Press TV – May 23, 2013
The UK Education Secretary, Michael Gove is proposing a system of a chain of state-funded “free schools” that impose an influential Armed Forces culture at the same time that the United States government plans to do.
The revelation came as the Department for Education granted approval for one military-style school in Oldham – the first of its kind in Britain.
According to the plans, The Phoenix Free School will open from September 2014, and will be staffed by former members of the Armed Forces and led by an active Army captain. … Full article
IMF boss Christine Lagarde to be formally charged TODAY after ‘abusing position with £270million fraud and embezzlement scam’
The head of the International Monetary Fund appeared in court today where she is expected to be formally charged in connection with a £270million fraud and embezzlement case.
Christine Lagarde’s humiliation is not only a massive personal blow which could lead to her resignation, but one which will plunge the world’s banking system into further ignominy. [...]
It was when she was President Nicolas Sarkozy’s finance minister that she is said to have authorised a 270 million pounds payout to one of his prominent supporters, so abusing her government position. … Full article
By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | May 23, 2013
Palestinian medical sources have reported that two Palestinian children have been seriously injured, on Wednesday, in two separate incidents after being rammed by settlers’ vehicles in the West Bank districts of Hebron and Nablus.
The sources said that a 9-year-old child was seriously injured after being rammed by a settlers’ car east in As-Salayma neighborhood, east of the Ibrahimi Mosque, in Hebron city. She was moved to a local hospital; the settler fled the scene.
Furthermore, a 16-year-old Palestinian child, identified as Marwan Zakariyya ‘As’ous, suffered serious injuries and was moved to the Rafidia Hospital, after being rammed by a settler’s car at the Beta Junction, south of Nablus. … continue
Israeli military commanders and parliament members argued Wednesday in favor of changing regulations for soldiers operating in the West Bank in front of a Knesset committee, claiming that the rules governing their actions against Palestinians were too restrictive. [...]
Israeli occupation forces routinely use an arsenal of live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas and skunk water against Palestinians, even during peaceful demonstrations. … Read full article
US Secretary of State John Kerry has again vowed expanded military support for foreign-backed militant gangs in Syria if “diplomacy” fails to end what he claimed as a civil war in the country.
Speaking in the Jordan capital of Amman on Wednesday, Kerry said the US and its partners, in Western Europe and mainly Arab dictatorships in the region as well as Turkey, will widen their support for anti-Damascus gangs in the country by “sending more weapons or taking other measures short of sending American forces,” The Washington Post reports Thursday.
The development comes as Syrian troops are on the verge of recapturing the major Syrian city of Qusayr on the Lebanese border from the foreign-backed insurgents in the country.
Kerry, meanwhile, also tried to lower expectations for an international effort to bring the highly divided opposition groups and the Syrian government to the negotiation table amid persistent differences among militant leaders and new international worries about the existence of radical terrorists among opposition forces. … Full article
AMMAN, Jordan – France is to call for the military arm of Hezbollah to be added to an EU terror blacklist due to its backing of the Syrian regime, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said Wednesday.
“Because of the decisions that have been taken by Hezbollah and the fact that they are fighting very harshly the Syrian population, we have decided to ask that the military branch of the Hezbollah would be considered as a terrorist organisation,” Fabius told reporters in English.
The United States has long designated the Lebanon-based militant group, which is backed by Iran, as a terrorist organisation and has been pressing its European allies to follow suit. … Full article
Press TV – May 23, 2013
An Israeli military commander says Tel Aviv is prepared to carry out an attack on Syria if the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad collapses.
On Wednesday, Israeli Major General Amir Eshel said the Tel Aviv regime might launch a sudden war on Syria should Damascus fall.
“We have to be ready for any scenario, at a few hours’ notice,” Eshel stated.
He also said that the Israeli regime would even prepare for a “protracted” war with a “post-Assad Syria.” … continue
By Mark M. Jaycox and Seth Schoen | EFF | May 22, 2013
According to the New York Times, President Obama is “on the verge of backing” a proposal by the FBI to introduce legislation dramatically expanding the reach of the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, or CALEA. CALEA forces telephone companies to provide backdoors to the government so that it can spy on users after obtaining court approval, and was expanded in 2006 to reach Internet technologies like VoIP. The new proposal reportedly allows the FBI to listen in on any conversation online, regardless of the technology used, by mandating engineers build “backdoors” into communications software. We urge EFF supporters to tell the administration now to stop this proposal, provisionally called CALEA II.
