Tag Archive: Palestinians

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New York Times


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Credit Fabrizio Bensch/Reuters

The claim by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel that a Palestinian persuaded Adolf Hitler to exterminate the Jews of Europe is outrageous.

It is outrageous because the Holocaust is far too terrible a crime to be exploited for political ends, especially in the state linked so closely to the tragedy of the Jewish people. It is outrageous because the only apparent purpose is to demonize the Palestinians and the current leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and to give the impression that their resistance is based solely on a longstanding hatred of the Jews, and not on their occupation by Israel or any other grievance. And it comes at a time of renewed tension in Israel, with a wave of lone-wolf attacks on Jews by knife-wielding Palestinians.

The Israeli prime minister’s assertion before the World Zionist Congress on Tuesday was not the first time he has alleged that Haj Amin al-Husseini, a grand mufti of Jerusalem, Arab nationalist and zealous foe of Zionism, was one of the instigators of the Holocaust. This time, however, Mr. Netanyahu went further and absurdly portrayed Mr. Husseini as the decisive voice in persuading a purportedly wavering Hitler to exterminate the Jews. While it is a fact that Mr. Husseini met with Hitler in 1941 in search of support, only a handful of fringe historians have claimed, with no evidence, that he planted the idea of the “final solution.”

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We’re responsible for Holocaust, not Palestinian mufti – Germany on Netanyahu remarks

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel hold a joint news conference at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany October 21, 2015. © Fabrizio Bensch
Germany has addressed comments made by Benjamin Netanyahu, in which the Israeli leader accused the World War II Palestinian grand mufti of inspiring the Holocaust. Berlin said it must never be forgotten that responsibility lies with Germany.

“All Germans know the history of the murderous race mania of the Nazis that led to the break with civilization that was the Holocaust,” Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said when asked about Netanyahu’s Tuesday remarks.

“This is taught in German schools for good reason: it must never be forgotten. And I see no reason to change our view of history in any way. We know that responsibility for this crime against humanity is German and very much our own,” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by Reuters.


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Politics and Legislation

Twenty-Two States File Brief Asking Supreme Court to Back Off Citizens United

Ian Millhiser
Think Progress / News Report
“While Citizens United enjoys strong support among Republican officials (and among the five Republican justices responsible for it), few Americans share this view.”

Twenty-two states joined an amicus brief that will be filed today in the Supreme Court by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman (D) calling for the Supreme Court to back off its election-buying decision in Citizens United. The brief, which supports the state of Montana’s effort to preserve its ban on corporate money in elections, argues that state elections present an even greater risk than federal elections of being corrupted by corporate money — and thus states should be allowed to restrict such money even if the justice cling to their idiosyncratic belief that federal bans on corporate election spending are unconstitutional.

Sadly, the states’ brief only highlights the partisan impact of Citizens United. Of the 22 states that joined the brief, only three — Idaho, Washington and Utah — have Republican attorneys general. Additionally, top Republican elected officials and lobbying organizations, including Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, previously filed briefs calling for the justices to redouble their commitment to corporate influence on elections.

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The Swing Vote: Why Independents Will Decide the 2012 Election

Published on May 19, 2012 by

“In the past four years, two and a half million people have left the Democratic and Republican parties,” explains Linda Killian, author of the new book The Swing Vote: The Untapped Power of Independents. Not only are these voters sick of the two dominant parties, Killian believes they are increasingly determining electoral outcomes. “They voted for Barack Obama, they voted for the Democrats in 2006, [but] they swung 19 points in voting for the Republicans in 2010.”

Killian sat down with Reason.tv’s Nick Gillespie to examine what makes a swing voter, their growing importance, and if their socially tolerant and fiscally responsible viewpoints should buoy libertarians.

Runs about 6.40 minutes

Produced by Meredith Bragg. Camera by Meredith Bragg and Josh Swain.

Visit http://www.reason.tv for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV’s YouTube Channel to receive automatic updates when new material goes live.

Talk to Al Jazeera – Ali Salim el-Beidh: Separating South Yemen

Published on May 19, 2012 by

Is it possible for a united Yemen to move towards a new future or will the forces that are advocating a division of the country win in the end?

Ali Salim el Beidh, the leader of the separatist movement in South Yemen, is the man now considered one of the most important figures in this respect.

Obama, NATO leaders chart path out of Afghanistan

President Obama and Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai met Sunday at the NATO summit in Chicago to discuss the transition of power in Afghanistan.

By NBC News and news services

Updated 6:22 p.m. ET: CHICAGO — President Barack Obama on Sunday pressed world leaders to help implement a strategy for post-2014 Afghanistan after U.S. troops leave, a transition that Afghan President Hamid Karzai said will mark the day that his war-torn country is “no longer a burden” on the rest of the world.

Obama and Karzai met on the sidelines of the NATO summit on Sunday to discuss Afghanistan’s post-conflict future. After the meeting, Obama told reporters that the two-day summit would focus on Afghanistan’s move to peace and stability after a decade of war.

“We still have a lot of work to do and there will be great challenges ahead,” Obama said. “The loss of life continues in Afghanistan and there will be hard days ahead.”

Standing next to Obama, Karzai reaffirmed his commitment to the transition timetable process, which he said will lead to a time when Afghanistan “is no longer a burden on the shoulder of our friends in the international community, on the shoulders of the United States and other allies.”

Karzai also thanked Americans for the help that their “taxpayer money” has done in Afghanistan.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais / AP

President Barack Obama, right, shakes hands with with Afghan President Hamid Karzai during their meeting at the NATO summit in Chicago on Sunday.

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Congressmen Seek To Lift Propaganda Ban

Propaganda that was supposed to target foreigners could now be aimed at Americans, reversing a longstanding policy. “Disconcerting and dangerous,” says Shank.

  Michael Hastings BuzzFeed Staff

An amendment that would legalize the use of propaganda on American audiences is being inserted into the latest defense authorization bill, BuzzFeed has learned.

The amendment would “strike the current ban on domestic dissemination” of propaganda material produced by the State Department and the Pentagon, according to the summary of the law at the House Rules Committee’s official website.

The tweak to the bill would essentially neutralize two previous acts—the Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 and Foreign Relations Authorization Act in 1987—that had been passed to protect U.S. audiences from our own government’s misinformation campaigns.

The bi-partisan amendment is sponsored by Rep. Mac Thornberry from Texas and Rep. Adam Smith from Washington State.

In a little noticed press release earlier in the week — buried beneath the other high-profile issues in the $642 billion defense bill, including indefinite detention and a prohibition on gay marriage at military installations — Thornberry

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‘Election silence’ prevails in Egypt as final countdown to landmark voting starts

Monday, 21 May 2012

Egypt’s 13 presidential candidates are prohibited from any public activities that can influence the voters’ decisions during the two days of ‘election silence’. (File photo)

Egypt’s 13 presidential candidates are prohibited from any public activities that can influence the voters’ decisions during the two days of ‘election silence’. (File photo)

By Al Arabiya with Agencies

Egypt started a ban on all activities of presidential campaigning dubbed “election silence” on Monday that will last for two days before the landmark voting kicks off on May 23-24.

According to the rules laid by the Supreme Presidential Election Commission, candidates are prohibited from any public activities that can influence the voters’ decisions before casting their ballots in the first presidential poll that follows the ouster of former president Hosni Mubarak.

Media platforms are also subject to the ban. They are prohibited from airing any publicity advertisements for presidential candidates or conducting any interviews with them.

A runoff for the landmark polls will be held on June 16-17 if no single candidate wins an absolute majority. The country’s next president will be formally named on June 21.

The main contenders in the elections are former Arab League chief Amr Moussa; Islamist Abdul Muniem Abul Fotouh; Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohammed Mursi; last prime minister of Mubarak’s era Ahmed Shafiq and leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi.

Sketchy polls taken by a government-funded think tank and the cabinet’s research division show Mursi trailing behind moderate Islamist Abul Fotouh, Mussa, Shafiq and Sabbahi.

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Denmark to start labeling goods made in illegal Israeli settlements

Israel says it is being singled out since special labels are not applied to products made in dozens of other places where territorial conflicts exist. (Reuters)

Israel says it is being singled out since special labels are not applied to products made in dozens of other places where territorial conflicts exist. (Reuters)

By Sara Ghasemilee
Al Arabiya

It should be crystal clear to Danish consumers if a product they are about to purchase was made in an Israeli settlement, the foreign ministry announced earlier this week.

Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal wants to introduce a labeling system for all goods imported from West Bank settlements “which are illegal according to international law.”

“This is a step that will clearly demonstrate to consumers that these products are produced under conditions that, not only a Danish government, but European governments in general do not approve of. And so it is up to consumers whether they want to purchase the goods or not,” Soevndal said to Danish newspaper Politiken.

The labeling system will be offered to Danish supermarkets and they will be free to decide if they want to implement it or not. But Soevndal said he was confident that businesses will want to partake in the system and referred to Great Britain which implemented a similar arrangement “with great success.” Soevndal also has a firm belief that the settlement issue causes so much resentment that consumers will change their behavior.

“I am convinced that the labeling will have a very significant and direct impact on imports, but exactly how much is impossible to guess,” he said.

The Danish labeling initiative comes at a time when the European Union has agreed to tighten the monitoring of the trade agreement with Israel, which exempts goods produced in the Jewish state from customs duty.

With a better identification of the origin of the goods and improved documentation at customs, the EU is attempting to make sure that manufacturers producing the goods in illegal settlements do not profit from the duty-free agreement.

“Our intention is to ensure that the trade agreement with Israel is not being used to smuggle settlement products,” said Soevndal.

Soevdal added that the new Danish labeling system should be viewed in relation to the EU aim of a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians “that is being made increasingly difficult to obtain due to settlements.”

“Therefore, we hope to show the Palestinians a world that is actually concerned that these illegal settlements should not be allowed to continue,” said Soevndal.

