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Current News and Analysis

You Have Depression

By Martha Rosenberg | CounterPunch | September 26, 2014

Are you depressed? Have you lost interest in things you used to enjoy? Are you eating or sleeping too much? Big Pharma hopes so! The push to convince people who are dealing with job, family, relationship and money problems that they actually have “depression” has resulted in almost one in four American women in their 40s and 50s taking antidepressants. Ka-ching.

Psychiatry is often accused of not being “real medicine” because the diseases it diagnoses cannot be proved on blood tests and brain scans. That’s why this month’s announcement of the “first blood test to diagnose major depression in adults” is good news for psychiatrists and Big Pharma. Developed by Northwestern Medicine® scientists, the test, announced this month, “provides the first objective, scientific diagnosis for depression,” says Northwestern.

“The blood test can also predict which therapies would be most successful for patients, and lays the groundwork for one day identifying people who are especially vulnerable to depression — even before they’ve gone through a depressive episode,” gushes a Huffington Post article. No kidding. Treating people “at risk” of heart disease, asthma, osteoporosis, GERD and other conditions is Pharma’s marketing plan. Patients never know if they would have gotten the disorders and will stay on the drugs for decades. … continue

California governor vetoes bill requiring warrants for police drones

RT | September 29, 2014

Despite widely clearing both the state’s Senate and Assembly, California Governor Jerry Brown shot down a bill on Sunday that would have imposed restrictions on when law enforcement agencies can use drones for surveillance.

Brown, a Democrat, said in a statement over the weekend that he was vetoing the drone accountability act that, had it been signed into law, would require police agencies to obtain a warrant before using an unmanned vehicle, or drone, for aerial surveillance. … continue

US wants Guantanamo force-feeding hearing to stay secret

RT | September 29, 2014

Attorneys for the United States government say that an upcoming court hearing concerning the force-feeding practices used on a Guantanamo Bay detainee should be held almost entirely behind closed doors.

The motion, filed by US attorneys on Friday in District Court for the District of Columbia, asks that the preliminary injunction hearing for Gitmo detainee Abu Wa’el Dhiab scheduled for early next month be conducted largely in secret over supposed national security concerns.

“As an initial matter, the hearing should be closed in order to prevent any unauthorized disclosure of classified or protected information,” the motion reads in part. “Furthermore, the hearing should be closed because, although portions of the materials in the record in this case are unclassified, conducting an open hearing in this case would impose significant burdens on the parties and the Court.” … continue

Bahrain sentences nine protestors to life in prison

Al-Akhbar | September 29, 2014

Nine Bahraini protestors have been jailed for life and stripped of their nationality for allegedly smuggling arms to be used in “terrorist acts,” the prosecutor general of the country with the second highest prison population rate per 100,000 amongst Arab states in the West Asian and North African region announced on Monday.

A Manama court also found all nine guilty of having contacted an agent of an unnamed foreign country “to carry out acts hostile to Bahrain,” he said in a statement. … continue

On Israel’s little-known concentration and labor camps in 1948-1955

Civilian prisoners Ramle July 1948 on way to Labour Camps (1)By Yazan al-Saadi | Al-Akhbar | September 29, 2014

Much of the grim and murky circumstances of the Zionist ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in the late 1940s have gradually been exposed over time. One aspect – rarely researched or deeply discussed – is the internment of thousands of Palestinian civilians within at least 22 Zionist-run concentration and labor camps that existed from 1948 to 1955.

Now more is known about the contours of this historical crime, due to the comprehensive research by renowned Palestinian historian Salman Abu Sitta and founding member of the Palestinian resource center BADIL Terry Rempel.

The facts are these. … continue

Prisoner swaps on shaky ground in Ukraine as Kiev accused of foul play

RT | September 29, 2014

Prisoner swaps in Ukraine are in danger of stalling as rebels say they will no longer tolerate Kiev’s practice of producing random people for exchange instead of actual members of militia and political prisoners.

Prisoner exchanges are a crucial part for consolidating the shaky truce in eastern Ukraine. The peace deal signed in Minsk, Belarus, on September 5 states that all captives must be eventually set free. So far the OSCE-monitored swaps had been done on a one-for-one basis, and Kiev is apparently lacking genuine rebel captives to offer and is substituting them with whoever it can procure.

But the rebels say they won’t have it anymore.

“We don’t reject further trade, but the rules of the game have changed now. The Ukrainian side will have to deliver lists and IDs of our supporters they offer in advance,” prime minister of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Aleksandr Zakharchenko, told Interfax. … continue

‘I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy’: Village left in ruins after Kiev’s shelling

RT | September 29, 2014

35.siAmid the ruins of a small Lugansk Region village, elderly residents are crying as they try to rebuild their lives. The Ukrainian army “liberated” them from everything they held dear, including their homes, Raisa Repey tells RT’s Maria Finoshina.

