“No records are available to confirm that the biological agents were destroyed.”
By Daniel Taylor | Old-Thinker News | October 20, 2014
Operating out of South Africa during the Apartheid era in the early 1980’s, Dr. Wouter Basson launched a secret bioweapons project called Project Coast. The goal of the project was to develop biological and chemical agents that would either kill or sterilize the black population and assassinate political enemies. Among the agents developed were Marburg and Ebola viruses.
Basson is surrounded by cloak and dagger intrigue, as he told Pretoria High court in South Africa that “The local CIA agent in Pretoria threatened me with death on the sidewalk of the American Embassy in Schoeman Street.” According to a 2001 article in The New Yorker magazine, the American Embassy in Pretoria was “terribly concerned” that Basson would reveal deep connections between Project Coast and the United States.
In 2013, Basson was found guilty of “unprofessional conduct” by the South African health council.
Bioweapons expert Jeanne Guillemin writes in her book Biological Weapons: From the Invention of State-Sponsored Programs to Contemporary Bioterrorism, “The project’s growth years were from 1982 to 1987, when it developed a range of biological agents (such as those for anthrax, cholera, and the Marburg and Ebola viruses and for botulinum toxin)…” … continue
By John Pilger | October 23, 2014
Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing.
Although not regarded as on the left of the Labor Party, Whitlam was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride and propriety. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country’s resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to “buy back the farm”. In drafting the first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, his government raised the ghost of the greatest land grab in human history, Britain’s colonisation of Australia… continue
Homeland Security Newswire | October 23, 2014
The Harper government is considering legislation which would expand the powers of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) to investigate, apprehend, and detain homegrown terrorists. CSIS wants the power to take advantage of the so-called “Five Eyes” spy network to which Canada, the United Kingdom, America, Australia, and New Zealand all belong. CSIS is also asking for more power to track Canadians believed to have been radicalized, and to take more advantage of anonymous sources. Ottawa officials are talking about whether to give CSIS explicit legislative permission to engage in “threat-diminishment” — a power which the intelligence agency’s watchdog recently pointed out that CSIS already uses, but the law does not explicitly permit. … Full article
Brandon Martinez | Non-Aligned Media | October 22, 2014
I’m not one to hastily jump to conclusions about events like these, but the alleged shooting at the Canadian parliament and a nearby war memorial that took place today smells like a false-flag operation designed to expedite the Harper regime’s militarist agenda.
The mainstream media is in a furor over the incident. Non-stop wall-to-wall coverage has commenced. Even American and British outlets have picked up the story.
One very noticeable clue as to the fraudulent nature of this event is the immediate calls from establishment propagandists for a crack down on free speech (what they call “hate speech”) and the bolstering of Orwellian “anti-terrorism” laws which will in effect hand the state unlimited powers to spy on the citizenry of Canada and snuff out dissidents. … continue
By Gabe Rottman | ACLU | October 22, 2014
… Let’s take a trip back to Boston during this week in 1923:
Beantown’s Democratic machine boss and chief executive is the flamboyant Mayor James Michael Curley, a felon, rake, and hometown hero. As the Boston Globe put it, he “served four terms as mayor, four terms in Congress, one term as governor, and two terms in jail.”
Another popular political force in those days was the Ku Klux Klan. At its height in the 1920s, it effectively ran several states and would stage rallies seeking support in the rapidly urbanizing northern cities, including Boston, where racial and religious tensions were taut.
Mayor Curley—a hero among the city’s Irish-American working class—saw a campaign issue. On October 23, 1923, while calling himself a “stout stickler for freedom of meeting, speech and press,” he banned peaceful Klan meetings in Boston. In response to a letter from the local ACLU condemning the KKK but strongly defending the group’s right to speak and gather, Curley said, “The Klan cannot expect to shelter itself behind the rights it denies and the guaranties it repudiates.”
The argument has some appeal. Why should we tolerate intolerance, especially by a group as objectionable as the Klan? Consider, however, another move against unpopular speech by the good mayor. In 1925, Mayor Curley banned Margaret Sanger—the birth control activist and founder of Planned Parenthood—from speaking in Boston. In doing so, he lashed out against the ACLU and explicitly linked the Sanger ban to his moves against the KKK. … Read full article
Press TV – October 23, 2014
American aircraft-manufacturing giant Boeing has ended a 35-year break in business with Iran, supplying the country’s national flag carrier with a cargo of aircraft-related items.