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Iranian MP accuses Revolutionary Guards of interfering in election

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps have been accused of tampering with recent parliamentary election results. (Reuters)

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps have been accused of tampering with recent parliamentary election results. (Reuters)

By Najah Mohamed Ali
Al Arabiya

Iranian veteran conservative MP Ali Motahari accused the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) of interfering in the results of the latest parliamentary elections amid retaliation threats by IRGC senior officials.

IRGC General Ramadan Sharif, was quoted in a statement posted on the IRGC-affiliated Fars News Agency as saying the military body is, and will always be, committed to the teachings of the leader of the 1979 Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khomeini and will therefore never interfere in legislative elections.

The IRGC, the statement added, did not influence in any way the results of the March 2 elections, which witnessed a major victory for the supporters of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, some of whom are IRGC members.

IRGC members were infuriated by the accusations Motahari, one of Iran’s most daring and independent MPs, hurled at them in the parliament session held Sunday and threatened to take the MP to court if he does not withdraw his “allegations.”

Motahari, who called for the questioning and possible impeachment of the president, also accused Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his brother-in-law and chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei of spreading vice among the youth and creating the suitable environment for indecent behavior.

“I suggest that you open nightclubs to satisfy the sexual desires of the youth,” he once said, addressing Ahmadinejad.

Al Arabiya News Channel and AlArabiya.net ran on March 3 reports stressing that the ninth parliamentary elections since the 1979 revolution have witnessed a wide range of violations such as rigging and vote buying in the capital Tehran and other Iranian cities.

Those violations, reports explained, were committed by various political powers but especially by the IRGC and the IRGC-affiliated volunteer militia the Basij.

According to an Al Arabiya report, IRGC and Basij members toured the streets on their bikes, paid money to pedestrians, and told them to vote for the IRGC list.

Large numbers of villagers were also transferred to big cities to give the impression that the turnout was high in the elections described by several opposition figures inside and outside Iran as a “farce.”

Several of those involved in paying money were arrested in several cities only to be released later after IRGC interfered.

(Translated from Arabic by Sonia Farid)

Is This Who We Are As A Nation?

Article image
Dennis Kucinich
NationofChange / Statement
The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R. 4310, authorizes a total of $642.7 billion.

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released the following statement detailing why he voted against the National Defense Authorization Act.

“The National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), H.R. 4310, authorizes a total of $642.7 billion.  According to Congressional Quarterly, defense spending is expected to constitute nearly 60% of all federal discretionary spending this year. This expensive piece of legislation is a bad investment. It doubles down on war as an economic engine at a time when our domestic economy desperately needs attention.

“H.R. 4310 includes language that paves the way for war with Iran. It specifically calls for aggressive deployment of our armed services to begin ‘credible, visible preparations for a military option.’ It directs the Secretary of Defense to pre-position the U.S. Armed Forces in key locations in the Middle East in order to threaten Iran. It specifically authorizes actions ‘including military action if required.’ I strongly supported an amendment by Representative John Conyers, Jr. that clarified that nothing in the underlying bill authorizes war with Iran.  The acceptance of that amendment was a critical victory, but the bill still prepares for war, making war more likely.

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India’s plummeting rupee raises concern

Published on May 19, 2012 by

The Indian rupee, losing its value since last year, has now hit an all-time low against the US dollar.

The currency has lost more than 20 per cent since 2011, contributing to a slow down of India’s GDP growth and a widening of its fiscal deficit.

Critics blame the government’s indecision in introducing financial reforms as the main cause for the rupee’s current crisis.

A greatly devalued rupee means a ballooning import bill, as India buys about 80 per cent of its oil from abroad.

India’s vulnerability to the eurozone crisis is also pushing the rupee downward.

Al Jazeera’s Prerna Suri reports from New Delhi.

Ireland ‘may need’ second bailout

Deutsche Bank said today Ireland's bailed-out banks may need as much as ?4 billion more to deal with loan losses.Deutsche Bank said today Ireland’s bailed-out banks may need as much as ?4 billion more to deal with loan losses.

Ireland’s bailed-out banks may need as much as €4 billion more loan loss provisions than assumed in stress tests last year, which could “tip the balance in favor” of the country requiring a second aid program, Deutsche Bank said in a report today.

“A new, even modest, increase in capital requirements could deter sovereign investor participation and tip the balance in favor of the sovereign requiring a second loan program,” said Deutsche Bank analysts David Lock and Jason Napier.

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Argentina turns to dogs to hunt disappearing dollars

Published on May 19, 2012 by

In Argentina, the government is using dogs to sniff out US dollars.

As part of a crack down on tax evasion, money laundering and cash being sent overseas,  restrictions are being imposed on foreign currency.

Those restrictions have made the dollar, seen as a refuge from double-digit inflation, increasing difficult to find on the streets of the Argentine capital.

In an effort to curb the smuggling of millions in US dollars to neighbouring Uruguay, the government of Cristina Kirchner, the Argentinian president, has employed dogs to snif out the currency.

Al Jazeera’s Lucia Newman reports from Buenos Aires.

Will The European Union Destroy Itself Just To Save The Euro?

Submitted by Tyler Durden
David McWilliams (of Punk Economics) begins his latest excellent discussion by conjuring Clint Eastwood and noting that when it comes to the Fiscal Compact in Europe “they are pissing down our backs and telling us that it is raining”. The Fiscal Compact will NOT strengthen the Euro but in fact by cementing the austerity agenda into law it will make the political environment even more unstable. The Irishman goes on to discuss why Europe is imploding as he insightfully notes that “financial panics do not cause the destruction of wealth, financial panics merely tell you the extent to which wealth has been destroyed by reckless speculation“. The realization that current account deficits and not budget deficits were always the problem in Europe which leaves the fiscal compact akin to a doctor prescribing chemotherapy for heart disease.


Wars and Rumors of War

Mafia suspected in Italy school blast

Published on May 19, 2012 by

A bomb blast outside a school in the south Italian city of Brindisi has killed a teenage girl and injured seven other people.

Two of those caught in the blast are suffering from severe burns.

Al Jazeera’s Nadim Baba reports.

Syrian security forces set off Damascus bombs blamed on al-Qaida – defectors

Attacks were beyond our abilities, says rebel leader, as officers who fled describe regime plots before blasts

Car bombs explode in Damascus

The scene of the deadly blast outside the so-called Palestinian branch intelligence headquarters on 10 May. Photograph: Youssef Badawi/EPA

Military defectors in northern Syria have denounced claims that al-Qaida was behind a series of deadly bombings in Damascus, contradicting the UN secretary general’s assessment that the terror group is taking a lead in the insurgency.

The defectors were speaking before Ban Ki-moon’s claim on Thursday that al-Qaida was responsible for a deadly blast outside one of Syria’s top intelligence services on 10 May, which reportedly killed 55 people and wounded 372.

“A few days ago there was a huge, serious, massive terrorist attack. I believe that there must be al-Qaida behind it,” Ban said at the UN headquarters in New York. “This has created again very serious problems.”

The defectors, interviewed by the Guardian in villages in the Jisr al-Shughour and Jabal al-Zawiya areas this week, alleged that Syrian security forces had caused many of the blasts.

Nine defectors, some of them officers who had fled recently, relayed first-hand accounts of plots they had witnessed being planned or executed that were later blamed on “armed gangs” or al-Qaida.

All have provided details of the plots they say took place and are willing to provide testimonies to international investigators. They say they are reluctant to put their names to their allegations, fearing reprisals against their families.

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Arrested Protester Charges Mistreatment After Police Raid Apartment

Lawyers Deny Group Was Plotting To Make Molotov Cocktails, Only Beer

Darrin Annussek, who was detained by police, talks with the media Friday. (CBS)

Darrin Annussek, who was detained by police, talks with the media Friday. (CBS)

CHICAGO (CBS) — As dignitaries arrive for the NATO Summit in Chicago, protesters and police are making news for an arrest controversy earlier this week in Bridgeport.

For the first time, as CBS 2’s Pam Zekman reports, one of the nine protesters scooped up by police in a controversial raid says he was mistreated and his civil rights violated.

Darrin Annussek says he walked to Chicago from Philadelphia to participate in Occupy protests, only to be seized by police in a raid on an apartment at 32nd and Morgan.

“For 18 hours, we were handcuffed to a bench and our legs were shackled together,” he said. “Some of our cries for the bathroom were either ignored or met with silence.”

Annusek was released Friday morning along with four others reportedly suspected of preparing molotov cocktails. At least one other detainee was released several hours later Friday.

Kris Hermes, of the National Lawyers Guild said: “There is absolutely no evidence of molotov cocktails or any other criminal activity going on at this building.”

A tenant who agreed to host the out-of-town protesters says the police did seize his home-brew making equipment, including buckets, beer bottles and caps.

“If anybody would like some, I would like to offer them a sip of my beer,” said William Vassilakis.

The National Lawyers Guild says the warrantless raid violated their clients’ civil rights.

“It is outrageous behavior on the part of the City of Chicago,” said Sarah Gelsomino.

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NATO chief says no ‘rush for the exits’ in Afghan war

Sunday, 20 May 2012

President Barack Obama once called the Afghan conflict a “war of necessity” and is now looking for an orderly way out as hosts the NATO summit in his home town, Chicago. (Reuters)

President Barack Obama once called the Afghan conflict a “war of necessity” and is now looking for an orderly way out as hosts the NATO summit in his home town, Chicago. (Reuters)

By Missy Ryan and Phil Stewart

NATO leaders sought on Sunday to dispel fears of a rush for the exits in Afghanistan even as the Western alliance met to chart a path out of an unpopular war that has dragged on for more than a decade.

President Barack Obama, who once called the Afghan conflict a “war of necessity” but is now looking for an orderly way out, hosted the NATO summit in his home town, Chicago, a day after major industrialized nations tackled a European debt crisis that threatens the global economy.

