November 2015

During the month return here for new stories that will keep you informed


26 November 2015

Terrorists destroy one Russian rescue helicopter

Disable two others in fierce fire fight to rescue pilot

Syrian Army secures escape of Russians but one Russian Marine killed

See video of blow-by-blow of the dramatic action HERE


24 November 2015

Turkey shoots down Russian bomber over Syria

Bomber was attacking IS oil being shipped to Turkey

 Putin says 'It appears that Turkey wants NATO to serve the interests of IS

'Incident will have grave consequences for Russia’s relations with Turkey'

The Russian Su24 military jet was shot down by a Turkish F-16 over Syrian territory while returning to Khmeimim airbase, the Russian Defense Ministry has confirmed. The Ministry's Twitter says that “analysis of the objective monitoring data” showed the downed SU-24 jet did not violate Turkish air space. (More)

NEW > Editor's Notes by Carl Dow

The killings in Paris are a direct result of malicious U.S. 

world-wide war making, most recently in the Middle East

The world mourns the revenge killing of 130 (and counting) on 13 November in Paris. But where have they all been since Tony Blair and George W. Bush raised the false-flag of weapons of mass destruction and started an illegal war in Iraq in 2003? That war, still ongoing, has killed more than one million civilians.

Not to forget the millions more who have been psychologically and physically wounded.

For more than half a century Washington has conducted a policy of plunder throughout the world. Here following is a brilliant summary to help keep you up to speed.

Only when we see the war criminals

in our midst will the blood begin to dry

By John Pilger /

In transmitting President Richard Nixon's orders for a "massive" bombing of Cambodia in 1969, Henry Kissinger said, "Anything that flies on everything that moves".  As Barack Obama ignites his seventh war against the Muslim world since he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, the orchestrated hysteria and lies make one almost nostalgic for Kissinger's murderous honesty. (More)

Indonesia's inferno: whole world's future?

Indonesia is burning. Why is the world looking away?

Image: Detail of photo of children are being prepared for evacuation in warships, already some have choked to death. Species are going up in smoke at an untold rate.’ Photograph: Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images, via The Guardian.

Man-made inferno is currently releasing more carbon dioxide than the US economy; in three weeks the fires have released more CO2 than the annual emissions of Germany

By George Monbiot
The Guardian (fully-linked version available at
30 October 2015 — I’ve often wondered how the media would respond when eco-apocalypse struck. I pictured the news programmes producing brief, sensational reports, while failing to explain why it was happening or how it might be stopped. Then they would ask their financial correspondents how the disaster affected share prices, before turning to the sport. As you can probably tell, I don’t have an ocean of faith in the industry for which I work.
What I did not expect was that they would ignore it. (More)

Retired U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel

says Washington scheming to invade Syria

Image: Detail of photo of US troops, © Mario Anzuoni / Reuters, via


31 October 2015 — Sending some 50 US advisers to Syria illegally to train the so-called ‘moderate rebels’ looks like a calculated move. If, or when, someone gets hurt, the US will have a pretext for [more] boots on the ground, believes retired US Air Force Lieutenant Col Karen Kwiatkowski.

RT:  Does this deployment mean Americans will be putting themselves in the direct line of fire in Syria?

Karen Kwiatkowski: I think there is a danger of that happening and I think that is part of why they are going there. I think they are looking for an excuse to up the ante, to send more troops and to have a crisis of some sort. Clearly the president has been lying, and so has Ash Carter, about what their real intentions are. For video click (More)

From the Desk of Carl Hall, Alberta Contributing Editor

Edmonton Journal Editorial

Alberta's New Democrat budget shifts tax burden

on those most able to pay, protects social services

Image: Detail of photo showing   Finance Minister Joe Ceci receiving a hug from Premier Rachel Notley after reading the NDP's 2015 Alberta budget at the Alberta legislature in Edmonton on Oct. 27, 2015. Ryan Jackson / Edmonton Journal

Something old, something new

something borrowed in budget

28 October 2015 — Taken together, the two fiscal blueprints of this extraordinary year in Alberta politics are a lesson for the ages in the proper conduct of public business.

In March, the last budgetary gasp of a dying Tory dynasty finally confronted the gap between Albertans’ expectations of government and their willingness to pay for it.