“[The Ukrainian army] call themselves liberators – they liberated me from everything I own, from my home. They just didn’t have enough time to take my life,” says Raisa, a resident of Khryashchevatoe village, 12 kilometers from the city of Lugansk.

The village is in a dire humanitarian crisis, as residents are left without gas or electricity and winter is coming, RT’s Maria Finoshina reports from the scene, adding that “people cook on open fires and freeze at night.” … Full article

Israeli forces destroy power grid in Nablus village

Ma’an – 29/09/2014

NABLUS – Israeli military forces on Monday destroyed an electricity network in the Nablus village of Aqraba, a Palestinian official said.

Ghassan Daghlas, an official who monitors settlement activity, told Ma’an that Israeli military bulldozers raided the Khirbet al-Tawil area of the village and demolished the main power line established in 2004.

Israeli soldiers destroyed over 80 electricity pylons and wires, he added.

Israel is using demolitions to “pressure residents to leave their houses for the sake of nearby settlements.”

In August, Israeli forces demolished four houses in the al-Tawil neighborhood, some of which were over 100 years old.

The al-Tawil neighborhood is on the outskirts of Aqraba and locals say Israeli forces have targeted several properties in the area under the pretext that they were built without a permit.

Christian Evangelicals Increasingly Support Palestinian Human Rights

By Alison Weir | CounterPunch | September 29, 2014

An article in Middle East Quarterly, a pro-Israel publication, reports that support for Israel is eroding among American evangelical Christians, with only 30 percent in a recent survey stating support for Israel above Palestinians.

This trend is even more pronounced among youth, according to an article by David Brog, Jewish-American executive director of “Christians United For Israel (CUFI), a major pro-Israel organization. Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu has called CUFI “a vital part of Israel’s national security” and columnist Charles Kauthammer has said, “I do not know of an organization in the world more important to Israel than CUFI.”

Brog’s article, “The End of Evangelical Support for Israel?” is largely pitched as a wake-up call to Israel partisans who, according to Brog, “must take this threat seriously.” … continue

Israel seizes French citizen on allegations of propagating pro-Hamas views

DataFiles-Cache-TempImgs-2014-2-images_News_2014_09_29_Abu-Badwiya_1_300_0Palestine Information Center – 29/09/2014

NABLUS – The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) kidnapped a few weeks ago the Palestinian-French law professor Ra’ed Abu Badwiya from his home in Nablus city, AFP news agency said on Monday.

The IOF arrested 41-year-old Ra’ed Abu Badwiya on suspicion of spreading pro-Hamas views among his students at An-Najah national university in Nablus city.

Abu Badwiya’s wife appealed to the French government to immediately intervene and press Israel to release her husband, especially since her husband is a French citizen.

Israeli forces detain teacher in Hebron town

Ma’an - 29/09/2014

HEBRON – Israeli forces detained a 55-year-old man in the Hebron town of Idhna on Monday, relatives said.

Israeli forces broke into the home of Nabil Suleiman Tmeizi before dawn and arrested him, family members told Ma’an.

Tmeizi is a teacher at a local school and supports a family of eight.

Israeli forces demolish university lecturer’s home in Abu Dis

Ma’an – September 29, 2014

BETHLEHEM – Israeli forces demolished three floors of a residential Palestinian building in Abu Dis overnight Sunday on the pretext that the owners lacked building permission, locals said.

Witnesses told Ma’an that five Israeli bulldozers accompanied by Israeli forces surrounded a five-story building in Abu Dis after midnight and began demolishing three floors at around 1:40 a.m.

Israeli forces closed all roads leading to the building before the demolition.

Owner Muatasim Adilah, a lecturer at Al-Quds University, said that Israeli forces ordered him and his family to leave the building without being allowed to remove any belongings.

Neighbors and local residents were not allowed near the area during the demolition.

Three of the five floors were destroyed, with the other two floors left uninhabitable.

Adilah said that the first two floors were built in 1959 while an additional three floors were constructed several years ago after obtaining a license from the Palestinian Authority.

Israel’s Jerusalem municipality issued a demolition warrant for the additional three floors on April 30, 2013 after claiming that the building is located within the municipality’s boundaries.

Adilah then tried to obtain a construction license from the Jerusalem municipality but it was rejected. … Full article

Palestinian child injured by Israeli gunfire in Gaza

Palestine Information Center – 29/09/2014

DataFiles-Cache-TempImgs-2014-2-images_News_2014_09_29_watchtower-0_300_0GAZA – A 14-year-old child was injured on Monday morning when Israeli forces opened fire at a populated border area in Gaza.

Spokesman for the health ministry Ashraf Qudra told Quds Press that the Israeli military watchtowers to the north of Gaza borderline opened heavy gunfire at a Bedouin village near the security fence, leading to the injury of one child.

The child was rushed to Kamal Odwan hospital suffering a bullet injury in his left leg.

