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NRC Rejects Recommendation to Require Nuclear Plant Owners to Establish Plans to Address a Core-Melt Accident

Commissioners Ignore Lessons of Fukushima

Union of Concerned Scientists | August 28, 2015

Washington (August 28, 2015)—The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has rejected the recommendation of the high-level task force it convened after the March 2011 Fukushima disaster to require nuclear plant owners to develop and maintain plans for coping with a core-melt accident. This decision will allow nuclear plants to continue to maintain those plans voluntarily and deny the agency the authority to review those plans or issue citations if they are deficient.

“Once again, the NRC is ignoring a key lesson of the Fukushima accident: Emergency plans are not worth the paper they are printed on unless they are rigorously developed, maintained and periodically exercised,” said Edwin Lyman, a senior scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). “When it comes to these critical safety measures, the NRC is allowing the industry to regulate itself.” … continue

Missing From Reports of Yemeni Carnage: Washington’s Responsibility

By Jim Naureckas | FAIR | August 31, 2015

The New York Times (8/30/15) reported on the deaths of civilians in a military assault in Yemen. Wrote reporter Saeed Al-Batati:

Airstrikes by a Saudi-led military coalition killed at least 13 civilians working early Sunday at a water plant in northern Yemen, the plant’s owner said.

The bombings appeared to be the latest in a series of airstrikes by Saudi Arabia or its Arab coalition partners that have hit civilian facilities with no apparent military target nearby.

Yemen airstrike (photo: Mohamed Al-Sayaghi/Reuters)The Washington Post (8/30/15) briefly covered the story too, using a Reuters wire report that gave a higher death toll:

An airstrike by warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition, which said it targeted a bomb-making factory, killed 36 civilians working Sunday at a bottling plant in the northern Yemeni province of Hajjah, residents said.

Noting that another airstrike had killed four people in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital, the piece continued:

The attacks were the latest in an air campaign launched in March by a Saudi-led alliance in support of Yemen’s exiled government, which is fighting Houthi forces allied with Iran.

Both of these reports left out the information that made this news particularly relevant to the papers’ mostly American readership: The US government is actively backing the air war in Yemen that killed those civilians, as the Times and Post have both reported. The Times (3/26/15) wrote at the start of the Saudi assault:

A spokeswoman for the National Security Council said Wednesday night that the United States was providing intelligence and logistical support for the campaign in Yemen, and that President Obama had authorized a ”joint planning cell” with Saudi Arabia to coordinate American support for the military offensive.

Continue

Amendments to CISA “Cybersecurity” Bill Fail in All Regards

By Mark Jaycox | EFF | September 1, 2015

Although grassroots activism has dealt it a blow, the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) keeps shambling along like the zombie it is. In July, Senator McConnell vowed to hold a final vote on the bill before Congress left for its six-week long summer vacation. In response, EFF and over 20 other privacy groups ran a successful Week of Action, including over 6 million faxes opposing CISA, causing the Senate to postpone the vote until late September.

Senators submitted many amendments to the bill before going on vacation. The amendments, like the original language of the bill, fail to address key issues like the deep link between these government “cybersecurity” authorities and surveillance, as well as the new spying powers the bill would grant to companies.

But “cybersecurity” is already intimately tied to surveillance—a problem CISA would only worsen. Documents released by the New York Times reveal the government used the Comprehensive National Cyber Security Initiative (CNCI) to pay telecommunications companies to spy on consumers using their networks. The CNCI includes initiatives for information gathering, but it’s always been presented to the public as fostering research and encouraging public awareness of cybersecurity problems—not spying on Americans’ Internet traffic. … continue

82 Groups in US Demand Investigation of ‘Muslim-Free Zones’

teleSUR | September 2, 2015

german8_1In an open letter to the DOJ, 82 groups led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), expressed concern over a growing trend of businesses refusing to serve customers perceived as Muslim.

“American businesses posting ‘Muslim-Free Zone’ declarations are no different than the ‘Whites Only,’ ‘No Dogs, No Jews,’ ‘No Mexican’ and ‘Irish Need Not Apply’ signs that were posted during past shameful periods of our nation’s history that we hoped were over,” the letter stated.