Rather than lead the province through another round of slash-and-burn on services like health and education, former premier Jim Prentice’s government faced up to plunging fossil-fuel revenues by violating the taboo against raising taxes. (More)

Image: Trans-Pacific Partnership logo and map, via Wikileaks

Wikileaks releases final text

of the TPP and it is as bad as we feared

By 'Malcolm'
AG News
10 October 2015 — The latest release today by Wikileaks of what is alleged to be the current and essentially final version of the intellectual property (IP) chapter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) confirms our worst fears about the agreement. Let’s hope it does not make it to the final draft.
What’s so bad? Limitations and exceptions to copyright, extension of copyright to life plus 70 years despite a broad consensus that this makes no economic sense and simply amounts to a transfer of wealth from users to large, rights-holding corporations. The extension will make life more difficult for libraries and archives, for journalists, and for ordinary users seeking to make use of works from long-dead authors that rightfully belong in the public domain. (More)
TPP trades away our constitutional rights
Image: Detail of illustration depicting possible Charter violations contained within proposed TPP treaty, via the Toronto Star.

Changes to copyright terms proposed in the Trans-Pacific Trade

Agreement that would violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms

By Ariel Katz and Liran Kandinov
The Toronto Star
28 October 2015 — Imagine one day the government decides to place substantial amounts of 20th-century cultural heritage beyond reach for most Canadians. “This can’t happen,” you might say, but it did.
Without any legislative debate or public consultation, and buried inside the budget omnibus bill, Stephen Harper’s government bowed down to back-door lobbying from the music industry and extended the term of copyright protection for sound recordings. But this was only a discordant prelude for worse things to come. Recent leaks indicate that during the ultra-secretive negotiations of the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), the government agreed to extend copyright terms for all types of works. (More)

The Old Man's Last Sauna
'Life is scary, frustrating and sometimes funny. All of these themes are explored in Carl Dow’s collection of short stories, told with the pristine elegance that we haven’t seen since the likes of Stephen Leacock or even Pierre Berton.'
— Award-winning author Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Image: Cover of The Old Man's Last Sauna, by Carl Dow.

Image: Advertisement for the Ottawa Small Press Fair. Click to visit link

Click here for True North Humanist Perspective

Lia Tarachansky

A Jew reports from Israel

Brilliant director, writer of critical analyses in prose and poetry

Lia Tarachansky's documentary on the heart of  the Israeli crisis

Promotional picture for film On the Side of the Road, by Lia Tarachansky. Click for more information.

Lia Tarachansky will be in Toronto Canada with her documentary

On The Side of the Road
6:00pm | Nov 3
Bloor Cinema
506 Bloor Street West
Details: NarativProductions.Webs.Com or,



Is it the end of the world again?


Second of a series:

In September 1939 Churchill, in his hatred of Hitler

tried to bridge the gap between London and Moscow


Son of Billy Graham says Russian Syria intervention

may save countless Christians from Islamist slaughter

"You understand that the Syrian government for their good and for their bad over the history of this country, they have protected Christians, they have protected minorities from the Islamists."


ISIS sell one-year-old girls as sex slaves for $165 each 

Price goes down with age, women over 50 not even listed


Russian university releases anti-extremist textbook

'ISIS is not Islam' wins support of Muslim scholars


'Blair’s role in destroying Iraq follows him to his grave'


World Economy

The rise of ‘Chermany’ (Germany and China)

The big winners in economic globalisation – Analysis


Ex-Nobel committee leader regrets Obama Peace Prize

Prestigious award failed to encourage strength in Obama


TrueNorth Humanist Perspective

True North Perspective publishes in
the best traditions of Canadian journalism
If you think it's too radical, please rea
Wisdom is a result of a happy marriage between intelligence and experience.
Carl Dow, Editor and Publisher, True North Perspective.
True North Perspective
Vol. 10, No. 9 (360)
November 2015

Editor's Notes

Canadian voters deny Tom Mulcair

the chance to prove that he's a liar

Image: True North Perspective Editor and Publisher Carl Dow. Photo by the Phantom Phographer.