The rumored proposal is a tremendous blow to security and privacy and is based on the FBI’s complaint that it is “Going Dark,” or unable to listen in on Internet users’ communications. But the FBI has offered few concrete examples and no significant numbers of situations where it has been stymied by communications technology like encryption. To the contrary, with the growth of digital communications, the FBI has an unprecedented level of access to our communications and personal data; access which it regularly uses. In an age where the government claims to want to beef up Internet security, any backdoors into our communications makes our infrastructure weaker. … continue
Two members of the FBI’s elite counterterrorism unit died Friday while practicing how to quickly drop from a helicopter to a ship using a rope, the FBI announced Monday in a statement.
The statement gave few details regarding the deaths of Special Agents Christopher Lorek and Stephen Shaw, other than to say the helicopter encountered unspecified difficulties and the agents fell a “significant distance.”
A law enforcement source told The Pilot the incident happened about 12 nautical miles off the coast of Virginia Beach. The official blamed bad weather for the incident and said the agents – members of the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team, based in Quantico – fell into the water. The official said he believed the agents died as a result of the impact rather than drowning.
Glenn McBride, a spokesman for the state medical examiner’s office, said it could be months before his staff can release a final cause and manner of death for the two agents. He said they must wait for the results of routine toxicology tests.
According to a Navy official, the agents were using a ship the FBI had leased from the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. No Navy personnel were involved in the exercise, the Navy official said. [...]
Last month, the team was involved in the arrest of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings. … Full article
RT | May 22, 2013
An FBI agent shot Tamerlan Tsarnaev-linked triple murder suspect Ibragim Todashev in Florida, allegedly after the suspect attacked him with a knife. But Todashev’s father Abdulbaki told RT he strongly doubted his son could attack the agent first.
Following reports that a Chechen man Ibragim Todashev, suspected in a 2011 triple murder in Massachusetts alongside the elder Tsarnaev and questioned about the Boston bombings previously, was shot by an FBI agent during interrogation in Orlando, Florida, RT had a phone conversation with the suspect’s father.
The elder Todashev described his son as “a very calm” man, who wouldn’t become aggressive for no reason. … continue
Reports say Yemenis in the southern city of Jahfa are outraged over a recent incident where a group of US soldiers raided homes in the city for ‘inspections.’
On May 21, massive protests were held in the city, which is located in the southern province of Lahij.
Demonstrators expressed anger at the United States for the raids.
Meanwhile, Yemeni authorities have denied reports of the raids by the US soldiers.
The latest reports come as two people were killed in a US assassination drone strike in Yemen’s central province of Bayda on May 20.
A US killer drone also targeted a truck in the al-Mahfad region of Abyan Province on May 18. Local officials confirmed the death of four people.
Five people were also killed in two similar strikes in a mountainous area near the capital, Sana’a, on May 16.
The Pentagon is requesting more than $450mln from lawmakers for maintaining and upgrading the Guantanamo Bay camp. The request comes as an intensifying hunger strike is ratcheting up pressure on President Barack Obama to push for the prison’s closure.
The budget request for the fiscal year beginning October 1 has called for $79 million for detention operations, the same as the current year. An additional $20.5 million has been requested for the office of military commissions, the military tribunals set up in 2006 for prosecuting detainees. The current price tag on the Guantanamo military commission is $12.6 million. A further $40 million is needed for a fiber optic cable and $99 million for operation and maintenance of the facilities.
The Pentagon is also mulling over a request from the Southern Command to spend about $200 million for renovating the camp, which will include the construction of a new prison building for “high value” detainees, as well as a new dining hall, barracks for prison guards, a hospital, a “legal meeting complex” and a “communications network facility” to store data. … Full article
US President Barack Obama plans to firmly defend the use of terror drones and targeted killing policy as “legal and just” and announce a new bid to transfer long-held Guantanamo captives back to their native lands.
