Angels, Mobsters and Narco-Terrorists: The Rising Menace of Global Criminal Empires

Threats, Transnational Crime

Angels, Mobsters and Narco-Terrorists: The Rising Menace of Global Criminal Empires

In this ground-breaking book, Antonio Nicaso, an internationally renowned expert on organized crime groups, and Lee Lamothe, a veteran investigative journalist specializing in criminal conspiracies, present solid evidence of how established organized crime groups — such as the Mafia and the Triads — have changed their tactics and allegiances to protect their interests against the rise of violent and power-hungry gangs from Albania, Mexico, and Russia.

Angels, Mobsters, & Narco-Terrorists reveals how, due to their shared border, the USA and Canada have become prime targets for criminal groups that engage in money laundering and prostitution rings, and trafficking in human cargo, narcotics, and arms. On the international scene, state-sanctioned crime is thriving on heroin profits and cyber crime is emerging as a very lucrative and baffling activity to investigate and shut down.

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Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice: Special Offer Edition

Threats, Transnational Crime

Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice: Special Offer Edition

In the Handbook of Transnational Crime and Justice, editor Philip Reichel has brought together renowned scholars from around the world to offer various perspectives providing global coverage of the increasingly transnational nature of crime and the attempts to provide cooperative cross-national responses. This volume not only has a comprehensive introduction to the topic of transnational crime but also provides specific examples such as international terrorism, drug trafficking, and money laundering to illustrate this ever expanding phenomenon. The Handbook also examines cross-national and international efforts by police, courts, international agencies, and correctional authorities to deal with transnational crime. Part IV concludes the book by addressing emerging issues in transnational crime and justice with particular attention given to transnational organized crime in all regions of the world.

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Unknown soldiers: America’s secret, privatized army

Civil War, Threats

Unknown soldiers: America’s secret, privatized army

While many American policy makers believe that their country is ‘exceptional’ and thus shouldn’t have to follow long established laws, other governments see the precedents they set and act accordingly.

It’s been years since Newsweek has been a regular news source for large numbers of readers but it still occasionally produces good investigative reporting. In a long feature story titled “Inside the Military’sSecret Undercover Army” published in the magazine last month, William Arkin, author of a number of books on U.S. national security, revealed that the Pentagon and, even more alarmingly, private contractors working with it, have deployed thousands covert operatives at home and abroad. These covert programs are believed to have 60,000 operators, twice as many as the CIA.

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44% of ocean plastics are linked to takeout food

Ecology, Threats

44% of ocean plastics are linked to takeout food

Researchers are turning their attention to takeout containers and convenience food as the worst offender in plastics polluting the ocean.

In recent years, it’s been a fad to skip the straw to save the turtles, but what you may not know is that straws are not the biggest offenders when it comes to ocean plastic, according to a new study.Instead, researchers are turning their attention to takeout containers and convenience food as the worst offender in plastics polluting the ocean.

Widespread plastic contaminants such as food containers and wrappers, single-use bags, and plastic bottles are the most widespread pollutants of the seas, making up almost half of human-made waste, according to The Guardian.

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Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: All Roads Lead to America

Other Atrocities, Threats

Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings: All Roads Lead to America

Coming to America to make a better life has long been a dream of many from around the world, even if it means being smuggled into the country to gain entry. This book examines how human smuggling and trafficking activities to the United States are carried out and explores the legal and policy challenges of dealing with these problems. Zhang covers the scope and patterns of global human trafficking and smuggling activities; the strategies and methods employed by various groups to bring individuals into the United States; major smuggling routes and venues; the involvement of organized criminal organizations in transnational human smuggling activities; and the challenges confronting the U.S. government in combating these activities.

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Combating Proliferation: Strategic Intelligence and Security Policy

Proflieration, Threats

Combating Proliferation: Strategic Intelligence and Security Policy

The intelligence community’s flawed assessment of Iraq’s weapons systems―and the Bush administration’s decision to go to war in part based on those assessments―illustrates the political and policy challenges of combating the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. In this comprehensive assessment, defense policy specialists Jason Ellis and Geoffrey Kiefer find disturbing trends in both the collection and analysis of intelligence and in its use in the development and implementation of security policy.

Analyzing a broad range of recent case studies―Pakistan’s development of nuclear weapons, North Korea’s defiance of U.N. watchdogs, Russia’s transfer of nuclear and missile technology to Iran and China’s to Pakistan, the Soviet biological warfare program, weapons inspections in Iraq, and others―the authors find that intelligence collection and analysis relating to WMD proliferation are becoming more difficult, that policy toward rogue states and regional allies requires difficult tradeoffs, and that using military action to fight nuclear proliferation presents intractable operational challenges.

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Everyday Life and the Ecological Crisis of Capitalism

Ecology, Policies, Society

Everyday Life and the Ecological Crisis of Capitalism

When it was first published in German in 2017, Ulrich Brand’s and Markus Wissen’s book The Imperial Mode of Living attracted widespread attention and was discussed in mainstream media, while, at the same time, fueling an intense debate within the German academic left. The multiple reactions were not by chance; they were the result of the provocative and innovative nature of the book. The authors claim that the dominant mode of living in the Global North, to a large extent, depends on the exploitation of people and natural resources in the Global South. Or put differently, the fact that we (as inhabitants of the Global North) can enjoy a relatively comfortable standard of living is based on a long history of the depletion of nature and the preservation of poor working conditions in other parts of the world.

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Capital and the Ecology of Disease

Ecology, Threats

Capital and the Ecology of Disease

“The old Greek philosophers,” Frederick Engels wrote in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, “were all born natural dialecticians.”1 Nowhere was this more apparent than in ancient Greek medical thought, which was distinguished by its strong materialist and ecological basis. This dialectical, materialist, and ecological approach to epidemiology (from the ancient Greek epi, meaning on or upon, and demos, the people) was exemplified by the classic Hippocratic text Airs Waters Places (c. 400 BCE), which commenced:

Whoever wishes to investigate medicine properly, should proceed thus: in the first place to consider the seasons of the year, and what effects each of them produces, for they are not all alike, but differ from themselves in regard to their changes.

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Red Alert: Only one Earth

Ecology, Threats

Red Alert: Only one Earth

A new report from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Making Peace with Nature (2021), highlights the ‘gravity of the Earth’s triple environmental emergencies: climate, biodiversity loss, and pollution’. These three ‘self-inflicted planetary crises’, the UNEP says, put ‘the well-being of current and future generations at unacceptable risk’. This Red Alert, released for World Environment Day (5 June), is produced with the International Week of Anti-Imperialist Struggle.

What is the scale of the destruction?

Ecosystems have degraded at an alarming rate. The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) report from 2019 provides stunning examples of the scale of the destruction:

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Food additive in Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, +3,000 others no longer considered safe

Health, Threats

Food additive in Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, +3,000 others no longer considered safe

A study conducted by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has deemed that titanium dioxide, an additive found in more than 3,000 ultra-processed foods, including Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, Jello, and Little Debbie snack cakes, may cause cell mutations and damage DNA.

This conclusion came after the review of hundreds of scientific studies. Titanium dioxide is a synthetic white pigment used to color processed foods. It’s extracted through a chemical process that utilizes sulfate or fluoride.

Titanium dioxide consists of nanoparticles that not only exist in certain food products but also topicals, such as sunscreen that we put on our skin. The additive has the ability to give foods a smooth texture on the tongue, Arizona State University professor Paul Westerhoff said.

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