In a similar attack, a Palestinian farmer was injured Sunday evening by Israeli gunfire in Beit Lahiya town in the north of the Strip.

Child injured in settler hit and run near Hebron

By Saed Bannoura | IMEMC & Agencies | September 29, 2014

Palestinian medical sources have reported, on Sunday evening, that a child was injured after being struck by a settler’s car east of Yatta, south of the southern West Bank city of Hebron.

The sources said the child, Islam al-’Amour, six years of age, suffered a number of fractures, cuts and bruises to different parts of her body, and was moved to al-Ahli hospital in the city. Similar to various prior incidents, the settler fled the scene.

There have been dozens of similar incidents, especially since the settlers use various bypass roads in different residential and rural areas in the Hebron district.

The incidents, including in other parts of the occupied West Bank, have led to dozens of injuries and several fatalities among the Palestinians, including children and elderly. … Full article

Lieberman: No outcome in Iran’s nuclear negotiations will please Israel

MEMO | September 29, 2014

During meetings he held yesterday with a number of his counterparts on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Lieberman said: ‘Iran should not be allowed to continue its nuclear activities’
Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said he doubts any agreement made between the P5+1 and Iran regarding Tehran’s nuclear program would please Tel Aviv.

During meetings he held yesterday with a number of his counterparts on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York, Lieberman said: “Iran should not be allowed to continue its nuclear activities.” … Full article

The Wall Street Journal misrepresents Iran nuclear negotiations

By Cyrus Safdari | Iran Affairs | September 28, 2014

As part of what appears to be a concerted campaign in the Right-wing and pro-Israeli media outlets in the US against US nuclear negotiations with Iran, which have a consistent theme of portraying the Obama administration as somehow “caving in” to Iranian demands, the Wall Street Journal today goes far out of its way to misrepresent the state of affairs in an article about President Rouhani’s speech at the UN.

The article is entitled “Iran Makes the Rules. Tehran holds firm while the U.S. keeps making nuclear concessions.” 

Any reader who has followed the news would at this point wonder what “concessions” the US has been making, since there are none other than not engaging in courses of action (such as bombing Iran) that are illegal anyway. But then the article proceeds to claim… continue

Media censor Argentine president’s remarks at UN

Press TV – September 29, 2014

Mainstream media outlets have censored the comments made by the Argentine president at the United Nations General Assembly where she harshly criticized the US international policies.

During her speech before the United Nations 69th General Assembly on September 24, Argentina’s President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner covered a variety of issues from economic reforms needed at the International Monetary Fund to the plight of Palestinians and the global fight against terrorism.

The Argentine president questioned countries such as the United States for attacking groups, including the ISIL Takfiri terrorists which Washington previously backed against the Syrian government.

“Where do ISIS (ISIL) and Al-Qaeda take their guns from? Yesterday’s freedom fighters are today’s terrorists,” Cristina Fernandez said, blasting US policies vis-a-vis terrorism. [...]

Fernandez also touched on judicial cooperation with Iran over the issue of the 1994 AMIA Jewish center bombing in the capital, Buenos Aires, and the political pressure that has been exerted on Argentina by the US and Israeli lobbies in that regard.

Tehran and Buenos Aires signed a memorandum of understanding on January 27, 2013 to jointly probe the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (AMIA), which killed 85 people and wounded 300 others.

The Argentine president dismissed the allegations against Iran concerning the 1994 deadly bomb attack.

Under intense political pressure imposed by the US and Israel, Argentina had formally accused Iran of having carried out the bomb attack. … Full article

Ron Paul: Obama’s bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria are ‘immoral and illegal’

RT | September 29, 2014

Ron Paul, America’s most outspoken libertarian and anti-mainstream politician, has slammed US military strikes in Syria.

Not known for mincing his words or flip-flopping, Paul told RT’s Abby Martin that President Obama’s decision to use military force in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State [IS], without approval from the UN or the US Congress, was “immoral and illegal” under US and international law.

The “whole mess that we’ve been involved in in the Middle East has been technically illegal because we’ve initiated war, but we haven’t declared war,” Paul told Abby Martin in RT’s “Breaking the Set” show.

“I consider what’s going on now, specifically in these last few weeks, totally immoral,” Paul said. “I think it’s illegal under our laws and illegal under international law as well.”

The 12-term Senator from Texas criticized Obama since he pledged to “wind down these wars” yet the military expansion continues to ramp up “massively” in Iraq and Syria.

On Obama’s recent comment to the UN General Assembly that the only way to deal “with killers like this is with the language of force,” Paul replied that airstrikes would only cultivate more violence, not eliminate it.

“We have to do a little bit more than just address the violence that is occurring, and forward the question: ‘Why is there violence?’” Paul said.

People in the Middle East are clearly tired of American meddling and “everything we do there increases the violence,” he said.

Instead, people there should handle their own problems, the senator said.

