Archive | June 29, 2014

Singer Sings Through Throat Surgery*

Singer Sings Through Throat Surgery*

The power of hypnosis has been laid bare after a professional singer literally sang her way through throat surgery to avoid losing her voice.

Alama Kanté, a Guinean singer based in France, is the first ever patient to have a tumour removed from her throat while staying awake.

The surgey took place at Henri-Mondor hospital in France, while the 31 year old performing artist listened to a hypnotist to numb the pain of the procedure.

Speaking about the operation, she said: “I’m a professional singer and they told me I might lose my voice. They suggested hypnosis to me, but I didn’t know what that entailed – it was the first I’d heard of it.”

Kanté was first given a local anesthetic and then hypnotised by Asmaa Khaled. She was suffering from a parathyroid gland tumour but refused to have the necessary operation to remove it unless she was assured her voice would be protected.

If surgeons had touched a nerve accidentally, Kanté’s voice would have been irreversibly altered. By asking her to sing, the surgeon could tell instantly if he was on the right lines – if she stopped singing, he had gone too far.

Once in the operating room, the patient underwent a local anesthetic and was put into a trance state. The hypnotist then asked her to travel to Senegal in her mind – she believed she was on holiday throughout the duration of the operation.

The full extent of the procedure was only unveiled at a conference which took place this month in which Kanté was invited to sing material from her new album, Generation Sabbar, which she originally performed on the operating table.

The video of Kanté singing through the surgery was also unveiled at the conference.

Professor Giles Dhonneur, head of the anaesthesia and intensive care department at Henri Mondor hospital said in a press conference that it was the first time a tumour has been removed using the technique, as the procedure would usually be carried out under general anaesthetic.

He also added in an interview with French publication Le Figaro:

“The pain of such an operation is intolerable if you are fully awake. Only hypnosis enables you to stand it. She went into a trance listening to the words of the hypnotist. She went a long way away, to Africa. And she began to sing – it was amazing.”

Kanté said that although the procedure was painful, the hypnosis helped to mask the full extent of it.

She said that she remembers the hypnotist telling her that the pain she felt was that of childbirth, and remembers the song lyrics she sang to help control it: “Fight, never give up…”

Kanté added: “There was a moment where I really felt pain … and it passed, the pain passed and afterwards it was normal, as if I were in a dream.”

Kanté has since made a full recovery and has continued her singing career.


Brazil Ethnic Cleanses through the World Cup*

Brazil Ethnic Cleanses through the World Cup*

By Janine Griffiths

Brazilian citizens of all ages have been mercilessly gunned down by the police

Brazilian citizens of all ages have been mercilessly gunned down by the police

As people across the globe move to celebrate the World Cup, there are some who will not be celebrating at all.

These are the impoverished people in Brazil who have been on the receiving end of ethnic cleansing and slaughter by the thuggish police force in the country.

In a bid to try and make the country appear much more socially acceptable to the influx of oblivious visitors and dignitaries who will be flying to the country to watch the games, the Brazilian authorities have forcibly evicted thousands of people from their shanty towns and gunned down others on the streets indiscriminately.

It is estimated that at least 40,000 poor people have gone missing from the militarized favelas; while kids were killed with impunity in the ghettos which were then occupied by the police, who, according to insiders, later bragged about the amount of people they murdered.

Some of these atrocities have gained coverage in a documentary called ‘Civil Disobedience’, by Danish journalist and filmmaker Coletivo Vinhetando.

According to one of the eyewitnesses featured in the film:

“The tournament organisers and local people with great power in the country do not want tourists or international press to see the inequalities in Brazil, so groups hire hitmen to rid the streets of homeless people.”

Over a million people all over the country were evicted from their homes for FIFA’s stadiums and parking lots.

There have been further reports of defenceless people being attacked by armed troops, evicted at gunpoint, beaten, threatened, and shot at.

Others told of how hospitals were closed down and turned into war zones, while some kids were forced into prostitution to buy crayons for school.

This was partly due to the rising costs of living in the country, which came as a direct result of the Brazilian government channelling money away from poorer communities into development projects and tourism budgets in preparation for the World Cup.

Protests against the World Cup began in Brazil last year, as a result of the government’s bid to “clean the streets”. Over 1.4 million hit the streets protesting against the sharp hikes in travel fares and living costs.