The shadow cast by fiscal pressures in Europe and elsewhere followed leaders from Obama’s presidential retreat in Maryland to the talks on Afghanistan, an unwelcome weight on countries mindful of growing public opposition to a costly war that has not defeated the Taliban in nearly 11 years.

Obama, hoping an Afghan exit strategy will help shore up his chances for re-election in November, said the summit would ratify a “broad consensus” for gradually turning over security responsibility to Afghan forces and pulling out most of the 130,000 NATO troops by the end of 2014.

But the Chicago talks faced undercurrents of division, especially with France’s new President Francois Hollande now planning to remove its troops by the end of 2012, two years before the alliance’s timetable.

Seeking to paper over differences, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen expressed confidence the alliance would “maintain solidarity within our coalition,” despite France’s decision.

“There will be no rush for the exits,” Rasmussen told reporters. “We will stay committed to our operation in Afghanistan and see it through to a successful end.”

But signaling tensions over the issue, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters: “We went into Afghanistan together, we want to leave Afghhanistan together.”

Obama, meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the sidelines of the summit, said the meeting would agree on a “vision post-2014 in which we have ended our combat role, the Afghan war as we understand it is over, but our commitment to friendship and partnership with Afghanistan continues.”

Standing next to Obama, Karzai thanked Americans for “your taxpayer money” and said his country looked forward to the day it is “no longer a burden” on the international community. Karzai’s government has been widely criticized for rampant corruption.

Karzai’s comments underscored the political bind that Obama and other Western leaders face in underwriting a unpopular war effort and the build-up of Afghan forces during a time of budget austerity at home.

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Syrian troops clash with rebels in Damascus; militant group claims blasts, vows more

Heavy fighting was reported during the night between regime soldiers and rebels in other parts of Damascus province, the Observatory said. (File photo)

By Al Arabiya with Agencies

Syrian forces ambushed and killed nine army deserters near a north Damascus suburb as fighting between armed rebels and troops raged around the capital during the night, a monitoring group said Monday, as a militant group claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in eastern Syria last week vowed to continue launching attacks.

The deserters were killed as they were retreating under cover of darkness from the village of Jisr al-Ab near Damascus’s Duma suburb, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said, according to AFP.

On Sunday, at least 60 people were killed across Syria, including 40 in an assault by regime forces on a village in central Hama province, Al Arabiya reported.

The watchdog had on Sunday reported fighting between rebels and regime troops near Duma, during which a rocket-propelled grenade exploded near a team of U.N. observers.

No one was hurt in the blast, which came as U.N. truce mission head Major General Robert Mood and peacekeeping chief Herve Ladsous were leading observers around the north Damascus suburb.

Syrian soldiers who were on the spot have attributed the blast to an RPG rocket but U.N. observers have not commented on the nature of the explosion.

Israel army opens probe over settler shooting video

Monday, 21 May 2012

Clashes between settlers from the hardline Yitzhar settlement and Palestinian villagers from Asira al-Qibliya near Nablus took place on Saturday afternoon. (File photo)

Clashes between settlers from the hardline Yitzhar settlement and Palestinian villagers from Asira al-Qibliya near Nablus took place on Saturday afternoon. (File photo)


The Israeli army on Monday said it was investigating an incident that was exposed by two video clips in which troops appeared to stand by without intervening as settlers shot at Palestinians.

The shooting incident took place on Saturday afternoon during stone-throwing clashes between settlers from the hardline Yitzhar settlement and Palestinian villagers from Asira al-Qibliya near Nablus.

The footage, which shows a Palestinian being shot by two settlers in the presence of at least three soldiers, was captured by a volunteer for the Israeli rights group B’Tselem.

The apparent indifference of the soldiers was widely covered by the Israeli press.

In response, the army said troops had arrived at the scene to break up a violent confrontation in which both sides were throwing stones at each other.

“During the confrontation live fire was used; the incident is currently being investigated by the division commander,” a military statement said.

“That said, it appears that the video in question does not reflect the incident in its entirety,” it added, without elaborating.

In one of the clips, two settlers with M-16 assault rifles can be seen opening fire at a stone-thrower in a green shirt who collapses onto the ground after being hit in the head.

In the second clip from a slightly different angle, a third settler can be seen firing with a pistol towards the stone-throwers as three soldiers stand close by doing nothing.

B’Tselem filed a complaint with the police, urging them to prosecute the gunmen, and also with the military police calling for an investigation into suspicions the soldiers “did not adhere to their obligation to protect Palestinians from settler violence.”

“The video footage raises grave suspicions that the soldiers present did not act to prevent the settlers from throwing stones and firing live ammunition at the Palestinians,” the NGO said in a statement late on Sunday.

“The soldiers did not try to remove the settlers and in fact are seen standing by settlers while they are shooting and stone throwing.”


Syrian Violence Spills Into Lebanon

Gun battles rage in Beirut

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff


(Newser) – Don’t look now, but the Syrian conflict might not be confined to Syria anymore. Gun battles broke out in Beirut today between factions supporting and opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the New York Times reports, in Lebanon’s most intense outbreak of violence since the Syrian uprising began. The fighting was eventually quelled by military intervention, but not before a pro-Syrian group had been driven out of its predominantly Sunni neighborhood, and the streets had been lined with burning cars.

The outbreak was sparked by the killing of an anti-Assad Sunni cleric at a Lebanese checkpoint, but tensions have long been simmering. Syria’s army was deployed in Lebanon for 30 years, up until 2005, and Syria still exerts a strong influence on Lebanese politics; Hezbollah, and most Shiite groups support Assad, while most Sunnis oppose him. An al-Jazeera reporter says he saw streets lined with Syrian opposition flags, and others dotted with posters of Assad.


Articles of Interest

Shared Grief: Bereavement brings Israelis & Palestinians together

Published on May 19, 2012 by

Common grief is uniting Israelis and Palestinians who’ve lost loved ones to the long-lasting conflict between them. It’s a unique gathering of suffering parents, who want to increase understanding and bring peace closer. But their goal is all but out of reach, as RT’s Paula Slier reports.

Police gear up in Chicago as thousands join anti-NATO rallies

Published on May 19, 2012 by

Thousands of protesters have flooded Chicago ahead of a NATO summit on Sunday. A huge showdown is expected later, with police already on high alert. Around a dozen activists were arrested on the eve of the gathering – three were charged with conspiracy to cause terror. RT’s Anastasia Churkina is in Chicago.

Muslims revive old pilgrimage route via Jerusalem, angering top clerics

Monday, 21 May 2012

For centuries, Muslim pilgrims visited Jerusalem while on their way to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia. (File photo)

For centuries, Muslim pilgrims visited Jerusalem while on their way to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia. (File photo)

The Associated Press Occupied Jerusalem

After decades of shying away from an ancient pilgrimage route, Muslims are visiting Jerusalem to pray at Islam’s third-holiest site, the revered al-Aqsa mosque.

In doing so, they find themselves caught in a disagreement between some leading Muslim clerics, who oppose such pilgrimages, and Palestinian leaders who encourage them as evidence of the city’s Muslim credentials.

Palestinians say the only Arab visitors have been officials from Arab countries that have peace treaties with Israel. Recent trips here by a top Egyptian cleric and a Jordanian prince sparked angry backlashes in their home countries.

The vast majority of the pilgrims are from non-Arab countries like South Africa, Malaysia and India, where the stigma of visiting Israeli-controlled areas isn’t as powerful.

“Jerusalem is a beautiful place,” said Ali Akbar, 51, a Shiite Muslim who was visiting recently with a group of 40 pilgrims from Mumbai, India. “All Muslims should try to come to Jerusalem and pray and seek the blessings of Allah, the almighty,” Akbar said.

Muslim pilgrims began trickling back beginning around 2008 as violence between Israel and the Palestinians petered out. Palestinian tour guides, hotel operators and religious officials also attribute the increasing numbers to easier travel and rising Muslim middle classes in Asia and Western countries that can afford tickets to the Holy Land.

While Islam’s birthplace is in the Arabian peninsula, Jerusalem is intimately tied with Islam’s beginnings. Mohammed’s first followers prayed toward al-Aqsa and only later turned their prayers east to Mecca.

For centuries, Muslim pilgrims visited Jerusalem while on their way to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina, now in Saudi Arabia. Many Muslims believe visiting Jerusalem deepens the sanctity of their pilgrimage.

But that pilgrimage route was abruptly halted after Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. East Jerusalem is home to the hilltop compound housing both al-Aqsa and the Temple Mount, Judaism’s holiest site.

As a result, many Muslims believe visiting the mosque would amount to recognition of Israel’s claim to the area and be inappropriate when Israel prevents many Palestinians from entering.

Those sentiments have recently softened somewhat, and an estimated 2,000 people have come over the past year. That’s a tiny percentage of the roughly 3 million visitors to Jerusalem annually, mostly Jews and Christian pilgrims — but still a sharp contrast to the almost total absence of Muslim pilgrims here for many decades.

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Syrian activists fake news on travel ban to Lebanon

A screen shot created by Syrian activists pokes fun at Syria becoming the latest country asking citizens not to travel to Lebanon. (Image taken from users on Twitter)

A screen shot created by Syrian activists pokes fun at Syria becoming the latest country asking citizens not to travel to Lebanon. (Image taken from users on Twitter)

By Al Arabiya

Soon after Kuwait issued a warning against its citizens traveling to Lebanon, due to the conflict unraveling in light of the Syrian crisis, Syrian activists followed suit by issuing their own warning.

An image of a broadcast on state TV Al Souriya showing a ticker that urges Syrians not to travel to Lebanon was widely circulated on the internet and social media forums.

The “statement” soon became the butt of jokes online, with people on Twitter calling it ironic, with some saying “look who’s talking?” while others just poked fun at the “breaking news.”

