JERUSALEM – Two Palestinians were injured and nine were detained on Sunday after Israeli forces dispersed dozens who were planting trees on their confiscated land east of Jerusalem, a local official said.
Muhammad Salama, a council member of the village of Anata, told Ma’an that 100 people from the village were working on their land, which was seized by Israeli settlers in July 2013, when soldiers arrived that the scene. … Full article
DW | March 8, 2014
Tens of thousands have marched in anti-nuclear protests across Taiwan, calling on the government to phase out nuclear energy. The protest comes ahead of the third anniversary of the Fukishima disaster.
Anti-nuclear protesters in Taiwan held four rallies across the country on Saturday, urging the government both to stop construction of a new nuclear power plant and to abandon nuclear power altogether.
Organizers said some 50,000 people attended the protest march and rally in the capital, Taipei, while three other events held simultaneously in other parts of the country drew a combined total of some 30,000. … continue
The number of children tasered by London’s Metropolitan Police has risen almost six-fold in the last four years. The Children’s Rights Alliance for England (CRAE) says the stun guns were used on children 53 times in 2012 – up from just eight in 2008. VoR’s Scott Craig spoke to Paola Uccellari, Director at the CRAE.
Tasers deliver a 50,000-volt electrical charge into targets to incapacitate them.
Paola Uccellari, told VoR: “The use of Tasers on children in London has increased almost six-fold, between 2008 and 2012. Children were tasered 131 times in that period. In our view children shouldn’t be tasered at all. So we are really concerned that there’s been an increase during this period.
“We can see that it’s particularly in the south London boroughs, children [there] are being tasered a lot more than in other areas of London. For us that shows that it is possible to police effectively without using tasers on children.
The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has expressed concern at their use on children.
“The UN human rights bodies recognise that children should be treated differently. Because these weapons are dangerous when they’re used on children they shouldn’t be used at all.
“I think it shows that when there’s a determination to improve things with children, when there’s a concerted effort, things can change. We need to see a resolve to improve things for children in other areas.”
Press TV – March 9, 2014
The US says it will not recognize “the annexation of Crimea by Russia” even if residents of the autonomous region vote to separate from Ukraine in a planned referendum next week.
The Crimean parliament has already voted to join Russia. They also voted to hold a referendum on 16 March to validate the decision. A Yes-vote would most likely further heighten the existing tensions in the already divided nation. The region has an ethnic Russian majority.
A top US national security official Tony Blinken said on Sunday that “First, if there is an annexation of Crimea, a referendum that moves Crimea from Ukraine to Russia, we won’t recognize it, nor will most of the world.”
Blinken, who is US President Barack Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told CNN that “Second, the pressure that we’ve already exerted in coordination with our partners and allies will go up. The president made it very clear in announcing our sanctions, as did the Europeans the other day that this is the first step and we’ve put in place a very flexible and very tough mechanism to increase the pressure, to increase the sanctions.” … continue
Twelve Lebanese and Syrian nuns, who were kidnapped from the historic Christian town of Maaloula in December, have now been released and are on their way to Syria, Lebanese security source said.
The nuns were transferred to the village of Arsal, western Lebanon, earlier in the week, the source told Reuters on Sunday.
Their whereabouts and condition remained unknown for over three months, with first reports of the abduction emerging in early December as Islamic rebels seized the ancient quarter of Maaloula, a predominantly Christian town and UNESCO heritage site in eastern Syria.
“What the Syrian army achieved in Yabroud facilitated this process,” Syrian Greek Orthodox Bishop Louka Khoury speaking to reporters at the border.
It is unclear exactly who had held the nuns and why they had been released now. However, the Syrian Observatory for human Rights, a monitoring group that largely sides with the opposition, identified the rebels who took the nuns as militants from the Nusra Front, an affiliate of Al-Qaeda and one of the radical groups fighting President Bashar Assad’s forces. Lebanon’s General Security Chief the head of Qatari intelligence were reported to have played a major role in the negotiations.
Earlier, the Nusra Front had reportedly been demanding the release of 500 militants held in Syria and Lebanon in return for the nuns, according to the Al-Mayadeen satellite channel.
