Louisiana’s Horrifying “Cancer Alley”, An 85-Mile Stretch Of Pollution And Environmental Racism

“Cancer Alley” is an 85 mile-long stretch of the Mississippi river lined with oil refineries and petrochemical plants, between New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

  • People living in the area are more than 50 times as likely to get cancer than the average American.
  • For years, residents have suffered from illnesses, but they’ve been unable to prove a causal connection between industry and the health effects.

Surrounded by smokestacks, ‘Cancer Alley’ is one of the most polluted places in America.

Here, people don’t need a weatherman to see which way the wind blows. According to ProPublica, they see cancer everywhere .

Its called ‘Cancer Alley,’ because of the high number of people living with cancer in the alley, which runs for about 85 miles along the Mississippi River, from New Orleans to Baton Rouge. It’s made up of a dense concentration of oil refineries and petrochemical plants that run alongside suburbs and vulnerable communities.

Rolling Stone called it the ” frontline of environmental racism .”

But while residents think the industry is responsible for health problems, it’s hard to prove a causal link. As environmental reporter Sharon Lerner wrote for The New York Times , “Even when there is severe suffering and a seemingly obvious culprit, it’s often impossible to pin blame on any single cause.”

LaPlace resident Geraldine Watkins described the problem to CNN in 2017 , when she said, “Industry is wonderful to have, but if it’s killing the people in the area that they live in, what good is industry?”

Here’s what Cancer Alley is like.

Entering Louisiana’s ‘Cancer Alley,’ an industrial, polluted stretch of land between train tracks and a twisting river, might not be good for your health.

Louisiana’s Horrifying “Cancer Alley”, An 85-Mile Stretch Of Pollution And Environmental Racism

Unlike the black soot that used to linger in mining towns, here, the pollution registers quietly. It’s in the oily taste of the water, on the blackened leaves of fruit trees, and in the acrid odor in the air, according to the Washington Post.

Sources: Rolling Stone NPR The Nation Washington Post

To get an idea of the toxicity, people living in Reserve, Louisiana, are 50 times more likely to get cancer than an average American.

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After Facebook agrees to pay $550 million settlement to Illinois users, Google sued over same law

Google allegedly violated Illinois users’ privacy rights with its Google Photos service, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in California.

The suit was filed last week, shortly after Facebook agreed to pay $550 million to Illinois users to settle allegations that its facial tagging feature violated the same state law protecting biometrics, which include facial, fingerprint and iris scans.

Illinois has one of the strictest biometric privacy laws in the nation. The 2008 law mandates that companies collecting such information obtain prior consent from consumers, detail how they’ll use it and specify how long the information will be kept. The law also allows private citizens, rather than just governmental entities, to file lawsuits over the issue.

Illinois resident Brandon Molander alleges in the suit that the Google Photos service scans photos that users have uploaded and creates maps of their faces, “all without ever informing anyone of this practice.”

The tech giant launched the photo uploading and sharing service in 2015, and it comes pre-installed on Google Android devices, according to the complaint. The app can also be downloaded on other devices.

Molander is seeking class-action status on behalf of anyone whose biometric information Google pulled from photographs uploaded within the state of Illinois.

Representatives for Google and Molander did not respond to requests for comment.

This latest lawsuit is not the first time Google has contended with Illinois’ biometric privacy law. In early 2018, when the Google Arts & Culture app flooded social media streams with photos of friends and the great works of art they resemble, Illinois users could not access the app.

Google wouldn’t say why at the time, but experts said it was likely because of Illinois’ biometrics law.

But even then, Google was already among a slew of companies that had faced allegations involving biometrics over the law in Illinois. Those included tech giants such as Snapchat and photo-sharing site Shutterfly, as well as hotel chains and grocery stores.

The settlement with Facebook announced last month stems from a federal lawsuit filed in Illinois nearly five years ago. Details have not been released regarding who is eligible to claim a portion of the $550 million settlement, but already, the promised payout is making waves.

The historic payout brings more attention to Illinois’ biometrics law, which could spark more lawsuits, said Matthew Kugler, an associate professor at Northwestern University’s Pritzker School of Law. It could also create anxiety among other companies using facial recognition technology.