Kuwait on Monday joined other Gulf states like the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, by calling on its citizens to avoid traveling to Lebanon and asking those already in Beirut to leave after deadly clashes linked to the Syrian conflict left two people dead.

In Lebanon, gunbattles between pro- and anti-Syrian groups rocked Beirut overnight Monday, killing at least two people. The fighting came hours after Lebanese soldiers fatally shot an anti-Syrian regime cleric and his bodyguard when they failed to stop at a checkpoint.

Syrian activists often lampoon Syrian officials in videos, caricatures and now fake broadcasts.

Kuwait joins other Gulf states in issuing Lebanon travel warning

Lebanese firemen extinguish a fire set by Lebanese Sunni men at Camille Chamoun Sports City in Beirut, after overnight clashes between Sunni Muslim Future movement supporters and a pro-Syrian group in the Tariq al-Jadideh district. (Reuters)

Lebanese firemen extinguish a fire set by Lebanese Sunni men at Camille Chamoun Sports City in Beirut, after overnight clashes between Sunni Muslim Future movement supporters and a pro-Syrian group in the Tariq al-Jadideh district. (Reuters)

Kuwait City

The Gulf state of Kuwait on Monday urged its citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon and also asked those already present there to leave after deadly clashes linked to the Syrian conflict left two people killed in Beirut.

The foreign ministry called on Kuwaitis to cancel travel plans to Lebanon “due to developments in the tense security situation.”

The ministry’s statement, carried by the official KUNA news agency, also urged Kuwaitis currently in Lebanon to leave the Arab country “for their safety.”

Kuwait’s move follows a similar decision on Saturday by its Gulf partners the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain.

The Kuwaiti call comes after gunbattles between pro- and anti-Syrian groups rocked Beirut overnight Monday, killing at least two people.

An office housing a small pro-Syrian party in Tareek el-Jdideh, a mainly Sunni Muslim neighborhood of west Beirut, was torched during the clashes.

The fighting erupted hours after reports that army troops had shot dead Sheikh Ahmad Abdul Wahad, a prominent anti-Syria Sunni cleric, near a checkpoint in north Lebanon on Sunday. Another cleric in the car was also killed.

Their killing followed a week of clashes between Sunnis hostile to the Syrian regime and Alawites who support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that left 10 people dead in Lebanon’s northern port city of Tripoli.

Israel planting thousands of ‘fake’ Jewish graves around Aqsa Mosque: Palestinian group

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) said Israel has planted 3,000 “fake” Jewish graves so far around the al-Aqsa Mosque. (Photo Courtesy of AFEH)

Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage (AFEH) said Israel has planted 3,000 “fake” Jewish graves so far around the al-Aqsa Mosque. (Photo Courtesy of AFEH)

By Al Arabiya

Israel is implanting “thousands of fake” Jewish graves in the land surrounding al-Aqsa Mosque “at the pretext of carrying out repair and maintenance works and new excavations” in a bid to lay hand on Palestinian and Islamic endowment lands, Al-Aqsa Foundation for Endowment and Heritage said in a report on Monday.

(Photo Courtesy of AFEH)
(Photo Courtesy of AFEH)

“The Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is committing a very ugly crime on Palestinian lands, on Muslim endowment lands, and that is the implanting of thousands of fake Jewish graves in this site,” Abdel Majeed Mohammad, of the Aqsa Foundation was quoted in report as saying.

(Photo Courtesy of AFEH)
(Photo Courtesy of AFEH)

“What we learned from the people of Silwan is that there is limited number of Jewish graves (around Aqsa Mosque). The Israeli occupation is trying to impose a fait accomplice to control Palestinian endowment lands through implanting 3,000 graves.”

“This is the greatest paradox; on the one hand Israel bulldozes Muslim graves in Jerusalem, on the other hands it implants thousands of fake Jewish graves,” Mohammad said.

He added that thousands of Jewish tombstones were planted around the mosque to indicate graves, but underneath, there are no bodies, nor skeletons.


[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

Politics and Legislation

Persian paradox


For the Islamic Republic of Iran, the question of fighting off foreign intervention and “conspiracies” has been a watchword ever since the Iranian Revolution of 1979.

Iranian officials are quick to talk about an unholy trinity of the United States, the United Kingdom and Israel working together to plot in one way or another against Tehran or its allies in the region.

But when sovereign states in the Middle East express their views, or announce certain policies, Iran’s various responses often take the form of naked intervention in the affairs of other countries.

The latest flare-up has emerged in the Gulf, where countries in the Gulf Cooperation Council recently announced that closer ties between member-states were on the table.

No concrete steps toward political unity were taken during Monday’s meeting of the GCC; instead, the question of closer political ties, or even unity, would be tackled at a later date.

But Tehran has responded in full force to the notion by advising Bahrain to stay away from a closer relationship with Saudi Arabia, and urging the Iranian people to turn out Friday for protests against what it says is an “American-Zionist-British” plot.

Moscow court upholds ban against satellite image distributor

by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti)

illustration only

A Moscow court upheld a ban on Friday prohibiting the Russian research and development company ScanEx from distributing satellite images of Earth at a resolution higher than two meters.

Scanex works under license from the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, to collect, process and disseminate Earth remote sensing data.

A 2008 ban prohibited ScanEx from distributing high-resolution images, considered by the defense ministry to contain sensitive military information.

ScanEx appealed the ban, citing the Russian defense minister as saying in 2006 that all restrictions on satellite imagery resolution would be lifted.

Commenting after the court decision was announced, a ScanEx spokesman said the company would file another appeal.

“The whole world can see Russia from space on detailed satellite images, but in Russia these data have not been definitively declassified,” the spokesman said.

Last November Roscosmos announced that it was preparing a bill to lift all restrictions on the dissemination of civil satellite data.

Source: RIA Novosti

Related Links
Daily Russian News
Earth Observation News – Suppiliers, Technology and Application

Jordan monarchy faces growing challenges

by Staff Writers
Amman, Jordan (UPI) May 16, 2012


Jordan’s Queen Rania is coming under mounting criticism over alleged corruption in the Hashemite kingdom’s political elite as the pro-Western monarchy faces major challenges to introduce reforms and scrap the 1994 peace treaty with Israel.

The 41-year-old queen, whose parents are Palestinian, has long faced accusations she was playing too prominent a role in running the largely desert and highly vulnerable state squeezed between the larger powers of Israel, Syria and Saudi Arabia.

But as King Abdullah II, who she married in 1993 when he was a prince not then in line for the Hashemite throne, has sought to ride out the political turbulence from pro-democracy uprisings that have convulsed the Arab world since January 2011, she has become more of a target for popular ire.

The normally high-profile queen, a stylish, cosmopolitan beauty who was born in Kuwait, has been advised by Jordan’s powerful security service to adopt a lower profile to deflect criticism of the monarchy at a time of regional turmoil.

Abdullah, who ascended the throne in 1999 after the death of his father, King Hussein, has repeatedly pledged to introduce sweeping democratic reforms.

But so far he has failed to produce. He has sought to deflect criticism by blaming the governments he appoints. So far he has gone through 10 prime ministers — three in the last 18 months since the Arab Spring began.

The last to go was Awn Shawkat al-Khasawneh, who suddenly resigned April 26 after six months.

That was a major setback for Abdullah’s efforts to maintain stability in the face of the regional upheaval while maintaining as much power as he can for the monarchy established by Britain after World War I.

Khasawneh, a respected international jurist, was apparently the victim of a power struggle with the kingdom’s powerful security service, the General Intelligence Directorate.

The pace of political change has been glacial and talk of meaningful parliamentary democracy, where government would be formed on a parliamentary majority rather than the whims of the monarch, has all but vanished in recent months.

The king, once beyond public criticism, is now coming under direct attack, along with his wife, who is also being accused of corruption. High unemployment and economic woes fuel the growing anger.

Abdullah blamed Khasawneh for dragging his feet on reforms the king says he ordered him to introduce.

But political insiders say Abdullah privately concedes his agenda of gradual reforms has been blocked by powerful elements within the security establishment.

These shadowy figures are determined to prevent Islamists, the most organized opposition group, from making the major political gains their brethren have made in Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia.

Abdullah’s innate caution has been heightened by the bloodbath in Syria, Jordan’s powerful and often aggressive northern neighbor.

More than half Jordan’s 6.5 million population are of Palestinian origin, many of them refugees bitterly opposed to the 1994 peace agreement.

The protests are largely peaceful and tame by Middle Eastern standards, but they mask a growing discontent.

There is also stiff opposition from the Bedouin tribes, bedrock of support for the monarchy.

They feel threatened by the largely urban Palestinian business class that has amassed considerable power and because they fear Israel’s seeking to drive Palestinians out of the West Bank to turn Jordan into a Palestinian state.

The king’s appointment of a prominent conservative, Fayez Tarawneh, to succeed Khasawneh has heightened public anger. Tarawneh is seen as a royal yes-man who won’t press for reforms.

In recent days there has been a nationwide surge of protests by Islamists and leftists demanding the abrogation of the peace treaty.

They’ve been doing that for 18 years. But these days, the mood is becoming darker and more aggressive as other Arab states topple longtime rulers and Israel stalls the peace process.

“For the moment, the opposition calls are for reform rather than regime change, but the signs are becoming clear that Abdullah has failed to understand the new pressures unleashed by the Arab Spring,” said British analyst Julien Barnes-Darcy.

Columnist Lamis Andoni also fears the worst. “The regime’s reached the conclusion — I think it’s a miscalculation — it can carry on without making fundamental changes,” she said.

“It’s betting the protest movement will get weaker and that it can fall back on its traditional power base of tribal leaders. … But the reality is the economic situation will undermine those assumptions.”

