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Current News and Analysis

Vaccines and National Security

By Ulson Gunnar – New Eastern Outlook – 04.05.2015

One can easily see in the emerging information and cyber war that a nation having its own IT infrastructure, its own hardware, and its own versions of social media platforms is quickly becoming a matter of national security. Without control over these assets, a nation must depend on foreign suppliers for their computers, peripheries and software. Already, this dependence has opened nations up to now evident threats including malware embedded into hardware and software that is otherwise impossible to detect until the damage is already done.

Likewise, a nation’s food supply can and has throughout history, been a source of vulnerability in times of conflict. The inability to grow one’s own food invites blockades and their modern equivalent, sanctions, undermining a nation’s strength and stability and eventually setting the stage for its ultimate demise. Iraq is an example of this.

In the long-term, a nation’s food supply controlled by foreign corporations, particularly in the realm of genetically engineered organisms, can have disastrous effects.  As a nation’s wealth is slowly drained from their shores and into the coffers of corporations like Bayer, Monsanto and Syngenta, inferior, expensive and environmentally devastating crops wreak havoc on the very socioeconomic fabric of a nation. India is increasingly becoming an example of this.

And what of healthcare? Surely the same applies. But even as nations and communities are just now understanding the importance of protecting their food supplies from predatory multinational corporations and the hegemonic ambitions they represent, there seems to be some latency in understanding this likewise in regards to healthcare and in particular pharmaceuticals and vaccines. … continue

Autopsy: Al Khaldi Shot From Behind

IMEMC News & Agencies | August 2, 2015

Minister of Justice Counsel Saleem Saqa, Saturday, announced the results of al-Khaldi’s postmortem report, affirming that he was shot from behind. […]

The minister denounced the killing of al-Khaldi, describing it as an intentional perfidious murder committed in hatred. […]

Laith al-Khaldi, 17, a Palestinian from the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, was shot with a live bullet as Israeli forces violently quelled a march in protest of Friday’s settler arson attack which led to the killing of an 18-month-old toddler, Ali Dawabsha, in the Nablus village of Douma. – Full article

Strong condemnations from Israeli government fall short in Duma fire

By Jessica Purkiss | MEMO | August 1, 2015

… While settlers face near impunity, the story is different for Palestinians living in the same territory, because Israel operates under a dual system of law. Settlers living in the West Bank are subject to Israeli civil law, while Palestinians in the West Bank can be tried by judges in military courts, where conviction rates exceed 99 percent.

This dual system also applies to children: If, for example, a 12-year-old child from Nablus and a 12-year-old child from the nearby settlement of Yitzhar were to have a fight, both would be arrested by the Israeli police. The Palestinian child, however, could be detained for four days before seeing a military judge, whereas the Israeli child would only have to wait for 12 hours before seeing a civilian judge. The Palestinian child could be held for up to 90 days before seeing a lawyer and would have only a 13 percent chance of being freed on bail, whereas the Israeli child would be able to see legal counsel within just two days and would have a 80 percent likelihood of being released on bail.

The Israeli authority’s apparent failure to punish the violent acts of settlers has bred a climate of impunity. … Full article

The Fake War on ISIS: US and Turkey Escalate in Syria

By Eric Draitser – New Eastern Outlook – 02.08.2015

It is late July 2015, and the media is abuzz with the news that Turkey will allow US jets to use its bases to bomb Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria. There is much talk about how this development is a “game-changer,” and how this is a clear escalation of the much ballyhooed, but more fictional than real, US war on ISIS: the terror organization that US intelligence welcomed as a positive development in 2012 in their continued attempts to instigate regime change against the Syrian government led by Bashar al-Assad.

The western public is told that “This is a significant shift… It’s a big deal,” as a US military official told the Wall Street Journal. What the corporate media fail to mention, however, is the fact that Turkey has been, and continues to be, a central actor in the war in Syria and, consequently, in the development and maintenance of ISIS. So, while Washington waxes poetic about stepping up the fight against the terror group, and lauds the participation of its allies in Ankara, the barely concealed fact is that Turkey is merely further entrenching itself in a war that it has fomented. … continue

Two opponents of Egypt regime die in prison

“95 detainees died in Egyptian prisons in 2014, up by 40 percent from the previous year”

MEMO | August 2, 2015

Two opponents of the Egyptian regime have reportedly died in prison as a result of “medical negligence” following a spate of earlier prison deaths in the Arab world’s most populous country.

Sheikh Ezzat Al-Salamouni, leader of Egypt’s Gamaa Islamiya group, died in a prison hospital, according to the Construction and Development Party, the group’s political arm.

Sources within Gamaa Islamiya said that Al-Salamouni – who had been detained earlier for committing alleged acts of “violence” – had passed away as a result of “medical negligence” by the authorities.

A second detainee, Ahmed Hussein Ghozlan, died in prison in the Nile Delta’s Behira province, also due to “medical negligence” by the authorities, according to defence lawyers.

Ghozlan, 52, had been imprisoned on charges of belonging to the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, which the authorities designated a “terrorist group” in late 2013.

Egypt has been dogged by instability since the military ousted and imprisoned Mohammed Morsi – Egypt’s first democratically elected president and a Muslim Brotherhood leader – on July 3, 2013. … Full article

Egyptian Court Delays Al Jazeera Journalists Retrial for Tenth Time

Sputnik – 02.08.2015

MOSCOW – A Cairo court postponed a verdict in the retrial of three Al Jazeera television journalists to August 29, the tenth delay of the sentencing on the case, the media network said Sunday.

Earlier this week, the court had delayed the sentencing, announcing no date of delivering a verdict.

In 2013, three Al Jazeera journalists, Australian Peter Greste, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, were arrested in Egypt while documenting unrest which followed the overthrow of then-President Mohamed Morsi by the Egyptian military.

