Sunday, November 30, 2014

AFRICAN RENAISSANCE: China Railway Construction Wins $12 BILLION Nigeria Deal - Facility Will Span 1,402 Kilometres In Length; Will Create Up To 200,000 Local Jobs; Will Significantly Boost Nigeria's Infrastructure Profile And Economic Activity!

November 30, 2014 - NIGERIAChina Railway Construction Corp  has signed a deal worth nearly $12 billion with Nigeria to build a railway along the West African nation's coast, Chinese state news agency Xinhua said on Thursday.

The announcement comes shortly after Mexico abruptly scrapped a $3.75 billion high-speed rail contract with a consortium led by the Chinese firm over transparency concerns.

is pushing to win railway construction projects around the world as part of plans to export its high-speed technology and lift its manufacturing sector up the value chain.

Beijing is also pumping money into the sector, with more than $100 billion worth of infrastructure projects approved in late October and early November in a bid to bolster slowing growth in the world's second largest economy.

"It is a mutually beneficial project," CRCC Chairman Meng Fengchao told Xinhua. He added the railway project will lead to equipment exports from China worth $4 billion, including construction machinery, trains and steel products.

Officials at CRCC could not be immediately reached for comment.

The project will create up to 200,000 local jobs, according to Xinhua, helping Beijing in its soft power push to gain a foothold in resource-rich regions of Africa.

The coastal railway will stretch for 1,402 kilometers, linking Nigeria's economic capital Lagos in the west with Calabar in the east, Xinhua said. - Reuters.

The Business Case For Nigeria’s New Railway Deal

Last week, China signed its largest single overseas contract project – a $12 billion deal to build a 22-stop railway along the coast of Africa’s most populous country Nigeria. The facility will span 1,402 kilometres in length and link Nigeria’s economic capital, Lagos, in the west with tourist destination, Calabar, in the southeast.

The news of the deal was received amidst praises and high expectations that the project, once completed, will enhance economic development. At a time when the vast majority of news from the nation has centred around oil price instability and austerity measures, Nigerians are excited about this development which will ease transportation across both major cities.

Beyond the hype, however, there are three clear reasons that explain why this deal makes economic sense;
It is a significant boost to Nigeria’s infrastructure profile. In the wake of the oil crisis, cries have been louder than ever on the need for a healthy infrastructure base that can improve the business climate in the country and attract more foreign businesses to it, thus diversifying the economy. Before now, a number of global consultancies have decried the infrastructure gaps particularly in power and transportation. Lagos city, itself, has faced chronic traffic issues owing to the absence of the sort of mass transit systems found in other mega cities.

The railway is, therefore, a welcome development as it contributes to bridging the gaps in transportation across the southern region of Nigeria.

It will boost overall economic activity.
With this new railway, which connects 10 Nigerian cities, new opportunities will arise for transporting cargo and inter-city trading. The terminal cities, Lagos and Calabar, are strategic coastal hubs, thus economic activities between them is sure to increase also. Improved trading across these cities will definitely have a positive impact on GDP, and this may position the entire region to play a more significant role in Africa.

It contributes to reducing unemployment.
The project is expected to create up to 200,000 local jobs during the construction and about 30,000 fixed job posts once the railway is operational.

It will inspire the birthing of similar projects across Nigeria.
People copy successes; and if this project is successfully completed, it is expected that other investors would be interested in setting up similar infrastructure in other regions within the country. Before this deal, railway construction sites had already been set up in Lagos and Abuja to boost intra-city transportation, so this is fast becoming a trend in Nigeria.

Commenting on the potential impact of the new project, a Nigerian businesswoman was quoted as saying; “In all civilized societies, efficient rail system enhances commercial activities and mass movement of people from one place to another. So, this implies that the rail project will also be beneficial to the economy of Nigeria.”

“It will also encourage and promote, in no small way, business among the local people. It is a laudable project; and, of course, the government should be commended for taking such a bold step to earmark that huge amount of money for the project,” she concluded. - Ventures Africa.

EUROPEAN RACISM: "They're Murdering Our Kids And Getting Away With It" - The Pervasive And Systematic War On Black People!

November 30, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- Michael Brown's death in Ferguson, Missouri came as no shock to the hundreds of Americans of color who have lost loved ones in officer-involved shootings. Below, some of these people discuss their experiences and share their thoughts on the grand jury's decision not to indict Darren Wilson, the police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Brown this summer.

Nicholas Heyward Jr.

Thirteen-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr. was playing "cops and robbers" in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project in 1994 when NYPD Officer Brian George mistook the teen's toy rifle for a real weapon. George fired one shot into Nicholas' stomach, killing him.

Then-Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes declined to convene a grand jury in the case, or to directly press charges against George. The shooting was ruled a justifiable homicide.

Twenty years later, Nicholas' father, Nicholas Heyward Sr., is still fighting to keep the memory of his son alive. He's distraught by both the recent death of Akai Gurley -- another unarmed black male shot and killed by a police officer in the stairwell of a Brooklyn housing project -- and the grand jury's decision in Ferguson. Heyward spoke to The Huffington Post by phone this week. It was clear from his voice that he was close to weeping.

Honestly speaking, whenever I hear of an innocent victim being killed by the police, I'm in tears. It hurts me so much. I know the officers aren't going to ever be held accountable.

Here's what I would say to [Michael Brown's] family: "Just continue to speak out and expose the truth."

My son was an outstanding student, an outstanding child, very helpful around the house. When my son was alive, in this community, he'd be talking to senior citizens on a bench out here. He was always willing to suck in knowledge from the adults. I remember when I went up to open house at school one night, when we both walked through the door, the principal pointed to my son and said "He's always in my office," and I was like, "What you been up to?!"

But then principal said, "No, he helps me out. He's an outstanding student." I was so overwhelmed by that. He was an amazing kid. I don't just say that because he's my son, but what others have told me about my son also.

My experience has been to organize with those who can identify my pain. You have to talk about that pain, because it's never gonna go away. As the years go on, it gets worse, because you see that it's constantly, constantly happening. You don't want another family to experience the pain and hurt.

That's why I'm still out here 20 years later. They're murdering our kids and they're getting away with it too much. I haven't done enough out here because they're still killing our children. And until that stops, I won't stop.

Sean Bell

This Tuesday marked eight years since Sean Bell, 23, was killed by a hail of NYPD bullets in Queens. He was unarmed. Later that day, he was supposed to get married.

The three officers who faced charges were eventually acquitted. On Monday night, Bell's mother Valerie watched the announcement of the Ferguson grand jury decision. She shared her thoughts with HuffPost the following day.

Yes, I watched it. And I really had no words at the time. All I could say was "wow."

I texted Michael Brown's mother before the decision. I said, "Keep your head up no matter what the decision is, because you gotta be the voice for your son."

[Tuesday] is the anniversary of my son's death. It's like it's happening all over again. Seeing [Michael Brown's family], I'm reliving it again with somebody else. Even though they did indict [the officers who killed] my son, the officers still get off. It's a never-ending story.