Their protests fell on deaf ears. The police responded with violence and even shot at residents who attempted to film their brutality.

They then attacked teachers when they went on strike and peacefully occupied the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro.

Unfortunately, these types of violent tactics by the police are nothing new in some of Brazil’s poorest communities, but it has been ramped up exponentially with the arrival of the World Cup.

However, it is not just the poorest people living in shanty towns in Brazil who are suffering in this way. The middle classes in Brazil have also been forced to move to areas with conditions which are far worse than the ones they have been forced to vacate.

In the cities which are hosting the games, the cost of living has risen, traffic jams have worsened, and a construction boom aimed at improving urban mobility has only compounded problems.

Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Porto Alegre are the most affected cities.

Speaking to Al Jazeera, one resident told of how families were being bribed and coerced by officials to move homes.

Marli Nascimento told the news channel:

“The government didn’t want to negotiate. There was one public meeting and then the official said we had five days to leave. We were a community of mostly elderly people, and were afraid they would send the police in. Some people didn’t have a place to go.”

The irony is that Brazil has some of the most advanced urban policy legislation in the world, and is also a signatory to many international treaties that guarantee the right to adequate housing.

However, the legislation is evidently not worth the paper it is written on and the police have responded to the law by shooting at people indiscriminately.

Raquel Rolnik, the UN rapporteur on adequate housing, told Al Jazeera:

“According to international norms about the right to housing, when an eviction occurs, the housing condition for the [affected] people needs to improve or at least remain the same. What we have been seeing in Brazil, in general, is conditions getting worse.”

Families have also been resettled in far away areas, with worse access to services and infrastructure than they had previously had, or receiving compensation which was far below the price of their property.

Other citizens have been forced to pay higher rents or live with family members, due to the soaring price of property in the run-up to the World Cup.

Although the government claimed that life will get better for its citizens after the games, citizens in the country claim that whole populations of impoverished people were forcibly relocated to other more deprived areas in order to make way for business and real estate interests.

It is for this reason, that many residents in the country will not be celebrating the World Cup.

However, these developments are not just a worry for those living in Brazil. If the events continue to detriorate unchallenged, it will effectively set a precedent for all other nations holding similar events across the world.


Related Topics:

The World Cup: London Did It – is Brazil Phasing in the Policed State*

A World Cup!? What’s Really at Stake in Brazil*

Brazil: The Colour of Eugenics*

Occupy World: Brazil’s Indigenous Occupy Congress*

Implementation of IMF Policies Created Brazilian Crisis*

Prison Time for Corrupt Brazilian Officials*

U.K. Will Start Growing GM Crops Next Year*

U.K. Will Start Growing GM Crops Next Year*

GM Food BillGenetically modified (GM) crops could be grown in England as early as next year after the government backed an EU vote to allow pesticide-resistant food to be planted in member states.

Although other countries were given the option to ban GM crops, the UK government has opted to bring them into this country anyway.

Campaigners say that the arrival of these new commercial GM crops will spell disaster for wildlife and contaminate conventional and organic crops, with ‘catastrophic’ consequences for farmers.

Dr Helen Wallace, of the campaign group GeneWatch UK, said: “The Government has colluded with commercial lobbyists to fast track Roundup Ready GM maize into England, despite the expected harm to British wildlife such as birds and butterflies caused by blanket spraying of these crops.

“If some farmers in England press ahead with GM cultivation, conventional and organic farmers across the country will face the unnecessary risk of loss of markets due to contamination with GM.”

Owen Paterson, the environment secretary has been one of the main cheerleaders of these new GM crops.

He has been campaigning for regulations to allow individual member states to plant them once they have been declared safe by Brussels.

“This is a real step forward in unblocking the dysfunctional EU process for approving GM crops, which is letting down farmers and stopping scientific development,” he added.

Even farmers which operate orgnaic farms could run the risk of their crops being contaminated if their neighbours nearby are using GM plants.

The vote follows years of lobbying by biotech corporations, and the governemnt.

In 2012, agriculture ministers and science minister David Willetts attended a summit in Westminster to discuss ways to introduce GM foods into this country.

The event was financed by the Agricultural Biotechnology Council, which is owned by GM firms.

It agreed that the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs would lobby the EU to allow the planting of biotech crops in Britain, even if they were banned in other member states.