But the sale did not include spare parts for Iranian aircraft as promised by Washington following last year’s nuclear deal between Iran and six world powers.
“During the third quarter of 2014, we sold aircraft manuals, drawings, and navigation charts and data to Iran Air,” Boeing said in its quarterly report on Wednesday. … continue
Congressional neocons are determined to sink negotiations to constrain but not end Iran’s nuclear program – all the better to get on with bombing Iran at the heart of their agenda. They are now disguising their sabotage as a constitutional argument, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains. – Read article
By Samer Jaber | Al-Akhbar | October 23, 2014
The Jewish state of Israel in the Levant (JSIL) and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) are different in many ways. The most fundamental difference is that the former is a recognized state and a member of the United Nations, while the latter is not recognized as a legitimate polity and is considered a political/military terrorist organization. However, the two share core characteristics that define them and by recognising these similarities observers may be able to make predictions about their futures.
Divine right to exist
Both JSIL and ISIS display what might be termed “self-defined righteousness.” Although Israel is a modern state, its politics and treatment of others (Palestinians) are based on religious concepts and principles that can be traced back to the first century BC and the teachings of Rabbi Hillel, someone who would be considered a fundamentalist today. He instructed Jews to have a religious and social identity separate from those of other people (tribes). Israel introduces itself to the international community as a Jewish state and, based on this interpretation of Zionist Judaism, is a home to Jews wherever they are in the world. In other words, it is a state which includes all Jews but excludes the indigenous people of Palestine, the Palestinians. It uses its interpretation of Judaism to deny Palestinians equal rights and prevent them from accessing their lands. … continue
A Palestinian man was shot and killed by Israeli police, on Wednesday, following a suspected attack at a light rail station, near the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah.
An Israeli police spokesman stated, via his Twitter account, that nine people were injured when a car struck the Ammunition Hill light rail station near Sheikh Jarrah.
The driver was shot while fleeing the area, he added.
Initial Israeli media reports said that a light rail tram had been deliberately derailed.
According to Ma’an, unconfirmed initial reports said that the slain Palestinian was the driver of the car, and that he was shot by Israeli police forces following the incident.
Huwwara, Occupied Palestine – This morning at approximately 09:30, settlers from the illegal settlement of Yizhar set fire to a Palestinian olive field above Huwwara village, just outside of Nablus.
The settlers set the land on fire from the top of the hill. People from the village started fighting the fire, but suddenly the wind turned and the flames started moving towards the illegal settlement on the top of the hill. At this point the settlers started fighting their own fire, to prevent damage to their illegal buildings.
The owner of the land, Nasser Jihad Mufdi Houwwari, spoke to ISM about his previous experiences with settlers, in 2002 settlers from Yizhar shot Nasser in the shoulder with two bullets. Nasser continued to state that they [the settlers] threaten him and damage his properties every year, however this is the first time they burnt such a large area of his land.
Eight Palestinian women have gone on trial in Israel after being detained yesterday while they left Al-Aqsa Mosque.
According to an Alresalah correspondent, Israel held a session this morning to prosecute the women who were arrested after noon prayers yesterday accusing them of attacking Israeli forces.
Mays Al-Assad, Nevin Al-Masri and Faiza Karaeen were amongst those arrested.
Sheikh Omar Al-Kiswani, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, condemned the arrest, prosecution and assault of these women and other worshipers by Israeli police at the doors of the mosque.
He said: “Look at these dangerous practices that aim to empty Al-Aqsa Mosque of worshipers and those taking part in the sit-ins and intend to scare them, especially to stop women from returning to Al-Aqsa Mosque, as they intervened to prevent the arrest of two girls.”
The French government has prosecuted a pro-Palestinian activist for disregarding the official ban on anti-Israel rallies during its recent offensive on the Gaza Strip, Press TV reports.
France has put the spokesperson of the New Anti-Capitalist Party on trial for his attempts to organize an “illegal demonstration” against the Israeli regime.
Meanwhile, several demonstrators held a rally on Wednesday to protest against the government’s prosecution of the pro-Palestinian campaigner.
“To incriminate the spokesman of a political party who is also a strong supporter of unions… is totally unjustified and unacceptable. We would like to know why the government singled him out,” said Patrick Picard, a member of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT).