The following year, the reporters were found guilty of aiding a terrorist organization allegedly connected to Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, a movement which the new authorities had branded a terrorist organization.

Six other Al Jazeera staff were tried in absentia as part of the same case.

Greste and Fahmy have received seven years in prison, while Mohamed was given 10 years.

In January, an appeals court ordered a retrial, as the initial verdict proved little evidence against the convicted. Later, Fahmy and Mohamed were freed on bail, and Greste was deported to his homeland.

UK boosts 2015 arms sales to Egypt after sinking 2013 deals

Press TV – August 1, 2015

96dd6a5b-942f-4e5f-96a2-b3264c54fbb8Britain has reportedly re-boosted weapon sales to the Egyptian government in 2015 following a reduction in sales put in place after the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi.

The US-based Newsweek magazine reported Friday that official figures released by the UK government indicated that London approved military sales licenses to Egypt for “components of military combat vehicles” worth $76.3 million in the first quarter of 2015. […]

In June, the Egyptian president received an official invitation from British Prime Minister David Cameron to pay a visit to London.

A number of British human rights organizations have censured the expanding military ties between London and Cairo.

“The UK should be condemning the appalling human rights abuses that are taking place in Egypt,” said CAAT researcher Andrew Smith.

“However, these increasing arms sales, and the forthcoming visit, suggest that the government wants to strengthen its ties [with Cairo],” he added. – Full article

Egypt extends role in Saudi aggression against Yemen

Press TV | August 1, 2015

Egypt has decided to extend its participation in the Saudi aggression against Yemen for another six months.

“The National Defense Council agreed to prolong the participation of its troops… for six months, or until the end of the combat mission,” the Office of the Egyptian Presidency said a statement on Saturday.

In May, Egyptian authorities renewed the combat mission in Yemen by three months.

The recent statement described the purpose of its mission in Yemen as being to “defend Egyptian and Arab national security.”

Previously, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said Cairo’s involvement in the Saudi aggression in Yemen was meant to secure navigation in the Red Sea and the Suez Canal. … Full article

Yemen Fugitive PM’s Aden Visit Lasted 3 Hours

Al-Manar | August 2, 2015

News agencies were busy on Saturday covering a “symbolic” visit by the Yemeni fugitive prime minister Khaled Bahah. However, Bahah’s visit was so short that it lasted for only three hours.

Pro-Saudi media outlets described the visit as a new victory for the militiamen of the fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, who fled Yemen to Saudi Arabia just as Aden fell to the hands of the popular committees.

Meanwhile, well-informed Yemeni sources confirmed that Bahah’s visit was just a propaganda stunt aimed at raising the morale of pro-Hadi militiamen.

The three-hour-long visit proves that the situation in Aden is not under the full control of pro-Hadi militiamen as circulated by media, the sources said. … Full article

Eight more civilians die in Saudi airstrikes on Yemen

Press TV | August 1, 2015

At least eight civilians have been killed and 20 others wounded in fresh Saudi airstrikes on Yemen.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV network reported on Saturday that Saudi warplanes bombarded the province of Lahij in the southwest of the impoverished Arab country.

The airstrikes also targeted an administrative building in the Harad district of the northwestern Hajjah Province, but no reports of fatalities were immediately available.

Reports said Saudi warplanes launched aerial attacks on the positions of the Houthi Ansarullah fighters in the central province of Ma’rib. The strikes reportedly claimed the lives of over two dozen Ansarullah fighters.

The Saudi aircraft also pounded sites in the northern province of Sa’ada and a district located between the southern provinces of Bayda and Abyan. … Full article

US Police Chases Kill 5,000 Innocent Bystanders Since 1979

Sputnik – 01.08.2015

MOSCOW — Over 5,000 bystanders and passengers have been killed in US police high-speed car chases since 1979, with tens of thousands more injured, a recent USA TODAY study revealed.

According to the report, almost 30 percent of all police pursuits, usually for minor traffic violations or misdemeanors, result in crashes, often injuring or killing people nearby.

The four-month long investigation found that some 50 percent killed in police chases from 1979 through 2013 were not the suspects being pursued, but either bystanders or passengers in the car.

In total, the US police chases claimed the lives of over 11,500 people during the period of review, which was the latest data available by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

In 1990, the US Justice Department urged police departments to adopt policies specifying when officers can and cannot chase drivers.

However, the majority of police departments violate pursuit rules making on-the-spot judgements to chase cars no matter how insignificant crimes are.

Whistleblowers Exposing Police Abuse Need Greater Protection

Sputnik – 01.08.2015

WASHINGTON – Leandra Bernstein — Whistleblowers who expose police abuse, fraud and misconduct deserve greater protections, to help uproot a prevalent police culture of being above the law, retired law enforcement officials told Sputnik.

“Cops who stand up to do the right thing need better protection,” former Boston area homicide detective and whistleblower Ken Williams told Sputnik on Friday.

Police officers who stand up to expose fraud, waste, or abuse within the force are never “recognized and celebrated,” Williams noted.

He continued that a citizen who stands up to capture police misconduct, brutality or murder on video, “that person is a hero as far as I am concerned.”

US Congresswoman Jackie Speier claims that whistleblowers help members of Congress overcome incomplete information provided by intelligence agencies.

According to the US bureau of Justice Statistics, 92 percent of all civilian complaints of police misconduct end up being dismissed. Only 8 percent of civilian complaints that are investigated result in disciplinary action. … Full article

121 Dead: July Was the Deadliest Month in Recent History for Police Killings

By John Vibes | The Free Thought Project | August 1, 2015

black5-326x159… It was documented this week by that the month of July has been one of the most deadly in years, in regards to police murders. The website has recorded 121 police killings in the past month alone, and it is likely that there were even a few additional cases to slip through the cracks. Each case that has been recorded by the site is fully sourced, with the name of the victim and links to the news stories about their death.