The letter lamented the DOJ has “remained silent” on the issue, and called on the department to determine whether “Muslim-free zones” violate Title II of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

“Title II specifically prohibits discrimination by places of entertainment like, in many instances, firing ranges,” the letter read.

Signatories to the letter include the American Civil Liberties Union, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and others. … Full article

Orthodox Jewish school teaches 3yo children ‘non-Jews are evil’

RT | September 2, 2015

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish schoolchildren as young as three are being taught that “non-Jews” are evil and want to kill Jewish people, an anonymous whistleblower has revealed.

According to the Independent, worksheets that allude to the horrors of the Holocaust are being handed out to three and four year old schoolchildren at the Beis Rochel boys’ school in Stamford Hill, North London.

In the documents, non-Jews are referred to as “evil goyim.” In Yiddish, the term “goyim” means someone who is not Jewish. Nazi’s are also referred to as “goyim.”

The worksheet asks questions related to the holiday of 21 Kislev, observed by Satmer Jews as the day its founder and holy Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, escaped the Nazis.

Speaking to the Independent, the source said one question on the sheet asks: “What have the evil goyim done with the synagogues and cheders?” The answer in the completed worksheet reads: “Burned them.”

Another question asks: “What did the goyim want to do with all the Jews?” The correct worksheet answer is: “Kill them.”

The worksheet “doesn’t explicitly refer to the Holocaust” but it teaches young children to be “very afraid” and treat non-Jews “very suspiciously because of what they did to us in the past,” the source told the paper.

“It’s not a history lesson – you can’t say that. It’s a parable that is actively teaching the children extremism, hatred and fear for the outside world,” the source said.

“It’s not uncommon to be taught non-Jewish people are evil in ultra-Orthodox Jewish schools. It is part of the prayers, teaching, the whole ethos,” former Beis Rochel girls’ teacher Emily Green told the Independent. … Full article

Egyptian army to flood Gaza tunnels with water

MEMO | September 2, 2015

Egypt’s military will flood the area along the border with Gaza with water, in a new bid to destroy underground tunnels between Sinai and the Palestinian territory, a Palestinian security source told Anadolu Agency.

“The Egyptian army has begun to build huge pipelines along the border with the Gaza Strip,” the source said.

He said the project “aims to destroy underground tunnels by filling the area with water.” … Full article

Palestinians remove Israeli fence around cemetery near Aqsa mosque

Ma’an | September 2, 2015

JERUSALEM – Palestinian youths on Wednesday pulled down a barbed wire fence that Israeli authorities set up earlier in the day around part of an Islamic cemetery outside Jerusalem’s Old City, a local monitoring group said.

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan said that the youths, from the nearby Silwan neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem, refused to allow Israel’s Nature Authority to confiscate the land in Bab al-Rahma cemetery.

They also reportedly pulled out poles and barbed wire that in mid-August Israeli authorities put in place around land next to the cemetery belonging to the Palestinian al-Hussein and al-Ansari families.The monitoring group said that Israel plans to turn the area along the Old City’s eastern walls into a public park.

Earlier Wednesday, a local Palestinian official told Ma’an that officials from Israel’s Nature Authority, under military escort, set up the barbed wire fence around a large area of Bab al-Rahma cemetery. … Full article

Israeli settlers vandalize electricity tower in Kafr Qaddum

Ma’an | September 2, 2015

QALQILIYA – Israeli settlers on Wednesday vandalized the main transmission tower providing electricity to the northern West Bank village of Kafr Qaddum, causing a power outage across the village for several hours, locals said.

Murad Ishtewi, a local popular committee spokesman, told Ma’an that this was the second time settlers from the illegal Israeli settlement of Qedumim had caused a power outage in the village.

He added that the settlers may have carried out the action in response to the protest Kafr Qaddum stages each week.

Hamza Jumaa, head of the village council, said that Israeli soldiers, as well as Qedumim settlement’s security guards, prevented an electrical technician from reaching the transmission tower to repair the damage for several hours. … Full article

U.S. Turns Teen into “Terrorist”

By Margaret Kimberley | Black Agenda Report | September 2, 2015

The U.S government has sentenced a 17-year old to 11 years in a adult prison for little more than expressing admiration for ISIS. The youth’s offenses included trolling a State Department web site established to dissuade young people from jihadism. Yet Washington and its allies gave birth to the international jihadist movement. “The United States created the monster and now wants to punish anyone who interacts with it.” – Read article

Fresh Saudi airstrikes kill 30 in Yemen amid international silence

Press TV | September 2, 2015

Saudi Arabia’s fresh airstrikes have claimed the lives of at least 30 people in Yemen amid the silence of the international community.