In a much anticipated speech later on Thursday at a military college in Washington DC, Obama will further discuss plans to “restrict” the use of assassination drones and shifting their control from the CIA spy agency to the US military, The New York Times reports Thursday, citing ‘a White House official’ with knowledge about his upcoming speech.
“[He] will discuss why the use of [assassination] drone strikes is necessary, legal and just, while addressing the various issues raised by our use of targeted [killing] action,” the official was quoted in the report as saying.
While Obama will try to “reject” the notion of an endless US war with “terrorists,” the report says, he does not appear to think the end is anywhere near since “he is also institutionalizing procedures for [terror] drone strikes.”
This is while a top Pentagon official testified before a US congressional panel last week that the American so-called “war on terror” will likely continue for the next “10 to 20 years.” … Full article
By Tamara Pearson | Venezuelanalysis | May 21, 2013
Merida – Yesterday Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro met with representatives of private television stations Venevision and Televen. Together they discussed the media’s role in maintaining an environment of “peace, tolerance and living together.”
After the meeting Venevision said in a formal statement that they had discussed a communication campaign called “Zero Violence”, which would contribute to the “movement for peace and life” and reducing violence in Venezuela.
Venevision is Venezuela’s largest television network, and is available over cable, free terrestrial, and in the United States through Univision. Until 2005 it opposed Hugo Chavez, but from then on its coverage has been more even-handed. It is owned by one of Venezuela’s richest citizens, Gustavo Cisneros, and includes a variety of programming, from news, to children’s shows, music, and movies. … continue
Agencia Púlsar | May 22, 2013
In the north of Honduras, in the community of San Manuel Cortés, three peasants were killed and two others wounded on Friday, when they tried to enter the lands that were expropriated last year by the Instituto Nacional Agrario (National Agrarian Institute). Valentín Caravantes, Celso Ruiz y Celedonio Avelar, who died at the scene, were members of the Farmers’ Movement of San Manuel Cortés (MOCSAM), located about 200kms from the capital.
The men entered the land because they obtained an order from the Court of Criminal Appeals, which stated that the evictions carried out in February 2012 against MOCSAM were illegal, reports the National Popular Resistance Front of Honduras (FNRP). “Security guards from the Honduran Sugar Company (CAHSA) fired at the three farmers,” FNRP added.
Brothers Aníbal and Adolfo Melgar were also seriously injured in the shooting and were immediately taken to a hospital in the municipality of San Pedro Sula. … continue
RT | May 22, 2013
US Attorney General Eric Holder has informed Congress that four American citizens have been killed in Yemen and Pakistan by US drones since 2009.
It has been widely reported but rarely acknowledged in Washington that three US citizens — Samir Khan, Anwar al-Awlaki and his teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki — were executed in Yemen by missile-equipped drones in 2011. With Holder’s latest admission, however, a fourth American — Jude Kenan Mohammed — has also been officially named as another casualty in America’s continuing drone war. … continue
RT | May 22, 2013
Afghan officials have reportedly found the footless body of a local man who went missing a half-year ago. The corpse was unearthed near the former A-Team US Special Forces base – where detainees were tortured and killed, locals claim.
Authorities alleged that the grisly discovery is directly connected to Zakaria Kandahari, a notorious wartime collaborator who Afghan officials believe has US citizenship.
Kandahari reportedly led a death squad that terrorized locals in Wardak Province, using the A-Team base in Nerkh District, a one-hour drive from Kabul, as a permanent residence.
The mutilated body was discovered by ditch diggers about 200 yards from the perimeter of Nerkh base in Wardak Province, the New York Times reported. The base was previously occupied by the A-Team US Special Forces unit, which withdrew in March. Rhe Nerkh base compound is currently occupied by Afghan Special Forces. … continue
US-led foreign soldiers stationed in Afghanistan have shot and killed at least two seminary students in the war-torn country, Press TV reports.
According to security officials in the western province of Herat, the US-led soldiers opened fire on a group of students on Tuesday.
The officials say the students were attending a ceremony in Shindand’s Azizabad village when the shooting took place.
A group of protesters reportedly gathered outside the governor’s office, demanding the arrest of the soldiers responsible for the killings. … Full article
Israeli soldier accidentally killed clearing Golan minefield… continue
Mehr News Agency | May 22, 2013
TEHRAN – Iranian car maker Iran Khodro will establish an assembly line with the capacity of 30,000 units per year in the Iraqi city of Iskandariya by the next month.