In their determination to remove 'President' Harper from power before he could further damage the letter and spirit of the country that we know and love, Canadians surged to the polls and dumped Harper in favour of the neo-Trudeau Liberals.

At first the electorate wavered. The polls showing majority support for Tom Mulcair and the New Democrats. But Justin-the-Boxer proved to be the better showman and seduced enough voters to mark their ballots so that The Natural Governing Party would resume its place at the head of the nation.

Voters have short memories. (More)

Op Ed

Trudeau’s bold change pledge was a ruse

But Canada now has a fighting chance

Image: Detail of photo of Canadian Prime Miinster-elect Justin Trudeau taken on October 20, 2015.  (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press via AP and The Guardian)

Liberals took up a progressive mantle when the NDP failed to project a vision of environmental and social justice – now it’s up to the public to bend them to their will

By Martin Lukaks
The Guardian
22 October 2013 — On Monday night many Canadians breathed out a sigh of relief. Then they breathed in a whiff of apprehension. The ousting of the Conservatives was a victory, a rejection of Stephen Harper’s politics of fear and racism. But Canadians now confront a Prime Minister gifted in the art of warm, fuzzy claptrap. They won’t be offered what they dreamed of: that was never an option in this election.
The election’s most revealing poll was scarcely reported by the media. Those voting against Harper – sixty to seventy percent of Canada, a progressive majority holding steady through his decade in power – were asked in late September what kind of change they desired. They answered overwhelmingly: not moderate but ambitious, not incremental but immediate. In other words, most people didn’t just want Harper out: they wanted plentiful jobs, a healthy environment, indeed a far more just and fair country.
The poll’s second finding was just as fascinating. (More)

New boss, same as the old boss?

Liberals mull keeping some new powers for spy service

Image: Detail of photo of Liberal Joyce Murray, NATHAN DENETTE / THE CANADIAN PRESS, via The Ottawa Citizen.

By Ian MacLeod
Ottawa Citizen
30 October 2015 — The Liberals are considering whether Canada’s civilian spy service should be allowed to launch missions aimed at disrupting terrorist plots and other suspected threats to national security.
The power to actively disrupt threats was given to the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) in June as one of the most dramatic offerings in the Conservatives’ sweeping Bill C-51 security legislation. (More)


Learning from Obama's broken promise(s)

Beyond Trudeau’s charm offensive:

A social movement guide to cooptation

Image: Detail of photo of Prime Minister elect Justin Trudeau, NB Media Co-Op

Justin Trudeau’s real intentions don’t matter. People like John Manley, CEO of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, will come knocking, and expect to be able to dictate policy to the Liberals the way they did to at least the last three elected federal governments

By Dru Oja
NB Media Co-Op
23 October 2015 — Justin Trudeau is providing people in Canada with things to celebrate. For starters, he is temperamentally the anti-Harper. Trudeau was seen shaking hands with passersby in a Montreal metro station, took (gasp) unscripted questions from journalists, and announced the withdrawal of Canadian bombers from Iraq and Syria. He reiterated election promises, and there’s some decent stuff in there.
It’s hard not to see these changes as a tremendous relief. And it’s perfectly understandable that a lot of people want to take a breath and celebrate the end of the Harper decade.
We’ll see a lot more stuff like this in the first few months of Trudeau as Prime Minister. The charm offensive will include a lot of positive changes. Some of them will be symbolic, some will have a real impact on peoples’ lives.
There are essentially two ways to respond to Trudeau’s charm offensive. (More)

The Binkley Report

Alex Binkley is a foremost political and economic analyst, whose website is Readers will be aware that his columns in True North Perspective have foreseen political and economic developments in Canada. This edition ...

Offering a compliment

Image: Detail of photo of former Prime Minister Steven Harper, by Jake Wright via The HIll Times.
By Alex Binkley
True North Perspective

Image: Cover of Humanity's Saving Grace, a novel by Alex Binkley. Click to purchase at Amazon.ca1 November 2015 — In the June 15 issue of The Hill Times, my Parliamentary Press Gallery colleague Susan Riley made the then bold prediction that Stephen Harper was toast. The headline invited readers to clip and save the column. Remembering another Riley prediction years earlier about Harper, I did.