Related Links
Democracy in the 21st century at TerraDaily.com

NDAA Authorizes War Against Iran

U.S. Representative from Ohio’s 10th District

This week, Congress is considering two pieces of legislation relating to Iran. The first undermines a diplomatic solution with Iran and lowers the bar for war. The second authorizes a war of choice against Iran and begins military preparations for it.

H.Res.568: Eliminating the Most Viable Alternative to War

The House is expected to vote on H.Res. 568. Read the resolution. Section (6) rejects any United States policy that would rely on efforts to contain a nuclear weapons-capable Iran. Section (7) urges the President to reaffirm the unacceptability of an Iran with nuclear-weapons capability and opposition to any policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to Iranian enrichment.

This language represents a significant shift in U.S. policy and would guarantee that talks with Iran, currently scheduled for May 23, would fail. Current U.S. policy is that Iran cannot acquire nuclear weapons. Instead, H. Res. 568 draws the “redline” for military action at Iran achieving a nuclear weapons “capability,” a nebulous and undefined term that could include a civilian nuclear program. Indeed, it is likely that a negotiated deal to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran and to prevent war would provide for Iranian enrichment for peaceful purposes under the framework of the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons Treaty with strict safeguards and inspections. This language makes such a negotiated solution impossible.

At the same time, the language lowers the threshold for attacking Iran. Countries with nuclear weapons “capability” could include many other countries like Japan or Brazil. It is an unrealistic threshold.

The Former Chief of Staff of Secretary of State Colin Powell has stated that this resolution “reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war.”

H.R. 4310: Authorizing War Against Iran and Preparing the Military for it

While H. Res. 568 undermines our diplomatic efforts and lowers the bar for war, H.R. 4310, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 begins military preparations for war. Section 1221 makes military action against Iran a U.S. policy. Section 1222 directs our armed forces to prepare for war.

Read Full Article Here

14 State Governors Under Fire From White House for Forming Citizen Militias Not Under Federal Control.

Lone Star Watchdog

Right now, what is keeping the new world order from really rearing its ugly head is an armed population, which is the militia at large. The State Governors and the State Legislatures are within their legal right to call up the state militia.

The state militia is not the National Guard. The State Guards or militias proceeded before the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of confederation and the US Constitution. The state defense forces are the not Regular Army or a Professional force. They are unorganized and irregular formations consisting of the people possessing arms not under a centralized command structure.

To prevent such abuses from a centralized government. The Bill of Rights were adopted by the Congress and the original 13 states. The militias and the possession of arms in the hands of a decentralized power is the alternative to having a standing army in peacetime.

The 10 Articles in the Bill of Rights was adopted as expressed in the preamble stating:

In order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best insure the beneficent ends of its institution.

The Bill of rights as a means to restrain Federal; power over the sovereign states and the individual.

In the second Amendment, “A well regulated militia being necessary for the security of a FREE STATE”. That means it is not the National Guard that only came into existence because of the Militia act of 1903(The Dick Act). Many anti-gun advocates on the left argued the “well regulated militia” means the National Guard, which is supposed to be under the command of the state governors. The second part of the second Amendment says after the comma states:



People & Power – Algeria: The revolution that never was

Published on May 17, 2012 by

Why did the uprisings that brought down governments across North Africa and the Middle East fail to materialise in Algeria? Was it, as the government would claim, because of the regime’s ‘progressive leadership’ or has something more sinister and complex been going on? Opponents and human rights activists say it has more to do with a wary population traumatised by the country’s violent past and and living in fear of its secret police. People & Power wanted to find out more, but getting into Algeria is difficult – not least because Al Jazeera has been denied official access to the country since 2004. When our requests for journalist visas were ignored, our filmmakers managed to get in unofficially and were able to work discreetly. Algeria: The revolution that never was reveals what they found.



New French cabinet won’t scare the horses

Published on May 17, 2012 by

May 17 – Chris Hughes of Breakingviews says French politicians will toe the line on Europe, but the question is whether president Francois Hollande’s new cabinet will tackle reform at home.



Economic crisis
Congress MP Bhalchandra Mungekar on Tuesday warned that if government does not take “urgent” steps the country could face a bigger crisis.


NEW DELHI: Amid fragile global economic recovery and its impact on India, Congress member and former Planning Commission member Bhalchandra Mungekar on Tuesday warned that if government does not take “urgent” steps, the country could face a bigger crisis.

“If we do not adopt some of the urgent economic measures, I apprehend that a bigger crisis may be awaiting the country,” he said participating in the discussion on the Finance Bill, 2012 in the Rajya Sabha.

While congratulating finance minister Pranab Mukherjee for intending to amend the FRBM Act, Mungekar said the decision to roll back some tax measures is “most disturbing”.

World Bank agrees $2b loan for Indonesia

THE World Bank has announced it’s ready to provide Indonesia with a $2 billion loan, a backstop against a potential debt crisis in one of Asia’s fastest growing economies.

The World Bank said the loan, requested by the Indonesian government, would be held as a contingency against “possible future shocks and volatility”.

While Indonesia has long seen growth rates that would be the envy of the United States or European nations, the economy has slowed recently thanks to a drop in export demand.

Jakarta and the World Bank will hope the loan sends a message to markets that Indonesia has the firepower to withstand moderate shocks, as it moves to implement economic reforms.

Though Indonesia currently enjoys better terms of borrowing than some indebted European nations, its budget remains vulnerable to external shocks.

Any deepening of the crisis is the eurozone or a slowdown in China or the United States would hit the Indonesian economy hard.

Exports account for around 26 percent of gross domestic product.

But for now, the country appears to be weathering the storm.

According to the Bank of Indonesia, the country will pay an interest rate of 3.85 percent on 10 year bonds, more than Greece pays for three month bonds.

GDP expanded 6.3 percent year-on-year in the first quarter.

Why We Are Going To See Bank Runs Happening All Over Europe (XLF, EWP, EWI, FXE, VGK, EWG, FAZ, FAS)

Michael Snyder: The bank runs that we are watching right now in Greece (NYSEARCA:GREK) are shocking, but they are only just the beginning.  Since May 6th, nearly one billion dollars has been withdrawn from Greek banks.  For a small nation like Greece, that is an absolutely catastrophic number.  At this point, the entire Greek banking system is in danger of collapsing.  If you had money in a Greek bank, why wouldn’t you pull it out?  If Greece leaves the euro, all euros in Greek banks will likely be converted to drachmas, and the value of those drachmas will almost certainly decline dramatically.  In fact, it has been estimated that Greek citizens could see the value of their bank accounts decline by up to 50 percent if Greece leaves the euro.  So if you had money in a Greek bank, it would only make sense to withdraw it and move it to another country as quickly as possible.  And as the eurozone begins to unravel, this is a scenario that we are going to see play out in country after country.  As member nations leave the eurozone, you would be a fool to have your euros in Italian banks or Spanish banks when you could have them in German (NYSEARCA:EWG) banks instead.  So the bank runs that are happening in Greece right now are only a preview of things to come.  Before this crisis is over we are going to see bank runs happening all over Europe (NYSEARCA:VGK).

If Greece leaves the euro (NYSEARCA:FXE), the consequences are likely to be quite messy.  Those that are promoting the idea that a “Grexit” can be done in an orderly fashion are not being particularly honest.  The following is from a recent article in the Independent….

“Whoever tells you a Greek exit would be no big deal is an idiot, lying or disingenuous,” said Sony Kapoor of the European think-tank Re-Define. Economists fear that a disorderly exit would prompt a huge run by investors on Spanish and Italian debt, forcing those countries to seek support from an EU bailout fund, which, with a capacity of just €500bn, is widely regarded as too small to cope with those pressures.

Greek exit from the euro would not only result in a run on Spanish and Italian bonds, but it would also likely result in a run on Spanish and Italian banks.

If Greece is allowed to leave the euro, that will be a signal that other countries will eventually be allowed to leave as well.  Nobody in their right mind would want their euros stuck in Spanish or Italian banks if those countries end up converting back to national currencies.

Fear is a powerful motivator.  If Greece converts their euros back to drachmas, that will be a clear signal that all euros are not created equally.  The race to move money into German banks will accelerate dramatically.

Read Full Article Here

Published on May 12, 2012 by

12 year old spells out the fraud the banks are committing against the people.
Victoria Grant explains why her homeland, Canada, and most of the world, is in debt. April 27, 2012 at the Public Banking in America Conference, …



We Are Watching The Greek Banking System Die Right In Front Of Our Eyes

Money is being pulled out of Greek banks at an alarming rate, and if

something dramatic is not done quickly Greek banks are going to start dropping like flies.  As I detailed yesterday, people do not want to be stuck with euros in Greek banks when Greece leaves the euro and converts back to the drachma.  The fear is that all existing euros in Greek banks would be converted over to drachmas which would then rapidly lose value after the transition.  So right now euros are being pulled out of Greek banks at a staggering pace.  According to MSNBC, Greeks withdrew $894 million from Greek banks on Monday alone and a similar amount was withdrawn on Tuesday.  But this is just an acceleration of a trend that has been going on for a couple of years.  It has been reported that approximately a third of all Greek bank deposits were withdrawn between January 2010 and March 2012.  So where has all of the cash for these withdrawals been coming from?  Well, the European Central Bank has been providing liquidity for Greek banks, but now it has been reported that the ECB is going to stop providing liquidityto some Greek banks.  It was not announced which Greek banks are being cut off.  For now, the Greek Central Bank will continue to provide euros to those banks, but the Greek Central Bank will not be able to funnel euros into insolvent banks indefinitely.

This is a major move by the European Central Bank, and it is going to shake confidence in the Greek banking system even more.

There are already rumors that the Greek government is considering placing limits on bank withdrawals, and many Greeks will be tempted to go grab their money while they still can.

Read Full Article Here



Get Ready: We’re About To Have Another 2008-Style Crisis

by cmartenson

Well, my hat is off to the global central planners for averting the next stage of the unfolding financial crisis for as long as they have. I guess there’s some solace in having had a nice break between the events of 2008/09 and today, which afforded us all the opportunity to attend to our various preparations and enjoy our lives.