Preliminary agreements were made three years ago, IRNA quoted Iran Khodro deputy director for exports Abdol’azim Sa’dian as saying.
Iran Khodro has been exporting its products to Iraq for about a decade, he said.
Iran plans to manufacture at least three million cars by 2025 and export some one million sets, Iranian Industry, Mines and Trade Minister Mehdi Ghazanfari has said.
Iranian car manufacturers produced 1.648 million cars in 2011, ranking the country 13th in the world, according to a report by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers. … Full article
A Myanmar court has handed down jail terms to at least seven Muslims in connection with recent violent clashes in the Southeast Asian country, judicial sources say.
Myanmar judicial officials say the defendants were convicted of murdering a Buddhist monk in the central town of Meiktila. The sentences range from two to 28 years. [...]
So far, no Buddhists have been convicted in relation to the violence that started in late March and which left dozens of Muslims dead and thousands homeless.
International and rights groups accuse Myanmar’s Buddhists of systematic attacks on Muslims, particularly the Rohingyas. … Full article
Kafr Qalil, Occupied Palestine – The Israeli army invaded seven family homes in the village of Kafr Qalil, south of Nablus, between 1am and 2am on May 20th. They trashed the properties and people’s possessions and stayed in them for several hours apiece. Lastly, they arrested a university student, Saleh al-Amer, 22.
Instead of just ringing the bell, they obliterated the homes’ heavy metal doors, creating fear and manifesting uncertainty for the innocent residents. Occupants were given no reason for the destruction of their property despite repeatedly asking for one. … continue
MEMO | May 21, 2013
Al-Tadamun human rights organisation said on Tuesday that the Israeli occupation has renewed the administrative detention of 11 Palestinians, including a former hunger striker and two Palestinian lawmakers.
The administrative detention order against Samer al-Barq, 39, from Jayous village in Qalqilya was renewed for six months. Al-Barq went on a hunger strike in April 2012 for 120 days. On November 23, 2012, he ended his hunger strike after he was promised he would be released and deported to Egypt.
With the renewal of the order against al-Barq’s, Al-Tadamun advocate, Osama Maqboul, accused the Israeli occupation of breaching pledges… continue
Israeli troops shot and seriously wounded a 12-year-old Palestinian boy who was walking with his friends in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Palestinian security and medical officials told AFP.
They said that Atta Mohammed Sharadeh was hit during one of what have become almost daily attacks against Palestinian youths by Israeli soldiers outside the Jelazoun refugee camp, near Ramallah. The camp is close to the illegal Jewish settlement of Beit El.
The officials said that he was hit in the chest by a live bullet which exited through his back and was in critical condition in a Ramallah hospital.
Witnesses told Palestinian news agency Ma’an that the boy was walking with school friends when Israeli forces opened fire at the group.
An army spokeswoman said that troops opened fire at a protester about to throw a petrol bomb as dozens of rioters hurled rocks at them.
The boy was transferred to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah for surgery.
John Mundy, the last Canadian ambassador to Iran, writes that the Canadian Foreign Minister Baird’s hawkish position on Iran has prevented real solutions from being considered, and notes that Iran had already accepted many of the demands placed on its nuclear program:
Imagine if Iran’s current rulers agreed to suspend further fuel enrichment, implemented an Additional Protocol with the International Atomic Energy Agency and began negotiating a trade and cooperation agreement with the West that included enhanced people-to-people contacts and a dialogue on human rights. If you listened to Foreign Minister Baird last week you would dismiss this as a pipe dream.
In fact the Iranian government, led by its current leader Ayatollah Khamenei, actually did this. In 2003, after years of patient negotiation between Iran and the European Union, Iran agreed to all of this and also made a direct overture to the United States. The agreement lasted until 2005 when Ayatollah Khamenei became convinced that Europe was negotiating in bad faith and only acting for the United States, who remained unambiguously hostile.