In a report by Business Insider this week, Chris Weller pointed out that American Cops kill more people in a single day than some countries have in a decade. […]

Another issue to consider is the fact that there is no record of the people who are unjustly assaulted and arrested by police each day, and while their circumstances are not as serious as those who are killed, it is important to point out that police are still able to ruin many lives on a regular basis without actually taking them. … Full article

Cop Shoots Woman’s Dog, Department Apologizes by Filing Charges Against Her

By Carey Wedler | ANTIMEDIA | July 31, 2015

A woman in Clayton County, Georgia is facing charges after a police officer shot and killed her five-month-old puppy, who witnesses say was not a threat to him. The officer, who killed the dog in the presence of the woman’s children, has a history of aggressive misconduct and was suspended for his behavior once before.

Claudette Terry told WSB-TV Atlanta that she was in the process of moving into a new home in May when two police officers stopped to “check on” a man sitting in her driveway.

“My son opened the door [and] the dog ran out and kind of stood by me where the other officers were. He didn’t bark, growl or anything.”

She told the officers the man was a friend who was helping her move, but as she discussed the issue with them, Officer Water Dennard approached them to join the conversation—and kill her dog.

“He just shot the dog and stood there with no remorse, no regrets in front of her and her kids,” said Aijohli King, a neighbor who witnessed the shooting from her home across the street. … continue

In Under a Minute, this Cop Shows Exactly Why People are Losing Faith in Police

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

Wichita, KS — A deputy has been suspended after he was captured on video, in a sickening display of authoritarianism. Deputy Vance Williams is now apologizing to the community after this video was posted to YouTube.

According to KSN news, the deputy was called out to the town of Harper to investigate a dispute over property, between several people.

Jeff Jacobs, who recorded the video, simply tried to ask Williams a question, when Williams completely blew a fuse. Upon being asked a question the deputy begins a full on assault. … continue

More Pinochet Soldiers Charged with Burning Chilean Teenagers

carmen.jpg_171709559teleSUR | July 31, 2015

Five more former Chilean army officers have been charged for involvement in the burning of two teenage activists protesting against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet in 1986, bringing the total to 12 people.

Last week, seven former soldiers were charged for complicity in the incident in which photographer Rodrigo Rojas was killed and Carmen Quintana was severely disfigured after the two were doused in gasoline and set on fire.

After setting them ablaze, soldiers abandoned the two activists outside of the capital city Santiago, where they managed to get help to take them to a hospital in critical condition, where Rojas later died of injuries. … continue

Mercenary Drone Operators Kill Outside US Chain of Command

Sputnik – 01.08.2015

WASHINGTON — The US armed forces are using a growing number of mercenaries or contractors to operate lethal drone attacks as regular troops are increasingly unwilling to do so, experts told Sputnik.

“‘Private contractors’, mercenaries, have been involved in US drone surveillance and attack for some time, certainly with the CIA, and most probably not only in intelligence analysis, but also in the roles of pilots and sensor operators,” Coordinator Nick Mottern told Sputnik on Friday.

The sensor operators are the people who pull the trigger to launch Hellfire missiles and bombs, he said.

Mottern noted the need to hire mercenaries indicates that the US military is not able, for whatever reason, to find enough people within its ranks to do such work.

“This is… because it is involving an increasing amount of killing, and, I suspect, an increasing amount of PTSD [Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder].”

The situation, Mottern continued, presents a major legal problem for the contracting companies and the military alike, because of the question who should be held accountable for the killing going on conducted by drones. … continue

Israeli Extremists Attack Farmers Near Nablus

IMEMC & Agencies | August 1, 2015

-675071833A number of extremist Israeli settlers, living in illegal colonies built on Palestinian lands, attacked Palestinian farmers in their lands, in Qasra village, south of the northern West Bank city of Nablus on Saturday morning.

Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official in charge of Israeli settlement files in the northern part of the occupied West Bank, said the fanatics came from the Yesh Kodesh illegal outpost.

He added that the assailants attacked the Palestinian villagers, and prevented their bulldozers and tractors from entering their lands.

Local youths of a Guards Committee, a civilian group that tries to counter settlers’ violence, managed to chase the fanatics away.

Daghlas further stated that Israeli soldiers were present in the area, and instead of removing the settlers, they started firing gas bombs and concussion grenades on the villagers, forcing them out of their lands.

Lion lives matter. But what about Palestinian kids?

By John Wight | RT | August 1, 2015

Western liberals came out in their droves to condemn the slaying of Cecil the Lion in Africa. How many will now come out to condemn the savage slaughter of a Palestinian infant, Ali Saad Dawabsha, by Jewish terrorists in the West Bank village of Duma?

I think we already know the answer to this question. For such people the blood of an African lion is more valuable than the blood of a 18 month-old Palestinian child. We know this to be true because for decades Palestinian children, along with their parents and families, have been routinely slaughtered and/or terrorized by Israelis, whether through individual acts of terror committed by illegal settlers and religious fanatics, or as is more common by the state via the IDF, the most cowardly army in the world bar none. … continue

Israeli occupation forces Kill Palestinian Teen near Ramallah

Al-Manar | August 1, 2015

Laith_KhaldiIsraeli occupation forces shot dead a Palestinian teen Friday evening near the West Bank city of Ramallah, the latest Israeli attack against Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Laith al-Khaldi,17, born in the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah, was shot in the chest at the Atara checkpoint and later died from his injuries at Palestine Medical Complex near Ramallah, Maan news agency quoted medical sources as saying.

The teen underwent two surgeries before succumbing to his injuries, the Palestinian news agency said, adding that he lost a significant amount of blood on his way to the hospital.