“If we had such a situation going on in our country, we would deal with it, and I think the people there should deal with it,” he said. “Why should someone from 6,000 miles away, who’s been stirring this pot for so long, be the group that’s going to bring everyone together and organize the fight?” … Full video interview with Abby Martin

Syrian Foreign Minister: US to Conduct Airstrikes Against IS for 3 Years

RIA Novosti – September 27, 2014

The United States has informed Syria that it will conduct airstrikes against the Islamic State (IS) for three years, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem said Saturday.

“They [the United States and its allies] said they will strike for three years. They informed us but this doesn’t mean they have our acceptance,” Muallem said.

Earlier in September, the United States announced the formation of an international coalition aimed at fighting IS militants. Washington and its allies have already conducted a number of airstrikes on IS positions both in Syria and Iraq.

The United States has been carrying out airstrikes against the IS on the Syrian territory without any formal permission from Damascus.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that the coalition should seek consent of the countries, in which the airstrikes are conducted.

Al-Qaeda targets Houthis in Yemen

Al-Akhbar | September 29, 2014

A suicide bomber linked to al-Qaeda drove a car laden with explosives into a hospital used as a base by Yemen’s Houthi movement on Sunday, killing at least 15 people, and five more died in an ambush in the south of the country.

Militants, tribal and local sources said the first attack took place in the town of Majzar in Maarib province, east of the capital Sanaa, while local officials said the second occurred on Sunday night in the southern al-Bayda province. [...]

Sanaa fell in the hands of the Houthis after almost three weeks of protests and confrontations with army troops and policemen.

A week ago, Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi – faced with massive pro-Houthi demonstrations that paralyzed the capital – signed a deal with the Houthi leadership aimed at ending the weeks-long political standoff.

The deal calls for the formation of a new government; the appointment of a nonpartisan prime minister; and the appointment of a Houthi adviser to the president. … Full article

Yemen’s Houthis and Government Sign Final Peace-deal

teleSUR | September 28, 2014

Yemen’s Houthi movement signed a final peace deal with the government on Saturday, agreeing to disarm and pull back from areas they took in the past months.

The accord, which comes days after the Houthis gained the upper-hand in the capital Sanaa, is part of a comprehensive UN-brokered deal with the pro-government Islah Party, the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen.

Thousands of armed Houthis are stationed in the capital, where they have disarmed government security forces. On Saturday, rebels attacked the Sanaa residency of the national security chief Ali al-Ahmadi.

The deal may put an end to weeks of violence and tension between the Houthis on the one hand and government troops and pro-government factions on the other. According to official estimations, the violence may have killed hundreds.

Last month thousands of Houthis flooded the streets of Sanaa, staging civil disobedience actions and demanding the government step down and fuel subsidies restored.

Earlier this month, in what the Houthis considered a victory, the government and the movement signed an agreement on the formation of a new cabinet of technocrats and the reinstatement of fuel subsidies, whose absence had been a blow to the poor.

‘Bought Journalism': German bestseller reveals CIA pay Western media for spin & bias

Iran MPs denounce UK Cameron’s allegations against Tehran

Press TV – September 28, 2014

Iranian lawmakers have strongly condemned British prime minister’s recent allegations against the Islamic Republic in which he charged Iran with harboring terrorism.

In his address to the UN General Assembly on Wednesday night, David Cameron claimed that “Iran’s support for terrorist organizations” needs to change.

“The absurd remarks by the British prime minister at the United Nations General Assembly showed that…Britain, which has been pursuing the will of the US and the Zionists for a long time, has not understood the reality of the Islamic Revolution,” a statement signed by 224 Iranian lawmakers read on Sunday. [...]

On September 25, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham categorically rejected the British premier’s allegations and expressed regret that the UK government which has been supporting terrorist groups has passed an “inappropriate judgment” on Iran which has always been at the forefront of the campaign against the scourge of terrorism. … Full article

UK Triples Arms Sales to Bahraini Dictatorship

teleSUR | September 28, 2014

British arms sales to Bahrain tripled since the Gulf monarchy cracked-down violently on pro-democracy activists in the wake of the Arab Spring, prominent Bahraini activist Nabeel Rajab said on Saturday.

Rajab added that UK business interests are behind London’s support to the Al Khalifa autocracy, despite its violation of human rights. He criticized Britain for harassing human rights activists from his country who have sought asylum in Britain.

The UK reportedly sold up to US$30 million worth of military equipment to Manama last year, while it currently seeks to sell Typhoon warplanes worth US$ 1 billion. … Full article

Ukraine backs off from EU-backed gas deal

By Dmitry Zaks | AFP | September 28, 2014

War-torn Ukraine on Saturday distanced itself from an EU-brokered agreement with Russia that would have restored its gas supplies during winter and helped rebuild trust between the neighbouring foes.