I'd tell the Brown family this: You're never gonna forget it. If I was at work today, I'd be at my desk, crying.
You have to try to help make change. These police officers need to be held accountable. They need to go to jail. If we did the same thing as them, we'd go to jail for life.

Oscar Grant

Oscar Grant III, an unarmed 22-year-old, was shot and killed in Oakland, California, by BART Officer Johannes Mehserle in 2009. Mehserle said he thought he was using his Taser when he shot Grant point-blank in the back with a handgun.

Multiple witnesses recorded the incident on their phones, and the tragedy was later the subject of an acclaimed movie, 2013's "Fruitvale Station," named for the BART station where the shooting occurred. Mehserle was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter in 2010.

Grant's mother, Wanda Johnson, spoke to HuffPost by phone.

JOHNSON: When the [Ferguson] verdict was rendered, it brought back a lot of memories of going through trial and court for my son’s case.

I don’t think I’m ever going to have that closure. But I believe that Oscar died for a purpose, and one of those purposes was to bring light to the injustice that African-American and brown young men face.

And so with that, every day is an opening for me, because I’m still always talking about Oscar, always sharing the experience that I went through, that my family went through, and working to try to let people know that stereotypes still exist.

People expect you to just get over it in a certain amount of time. One of the things that helped me to cope is being able to help other mothers or families who have lost their children to gun violence. It’s an everyday struggle. I go through the transition of not having their child with them, encouraging them. It’s a very hard process to deal with. It’s very hard.

People are fed up. We have a new generation coming up and they see the injustice taking place in our society. They looked at what happened all the way from Rodney King to my son Oscar Grant and now Michael Brown.

[Brown's family] hasn’t had the time to sit down and come to grips with how their family is forever changed.

They won’t get to smell the roses that their son brings home. They won’t get to see his smiling face. They won’t get to hear his laugh. They won’t get to hear him say "I love you." They won’t get to feel his hugs and his touch.

One of the things that they will probably have to do is get away to themselves, for awhile, to really process this, and really just come to grips with Michael not being here anymore.

Errol Shaw

Errol Shaw was 39 years old when Detroit police Officer David Krupinski fatally shot him at his home on Aug. 29, 2000. Shaw could not hear or speak, and his family said he couldn't understand police orders to put down the rake he was holding. Shortly after Shaw's death, Detroit's mayor asked for a federal review of the police department and police-involved shootings, resulting in a Department of Justice monitoring program that only ended this year.

Krupinski was charged with manslaughter, but was later acquitted.
Shaw's niece, Katina Crumpton, was there when her uncle was killed. She told HuffPost that the deaths of both Michael Brown and her uncle, along with the lack of a criminal conviction for either shooter, prove that our justice system needs an "overhaul."

CRUMPTON: I was very hurt for [Michael Brown's] family. I can understand the agony, the pain, the sorrow. I understand it all because we've been there.

There's still not a sense of normalcy when it comes to what transpired with my uncle. Each day it's a struggle for his mom, my grandmother.

When I got out of my car, as I was walking towards the police officers, I was kind of stating to them, "He's deaf, he's deaf, he can't hear you." They were telling him to drop his rake, but he was actually going to do yardwork. They told me to stop coming. And then one officer pointed the gun at me and told me to stay right where I was. Otherwise, they probably would have killed me, too.

Now, when I see a police officer, I literally cringe. I get nervous. It's been that way with my entire family and people who know about our case. We have no trust in our judicial system. We have no trust in police officers anymore. It's very, very difficult as a community to move forward if we can't even trust the police to protect and serve.

It's like the judicial system is dehumanizing us as a people. Like we are not a concern. Like we are just not human beings. It's utterly ridiculous how these officers are getting away with these senseless murders.

O'Shaine Evans

O'Shaine Evans, 26, was fatally shot by San Francisco police Officer David Goff on Oct. 7. Goff reportedly suspected that Evans was part of a group of men who'd just burglarized an SUV near AT&T Park. He approached Evans, who was sitting in a parked car, and asked him to show his hands, according to police. Evans allegedly pointed a gun at Goff, who fired into the car, striking Evans twice. Goff is currently on paid leave while the shooting is under review.

Evans' family doubts that Goff properly identified himself, and police admit that Goff's uniform was partially covered.

The decision in Ferguson was exactly what Evans’ sister, Cadine Williams, 34, expected to happen.

[Evans] was born in Jamaica, moved here in '92. You know the story. We came here because of poverty. He was trying to be a boxer when they killed him.

Every day I dream about it. I haven’t gone back to work. I’m scared in my own house. We grew up together.

I didn’t expect anything different to come out of [Ferguson]. It was not surprising to me. For them to charge Wilson with murder, that would have been justice.

[The violent protests] should happen. Burn it down. That’s the only way they’re going to listen to us, to see we mean business, that we’re standing up for [Brown]. I was not [active] until [Evans died]. I wish I had gotten out there before this. It’s an eye-opener. It’s a lesson learned.

I’m so sorry for [Michael Brown's family's] loss, and that they have to relive the whole nightmare all over again. I feel it for them, because I know what they’re going through. It’s close to what happened to my brother.

Ramarley Graham

In February 2012, NYPD Officer Richard Haste spotted 18-year-old Ramarley Graham outside a Bronx bodega and reportedly thought he had a gun. Haste and another officer followed Graham back to his apartment.

The officers broke inside without a warrant, and Haste shot Graham once in the chest, killing him. Graham was unarmed, and police say he was trying to flush a bag of marijuana down the toilet. His grandmother and his 6-year-old brother watched him get shot.

Haste was indicted later that year, but the indictment was tossed out on a technicality in 2013. A second grand jury declined to indict him. Graham's mother, Constance Malcolm, talked to HuffPost during a protest in New York City Monday night.

MALCOLM: I got an indictment in Ramarley's case and I'm right back to square one. It’s sad that [the Brown family] didn’t get the indictment.

If it was us, we'd get indicted right away -- before we even got to the precinct.

We're black, and they don’t think our lives matter. But we’re showing them that they do matter. It’s a lot of black youth out here, and it makes a big difference. We're showing that we are somebody. We’ll stand strong, be united as one and never be defeated.

If a cop can kick your door down and murder you, what kind of country are we living in? We can't keep burying our kids. It's just too much for a mother. - Huffington Post.

AFRICAN INNOVATION: Africa's Mobile Money Makes Its Way To Europe With M-Pesa - Over 17 MILLION Active Customers Worldwide; Over ONE BILLION Person-To-Person Transactions A Month!

November 30, 2014 - AFRICA - Snapchat may be the latest application with a new mobile payment feature launched this week, but the idea that made Snapcash possible was spawned more than seven years ago in Africa.

When M-Pesa came on the scene in 2007 -- a money transfer system devised by Vodafone and Kenya-based Safaricom - it sparked a mini-revolution.

With the touch of a button, relatives in Nairobi could transfer cash instantly to their remote up-country families without the need for bank accounts, bureaucracy, and sometimes long journeys to settle accounts.