According to reports on Tuesday, Saudi fighter jets pounded an area between the Yemeni provinces of Shabwa and Ma’rib, leaving 17 people dead.

The attack also mistakenly killed three militia forces loyal to Yemen’s fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Nearly a dozen more people lost their lives following Saudi strikes on Abyan and Bayda provinces in the south of the violence-wracked Arab state. … Full article

Growing Doubt: a Scientist’s Experience of GMOs

By Jonathan R. Latham, PhD | Independent Science News | August 31, 2015

By training, I am a plant biologist. In the early 1990s I was busy making genetically modified plants (often called GMOs for Genetically Modified Organisms) as part of the research that led to my PhD. Into these plants we were putting DNA from various foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria.

I was not, at the outset, concerned about the possible effects of GM plants on human health or the environment. One reason for this lack of concern was that I was still a very young scientist, feeling my way in the complex world of biology and of scientific research. Another reason was that we hardly imagined that GMOs like ours would be grown or eaten. So far as I was concerned, all GMOs were for research purposes only.

Gradually, however, it became clear that certain companies thought differently. … continue

California agrees to end indefinite solitary confinement for thousands of inmates

RT | September 2, 2015

A landmark class action lawsuit settlement in California brings to an end the indefinite solitary confinement of thousands of inmates who filled the Pelican Bay State Prison isolation wing.

The federal class-action lawsuit settled on Tuesday was brought about by nine inmates who had been held in solitary confinement for more than a decade, and who claimed that the practice of indefinite detention violated their Eighth Amendment protections against cruel and unusual punishment. It also argued that the confinement was a violation of due process.

The plaintiffs included several leaders of and participants in hunger strikes in Security Housing Units (SHU), where they were kept confined, as this was the only means they had to protest isolating prison conditions. […]

Under the terms of the settlement, prisoners will only be sent to SHU based on specific, serious rules violations. Prisoners will no longer be sentenced to indeterminate solitary confinement.

Additionally, officials will review all current gang-validated SHU prisoners within one year of the settlement to determine whether they should be released back into the general prison population. … Full article

Cops Break Into Wrong Home, Shoot Innocent Homeowner, Kill His Dog, Then Shoot Each Other

By Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project | September 1, 2015

Atlanta, GA — An almost unbelievable tale of police incompetence comes out of Dekalb County Tuesday after police responded to the wrong home on a burglary call.

During the blunder, police officers wrongfully entered a residence as the homeowners, Chris and Leah McKinley and their small child, watched the movie Serendipity on their sofa. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution :

The bizarre incident unfolded shortly after 7:30 p.m. when three officers responded to a report of a suspicious person near Bouldercrest Road, but were not given a street address, DeKalb director of public safety Cedric Alexander said. The officers went to a home in the 1500 block of Boulderwoods Drive that matched the description given by a 911 caller, Dutton said.

“Officers approached the residence and attempted to contact occupants at the residence,” he said. “No contact was made.”

When officers went to the rear of the house, they found an unlocked screen and unlocked door and believed an intruder was inside, according to police. Officers entered the home through the unlocked door that led to the kitchen and announced their presence.

“Upon entry to the residence, the officers encountered a dog,” Dutton said in an email. “Two officers fired their weapons, striking and killing the animal in the kitchen.”

The McKinley’s neighbor, Tama Colson was out walking Monday night when she saw the patrol cars on the street. She then heard the gunshots.

It wasn’t just the dog, who police shot, however. After hearing police shoot his dog in the kitchen, Chris McKinley walked into the room to assess the situation. That’s when he too was shot by the Dekalb County police.

“I hear Leah screaming, I see Chris walking out, ‘They just shot me, they just shot me, and they killed my dog,’” Colson recounted of the incident. “So I got him to lay down, took my shirt off and rendered first aid. And Chris just kept saying, ‘Why did they shoot me? Why did they shoot my dog?’ He says, ‘I opened the door to see what the dogs were barking at, and I see black uniforms and I hear pop-pop-pop-pop,’” Colson continued.