Al-Khaldi had been taking part in a protest against the Israeli attacks.

He was at least the 21th Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces since the start of 2015.

Earlier on Friday, a Palestinian baby was burned to death as Zionist settlers set fire to a Palestinian home in a village near Nablus in West Bank. Four other Palestinians of the same family, including the mother, father and brother of the martyred baby, were critically injured by the brutal attack.

Also on Friday, the occupation forces shot dead another 17-year-old in Gaza near the buffer zone, along with another Palestinian who was shot and moderately injured.

Erodoğan and Netanyahu Declare War

By James Petras :: 07.31.2015

The rulers of the two most powerful authoritarian regimes in the Middle East are launching major wars to reconfigure the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared war by proxy on Iran, announcing full-scale military mobilization within Israel (July 27 -29) and organizing the biggest political campaign of ultra Zionist Jews in Washington.

The purpose of this two-pronged propaganda blitz is to defeat the recently signed US-Iranian agreement and start another major Middle East war. Ultimately, Netanyahu intends to take care of his ‘Palestinian Problem’ for good: complete the conquest and occupation of Palestine and expelling the Palestinian people from their homeland – the single most important foreign policy and domestic goal of the Jewish state. In order to do this, Israeli leaders have had to systematically campaign for the destruction of the Palestinians regional supporters and sympathizers – Iraq, Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Iran. … continue

Turkish military accused of deadly attack on Kurdish village

RT | August 1, 2015

The president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region has condemned a deadly bombardment of Zargala village by the Turkish military, calling for all sides to return to the negotiating table.

“We condemn this bombardment that led to the martyrdom of people from the Kurdistan region and call on Turkey not to bombard civilians again,” Massoud Barzani said in a statement on Saturday, Reuters reported.

On Saturday, Turkish fighter jets reportedly bombed a village located on the outskirts of Kandil Mountains, where PKK camps are based. Local media report at least nine civilians were killed, a pregnant woman among them, while 15 others were injured.

This week, Turkey has continually targeted the camps of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters, based in northern Iraq, blaming the group for a series of killings of police officers and soldiers.

US Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia Contributing to Conflict in Yemen

Sputnik – 01.08.2015

WASHINGTON — The United States’ weapons and logistical support for Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen signals that Washington is backing Riyadh’s goal to crush Houthi rebels despite UN calls for a political solution, experts told Sputnik on Friday.

The United States is providing intelligence and refueling support to enable a four-month-old Saudi-led air campaign against Houthi rebels and allied forces.

On Thursday, Washington decided to provide Riyadh with $500 million in ammunition to replenish stocks used up in the campaign.

“The Saudis want an extended war that leads to a Houthi defeat, and the United States is effectively backing that strategy with the arms deal,” Charles Schmitz, a specialist on Yemen at the Middle East Institute told Sputnik.

“The Saudis don’t want a political settlement; they want a Houthi surrender,” he added. … continue

Creditors offer Ukraine 5% debt write-down – media

RT | July 31, 2015

After months of stalemate, Ukraine’s international private bondholders have proposed a 5 percent debt relief for Kiev as concerns over the country’s economy grow. Last month Ukraine asked the creditors for a 40-percent cut.

The proposal was made this week by Ukraine’s largest creditor Franklin Templeton Investments which holds about $8.9 billion in bonds, the Wall Street Journal cited two people close to the negotiations Thursday. It was agreed by other members from the committee of the country’s major bondholders.

“As long-term investors in Ukraine, the committee has led efforts to ensure a rapid, mutually acceptable and sustainable debt restructuring, while also retaining the country’s vital access to capital markets,” one person said.

Ukraine recently indicated it is ready to agree to a less severe ‘haircut’ than it has previously asked for, according to the second person familiar with the talks. The country had asked for a 40 percent haircut worth about $15 billion.

“The creditors have bitten the bullet,” Jakob Christensen, an analyst at Exotix Partners in London told Bloomberg. “It’s give and take from here, so a compromise is probably the most realistic. I don’t think the IMF and the government will be satisfied with a small principal haircut. They will need more like 25 percent.” … continue

World Food Program halves food aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon

Press TV – August 1, 2015

The World Food Program (WFP) has slashed by half its food assistance for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon due to a funding crisis.

Muhannad Hadi, the WFP’s regional director for the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe, announced the decision on Friday.

Hadi said the international community must help the food assistance branch of the United Nations to continue its drive to keep refugees from going hungry.

The WFP official further urged international donors to increase their contributions, otherwise “it will be only a matter of months before we face the same situation again.”

The WFP said that the most vulnerable of the Syrian refugees living outside camps in Jordan will receive USD 14 per person in August while the rest will get only USD 7 each. … continue

What Happens To Your Body Within The First Hour of Drinking a Coke

By SM Gibson | ANTIMEDIA | July 30, 2015

… Thanks to the efforts of Niraj Naik, The Renegade Pharmacist, we no longer have to be in the dark about what Coke is actually doing to our bodies once we ingest it. Naik has published in detail what happens to our system within the first hour of guzzling down a can of Coke—and it isn’t good. … continue

Nicaragua’s Canal: A Socialist Project for Economic Change

Tortilla Con Sal | July 29, 2015

The fundamental argument in favor of Nicaragua’s Interoceanic Canal is that it will change the structure of Nicaragua’s economy in such a way as to dramatically reduce poverty and so enable a reversal of the current destructive national and regional trends of impoverishment-driven environmental depredation.

Progressive and radical opinion in North America and Europe tends to skew discussion towards the Canal’s alleged potential environmental effects, generally ignoring both the urgent economic imperative of poverty reduction and the Canal’s wider regional and global significance.

The environmental argument in favor of the Canal is usually met with perplexed scepticism, blank incomprehension or, very often, deliberate misrepresentation.