Experimental beginnings

Initially launched as an experiment in creating a development impact through a private-sector solution, and seeded with as little as £2 million (US$3.1 million) in competition money, the system has gone from strength to strength.

M-Pesa has nearly 17 million active customers and as many as 186,000 agents worldwide. Customers make more than €900 million (US$1.1 billion) worth of person-to-person transactions a month.

In 2013, it shifted a massive US$22 billion in wireless financial transactions.

Now, the technology that was honed in Africa is being exported to Europe, with the launch of the mobile wallet technology in Romania.

"The majority of people in Romania have at least one mobile device, but more than one-third of the population do not have access to conventional banking," said Vodafone director of mobile money, Michael Joseph.

While it is early days in Romania -- the company only made its active launch in August this year -- analysts are cautiously optimistic about the prospects for its success.

"By Vodafone's estimation, 35 percent of the Romanian population don't use banking services and, if you look at Vodafone's footprint in Europe, Romania is one of the places where M-Pesa stands the best chance of gaining adoption," mobile analyst for IHS Technology Jack Kent told CNN.

"In more developed markets, like the U.K. and Germany, there isn't a role for this type of payment system. This service really works where people need an alternative to traditional banking."

Expanded potential

When Safaricom partnered with Vodafone, the intention had been to develop a system for women, usually the recipients of microfinance, to repay micro-loans cheaply and quickly.

But after Safaricom's management team looked at the application, they saw it had a greater potential. Kenyans now use it to pay school fees, taxes, traffic fines, and more recently it's been extended to give people the ability to save and to borrow.

Other more sophisticated financial services are also being introduced.

The mobile payment system covers microinsurance, payrolls and even distributors like Diageo, which deliver beer to bars, take M-Pesa payments rather than have the delivery trucks go around with cash.

It has even extended into Kenya's real estate and rental market with a service called Lipa Kodi— Swahili for "pay your rent."

Kenya's rental market is a large and growing segment (the latest census estimated there were 6.5 million rental households) as the country rapidly urbanizes. Valued at around 17.2 billion Kenyan shillings (US$200 million), it represents a fifth of the total value of the real estate market in Kenya.

Within five years, M-Pesa contributes almost 20% of Safaricom's total revenue and has been rolled out in Egypt, Lesotho and Mozambique, before first venturing outside Africa into India.

Universal appeal

While it was originally designed for and aimed at those at the bottom of the pyramid, M-Pesa is used by almost everyone that needs to move money in Kenya, allowing users to transfer between US$1,500--US$1,600 per day.
Recent services, such as the credit application M-Shwari, however, have come under fire over what critics claim are high levels of interest charged to Kenya's poorest.

Even though the loans are small, typically just $300, they have a 30-day term at 7.5%. On an annualized basis, critics say, the loans attract an interest rate of about 100%.

Additionally, a higher rate of interest applies if the loan is paid either early or late and a subscriber's savings account is frozen up to the amount due.

Nevertheless, for many analysts, M-Pesa is an example of a successful social enterprise—a system that not only has a clear social benefit but returns a profit as well. For detractors of Africa's dependence on foreign aid, applications like M-Pesa are the way forward.

Ironically, aid organizations are using M-Pesa themselves to direct cash payments.

"When it was started, it wasn't even conceived as a social enterprise; I don't think it was even a popular term at the time," Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore told CFA Magazine. "But now, USAID, which distributes aid—and often this aid evaporates; it's stolen—these guys use M-Pesa to get the benefit directly to the person who is receiving it." - CNN.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

AFRICAN VOICES: Most Influential Africans Named - South Africa And Nigeria Dominate The Listing With 33 And 27 Entries!

Photo: Premium Times

November 29, 2014 - AFRICA
- This year's listing of what has become one of the definitive listings of most influential Africans makes for an interesting read. It was a year that saw over 200 schoolgirls abducted overnight by the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram - an event Obiageli Ezekwesili was not going to let slip away quietly. Listed by New African for her influence in Civil Society and Activism, Mrs. Ezekwesili, one of the founders of Transparency International used her voice to speak up for those who could not, as she demand #BringbackOurGirls. Slowly but surly this message went viral and the world began to listen.

Another one who makes the list is Lupita Nyong'o, who set fashion blogs on fire and left film critics in awe, as she gracefully carried the beauty of Africa to the global stage. Celebrated by New African for winning an Oscar for her role in '12 Years a Slave', the academy award winning actress was also appointed ambassador for Lancôme cosmetics and named as Glamour's woman of the year.

This year's listing is not dominated by men with more than 40 women featuring in the list. South Africa and Nigeria dominate the listing with 33 and 27 entries respectively. There are four African heads of state. President Kenyatta, President al-Sisi of Egypt, President Déby of Chad and President Museveni of Uganda. All have featured prominently in 2014 with the latter two playing important roles mediating regional conflicts.

When people talk of African solutions to Africa's problems, this was the year for the 'Afri -Innovator' Kelvin Doe. A self-taught engineer by the age of 13, Doe used scraps to build a generator to power a radio station to entertain audiences under the guise of DJ Focus. He has since signed a $100,000 deal to develop his own solar power technology, with a TED talk to add.

There are some names you would expect such as businessman Aliko Dangote and other heads such as Donald Kaberuka of the African Development Bank and Carlos Lopes of the Economic Commission for Africa. But there were also some new faces, emerging satirist Ikenna Azuike, who has just signed a show with the BBC, or Chester Missing, the puppet which makes so much noise in Southern Africa.

In essence, this was a roller coaster year across the continent and the Most Influential Africans of 2014 highlight the key themes, personalities and game changers of the year, for the celebrations and the controversy. A year in review, this edition of New African will also pay tribute to the late BBC Correspondent, Komla Dumor, and Female Genital Mutilation Campaigner, Efua Dorkenoo - African Icons, gone too soon.

The full version of the listis available in the December issue of New African, available on newsstands from Tuesday. - Premium Times.

THE LEGEND & THE ELECTRIC FOOD: "Holy Herb" - Bob Marley's Heirs Launch The First Global Cannabis Brand!

Bob Marley (Photo from (

November 29, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- The family of reggae legend Bob Marley have teamed up with Washington-based investors to raise more than $50 million for the launch of Marley Natural, the world’s first global cannabis brand.

The Marley family plans to start sales late next year. Marley Natural, described on its site as “a premium cannabis brand rooted in the life and legacy of Bob Marley” will sell a variety of marijuana-related products, including oils, infused lotions, vaporizers and, of course, strains of the herb itself in places with marijuana-friendly legislation.

“Our mission is to champion Bob’s voice and his insight to help people realize the positive potential of cannabis for the mind, body, and spirit,”
reads the brand’s mission statement. “Along the way, we want to help undo the suffering and injustice of cannabis prohibition around the world.”

The Marley family first approached Privateer Holdings, a Seattle-based private equity firm that owns and operates several successful marijuana-related businesses, in early 2013. The family’s views and vision aligned with Privateer’s, who first ventured into the weed market with the popular marijuana dispensary and strain review site, Leafly, in 2012.