But the epic blunder wasn’t over just yet. After they broke into the wrong home, killed a family pet, and shot the innocent and unarmed homeowner, they also shot their fellow cop! … Full article

Minority police officers sue NYPD over illegal arrest quotas

RT | September 2, 2015

A dozen black and Latino police officers are suing the New York Police Department and the city claiming that their bosses forced them to carry out illegal arrest quotas “against their own minority community.” The NYPD has denied ever using quotas.

The class action lawsuit, filed in the Manhattan federal court on Monday, argued that by forcing police officers to comply with the “illegal quota system,” New York City and the NYPD subjected black and Latino cops to unfair evaluations and discipline, according to the New York Post.

The suit also said performance evaluation was not evenly applied to all precincts. Police officers in precincts with lots of minorities had to make more arrests and issue more tickets than officers in “a precinct located in a predominantly white residential area,” the suit states. … continue

New US drone strike kills five in northern Pakistan

Press TV | September 1, 2015

A fresh US assassination drone strike in Pakistan’s tribal region has claimed the lives of at least five people, Pakistani security officials say.

“A militant compound was targeted by firing two missiles killing five militants,” an unidentified senior Pakistani security official told AFP on Tuesday, adding that the identities of the victims could not be ascertained immediately.

The attack was carried out in the Lawra Mandi area of Datta Khel in the North Waziristan tribal region bordering Afghanistan… Full article

Here’s How Law Enforcement Agencies Impersonate Your Friends

By Sonia Roubini | ACLU | August 31, 2015

We recently received a handbook from the DEA, in response to a Freedom of Information Act request, seeking information about the use of impersonation as an investigative technique. While the 1999 handbook, titled Online Investigative Principles for Federal Law Enforcement Agents, was almost identical to a version of the handbook that is available online, there is one notable difference: the version that the DEA sent us includes a copy of the DEA’s Consent to Assume Online Identity: Adult Consent form.

The DEA apparently used this fifteen-year-old form to obtain consent from individuals to impersonate their online identities. It states:

“I ____ hereby voluntarily provide consent to the Drug Enforcement Administration or other Federal, State or Local Task Force officers to assume my Internet online identity. My Internet screen name(s), nick name(s), and/or e-mail addresses are as follows.”

Continue

New Hillary Clinton Emails Show Violation of Freedom of Information Law

By Sheryl Attkisson | September 1, 2015

The newly-released batch of Hillary Clinton emails provides further proof that Freedom of Information (FOI) law has been blatantly violated. The documents include material directly responsive to a FOI request I made back in 2012 after the Benghazi terrorist attacks on the U.S. compounds. However, the material was not produced at the time, as required by law. Once again, there appears to be nobody who holds government officials and agencies accountable for their routine violation of this law. So the infractions occur frequently and with impunity. If nobody polices our government officials and agencies–if they are above the law–then how does a lawful society function?

Click here to view the WSJ database of emails. One of the many emails that should have been provided under FOI in 2012, but was not, is to Clinton from Huma Abedin on Sept. 14, 2012. Others include Clinton communications on Benghazi with her chief aide Cheryl Mills.

Unarmed Man Shot in his Hospital Room By a Cop After Checking Himself in for Mental Health Help

By Mike Sawyer | The Free Thought Project | August 31, 2015

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail. – Abraham Maslow, The Psychology of Science, 1966

Houston, TX — Last week, University of Houston medical student, Alan Pean, 26, was seeking help for a mental health issue. However, after encountering two off-duty police officers who were working security at St. Joseph Medical Center, Pean would receive the opposite of ‘help.’

“My brother went to the hospital as a patient and now is treated like a criminal,” said Christian Pean, Alan’s brother.

According to police, Pean had become “combative” in his hospital room. Officers then escalated violence first by hitting Pean with a taser and then resorting to shooting the unarmed man in the chest in the midst of his mental health crisis. … Full article

Police video flap flares in Oakland

By Chris Reed | Cal Watchdog | August 31, 2015

Several local police forces in California got on the police body-cameras bandwagon well before police killings around the nation in the summer of 2014 triggered a broad push for their adoption. The Rialto Police Department was the focus of a 2013 New York Times story that emphasized how much body cameras improved interactions between officers and the public.

