Thursday, 29 October 2009

News For October 29, 2009

Taliban Take Over Afghan Province

By Syed Saleem Shahzad

The United States has withdrawn its troops from its four key bases in Nuristan, on the border with Pakistan, leaving the northeastern province as a safe haven for the Taliban-led insurgency to orchestrate its regional battles. Continue

U.S. To Protect 10 Afghan Population Centers

By Thom Shanker, Peter Baker and Helene Cooper

Under the strategy officials described yesterday, the administration now is looking at protecting Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Kunduz, Herat, Jalalabad and a few other village clusters. The first of any new troops sent to Afghanistan would be assigned to secure Kandahar, the spiritual capital of the Taliban, seen as a center of gravity in pushing back insurgent advances. Continue

U.S. Dependence On Afghan Warlords

By Gareth Porter

U.S. and NATO counterinsurgency forces depend on Afghan warlords for security, according to a recently published report and investigations by Australian and Canadian journalists. Continue

Obama's Real Death Panels

By Ted Rall

No one man--not even a young, handsome, likeable one--should be able to have anyone he wants whacked. Even in dictatorships, the right of life and death is reserved for judges and juries operating under a system purportedly designed to support impartiality and a search for the truth. Continue

The Holocaust In Cambodia And Its Aftermath Is Remembered

By John Pilger

John Pilger recalls the stricken society he found in Cambodia in 1979 which he described in his epic dispatches and documentary, Year Zero: the Silent Death of Cambodia He reminds us that the Pol Pot horror emerged from the bombing ordered by Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, and that Cambodia was again "punished" when its liberators came from the wrong side of the cold war and the Thatcher government send special forces to train the Khmer Rouge in exile. Continue

In Case You Missed It
Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia

A Documentary Film By John Pilger

John Pilger vividly reveals the brutality and murderous political ambitions of the Pol Pot / Khmer Rouge totalitarian regime which bought genocide and despair to the people of Cambodia while neighboring countries, including Australia, shamefully ignored the immense human suffering and unspeakable crimes that bloodied this once beautiful country. Continue

Why Americans Gotta Read the "War Crimes Times!"

By Kim Carlyle

We must look back. And we must hold accountable the men and women who have broken our laws, tarnished our honor, and spit on our ideals. Continue

The Slippery Slope

IT IS, of course, all the fault of Judge Richard Goldstone.

By Uri Avnery

He is to blame for the trouble we are having at the UN, both in New York and in Geneva. For the conspiracy to bring our political and military leaders to trial in The Hague. For the ongoing crisis between us and Turkey. For the many initiatives throughout the world to organize a boycott of Israel. Now he is to blame also for the existential danger facing Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). Continue

US Lawmakers Want Venezuela Named a State Sponsor of Terrorism

By Michael O'Brien

The resolution, H.Res.872, cites the Venezuelan government's ties to Iran, Hezbollah, and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) as examples of the South American nation's support for terrorism. Continue

Israel’s European Lobby

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

According to the definition given by the European Union’s Fundamental Rights Agency, it seems that you’re an anti-semite if you agree with Mearsheimer and Walt that pressure from Israel and the Lobby played a “critical” role in the decision to invade Iraq, or if you suspect that the likes of Podhoretz and Ottolenghi may be more loyal to Israel than they are to their respective countries. Continue

NSA Supercenters to Store Americans' Private Data Permanently

By Thomas R. Eddlem

The National Security Agency is building huge new storage facilities to store the unconstitutionally gained data on the American people's telephone calls and Internet traffic permanently, including new buildings in suburban Salt Lake City, Utah, and San Antonio, Texas. Continue


Interviews include Ward Churchill, John Zerzan, Lierre Keith and Dr. Michael Becker.


"If your homeland was invaded by aliens who cut down the forests, poisoned the water and air, and contaminated the food supply, would you resist?" Continue

Afghan troops kill 25 "militants" : Quoting a military commander of the Afghan national army in the province Colonel Zainudin, the newspaper added that aerial bombardment had eliminated the insurgents and destroyed their hideouts.

Canadian occupation force soldier killed by IED in Afghanistan: A Canadian soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, and two others injured, after an improvised explosive device detonated in the turbulent Panjwaii district.

US has no plans to quit AFPAK operations: White House: "The president began the meetings on the assessment with saying we were not leaving Afghanistan.

What's the payoff for staying in Afghanistan?: It's a little frustrating to hear these various voices making their arguments for or against Afghanistan. Each one sounds persuasive, each makes a good case for his or her point of view. But here's the question I have: What is there in Afghanistan for the United States?

Security Council to hold closed meeting on Afghanistan: The United Nations Security Council is set to hold a crisis meeting on Afghanistan following a Taliban attack on a Kabul guesthouse that killed UN staffers.

U.N. cutting staff in Afghanistan: Non-essential U.N. staff across Afghanistan have been ordered to pack their bags and be ready for evacuation after a deadly attack on a U.N. guesthouse, a senior U.N. official said Thursday.