France was heavily criticized by rights groups after it officially banned demonstrations against the Israeli regime’s deadly attacks on the besieged Gaza Strip in summer. Thousands of people defied the French government’s decision, saying it was a glaring breach of their constitutional basic right to demonstrate.
“This government made two decisions this summer: to support the extreme-right regime of Benjamin Netanyahu, which was in the process of massacring people in Gaza and then, … it tried to weaken the Palestinian solidarity movement here in France by claiming it was anti-Semitic and violent which we totally reject,” stated the national secretary of Left Front Party (PG), Eric Coquerel.
The French government has recently intensified the trend of prosecuting social activists who disagree with the unpopular policies of President Francois Hollande.
No matter how you look at it, the economic picture for most of America is not good.
From too much debt to not enough savings to shrinking incomes, the vast majority of Americans are confronted with erosion of their financial security.
A new economic study (pdf) from the National Bureau of Economic Research paints a bleak outlook for 90% of the country. This great mass once enjoyed a growing share of the nation’s wealth from before the Great Depression until the 1980s, according to researchers Emmanuel Saez and Gabriel Zucman . The share of the wealth for that group peaked at 35% in the mid-1980s. By 2012, that share had dropped to 23%.
Saddled with growing amounts of mortgage, consumer credit and student debt, the 90% has had little in the way of extra money to put into savings, Saez and Zucman wrote. In fact, the savings rate by those in the lower 90% is about zero. By comparison, the top 1% of families put aside about 35% of their income. The authors say that income inequality will increase as long as the middle-class savings rate remains low.
Another report, from the liberal Center for American Progress, offered up another double whammy of fiscal troubles for Americans: declining income and growing expenses. It reported that the median income of all families dropped 8% from 2000 to 2012.
Meanwhile, the costs of sending kids to college and paying for health care and child care have soared. Higher education expenses have represented the biggest increase, jumping 62% from 2000 to 2012. Health care and child care went up 21% and 24%, respectively.
For the state general budget plan for 2015 it has been announced that strategic sectors will be the largest investment at 35%. The principal areas of focus will be strengthening electric and hydraulic resources as well as hydrocarbons and increasing social investment.
This investment is intended to provide a financial base upon which the state will focus on other projects, on sectors such as education and technology, to support a future economy which will move away from extractivism.
In an interview with TeleSUR English, Latin American School of Social Sciences (FLACSO) specialist Patricio Trujillo said, “Investment in strategic sectors first creates an infrastructure that is sufficiently self-sustainable so that the second phase can be based on human talent. If we do not have infrastructure it is very difficult to better this human talent, to improve for example investigation.”
Other sectors include production at 22%, social development at 16%, Security at 7% and the rest at 6%. The sector of human talent, expected to receive greater investment in the future a critical base of the Citizen’s Revolution, will receive 14 percent investment at USD $1.19 billion, which will be directed towards basic and higher education as well as culture. … continue
The Ecuadorian government hit back on Tuesday against a report claiming it repressed protestors during a recent demonstrations.
The Ecuadorian government is challenging a lawyer cited in the report to prove his allegations.
It was responding to accusations made by U.S. based organization Human Rights Watch (HRW).
Interior Minister Jose Serrano announced during a televised interview that the government will sue the lawyer who told HRW that students and protesters detained on September 17 and 18 were tortured by the police.
“This lawyer had the audacity and cynicism to say that the police had tortured them … this individual will have to prove what he said … is effectively true,” Serrano said.
The Interior Minister also clarified that those apprehended were caught on video attacking policemen. … continue
Mexican authorities have ordered the arrest of the mayor of the southern town of Iguala and his wife in connection to a police raid that resulted in the disappearance of dozens of students.
Mexico’s Attorney General Jesus Murillo said on Wednesday that Mayor Jose Luis Abarca had ordered the police raid to prevent the students from disrupting an event.
“We have issued warrants for the arrest of Iguala Mayor Jose Luis Abarca, his wife Mrs. Pineda Villa and police chief Felipe Flores Velazquez, as probable masterminds of the events that occurred in Iguala on September 26,” Murillo said at a press conference.
According to reports, the mayor and his wife are currently on the run.
Police officers, arrested in connection with the clashes, have reportedly confessed to handing the students over to a local drug gang, Guerreros Unidos, which has ties with the mayor’s wife. … Full article
RT | October 22, 2014
Prisoners serving time in the state of Pennsylvania can now be sued for speaking up from behind bars after Governor Tom Corbett signed into law this week the Revictimization Relief Act that legislatures rushed to approve only days earlier.