Related Topics:

Two Counties Successfully Ban Genetically Modified Organism*

Feeding Us Pure Poison!

Tony Blair Courts Egypt*

Tony Blair Courts Egypt*

By Ian Black and Patrick Kingsley

As the clamour for Tony Blair to be sacked as Middle East peace envoy grows, he now lines up Egypt to add to the despots he advises.

Iraq’s latest bloody crisis and its links to the 2003 war brought Tony Blair back into the headlines this week, along with calls for him to step down as a Middle East peace envoy – but new evidence has emerged that his private business interests in the ever-volatile region are expanding.

Aides to the former prime minister confirmed that he was actively considering opening an office in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, which is in the frontline of the struggle against political Islam. But a spokesperson denied suggestions by a leading Arab economist that he was being considered for a job advising Oman on its long-term development, after his controversial £27m consultancy project for the Kuwaiti government in recent years.

Retired diplomats and political enemies united to demand Blair be sacked as the envoy of the Quartet – the UN, US, Russia and EU – after achieving little to promote Israeli-Palestinian peace in seven years.

Blair’s Middle Eastern activities cause some irritation in Whitehall, where officials say they are not always aware of what he is doing and exactly who he is representing in meetings abroad – even though he is routinely briefed by British embassies. “He moves in mysterious ways,” quipped one senior figure.

“The Blair organisation is like a sort of government with different departments doing different things,” an ex-employee said.

“His office is run on Downing Street lines. It’s like he’s never not been PM.”

Aides said the Abu Dhabi office would be used for managing projects in Kazakhstan and Romania. But it will give him a presence at the heart of a strategic region. The former prime minister is close to the Abu Dhabi crown prince, Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is often described as being obsessed by Islamists and has lobbied hard for a tough UK line against the Muslim Brotherhood. Blair already has a contract to advise Mubadala, one of Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds.

Rumours are circulating in London and Cairo of plans by Blair to advise the Egyptian government under President Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, the former field marshal who overthrew the democratically elected but unpopular Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, a year ago.

Blair has visited Cairo twice this year in his Quartet role. Alastair Campbell, his former communications chief, has also visited, and confirmed that he met “officials and politicians” to discuss “perceptions in the international media about Egypt in respect of concerns that are obvious”.

Morsi’s removal was followed by the killings of more than 1,000 Brotherhood supporters, mass death sentences and other human rights abuses as well as the widely condemned imprisonment of three al-Jazeera journalists after an often farcical and chaotic trial this week.

Middle Eastern sources said it was likely any work by Blair on Egypt would be done on behalf of the UAE, which with Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, in backing Sisi financially and politically. “It’s pretty basic fact-gathering in support of a broader project helping the Egyptians,” said one consultant.

Blair’s spokesperson said: “Neither Mr Blair nor his organisations are making any money out of Egypt and there is no desire to do that.”

Blair has, however, recently commissioned his own “briefing document” on the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, in parallel with a controversial wider review for David Cameron by Britain’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Sir John Jenkins. Aides said it was for Blair’s sole use. It was not linked to the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, which researches Middle Eastern and other issues.

The UAE is running an energetic campaign highlighting the activities of the Brotherhood, using London-based advisers to bolster their demand that its activists should not be allowed to operate in the UK. “We hope that our friends will not help our enemies,” one Emirati official said. The Brotherhood insists it is a peaceful organisation that abides by UK law.

Cameron spoke to Bin Zayed about Iraq, Syria and Libya this week – a reminder of close relations with a key political and commercial partner. Britain’s trade with the UAE is expected to reach £12.5bn by 2015. UAE investments in the UK amounted to £40bn by the end of 2012.

In another link between Abu Dhabi and London, Bin Zayed is advised by a low-profile former British soldier called Will Tricks, who “raised a lot of eyebrows” in Whitehall, according to ex-colleagues, when he left his MI6 posting in the UAE to work for the crown prince.

His comments on the Muslim Brotherhood and support for Sisi are stronger than anything said publicly by the UK government.

“Blair is a paid employee of Abu Dhabi because of his Mubadala contract,” said Christopher Davidson, a Gulf expert at Durham University. “He should not be regarded as representing UK national interests.”