The Observatory, as well as a rebel source, said that the release of the nus had been agreed as part of a prisoner swap with scores of women held in President Bashar al-Assad’s jails.
“The deal is for the release of 138 women from Assad’s prisons,” the rebel source said, Reuters reports. … Full article
Hezbollah’s Leader: ‘No Arab World for Palestine’
RT | March 9, 2014
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of declaring war on Iraq and supporting global terrorism. The Iraqi leader blamed the two countries for orchestrating the latest wave of bloody violence to hit Iraq this year.
In a heated attack on Iraq’s Sunni Gulf neighbors, Prime Minister Maliki leveled a number of accusations at Qatar and Saudi Arabia in an interview with France 24. He said both countries are supporting extreme sectarian groups within Iraq, with a view to destabilizing the country and are “attacking” Iraq through Syria.
“I accuse them of inciting and encouraging the terrorist movements. I accuse them of supporting them politically and in the media, of supporting them with money and by buying weapons for them,” Maliki told FRANCE 24.
“I accuse them of leading an open war against the Iraqi government,” said Maliki, adding that Saudi Arabia and Qatar not only supported terrorism in Iraq, but also sponsor terrorism worldwide. … continue
The Organization of American States (OAS) has hailed efforts by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to find a solution to the ongoing political crisis in the country.
In a declaration issued on Friday, the US-based organization offered its full backing to the Venezuelan government’s peace initiative and the continuation of a “national dialogue” in Venezuela.
The Permanent Council of the OAS approved the declaration by a vote of 29-3, with only the United States, Canada and Panama in opposition.
Representatives of Grenada and the Bahamas were not present during the vote.
“[The OAS expresses its] acknowledgement, full support and encouragement for the initiatives and efforts of the democratically-elected government of Venezuela…to continue making progress in the process of national dialogue,” the declaration read.
The Venezuelan government celebrated the measure, with Roy Chaderton, the Venezuelan representative at the OAS, describing it as “a great victory for Latin America.” … Full article
MEKOROT – agent of Apartheid in Palestine – OUT OF ARGENTINA!
Palestinian Grassroots Anti-apartheid Wall Campaign | March 7, 2014
The agreement with MEKOROT in La Plata has been suspended! Now we continue, in the rest of Argentina… continue
Family members told the PIC that Israeli soldiers burst into their home at the early dawn hours, adding that an intelligence officer handed the two sons Ahmed and Takiuddin summonses without giving any reason.
Takiuddin was released from Israeli captivity only a few weeks ago, they said, noting that the family home was stormed and searched 15 times since Hur was detained 17 years ago.
Hur, a member of the Qassam Brigades the armed wing of Hamas, is serving five life sentences.
MEMO | March 8, 2014
The Israeli water company Jihon said on Friday that 80,000 Palestinians in East Jerusalem have been without water for more than three days.
In a statement Jihon said: “About 80,000 Palestinians in four Arab neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and its outskirts have been suffering from complete loss of water for three days.”
The Israeli company said that it would like to supply water for all consumers in Jerusalem, including Jewish and Arab citizens, but the water infrastructure in the Arab areas is decaying. It also said that the increasing number of inhabitants contributes to the problem.
Meanwhile, the Arab inhabitants at the Palestinian refugee camps of Su’fat, RasKhamis and Ras Shihadeh, as well as Al-Salam Suburb, said they have been suffering from a complete water shortage for several days.
The residents said in a statement issued on Saturday that tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees and citizens in the three residential gatherings in Jerusalem have been without water since the beginning of last week. … continue
By Dan Beeton | CEPR | March 7, 2014
Venezuelan president Nicolás Maduro made news this week by breaking off relations with Panama following Panama’s proposal for the Organization of American States (OAS) to take up the situation in Venezuela. Panama’s move followed weeks of calls from members of the U.S. Congress, pundits and others to use the OAS against the Maduro government for supposed government repression of “peaceful” protesters. … continue
By Carrie Peters | CPTnet | March 7, 2014
According to reports by the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), there are roughly 600 known cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, many of them unsolved. Loretta Saunders, an Inuit woman from Labrador whose family reported her missing on 13 February 2014, is one of the latest. The RCMP discovered her body along a New Brunswick highway on 26 February. That Saunders was in the middle of finishing her PhD in Halifax— on Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous women—makes her death particularly harrowing, yet each of these women’s deaths is reprehensible.