​Like almost all the articles that have criticized Nicaragua’s Canal, Truth Out’s recent article by Thomas J Scott,“Nicaragua’s Flirtation With Environmental Disaster” focuses largely on the Canal’s environmental aspects while omitting Nicaragua’s fundamental dilemma, one typical of impoverished countries. Namely, Nicaragua’s environmental sustainability requires significant new economic resources in the short term so as to reverse decades of poverty driven deforestation, contamination and inadequate water management. … continue

Ecuador’s Indigenous Groups Question Call for ‘Uprising’

teleSUR | July 30, 2015

Many in Ecuador’s robust indigenous movement are questioning a call by the Confederation of Indigenous Nationalities of Ecuador, also known as CONAIE, for a national uprising against the government of President Rafael Correa.

CONAIE has rejected a call for dialogue sponsored by the government and have instead have called for an indigenous-led uprising, which will begin with marches on Aug. 2 in the Zamora province and conclude in Quito for an uprising on Aug. 10.

“Everyone needs to know that CONAIE is not the only indigenous voice in the country,” Franklin Columba, leader of the National Confederation of Campesino, Indigenous and Black Organizations (FENOCIN) told teleSUR English on Thursday. “Here there are many organizations that also have their own processes.”

CONAIE’s demands are varied. For many indigenous activists government withdrawal from their land and a repeal of water laws are essential. Others have joined protests lead by the wealthy right-wing opposition leaders that have rejected of the capital gains bill and inheritance tax proposed by the national government to redistribute wealth. … continue

Why Russia Shut Down NED Fronts

Consortium News | July 30, 2015

The neocon-flagship Washington Post fired a propaganda broadside at President Putin for shutting down the Russian activities of the National Endowment for Democracy, but left out key facts like NED’s U.S. government funding, its quasi-CIA role, and its plans for regime change in Moscow, writes Robert Parry. – Read article

Russian Duma dares to limit Imperial power

OffGuardian | July 29, 2015

In a brazen move, designed to ensure that Russia is ruled by Russians, the Duma has passed laws limiting the powers of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to operate inside Russia. The first target being the National Endowment for Democracy. This is a terrible blow for freedom around the world, according to The Guardian, because the NED is simply an oasis of decency in Putin’s Empire of Evil… continue

Why Obama’s “Safe Zone” in Syria Will Inflame the War Zone

By Shamus Cooke | CounterPunch | July 31, 2015

The road to war is paved with a thousand lies. A fresh fib was tossed on the lie-cluttered warpath to Syria, when it was announced that the U.S. and Turkey would create a “safe zone” inside of Syria — supposedly to be aimed against ISIS.

This “safe zone” is a major escalation of war, but it was described in soft tones by the media. In reality a “safe zone” is a “no-fly zone,” meaning that a nation is planning to implement military air superiority inside the boundaries of another nation. It’s long recognized by the international community and U.S. military personnel as a major act of war.  In a war zone an area is made “safe” by destroying anything in it or around that appears threatening.

Turkey has been demanding this no-fly zone from Obama since the Syrian war started. It’s been discussed throughout the conflict and even in recent months, though the intended target was always the Syrian government.

And suddenly the no-fly zone is happening — right where Turkey always wanted it — but it’s being labeled an “anti-ISIS” safe zone, instead of its proper name: “Anti Kurdish and anti-Syrian government” safe zone.

The U.S. media swallowed the name change without blinking, but many international media outlets knew better. … continue

Viet Nam a Half Century Later

By David Swanson | War Is A Crime | July 30, 2015

vietnamJimmy Carter called a war waged in Vietnam by the United States — a war that killed 60,000 Americans and 4,000,000 Vietnamese, without burning down a single U.S. town or forest — “mutual” damage. Ronald Reagan called it a “noble” and “just cause.” Barack Obama promotes the myth of the widespread mistreatment of returning U.S. veterans, denounces the Vietnamese as “brutal,” and has launched a 13-year, $65 million propaganda program to glorify what the Vietnamese call the American War:

As we observe the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War, we reflect with solemn reverence upon the valor of a generation that served with honor. We pay tribute to the more than 3 million servicemen and women who left their families to serve bravely, a world away . . . They pushed through jungles and rice paddies, heat and monsoon, fighting heroically to protect the ideals we hold dear as Americans.

Which ideals might those have been? Remember, this was the bad war in contrast to which World War II acquired the ridiculous label “good war.” But the Pentagon is intent on undoing any accurate memory of Vietnam. … continue

Israeli parliament approves bill allowing the force-feeding of prisoners

By Andrea Germanos | Common Dreams | July 30, 2015

The Israeli parliament on Thursday passed a law allowing for the force-feeding of prisoners. It has been criticized as providing “a legislative foundation for torture.”

Medical organizations, including the Israeli Medical Association, have denounced force feedings as violating human rights and medical ethics. […]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year noted the use of force-feeding at the Guantanamo prison to help make his case for swift passage of the bill.

Among the members of parliament speaking out against the legislation was Dov Khenin of the Joint Arab List, who said during debate ahead of the vote that it is “cruel, dangerous and unnecessary.”

“No hunger-striking prisoner has ever died in the State of Israel, but 50 prisoners who were force-fed did die. This law kills, and it permits things that are prohibited according to international norms,” he said. … Full article

In NY Times the Fate of One Israeli Soldier Trumps Massive Suffering in Gaza

By Barbara Erickson | Times Warp | July 30, 2015

Black Friday: Carnage in Rafah,” a new report by Amnesty International, has drawn international media attention with its accounts of destruction and suffering during four days of the Gaza conflict last year. Headlines worldwide announce charges of Israeli war crimes, and photos present readers with towering columns of smoke, smoldering ruins and grieving Palestinians.