But in Oakland, it appears authorities will only release the body-camera videos when they exonerate police, and that the video will be kept from the public and the media in other circumstances on the grounds that it is part of an ongoing investigation. … continue

The discussion absent in Europe regarding the refugee crisis

By Hossam Shaker | MEMO | September 1, 2015

… EU officials talk about the importance of linking aid to Eastern European countries with their willingness to accept their share of refugees, and there are even those who call for linking negotiations about joining the European Union to the countries’ treatment of refugees. Isn’t such discourse also required with the “Israeli partner” which benefits from many European economic, educational and military privileges and treaties?

Why is Europe unable to even think about using its influence to put pressure on the Israeli government to activate the Palestinian right of return, which was endorsed by UN General Assembly Resolution 194? The Palestinians, many of whom still have the keys to their homes in occupied Palestine, have the right to live in their homeland. … Read full article

Israel extends media blackout on deadly arson attack developments

MEMO | September 1, 2015

Israeli authorities extended the ban on Monday on media coverage of developments in the deadly arson attack which took place in Duma in July.

Jewish settlers set fire to the Dawabsheh family home during the attack in the village near Nablus in the occupied West Bank. Eighteen month old Ali Dawabsheh was burnt to death and his father Saad has since died of his injuries. The baby’s mother and brother are still in hospital after suffering serious burns in the incident.

The Israeli police issued a statement this week banning the media from publishing any details or developments related to the investigation until the end of September. An initial one month press embargo was issued on 31 July.

Israeli Army Fires Shells Into Two Homes, Demolishes A Store And Walls In Jenin

IMEMC & Agencies | September 1, 2015

On Tuesday at dawn, Israeli soldiers continued their invasion into the Jenin refugee camp, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, and fired missiles into two homes, before demolishing a store and several walls. The invasion into the camp started on Monday evening.

During the invasion, the soldiers kidnapped a former political prisoner, his mother, his son and his brother.

The soldiers fired two “Energa” shells targeting two homes in the refugee camp, before demolishing a store and several walls, surrounding the home of former political prisoner Majdi Abu al-Haija, who was taken prisoner after the soldiers also kidnapped his mother, his son Soheib, 18, and his brother ‘Ala.

A Civil Defense medic said the soldiers prevented the medics and ambulances from approaching the targeted homes, especially the home of Abu al-Haija.

He added that the wife of Abu al-Haija suffered fractures in one of her legs, and that the soldiers also invaded and occupied several surrounding homes. … Full article

International Outcry Over Demolitions of Palestinian Homes: Silence in The NY Times

By Barbara Erickson | TimesWarp | August 31, 2015

The United Nations has called for a freeze on Israeli demolitions of Palestinian homes, dozens of aid agencies and the European Union have joined in the protest, and even the U.S. State Department has voiced its dismay. Yet, even as the outcry has become an international issue and reached the highest ranks of our own government, we find a resounding silence at The New York Times.

Times readers are unlikely to know that 31 international organizations recently called on Israel to stop the “wanton destruction of Palestinian property,” including “basic humanitarian necessities,” such as solar panels, animal pens, latrines and tents supplied by the European Union. The groups asked world leaders to take “urgent action,” to hold Israel accountable for “grave breaches” of international law, and to demand reparations for the destruction of their charitable gifts. … continue

Bribing Bibi and His Proxies to Behave

They won’t anyway and it will cost us much more

By Philip Giraldi • Unz Review • September 1, 2015

There are a lot of expressions about standing up to bullies being the best policy. Unfortunately the White House has difficulty in following that sound advice when it comes to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his governing coalition of racists and thugs. And one might also add that the reticence also applies to dealing with Israel’s many friends in Congress, some of whom have apparently extorted their pound of flesh in exchange for their votes on the Iran deal.

Israel is already the military colossus in the Middle East, with formidable high tech ground, sea and air forces backed up by a semi-secret nuclear arsenal with modern delivery systems and several defensive missile system referred to as Iron Dome, Arrow 4 and David Sling. The defense systems were developed and deployed using $3 billion of U.S. Treasury special “grants” while roughly 20% of Israel’s annual total defense budget comes directly from the American taxpayer. This is all justified on the basis of sustaining Israel’s “Qualitative Military Edge,” an expression that has its own acronym QME and that is much loved by America’s national legislators, the White House and the media. In reality, Israel possesses an enormous military superiority relative to all its neighbors combined and has benefited from that capability for many years, all thanks to the United States of America.