Chris Doyle of the Council for Arab-British Understanding, said:

“Tony Blair has to decide between his Quartet role as envoy to one of the most dangerous conflicts on the planet, his burgeoning media role in pushing for intervention in Iraq and Syria and his business interests across the globe including in the Middle East. These roles are incompatible and create a huge conflict of interest.”

Blair’s views on political Islam are no secret. “He’s always taken a fairly strong view about not tolerating Islamic extremism and gets fed up with moderates for not acting, but he has become more right-wing on this,” said a former diplomat. “The problem in Iraq was that he conflated extremism with Saddam Hussein.”

Even some who admit that they share Blair’s view of the Brotherhood as an extremist organisation say that does not mean endorsing repressive methods to crush it, as have been used in Egypt, where it has been proscribed.

Talk of his possible role in advising Sisi has provoked speculation and criticism. “He clearly is very experienced and has a tremendous amount of contacts – so he can provide support to any vision that Egypt might like to adopt,” said Samir Radwan, a former Egyptian finance minster. “But Tony Blair sometimes waffles. If he can abandon that, he can be effective. But whether his agenda will allow him to find a way out of the tension between the Muslim Brotherhood and the government, I don’t know. That would be problematic – but it doesn’t make it impossible.

“Sisi himself left the door open to inclusion … what the situation needs is a catalyst. Can Tony Blair play that role? If he stops waffling, maybe. The caveat to all that is that Blair’s credibility is very low in Egypt. If the Egyptian government comes out and says that Mr Blair has advised us, it would not sit well in the street because of what he did in Iraq.”


Related Topics:

Tony Blair’s’blood for oil’ Speech*

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair Subjected to Citizen’s Arrest*

Egypt’s Lost Power

Egypt Signs Contract to Import Palestinian Natural Gas from Israel*

More Mass Death Sentences in Egypt, 683*

Egypt: Over 20,000 Detainees to Start ‘Uprising’*

Jailed Egyptian Children Moved to ‘torture camp’*

Rothschild’s Summit Fine-tuning Capitalism into Global Economic Tyranny*

Elite Powerbrokers Behind Sweeping Censorship in U.K.*

Even Egyptian state-owned TV Admits to a Fraudulent Presidential Election

Blair, Bush and Cameron: Deluded in their Hi-jack of God*

Israel Satellite Launch to Spy on MidEast *

Egypt Consolidates Israeli Relations*

Lessons from Tahrir*

Egypt’s Military-Backed Government Resigns*

From Tahrir – Ukraine’s Orchestrated Unrest*

Egypt Accused of Systematic Torture of Detainees*

Egypt: Barbaric Descent of World’s First Nation-State*

Egypt’s Mafia Fund*

Suspended Sentences Given to Leading Figures of the 2011 Revolution*

Catholic Archbishop to be Defrocked for Sexually Abusing Teenage Boys*

Catholic Archbishop to be Defrocked  for Sexually Abusing Teenage Boys*

By Nick Squires

A Catholic archbishop and former Holy See ambassador has been defrocked after being convicted of sexually abusing teenage boys, making him the most senior Vatican figure to be punished for such a crime.

Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, who was the Vatican’s nuncio or ambassador to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean, was found guilty of sex abuse by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith – the modern-day successor to the Inquisition.

The tribunal handed down the harshest penalty possible against a cleric under canon law, stripping him of his duties and status as a priest.

In a brief statement, the Vatican gave no information about what crimes Wesolowski had been convicted of, where and when the offences took place or how many boys were involved.

The punishment was immediately questioned by groups representing past victims of clerical paedophilia, who said the archbishop should face a criminal trial by civil authorities rather than a behind-closed-doors Vatican judicial process.

The Vatican recalled Wesolowski from his post as nuncio to the Dominican Republic last year after the archbishop of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Caribbean country, told Pope Francis that there were rumours that the Pole had sexually abused teenage boys.

Wesolowski, who is a citizen of the Vatican City State, could now face criminal charges by the Vatican tribunal which could lead to a jail sentence.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, the world’s biggest group representing clerical sex abuse victims, said:

“It’s encouraging when child-molesting clerics are disciplined, but we are troubled by the Vatican’s continued insistence on handling child sex crimes internally.

“Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski should face a criminal trial, not a church proceeding. And he should be in a secular jail. And he might have been in one for months, had Vatican officials cooperated with law enforcement.”