It is a story of suffering on a massive scale, but in reporting this narrative The New York Times has chosen to look not at Gaza and its agony but, once again, at Israel. Thus we find an article that gives focus to Israeli losses—a soldier missing in action, his comrades at arms and his bereaved family. The photo is of two Israeli parents grieving by a tombstone.

In her story, “Signs of War Crimes Seen in Israeli Hunt for Ambushed Soldier,” Isabel Kershner imposes this twist on a story of Palestinian suffering and Israeli atrocities by overplaying one element of the narrative: The attacks on the southern Gaza city of Rafah came after Lt. Hadar Goldin was captured on Aug. 1 and were a response to this event. … continue

AL-KHALIL (HEBRON): Palestinian children targeted by the Israeli Military

Unknown2-300x300CPTnet | July 31, 2015

“Recognizing that, in all countries in the world, there are children living in exceptionally difficult conditions, and that such children need special consideration…” – from the Preamble of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

In the past two weeks, CPT has witnessed a significant increase in the targeting of Palestinian children by Israeli occupying forces. From soldiers confiscating their bicycles to chasing them down in the street, the Israeli occupying forces are stripping children of their fundamental right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities.

These are the stories that CPT has documented in Hebron’s Old City, but many more stories of boys and girls remain invisible. … continue

Israeli army stops UN agricultural project in Jordan Valley

Palestine Information Center – July 31, 2015

JORDAN VALLEY – The Israeli occupation army issued orders to demolish a water tank belonging to a UN-funded agricultural project and to freeze the project in al-Karda village, north of the Jordan Valley.

Local sources reported that Israeli soldiers handed those in charge of the project a written order threatening to demolish a tank used for irrigation and ordering them to halt the whole project at the pretext it is located in the Israel-controlled area C.

The UN Development Programme had provided the Karda villagers with a tank to store water as part of a project to develop the agricultural activities in their village.

Zionist settlers kill Palestinian toddler in arson attack

Ma’an – July 31, 2015

baby_killedNABLUS – Israeli settlers killed a Palestinian toddler and injured four others early Friday morning after setting their home ablaze near Nablus in the occupied West Bank in what the Israeli leadership called an act of terrorism.

Israeli settlers smashed the windows of two homes in the Palestinian village of Duma before throwing flammable liquids and Molotov cocktails inside, a local resident told Ma’an.

Ali Saad Dawabsha, one-and-a-half years old, was trapped in the house and died shortly after sustaining serious burns, said Ghassan Daghlas, a local official who monitors settlement activity in the northern West Bank.

His mother and father, Riham and Saad, and their son Ahmad, four, also sustained serious injuries and were evacuated by Israeli forces to hospital.

The mother was in critical condition with third-degree burns covering 90 percent of her body, an Israeli doctor told public radio, stressing that her life was threatened. The father had burns on 80 percent of his body. … continue

Settler runs over Palestinian in East Jerusalem

Ma’an – July 31, 2015

JERUSALEM – An Israeli settler ran over a Palestinian with a car while he was performing prayers in an occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood on Friday, a local group said.

Majdi Abbassi from the Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan said that the settler deliberately ran over the man while he was praying in the Ras al-Amud neighborhood.

Abbassi added that the settler fled the scene to a nearby settlement built on private land land confiscated from Palestinian residents of Ras al-Amud.

He said that Israeli forces were deployed in the area and “provided the settler with protection.”

The current condition of the man is unknown.

Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld did not immediately respond for comment.

Israeli authorities restricted access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque earlier today, barring men under the age of 50 from performing Friday prayers in the holy site located in East Jerusalem nearby the neighborhood of Silwan. … Full article

Israel restricts access to Aqsa mosque after West Bank arson attack

al-aqsa-mosque-through-bars_190_190Ma’an – July 31, 2015

JERUSALEM – Israeli police imposed restrictions on Palestinian access to the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem on Friday following a settler attack in the occupied West Bank which killed a Palestinian toddler, a mosque official said.

Azzam al-Khatib, General Director of the Jerusalem Endowment and Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs, told Ma’an that men under 50 will not be allowed to attend Friday prayers.

There were no restrictions on women entering the mosque.

Israeli police have closed most of the gates leading to Al-Aqsa, with only the Lion Gate, Hatta Gate, Council Gate, and Chain Gate still open. … Full article

Russia to deliver updated S-300 missile system to Iran

Press TV – July 30, 2015

A high-ranking Russian official says Moscow is working to upgrade the S-300 surface-to-air missile defense system it plans to deliver to Iran.

Vladimir Kozhin, President Vladimir Putin’s aide on military and technical cooperation, said on Thursday that the Russian-built S-300 air defense system is to be modernized before being delivered to Iran, given the fact the original contract was struck a long time ago.

Last month, Yan Novikov, the chief executive of Russian state arms producer, Almaz-Antey, confirmed the removal of all restrictions on S-300 deliveries to Tehran. … Full article

‘Rubber stamp for endless detention’: Judge rejects Gitmo detainee’s legal challenge

RT | July 31, 2015

A federal judge has rejected a legal challenge from a Guantanamo Bay inmate who said his continued imprisonment was unlawful since President Barack Obama had declared an end to the war in Afghanistan. The detainee has been held for 13 years.

The challenge brought by lawyers for detainee Muktar Yahya Najee al-Warafi said the Obama administration’s statement that the war in Afghanistan had come to an end made their client’s detention unlawful under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force of 2001. The authorization provides legal justification for imprisoning foreign fighters captured overseas.

The plaintiff’s argument also pointed to President Obama’s January 2015 speech declaring that “our combat mission in Afghanistan is over.”