This of course is a reference to the period in which Iran voluntarily suspended enrichment as a good faith gesture, conditional on the EU-3′s recognition of Iran’s nuclear rights under the NPT pursuant to the Paris Agreement deal… which the EU-3 ended up violating. And we know why the US remained “unambiguously hostile” to resolving the nuclear dispute with Iran thanks to Peter Osborne who writes about the Paris Agreement deal:
The answer is that a different agenda is at work, which we believe has little or nothing to do with Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons. The US and its European clients are driven by a different compulsion: the humiliation and eventual destruction of Iran’s Islamic regime.
Bolivia’s Congress has passed a bill allowing President Evo Morales to run for a third term, after the country’s highest court had earlier approved the measure.
“He has the constitutional right to choose to be re-elected,” said the country’s Vice President Garcia Linera.
The court found Morales eligible to stand for re-election as his first four years in office would not count since during that term the country’s constitution was changed. [...]
According to a poll published in April, Morales would get 41 percent of the vote in a national election, while his closest rival, Samuel Doria Medina would receive 17 percent. … Full article
Weekly News Update on the Americas | May 19, 2013
A total of 3,099 families have been removed from their homes in Rio de Janeiro and another 7,843 have been threatened with removal as part of Brazil’s preparations for hosting the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympic Games, according to a study released on May 15 by the Popular Committee of the World Cup and the Olympics. The group estimates that 30,000 people have been affected, based on the average number of people in the households. The study, “Mega-Events and Human Rights Violations in Rio de Janeiro,” was produced with the collaboration of the impacted communities, the Institute for Urban and Regional Research and Planning (Ippur) and other groups, including the nongovernmental organization (NGO) Global Justice.
The city government initially offered 18,000 reais (about US$8,872) for each home. Residents said this wasn’t enough even to buy the land for a new house. The city finally agreed to pay 40,000 reais (US$19,735), which residents said would pay for a two-bedroom house in the hills. … Full article
This week’s Retro Report video on “crack babies” (infants born to addicted mothers) lays out how limited scientific studies in the 1980s led to predictions that a generation of children would be damaged for life. Those predictions turned out to be wrong. This supposed epidemic — one television reporter talks of a 500 percent increase in damaged babies — was kicked off by a study of just 23 infants that the lead researcher now says was blown out of proportion. And the shocking symptoms — like tremors and low birth weight — are not particular to cocaine-exposed babies, pediatric researchers say; they can be seen in many premature newborns.
The worrisome extrapolations made by researchers — including the one who first published disturbing findings about prenatal cocaine use — were only part of the problem. Major newspapers and magazines, including Rolling Stone, Newsweek, The Washington Post and The New York Times, ran articles and columns that went beyond the research. Network TV stars of that era, including Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings and Dan Rather, also bear responsibility for broadcasting uncritical reports. … Full article
By Michael McGehee · NYTX · May 21, 2013
On May 15, 2013 The New York Times published “Islamist Rebels Execute Pro-Government Fighters in Raqqa” under their “Watching Syria’s War” section. The page shows a grisly video of three blindfolded men being executed by apparent members of Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, an al Qaeda-linked group from Iraq now operating in Syria.
The first peculiar thing on the NYT page is that the foreign group and its link to al-Qaeda is not mentioned beyond the statement that, “A video posted online on Tuesday claims to show rebels from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria executing three government army officers in retaliation for recent mass killings in Baniyas and Homs said to have been committed by government forces.”
Then there is the claim that the group was “executing three government army officers,” or “Pro-Government fighters.”
The first question that emerges comes from their own admission: “We do not know the identity of the three men executed in this video.”
Then how does the “paper of record” know they were “government army officers”? … continue
Press TV – May 21, 2013
Guatemala’s top court has overturned the genocide conviction of the country’s former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, ordering his trial to restart.
The move came on Monday, about ten days after a three-judge panel convicted the 86-year-old of genocide and crimes against humanity, sentencing him to 80 years in prison.
The constitutional court’s secretary Martin Guzman said that the trial needed to go back to where it stood on April 19 in order to resolve several appeal issues. … continue
US Security Company Seeks Dismissal of Abu Ghraib Torture Charges because Victims were not Allowed to Leave Iraq
By Noel Brinkerhoff and David Wallechinsky | AllGov | May 21, 2013
CACI International, a U.S. defense contractor that supported the notorious Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq war, is trying to get a lawsuit dismissed because some of the plaintiffs have been stuck in Iraq and are unable to enter the U.S.
