Earlier, when a report came out urging the corporation to stop bottling in water-parched areas in India, Coke’s India Division told a reporter the answer was "not to stop bottling." The pumps kept running and this same pattern was born out even in Georgia, where city rationing during drought conditions didn’t preclude Coke from continuing to churn out its products, including bottled tap water, at full-tilt. Each year, billions of pounds of plastic waste from Coke products wind up in landfills, incinerators, or as roadside litter—even as Coke spends millions on PR to push its "green" image (www.ThinkOutsideTheBottle.org).
During his campaign, at several junctures, President Obama had committed to do significantly more on global AIDS, TB, and malaria and promised to fully fund PEPFAR (President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), including a written pledge to support $50 billion over five years for global AIDS alone. "…[T]his budget’s drastic cuts to funding for AIDS, TB and malaria shows that his promises were just rhetoric," said Kaytee Riek, Director of Organizing for Health GAP.
Race in America
"However, while impressive, Black progress has always been fragile and insufficient, particularly as it relates to the working class and the poor. [In the last decades] Republican conservatives seized the initiative to launch a major legislative and legal assault calculated to nullify or reverse these gains, arguing that Black progress was achieved by infringing on the rights of Whites…. And, with more conservatives on the Supreme Court and in the federal judiciary, race-based remedies, including virtually every form of affirmative action, have increasingly been ruled unconstitutional.
"Though structural racism remains the most plausible explanation for the kinds of disparities consistently documented by the National Urban League’s State of Black America Report, conservatives have been successful in persuading a majority of Americans that whatever problems exist in Black America are due to cultural defects and a lack of ‘personal responsibility’…. At Obama’s prime-time news conference to mark his first 100 days in office, a BET [Black Entertainment Television] reporter asked him whether targeted programs might be needed to address situations like the massive unemployment of Black and Latino men in New York City. The president refused to take the opportunity to embrace race-based remedies as a means of dealing with depression level employment in the Black community, indicating instead that the overall success of his Stimulus Program will be the rising tide that lifts all boats."
Human rights groups denounce its use for the severe burns it causes, though it is not banned by any treaty to which the United States is a signatory. The U.S. military used white phosphorus in the battle of Fallujah in Iraq in November 2004. Israel’s military used it in January against Hamas targets in Gaza.
Using white phosphorus to illuminate a target or create smoke is considered legitimate under international law, but rights groups say its use over populated areas can indiscriminately burn civilians and constitutes a war crime. Allegations that white phosphorus or another chemical may have been used threatens to deepen the controversy over what Afghan officials say could be the worst case of civilian deaths since the 2001 U.S. invasion.
In Kabul, hundreds of people have marched near Kabul University to protest the U.S. military’s role in the deaths. The incident in Farah drew condemnation of Karzai, who called for an end to airstrikes. However, President Barack Obama’s national security adviser said the United States would not end airstrikes. Retired Gen. James Jones refused to rule out any action because "we can’t fight with one hand tied behind our back."
The Police Department confirmed that it had been notified, but said it had been barred from alerting the public: "The flight of a VC-25 aircraft and F-16 fighters this morning was authorized by the FAA for the vicinity of the Statue of Liberty with directives to local authorities not to disclose information about it."
Robert Gibbs, the White House press secretary, said Monday afternoon that he was unaware of the flyover. Also unaware were hundreds of office workers flooded out of buildings. Johnny Villafane, 42, of the Upper West Side, said, "The plane did a 360. There was a vibration. The glass in the skyscrapers was shivering." He added, "It sounded like the building were cracking, everything started shaking. I thought the plane was coming down."