The bill, signed on Tuesday by Corbett, a Republican, allows victims of “a personal injury crime” to sue the perpetrator if that offender “perpetuates the continuing effect of the crime on the victim.”
State Rep. Mike Vereb, a Republican and a co-author of the act, announced earlier this month that he’d be rallying lawmakers to support the bill after former death row inmate Mumia Abu-Jamal was allowed to record a commencement speech that was played for graduates of Goddard College during an October 5 ceremony.
Abu-Jamal, 60, is currently serving a life sentence at a prison facility in Frackville, PA for the 1981 murder of a Philadelphia cop, Officer Daniel Fulkner, but he has maintained his innocence throughout his incarceration, including three decades spent awaiting execution before prosecutors agreed in 2011 to drop the death penalty. Prior to the start of his prison sentence, Abu-Jamal was considered a renowned activist and journalist, and has since published several books and thousands of essays from behind bars.
“The nation is in deep trouble, largely because old thinking, both domestically and globally, has led us into the morass that the nation now faces, which may be encapsulated by references to place-names that ring in our minds: Gaza; Ferguson; and Iraq—again!” a group of 21 graduating students from Goddard, Abu-Jamal’s alma matter, were told in the tape-recorded commencement speech. “These are some of the challenges that abide in the world, which it will be your destiny to try and analyze and resolve. As students of Goddard, you know that those challenges are not easy, but they must be faced and addressed.” … continue
By JOHN LAFORGE | CounterPunch | October 22, 2014
Just in time for Halloween, a real zombie.
Although the Obama Administration cancelled the Yucca Mountain project for disposing high-level radioactive waste (uranium fuel rods) in 2009, the scheme stays amazingly undead.
Last Thursday, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued the third in a series of reports in which it declared that the deep, engineered cavern inside the mountain — 90 miles from Las Vegas, Nevada — meet the commission’s ever-changing (Eric Pianin, “Rules changed for Nevada nuclear waste site plan,” Wash. Post, Dec. 12, 2001) requirements.
Still pending are two more reports and a final NRC ruling on the site’s suitability. Actual operation of the dump also requires approval from the Environmental Protection Agency and the departments of Transportation and Energy (DOE). Of course, lawsuits by the State of Nevada and dozens of environmental groups would follow a decision to start burying waste. … continue
By Jan Oberg | Transnational Foundation for Peace & Future Research | October 22, 2014
You have heard that Sweden is hunting a ”submarine” and that it is ”presumed to be Russian”. Here is an example, Financial Times of October 21 – which incidentally also announces that the Swedish Prime Minister vows to increase defence spending.
Not the slightest evidence
There are only three problems with this:
1) There is not the slightest evidence of there being anything military, neither that it is a submarine nor that, whatever the object might be, it is Russian.
2) Even with CNN, BBC and AlJazeera this is nothing but speculative low-grade yellow press journalism. This is possible in the field of defence, security and peace because much less is required of journalists when they write about these matters than when they write about, say, domestic politics, economics, sports, books or food and wine. In these fields you are expected to have some knowledge and media consumers are able to check.
3) It serves other purposes than bringing you information: either to increase further the negative image of Russia, push Sweden into full NATO membership – see the remarkable offer by NATOs former Allied Supreme Commander, Stavridis – for NATO to come and help Sweden – or to scare the Swedes into feeling that it is necessary to pay even more to the Swedish military (a mechanism also called fearology).
Virtually every aspect of the media hype is based on prejudices… continue
In New York City, the police are currently investigating hate crimes which occurred when the Israeli basketball team played in the city. At an arena where the team played, a Muslim woman was assaulted for wearing hijab and says she wants justice.
Outside of Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York City, friends and supporters of Nerden Mohsen Kiswani gathered to speak out about the recent incident, and say they want justice for what they call a “cowardly hate crime” perpetrated against her at Barclays Center earlier this month.
Kiswani was attacked by a group of Israeli men as she watched the basketball game. She was targeted because she was wearing hijab. After she was attacked, the police seemed under-interested, and let her attackers escape. Amin Hussein, a Palestinian-American lawyer, said that the atmosphere inside of Barclays Center, with Jewish fans gathering to support the Israeli team, was very frightening. Kiswani’s attorney, Lamis Deek, pointed out that the ring-leader of the group that assaulted her was Leonard Petlakh, a well known Zionist activist and college professor. At the press conference, it was pointed out that after the incident Leonard Petlakh claimed Palestine protesters had assaulted him, and his allegations were widely circulated in the press. However, the New York City Hate Crimes Task Force determined after investigation that no hate crimes against Petlakh had taken place.
