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A message from the most bombed nation on earth | Nuclear weapons

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You never know what is killing you when it is done in secret.

I watched my uncle suffer from horrible cancer that ate away at his throat and my grandfather die of an auto-immune disease that is known to be caused by exposure to radiation. They say he had a heart attack, but when your skin falls off, that puts stress on your heart.

Many of my cousins have died. Last year, my cousin, who is about 50, had a defibrillator put in his chest. Now his daughter, who is a toddler, has heart problems as well. At around the same time, one of my cousins told me his mom has cancer. And then a week later, he found out he has it, too.

A few months ago, an elder here died from a rare form of brain cancer.

Every family is affected. We have seen mental and physical retardation, leukaemia, childhood leukaemia, all sorts of cancers.

The US military industrial complex

I am the Principal Man of the Western Bands of the Shoshone Nation of Indians – the most bombed nation on earth.

Our country is approximately 40,000 square miles (25.6 million acres), from just west of Las Vegas, Nevada all the way to the Snake River in Idaho, including a 350-mile (563km) wide strip in the Great Basin. There are approximately 25,000 to 30,000 Shoshone lineal descendants but the United States places the number much lower based on blood quantum (a percentage of ancestry).

We have been on this land for at least 10,000 years.

Our relationship to the US is based upon the Treaty of Ruby Valley signed in 1863. In the treaty, the Shoshone continued to own the land but we agreed that in exchange for $5,000 a year for 20 years, paid in cattle and other goods, the US could establish military posts on the land, that US mail and telegraph companies could continue to operate telegraph and stage lines on it, that a railway could pass through it, that the US could mine for minerals on it.

But shortly before the end of World War II, we started to be overrun by the US military industrial complex, in ways we are only now beginning to understand.

Nuclear fallout

In 1951, in violation of the treaty, the US established the Nevada Proving Grounds (what would later become known as the Nevada Test Site and is now known as the Nevada National Security Site) on Shoshone territory and began testing nuclear weapons – without our consent or knowledge. We suspect that Nazi scientists brought to the US as part of Operation Paperclip – to help the US develop nuclear weapons – were involved.

On January 27, 1951, the first nuclear test took place on our land, when a one-kilotonne bomb was dropped from a plane flying over the site.

Over the next 40 years, it became the premier testing location for American nuclear weapons. Approximately 928 nuclear tests took place on the Shoshone territory – 100 in the atmosphere and more than 800 underground.

When the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945, 13 kilotonnes of nuclear fallout rained down on the Japanese city. According to a 2009 study in the Nevada Law Journal, between 1951 and 1992, the tests conducted on our land caused 620 kilotonnes of nuclear fallout.

I was born in 1964, a year after above-ground testing of nuclear weapons was banned. But the US continued to test weapons of mass destruction under our land almost every three weeks until 1992.

The downwinders

The fallout from these tests covered a wide area, but it was Native American communities living downwind from the site who were most exposed – because we consumed contaminated wildlife, drank contaminated milk, lived off contaminated land. For Native American adults, the risk of exposure has been shown to be 15 times greater than for other Americans, for young people that increases to 30 times and for babies in utero to two years of age it can be as much as 50 times greater.

When the fallout came down, it killed the delicate flora and fauna, creating these huge vulnerabilities across thousands of square miles of Shoshone territory. The pine trees we use for food and heating were exposed, the plants we use for food and medicine were exposed, the animals we use for food were exposed. We were exposed.

As a result, we have watched our people die. Some of the strongest defenders of our land, of our people, just gone.

But we have to protect our land and our people. Our identity is the land. Our identity is the pure pristine water coming out of the ground, flowing for millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions of years. We see that pure water as a medicine. People need that pure water to heal.

But what we find is that we have the US brokering for the nuclear industry, brokering for the mining industry, the destruction of our property for profit.

We cannot endure any further risk, whether from nuclear weapons testing or coal ash or oil tracking, any radiation source at all.

Hammers and nails

We are beginning to understand what has happened to us. For more than 50 years, we have been suffering from this silent killer and the US government’s culture of secrecy keeps it silent. But we need relief.

In every other part of the world where there have been nuclear catastrophes or nuclear testing – such as Kazakhstan, Japan, even Chernobyl – there are health registries to monitor those who have been exposed, even if the numbers are kept artificially low in some places. We do not have that here in the US. We do not have that for Native American downwinders. We need that kind of testing. We need health registries. We need monitoring. We cannot wait any longer for the health disparities we are experiencing to be identified.