But for some, too much is never enough. … continue

Schumer’s Troubling Mideast Record

By Jonathan Marshall | Consortium News | August 31, 2015

In trying to torpedo the Iran nuclear deal, Sen. Charles Schumer is continuing his longstanding role as a front man for U.S. neocons and Israeli hardliners who favor a Mideast strategy of violent “regime change” over negotiated solutions, as Jonathan Marshall describes. – Read article

Breaking the Depleted Uranium Ceiling

By Craig Murray | September 1, 2015

It is an astonishing fact that, despite near universal recognition now that the war in Iraq was a disaster, no major British social institution is headed by a single one of the majority of the population wo were opposed to the war.

Every Cabinet Minister actively supported the war. Of the fifteen Tory MPs who rebelled and voted against the war, not one is a minister. Civil servants officially have no politics but privately their opinions are known. There is not one single Permanent Under Secretary of a UK government department who was known to be against the war and most were enthusiasts. Simon Fraser, PUS at the FCO, was an active Blairite enthusiast for the war. Though no Blairite, the Head of MI6 Alex Younger was also an enthusiast.

The BBC was of course gutted following its revealing of the truth about Iraqi WMD, and the subsequent murder of David Kelly. Following the ousting of Greg Dyke, both Governors and Directors-Generals have been known supporters of the war. Of the 107 bureaucrats in the BBC who earn over 100,000 pounds pa, insiders estimate that only five were opponents of the war. Craig Oliver – who has now left the BBC for Cameron’s media operation – and James Purnell are absolutely typical of the BBC Iraqocracy.

Every current editor of a UK national newspaper supported the Iraq war. … continue

US Media: Building Newspaper Curtain Against A Fabled Foe

By Angela BOROZNA | Oriental Review | September 1, 2015

“Now we do not have an Iron Curtain, we have a newspaper curtain.”
Evgeny Yevtushenko (a prominent Russian poet) – RT interview, Sept 2009.

Though Russia went through significant domestic changes since 1991, the extent of Russia’s domestic achievements had rarely been acknowledged in the United States. Instead, Russia has been continuously criticized for not democratizing fast enough. American media ignores positive developments in Russia and concentrates on the negative. Russia made significant changes from the Soviet totalitarian system, but instead of acknowledging this progress, Russia is characterized by exploiting misleading historical analogies as ‘closed’, associated with the KGB, the Soviet Union, ‘relentless propaganda’, ‘government control’. The opinions of the Russian citizens on their political system or their president as well as the actions by the Russian state that do not fit the description of ‘dictatorial power’ are typically omitted from Western media coverage. The result of this “selection bias” builds up over time to construct a negative overall image of the country and its president. … continue

US Missile Destroyer Arrives in Ukraine’s Black Sea Port of Odessa

Sputnik – 01.09.2015

The US guided missile destroyer USS Donald Cook cast anchor in Ukraine’s Black Sea port of Odessa on Tuesday, Ukrainian media reported.

The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer will take part in the Sea Breeze-2015 international naval drill now on in Ukraine’s Odessa and Nikolayev regions, Vesti.ua online paper wrote.

The USS Donald Cook is armed with two Aegis ballistic missile defense system launchers with up to 56 nuclear-capable Tomahawk cruise missiles.

It also carries a SH-60 Sea Hawk helicopter and has a crew of 337. … Full article

Yemeni drone victim appeals to court to end German role in US strikes

Reprieve – September 1, 2015

A Yemeni family whose relatives were killed in a US drone strike have appealed to a German court to ensure that a US base in the country is not used for further attacks, which might endanger their lives.

In May 2014, a court in Cologne heard evidence from Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Sana’a, following revelations that Ramstein air base is used by the US to facilitate American drone strikes in Yemen. Mr Jaber is bringing the case against Germany – represented by international human rights organization Reprieve and its local partner the European Center for Human Rights (ECCHR) – for failing to stop the bases on its territory from being used for the attacks that have killed civilians.