MEMO | October 21, 2014
A cemetery in Haifa where the body of the martyr Sheikh Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam is buried has been sold to a private construction company, sparking fears of the outbreak of a third Intifada.
Al-Qassam is considered one of the most important icons of Palestinian resistance. He was immortalised when he became the first to lay the foundations for organised revolution against the British Mandate’s forces and Zionist settlers in the mid-1930’s.
Hamas named its military wing the Izz Ad-Din Al-Qassam Brigades in recognition of the heroic role he played in defence of Palestine.
The construction company noted that, according to their contract with the Israeli government, the area must be examined and the graves must be moved to another area.
Mustafa Bara, the lawyer representing Palestinians who are strongly opposed to the Israeli government’s decision, warned against taking this measure, as it would elicit harsh reactions from the Palestinian masses. … continue
By Hasan Afif El-Hasan | Palestine Chronicle | October 18, 2014
I tried to explore the long term plans of the ruling elite of Israel regarding the Palestinians. But since no Israeli government ever publicly revealed its long term vision other than maintaining the status quo, I sought to examine their thoughts through one of their surrogates, Caroline Glick. I read her book “The Israeli Solution” that has been published recently. Caroline Glick is a right wing Israeli and a strong supporter of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu policies. She is American born Israeli journalist, the deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and she writes for the Israeli daily newspaper, Makor Rishon. In her book, she covers many topics that reflect the right wing Zionists views on Palestine, and she also promotes a one state plan in Palestine.
Glick argues that the two-state-solution is not acceptable because it falls short of meeting the Zionists’ goals. She writes: “The Jewish people’s rights to sovereignty over Judea and Samaria [West Bank]—as with their rights to the rest of the Land of Israel—are overwhelming from historical and political perspective.” She calls for creating an ethnic religious Jewish majority state that includes the West Bank “Judea and Samaria” and Jerusalem, but the one-state she is advocating does not include Gaza Strip and she rejects the refugees’ right of return. … continue
AL-KHALIL – The Israeli occupation authorities have barred the travel of Palestinian photojournalist Amer Abu Arafa from the West Bank city of al-Khalil to Jordan.
Abu Arafa, 28, said on his Facebook page that after a long wait at the King Hussein Bridge on Tuesday afternoon, the Israeli intelligence officer told him that he was banned from travel and that he has to return his hometown al-Khalil.
He said that he was planning to attend a media conference in the Jordanian capital Amman.
Abu Arafa works as a photographer and freelance correspondent for a number of media outlets. He was previously arrested by the Israeli occupation forces and the Palestinian Authority’s security apparatuses.
Israeli naval forces detained seven Gaza fishermen off the coast of Gaza City early Wednesday, the head of the Gaza fishermen syndicate confirmed, in a clear violation of the ceasefire agreement that ended a bloody 50-day Israeli assault on Gaza.
“The Israeli navy arrested seven fishermen from one family in Sudaniya in the sea off northern Gaza,” Nizar Ayash, told AFP.
According to Ma’an news agency, the Israeli naval forces opened fire “heavily” on a group of Palestinian fishermen.
An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed the arrest of seven fishermen on two boats, saying that “two vessels sailed beyond the permitted fishing zone” and that one of the fishermen was “very lightly” wounded by the “rubber bullets” fired by Israeli forces.
Ayash accused Israel of constantly violating the terms of the agreement.
“Since signing the truce, the Israeli army has violated (the agreement) eight times, arresting fishermen and destroying a giant fishing boat, in addition to firing at fishermen on a daily basis,” he said.
The August 26 agreement stipulated that Israel would immediately expand the fishing zone off Gaza’s coast, allowing fishermen to sail as far as six nautical miles from shore, and would continue to expand the area gradually. … Full article
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says Iran has no trust in the sincerity of governments claiming to be fighting the ISIL Takfiri militants.
“We have no trust and confidence in the honesty of those making these remarks (against ISIL) and believe that the issue of ISIL and terrorism should be resolved by regional countries,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi in Tehran on Tuesday.
