is anti-Semitism,” the group said.
— Rachel Savage (@rachelmsavage) July 30, 2014
According to a 2013 study by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, one-third of European Jews polled refrained from wearing religious garb or Jewish symbols out of fear, and 23 percent avoided attending Jewish events or going to Jewish venues. Almost one-third of Jews polled in several countries said they were mulling emigration as a response to heightened anti-Jewish sentiment.
UK seeing 50 percent rise in hate crimes against Jews
The UK is no exception, with police and community groups noting a 50 percent increase in anti-Semitic acts over the past month.
Bomb threats, vandalized synagogues, racist banners and assaults are just some of the anti-Semitic hate crimes plaguing the UK since the Israel-Gaza crisis began. Again, a large proportion of this discriminatory abuse is being carried out by young Muslim males, according to the Sunday Times.
According to the Community Security Trust’s officials, a charity that monitors and fights anti-Semitism throughout Britain, roughly 100 hate crimes have occurred in the UK in the past month alone – over double the number the organization would usually expect.
“This is well over double what we would normally expect to see and most of the incidents are linked to what’s going on in Israel and Gaza,” a CST spokesman said. Britain has not seen such a stark escalation in anti-Semitic hate crimes since the Gaza War in 2009, in which almost 1,400 Palestinians lost their lives, he added.
Germany, France and Italy all rocked by attacks this week
Three arsonists threw Molotov cocktails at the Bergische Synagogue in the western German town of Wuppertal early Tuesday morning in an attempt to burn it down, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung daily reports. Police said it found broken bottles by the entrance to the doors of the synagogue and arrested an 18-year-old man in connection with the incident.
No one was injured in the attack and there was little visible damage on the outside of the building.
Meanwhile, Italian police are investigating a spate of anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli graffiti in Rome. Dozens of swastikas, slogans and posters were found spray-painted or plastered on walls and shop windows on Monday in various parts of the city.
They included slogans such as “Dirty Jews,” “Jews – your end is near,” “Out with Zionists,” and “Israel executioner.” Jewish leaders, along with local and state officials, strongly condemned the vandalism.
— Schillaci (@Shaqton) July 29, 2014
Rome Mayor Ignazio Marino called the affair shameful and “an insult to all Romans.” He expressed solidarity with the Jewish community, saying “Rome wants and must be the capital of dialogue and peace, and not the terrain of barbarism.”
Police in Toulouse have arrested a man who threw three firebombs at a Jewish community center. The man, who has not been named, hurled two firebombs at the building and the other at officers guarding the center.
The incident happened Saturday, one hour after the conclusion of a demonstration against Israel’s military operation in Gaza, AFP reported. None of the Molotov cocktails managed to ignite. The attacker also hurled stones at the Espace du Judaisme center, which contains a synagogue, a library and a lecture room.
Anti-Israel façade is falling off: should be easy to see that this attack in Toulouse is anti-Semitism http://t.co/Zhho7QDwiG
— AJC Global (@AJCGlobal) July 28, 2014
“Our lives have become absurd,” Nicole Yardeni, the head of the local branch of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities. “We endure daily insults and get spat on, a general feeling of anxiety because a part of the population has a poisoned mind that makes it their mission to hurt Jews, regardless of Gaza.”
On Sunday, around 2,000 people, the majority who were Jews, held a rally in Marseille to express their solidarity with Israel and its ongoing campaign against Hamas in Gaza.
Toulouse has experienced anti-Semitism in the past. In 2012 a gunman has shot dead a teacher and three children at a Jewish school in the city.
Israel’s domestic policy leading to rise in anti-Semitism abroad
There was a spike in the number of crimes committed against Israeli’s and Jews and other manifestations of racial hatred as soon as Operation Protective Edge got under way July 8 to suppress Hamas in Gaza. However, the rise in anti-Semitism is nothing new, with the Jerusalem Post saying a rise in incidents also occurred during Operation Pillar of Defense in 2012 and Operation Cast Lead in 2009.
— Jewish News (@JewishNewsUK) July 30, 2014
The year following Operation Cast Lead was the “worst since monitoring of anti-Semitic manifestations began two decades ago, in terms of both major anti-Semitic violence and the hostile atmosphere generated worldwide by the mass demonstrations and verbal and visual expressions against Israel and the Jews,” according to experts at Tel Aviv University’s Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.
Both the European Union and the United States announced a new round of sanctions against Moscow on Tuesday. The so-called "sectorial" sanctions imposed by the EU became the most serious step against Russia the member states have agreed. The EU believes the sanctions will “limit access to EU capital markets for Russian State-owned financial institutions, impose an embargo on trade in arms, establish an export ban for dual use goods for military end users, and curtail Russian access to sensitive technologies particularly in the field of the oil sector.”