The European Union’s energy commissioner emerged from hours of acrimonious negotiations in Berlin on Friday to pronounce the three month dispute on the verge of being resolved.

“We have developed a workable design for a winter package,” Mr Guenther Oettinger said.

Both he and Russia’s energy minister added that a final agreement could be signed after consultations in Moscow and Kiev next week.

A compromise would not only save the westward leaning nation from adopting drastic energy savings measures in freezing weather but also make sure that Russian gas flowed uninterrupted to European homes.

Yet the meeting came with trust between all sides lacking and any remaining good will between Moscow and Kiev dependent on the fate of a fragile truce in a pro-Russian uprising that has claimed more than 3,200 lives. And Ukraine’s top energy officials vowed on Saturday to keep fighting over both the gas price and Moscow’s claim that Kiev owed it billions of dollars in debt. … Full article

‘Taped hands, gunshot wounds’: RT witnesses exhumation of mass graves in E. Ukraine

RT | September 28, 2014

Mass graves with bodies bearing signs of violent death, and grieving relatives of those who were identified: That was the blood-curdling scene witnessed by an RT crew in a village near the city of Donetsk, in eastern Ukraine.

Four bodies were found in two shell craters behind a burned-out coal mine near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka, 35 kilometers northeast of Donetsk. RT’s Maria Finoshina reported from the burial site.

“All the facilities you can see here were abandoned a long time ago. It’s a very remote area and apparently those who did this didn’t want these corpses to be found,” Finoshina reported.

Among the four victims was 21-year-old Nikita Kolomiytsev, a local resident, whose grieving mother arrived at the scene of mass graves to identify her son.

“I couldn’t stand for him to be killed and thrown like a dog somewhere – I had to come and identify him,” Nikita’s mother, Galina, told RT.

Galina said she fled to central Ukraine to take her younger 16-year-old son out of harm’s way, but she felt she’d “failed to protect” her elder son.

“The Ukrainian army took [Nikita]away… my husband went there and told them – take me instead of my son. But they said they had taken him for a further prisoner swap.”

Galina was waiting for him to be exchanged and brought home, but he never returned to his mother.

“No one exchanged anybody for anybody. They just shot them dead here outside the village and threw them into the ground… like dogs,” she added, sobbing.

According to Konstantin Gerasimenko, chief medical examiner, “all four victims – they are all male – have multiple gunshot wounds to head and body.”

“Their hands were taped behind their backs. Some of them were only in their underwear,” he said. … Full article

ISIS and the USA: Expansion and Resistance by Decapitation

By James Petras :: 09.26.2014

… Obama’s hysterical and very selective presentation of ISIS crimes forms the pretext for launching another war against a predominantly Muslim country, Syria, while shielding his close ally, the royal Saudi decapitator from US public outrage. ISIS crimes have become another excuse to launch a campaign of ‘mass decapitation by drones and bombers’. The mass propaganda campaign over one crime against humanity becomes the basis for perpetrating even worse crimes against humanity. Many hundreds of innocent civilians in Syria and Iraq will be dismembered by ‘anti-terrorist’ bombs and drones unleashed by another of Obama’s ‘coalition’.

The localized savagery of ISIS will be multiplied, amplified and spread by the US-directed ‘coalition of the willing decapitators’. The terror of hooded beheaders on the ground will be answered and expanded by their faceless counterparts in the air, while delicately hiding the heads rolling through the public squares of Riyadh or the headless bodies displayed along the highways of Mexico … and especially ignoring the hidden victims of US-Saudi aggression in the towns and villages of Syria. – Read full article

US assassination drone kills 4 in South Waziristan

Press TV – September 28, 2014

A US assassination drone attack has killed at least four people in Pakistan’s mountainous northwestern tribal region near the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistani intelligence officials said the airborne attack targeted a compound in the town of Wana in South Waziristan on Sunday. … Full article

Israel continues providing support to terrorist organizations in Syria

Syrian Radio | September 28, 2014

Occupied Jerusalem – The Israeli occupation continued providing support to armed terrorist organizations in Syria through admitting injured terrorists to its hospitals and offering the necessary treatment to them.

Two injured terrorists on Sunday were submitted to Nahariya Hospital in Galilee which has offered treatment to about 371 terrorists until now, according to Israeli mass media.

The Israeli Walla website said that today at dawn, two injured terrorists were hospitalized to Nahariya Hospital in Galilee, one of them in a critical condition.

Israel bans Muslims from Ibrahimi Mosque beginning Tuesday

Ma’an – 28/09/2014

HEBRON – For the second time in less than a week, Israeli authorities will ban Muslim worshipers from entering Hebron’s Ibrahimi Mosque beginning Tuesday, Sept. 30 in preparation for the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur on Oct. 4.

An official at the mosque told Ma’an via email that the mosque would be completely closed to Muslim worshipers, while “Jewish settlers” would be allowed free access.