That anxiety has prompted some tech companies to make changes, like the Google Arts & Culture app example, Kugler said. “But long-term, high-level strategy, we don’t know yet what is going to happen.”

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Trump signs order to test U.S. infrastructure's vulnerability to GPS outage

GPS is key to the functioning of electrical power grids, weather forecasting, traffic signals, smartphone apps and more

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed an executive order directing U.S. agencies to test the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure systems in the event of a disruption or manipulation of satellite-based global positioning system services (GPS).

GPS is key to the functioning of electrical power grids, weather forecasting, traffic signals, smartphone applications, financial services and vehicle navigation, among a host of other systems.

The order, directing federal agencies to develop a plan to test infrastructure systems within one year, said “disruption or manipulation of these services has the potential to adversely affect the national and economic security of the United States.”

Congress has raised concerns about GPS systems and satellite communications in the past. A group of U.S. lawmakers wrote the Trump administration in May 2019 saying GPS signals were “exceptionally weak and easily disrupted.”

The U.S. government has been working since 2004 to acquire a terrestrial backup system for GPS and in recent years Congress required the Trump administration to implement a demonstration program.

The U.S. Transportation Department plans to recommend a backup GPS system or systems by the end of the year, officials said. Testing of 11 technologies in Massachusetts and Virginia will be completed by May.

Trump signs order to test U.S. infrastructure's vulnerability to GPS outage

The Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has estimated in one study that “a hypothetical disruption to GPS could result in $30 billion to $45 billion in economic losses over a 30-day period.”

Under Trump’s order, the Commerce Department is making its independent source of precision time available within 180 days to both the public and private sector to assist critical infrastructure owners and operators.

The service offers a reliable source of time independent from GPS. The newer time source, available through a commercial fiber optic cable, will use commercial telecommunication networks and be more accurate than the current internet-time service by a factor of 1,000, the Commerce Department said.

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YEMENIS DEMAND U.S. ARREST AMERICAN MERCENARIES ACCUSED OF 'BLATANT' WAR CRIMES

Victims of alleged war crimes in Yemen have demanded that American authorities act on what they say is “compelling evidence” of offenses by American mercenaries acting under the direction of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).On Wednesday, lawyers representing Abdullah Suliman Abdullah Daubalah and Salah Muslem Salem held a press conference in London to announce they…

Victims of alleged war crimes in Yemen have demanded that American authorities act on what they say is “compelling evidence” of offenses by American mercenaries acting under the direction of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

On Wednesday, lawyers representing Abdullah Suliman Abdullah Daubalah and Salah Muslem Salem held a press conference in London to announce they had filed a complaint along with evidence they had collected of the alleged crimes.

The team urged U.S., British and Turkish authorities to open investigations and even arrest accused American mercenaries or the UAE officials said to have directed them.

The lawyers did not identify those involved, but said the UAE officials were “high ranking officials” in the government and ministry of defense, while at least some of the Americans involved have worked for the Spear Operations Group.

Those accused live in either the U.S. or the UAE but are known to travel to the U.K. regularly, the complaint said. The legal team has submitted its evidence to the U.S. and Turkish justice ministries and Britain’s Metropolitan Police.

The submission says that those responsible can be detained under the principle of Universal Jurisdiction, which allows nations to investigate or prosecute those accused of war crimes regardless of their nationality or where the incidents occurred.

IzodNews has contacted the UAE embassies in Washington, D.C. and London, and the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs to request comment on the allegations. The U.S. Department of Justice declined to comment.

Both Daubalah and Salem claim to have been targeted because of their affiliation to the Al-Islah Party, the Yemeni affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood organization which is a designated terrorist group in the UAE. Salem’s complaint relates to his brother—Jameel Moslem Salem Batis—who was assassinated in the city of Seiyun in 2019.

Daubalah survived a bomb attack on Islah’s headquarters in Aden in 2015. According to a 2018 BuzzFeed report, American mercenaries working for the Spear group have admitted responsibility for the operation.