“We wanted Bob Marley’s voice and vision — and his family’s vision — to help be a part of this movement of ending prohibition,”
Privateer Holdings CEO Brendan Kennedy told GeekWire.

Bob Marley was one of the earliest and most vocal advocates of pot legalization before his death from cancer in 1981. The “holy herb,” as he called it, was a key element of his Rastafarian faith.

“If we can help use his voice to continue the movement, I think it would be something that he would be very happy that he’s still a part of,”
Cedella Marley, Marley’s oldest daughter, told NBC.

 WATCH: Introducing Marley Natural Fine Cannabis.

Support for legalization has surged over the last 25 years. A 2014 Gallup poll shows 51 percent of Americans now support pot legalization, compared to 25 percent in the early 1980s.

Marley Natural is jumping on the bandwagon of pot’s ongoing mainstream makeover. The spaced-out stoner stereotype is being replaced by a connoisseur culture of sophisticated marijuana aficionados. The Marley Natural logo, for instance, was designed by the same people who brought the world the iconic Starbucks mermaid.

Not everyone is thrilled with the family’s latest foray into weed entrepreneurship. Maxine Stowe, of the Rastafari Millennium Council in Jamaica, believes that Marley did not fight as hard for legalization as the two other members of his band, the Wailers, and that Marley’s heirs are capitalizing on their efforts without giving them their due, she told AP. In addition, some Jamaicans take issue with the brand being based in New York instead of in Jamaica, Marley’s home country.

Although marijuana remains illegal under US federal law, nearly half of the states permit the use of the drug for medical purposes, while Colorado, Washington, and, as of early November, Alaska, Oregon and Washington DC have legalized recreational pot use. - RT.

EUROPEAN VAMPIRISM: Systematic Genocide And Crimes Against Humanity - Why Indian-Americans Regard The Thanksgiving Holiday As A National Day Of Mourning!

“The Sioux 
(aka Lakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.”
– Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey.

November 29, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- We turkey-celebrating, obese, sports-addicted, shop-until-you-drop, historically-illiterate couch potatoes are all beneficiaries of the acts of our guilty ancestors who may have been unaware perpetrators of the crimes against humanity that occurred during the never-ending, shameful 500 year-long history of genocide, ethnic cleansing, colonizing and occupation of the people and the land that rightfully belonged the aboriginal tribes that had inhabited North, Central and South America for thousands of years before Columbus (who had no clue as to where he was) and his sex-starved sailors disembarked from their stinking ships and started pillaging the land and raping the most nubile female inhabitants back in 1492. (Soon cutting off the hands of  those  who couldn’t bring in their quota of gold from precious metal-less mines.)

Thus started the systematic genocide against the aboriginal, non-white people that led eventually – and perhaps inevitably – to the cruelty and crimes against humanity that enslaved millions of black Africans, many of whom died in chains even before they reached this so-called “promised land”.

In many cases the psychopathic killer-conquistadors that followed Columbus, were initially welcomed, tolerated and even nurtured (a la the mythical First Thanksgiving) – rather than being killed off as the criminal invaders that they were. Trusting the intruders to return their hospitality – in the spirit of the Christian Golden Rule – turned out to have been a huge mistake, for within decades the slaughter began, performed in the name of Christ – with the blessings of the accompanying priests whose mission was to convert the heathen to Christianity  under threat of death.

Most of our European ancestors were greatly enriched by the US Army’s massacres, the occupation and theft of their land, the exploitation of the resources, the colonization and the destruction of their way of life. We pink-skinned progeny have been conditioned to believe way too many myths about our obfuscated history. Thanks to our cunningly censored history books and the myths learned in Sunday School over the ages, we have been led to believe the story about the “nice” Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 and who gratefully shared a feast with their new friendly Indian neighbors (who were soon to be driven off their land and annihilated by the Puritan so-called “christians” and others that soon followed).

The disinformation process about the first Thanksgiving (and the successor long week-end that happens every fourth Thursday of November in the US) has been designed to absolve our ancestors of guilt for the cruel bloodbaths that were perpetrated “in their names” by obedient soldiers against the militarily weaker aboriginals, a pattern that has been repeated against many weaker nations all around the world throughout our history.

The following censored-out stories about a few of our so-called “heroes” need to be told in the context of the true history of the American genocide of the First Nations people that happened right here in River City. Those “heroes” include Minnesota’s first two governors and one humiliated Civil War general.

The following quotes and explanatory commentary will expand on the title of this essay.
“The Sioux (aka Lakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” – Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey in a genocidal declaration made on Sept. 9, 1862. Ramsey had made a fortune in real estate because of his dealings selling property to white settlers and businessmen after he himself had negotiated US-Dakota treaties that cheated the Dakota tribes out of their land. (

“I shall do full justice, but no more.  I do not propose to murder any man, even a savage, who is shown to be innocent.”
 ”I shall probably approve them (the executions of the 303 Dakota warriors) and hang the villains” – Ex-Minnesota Governor, Colonel Henry H. Sibley, whose troops had defeated Chief Little Crow in the Battle of Wood Lake on August 23. Sibley had appointed the five member military tribunal that tried, convicted and sentenced, via death by hanging, 303 Dakota warriors that had been captured in the battle that ended the 6 week US-Dakota War of 1862.. Sibley was commenting on the fate of the convicted warriors, all but 38 of whom had their death sentences commuted by President Lincoln. Many warriors were imprisoned at Camp McClellan, near Davenport, Iowa and more than 1,600 non-combatants were imprisoned at a concentration camp at Fort Snelling over the winter of 1862 – 63. Those that survived the cold, the starvation diets and the diseases were then deported to concentration camps in Nebraska and South Dakota (Pine Ridge). (

“The 38 Indians and half-breeds ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at 10 am. Everything went off quietly.”
 – Henry Sibley, in a December 27, 1862 telegraph message to President Lincoln. (
“There will be no peace in this region by virtue of treaties and Indian faith.  It is my purpose utterly to exterminate the Sioux (aka the Dakota) if I have the power to do so and even if it requires a campaign lasting the whole of next year.  Destroy everything belonging to them and force them out to the plains, unless, as I suggest, you can capture them.  They are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made.” – Civil war Major General John Pope, in a letter to Colonel Sibley, urging an all-out effort to totally exterminate the Dakota, (letter was dated September 28, 1862): The punitive 40 year-old Pope was infamous for his abrasiveness, conceit and loud mouth, with which he alienated his colleagues, his officer staff and his soldiers. Significantly, Pope had recently been summarily relieved of his command of the Union Army of Virginia and demoted to Minnesota after his humiliating defeat by Robert E. Lee at the Second Battle of Manassas just a month earlier (August 31, 1862). ( and
“As Europeans settled the East coast, they displaced eastern tribes who then migrated to get away from the White civilization, and they, in their turn, displaced weaker local tribes they encountered, and pushed many of those tribes farther from their homelands, as they took over their homelands.