Israeli authorities closed the mosque to Muslim worshipers last Thursday and Friday on the occasion of the Jewish New Year as well. … Full article

Protesters block Israeli cargo ship at Port of Oakland

Press TV – September 28, 2014

Hundreds of American protesters, angered by Israel’s recent deadly assault on the Gaza Strip, gathered at the Port of Oakland to block an Israeli ship from unloading its cargo.

Workers with the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) refused to unload the Zim Shanghai as about 200 activists picketed outside several of the port’s gates on Saturday morning.

The cargo ship is managed by Israel’s largest shipping firm, Zim Integrated Shipping Services.

About 50 police officers were also present at the port.

The protesters said they would continue with their “Block the Boat” campaign. … continue

Spanish Podemos Party Praises Latin American Left Governments as Examples of Democracies

teleSUR | September 27, 2014

During a press conference held on Friday, the Podemos delegation, led by the European representative Pablo Iglesias and the spokesperson Íñigo Errejón, praised the “courage” of the Latin American countries, which are “very brave” examples of democracy, especially for the countries of southern Europe, said the delegation.

On Thursday the recently created Spanish party – the third political force in the country with five seats in the European Parliament – sent a delegation to Bolivia, Ecuador and Uruguay, where the left governments invited them to exchange experiences.

They made the declarations during a press conference yesterday, after their members met with the Bolivian President Evo Morales in Santa Cruz de la Sierra, in the east of the country, then the Bolivian economy minister, Luis Arce.

The latter explained to them that the past decade of economic stability and growth was mainly due to the fact that Bolivia abandoned the formulas of the International Monetary Fund, which, in his opinion, benefited from the impoverishment of the Bolivian nation. … Full article

Correa Denounces US Plans to Intervene in Latin America

teleSUR | September 28, 2014

Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa criticized on Saturday a new U.S. government plan to intervene and weaken Latin American governments.

Correa said that Obama’s intention to create six innovation centers for educating new “leaders” in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, Middle East, and Asia, was clearly intended to interfere with Latin American countries.

“What they want is to intervene in Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, because they say we attack freedom of speech; but go and see for yourselves who are the owners of media in United States,” said Correa.

On Tuesday President Barrack Obama said that his government will support civil society in countries where freedom of speech and association are threatened by the governments. … continue

Mexico Police Kill 2 Students During Protest, 25 Missing

teleSUR | September 28, 2014

Local police shot and killed two students during a civil disobedience action in protest of their college’s underfunding.

A group of protestors from teacher-training college Normal de Ayotzinapa in Iguala, Guerrero privince, attempted to seize three buses on Friday night in an escalation of their campaign against their college´s poor conditions.

Representative of the Student’s Committee, Pedro David Garcia, said the protesters were unarmed and non-violent.

“We were trying to raise money, we took these measures because the government always ignores us. We spoke to the bus drivers and they agreed to give us the buses, but we did not threaten them, because we are students,” said Garcia.

According to the demonstrators, two of them tried to negotiate with police when officers arrived on the scene, but they were shot dead. The police continued firing at the protesters. … continue

The Yellow Book: a secret document of the Army of El Salvador

The Yellow Book: The first document from the secret archives of the Army of El Salvador during the civil war comes to light September 28, 2014, International Right to Know Day… continue

The CIA/MSM Contra-Cocaine Cover-up

By Robert Parry | Consortium News | September 26, 2014

With Hollywood set to release a movie about the Contra-cocaine scandal and the destruction of journalist Gary Webb, an internal CIA report has surfaced showing how the spy agency manipulated the mainstream media’s coverage to disparage Webb and contain the scandal, reports Robert Parry. – Read article

The lesson Hollywood cannot teach us

By Jonathon Cook | The Blog from Nazareth | September 26, 2014

Possibly the most insightful statement ever made by a journalist was from Gary Webb, who killed himself in 2004, years after the CIA and media rivals destroyed his career and credibility.

I was winning awards, getting raises, lecturing college classes, appearing on TV shows, and judging journalism contests. And then I wrote some stories that made me realize how sadly misplaced my bliss had been. The reason I’d enjoyed such smooth sailing for so long hadn’t been, as I’d assumed, because I was careful and diligent and good at my job. The truth was that, in all those years, I hadn’t written anything important enough to suppress.

Now Hollywood is making a film, called Kill the Messenger, about the San Jose Mercury News reporter. Webb briefly created a national scandal in 1996 by exposing how the CIA-backed Contras in Latin America had funded their guerrilla war through trafficking crack cocaine to African American communities in the US, with the knowledge of the CIA and other US agencies. The scandal quickly subsided because the CIA and other journalists – from the New York Times, the Washington Post and especially from the LA Times, who had been scooped on their own patch by Webb – waged a campaign of vilification. The toll eventually led Webb to take his own life. … continue

G-77, China condemn coercive sanctions against Iran

Press TV – September 27, 2014

The coalition of developing countries at the United Nations has categorically condemned unilateral sanctions against Iran over its civilian nuclear energy program.