The subhead to her long column in June said, "The government has run out of steam, ideas, talent and worst of all for a Prime Minister so fueled by anger, out of new enemies." The column highlights many of the shortcomings in the Conservative camp that became painfully clear during the election three months later. The column can be found on the website if you want the full read (subscription required). It should be a must for any political junkie.

Unfortunately I didn't save the other column written almost a decade ago for Riley's former employer The Ottawa Citizen. It said that when Harper's time in politics was done, he would sink like a stone because his bullying ways would leave no one who could be bothered to break his fall.

In the aftermath of the trouncing by the Justin (he's just not ready) Trudeau's Liberals, many in the Conservative Party are distancing themselves from Harper. Former cabinet minister Diane Finley has already called for a lessening of the rigid control of the PMO and the return of power to the MPs. We'll probably hear lots more of that.

So far Harper has resigned the leadership but not as an MP. Are we going to see another Diefenbaker spectre haunting the Conservative Party. That worked so well the first time.

Riley saw the great debacle coming. She was pretty well alone in that. There's been very little ackowledgement of her insight. Too bad.

From the Desk of Dennis Carr, LEEDS AP, Sustainable Development Editor

2.6 billion pounds of Monsanto's cancer-causing

Glyphosate sprayed on U.S. farms in past 20 years

Image: Detail of photo of worker examining GMO crop wearing haz-mat suit. Marcin Balcerzak /Shutterstoc, via Reader Supported News.)
By Mary Ellen Kustin
Environmental Working Group
12 October 2015 — Farmers sprayed 2.6 billion pounds of Monsanto’s glyphosate herbicide on U.S. agricultural land between 1992 and 2012, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Glyphosate has been the go-to weed killer for use on genetically engineered, or GMO, crops since the mid-1990s, when Monsanto introduced its “Roundup Ready” corn and soybeans. (More)
Melting Rockies glacier sends ‘strong message’ on climate
Image: Detail of photo of Dr. John Pomerow, 2nd from right, with colleagues at Columbia Icefield in the Rocky Mountains. University of Saskatchewan, via the Globe and Mail.
By Mark Hume
The Globe and Mail

22 October 2015, VANCOUVER — One of the world’s longest-studied glaciers is melting so fast in the heart of the Canadian Rockies that scientists say it is “disintegrating” before their eyes, causing monitoring stations to collapse.

The Peyto Glacier in Banff National Park has long been regarded as a key global reference site for climate change studies. But the ice has started to crumble so quickly, says John Pomeroy, that clusters of scientific instruments mounted on poles drilled deep into the ice are toppling over and other data collection sites are flooding. (More)


2015 likely to be hottest year ever recorded

Image: Rising sun.

By Justin Gillis
The New York Times

21 October 2015 — Global temperatures are running far above last year’s record-setting level, all but guaranteeing that 2015 will be the hottest year in the historical record — and undermining political claims that global warming had somehow stopped.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the American agency that tracks worldwide temperatures, announced Wednesday that last month had been the hottest September on record, and in fact took the biggest leap above the previous September that any month has displayed since 1880, when tracking began at a global scale. The agency also announced that the January-to-September period had been the hottest such span on the books. (More)

Spirit Quest

Life as a river

Ugly and beautiful

Image: Detail of photo of Masaryk Water Lock on the Elbe River and Střekov castle in Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic, via Wikipedia.
By The Rev. Dr. Hanns F. Skoutajan
True North Perspective

1 November 2015 — When speaking about river cruises one is immediately reminded of the famous Rhine/Danube cruises that have become so popular. Many of my friends have taken these excursions through Europe’s famous waterways from Holland to the Black Sea.

There is, however, one other mighty European river, lesser known, and perhaps not quite as spectacular as the Rhine/Danube. The Elbe also carries cruise ships but I have hardly ever seen it advertised. Look it up in Google for contact and itinerary. One friend of mine took the cruise upstream from Berlin to Prague and enjoyed it very much. I had the opportunity to read the brochure of the trip written by a very knowledgeable historian and geographer. (More)