CPT attended the ninth Annual Strawberry Ceremony honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women on 14 February, when over 200 people gathered at the downtown Toronto police headquarters for a rally and march. Many individuals in the crowd held up signs bearing names, dates, and occasionally photos. … continue
By Laurel Krause, Co-founder and Director of the Kent State Truth Tribunal | ACLU | March 7, 2014
On May 4, 1970, members of the Ohio National Guard fired between 61 and 67 shots into a crowd of unarmed anti-war protestors at Kent State University in Ohio, killing four students and wounding nine others. My 19-year-old sister, Allison Krause, was one of four students shot to death by the Ohio National Guard in the parking lot of her university campus as she protested the Vietnam War. I was 15 years old at the time.
It has been 44 years, and the U.S. government still refuses to admit that it participated in the killing of four young students at Kent State. There has not been a credible, independent, impartial investigation into Kent State. No group or individual has been held accountable. In 2010, after undeniable forensic evidence emerged pointing to direct U.S. government involvement in the killings, Emily Kunstler and I founded the Kent State Truth Tribunal (KSTT). Our hope was to finally receive a full account of the tragic events and to see that the victims and their families receive redress. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice refused to reopen the case, claiming there were “insurmountable legal and evidentiary barriers.”
But justice for Allison doesn’t have to end there. To that end, we are traveling to Geneva, Switzerland, next week to demand accountability for the Kent State massacre before the United Nations Human Rights Committee, which will be reviewing U.S. compliance with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), one of the few human rights treaties ratified by the United States. … continue
CIA: We Only Spied On Senate Intelligence Committee Because They Took Classified Documents That Prove We’re Liars
By Mike Masnick | Techdirt | March 7, 2014
Earlier this week, we wrote about the accusations that the CIA was spying on Senate staffers on the Senate Intelligence Committee as they were working on a massive $40 million, 6,300-page report condemning the CIA’s torture program. The DOJ is apparently already investigating if the CIA violated computer hacking laws in spying on the Senate Intelligence Committee computers. The issue revolved around a draft of an internal review by the CIA, which apparently corroborates many of the Senate report’s findings — but which the CIA did not hand over to the Senate. This internal report not only supports the Senate report’s findings, but also shows that the CIA has been lying in response to questions about the terror program.
In response to all of this, it appears that the CIA is attempting, weakly, to spin this as being the Senate staffers’ fault, arguing that the real breach was the fact that the Senate staffers somehow broke the rules in obtaining that internal review. CIA boss John Brennan’s statement hints at the fact that he thinks the real problem was with the way the staffers acted, suggesting that an investigation would fault “the legislative” branch (the Senate) rather than the executive (the CIA). … continue
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he did not commit to freezing settlement construction during his meeting with US President Barack Obama and that he will reject any agreement with the Palestinians that does not meet Israel’s security needs.
Israel Radio quoted Netanyahu on Friday, on his way back to Israel, telling Israeli journalists that he considered extending the negotiating period between the Israelis and Palestinians in US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework agreement unlikely to make a difference for the Israeli coalition government, as most of its members reject the idea of establishing a Palestinian state.
He added that he will reject any agreement with the Palestinians that “does not meet Israel’s needs and poses a threat to its security, even if there are attempts to impose such an agreement on Israel.”
Netanyahu refused the possibility of unilateral withdrawal from the West Bank territories if the negotiations fail, stating that he does not prefer this possibility and that “the unilateral withdrawals (from south Lebanon and the Gaza Strip) have not justified themselves nor did they provide security stability for Israel”.
Netanyahu returned to Israel today following his visit to the US which started on Sunday in which he met with Obama in the White House and gave a speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Tuesday.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced, while receiving a delegation from the Israeli left-wing party Meretz a few days ago, that he is not opposed to extending the negotiations period, but demands that settlement construction is suspended and prisoners are released.
RAMALLAH — Dozens of Jewish settlers attacked a group of journalists on Friday afternoon while they were covering clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli occupation forces near the Jalazoun refugee camp, north of Ramallah.