In a resolution issued on the sidelines of the 69th annual session of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday, foreign ministers of the Group of 77 plus China for the first time explicitly rejected as unacceptable the imposition of unilateral economic sanctions against Iran.

Such sanctions would have adverse consequences on the development of the Iranian nation, the resolution said, calling for the immediate removal of the bans.

The illegal US-engineered sanctions on Iran have been imposed based on the accusation that Tehran is pursuing non-civilian objectives in its nuclear energy program. … continue

Vulture(fund)s Reloaded: Madeleine Albright Comes on the Scene

By Atilio Borón | teleSUR | September 23, 2014

… it is not a coincidence that the vulture funds contracted the services of an ex-Secretary of State of such questionable ethics to “resolve” the differences confronting Argentina with the most predatory and repugnant sector of international finance capital. According to her past convictions, it is easy to assume that her “solution” will be in line with her defense of child genocides in Iraq: a savage “readjustment” in Argentina where those who should will perish, those who should will fall ill, those who should shall be excluded and oppressed, and that those who should will fall into abject poverty and misery in order to comply with the insanely unjust, illegal and immoral court ruling issued by Judge Griesa and to ensure that the vultures are free to feed on the world’s carcases. … Read full article

Cuba to Send 300 More Medical Staff to Combat Ebola

teleSUR | September 27, 2014

Cuba pledged 300 more doctors and nurses to battle the Ebola epidemic in West Africa on Friday. With a staff of over 460 Ebola specialists, Cuba will by far have the largest foreign medical team combating the disease in West Africa.

The new batch of Ebola specialists are undergoing intensive training, said head of the Cuban medical relief agency, Regla Angulo. They will be sent to Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia.

Cuba, which has about 50,000 health workers stationed across the world, received accolades from the UN and the World Health Organization (WHO) for its effort against Ebola, last week, when it already had the largest foreign medical team fighting the killer virus in West Africa, consisting of 62 doctors and 103 nurses.

The U.S. has sent 3,000 troops to Liberia as part of its response to Ebola, which it considers a matter of national security. … Full article

The CIA, the President, and the Senate’s Torture Report

By Rob Crawford | CounterPunch | September 26, 2014

Astounding events over the last several weeks have once again put U.S. torture in the spotlight. Evidence of spying by the CIA on Senate staffers investigating the Agency provoked an unprecedented apology from CIA director John Brennan, calls for his removal, and a response from President Obama at his August 1st press conference.

The backdrop is the long delayed but pending public release of the summary of the over 6000 page investigative report of the Senate Intelligence Committee on CIA torture. The investigation was initiated over five years ago. The report was approved by the committee 20 months ago and approved for release 5 months ago. As we move into autumn, the date of its official release is still in question. … continue

US considers no-fly zone over northeastern Syria: Reports

Press TV – September 27, 2014

The US Department of Defense says it is considering the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over northeastern Syria to deny the Syrian military the ability to launch airstrikes there, reports say.

Turkey has requested the US to establish a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border to protect foreign-sponsored militants and civilians.

US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Friday, “We’ve discussed all these possibilities and will continue to talk about what the Turks believe they will require.” … continue

US airstrike kills 7 civilians, including children, in Iraq: Sources

Press TV – September 27, 2014

A US airstrike has killed at least seven civilians, including children, in northern Iraq, sources say.

The attack targeted an eastern neighborhood in the city of Mosul on Friday night as part of the US-led military campaign against the ISIL… Full article

Parliament and Congress Have No Power to Legalize War

By David Swanson | War is a Crime | September 26, 2014

Congress has fled town to avoid voting for or against a new war. Many of the big donors to Congressional campaigns would want Yes votes. Many voters would want No votes, if not immediately, then as soon as the panic induced by the beheading videos wears off, which could be within the next month. Better to just avoid displeasing anyone — other than people who notice you running away.

The standard for legal-ish cosmopolitan respectability in the U.S. now has become getting five kings and dictators to say they are on your side as you start bombing a new country.

But the British Parliament is still at the level of believing an actual vote by a legislature is appropriate. Do Americans remember that their beloved founding fathers put war powers in the hands of the legislature because of the ugly history of royal wars in Britain? Times have changed.

But if we want to actually comply with the law, we have to admit that neither Parliament nor Congress has the power to legalize attacking Syria. This is because both the U.S. and the U.K. are parties to the United Nations Charter, which bans war with very narrow exceptions — exceptions that have not been in any way met. … continue

French President Hollande Says ‘ISIS Terror Caused by Global Warming’

By Andrew McKillop | 21st Century Wire | September 26, 2014

The hype surrounding ISIS/ISIL is being ramped-up in North America and Europe, with the chief driver of the fear being an alleged series of beheadings that no one can rightly verify as real. Real or fake, the beheading videos were used as a powerful public relations springboard to market ‘fresh airstrikes’ in Iraq and Syria to emotionally vulnerable western audiences.