“Westward moving Europeans would give the displaced eastern tribes … guns and gun powder and they would then instigate fights between the newly arrived tribes and the long established tribes in order to force the long established tribes from their homelands; and in doing so, extinguish the long established tribes’ ancestral ties that they had with the land, their ancestors and the spirit world. Evidence of this practice has shown itself time and time again throughout the Americas.

“Around 1750, a displaced East coast band of Ojibwe were pushed into the Dakota’s homeland and they then used French guns and gun powder to force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs Lake homeland.

“This was the strategy the European colonists used to greatly diminish the number of Dakota in their Mille Lacs homeland, which encouraged and made it possible for a French weapons armed, alcohol manipulated band of Ojibwe to violently force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs homeland.”

“Grieved by the loss of their lands, dissatisfied with reservation 
(aka, concentration camp) life, and ultimately brought to a condition of near starvation, the Dakota people appealed to US Indian agencies (involving ex-Minnesota governors Sibley and Ramsey) without success. The murder of five whites by four young Dakota Indians ignited a bloody uprising in which more than 300 whites and an unknown number of Indians were killed. In the aftermath, 38 Dakota captives were hanged in Mankato (the day after Christmas Day 1862) for ‘voluntary participation in murders and massacres,’ and the Dakota remaining in Minnesota were removed to reservations in Nebraska. Meanwhile, the Ojibwa were relegated to reservations on remnants of their former lands.

“What happened to the Dakota in 1862 and afterward was a grievous crime against humanity. If it had occurred in this present day and age the United Nations and the international community would condemn it and declare it to be ethnocide and genocide. A United Nations world court indictment would be issued and the perpetrators of this ethnocide and genocide would be rounded up, tried, convicted and punished for crimes against humanity.”
 – Thomas Dahlheimer from his long essay, entitled, A History Of The Dakota People In The Mille Lacs Area (
Gov. Ramsey’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of November 3, 1862:
“WHEREAS, it is meet and in accordance with good and cherished custom of our fathers worthy to be “a statute forever in all our dwellings,” that the people “when they have gathered the fruit of the land,” should “keep a feast unto the Lord,” in commemoration of His goodness, and by a public act of Christian worship, acknowledge their dependence as a community upon Him in whose hands the kingdoms of the earth are but as dust in the balance.

“Therefore I, Alexander Ramsey, Governor of the State of Minnesota, do hereby set apart the twenty-seventh day of the present month of November, as a Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God for his wonderful mercy towards us–for all the good gifts of His providence–for health and restored domestic peace–and the measure of general prosperity which we enjoy.

“Especially let us recognize His mercy in that He has delivered our borders from the savage enemies who rose up against us, and cast them into the pit they had privily dug for us; that our friends have been rescued from the horrors of captivity, and that our homes and household treasures are now safe from the violence of Indian robbers and assassins.

“And let us praise Him for the continued preservation of the Government of our Fathers, from the assaults of traitors and rebels; for the sublime spirit of patriotism, and courage, and constancy with which He has filled the hearts of its defenders; for the victories won by the valor of our troops; for the glorious share of Minnesota in the struggles and triumphs of the Union cause; for the safety of her sons who have passed through the fire of battle unscathed, and the honorable fame of the gallant dead; for the alacrity and devotion with which our citizens have rushed from their unharvested fields to the standard of the nation; and, above all, for the assurance that their toils, and perils, and wounds, and self-devotion, are not in vain; for the tokens, now manifest, of His will, that, through the blood and sweat of suffering and sacrifice, the nation is to be saved from its great calamity, and the great crime of which it is at once the effect and punishment; and that behind the thunders, and lightnings, and clouds of the tempest, the awful form of Jehovah is visible, descending in fire upon the mount, to renew the broken tablets of the Constitution, and proclaim FREEDOM as the condition and the law of a restored and regenerated Union.

“Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State, at the City of St. Paul, this third day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two”
.– Alexander Ramsey, Governor of the State of Minnesota

“Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in a National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.”
 – Text of a plaque on Cole’s Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, MA
Dr Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, Minnesota who has been involved in peace, nonviolence and justice issues and often writes about militarism, racism, fascism, imperialism, totalitarianism, economic oppression, anti-environmentalism and other violent, unsustainable, anti-democratic movements.

- Global Research.

 WATCH: A Tribe Called Red - "Burn Your Village To The Ground".

COSMIC MELANIN: The Waters Of NU - Tiny Dwarf Galaxies Inside Dark Matter Halos Orbiting The Milky Way!

November 29, 2014 - SPACE
- “Finding a galaxy as tiny as Segue 2 is like discovering an elephant smaller than a mouse,” said Bullock. Astronomers have been searching for years for this type of dwarf galaxy, long predicted to be swarming around the Milky Way. Their inability to find any, he said, “has been a major puzzle, suggesting that perhaps our theoretical understanding of structure formation in the universe was flawed in a serious way.”

An ultra-faint collection of 1,000 stars orbiting the Milky Way includes the most lightweight galaxies ever discovered. The image below shows a standard prediction for the dark matter distribution within about 1 million light years of the Milky Way galaxy, which is expected to be swarming with thousands of small dark matter clumps called `halos'. The findings, made with the world’s most powerful telescopes offer tantalizing clues about how iron, carbon and other elements key to human life originally formed.

The scale of this image is such that the disk of the Milky Way would reside within the white region at the center. Until now, there was no observational evidence that dark matter actually clumps this way, raising concerns that our understanding of the cosmos was flawed in a fundamental way. Observations of Segue 2 (zoomed image) have revealed that it must reside within such a tiny dark matter halo, providing possibly the first observational evidence that dark matter is as clumpy as long predicted.

Segue 1 is so ridiculously metal-poor that we suspect at least a couple of the stars are direct descendants of the first stars ever to blow up in the universe,” says Evan Kirby of the University of California, Irvine. “Segue 1 is the only example that we know of now that was never enriched by these low-mass stars, meaning it formed stars really quickly, in the blink of an eye,” Kirby added. “If it had formed stars long enough those low-mass stars would have to contribute.”

“The big question is, why did it stop?” says U.C. Irvine astrophysicist James Bullock. “A galaxy like this should have been able to make a million more stars, but it didn’t.”

“Maybe Segue 1 was on its way to forming a bunch of stars but reionization turned on and killed all the star formation in the galaxy,” Kirby says. “That could also explain why the star formation lasted such a short time. It’s not obvious to me that reionization by itself could have done this. Maybe, but I definitely think there are other possibilities.”

Segue 2’s presence as a satellite of our home galaxy could be “a tip-of-the-iceberg observation, with perhaps thousands more very low-mass systems orbiting just beyond our ability to detect them,” he added.

“It’s definitely a galaxy, not a star cluster,” said postdoctoral scholar and lead author Evan Kirby. He explained that the stars are held together by a globule called a dark matter halo. Without this acting as galactic glue, the star body wouldn’t qualify as a galaxy.