The Leader said Iran attaches great significance to security, welfare, might and dignity of Iraq as an important country in the Middle East region, adding that the Islamic Republic firmly and seriously supports the new Iraqi government.
“The present circumstances in the region, including in Iraq, are the outcome of irresponsible policies adopted by transregional powers and certain regional countries in Syria,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
“We believe that the Iraqi nation and government, particularly the country’s youths, are capable of overcoming terrorists and establishing security and there is no need for the presence of foreigners,” the Leader added. … Full article
Administration hires another overpopulation fanatic
RT | October 21, 2014
Radoslaw Sikorski — the speaker of the Polish Parliament and that nation’s former foreign minister — was forced to apologize after claiming that he overheard Vladimir Putin in 2008 suggest that Ukraine should be divided between Russia and Poland.
A bombshell report published by Politico Magazine over the weekend called “Putin’s Coup” alleged that Sikorski heard that the Russian president told Donald Tusk, then the Polish prime minister, that Poland should “become participants in the divide of Ukraine” during a Polish delegation’s 2008 visit to Moscow.
“He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine… This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow,” Politico’s Ben Judah quoted Sikorski as saying following an interview that formed the basis of the Sunday article. … continue
teleSUR | October 21, 2014
The Ukrainian army used cluster bombs against civilian populated areas in Donetsk, a report published by The New York Times on Monday claims.
According to the newspaper’s reporters on the ground, physical evidence and interviews with witnesses and victims have confirmed the use of such weaponry, banned in most of the world.
Evidence recovered by the newspaper such as munition fragments also indicates the use of cluster bombs. … continue
By Celine Hagbard | IMEMC News | October 21, 2014
Basketball fans joined with human rights supporters in several U.S. towns to call for a boycott of Israeli sports teams, and to challenge what they call a ‘public relations tour’ by Israeli teams in the U.S. They gathered outside and inside the exhibition games to try to bring attention to the ongoing Israeli military occupation of Palestine.
In Cleveland, Ohio, dozens of protesters chanted and held signs outside the exhibition game last week, and a similar protest took place on Friday in Portland, Oregon.
According to organizers, “These teams represent the injustice and occupation of Palestine. While this team travels freely, Palestinian athletes are denied that same right.
“The Israeli basketball tour is a PR campaign to cover up the horrific massacre of the past summer that killed over 2,100 people in Gaza, including over 500 children. In some cities the games are being used as a fundraiser for the Israeli military. That is the same military that continues to occupy Palestine, kill indiscriminately, and deny Palestinian citizens the right to live freely and with justice. … continue
International Solidarity Movement | October 21, 2014
Bil’in, Occupied Palestine – On October 21st, Human Rights Defender Abdallah Abu Rahma was found guilty by an Israeli military court of “disturbing a soldier”.
“Demonstrating against the occupation cannot be a criminal offence. Finding Abdallah guilty only shows that the [Israeli] military force is a tool to perpetuate the occupation.” Stated Gabi Lasky, lawyer of Abdallah Abu Rahma, to the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).
Abdallah spoke to the ISM about his recent conviction. “Yesterday the military court ruled that I was guilty, showing once again that they stand on the side of the occupation, and not that of truth and justice. … continue
ARIHA – The Israeli occupation army on Monday demolished some Palestinian homes and agricultural structures near the Jordan Valley in the eastern part of the West Bank.
According to Palestinian local sources, Israeli military bulldozers escorted by soldiers knocked down a number of Palestinian-owned homes and structures used for agricultural purposes in Jiflik and Fasayel towns, north of Ariha.
The sources explained that the bulldozers demolished two houses belonging to Mohamed Abu Aram and his son Ihab in Jiftlik in addition to four agricultural stores owned by three other citizens.
Another agricultural store belonging to Hussein Rashaydeh in the nearby village of Fasayel was also razed by the Israeli army.
In a later incident, the Israeli occupation forces on Tuesday morning confiscated three agricultural tractors during a campaign in Wadi Baziq area in the Jordan Valley.
Farmer Mousa Haroub told the Palestinian Information Center that Israeli troops forcibly took the three tractors from their owners and loaded them on huge trucks, without giving reasons for their action. He added that the owners of the tractors were handed written orders asking them to go to the Israeli authorities in the area, while other citizens were questioned by Israeli officers about their jobs.