Mexico roundup by Isabella Tandutella, Contributing Editor, Mexico City

Ottawa, we have a problem

Canadian miner boasts of 'good working relationship' with crime

While workers killed, kidnapped, extorted at Canadian mine sites

By Jennifer Moore
Latin America Program Coordinator
MiningWatch Canada

Image: Photo of Pierre Alarie, Canadian Ambassador to Mexico, via MiningWatch.ca13 October 13 2015 — The Canadian Ambassador to Mexico is apparently not worried about violence, kidnapping and extortion at Canadian mine sites.
This despite a Canadian mining executive having admitted this year to the Business News Network to having a good working relationship with organized crime groups in Sinaloa, workers being kidnapped and killed at a Canadian mine site in Guerrero, and half a community fleeing from their homes because of threats and violence around yet another Canadian mine in Guerrero. (More)


We can't do this without you

Thanks to all of you who have answered our call

We need every penny we can get to continue publishing

Please click the link above to make a secure donation

Or send a cheque or money order to:

Carl Dow, True North Perspective
Station E, P.O. Box 4814
Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9

From the Desk of Darren Jerome

A continuing update on the war against WikiLeaks transparency

Please be advised that the below is not just the same old thing. By clicking on it you'll find the petition in support of Julian Assange and discover fascinating on-going reports and videos related to one of the most important events in modern history, and the desperate attempts to put a lid on information that everyone should know. Don't miss this special opportunity to stay informed.


EU Parliament clears a path to give Edward Snowden asylum

Image: Detail of photo of poster of Edward Snowden on telephone poll, via Gizmodo.

By Andy Greenberg
29 October 2015 — Well this is something. After years of pressure from activists, the European Parliament just passed a resolution urging its member states to offer protection to Edward Snowden. That would mean dropping all charges against the whistleblower and shielding him from extradition to the United States.
For Snowden, who’s been holed up in Russia for as long as anybody can remember, this is really great news. The former NSA contractor said as much on Twitter:
The extent to which the European parliament’s actions will actually help to keep Snowden out of U.S. prison, however, remains to be seen. The resolution itself is non-binding, and all of the European nations involved in passing it have extradition treaties with the U.S. (More)

There can be no life without laughter

From the Desk of Nick Aplin, Contributing Editor

• Norwegians are now literally using 'Texas' as slang for 'Crazy' (More)

• Extreme poverty’ unlikely to become an Olympic Sport‏

• There’s no greater bond than the one between a mother and her child’s accomplishments

France wants to sell warships to Russia

NASA admits theory of infinite space may be the result of leaving lens cap on

Classic Quiz

By Mark Kearney and Randy Ray

Mark Kearney of London, Ont. and Randy Ray of Ottawa are the authors of nine books about Canada, with best-seller sales of more than 50,000. Their Web site is:

Big Book of Canadian Trivia cover


1.  True or false?  The Yukon Territory community of Mayo holds the record for the coldest temperature ever recorded in Canada.

2.  Unscramble the letters to spell this Manitoba city.
3. Which of these major Canadian cities is the snowiest, according to Statistics Canada?
a) Ottawa   b)  Sudbury  c) St. John’s   D)  Quebec City


Randy Ray, publicist / speaker agent / author

 (613) 425-3873 - (613) 816-3873 (c)

O Canada! Getting to know you!

This is one of a series on the heartbeat of Canada

Winnipeg's Bloody Saturday

The first large-scale organized strike in Canadian history began as a dispute between management and labourers in Winnipeg building and metal trades. When negotiations between the two parties broke down, the Winnipeg Trades and Labor Council called a general strike.
Soon, 30,000 workers had left their jobs and joined the picket lines, fighting for better pay and working conditions. The federal government quickly stepped in and leaders of the Central Strike Committee were promptly thrown in jail. Strikers responded by protesting at City Hall. The RCMP charged the crowd on horseback. The ensuing confrontation left nearly 100 injured and one dead, and was later dubbed Bloody Saturday.

"News is what (certain) people want to keep hidden. Everything else is just publicity."
-- PBS journalist Bill Moyers.
Your support makes it possible for True North to clear the fog of "publicity" and keep you informed on what's really happening in the world today. Please send your donation to:
Carl Dow, True North, Station E, P.O. Box 4814, Ottawa ON Canada K1S 5H9.
Or use our new Paypal system! Just click the secure link below —
and if you're paying by credit card, you don't need a PayPal account to make a donation!