Segue 2, discovered in 2009 as part of the massive Sloan Digital Sky Survey, is one of the faintest known galaxies, with light output just 900 times that of the sun. That’s miniscule compared to the Milky Way, which shines 20 billion times brighter. But despite its tiny size, researchers using different tools originally thought Segue 2 was far denser.

The posibility exists that Segue 1 was once a much larger galaxy and lost most of its stars, perhaps through disruptions from the Milky Way. The extremely low metal counts in Segue 1’s stars, however, suggests that it formed roughly the same size it is now, because disruptions would be unlikely to pull only the metal-rich stars from the galaxy, leaving behind the metal-poor.

W. M. Keck Observatory operates the only telescopes in the world powerful enough to have made this observation,” Kirby said of the huge apparatus housed on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii. He determined the upper weight range of 25 of the major stars in the galaxy and found that it weighs at least 10 times less than previously estimated.

The image at the top of the page and  above  shows the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS) stellar map of the Northern sky, showing trails and streams of stars torn from disrupted Milky Way satellites. Insets show new dwarf companions discovered by the SDSS. The SDSS SEGUE-1 survey, designed to explore the Milky Way structure and dark matter distribution allowed astronomers to map the positions and velocities of hundreds of thousands of stars, from faint, relatively near-by ancient stellar embers known as white dwarfs to bright stellar giants located in the outer reaches of the stellar halo, more than 100,000 light-years away. Encoded within the spectral data are the composition and temperature of these stars, vital clues for determining the age and origin of different populations of stars within the Galaxy.

Image Credits: Garrison-Kimmel, Bullock (UCI) and V. Belokurov

- Daily Galaxy.

WATCH: Dr. Phil Valentine - Dark Matter Paradigm - Deconstructing The Illusion Of Life.

RACISM OR CRITIQUE: "No To Human Zoos" - Protesters Cause Havoc At Anti- Apartheid Themed "Exhibit B" Art Installation In Paris; Were The Organizers Exploiting Slavery Or Highlighting The Wrongs Of European Racism; And Were The Protests Justified?!

Racism or critique? … One of the installations in Exhibit B at the Barbican.

November 29, 2014 - PARIS, FRANCE
- A performance art exhibition in Paris about the horrors of Apartheid, colonialism and extreme racism has backfired on its organizers. Over 100 protesters attempted to overrun the venue and stop the show.

Called Exhibit B, it’s the brain child of South African director Brett Bailey and was inspired by the “human zoo” exhibits of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Europeans and Americans flocked to the so-called human zoos where members of African tribes, such as the pygmy Ota Benga, had to pose like animals in a cage in native dress.

But Exhibit B, so-called perhaps as a nod to the dehumanizing nature of the original human zoo, goes deeper than that and shows a woman from Namibia called Herero, who was forced to decapitate the heads of her fellow prisoners. She was then obliged to scrape the skulls clean with shards of glass for German scientific experiments.

Here are more images from the show:

The performance also looks at atrocities committed by colonial forces in the French and Belgian Congo and the more recent horrors of Apartheid in South Africa.

However, the idea didn’t impress some Parisians, as dozens blocked the entrance to the Gérard Philipe theater holding signs, such as “No to human zoos in 2014.”

“Protesters at the premiere of Exhibit B in St Denis Paris smashed through the theater doors tonight. Set off fire alarms. Trying to stop us,” wrote Bailey on his Facebook page.

After a barricade was overturned and a window was shattered, the show had to be stopped. Only two performances could take place.

But Bailey said that anger over the installation displayed a grave misunderstanding about what the “deeply emotional” work is about.

“As they move through the exhibit, we watch them and witness anger, grief, pity, sadness, compassion. Above all we witness a dawning of awareness. This is why we keep doing this, and would keep on doing it, if we could,” the performers said in statement in defense of the show earlier this year.

WATCH: 'Human Zoo' exhibit prompts bloody clashes in Paris.

It is not the first time the show has run into trouble. In September, it was forced to cancel a performance at the Barbican in London, when the opening night was stormed by protesters after a petition against the show had managed to garner 23,000 signatures.

Bailey believes some of the objections are because “a white South African is telling a story about racism,” he told AFP.

“My performances are full of fire. My team is full of fire… Rage, rage against the dying of the light. The show will go on,” Bailey said on Facebook.

But an appeal, which has already been signed by 14,000 Parisians, says the show is about “the racism of a white South African.”

“It is all the more shocking that the possibilities for black artists to present their work in these prestigious cultural centers are extremely limited,” it read.

WATCH: Bailey speaks on the meaning behind the exhibit.

This view appeared to be backed up by CRAN, France’s black community rights group, although they are not pushing for the show to be stopped.

While “It might well be well-intentioned it reinforces stereotypes. It shows black people as passive and as victims. It never shows the struggle by black people for their own emancipation,” CRAN president Louis-Georges Tin told The Local.

The show has supporters as well as detractors. In France it has the support of the League of Human Rights, the Paris mayor and Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin, who condemned the storming of the theatre as “attempts at intimidation and censorship.” - RT.

INSIDE AFRICA: Namibia Votes In Africa's First Ever Electronic Poll - About 1.2 Million Voters Are Eligible To Cast Their Ballots At Nearly 4,000 Polling Stations; There Will Be No Paper In The Voting Booth!

There will be no paper in the voting booth

November 29, 2014 - NAMIBIA
- Namibians are choosing a new president and parliament - in what is Africa's first electronic ballot.

The ruling South West Africa People's Organisation (Swapo) is expected to win the poll and Prime Minister Hage Geingob to become president.

Opposition parties had challenged the Indian-made e-voting machines, citing concerns that a lack of a paper trail could encourage vote rigging.

But the case was dismissed by the country's High Court this week.

About 1.2 million voters are eligible to cast their ballots at nearly 4,000 polling stations across the vast country.

Hage Geingob (centre) is a firm favourite to become president

Polling officers will verify voter cards on a device containing the national voters' roll. In the booth, the voter selects their party of choice by pressing a button on an electronic ballot unit.

Electoral officials believe results will be available 24 hours after the poll ends.

There are 16 parties contesting the parliamentary vote and nine are fielding presidential candidates.

Swapo - which has won all elections since independence from South Africa in 1990 - is expected to triumph again in the race to the National Assembly.

The party's candidate Mr Geingob is widely seen as the favourite to become president.

Incumbent President Hifikepunye Pohamba has already served the maximum two terms allowed by the constitution.

Swapo's liberation movement credentials play a significant role in securing party loyalty across age groups, analysts say, although that loyalty has been eroded.

The ruling party has a long record of addressing issues of social inequality, but opposition parties highlight accusations of land grabs and abuse of power by officials. - BBC.

EMASCULATION: The Pervasively Savage And Systematic Castration Of The Image Of The Black Male - NBA Player LeBron James Dresses Up As A Woman In Promotion Of Progressive Insurance!

November 29, 2014 - UNITED STATES
- In a meta critique of the symbiotic relationship between entertainment and advertising, LeBron James is combining basketball with commercials that play during basketball games for Halloween.