There is a new thinking in the US and the EU that the financial sanctions are more potent than trade sanctions, Munchau said.
RT: What's your prediction, how will this effect Russia's economy?
Wolfgang Munchau: Russia's economy will be affected. The immediate effect won't be very strong or devastating, although certain people will be targeted and certain companies and banks will feel the strain. The immediate impact on the Russian economy is not going to be crippling, it will almost certainly cause a recession, definitely more pessimistic than the official forecasts, but the sanctions themselves will work in the long run. That's the real effect. Financial sanctions are quite potent; they will starve Russian banks and companies from funding over the next years. They have a lot of debt to roll over in the next twelve months that is where the sanctions will hit them.
RT: Has the West chosen the most effective way to apply pressure on Moscow?
WM: You can always try all-out sanctions, but that would have been far too much, it would have been a financial war. And it is not clear at all whether the West and the EU in particular would have had a stomach for that, because it would have also meant a very significant economic damage to the EU as well. That shows the type of sanctions that cause the least damage to the EU and the most damage to Russia, and there is a new thinking in sanctions philosophy both in the US and recently in the EU that the financial sanctions are more potent than trade sanctions.
RT: Obama said this round of sanctions is the toughest so far. If these aren't effective, what's next?
WM: The next [step] would be to widen the financial sanctions. I do not think we are going to have a gas import or oil import ban or anything like that. I would assume that the next round of sanctions will target more people, that thing they can always step up. What we will be able to see is [also] sanctioning banks in the EU to prevent them from extending credit to Russian companies. That has not happened yet, we could really curtail credit flows to Russia. That would certainly be one of the next sanctions on the agenda, and that would have a very serious impact indeed.
RT: Europe was in no rush to follow America's move to impose these sanctions. Why has it now come on board?
WM: Undoubtedly, that was the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy; it has brought an enormous sense of solidarity to the EU. Before that the story almost disappeared from the radars screens in many EU countries. Different countries have different relations with Russia - both Italy and Germany were much closer to Russia and to Putin than several Eastern European countries and the UK. Until the disaster they were very cautious. Not blocking things, but they were more cautious on sanctions, but after MH17 the German government changed its position. Merkel realized that Putin has not been telling the truth and hasn't kept his promises to her in the way she sees it, and she felt that she cannot rely on what Putin promises and says, and that the EU needs to act jointly or be completely discredited.
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N'Da Alphonse grows cocoa in Ivory Coast. He harvests the pods, removes the pulp-covered beans, and dries them before selling them to brokers. He'd never seen or tasted the food made from his beans, until a Dutch TV show brought him a sample, as part of a story on class divisions and the global food trade.
By Mark Norton 7/30/2014 The end of 2013 and the beginning of 2014 was a brutal time for Bitcoin businesses: BitInstant, BitFloor, Coinlenders and Input.io, Silkroad, Neo and Bee, and finally, the massive crash of Mt. Gox. For a little […]
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Fourty-two years after the exposure of the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, a group of educators, activists, and writers discuss the history and the present of medical experimentation and medical ethics.
Lest you have forgotten the euro crisis, the next chapter is about to play out. That is not to say the previous chapters have been concluded. Far from it! This is not a purely sequential process. Rather the euro remains a multilateral reign of terror for millions of citizens and their economies locked in a nightmare spiral of debt, decay and unemployment fuelled by the deranged political hubris of Europhile economic illiterates.
The next phase of Eurocrisis has been created by German export success which is hampering recovery in Mediterranean nations, locked in different stages of long-term economic downturn driven by a heady cocktail of political denial, leadership failure and generally spendthrift government mixed in with adherence to the design flaws of the euro currency itself.
For the 18 economically disparate nations in the single currency melting pot, a key element of economic rebalancing (currency revaluation) is no longer available. This is causing ever greater crisis as Germany has been able to steam its economy ahead with remarkable gusto.
In times past if German engineering was selling with gusto and, say, French products couldn’t cope, eventually the ‘invisible hand’ of the marketplace helped rebalance affairs: pushing the German currency up and letting the French one fall. Cheaper products gained market share and the cycle advanced. Nowadays that can’t happen. Rather, Germany is exporting with relish at an artificially low exchange rate as the euro’s value reflects all 18 nations, including Mediterranean basket cases.
This is a potential death spiral. As Germany exports ever more at a better currency rate than if they had their own currency (at least 5-15 percent better according to the IMF), other nations are increasingly constrained by a currency rate which renders them uncompetitive.