Useful Enemies By Richard Rashke

Reviewed by Carl Dow

Useful Enemies is a gold mine for conspiracy theorists that fails because this brilliantly written exposé is backed by thoroughly researched facts, figures, and a narrative that unfolds like a best-selling novel.

Image: Cover of Useful Enemies, by Richard Rashke. Click to buy at Amazon.caDuring November, as we mourn the loss of the men and women who made the supreme sacrifice in two world wars, and in subsequent blood-letting, it is important to recognize how their sacrifice has been betrayed by those who have since led millions more to death and misery under false flags.
One such example is the decision by the United States following World War Two to open its doors to thousands of former Nazis and Nazi collaborators. Useful Enemies provides us with how the foundations of today's Washington policies were laid in the years between 1947 and 1950. (More)

Image: Poster for book-launch party of Kevin Dooley's novel, A Dog's Breakfast. Click to visit link.

True North Perspective contributor Kevin Dooley is pleased to invite you to join him in celebrating the publication of his fourth novel, A Dog's Breakfast, on Sunday, November 8, 2015, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Daniel O'Connell's Irish Pub, 1211 Wellington Street, in Ottawa. Click here for details.

Media Watch

Media war intensifies

Russia refutes Western claims it hit hospital killing 13

Image: Detail of photo of Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova. © Evgenya Novozhenina / RIA Novosti , via RT.
AFP, a French media outlet, was responsible for publishing a piece titled 13 Dead as Russia strike hits Syria field hospital: monitor. The source in the story was identified as the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is run by one man – Rami Abdulrahman. Just recently, Abdulrahman told RT that the last time he had been in Syria was 15 years ago and that all the information for his reports is taken from “some of the Observatory activists” who he knows “through common friends.”

The Russian Foreign Ministry has disputed Western media (MSM) reports accusing Russia of hitting a field hospital in northwestern Syria and killing 13 people. The reports cited “sources” provided by the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

Please take the time to play the videos, especcially the one under MSM attacks on Russia, (More)


Countering the dangerous mainstream media

(mis)perceptions of the bloody Syrian conflict

Image: Photo of people at newstand, © Darren Staples / Reuters, via RT.
By Richard Sudan
10 October 2015 — The Western mainstream media have set a very dangerous precedent in the way they have so far presented the war in Syria.

Up until quite recently, much of the media towed the government line, suggesting Assad and the terrorists must go — even though those same terror groups entered Syria to overthrow the government. The grossly misleading implication here is that the Syrian government, ISIS and other terror groups are one and the same. They are not.

Just recently and coincidentally timed with Russia coming to Syria’s aid, the Western MSM has suddenly changed its tune a bit: (More)


Nudies no more

Playboy magazine to stop

publishing pictures of naked women

‘Provocative’ images will still feature in redesigned magazine, but editors say founder Hugh Hefner has agreed that fully nude shots are ‘passé’

Image: Collage of Playboy Magazine covers, via The Guardian.
By Amanda Meade
The Guardian

Playboy, sans nudes? When 'I read it for the articles' becomes editorial policy — Clem Bastow

Tuesday 13 October 2015 — In an interview with the New York Times, CEO Scott Flanders said founder Hugh Hefner, 89, had agreed with a proposal to stop publishing images of naked women from March 2016.

The redesigned Playboy, 62 years after it was launched by Hefner, will still feature a Playmate of the Month and provocative pictures of women, but they will be rated PG-13 (a rating that cautions that material may be inappropriate for children under 13). (More)


RT media proves that honesty is the best policy

While Western media wallow in propaganda spin

Image: Photo shows man pointing at multiple televsion monitors in studio. © Nina Zotina / RIA Novosti , via

RT’s 2016 budget announced, down from 2015, MSM too stumped to spin?


10 October 2015 — RT — a publicly-funded, autonomous non-profit organization — has been allocated 19 billion rubles, or just over 300 million USD, in the just-announced 2016 Federal Budget of the Russian Federation.