The campaign group said Wesolowski should be extradited to the Dominican Republic or Poland, both of which are investigating the accusations against him, but said it suspected he would be protected by the Vatican.

“If this Vatican move leads to Wesolowski being locked up, we’ll be encouraged. However, we fear that it won’t.” The former archbishop is the highest-ranking Vatican official to be found guilty of sex abuse.

In a 75-page document released by the Vatican on Thursday, which will prepare the way for a conference in October on issues such as contraception and divorce, the Catholic Church hierarchy admitted that it had been gravely damaged by the scandal of paedophile priests.

“Sex scandals significantly weaken the Church’s moral credibility, above all in North America and northern Europe,” said the document, the result of a survey sent by the Vatican to Catholics worldwide.

Last month Vatican officials told a United Nations committee in Geneva that they were determined to bring to justice clergy accused of sexually abusing children.

“There is a total commitment to clean the house, to change, and above all to work and effect measures that prevent the repetition of abuse. We have crossed a threshold in the evolution of the approach to this problem,” said Monsignor Silvano Tomasi, the Vatican’s envoy to the UN.

He made the remarks during a grilling by the UN Committee against Torture, which was scrutinising the Church’s record on dealing with abuse cases.

The defrocking of the Polish archbishop comes as the Pope prepares to meet victims of clerical sex abuse, including Britons, for the first time.

The encounter is expected to take place at his private residence in the Vatican next week.


Related Topics:

Sex attacks on under-11s rise by 14 per cent in one year

Pedophiles in Power

Oh Dear Pope Francis*

Hollywood Pedophilia on the Line: Corey Feldman Speaks Out*

Paedophilia: Enough Evidence against the Queen of England and Her Prime Minister*

Forced to Go into Hiding a Victim of U.K. Paedophile Politicians Speaks Out*

British Governance: When You Fear the People…*

Jesuit Pope Charged with Trafficking Orphans*

Pope Francis Health and Resignation!?

Adviser to Queen and Founder of Paedophile Support Group*

UN’s Heterophobic Agenda*

****Up Nature: Sex change for Nine-year-olds*

Earth’s North Magnetic Pole Moving to Siberia*

Earth’s North Magnetic Pole Moving to Siberia*

By Luis Miranda

The first results of the Swarm mission, the group of three satellites launched in November by the European Space Agency (ESA), confirm the general trend on the Earth’s magnetic field weakening and the movement of the Magnetic North Pole towards Siberia.

According to project leaders who spoke in Copenhagen, the weakening is greater in the western hemisphere, but in other areas as South India, the opposite phenomenon has occurred.

The measures recorded by Swarm since last January also confirm the progressive movement of the Magnetic North Pole towards Siberia. Experts meeting in Copenhagen felt that within 5,000 to 10,000 years there will be a reversal in the magnetic field, a phenomenon that has occurred several times before in the history of the planet. The last one took place 780,000 years ago.

Nils Olsen, one of the scientists leading the project, described as “excellent” preliminary data provided by the mission, but stressed that they’ve had “too little time” to draw wider conclusions on measurements offered by the satellites whose observations will continue for four years.

The alterations detected in the first Swarm results are based on the Earth’s core magnetic signals. For the following observations other sources of measurement are also included as the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere, which enable a better understanding of various natural processes.

The Swarm mission blasted off from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in Russia in November to study the processes inside the Earth, better understand its magnetic field and why this bubble that shields the planet from cosmic radiation and charged particles that arrive via the solar wind is getting weaker.

The mission, using European and Canadian technology also aims to implement practical applications, such as improving the accuracy of satellite navigation systems and earthquake prediction as well as making more efficient the extraction of natural resources.

The scientific data will be open to the entire research community and will be available for download through the tracking station in Kiruna, Sweden, where it will be processed, distributed and archived in the Center for Earth Observation of of the ESA.


Related Topics:

Magnetic North Pole Shift Speeds Up!

Earth Raising its Own Defence against Powerful Solar Storms*

Human Induced Earthquakes a Product of Greed*

Earth Shift: Underwater Landslides Taking Place*

Earth Shift: As Above So Below the Red Sea

U.K. Going through an Earth Shift*

Sun’s Magnetic Field = Shift in Human Behavior*

The Sun’s Polar Shift has Begun