Alas, all good things come to an end, and a crisis rooted in ‘too much debt’ with a nice undercurrent of ‘persistently high and rising energy costs’ was never going to be solved by providing cheap liquidity to the largest and most reckless financial institutions. And it has not.

Forestalled is Not Foregone

The same sorts of signals that we had in 2008 are once again traipsing across my market monitors. Not precisely the same, of course, but with enough similarities that they rhyme loudly. Whereas in 2008 we saw breakdowns in the credit spreads of major financial institutions, this time we are seeing the same dynamic in the sovereign debt of the weaker European nation states.

Greece, as expected and predicted here, is a right proper mess and will have to leave the euro monetary system if it is to have any chance at recovery going forward. Yes, all those endless meetings and rumors and final agreements painfully hammered out by eurocrats over the past year are almost certainly going to be tossed, and additional losses are going to be foisted upon the hapless holders of Greek debt. My prediction is that within a year Greece will be back on the drachma, perhaps by the end of this year (2012).

Read Full Article Here


Wars and Rumors of War

‘Pentagon talks peace, arms Syria rebels via Gulf allies’

Published on May 17, 2012 by

Washington is helping to co-ordinate arms to the Syrian opposition through Arab Gulf allies – Qatar and Saudi Arabia. The confirmation was given by unnamed American officials. However they say the US is not directly supplying weapons to the rebel forces. There’s recently been an influx of arms from abroad to fight the regime in Syria.

Anti-war activist Brian Becker says the US and NATO still want Assad out.



IDF denies Palestinians injured in Gaza artillery strike

Published on May 17, 2012 by

Israel’s denying reports that its army has shelled parts of Gaza, wounding several civilians. The claims come from Palestinian doctors, who say they’re treating the casualties. The latest from our Middle East correspondent Paula Slier.

Israeli intelligence head ‘visited US for Iran talks’

A general view shows the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem in 2011. Israeli military intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi made a "secret visit" to Washington earlier this month to discuss the upcoming talks between world powers and Iran, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

A general view shows the Western Wall in the old city of Jerusalem in 2011. Israeli military intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi made a “secret visit” to Washington earlier this month to discuss the upcoming talks between world powers and Iran, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

AFP – Israeli military intelligence chief Aviv Kochavi made a “secret visit” to Washington earlier this month to discuss the upcoming talks between world powers and Iran, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

An Israeli security official confirmed the visit, which was reported in Haaretz newspaper, but could not provide further details.

As well as discussing Tehran’s nuclear programme, the major general also held talks with senior White House and intelligence officials in New York and Washington on “the Syria crisis and Hezbollah’s increasing power in Lebanon,” the paper said.

Citing a senior Israeli official, Haaretz said Iran was the main topic, with talks focused on next week’s talks between Tehran and the P5+1 powers — the United States, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany.

Israel and most of the West believe Iran’s nuclear energy programme masks a drive to develop atomic weapons but the two allies disagree on how imminent the threat is. Tehran denies such intentions.

US officials have warned against any pre-emptive military strike, with analysts predicting Iran could hit back at US and Israeli targets, with its Lebanese Shiite ally Hezbollah expected to launch rocket attacks on Israel.

According to the paper, Kochavi warned over Hezbollah’s “increasing strength” and said internal tensions in Lebanon, combined with the instability in Syria, “increases the risk of escalation.”

In recent weeks, Israel has spared no effort to ensure its concerns are well understood ahead of the May 23 P5+1 talks in Baghdad.

Earlier this month, National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror toured European capitals meeting officials directly engaged in the Iran talks.

And last week, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made a surprise visit to Jerusalem to discuss the talks with top Israeli officials.

On Tuesday, Defence Minister Ehud Barak flew to Washington for the third time in recent months for talks with his American counterpart, which were also expected to deal with Iran.

Before leaving, Barak complained that the world’s demands of Iran were “minimalist” and would not succeed in making it halt its nuclear drive.


Articles of Interest

Russia Questions Dutch Vegetable Safety

by Staff Writers
Moscow (RIA Novosti)

illustration only

Russia’s food safety chief Gennady Onishchenko raised doubts on Monday over the safety of vegetables imported from the Netherlands, which he said had been experimenting with mutations of the avian flu virus.

“The Netherlands is engaged in an activity banned by international conventions. It alters properties, in particular, the properties of bird flu viruses, increasing their virulence compared with natural strains,” he said.

“Being aware of this process, we believe we must understand why this is being done and how much this threatens Russia’s national security, Onishchenko said.

Onishchenko has repeatedly claimed the European Union has failed to identify the causes of a highly pathogenic E.coli intestinal virus that claimed several lives in Europe last summer and prompted Russia to restrict vegetable imports from the EU.

Source: RIA Novosti

Related Links
Daily Russian News
Farming Today – Suppliers and Technology



Austin Texas May Be Test Site For Drone Training! High Tech Clay Pigeon Program!

S. Korea set to launch multipurpose satellite


South Korea is set to launch a multipurpose satellite to carry out earth observation from a space center in Japan early Friday, the government said Thursday.

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said in a statement that the Arirang-3 satellite is scheduled to take off at around 1:39 a.m. Friday from Tanegashima Space Center on Tanegashima Island in western Japan.

The satellite will be carried into orbit by Japan’s H-IIA rocket, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), which has organized the launch, said the liftoff will go smoothly citing favorable weather conditions, according to the ministry.

The satellite, equipped with a high-resolution optical camera, will operate at an altitude of 685 kilometers for the next four years to provide highly detailed images of the Earth’s surface.

South Korea launched its first Earth-observatory satellite Arirang-1 in 1999, and since 2004 the country has invested heavily, spending more than 286.6 billion won (245.5 million U.S. dollars) on its satellite project.

[In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit, for research and/or educational purposes. This constitutes ‘FAIR USE’ of any such copyrighted material.]

The Return of Gladio And The Rebirth of Terror Under French Tyrant Nicolas Sarkrazy


by Saman Mohammadi


What is wrong with this picture? One of them still hasn’t faced justice.

Another day, another false-flag terror event in another advanced Western democracy. This time, the people of France are the target of Western state-sponsored terrorism and the strategy of tension. The patsy’s name is Mohammed Merah. The names of the people who were murdered by the French state are Jonathan (Yonatan) Sandler, plus two of his young children named Aryeh and Gabriel, and another child named Myriam Monsonego.

This is an ordinary state-run terrorist operation to increase tension, fear, and hatred in Western society. This is what the fascist State does when it is free to write history on the spot and blow stuff up. It kills innocent children to make the submerged public gasp for air, hate the scapegoat, and demand security and steel nerve from the leaders of the State.

Vincenzo Vinciguerra, an Italian neo-fascist and terrorist, described in 1984 the existence of a shadow network of military officials and political leaders in Italy who frequently organized terror attacks to keep the country within the sphere of right-wing politics. This network was part of a larger structure known as Gladio that included government fascists in Europe, America, and NATO. Vinciguerra, who was a mercenary of this secret state-terror network until the day he raised awareness of its existence, said in the famous documentary, “Operation Gladio”:

“You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.”

Patrick Henningsen offers a better history of Gladio in his article, written in December 2011, called, “Is Operation GLADIO on the rebound in Europe?”  “Readers should note,” said Henningsen, “that GLADIO was officially active only 20 years ago, not a long time in terms of politics and the military.” He ended his article by writing, “GLADIO 2.0 is in motion.” It’s hard to argue with that, especially in light of this latest tragedy in France.

Pofessor and historian Daniele Ganser, author of, “NATO’s Secret Armies: Operation GLADIO and Terrorism in Western Europe,” said back in September 2006 in an interview with Norway’s Le Monde Diplo:

“With the concrete data that we have, for instance from Italy, we know that the activities [of] the secret army called Gladio [were] directed by the military secret service [and with training and support from] the CIA. We also know that the CIA wanted Gladio to attack and weaken the strong Italian Communist party. Gladio linked up with right-wing extremist Catholics who were strongly opposed to atheist Communism, and they planted bombs in Italy. The blame was unjustly put on the Communists. That is what is called false flag terrorism. Some members of the Italian military secret service claimed the CIA had ordered them to do this. When some Italian judges found out that the secret armies existed within the state, they reported it to the senators, who were surprised and said: “We did not know that this existed”. In 1990, the Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti stepped forward and said: “Yes, this is a fact, the secret army existed, but it was to protect the state and to fight the Russians if ever they attacked Italy, it was nothing illegal, it was a good thing.” If you have a secret armed organization in a democratic society, then it is very difficult to guarantee that it [will] never attack the citizens. We can of course have armed organizations in a democracy, but they should not be secret. The whole basis of a democratic system is that you control power through accountability and through transparency. Once this is gone, the danger of abuse of power will be imminent. And we can show that in some cases, not only in Italy, but also in Greece, Turkey, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany and other countries, secret armies abused their power.”

Why is this information relevant? Because many people believe that the secret Gladio fascists in America and Western Europe never went away, they just changed the face of the “Enemy to the West” from Communist to Islamist. For them, the Cold War never ended, instead, they turned it into a Hot War with political Islam.

Former European MP Richard Cottrell recently wrote in an article at EndtheLie.com called, “The Belgian ‘Years of Lead’ return with a vengeance: Gladio rides again”:

“I am sure that the latest re-tooling of Gladio to promote the ‘enemy within’, the menace of Islamic radicals, fits the purpose of a state unifying force.

In days of yore, the former years of lead, communist subversives filled the same role.”