The budget represents a nearly 2-billion ruble cut from 2015. Western media, usually so eager to discuss RT’s “lavish” financing, has remained surprisingly quiet about this news, at least for now. (More)


Times of Troubles

How anti-Russia 'experts' change tune to suit the market

Image: Detail of photo of a city's skyline, via

RT Editorial

20 October 2015 — Recently, The Moscow Times — the Russian capital's only English-language daily — has been on something of an anti-RT crusade. Could this stem from frustration over RT’s success?

Like the British rock band The Smiths, opinions of RT can ‘oscillate wildly’. Pundits hope to convince their readers with harrowing stories that RT is about to take over the world. On other occasions, RT is casually dismissed as an outlet that nobody watches or reads.

Amusingly, it seems that both narratives can apparently co-exist in the same publication. (More)

Health Watch

Coca-Cola spends millions buying scientists

‘to manipulate public’ on sugar-obesity link
Image: Detail of photo of two cans of Coca Cola, via


09 October 2015Coca-Cola has spent millions of pounds funding research institutes and scientists who cast doubt on the link between sugary drinks and obesity.

The soft drinks firm is said to have links to more than a dozen British scientists, including government health advisers, who counter claims that its drinks contribute to obesity.

The revelation of Coca-Cola’s scientific funding comes weeks after the government rejected a tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, despite support from Chief Medical Officer Dame Sally Davies, the British Medical Association, and TV chef Jamie Oliver. (More)


Why you’re out of breath walking up stairs — fit or not

Image: Detail of photo of person and a flight of stairs. Via

Amy Eisinger
24 October 2015 — You can crush a spin class, run a 5K with ease, and power through weight sessions at the gym. But you still get winded climbing a flight of stairs.
The good news is that's totally normal. "It doesn’t mean you’re out of shape," says Jordan Syatt, a certified personal trainer and Greatist expert. "You just elevated your heart rate and need more oxygen." (More)


Pollutants lurking in your house

can make you seriously miserable

The air in your home may be hazardous to your health

Image: Detail of photo of dog, Dave Harrison/Flickr, via

By Reynard Loki

23 October 2015 — While your home may feel like the safest place you could be, the air may contain a number of indoor air pollutants that can cause respiratory problems like asthma, or even diseases like lung cancer.

Here are six of the most common air pollutants found in homes and ways to reduce or eliminate them. (More)


18 foods you don't need to buy organic

Image: Photo of bunch of asparagus, via

Buying organic helps keep pesticides out of your diet, but it can also drain your wallet

22 June 2015

By Reynard Loki
[Editor's note: The following list, which includes the produce on Environment Working Group's "Clean 15" list plus 3 additional, only considers pesticide residue on the produce itself.]

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tested 3,015 produce samples and found that almost two-thirds contained pesticide residues. The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group for human health and the environment, calculated that USDA tests found a total 165 different pesticides on thousands of fruit and vegetables in the 2013 sampling.

While these findings might increase your desire to always choose organic over conventionally grown produce, in fact, there are many traditionally grown fruits and vegetables that are fine to include in a pesticide-free diet. Of course, there are foods that you should always buy organic, like apples, peaches and nectarines — nearly 100 percent of these fruits have tested positive for at least one pesticide residue. The EWG has produced the Shopper's Guide to Pesticides in Produce, which includes the "Dirty Dozen" and "Clean Fifteen" lists to help you decide what to buy organic and what's okay to buy non-organic.

Why do some types of produce have more pesticide than others? Richard Wiles, senior vice president of policy for the Environmental Working Group says, “If you eat something like a pineapple or sweet corn, they have a protection defense because of the outer layer of skin. Not the same for strawberries and berries.” (More)


NASA studying 2015 El Nino event as never before

All 19 space earth-observation missions gather data

Image: Detail of gif showing contrast between 1997 and 2015 el nino events, via Science Daily.

By Kasha Patel 
20 October 2015, Greenbelt MD — Every two to seven years, an unusually warm pool of water — sometimes two to three degrees Celsius higher than normal — develops across the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean to create a natural short-term climate change event. This warm condition, known as El Nino, affects the local aquatic environment, but also spurs extreme weather patterns around the world, from flooding in California to droughts in Australia. This winter, the 2015-16 El Nino event will be better observed from space than any previous El Nino.