In Al Shimari v. CACI, four Iraqis claim the contractor helped torture them while providing interrogation services at Abu Ghraib. All of them were ultimately released without being charged with a crime. They allege that CACI subjected them to a variety of torture techniques, including “electric shocks; repeated brutal beatings; sleep deprivation; sensory deprivation; forced nudity; stress positions; sexual assault; mock executions; humiliation; hooding; isolated detention; and prolonged hanging from the limbs.” … continue
By Cindy Cohn and Trevor Timm | EFF | May 20, 2013
The journalism world has been rightly outraged by the Justice Department dragging the Associated Press (and now a Fox News reporter) into one of its sprawling leak investigations. As we wrote last week, by obtaining the call records of twenty AP phone lines, “the Justice Department has struck a terrible blow against the freedom of the press and the ability of reporters to investigate and report the news.”
RT | May 21, 2013
As the Syrian army and rebels fight for control of Qusair, it is necessary to realize why the town is strategically important and vital for Shias on both sides of the border, making it a military and media battleground.
There are far more elements surrounding the situation in Qusair than first meet the eye, RT’s Nadezhda Kevorkova reveals. … continue
By Samir Abed-Rabbo | May 21, 2013
Israeli apologists would like us to believe that Zionism, the political ideology guiding Israeli policies and practices since its establishment of Israel in Palestine in 1948, is God’s chosen national movement for the re-establishment and maintenance of a “Jewish homeland” in “biblical lands”. Moreover, they want us to accept that Zionism is Judaism and that present-day Israel is the Jewish “promised land”. As a religion, Judaism considers the return of Jews to Palestine before the coming of the Messiah a sacrilege.
God has never been involved in real estate transactions; neither has the Bible ever been considered a source of International Law governing relations between modern states nor a reliable source of human history or archeology. If the world were to be reestablished according to the Bible, the United States, Europe and most modern states would not exist. Furthermore, there are no eyewitness accounts or scientific evidence linking current Israeli Jews to the ancient Hebrews. Some historians and archeologists even dispute that Jews ever had a significant presence in the area. … continue
WASHINGTON – The United States on Monday appointed a special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism as a new State Department report warned about incidents in Venezuela, Egypt and Iran.
Secretary of State John Kerry named Ira Forman, a long time director of the National Jewish Democratic Council, as special envoy citing a “troubling trend” of anti-Semitism around the world. Forman succeeds Hannah Rosenthal, who stepped down last year.
The 2012 report on religious freedom said an increase worldwide in anti-Semitism was “of great concern.” … Full article
Ma’an - 21/05/2013
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces demolished two homes in the Jabal al-Mukabbir neighborhood of East Jerusalem on Tuesday, having earlier destroyed two Palestinian homes in al-Tur.
Witnesses said that a large Israeli police force surrounded the buildings in Jabal al-Mukabbir and closed off the area before demolishing the buildings.
One building belonged to the Abu al-Dabaat family and consisted of three floors housing four families. The second building was home to the al-Qaq family and housed three people. … continue
Pakistan’s Prime Minister-elect Nawaz Sharif has called for peace talks with the Taliban militants.
On Monday, Sharif said the Taliban was ready to hold peace talks with the Pakistani government, adding that the offer of talks by Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) “should be taken seriously.”
“Guns are not a solution to all problems,” Sharif stated. [...] “All options should be tried. Why shouldn’t we sit and talk, engage in dialogue?” he said. … Full article
By Greta Berlin | Palestine Chronicle | May 20 2013
Three years ago, the Free Gaza movement was wrapping up final preparations for a flotilla of eight ships to head out to Gaza, determined to break Israel’s illegal siege on 1.5 million Palestinians shut into an open-air prison. Most of us were already in Cyprus or Turkey or Greece, as we were the primary organizers, having already sent eight voyages, five of them successful in 2008.
Why a flotilla of boats?