The Israeli army also notified today Palestinian Bedouins of its intention to demolish two tents and a cattle shed in Fakheet hamlet to the east of Yatta.
The IOF claimed that the structures to be removed are located in a closed military zone.
As expected, Evo Morales and his Movement Toward Socialism (MAS) government won a resounding victory in Bolivia’s national presidential and parliamentary election October 12. [...]
Almost half of the ALP members will now be women, as the new Constitution requires each party slate to include gender parity.
Among the four major opposition parties, all to the right of the MAS, the most votes went to Democratic Unity (UD), a coalition of the parties headed by millionaire businessman Samuel Doria Medina and Ruben Costas, the governor of Santa Cruz department. Doria Medina, the ex-minister in charge of many privatizations in previous neoliberal governments, made his fortune in cement production and is also the Bolivian owner of the Burger King chain. Costas was a leader of the 2008 failed insurrection.
The UD took about 25% of the vote, considerably more than the 18% it registered in pre-election public opinion polling. It was followed by the Christian Democrats led by former conservative president Jorge “Tuto” Quiroga, with about 9%. Trailing far behind were the Movimiento Sin Miedo (the Fearless Movement) led by former La Paz mayor Juan del Granado, and the Partido Verde (Greens), led by Fernando Vargas, a lowlands indigenous leader of the 2011 TIPNIS march. With less than 3% each, the latter two parties risk losing their official status under Bolivia’s election law.
Almost three million Bolivians live outside the country, mainly in neighboring Argentina and Brazil, as well as Spain and the United States. In this election these economic exiles had the right to vote, and in the 33 countries where this was possible the vote abroad went heavily in favour of the MAS, which took 72%. Last year was the first in many years in which more Bolivians returned to take up residence in the country than left to find work elsewhere, a reflection of the relative prosperity the country is enjoying under the Morales government. … Full article
By Travis Gettys | Raw Story | October 16, 2014
A top commander for the Alaska National Guard was recommended for “other than honorable” discharge earlier this year following an investigation that found he allowed recruiters to sexually assault and harass women.
Lt. Col. Joseph Lawendowski failed to act on multiple complaints of serious misconduct, including rape, against four noncommissioned officers under his command, according to an Army investigation.
The Anchorage Press obtained a copy of the Army Regulation 15-6 report that found Lawendowski, a former pornography company owner and co-founder of an “end times” fundamentalist group, violated the National Guard code of conduct on multiple occasions. … continue
By Tim Cushing | Techdirt | October 21, 2014
… Perhaps it’s indicative of nothing at all, other than the overwhelming gravitational pull of the Beltway. But then, there’s this timeline:
1984 – Teresa Shea joins the NSA as an engineer working in SIGINT issues.
1990 – James Shea sets up Sigtek, Inc., which goes on to receive “hundreds of thousands of dollars in contracts with the federal government, according to a federal contracting database.”
1999 – Teresa Shea registers Oplnet, using their home address.
2000 – James Shea sells Sigtek, Inc. for $20 million to a British firm, while remaining listed as President of the company.
2007 – James Shea sets up Telic Networks, his newest SIGINT-focused company. This too is “based” at the Sheas’ shared home address.
2010 – Teresa Shea is promoted to Director of SIGINT. Nearly simultaneously, James Shea is named vice president of major SIGINT contractor DRS Signal Solutions. … Read full article
By Nadia Kayyali | EFF | October 20, 2014
- Call Detail Records Don’t Actually Identify People
- We Have to Collect Everything for the Program to Work. But We’re Not Collecting Everything.
- Bulk Telephone Records Collection Isn’t Necessary to Protect Us—But Is Still Allowed Under the “Special-Needs Doctrine”
By Steve Straehley and Noel Brinkerhoff | AllGov | October 21, 2014
More U.S. police departments are employing electronic surveillance technology that can collect information from cell phones and laptop computers belonging not just to criminal suspects but also law abiding citizens.
The Charlotte Observer found the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have for eight years used such equipment, which goes by many names: Stingray, Hailstorm, AmberJack and TriggerFish.
But the technology, which mimics cell towers, is also used by other law enforcement around the country. It’s just not clear which departments, the newspaper says, because the federal government has helped to shield police from disclosing their owning and operating the spy hardware. In fact, the Obama administration “has ordered cities not to disclose information about the equipment,” the Observer’s Fred Classen-Kelly reported. … continue
October – 2014
September – 2014