We are having to fight the US to get it to understand our basic health needs.

We have managed to obtain documents that were declassified in the 1990s. But there are almost two million pages. Trying to understand all of that is daunting. We do not have any funding and we do not have the support of the US to get that work done. So we are having to do this ourselves as we suffer through this continuing health crisis.

And all the while, military activities are still being conducted on our land.

We continue to endure and we live with the understanding that the radiation is there on the ground, it is there in our plants, in our animals, and inside of our people.

Killing Shoshone people was never part of the treaty we signed. Our people would never have engaged in something that would result in our own destruction.

Our custom is sharing, but when all you have is a hammer, everything is a nail, and that is what the US military has been doing, hammering the Shoshone with bombs.

The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera’s editorial stance.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Bitcoin: After weekend dip, chart watchers share crypto clues | Banks News

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Bitcoin has yet to recover from its unexplained weekend swoon, and now the investing public is on edge about the notoriously volatile token’s next move. Enter the chart watchers.

Noting that “a chart is a chart is a chart,” Tallbacken Capital Advisors’s Michael Purves sent a note Wednesday with a technical analysis of the coin’s trading patterns. Bitcoin’s recent highs weren’t confirmed by its relative strength index, among other things, and its upward momentum is fading, he said.

“From purely a technical perspective, the bullish case looks highly challenged here in the near term,” after its recent rally, wrote Purves, chief executive officer at the firm.

It’s another sign that Bitcoin has become too big for Wall Street to ignore. With more firms allowing customers to dabble in the asset and more institutional money tied to its performance, no wonder chart watchers are capitulating and now lending their expertise to the growing batch of analysis.

Earlier, JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s analysts also chimed in with their take. The last few times Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou witnessed such negative price action in Bitcoin, buyers returned in time to prevent deeper slumps. This time, the strategist is worried.

If the largest cryptocurrency isn’t able to break back above $60,000 soon, momentum signals will collapse, strategists led by Panigirtzoglou wrote in a note Tuesday. It’s likely traders including Commodity Trading Advisers (CTAs) and crypto funds were at least partly behind the buildup of long Bitcoin futures in recent weeks, as well as the unwind in past days, they said.

“Over the past few days Bitcoin futures markets experienced a steep liquidation in a similar fashion to the middle of last February, middle of last January or the end of last November,” the strategists said. “Momentum signals will naturally decay from here for several months, given their still elevated level.”

In those three previous instances, the overall flow impulse was strong enough to allow Bitcoin to quickly break out above the key thresholds, yielding further buildups in position by momentum traders, JPMorgan noted.

“Whether we see a repeat of those previous episodes in the current conjuncture remains to be seen,” the strategists said. The likelihood it will happen again seems lower because momentum decay seems more advanced and thus more difficult to reverse, they added. Flows into Bitcoin funds also appear weak, they said.

Bitcoin rose as high as $64,870 around the time of the Nasdaq listing of Coinbase Global Inc., but has retreated back to $55,000. The cryptocurrency is still up about 90% year-to-date.

The coin, down five of the last six sessions, is struggling to overtake its 50-day moving average around $56,819. For many chartists, that’s a bearish indicator since it tends to determine price momentum trends. Should Bitcoin be unable to breach its short-term trend line, it could move lower and test the $50,000 level, about a 10% decline from where it’s currently trading. The next area of support would be its 100-day moving average around $49,212. That would signify a 11% retreat from Wednesday’s trading levels.

Tallbacken’s Purves, who says the coin’s 2017 breakout and subsequent decline is a useful case study, also points Bitcoin’s daily MACD signal — or the moving average convergence divergence gauge — which has turned bearish in the intermediate-term. And its performance is still correlated to Cathie Wood’s uber-popular ARK Innovation ETF.

“Trading Bitcoin on the bullish side right now does not appear to have favorable risk-reward and if you have made profits, it seems like a good time to go to the sidelines for now,” Purves wrote.

To be sure, he said, it’s difficult to conclude how much further it could decline. Key to the issue will be how strongly institutional buyers step in. “While upside momentum is clearly looking challenged here, it is inconclusive how much downside risk remains,” he wrote in a note. “It is entirely possible that Bitcoin could simply consolidate in a range for some time.”