The fascists in Israel couldn’t have been more excited and happy at the thought of the West joining its war against Palestinians, and one billion people throughout the Muslim world. When 9/11 happened they got their war, and it’s been a huge government killing fest since then.
The killing fest has been going on in the Middle East and in the West. The author of the blog aangirfan believes the Ozar Hatorah Toulouse shooting is an inside job, and says that, “Gladio-style terrorist activity in France could work to the advantage of President Sarkozy.” He also speculates that Sarkrazy is the Mossad’s inside man, and provides evidence of his connections to the 2004 Madrid train bombings. He points out that, at the time of the bombings, Sarkrazy was France’s Interior Minister.

At Infowars.com, Kurt Nimmo writes that, “Mohammed Merah, the suspect in the killing of seven people outside a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, fits the pattern of an al-Qaeda intelligence asset.”

Why would French president Nicolas Sarkrazy do such a horrible thing? To secure votes during election season. Nimmo says that the terror attack in France has “provided Nicholas Sarkozy with a pretext to put the southern part of the nation on high alert and cancel the campaigns of presidential contenders. Sarkozy stands to benefit from the terror attacks and play the role of a strong leader during a national crisis.”

Why would the French secret service do such a horrible thing? To keep the French people mentally occupied on the Islamist threat. There is no morality in war, and the West is at war, though not with Islam, but with its own people, its own way of life, and its own democratic system of government. Islam is the civilizational scapegoat.

I’m not defending Islam, just stating facts. Organized religion is bad enough as it is, there is no need to demonize Islam any further and lay all of the West’s internal problems at the feet of the Iranian Mullahs and Afghan warlords. They will go the way of history without Western intervention. In fact, they wouldn’t even exist if the CIA, MI6, and Mossad didn’t train and arm Islamic terrorists like Al-Qaeda, and support radical Islamic organizations like the Muslim Brotherhood.

The people of the Middle East have enough problems to deal with because of their own crazy leaders, so it makes it that much more cruel and unforgivable that they have to constantly worry about crazy Western leaders like Nicolas Sarkrazy who are calling for their destruction. I’m not a military expert, but declaring war on one billion people is not a very bright idea.

But Western governments will continue the facade of the war on terror because the Western public is not aware and angry enough yet to overthrow them. Apparently, the false-flag terrorism trick never gets old. So why stop? Governments and rulers will keep relying on the false-flag terrorism trick for another millennium if they are sufficiently confident that they can get away with it.

Modern politicians and secret intelligence agencies live off of public fear of the Outsider. They are political vampires who only know how to suck blood out of the public. Every once and a while, especially before an election or a war, they make deep cuts inside the veins of the body politic, like staging a terrorist attack, and then let the blood slowly squeeze out drip by drip. After such a tragedy, the power and money flows to the State like honey, and the public begs for more security and stronger leadership.

The only solution is public education and public awareness. Damn the Western press. Western journalists will sit on the sidelines of history and watch state-terror events as they unfold one after the other, producing a long stream of terror.

This stream of terror, which has so far been directed and guided by the governments of America, Israel, and the West, will over time form into an ocean of blood and war in which the whole world will be drowned in. That is the dark future that is being created.

Politics and Legislation


We Take Care of Our Own: Eric Holder and the End of Rights

Historians of the future, if they are not imprisoned for saying so, will trace the end of America’s democratic experiment to the fearful days immediately after 9/11, what Bruce Springsteen called the days of the empty sky, when frightened, small men named Bush and Cheney made the first decisions to abandon the Constitution in the name of freedom and created a new version of the security state with the Patriot Act, Guantanamo, secret prisons and sanctioned torture by the U.S. government. They proceeded carefully, making sure that lawyers in their employ sanctioned each dark act, much as kings in old Europe used the church to justify their own actions.



Politicians Won’t Return Ponzi Payoffs

Michael Winship, Moyers & Co.:

“On Tuesday, Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford was convicted in a Houston federal court on 13 out of 14 criminal counts of fraud…. But what most of this week’s stories failed to mention was the large amount of his clients’ cash that was spent on campaign contributions, greasing the corrupt nexus of money and politics for personal gain. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were given to candidates,  Barack Obama, John McCain, John Boehner and Harry Reid; including Ponzi Payoffs; as well as national fundraising committees for the Republican and Democratic parties.”



Confusion Surrounds Federal Review of Southern Leg of Keystone XL

Lisa Song, InsideClimate News:

“TransCanada’s decision last week to build the southern half of the rejected Keystone XL has raised a tricky question about who will regulate the project review … The process could be stickier at the federal level. The U.S. State Department was the lead agency on the original Keystone XL because it crossed an international boundary. But so far, no agency has stepped forward to take responsibility for the Gulf Coast Project.”



A Field of Hawks

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post Writers Group:

“Unless Ron Paul somehow wins the nomination, it looks as if a vote for the Republican presidential candidate this fall will be a vote for war with Iran. No other conclusion can be drawn from parsing the candidates’ public remarks. Paul, of course, is basically an isolationist who believes it is none of our business if Iran wants to build nuclear weapons…. But Paul has about as much chance of winning the GOP nomination as I do.”



No Apocalypse Yet
Will Putin do what the oligarchs fear?


If he wants to survive politically, he will have to implement the national agenda, confront the oligarchs, curb the creative class, provide support to those who supported him.



Obama Signs Anti-protest Trespass Bill


US President Barack Obama signed his name to H.R. 347 on Thursday, officially making it a federal offense to cause a disturbance at certain political events – essentially criminalizing protest in the States.



‘War on Terror is War on Liberty’
Farage demands that the UK break treaty with US

By Nigel Farage: EU MP

“No British court has ever been allowed to examine the evidence against Mr Tappin and I believe this Treaty, signed in the wake of the September 11 attacks, needs to be amended and the British government needs to stand up for its own people.




Not So Fast On That Whole Economic Recovery Thing

Not so fast. Those that are publicly declaring that an economic recovery has arrived are ignoring a whole host of numbers that indicate that the U.S. economy is in absolutely horrendous shape. The truth is that the health of an economy should not be measured by how well the stock market is doing. Rather, the truth health of an economy should be evaluated by looking at numbers for things like jobs, housing, poverty and debt. Some of the latest economic statistics indicate that unemployment is getting a little bit worse, that the housing market continues to deteriorate, that poverty in America continues to soar and that our debt problem is worse than ever.



TEXT-Moody’s: Greek sovereign credit rating remains at C

Moody’s Investors Service says that it considers Greece

to have defaulted per Moody’s default definitions further to the conclusion of an exchange of EUR177 billion of Greece’s debt that is governed by Greek law for bonds issued by the Greek government, GDP-linked securities, European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) notes. Foreign-law bonds are eligible for the same offer, and Moody’s expects a similar debt exchange to proceed with these bondholders, as well as the holders of state-owned enterprise debt that has been guaranteed by the state, in the coming weeks. The respective securities will enter our default statistics at the tender expiration date, which is was Thursday 8 March for the Greek law bonds and is currently expected to be 23 March for foreign law bonds. Greece’s government bond rating remains unchanged at C, the lowest rating on Moody’s rating scale.



Security: UK ‘must plan for euro collapse’

Ministers should draw up plans to deal with a break-up of the eurozone “as a matter of urgency”, a committee of MPs and peers has warned.

The joint committee on the government’s National Security Strategy (NSS) said the full or partial collapse of the single currency was “plausible”.

It said political unrest and a rise in economic migrant numbers could result.



Wall Street up on jobs data, brushes off Greek default

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Stocks advanced on Friday as investors brushed off the technical default by Greece and focused instead on another strong monthly jobs report.

Trading was choppy in late afternoon trade after the International Swaps and Derivatives Association said Greece has triggered an insurance payment on credit default contracts.

Investors took the Greek news largely in stride because the event was widely expected. Still, it is a declaration of default following the biggest sovereign debt-restructuring deal in history, and the specter of trouble in other euro-zone countries remains.



Bernanke Is Giving Us the Recovery He Wants, Not the Recovery We Need

With the latest round of monetary stimulus, the Federal Reserve is boldly going where it has already been. Big, big news from the Federal Reserve. They are considering doing something they are already doing, but calling it something else.

This “new” operation, carried out under the rather gross-sounding moniker of “sterilized quantitative easing,” is just another way to reduce long-term interest rates. The specifics aren’t terribly important — although if you want all the gory details about bond-buying and reverse repos, check out Jon Hilsenrath — but the result should be identical to the so-called “Operation Twist” the Fed did last fall.



UPDATE 6-Oil up on jobs data even as dollar rallies

By Robert Gibbons

NEW YORK, March 9 (Reuters) – Oil prices rose a third straight day on Friday as data showing rising U.S. employment countered any pressure from a stronger dollar and faded euphoria after Greece’s debt swap deal.
U.S. nonfarm payrolls rose by 227,000 in February, above expectations and marking the third straight month that gains topped 200,000, though the unemployment rate held at a three-year low of 8.3 percent.



PRECIOUS-Gold turns higher on US jobs data, oil gains

By Frank Tang and Amanda Cooper

NEW YORK/LONDON, March 9 (Reuters) – Gold rose above
$1,700 an ounce in heavy trade on Friday, reversing early sharp losses as the metal took heart from gains in crude oil and U.S. equities’ after an encouraging U.S. nonfarm payrolls report.
Bullion, which has taken to following riskier assets, rose in the face of a dollar rally and fading hopes of further U.S. monetary stimulus after U.S. employment grew strongly for a third straight month.
Also lifting the metal was Greece’s averting an immediate default after its bond swap offer to private creditors. Technical buying also helped after prices rebounded off its key 200-day moving average.



Public-Sector Banks: From Black Sheep to Global Leaders

Once the black sheep of high finance, government owned banks can reassure depositors about the safety of their savings and can help maintain a focus on productive investment in a world in which effective financial regulation remains more of an aspiration than a reality.