The Washington, DC federal judge, Royce Lambert, wrote in his 14-page opinion that the president’s statement notwithstanding, the government had offered “convincing evidence the US involvement in the fighting in Afghanistan, against Al-Qaeda and Taliban forces alike, has not stopped,” and that al-Warafi’s detention remains legal.

“A court cannot look to political speeches alone to determine factual and legal realities merely because doing so would be easier than looking at all the relevant evidence,” Lambeth wrote, according to a report by the Associated Press. “The government may not always mean what it says or say what it means.” … continue

Six African-American women found dead in jail in July

RT – July 31, 2015

CLHuM_DUYAA8TfbA total of six African-American women have been found dead in police custody in just the last month. Most of the deceased women had been in jail for no more than two days and held for minor charges. Their deaths are all under investigation.

The six women are: Sandra Bland of Texas, Kindra Chapman of Alabama, Joyce Curnell of South Carolina, Ralkina Jones of Ohio, Alexis McGovern of Missouri, and Raynetta Turner of New York.

It has been 17 days since activist Sandra Bland was found hanging in her cell in Texas three days after being arrested for a traffic violation. On Thursday, the activist peace organization CODEPINK joined the DC Chapter of Black Lives Matter in delivering a petition with over 500,000 signatures to the Department of Justice, demanding a thorough investigation into the events surrounding Bland’s arrest and death.

Bland’s death has once again raised questions about how inmates, and particularly women, are treated in custody. […]

“Deaths in police custody are often associated with excessive force, medical neglect, or failure to prevent suicide, and they are more common than they should be,” Matt Simpson, senior policy strategist for the ACLU of Texas, told Reuters. … Full article

Cincinnati Cop Who Killed Samuel DuBose Already Out of Jail

By Claire Bernish | ANTIMEDIA | July 30, 2015

Cincinnati, Ohio — After spending one day in jail, University of Cincinnati police officer Ray Tensing has already been released from custody on bail following his indictment for the murder of Samuel DuBose. Meanwhile, two UC Cincinnati police officers have now been placed on leave in the fallout of the fatal shooting of Sam DuBose by officer Ray Tensing.

Tensing was indicted for murder by a grand jury on Wednesday and officers Phillip Kidd and David Lindenschmidt testified that “[t]hey didn’t see anything,” said Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters.

At the time of the incident, Tensing had claimed he shot DuBose after a scuffle led to him being dragged down the street by DuBose’s car. Tensing’s body cam footage—released to the public on the same day charges were announced—proved that story was fabricated. Now the video from Kidd’s body cam has also been released, and shows him arriving on scene and proceeding to corroborate Tensing’s story—the same scenario repeated in the official police report of the incident.

Despite video evidence to the contrary, Tensing can be heard in Kidd’s body cam footage explaining how he’d been dragged, to which Kidd says, “Yeah, I saw that.” When Tensing is overheard explaining the same story to yet another officer on the scene, Kidd says, “Don’t say anything.” … continue

Egypt arrests 79 Brotherhood members in 24 hours

Press TV – July 31, 2015

Egyptian security forces have arrested 79 members and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood movement cross the country in the past 24 hours, Press TV reports.

Security sources said on Thursday that they had taken 27 middle-ranking Brotherhood cadres into custody on alleged charges of committing and inciting violence against state institutions and public utilities.

Another 16 members of the movement were also detained in a number of provinces across the North African country, the sources noted, adding that 18 supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi were also arrested in the central province of Minya on accusation of trying to commit acts of violence in the Suez Canal area.

A total of 18 members and backers of the now outlawed group were also arrested in the Suez Canal province of Ismailia as well as the sea port city of Suez. … Full article

Armed US Soldiers Arrested in Vienna Airport on Their Way to Ukraine

Sputnik – 30.07.2015

The soldiers carried assault rifles in their luggage, but had no approval, Kurier reported.

A few days ago, a group of American soldiers caused a security alert at Vienna’s Schwechat airport. The men were stopped while trying to travel with army weapons to Ukraine without any necessary permits, the newspaper wrote.

The Austrian police had to intervene and remove the weapons. An investigation into the case was launched.

The nine US soldiers were on their way from Washington to Ukraine, where they were to be deployed.

“However, since there were problems with their connecting flight after a stopover in Schwechat, they had to rebook their flight and, therefore, leave the transit area,” Colonel Michael Bauer, Defense Ministry spokesman said.

M16 assault rifles and pistols were discovered in the luggage of the American soldiers at a security checkpoint. The incident caused huge shock, because the weapons were not declared and registered and, thus, carried illegally.

The soldiers had not obtained the required transit approval by Austria. In special cases, the stay or transit of foreign military forces may be officially allowed after completing the application procedure, but the US soldiers did not send any required requests.

The attempt by the American embassy to obtain the approval after the incident was rejected for legal reasons. Instead of going to Ukraine, the soldiers had to fly back home to Washington and were allowed to take the weapons with them, the newspaper reported.

‘MH17 tribunal is pure propaganda ploy’ Ron Paul Institute exec director

Cop Shoots and Kills Unarmed Teenager During Sting Operation Over a Bag of Marijuana

By Justin Gardner | The Free Thought Project | July 30, 2015

Columbia, SC — The war on nature continues to claim the lives of innocent young people. In Columbia, South Carolina a teenager lost his life Sunday night for the heinous act of driving a woman to sell a bag of marijuana. It happened in a similar fashion to the shooting of Samuel Dubose by Officer Ray Tensing, who was just charged with murder.

Zachary Hammond, 19, was shot to death through an open side window by a police officer assisting in the sting operation. While real crimes were happening elsewhere, this cop and an undercover agent were setting people up for selling a plant that actually happens to be legal in many other states.

“According to the account of the incident given to media by Police Chief John Covington, the officer “fired two shots in self-defense” as Zachary “drove his vehicle directly at the officer” in the back parking lot of Hardee’s restaurant on U.S. 123.