James posted a picture to Facebook of his Halloween costume, which appears to be a basketball edition of Flo from the Progressive Insurance commercials.

The Cleveland Cavaliers forward captioned the photo “Happy Halloween #FloBron #Switch #IPROMISE.”

If you look closely, you'll see that James is wearing a wig.

And if you look closer yet, you’ll see he’s standing on the basketball court at Saint Vincent-Saint Mary—his high school alma mater.

In any case, I'm sure no one will make an Internet meme out of FloBron or anything. - BR.

Friday, November 28, 2014

AFRICAN ENERGY: OPEC Elects Nigeria's Diezani Alison-Madueke As President - She Promises Focus On Domestic Gas Utilization!

OPEC maintains 30m bpd, says no quick fix for sliding oil prices

November 28, 2014 - NIGERIA

The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) Thursday in Vienna elected Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke, as its President to run from January 1 to December 31, 2015.

This comes as the oil league said it would not be pushed into pressing the panic just yet despite oil price shedding about $30 within the last five months. The group therefore, retained its 30million barrels per day production mark.

The out-going President of the OPEC conference, Omar El-Shakmak, said in a remark at the end of the parley Thursday in Vienna, Austria: “Recording its concerns over the rapid decline in oil prices in recent months, the conference concurred that stable oil prices – at a level which did not affect global economic growth but which, at the same time, allowed producers to receive a decent income and to invest to meet future demand – were vital to for world economic wellbeing. Accordingly, in the interest of restoring market equilibrium, the conference decided to maintain the production level of 30.0million barrels per day, as was agreed in December 2011. As always, in taking this decision, member countries confirmed their readiness to respond to developments which could have an adverse impact on the maintenance of an orderly and balanced oil market.”

OPEC also agreed to be vigilant given uncertainty and risks associated with future developments in the world economy and directed its secretariat to continue its close monitoring of developments in supply and demand, as well as non-fundamental factors such as speculative activity, keeping members countries fully briefed on developments.

The conference also extended the tenure of its Secretary General, Abdalla El-Badri for a further six months, which will terminate on the 31st December 2015.

The group also urged cautious optimism on a possible quick-fix approach to halting the sliding oil prices in the international market.

The President of the OPEC conference, Omar El-Shakmak, declared that the sliding prices are a sign that the oil market is currently searching for stability and balance. To this end, he hinted that OPEC will always focus deliberations on contributing towards stability saying that is what will benefits global economic growth and exactly what matters most to all the stakeholders that include producer and consumers alike.

His words: “We also recognize that dialogue has always been instrumental for the achievement of such goals. That is why OPEC is committed to engaging further in international dialogue and cooperation efforts – through participation in meetings, symposia and workshops. These include dialogue with the G20, the EU and Russia, as well as working programmes with the International Energy forum, the International Energy Agency and other international institutions.”

The OPEC Chief declared that the recent free-fall of oil prices is not exclusively tied to oil market fundamentals but what he termed ‘ample supply’, moderate demand, a stronger United States dollar and uncertainties about global economic growth are the key factors that have been dictating the disturbing trend.

He warned that if the current trend continues, the long-term sustainability of capacity expansion plans and investment projects mat be put at risk.

On her part, the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Alison-Madueke said the US Shale oil had a lot of impacts on all major oil producing economies and a major game-changer for all of countries across the globe.

In order to re-direct and re-prioritize Nigeria economy, the Minister highlighted that the country urgently needs to look at setting up an enabling environment, readdress enablers to ensure that Nigeria has access to other markets other than the major market of north America which have now been shut with the advent of the US shale oil and gas.

To do this, she stressed the need to urgently pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) in order to ensure that the enablers and ensure Nigeria is opened up to aggressive competitive operating environment.

She added: “The current fall is been sustained, we hope that the balances level out very quickly but while this happens, we really have to ensure that we are competitive, particularly in terms of end user markets.

She added that Nigeria at this point is left with no choice other than to embark on an aggressive development and domestic utilization of its gas.

“Nigeria has no recourse at this point in time other than to fully develop our gas infrastructure for domestic use and I think that we are pushing ahead with that in all ramifications,” she explained.

She submitted that the $70 price level of oil is a challenge for most oil producing countries not just OPEC, saying, “I think all of us are in this together. If non-OPEC countries don’t cooperate with us, there is little that can be done.”

Reacting to the election of Mrs. Alison-Madueke as the President of OPEC, the Group Coordinator, Corporate, Planning and Strategy of the NNPC, Dr. Tim Okon, described her election as well-deserved and a recognition of her contribution to OPEC since her assumption as the Minister.

Though he agreed that the market is over-supplied, Okon declared that the time to press the panic button has not come.

His explanation: “Nigeria is a price taker and not a price setter by any mean. So, the market would do what it does. We need to do what others are doing which is strategic marketing of our crude and through that we can maintain value as much as possible. I think it is a general consensus that the market is over-supplied but fro the analysis that I have seen, it is believed that that over-supply will be significantly reduced next year as supply will balance supply later next year.

“On pressing the panic button, I think the first quarter of next year will be good to do a re-appraise of the situation. With growing economy globally, I think demand will pick up next year. On the overall, I don t thin the over-supply is too much of a problem.”

The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Dr. Joseph Dawha, lauded OPEC for electing the first female President who is a Nigerian.

“The election of the Minister is an exciting development to Nigeria. We know that she is capable of handling the demands of the office. She will bring her wealth of experience to bear in her new position.” - NGR Guardian.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

COSMIC MELANIN: The Waters Of NU - "The Scaffolding Of Our Universe Is Being Slowly Swallowed By Dark Energy"!

Image credit: With thanks to Lymos

November 25, 2014 - SPACE
- New research offers a novel insight into the nature of dark matter and dark energy and what the future of our Universe might be. Cosmology has undergone a paradigm shift since 1998 when researchers announced that the rate at which the Universe was expanding was accelerating.

The idea of a constant dark energy throughout space-time (the “cosmological constant”) became the standard model of cosmology, but now reserachers at the University of Portsmouth and Rome believe they have found a better description, including energy transfer between dark energy and dark matter. They have found hints that dark matter, the cosmic scaffolding on which our Universe is built, is being slowly erased, swallowed up by dark energy.

The findings appear in the journal Physical Review Letters, published by the American Physical Society. In the journal the cosmologists argue that the latest astronomical data favours a dark energy that grows as it interacts with dark matter, and this appears to be slowing the growth of structure in the cosmos.

“This study is about the fundamental properties of space-time," says David Wands, Director of Portsmouth’s Institute of Cosmology and Gravitation. "On a cosmic scale, this is about our Universe and its fate. If the dark energy is growing and dark matter is evaporating we will end up with a big, empty, boring Universe with almost nothing in it.

Dark matter provides a framework for structures to grow in the Universe. The galaxies we see are built on that scaffolding and what we are seeing here, in these findings, suggests that dark matter is evaporating, slowing that growth of structure.”