According to the PIC reporter, the settlers threw stones at the car of journalist Abbas Momani, AFP’s photographer, causing him minor injuries and smashing his car’s windows.
PIC’s correspondent added that the occupation soldiers arrived at the place to protect the settlers who, at gunpoint, tried to prevent the journalists from filming the attacks.
For his part, Momani said that a group of over 20 settlers attacked him, in the presence of the occupation military forces, who did nothing to stop the attack.
Al-Akhbar | March 7, 2014
Yedioth Ahronoth said the European delegation had hoped to evaluate the prisoners’ conditions.
The paper reported that Elmar Brok, the Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, had asked Israel’s ambassador to the EU to arrange a visit for the delegation.
But Lieberman responded by saying Israel would only allow such a visit if the EU would let an Israeli delegation visit prisons in Europe. … continue
HEBRON – An Israeli military vehicle on Saturday hit a Palestinian girl in the southern West Bank, injuring her seriously, a local spokesman said.
Nidal al-Haddar, spokesman for Yatta’s popular committee, told Ma’an that an Israeli military jeep hit 14-year-old Samirah Tawfiq Awad during a protest in Yatta.
Samirah was transferred to a nearby hospital, where medics said she had sustained serious injuries. … Full article
RT | March 8, 2014
US Navy destroyer, the USS Truxtun, has crossed Turkey’s Bosphorus and entered the Black Sea. With the Crimea Peninsula getting ready to hold a referendum on independence from Ukraine in a week, the US is ramping up its military presence in the region.
USS Truxton is heading to “previously planned” training exercises with the Bulgarian and Romanian navies, AFP reported earlier. At the same time, Fox News declared that NATO’s bolstering presence in the Black Sea is a “defensive” measure to counter “Russian military aggression” in Ukraine. … continue
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told his US counterpart on Friday that any sanctions introduced by the US against Russia will have a “boomerang” effect and urged Washington to steer away from actions that could hurt relations between the countries.
Lavrov told Washington to refrain from “hasty and reckless” decisions over Ukraine that would deteriorate US-Russia relations, RIA Novosti reported. His comments were made during a telephone call with US Secretary of State John Kerry.
The foreign minister warned that any sanctions against Russia “would inevitably hit the United States like a boomerang.”
On Thursday, the US imposed visa restrictions on Russian and Crimean officials and private citizens who they accused of “threatening Ukraine’s sovereignty and integrity,” the White House said.
US President Barack Obama signed an executive order authorizing sanctions against “individuals and entities responsible for activities undermining democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine.”
According to the White House, the order is a “flexible tool” that will allow the US to sanction those whom it believes are “most directly involved in destabilizing Ukraine, including the military intervention in Crimea.” The document does not preclude further steps in case the situation deteriorates, it added. … Full article
RT | March 4, 2014
US lawmakers are already threatening Russia with economic sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. Trade, business, investment, and G8 membership closely link the Russian, American and European economies.
While the West is considering going down the ‘sanction road’, here’s a look at what’s at stake for the markets. … continue
Robert Holleyman in the Seat
By Binoy Kampmark | Dissident Voice | March 6, 2014
The machinery to dominate global intellectual property by American fiat was further tightened by the announcement of Robert Holleyman as deputy US trade representative. President Obama’s announcement is just another reminder of what sources of inspiration are governing the drive by Washington to control the downloading and dissemination of information via the Trans-Pacific Partnership. After all, Holleyman was a former lobbyist of the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA), the bill introduced by US Rep. Lamar S. Smith (R-Tx) to gift US law enforcement authorities with the means to combat copyright infringements.
Indeed, Holleyman’s own blurb as an author for The Huffington Post considers him as “one of the 50 most influential people in the intellectual property world”, an individual who “was instrumental in putting into place the global policy framework that today protects software under copyright law.” Such is the nature of mislabelled internationalism – Washington’s policy by another name.