Bitcoin fell as much as 4.3% Wednesday to $54,341 before recouping some losses. Smaller and alternative coins that had run up in recent days also suffered declines Wednesday, with Dogecoin — the poster-child for crypto risk-taking — declining roughly 15% to trade around 31 cents. That’s down from a high of 42 cents the day prior, according to CoinMarketCap.com.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Pakistan: Several killed in explosion at Quetta hotel | Pakistan News

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Blast in parking area of Serena Hotel also wounded nine people, with some in critical condition, police say.

At least three people have been killed and nine others wounded in a powerful explosion in the parking area of an upscale hotel in the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, according to authorities.

Police said rescuers were transporting the victims of Wednesday’s blast at Serena Hotel to nearby hospitals. Footage on local news channels showed cars in flames.

Security forces rushed to the hotel and no one was allowed to approach the site of the explosion. Police said they had opened an investigation.

“Our officers are working to determine whether it was a bomb and what type of device it could be,” police official Nasir Malik told Reuters news agency.

According to senior police official Azhar Akram, some of the wounded were listed in critical condition. They were brought to Quetta’s main hospital.

No other information was immediately available.



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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Pay your mother: Oligarch’s son ordered to shell out $100M in UK | Russia News

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Temur Akhmedov did ‘all he could’ to stop his mother from getting a $627m divorce payout, a United Kingdom judge said.

The son at the center of the U.K.’s largest divorce lost a London court ruling over his role in hiding assets from his mother with a judge calling him “a dishonest individual who will do anything to assist his father.”

Temur Akhmedov worked with his billionaire father, Farkhad Akhmedov, to do “all he could” to stop his mother from obtaining a 450 million-pound ($627 million) court-approved divorce payout, Judge Gwynneth Knowles said in a ruling Wednesday. The judge ruled Temur should pay his mother more than $100 million.

The trial attracted scrutiny after Temur revealed he’d lost more than $50 million day trading while a college student. He’d argued that far from hiding his father’s money from his mother, he’d instead lost some of it with bad trades.

“Temur has learned well from his father’s past conduct and has done and said all he could to prevent his mother receiving a penny of the matrimonial assets,” the judge said.

Temur’s mother, Tatiana Akhmedova, wants the keys to a luxury apartment overlooking London’s Hyde Park in a bid to recover some of the cash.

Azerbaijan-born Farkhad made much of his wealth from the sale of his stake in a Russian gas producer in November 2012 for $1.4 billion. But the oligarch has refused to make any divorce payments, leaving Tatiana, backed by litigation funder Burford Capital Ltd., to pursue cases in at least six countries.

“Entirely predictably, given its original wrong and misguided judgment, the London court has ruled in favor of visiting ‘the sins’ of the father on an innocent and loyal son,” Farkhad said in a statement.

The fight has led to Tatiana’s so-far unsuccessful legal attempts to seize a 115-meter (377-foot) superyacht once owned by Roman Abramovich that is currently in Dubai, and a collection of modern art worth more than $140 million in a secure storage facility in Liechtenstein known as the “Treasure House.”

Farkhad moved to Russia after the initial divorce order in 2016. But by getting an English ruling against Temur, a U.K. resident, it’ll be easier for his mother to obtain his local assets.

At the trial last year, Temur said his father made his own decisions. He said his mother’s choice to draw him into the litigation has been “tremendously upsetting and in many ways quite frightening.”

He said in a statement that while he disagreed with the ruling, “he would consider it a price worth paying for should it lead to a reasonable settlement between the parents he both loves.”

Tatiana said during the trial that her relationship with her eldest son “is now very strained.” She said she felt she had no choice but to sue him.

“I always knew that my strength would prevail through the smoke and mirrors as presented by Farkhad and his circus of illusionists,” Tatiana said in a statement after the ruling.

Temur said at the trial that he’d had some initial success trading stocks, only to hit a losing streak while studying at the London School of Economics. When he tried to make back the money, “convinced this loss was just bad luck,” he increased his risk exposure and lost everything, he explained in court.

The judge rejected Temur’s explanation that his mother knew about his trading, saying the transfer of millions of dollars from his father’s account was in fact designed to put it out of her reach. That he’d then racked up losses was beside the point, she said.

“All happy families are alike, each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way,” Knowles said in her judgment. “With apologies to Tolstoy, the Akhmedov family is one of the unhappiest ever to have appeared in my courtroom.”



Source – www.aljazeera.com

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