Covington said Tuesday that the car was turning toward the officer and he was in its path. The officer fired through the driver’s side window to keep the car from hitting him as it approached from an angle, the chief said.

Instead of getting out of the way, the officer felt that it was more important to shoot the driver to death than let that dangerous bag of marijuana threaten the public. Irony at its most tragic.

If you are in front of a car, that is going to run you over, how do you manage to fire through a side window?

The incident is par for the course in South Carolina where, according to the Post and Courier, “one in four police shootings in South Carolina involve cops firing at or into vehicles.”

Officers repeatedly claim that vehicles are heading toward them, causing them to “fear for their lives,” but an investigative report from earlier in the year “… found that in case after case officers fired into the sides of vehicles as they were speeding away.”

The fact that Zachary was shot through the side window in the upper left torso and collarbone/shoulder area suggests that the car was, indeed, driving past the officer. … Full article

New Jersey State Trooper Fires Gun at Teens for Mistakenly Knocking on his Door

By Carlos Miller | PINAC | July 30, 2015

Three teens mistakenly walked up to the home of a New Jersey state trooper at 2 a.m. last Sunday and began knocking on the door, thinking it was their friend’s home, who lives on the same block.

But when a man on the other side of the door began yelling and cursing at them, they realized they had the wrong home and began walking back to their car.

When the angry man stepped out of the home, they began running and hopped in their car.

And when they saw him aiming a gun with a laser pointer towards them, they stepped on the accelerator to make their escape down the street in front of the home.

But the off-duty trooper, whose name is Kissinger Barreau, stepped into the street and fired three shots, including one that struck the tire. … continue

Judge Who Took Kids from Off-Grid Family, Same Judge who Killed his Own Son and Wasn’t Arrested

By Justin Gardner | The Free Thought Project | July 30, 2015

Hot Springs, Ark — On Monday, we reported on the tragic case of 18-month-old Thomas Naramore, who died after being left in a hot vehicle for four hours. The father, Wade Naramore, is a Garland County circuit court judge and has not been arrested despite the fact that he admitted to leaving his son in the car.

The lack of an arrest, coupled with the fact that other people have been immediately arrested in similar situations, raises suspicions that Naramore is being treated favorably because of his status as a judge.

In another twist to this story, Naramore is the same judge who presided over a child endangerment case in January that gained widespread attention. Seven children were taken from Hal and Michelle Stanley because the parents possessed a legal, popular health supplement called Miracle Mineral Solution. Judge Naramore ruled that the Department of Human Services should keep the kids in custody, based on other allegations of abuse and neglect.

This is hard to believe after hearing the positive comments from neighbors. It could be that the Stanleys’ “off the grid” lifestyle and independence from government has something to do with their persecution. … continue

Bill Would Give US President Power to Revoke Passports Without Due Process

Sputnik – 30.07.2015

In an effort to prevent potential terrorists from moving within the United States, the House of Representatives passed a bill which allows the US government to revoke the passport of anyone it deems a threat. The move has drawn heavy criticism from liberty advocates who say the bill violates the Constitution.

“The Benedict Arnold traitors who have turned against America and joined the ranks of the terrorist army ISIS should lose all rights afforded to our citizens,” said Republican Representative Ted Poe of Texas in a statement.

“These people are not returning to America to open coffee shops, they are coming back to kill. We must stop them from coming back at all.”

To that end, Poe sponsored a bill known as the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Passport Revocation Act. After only 15 minutes of debate, the bill was approved by the House of Representatives last Tuesday, and is currently being considered by the Senate.

Under the act, “the Secretary of State may refuse to issue a passport to any individual whom the Secretary has determined has aided, assisted, abetted, or otherwise helped an organization the Secretary has designated as a foreign terrorist organization.”

It also allows the Secretary to “revoke a passport previously issued to any individual” based on the same criteria.

In essence, the bill is a stricter version of laws already on the books. While current US law allows passports to be revoked for any number of national security reasons, those decisions can always be appealed by the individual. … continue

Obama and Kerry Play with Fire on Iran Agreement

By Sheldon Richman | Free Association | July 29, 2015

Barack Obama and John Kerry are playing with fire. They presumably want Congress and the American public to accept the nuclear agreement they and four other governments struck with Iran, but they work against their own objective by accepting the false premise of their opponents: namely, that Iran’s regime is untrustworthy, dangerous, bent on becoming a nuclear power — and containable only by a U.S. readiness to wage war.

Who knows if the president and secretary of state really believe this? But they ought to know that this premise is wrong. … continue

Obama’s Egypt Policy Breeds Terrorism

Consortium News | July 29, 2015

President Obama has gotten in line behind the Israeli-Saudi preference in Egypt for the brutal dictatorship of Gen. al-Sisi over the elected (but now deposed) Muslim Brotherhood government of President Morsi, a posture so shocking that even some U.S. neocons object, writes Jonathan Marshall. – Read article

N Korea Calls on US to Halt Drills With S Korea to Establish Dialogue

Sputnik – 30.07.2015

MOSCOW — Pyongyang called on Washington to halt joint military exercises with Seoul so that a dialogue can be established, a North Korean Foreign Ministry spokesperson said Thursday.

“If the U.S., not the DPRK, stops such hostile acts as joint military maneuvers and makes a decision to go the other way, it will be possible to resume dialogue and settle many issues,” the spokesperson said, quoted by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

According to the foreign ministry, tensions on the Korean peninsula persist due to US hostility towards Pyongyang.

“The evil cycle of tension will persist and dialogue will not be held before the U.S. shows its much-touted sincere ‘will for dialogue’ by stopping the joint military maneuvers,” the spokesperson stated. … continue

July – 2015

June – 2015


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