Holleyman has also been heavily involved as a former president of the Business Software Alliance, a body representing the main software vendors including Apple, IBM, and Microsoft. Through the consortium, Holleyman unintentionally put the problems of SOPA, and its sister legislation, PROTECT-IP, in the bright spotlight. He found himself fighting, at least for a time, a losing battle. Protest against them was extensive, with January 18, 2012 featuring the “largest online protest in history”. Congress took heed, shelving the bills. The vendors pondered the next move. … continue
By Glyn Moody | Techdirt | March 7, 2014
One of the key themes to emerge in the debate about surveillance is the oversight of the agencies involved, and to what extent it is effective. In the US, that has been put into stark relief by news that the committee that is supposed to keep an eye on the spies was itself spied upon. And now over in the UK, we learn that things are just as bad when it comes to the equivalent oversight body, the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT). Its powers sound impressive:
The Tribunal can investigate complaints about any alleged conduct by, or on behalf of, the Intelligence Services – the Security Service (sometimes called MI5), the Secret Intelligence Service (sometimes called MI6) and GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters).
The scope of conduct the IPT can investigate concerning the Intelligence Agencies is much broader than it is with regard to the other public authorities. The IPT is the only Tribunal to whom complaints about the Intelligence Services can be directed
Unfortunately, the IPT’s credibility as the public’s watchdog for the intelligence services has just been seriously undermined by the following information … continue
JERUSALEM – Israeli forces detained a Palestinian lawyer from Jerusalem while he was visiting an Israeli prison on Thursday.
The head of the committee of Jerusalem prisoners’ families Amjad Abu Asab said that Israeli forces detained Amjad al-Safadi as he was visiting Hadarim prison on Thursday.
He added that Israeli forces also raided Amjad al-Safadi’s house on Thursday evening and confiscated a computer and several documents.
Abu Asab also said that the detention of Shireen and Shadi Issawi, two activists who were detained in raids in East Jerusalem on Thursday, had been extended for another 24 hours.
Shireen, who is a prominent lawyer, and Shadi are siblings of former prisoner Samer Issawi. … Full article
QALQILIYA – Israeli forces on Friday afternoon detained a young man while he was planting an olive sapling east of Qalqiliya in the northern West Bank, locals said.
Alaa Issa al-Dweiri, 20, was detained and taken to an unknown destination while he was participating in a campaign to plant olive saplings on Palestinian lands in Izbet at Tabib under threat of confiscation by Israeli authorities.
Head of the village’s local council Bayan al-Tabib demanded the release of al-Dweiri and called upon international organization to help secure his release. … Full article
RAMALLAH – Fatah central committee member Mohammad Ishtayyeh said on Thursday that the Palestinian Authority had attempted to negotiate the return of Palestinian refugees from Syria, but Israel had refused. [...]
At least 1,500 Palestinians have been killed in the ongoing Syria conflict, and around 250,000 Palestinian refugees have been forced to leave their homes in Syria due to violence in the country.
Prior to the conflict, 600,000 Palestinian refugees lived in Syria. … Full article
Obama Worse Than Reagan
By Steve Breyman | CounterPunch | March 6, 2014
Heads-up, veterans of the nuclear freeze movement in the US, the anti-Euromissile campaigns in Western Europe, and the various anti-nuclear weapons efforts in New Zealand, Australia and Japan. Incoming.
We spent much of the eighties resisting Ronald Reagan’s new Cold War, and his new nuclear weapons of all shapes and sizes. We pushed back against his giant ‘defense’ budgets and countered his harrowing rhetoric. We knew Star Wars was a scam, and the MX missile a danger. We grimaced at his appointments to key policymaking positions, and scoffed at his insincere arms control efforts.
In the end, we prevailed (after a sort). … continue
By Norman Solomon | War is a Crime | March 7, 2014
At a private charity event on Tuesday, in comments preserved on audio, Hillary Clinton talked about actions by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin in the Crimea. “Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the ’30s,” she said.
The next day, Clinton gave the inflammatory story more oxygen when speaking at UCLA. She “largely stood by the remarks,” the Washington Post reported. Clinton “said she was merely noting parallels between Putin’s claim that he was protecting Russian-speaking minorities in Crimea and Hitler’s moves into Poland, Czechoslovakia and other parts of Europe to protect German minorities.”
Clinton denied that she was comparing Putin with Hitler even while she persisted in comparing Putin with Hitler. “I just want people to have a little historic perspective,” she said. “I’m not making a comparison certainly, but I am recommending that we perhaps can learn from this tactic that has been used before.” … continue
March – 2014
February – 2014