Welcome to the One Percent Recovery

Mike Konczal, New Deal 2.0:

“As the one percent reap 93 percent of the income gains from the recovery, we’re rapidly returning to pre-New Deal levels of inequality … It’s important to remember that a series of choices were made during the New Deal to react to runaway inequality, including changes to progressive taxation, financial regulation, monetary policy, labor unionization, and the provisioning of public goods and guaranteed social insurance. A battle will be fought over the next decade on all these fronts.”



Jeffrey Sachs’ Reform Candidacy for World Bank President

Staff, Center for Economic and Policy Research:

“Economist and health expert Jeffrey Sachs’ reported candidacy for World Bank president is welcome news for the two-and-a-half billion people around the world living in poverty, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. ‘If Sachs were to get the job, he would be the first World Bank president with this kind of experience and knowledge of economic development … All of the others have been bankers, politicians, or political appointees.'”



China posts Feb. trade deficit

For the first time in a year, China recorded a trade deficit of 31.48 billion U.S. dollars in February, as import growth far outpaced exports.

Exports rose 18.4 percent from a year earlier to 114.47 billion U.S. dollars in February, while imports were up 39.6 percent to 145.96 billion U.S. dollars, customs data showed Saturday.

The fast trade expansion was fueled by the lower comparative base for last February, when the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday cut working days from the month and skewed trade data, the General Administration of Customs (GAC) said. The week-long holiday fell in January this year.

After seasonal adjustments, the annual growth of exports slowed to 4 percent in February while that of imports was cut down to 9.4 percent.


Life in America on Two Dollars a Day
Or Why American Poverty Will Soon Match That of the Third World

By CanSpeccy

The latest poverty statistics that show the number of American families with an income of less than two dollars per person per day more than doubled between 1996 and 201.



China to export yuan to BRICS:

China is reportedly to begin extending loans in yuan to BRICS countries in another step towards internationalizing the national currency and diversifying from the US dollar.



Iceland calls its former PM to account for financial crash:

Geir Haarde, whose trial began this week, could face up to two years in jail if convicted over country’s 2008 economic collapse



Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Set to Default on $5.27 Million GO Bond Payments:

The city, carrying a debt load of more than five times its general-fund budget, will miss $5.27 million in bond payments due March 15 on $51.5 million of bonds issued in 1997.



Wars and Rumors of War


The Kazakhstan Massacre: Killing Hope to Benefit US Geopolitical Interests

Steve Horn and Allen Ruff, Truthout: “December 16, 2011, should have been, at minimum, a fairly bright day for the people of Kazakhstan marking the country’s Independence Day and 20th birthday. But rather than being a moment of celebration, it became a day of brutal repression and death, a bloody scene in the regional center of Zhanaozen paralleling those that occurred at the hands of US-supported dictatorial regimes during the uprisings now commonly referred to as the Arab Spring.”



Russia says 15,000 foreign “terrorists” in Syria

(Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is battling al Qaeda-backed “terrorists” including at least 15,000 foreign fighters who will seize towns across Syria if government troops withdraw, a Russian diplomat said on Thursday.



After a Decade, Afghan Forces Don’t Trust Americans

Jon Stephenson and Ali Safi, McClatchy Newspapers:

“Afghan soldiers and police say the recent burning of Qurans by U.S. personnel has seriously undermined their trust in their American counterparts, suggesting that the decade-long campaign to win hearts and minds has not only failed but also threatens the Obama administration’s exit strategy. ‘We are tired of the Americans here,’ said Mohammad Aziz, 20, a Kabul police officer. ‘We don’t want them to stay because they keep insulting our religion.'”



Fresh barrage of Gaza rockets strike Israel’s south

Iron Dome intercepts a number of rockets over Be’er Sheva on Saturday morning; 12 Palestinians reportedly killed in IAF strikes in Gaza since Friday.



Obama has partially left his delusions about Iran: Leader

TEHRAN – Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says that U.S. President Barack Obama has partially left his delusions about Iran.

The Leader made the remarks during a meeting with the members of the Assembly of Experts in Tehran on Thursday.

“Two days ago, we heard that the U.S. president said, ‘We do not think of war against Iran.’ Well, this is good. This is a logical remark. This is an exit from delusion. In addition, he said, ‘We will bring the Iranian people to their knees through sanctions.’ This is a delusion. The exit from delusion in the first part is good, but remaining in delusion in the second part will harm them. When one’s calculations are based on delusion, it is obvious that the planning he makes based on those calculations will end in failure,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.



The Bloody Road to Damascus
The Triple Alliance’s War on a Sovereign State

By James Petras

There is clear and overwhelming evidence that the uprising to overthrow President Assad of Syria is a violent, power grab led by foreign-supported fighters.



10 Myths about Iran Driving the Insane Push for War
And Why They’re Dead Wrong

By Jasmin Ramsey

Israeli officials and GOP candidates spout nonsense about Iran. Here’s the truth.



Weapons Financed By US Kill Unarmed Palestinians and U.S. Citizens.

By David Elkins

“U.S. weapons provided to Israel at taxpayer expense make the U.S. complicit in Israel’s human rights abuses of Palestinians living under Israel’s 44-year military occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza Strip”



Kofi Annan’s calls for talks spark anger:

Syrian opposition activists have angrily rejected calls by Kofi Annan, the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, for dialogue with the government.



Assad Tells Kofi Annan He’s Open To ‘Honest Effort To Find Solution’:


Assad warned the envoy that dialogue was unlikely to succeed while “armed terrorist groups” remained.



Russia threatens to veto U.S. resolution on Syria:

Russia will not support a new U.S.-drafted resolution on Syria because it fails to urge both the government and the rebels to halt violence, said a top Russian diplomat.



No military solution in Syria: EU ministers:

As Qatar called in Cairo for the dispatch of Arab and international peacekeeping troops to Syria, Juppe joined his counterparts in saying that for the EU “military action is not on the agenda.”



US officials: Loyal army, inner circle back Assad:

Despite the Obama administration’s predictions that the Syrian government’s days are numbered, recent U.S. intelligence reports suggest President Bashar Assad commands a formidable army that is unlikely to turn on him, an inner circle that has stayed loyal and an elite class that still supports his rule.



Controversy surrounds CNN footage from Syrian activist:

Video footage broadcast by CNN purporting to depict Syrian government violence was staged by the journalist reporting on camera, recent reports have claimed.



If Iran attacked it will launch 11,000 missiles at Israel, US: envoy:

Tehran’s ambassador to Lebanon says Iran has prepared itself to launch about 11,000 missiles at Israel and U.S. bases in the region if they do a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, the Lebanese media reported.





The Problem With the Environment Is Not Too Many People

Eleanor J. Bader, Truthout:

“We’ve all heard the claim repeatedly: humans pollute, so if we just reduce the number of people – both the number being born and the number immigrating from point A to point B – the despoiling will cease and Eden will be restored. If only it could be so simple…. ‘Too Many People?’ is a clear and convincing challenge to the idea of population control as political necessity.”



Fracking Likely Caused Series of Ohio Quakes, Officials Say

Michael Muskal and Neela Banerjee , News Report:

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources issued new regulations for transporting and disposing of brine wastewater, a fracking byproduct, making for the nation’s toughest disposal regulations, state officials said. Though the quake damage was minor – the largest was a 4.0 magnitude – environmental groups questioned whether the state’s safety rules were strong enough to protect the area from disasters they attributed to hydraulic fracturing.





New York Times CEO Robinson’s Exit Compensation Package Tops $23 Million

Janet Robinson, the New York Times Co. chief executive officer who was pushed out in December, received an exit package, including stock options and retirement benefits, of $23.7 million.

Robinson gets pension and supplemental retirement income valued at $11.4 million, performance awards of $5.39 million, restricted stock units worth $1.07 million and stock options worth $694,164, according to the company’s proxy statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission today. She will also earn $4.5 million in consulting fees for this year.



NSA whistle-blower: Obama “worse than Bush”

Thomas Drake on life inside the National Security Agency and the price of truth telling

Thomas Drake, the whistle-blower whom the Obama administration tried and failed to prosecute for leaking information about waste, fraud and abuse at the National Security Agency, now works at an Apple store in Maryland. In an interview with Salon, Drake laughed about the time he confronted Attorney General Eric Holder at his store while Holder perused the gadgetry on display with his security detail around him. When Drake started asking Holder questions about his case, America’s chief law enforcement officer turned and fled the store.



Mass pro-democracy protest rocks Bahrain

(Reuters) – Tens of thousands of Bahrainis demonstrated on Friday to demand democratic reforms, stepping up pressure on the U.S.-allied government with the biggest protest yet in a year of unrest.



Three Ways to Beat Corporate Giants

Jim Shultz, Op-Ed:

From insurance companies lording over our health care to global conglomerates taking control of our water, corporate giants wield more and more influence over our lives and our environment. So how do we fight back? How do we take on corporate power and actually win? The Democracy Center recently published a new citizen’s resource that looks up close at the strategies that people and communities are using worldwide to successfully tackle corporate giants.



Don’t Look Away from Bahrain’s Revolution

By Ala’a Shehabi

Over the past year, as cameras turned away, the Bahraini regime carried out some of the worst atrocities in its history.



Bahraini forces kill 21-year-old protester in capital Manama:

Activists say the protester, named Fadhel Mirza, was killed on Saturday when regime forces attacked a group of demonstrators struggling to reach Pearl Square.





Stratfor: Blood On Their Hands
And it gets worse.

By Khadija Sharife

With their emails, Stratfor appears to advocate for a world where polluters and murderers, circumvent accountability by obtaining information to pre-empt – and in the process destroy – their opposition.



The Crime of Truth:
Obama’s Persecution of the Peacemaker

By Chris Floyd

Bradley Manning will spend the rest of his life in a federal prison for the unforgiveable crime of telling the truth to people who don’t want to hear it.



The Dirty War on WikiLeaks

By John Pilger

Media smears suggest Swedish complicity in a Washington-driven push to punish Julian Assange.