Although the court ruled against Mr bin Ali Jaber in the May hearing, it gave him immediate permission to appeal the decision, while the judges agreed with his assertion that it is ‘plausible’ Ramstein air base is crucial in facilitating drone strikes in Yemen. Today’s appeal, filed at the Higher Administrative Court in Münster, asks the German government to end the country’s complicity in the extrajudicial killings.

Mr Jaber lost his brother-in-law Salim, a preacher, and his nephew Waleed, a local police officer, when a US strike hit the village of Khashamir on 29 August 2012. … continue

18 civilians killed in Saudi aerial raids across Yemen

Press TV | September 1, 2015

At least 18 civilians have been killed in Saudi airstrikes against residential areas across Yemen as part of Riyadh’s ongoing military campaign against its southern neighbor.

On Tuesday, Saudi military aircraft bombarded Mukayras town in Yemen’s central province of al-Bayda, killing eleven people and injuring many more, Lebanon-based Arabic-language al-Mayadeen news network reported.

Moreover, one civilian was killed and nine others sustained injuries when Saudi warplanes struck a number of areas in the southwestern Yemeni province of Ta’izz.

Saudi jets also pounded a popular market in the city of Sirwah, which lies about 120 kilometers (75 miles) east of the capital, Sana’a, leaving four civilians dead and 15 others injured.

Separately, Saudi military aircraft carried out strikes against Majaz district in Yemen’s northwestern province of Sa’ada on Tuesday. One civilian was killed and several others were injured in the aerial assault.

Additionally, Saudi warplanes carried out 12 airstrikes against various regions in the northwestern province of Hajjah, though no reports of fatalities were immediately available.

Saudi jets also struck al-Khamsin Street in down town Sana’a, leveling 12 residential buildings to the ground. The strike left one civilian dead and 17 others injured. … Full article

More Brotherhood members get life sentences

relatives-of-muslim-brotherhood-members-sentenced-to-death-crying-egyptian-courts-10MEMO – August 31, 2015

Nine more members of the Muslim Brotherhood have been sentenced to life imprisonment by a court in Egypt, Anadolu has reported. In the same session, four other members of the movement were each sent to prison for four years.

Those convicted by the Criminal Court in Ismailiyah included a senior member of the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Office, Mohamed Taha Wahdan, and the local spokesman for the movement in the city, Ali Abdullah, in addition to the main Brotherhood official in the governorate, Sabry Khalafallah.

All were arrested following the dispersal of a pro-democracy demonstration in December 2013. They were accused of attempting to undermine Egypt’s security, public safety, taking part in an illegal demonstration and being affiliated with Egypt’s largest Islamic movement.

Pentagon understated cost of new bomber by $25bn, blames ‘human error’

RT | August 31, 2015

Very little is known about the US Air Force’s new long-range strike bomber (LRSB) – including, apparently, the cost. Facing questions over a $25 billion discrepancy in development costs, the Pentagon blamed “human error” and shrugged it off as a “mistake.”

The LRSB project is intended to replace the aging and expensive US bomber fleet by the mid-2020s, at the cost of $500 million per plane. Two aerospace conglomerates, Northrop Grumman and Boeing-Lockheed Martin, are bidding for the contract.

Last year, the Air Force told Congress that the 10-year cost of developing the bomber, between 2015 and 2024, would be $33.1 billion. This year, however, the estimate for 2016-2026 rose to $58.2 billion. The 76 percent increase prompted Representative Jackie Speier (D-California), ranking minority member on the House Armed Services oversight and investigations subcommittee, to ask about the $25 billion gap. … continue

‘Chilcot inquiry faces further delay until next summer’

Press TV – August 31, 2015

The UK’s long-delayed Iraq war probe, otherwise known as the Chilcot inquiry after the name of the investigation chief, John Chilcot, will not be released until the summer of 2016, British media say.

This is while it has been claimed that a draft report was “riddled with errors.”

Senior UK military commanders have reacted furiously to the draft of the report which blames them for the decisions taken at the time of the US-led war in Iraq in 2003, according to the Independent. … Full article

Spanish bank blocks payment to RT over EU sanctions against non-related media chief

RT | August 31, 2015

The British branch of the Spanish bank BBVA has blocked a transaction to RT, citing European sanctions against Russian media executive Dmitry Kiselev. Kiselev, who heads media holding company Rossiya Segodnya, is not affiliated with RT.