There’s also intense media speculation about the amount of black market oil money ISIS terror gangs are making in Syria and Iraq, and huge hype around ‘Coalition efforts to cut off the terror dollars’. It’s a mess, but we’ll give you some key answers here.

As this year’s UNGA 2014 gets underway, the French leader is really stretching it in an attempt to bring the world together in group fear moment…

1-Hollande-Obama-UN-ISIS-ClimateAt the UN General Assembly, 24 September, French president Francois Hollande condemned the killing in Algeria of a French hostage, Herve Gourdel, by terrorists claiming they are now part of the Islamic State and have abandoned al Qaeda. Their message to France by Internet was titled a ‘Message in Blood for the French Government’. All very dramatic, and very well-timed.

French journalists and terror experts suggested that a ransom demand of several million euros had been rejected at the “highest levels of the state”, by Francois Hollande.

No doubt there is a story behind this story. The fact that France suddenly announced it took part in a spectacular raid against ISIS targets only hours after the alleged Gourdel killing should be viewed as suspect by anyone following the uncanny timelines in this ISIS crisis.

ISIS are ‘climate refugees’

The Climate Widget is a powerful political device, and when in the hands of politicians (with the TV cameras rolling), it can be used to link just about any crisis to climate change or global warming.

At the UN in New York, Hollande insistently claimed, even passionately claimed that global warming has driven millions of persons from their previously stable lives, making them more receptive to Islamic, or Crony Islamic terrorism. Hollande traced a direct link between global warming (now called “climate change”) and terrorism. He asked his listeners at the UN to make the December 2015 Paris Climate Summit a major success with binding resolutions to limit the human emission of greenhouse gases. … Full article

Is There a Plan to Force Palestinians into Sinai?

Abbas denies mounting claims that Egypt has offered territory for a Palestinian state. Should we believe him?

By Jonathan Cook | Dissident Voice | September 26, 2014

What is Israel’s endgame in Gaza? It is a question that has been puzzling analysts and observers for some time. But belatedly, there are indications of the future Israel and Washington may have in mind for Gaza.

Desperately overcrowded, short on basic resources like fresh water, blockaded for eight years by Israel, with its infrastructure intermittently destroyed by Israeli bombing campaigns, Gaza looks like a giant pressure cooker waiting to explode.

It is difficult to imagine that sooner or later Israel will not face a massive upheaval on its doorstep. So how does Israel propose to avert a scenario in which it must either savagely repress a mass uprising by Palestinians in Gaza or sit by and watch them tear down their prison walls?

Reports in the Arab and Israeli media – in part corroborated by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas – suggest that Egypt may be at the heart of plans to solve the problem on Israel’s behalf.

This month Israeli media reported claims – apparently leaked by Israeli officials – that Egypt’s president, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, had offered the Palestinian leadership the chance to annex to Gaza an area of 1,600 sq km in Sinai. The donated territory would expand Gaza fivefold. … continue

“ISIL crisis” plays right into Zionists hands

By Kevin Barrett | Press TV | September 26, 2014

Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s first Chief of Staff – who also served as Obama’s Israeli Mossad handler – famously said: “You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.”

Individuals, groups, whole industries, even nations sometimes take advantage of crises and catastrophes. Big bankers, for example, love war because it forces governments to borrow vast sums of money at compound interest. Arms manufacturers also make huge profits. And the big government always gets bigger during wartime as it confiscates people’s wealth and scales back their rights.

The current ISIL crisis is making certain people very rich. According to the US government is spending 200 million dollars per week to bomb Iraq and Syria. If the overall cost of the anti-ISIL campaign reaches its $500 billion projection, LiveLeak estimates that the US would be spending $30 million dollars per member of ISIL. It might be cheaper to simply pay them $20 million each to simply go away.

But it isn’t just bankers, military-industrial complexes, and governments that exploit international crises? One group, above all, has proven its mastery at profiting from crisis: The Zionist movement and “Israel.” … continue

Crackdown on freedoms? Australian Senate passes draconian anti-terror laws

RT | September 26, 2014

Australia’s senate has endorsed new anti-terror laws that will grant its intelligence agency the right to spy on any citizen with just a warrant, while journalists and whistleblowers “recklessly” exposing special ops can face up to 10 years in jail.

The anti-terror laws, which cleared the Australian Senate on Thursday – and will almost certainly pass the House of Representatives on Tuesday – grants extraordinary powers to the nation’s spying agency, ASIO, to effectively monitor the entire Australian internet.

The National Security Legislation Amendment Bill allows one warrant to give the ASIO access to a limitless number of computers on a computer network when attempting to monitor a target. … continue

Muslims target of new wave of Islamophobia in Australia

September – 2014

August – 2014


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