This year's El Nino is already strong and appears likely to equal the event of 1997-98, the strongest El Nino on record, according to the World Meteorological Organization. All 19 of NASA's current orbiting Earth-observing missions were launched after 1997. In the past two decades, NASA has made tremendous progress in gathering and analyzing data that help researchers understand more about the mechanics and global impacts of El Nino.

"El Nino is a fascinating phenomenon because it has such far-reaching and diverse impacts. The fact that fires in Indonesia are linked with circulation patterns that influence rainfall over the United States shows how complex and interconnected the Earth system is," said Lesley Ott, research meteorologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland. (More)


Greater than the sum of its parts

A new species is evolving right before our eyes

Millions of 'coydogs' thought to roam eastern North America

Image: Photo of a 'coydog', by, via The Economist.
The Economist
31 October 2015 — Like some people who might rather not admit it, wolves faced with a scarcity of potential sexual partners are not beneath lowering their standards. It was desperation of this sort, biologists reckon, that led dwindling wolf populations in southern Ontario to begin, a century or two ago, breeding widely with dogs and coyotes. The clearance of forests for farming, together with the deliberate persecution which wolves often suffer at the hand of man, had made life tough for the species. That same forest clearance, though, both permitted coyotes to spread from their prairie homeland into areas hitherto exclusively lupine, and brought the dogs that accompanied the farmers into the mix.
Interbreeding between animal species usually leads to offspring less vigorous than either parent—if they survive at all. But the combination of wolf, coyote and dog DNA that resulted from this reproductive necessity generated an exception. The consequence has been booming numbers of an extraordinarily fit new animal (see picture) spreading through the eastern part of North America. Some call this creature the eastern coyote. Others, though, have dubbed it the “coywolf”. Whatever name it goes by, Roland Kays of North Carolina State University, in Raleigh, reckons it now numbers in the millions. (More)

RT Exclusive: Trail of bodies left behind

by jihadists in Syria running from Russian bombs

Image: Screenshot of Russian bombler, via

10 October 2015 — The Syrian Army has captured the village of Al-Bahsa in the Hama province. An RT crew went to witness the trail of destruction left behind by the militants over their two-month reign of terror.

The village was under control of the Al-Nusra Front, a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda. They retreated on Friday as the Syrian government forces, supported from the air by Russian warplanes, went on the offensive.

Dozens of bodies, many of them with their hands tied and apparently killed execution-style, were discovered by the advancing troops in Al-Bahsa. RT’s Murad Gazdiev and his crew went to the scene to witness the horrors as the battles continued mere kilometers away. (More)

Russia claims success in combat report

More than 1,600 terror targets destroyed

in one month of Russia's Syria operation

30 October 2015The Russian Air Force says it has conducted some 1,400 sorties in Syria since the start of Moscow's anti-terror operation September 30 They have eliminated more than 1,600 terrorist targets in one month, Russia's military said on Friday 30 October.

Among the destroyed targets are 249 command posts, 51 militants' training camps, 131 ammunition and fuel depots and 786 field bases, Colonel General Andrey Kartapolov of Russia's General Staff said on Friday.

Twenty-eight of the "most odious" terrorist leaders have been eliminated, the military report said. With the help of Russian airstrikes, the Syrian army managed to free over 50 towns and villages in such provinces as Aleppo, Latakia, Idlib, Homs and Damascus, the General Staff official said, adding that the freed territories make up to around 350 square kilometers (350,000 hectares).

American action in Syria baffles Russian foreign minister

Image: Detail of photo showing Strike on position area of militants (‪Hama‬ province) © Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation / Facebook, via

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, says he is baffled by what the U.S. is doing in Syria and why the results of its actions are so insignificant. "We have very few specifics that could explain what the U.S. is exactly doing in Syria. With 25,000 combat sorties one could blow the whole of Syria off the map." During a year of American action, the IS has expanded its occupied territory and its firepower. At the request of the Syrian government Russia launched its anti-IS military operation in Syria on Wednesday 30 September.

Despite Islamic State's "considerable losses and mass walkout," it's too early to talk about "complete victory" over the terrorists in Syria, Kartapolov stressed, adding the militants are continuing their stand against Syrian government troops in a number of regions. But "all their [terrorists'] efforts of counter attacks have been timely suppressed by the Syrian Army," the Russian military official said. (More)