The transaction in question was due payment to RT by Axiom Media, the company that sells advertising on RT broadcasts in Britain. Although RT itself is not under sanctions, BBVA has not carried out a transaction to RT’s account, saying it “could potentially be made available to an entity or body associated with Mr Dmitryi (sic) Konstantinovich Kiselyov.” … Full article

FARC Rebels Propose Joint Effort to Search for Disappeared

teleSUR – August 31, 2015

descarga_ivan_marquez_123456789_000000_crop1441006523746.jpg_1718483346The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) proposed creating a pact Sunday with the Colombian government in order to find people who have been forcibly disappeared as a result of the internal armed conflict in the country.

The suggestion was made by FARC rebel commander Ivan Marquez in the context the International Day for the Victims of Enforced Disappearances and the end of the 40th round of peace negotiations between the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, known as the FARC, and the Colombian government.

“We believe that the (negotiating parties) should agree on commitments for deescalation that includes the search for missing persons, considering that no exceptional circumstances whatsoever — whether a state of war or threat of war, political instability or any other public emergency — should be used as a justification for not taking measures to prevent further victimization,” said Marquez on behalf of the FARC negotiating team.

According to the Colombian prosecutor’s office, the armed conflict has resulted in 50,000 case of forced disappearances, a figure greater than the number of disappearances during the dictatorships of Argentina and Chile combined.

The FARC and Colombian government are already cooperating on a demining pilot project throughout the country. … Full article

Over 90,000 sign UK petition against Israeli PM

Press TV – August 31, 2015

A petition posted on the British parliament’s website for the arrest of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over crimes against Palestinians has garnered over 90,000 signatures.

The petition, called ‘Benjamin Netanyahu to be arrested for war crimes when he arrives in London,’ has now over 90,500 signatures.

Activists say under international law, Netanyahu must be arrested for war crimes against Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip last year. They want the British government to arrest Netanyahu upon arrival in the UK for an official visit next month.

The petition was launched earlier this month.

The initiator of the petition, British citizen Damian Moran, has told Press TV in an interview that Netanyahu should not be allowed to walk around freely after Israel’s bloody war of the 2014 summer in the Gaza Strip.

The British government says certain officials have legal immunity and cannot be arrested or detained. However, if the number of signatories reaches 100,000, a parliament debate must be opened.

Earlier this month, the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs said in a statement that the petition has “no real meaning,” adding, “Bilateral ties between Britain and Israel are closer than ever before.” … Full article

Italian activist arrested and beaten in occupied Palestine

International Solidarity Movement | August 31, 2015

11900034_10153302328854145_6416592376700406543_n-600x399Occupied Palestine – Italian activist Vittorio Fera was violently arrested and beaten by soldiers at weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh in occupied Palestine. The Italian activist, 31-year old Vittorio Fera, is falsely accused of throwing stones and attacking soldiers. His case will be taken to court the second time Monday 31st August between 9 and 11 am.

During a weekly demonstration in Nabi Saleh Israeli soldiers randomly arrested two protesters: one 18-year old Palestinian youth and the Italian activist Vittorio Fera. Fera went to the protest to document human rights violations by the Israeli army against Palestinians and became a victim of military violence himself.

While documenting an Israeli soldier strangling a 12-year old boy, Vittorio and the other activists were ambushed by Israeli forces. Vittorio was separated from the group and violently shoved to the ground. “We were shocked to see the boy being choked by a soldier, when suddenly soldiers came running at us and attacked Vittorio”, Josephine from Denmark explains. … continue

Major US industrial union votes in favor of BDS movement

Press TV – August 31, 2015

A prominent industrial union in the United States has endorsed the international movement of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) to support the Palestinians against Israel, calling on Washington to cut off financial support to Tel Aviv.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America union voted in favor of a resolution entitled “Justice and Peace for the Peoples of Palestine and Israel” during its national convention on August 20, the union reported on its website.

Citing Israel’s “long history of violating the human rights of the Palestinians,” the union has become the first nationwide union to join the boycott against Israel.

Union delegate Autumn Martinez said, “It’s absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine!”

In a statement, the union attacks Israel for its human rights record “starting with the ethnic cleansing of 750,000 Palestinians in 1947-48 that turned most of Palestine into the State of Israel.” … continue

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