Research students Valentina Salvatelli and Najla Said from the University of Rome worked in Portsmouth with Dr Marco Bruni and Wands, and with Alessandro Melchiorri in Rome. They examined data from a number of astronomical surveys, including the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, and used the growth of structure revealed by these surveys to test different models of dark energy.

Valentina and Najla spent several months here over the summer looking at the consequences of the latest observations. Much more data is available now than was available in 1998 and it appears that the standard model is no longer sufficient to describe all of the data.

We think we’ve found a better model of dark energy.

“Since the late 1990s astronomers have been convinced that something is causing the expansion of our Universe to accelerate. The simplest explanation was that empty space – the vacuum – had an energy density that was a cosmological constant. However there is growing evidence that this simple model cannot explain the full range of astronomical data researchers now have access to; in particular the growth of cosmic structure, galaxies and clusters of galaxies, seems to be slower than expected.”

“Any time there is a new development in the dark energy sector we need to take notice since so little is understood about it," observed Dragan Huterer,of the University of Michigan. "I would not say, however, that I am surprised at the results, that they come out different than in the simplest model with no interactions. We’ve known for some months now that there is some problem in all data fitting perfectly to the standard simplest model.” - Daily Galaxy.

PARADIGM SHIFT AGAINST EUROPEAN RACISM: Precursors To The End Of The U.S. Corporation And The Collapse Of The White Supremacy Paradigm - Ferguson Grand Jury Decision Fuels Fury Across The United States; No Indictment In The Ferguson Case; Michael Brown's Mother Collapse Outside Station; Father "Devastated"; Protesters Declared They Are "Ready For War"; Scenes Of Chaos; Looting; Cars Vandalized; Gunshots; Police Attacked; President Obama Says "American Isn't Everything That It Could Be"! [VIDEOS

A protester, demanding the criminal indictment of a white police officer who shot dead an unarmed black teenager in August, shouts slogans while
stopping traffic while marching through a suburb in St. Louis, Missouri November 23, 2014. (Reuters/Adrees Latif)

- Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson will not be indicted on any charges for shooting and killing unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown, a St. Louis grand jury has decided.

The grand jury's decision was announced Monday evening by Bob McCulloch, the prosecuting attorney for St. Louis County. He said that "no probable cause exists" to file any charges against Wilson.

Michael Brown's mother collapsed in tears as the verdict was announced - as the victim's stepfather screamed 'Burn this b**** down'. Spokeswoman for Michael Brown Sr. says he is "devastated."

Meanwhile, Wilson's attorneys issued a statement in which he thanked 'those who have stood by his side throughout the process'.

WATCH: No indictment for Ferguson cop who killed Michael Brown.

Officer Wilson potentially faced charges of first- or second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter. At least nine of the 12 people on the jury needed to agree to bring charges in order to indict Wilson. It's unclear exactly how that vote unfolded.

In the wake of the decision, the Brown family released a statement saying:

Michael Brown graduated from Normandy High School last spring and was
preparing to attend Vatterott College, where he planned to study to become a
heating and air conditioning technician. Friends say he eventually wanted to
go into business for himself. Relatives and friends described Brown, who
grew up in a tough neighborhood, as a quiet, gentle giant who stood around
6-foot-3 and weighed nearly 300 pounds. He was unarmed
on the day he was killed.
"We are profoundly disappointed that the killer of our child will not face the consequence of his actions. While we understand that many others share our pain, we ask that you channel your frustration in ways that will make a positive change. We need to work together to fix the system that allowed this to happen."

News of the grand jury's decision did not go over well with protesters, some of whom threw objects and began smashing up a police vehicle. Officers deployed tear gas in an effort to disperse demonstrators.

According to McCulloch the grand jury heard 70 hours of testimony from more than 60 witnesses. Full transcripts from the grand jury process will be made public, he added.

Ahead of the decision, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon called for calm and restraint from protesters and police.

"While none of us knows what that [decision] will be, our shared hope and expectation is that regardless of the decision people on all sides show tolerance, mutual respect and restraint," he said.

The governor added that the state is doing everything it can to "protect lives, protect property, and protect the freedom of speech.” The governor added that police will “continue to maintain open lines of communication” with protesters “to improve interaction”with law enforcement.

The decision comes about two months after the grand jury was convened to look into charging Wilson with a crime. Brown was killed on August 9, though there have been conflicting accounts regarding his death.

The grand jury heard testimony from numerous witnesses, some of which reportedly claimed that Brown was trying to surrender to Wilson when he was shot. However, other witnesses – as well as Wilson himself – claim Brown was involved in a physical confrontation with the officer before he was killed. According to reports, Wilson told the grand jury that Brown punched him while he was in his vehicle and also charged at him despite orders to stop.

Demonstrators gather outside the Ferguson Police Department in Ferguson Missouri, on November 24, 2014 to protest the death of 18-year-old unarmed
black teenager Michael Brown, who was shot to death by a white police officer. (AFP Photo/Michael B. Thomas)

Demonstrators chant 'hands up, don't shoot' as they protest in front of the Ferguson police department on November 24, 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
(ustin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP)

Police have tried to break up the violent crowds by using tear gas on Monday night. The President and U.S. Attorney General have called
for restraint from law enforcement in dealing with protesters

An independent autopsy report conducted on behalf of the family found that Brown had been shot at least eight times – six times from behind. Jerryl Christmas, one of the Brown family attorneys, said the results indicated there was no struggle.

"The evidence shows that the story we've been given by the Police Department does not match up,"attorney Jerryl Christmas said, as cited by the AP."There's no evidence that there was a gun battle going on."

Meanwhile, an autopsy conducted by the St. Louis County medical examiner found evidence of residue on Brown’s hand that would support the idea that Wilson shot the teenager at close range. Leaked details from the autopsy suggest it also indicated that Brown and Wilson were engaged in a “significant altercation” inside of or near Wilson’s car.

WATCH: Riots break out in Ferguson - Gunfire, molotovs and tear gas reported.

Brown’s death sparked immediate criticism from residents and those around the country who believed Wilson used excessive force. Protesters took to the streets calling for Wilson to be identified – police at the time refused to declare who killed the teen – and for him to face charges. Demonstrations lasted for weeks, with law enforcement responding strongly by arriving at protests in riot gear, with armored vehicles, and by using tear gas to clear out activists.

President Obama, speaking live to the nation after the decision in Ferguson not to indict a police office for the killing of Michael Brown, said that "America isn't everything that it could be."

WATCH: Obama - "America isn't everything that it could be".

"We shouldn't try to paper it over," said Obama. "Whenever we do that the anger may momentarily subside, but over time it builds up. And America isn't everything that it could be. And I am confident that if we focus our attention on the problem and we look at what has happened in communities around the country effectively, then we can make progress not just in Ferguson but in a lot of other cities and communities around the country."

Obama made the statement as a split screen showed mayhem breaking out in Ferguson, Missouri.

WATCH: Ferguson descends into chaos.

WATCH: Coast to Coast - Ferguson fury across US as cop acquitted of teen killing.

- RT.

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