The mercenaries were reportedly hired by Palestinian operative Mohammed Dahlan, who the complaint says is a “key advisor” to UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

They were “supplied their orders—in the form of a hit list—as well as weaponry, by uniformed military officers of the UAE Armed Forces,” the submission reads. The mercenaries were then “flown into Yemen by the UAE Air Force and briefed about their mission and orders by a uniformed officer.”

The Yemenis also allege that the UAE and its foreign mercenaries from nations including the U.S. and Colombia engaged in arbitrary detention, “systematic” abuse and torture of prisoners.

“I cannot fathom why the states have not investigated these blatant criminal acts.” said Hakan Camuz, the head of International Law at the Stoke White legal firm representing the complainants. He added it is important to act against the increasingly “popular” use of mercenaries by nations that wish to “hide their faces.”

Haydee Dijkstal, a U.S. barrister, said the U.S. government has jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute any Americans suspected of war crimes abroad. “There’s a serious issue of impunity,” she explained. “What we are doing is asking the U.S. government to take serious steps to initiate an investigation.”

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Caspian Sea Turns Blood Red in Kazakhstan

Caspian Sea turns blood red in Kazakhstan. Picture via LADA

The water and ice along the shore of Aktau, Kazakhstan, have turned blood red, worrying locals.

Meanwhile, officials are investigating the strange phenomenon.

The water and snow along the Caspian Sea along the beach of Primorsky, Aktau, Kazakhstan turned blood red on February 9, 2020, baffling and frightening local residents.

Look at the white snow turning red. Very ominous indeed.

 

According to local news, the Caspian Sea was also colored in red back in 2017:

According to local officials, the blood red water is due to at least 25 different types of algae that bloom from January to March.

On week ago, black snow fell over another city in Kazakhstan, during a power blizzard that turned the country upside-down.

So what behind this biblical red water? Pollution? Algae? Another sign of the End Time? More biblical headlines on Strange Sounds or Steve Quayle. [Lada.kz]

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Former La Joya Mayor Arrested In Fraud Scheme

Former La Joya Mayor Jose A. “Fito” Salinas was arrested Wednesday after he was indicted on two counts of wire fraud.

According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, Salinas, 81, was indicted on two counts of wire fraud Tuesday relating to a public relations contract and the purchase of real property. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Juan Alaniz at 11 a.m. tomorrow.

The first charge of wire fraud concerns the public relations contract with Sylvia Garces Valdez, who the awarded the contract to in June 2018. As part of the contract, Valdez received a $12,000 retainer and was paid $2,000 a month until the contract ended the following December. As a condition for receiving the contract, the mayor’s daughter – Frances Salinas De Leon – was to allegedly receive a portion of the contract’s payments.

Valdez and Frances are currently facing federal felony charges for the contract.

According to the indictment against them, “From at least June 4, 2018 and continuing through at least December 6, 2018, the defendant, Sylvia Garces Valdez…gave, offered, and agreed to give cash to Francis Salinas De Leon intending to influence and reward Person B, an elected official for the City of La Joya, for their influence in granting a public relations contract to the Defendant,” the superseding indictment states.

“Person B” is not identified in court documents.  Valdez and Francis face up to 10 and 20 years in prison, respectively.

The indictment against Salinas also alleges that from January 2016 to approximately July 2016, Salinas devised a scheme that resulted in the City of La Joya purchasing property he owned at a highly-inflated rate.

If convicted, Salinas faces up to 20 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 maximum fine. The indictment also includes a notice of intent to forfeit $235,000.

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Report: Antonio Brown's Lawyer Withdraws As His Counsel From Sexual Assault Case

Just when it looked like things were starting to turn around for former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, there’s another bump in the road. According to Daniel Kaplan of The Athletic, the attorney who had been representing Brown in his sexual assault case has applied to withdraw as his lawyer.

This might not be as big of an issue as it appears on the surface. This is not the same attorney Brown has for his other criminal case, so this could simply be a case of consolidating his resources.

Either way, we honestly hope Brown is able to get all his legal problems settled and hopefully he can salvage his NFL career in some capacity once the dust settles. Brown was too good for too long with the Steelers to just write him off.

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