During Israel’s horrific massacres against the people of Gaza (called Operation Cast Lead) in December 2008/January, 2009, our boat, the DIGNITY, had been rammed off the coast of Lebanon as we were taking medical personnel into Gaza. The boat later sank in a storm off the coast of Cyprus. … continue
By D May 20, 2013 | War is a Crime |
There’s a contradiction built into every campaign promise about transparent government beyond the failure to keep the promises. Our government is, in significant portion, made up of secret operations, operations that include war-making, kidnapping, torture, assassination, and infiltrating and overthrowing governments. A growing movement is ready to see that end.
The Central Intelligence Agency is central to our foreign policy, but there is nothing intelligent about it, and there is no good news to be found regarding it. Its drone wars are humanitarian and strategic disasters. The piles of cash it keeps delivering to Hamid Karzai fuel corruption, not democracy. Whose idea was it that secret piles of cash could create democracy? (Nobody’s, of course, democracy being the furthest thing from U.S. goals.) Lavishing money on potential Russian spies and getting caught helps no one, and not getting caught would have helped no one. Even scandals that avoid mentioning the CIA, like Benghazigate, are CIA blowback and worse than we’re being told.
We’ve moved from the war on Iraq, about which the CIA lied, and its accompanying atrocities serving as the primary recruiting tool for anti-U.S. terrorists, to the drone wars filling that role. We’ve moved from kidnapping and torture to kidnapping and torture under a president who, we like to fantasize, doesn’t really mean it. But the slave-owners who founded this country knew very well what virtually anyone would do if you gave them power, and framed the Constitution so as not to give presidents powers like these. … continue
JERUSALEM — Israel said on Sunday a France 2 television report seen worldwide on the death of a Palestinian child in 2000 was “baseless”, following an analysis of the raw footage.
The report, bolstering the Israeli political and military stance on the Mohammed al-Dura affair, comes ahead of a ruling in Paris on a defamation case between France 2 reporter Charles Enderlin and Philippe Karsenty, director of watchdog group Media Ratings.
Enderlin’s reportage shows the death of 12-year-old Mohammed in the arms of his father Jamal al-Dura on September 30, 2000 after being caught in crossfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian militants at the start of the second intifada, or uprising.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the findings of the 40-page Israeli report by the ministry of international affairs and strategy on the incident as “truth” that could “prevail over lies.” [...]
Karsenty was convicted of defamation in 2006 for accusing France 2 of doctoring the images in the original report, but the ruling was overturned in 2008.
An appeals court in Paris will issue its final ruling on the affair on Wednesday. – Full article
Talal’s Raw footage of Al Durah:
BETHLEHEM – Israelis from a Negev kibbutz attacked a Bedouin village on Sunday, setting fire to a tent, a Ma’an reporter said.
Residents from the Kibbutz of Retamim attacked the adjacent Bedouin village of Bir Hadaj and set fire to a tent belonging to Eid Abu Habbak, head of the local village council, Salman Ibin Hamid, told Ma’an.
Abu Habbak filed a complaint with Dimona police department.
“The setters of Retamim are acting like they are in the West Bank,” Ibn Hamid added. “These people have the mentality of the occupying settler to attack every Arab.”
Israeli police said that Bir Hadaj residents hurled stones at residents of Retamim, a claim which Ibn Hamid denied.
On May 6, an Israeli government committee approved a draft bill setting a framework to implement the evacuation of “unrecognized” villages in the Negev, most of which existed before the state of Israel.
JENIN – Israeli forces demolished four commercial properties on Monday at the southern entrance of Barta which is located behind the Israeli separation wall.
Israeli forces claimed the properties were not licensed and that they were locate outside the allowed area for Palestinians, an official said.
Tawfiq Qabha, a member of the village council, told Ma’an that 15 military vehicles and two bulldozers entered the village about 5:30 a.m. and began demolishing shops for used car parts.
The properties belonged to Mahmoud Qabha, Mohammad Hussein, and two other people from Tal village in Nablus district.
Tawfiq Qabha said that the officers handed out notifications to Mohammad Qasim Qabha to remove a stone workshop as it was located outside the permitted area.
JERUSALEM – Israel on Monday announced it was cancelling a United Nations delegation scheduled to begin an investigative mission in Jerusalem’s Old City, due to Palestinian “politicization” of the mission. … Full article
May – 2013
April – 2013