Human Rights

Multinational Corporations' New World Water

The fifth World Water Forum, in Istanbul, Turkey, is titled "Bridging Divides for Water." It's an ironic choice, writes Mark Hays, as the corporations steering the Forum "have a stake in maximizing profits from water services delivery and the current global water crisis." The Forum is organized by the World Water Council, "an organization founded, led and influenced by transnational corporations, international financial institutions

No

Fiat Saves the World, and Gets Ads Aired for Free

"Fiat, strapped for cash and struggling to draw attention to the Lancia, decided a few years ago to promote the brand as helping improve society," reports Aaron Patrick. So the company sponsored the Ninth World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates, held in Paris in December 2008. The laureates were driven to the summit in black Lancia Deltas, and filmed by the car company as they arrived.

No

The Holes in Israel's Web 2.0 Propaganda

"To gain greater international support for Israel Defense Forces operations in the Gaza Strip," Israeli Foreign Minister (and candidate for Prime Minister) Tzipi Livni directed the Foreign Ministry to lead "an aggressive and diplomatic international public relations campaign." In addition to meetings with foreign officials and interviews with international media, Israeli officials are posting videos to YouTube and

No

One-sided View of Gaza Attacks Predominates in US Media

"In the usual process," writes Greg Mitchell, "the U.S. government -- and media here -- are playing down questions about whether Israel overreacted in its massive air strikes on Gaza, while the foreign press, and even Haaretz in Israel, carries more balanced accounts. The early reports on Sunday already reveal the bombing of a TV station and mosque and preparations for an invasion." Mitchell cites eyewitness accounts that describe morgues full of civilians, along with editorial stating that Israel's bombing of Gaza "within the span of a few hours ...

No

New Federal Rule Permits Withholding of Medical Treatments, Information

The Bush administration has approved a new "conscience protection" rule that allows health care workers to opt out of administering any form of medical care they feel is objectionable on moral or religious grounds.

No

Reporters Help CIA Torture the Truth

"There is a fierce battle going on over what kind of a CIA director Barack Obama should appoint, when he should close the prison camp at Guantanamo, and whether there should be a full scale investigation (and possible prosecution) of the torture advocates in the Bush administration," notes Charles Kaiser in the Columbia Journalism Review. Unfortunately, reporting on this issue in the New York Times and elsewhere has been flagrantly one-sided, from a position that falsifies the facts and defends torture. "Most of the Times's sources don't think that anyone who formulated or acquiesced in the current administration's torture policies should be excluded as a candidate for CIA director, or prosecuted for possible violations of criminal law," Kaiser writes. A recent story by Mark Mazzetti and Scott Shane, for example, falsely repeated John O. Brennan's description of himself as a "strong opponent" of torture, even though "most experts on this subject agree that Brennan acquiesced in everything that the CIA did in this area while he served there."

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