This sorry state of affairs leaves a lot of questions about the state of mind of the Eurocrats who created the euro in the first place. However, as always in unaccountable plutocracies, they have been punished only with gilded tax-free pensions… unlike the many citizens their folly has impoverished.
Meanwhile, within the ranks of the Brussels blob, some bright sparks have created rules to counteract this very situation. As always with an EU which delivers ‘more’ (‘more Europe’, ‘more regulations’, ‘more economic damage’, ‘more unemployment’ etc.) Brussels is proposing fines for nations which export too much, endangering the economic well-being of other eurozone members. This all sounds like a mightily brilliant idea, until you apply a spot of thought to the situation (which one might add sounds like the euro currency’s flawed design itself).
First up is the issue of actually demanding Germany atone for… er, well, er… you know, employing lots of its citizens. (One eurozone member has half the average of eurozone unemployment. Can you guess which?) By selling lots of stuff overseas, Germany is rich, powerful and prosperous. So let’s rewind that argument: the EU is going to say, “Now look here Berlin, you can’t just, well you know, trade as you wish and sell things all over the place and have people fully employed! You have to think of the others!”
To which I suspect Chancellor Merkel will swing her handbag with the feral gusto which was briefly displayed last year when somebody had the temerity to suggest she curtail her exporting just a teeny bit to help the eurozone rump sell at least one more widget to China.
Nevertheless, it is within the powers of the Commission President to demand sanctions against Germany including cash fines, until they reduce their trade surplus to below 6 percent from the current 7 percent headline rate. However, that is going to be tricky. Apart from the danger of Merkel reflecting some of the fiercer creatures lurking in Berlin’s zoological gardens a brisk walk from the Bundestag, there is the ugly hand of political favor which often damns objectivity within the EU. After all, it was Frau Merkel whose support proved decisive in settling Jean-Claude Juncker into his new EU position. Can we really expect that the commission president will now turn round and bite the hand which anointed him to high office?
Juncker finds himself in an invidious position. Without remedial action the euro will destroy Mediterranean economies. However Germany is hardly about to abandon the implicit competitive advantage delivered by the bungled euro currency. The ultimately casualty will be the euro, if not the entire EU.
On July 28 The New York Times reported that the United States accused Russia of violating the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, citing cruise missile tests that date to 2008. US President Barack Obama sent his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a letter about the matter.
RT: The US says it's suspected that Russia's been developing these missiles since 2008. So why only bring this up now?
Willy Wimmer: Because they try to blame Russia every morning, every evening, every night. It is a salvo of accusations and they try to get the public in the West accustomed to blaming Russia. When it comes to these allegations concerning the INF treaty [Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, 1987], I think it should be mentioned that in 2009 there was a test firing of the [ballistic] missile but the US agreed upon this, and therefore, we have to raise a question to the President why he is blaming Russia now, when these things [are] going back to 2009.
RT: The claims of an illegal missile test are just the latest in a string of allegations aimed at Moscow recently. How significant is the timing here, in your opinion?
WW: There is ongoing flack of accusations against Russia. And this shows to all Europeans that the international relations are really poisoned these days, and this goes back to the US policy which started in the 90s, not to negotiate, not to sit at a diplomatic table together with the Russian Federation, but to expand its own territory towards the East and promote NATO and doing what it can to repel the Russian Federation.
RT: Earlier this week, a court in The Hague ordered Russia to pay 50 Billion dollars to the former shareholders of Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s oil giant Yukos, which went bust almost a decade ago. Critics say the ruling was politicized. Would you agree?
WW: The all thing is politicized. I was by coincidence in Moscow when the Khodorkovsky case happened and at this time I met with German officials at the German Embassy in Moscow and it was interesting that they told me that Khodorkovsky and his friends tried to sell Russian gas and oil resources to Wall Street. I think we all have a special understanding of that. If you do under today's circumstances, why should Russia have its resources being distributed by Wall Street? Therefore, I think this is the beginning of one of the most dramatic issues we are seeing these days. In my opinion, what is going on now in Ukraine is the same effort of the special circles in London and in New York to get in control of Russian resources. Madeleine Albright made it absolutely open when she talked about Russian resources, not only when it comes to oil and gas, she wants to have it under the control of other countries also besides the Russian Federation, and therefore, it is politicized from the very beginning. It was an attack on Russia.
The answer is more complicated than simply missing a dose, or failing to take your birth control at just the right time each day. Scientists are just beginning to understand how individual differences in body chemistry can affect how well the Pill works.Read the rest