Obama breaks from Bush by saluting coffins of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan: President Obama publicly rejected the cloak of secrecy surrounding the return of US military dead late last night when he met the coffins of 18 Americans killed in Afghanistan in a solemn, unannounced ceremony.

Pakistan: 12 killed in Waziristan: Eleven militants and one soldier were killed in the operation in South Waziristan tribal agency, said military in a statement, adding that two soldiers were also wounded.

US quietly expedites aid for Pak military operations: : Prior to the Swat operation in the spring, Pakistan’s army chief General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani asked that the US quickly deliver 10 Russian-built Mi-17s. According to the US newspaper, both US President Barack Obama and US army chief Admiral Mike Mullen personally intervened to fulfil his request; four copters were leased in June and the remaining provided to Pakistan under various authorities.

Pakistan Lashes Back at Clinton: Pakistani officials reacted angrily Thursday night to U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton’s remarks earlier in the day in which she said, she found it "hard to believe" that no one in Pakistan’s government, including the country’s "military security establishment," knew where al Qaeda leaders were hiding.

Taliban denies Peshawar blast role: The Taliban and al-Qaeda have distanced themselves from Wednesday's deadly market blast in Peshawar that claimed 105 lives, saying "their main targets are the security forces, and not innocent civilians".

Taliban Chief Blames Blackwater for Peshawar Blast: Pakistani Taliban chief Hakimullah Mehsud has claimed that the controversial American security firm Blackwater was behind the deadly bomb attack on a market in Peshawar that killed over 100 people.

Iraq arrests 60 security forces over blasts: Iraq has arrested some 60 security forces over the weekend twin bombings which targeted government buildings in Baghdad, killing up to 153 people.

Iraqi parliament delays vote on election law again : - Rancorous debate over voting in the disputed Iraqi city of Kirkuk on Thursday once again postponed a parliamentary vote on a new election law.

Iran seeks changes to international uranium deal - : Iran reportedly wants some changes, such as: not shipping out the whole 1.2 tons of uranium but exporting it either in several phases; or purchasing part of the high-enriched uranium without exchanging it for Iranian material.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Iran Makes Counter Offer On Nuclear Deal: An Iranian state-run television report said the latest Iranian proposal calls for sending the nuclear material to Russia in stages, rather than in one large consignment. That is unlikely to fly with the IAEA, since Iran would still presumably have enough material on hand at any one time to make a bomb.

Obama to tell Rabin memorial: U.S.-Israel alliance is unbreakable: Obama will make the comments in a videotaped message in which he also will pledge that U.S. support for Israel's defense will never be undermined.

UN to debate Goldstone Gaza war crimes report next week: Even if the report eventually gets to the Security Council, there is little chance it will take any action, primarily because of objections by the United States, Israel's closest ally which has veto power and has said the report is biased and should not be taken up by the UN's most powerful body.

Israel levels Palestinian homes: Israel ignores UN calls to halt destruction of Palestinian properties in east Jerusalem.

Argentina insists on re-negotiating military agreements with U.S.: - The Argentine government reiterated its need on Wednesday to re-negotiate with the U.S. government military accords signed between 1953 and 1964, which the South American country deemed outdated.

Venezuela arrests 'Colombia spies': Venezuela says it has captured two Colombian security agents suspected of planning to destabilise the government, further heightening tensions in a diplomatic spat between the two sides.

The Continuity of Immunity for Tío Sam in Colombia : To prolong influence over Colombia, every US administrations from Nixon [1969-1974] to Obama [2009-] has embraced a ‘war on drugs,’[1] or more recently a ‘war on terror,’ as a means to deploy counterinsurgency campaigns to silence antagonistic sectors of said population.

UN: General Assembly again calls for lifting of United States embargo against Cuba: The General Assembly has voted for the 18th consecutive year to condemn the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States against Cuba for the past half century and called for it to be lifted.

Muslim leader killed in US raid: The leader of a Sunni Muslim group advocating Islamic rule in the US has been shot dead by federal agents during a raid in the city of Detroit, authorities have said.

Loosening of F.B.I. Rules Stirs Privacy Concerns: One section lays out a low threshold to start investigating a person or group as a potential security threat. Another allows agents to use ethnicity or religion as a factor — as long as it is not the only one — when selecting subjects for scrutiny.

The New Operations Manual from the F.B.I.: The new rules have given F.B.I. agents the most power in national security matters that they have had since the post-Watergate era.

Pentagon officials won’t confirm Bush propaganda program ended: The covert Bush administration program that used retired military analysts to generate favorable wartime news coverage may not have been terminated, Raw Story has found.

Lack of health care led to 17,000 US child deaths: Lack of adequate health care may have contributed to the deaths of some 17,000 US children over the past two decades, according to a study released by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center

The Auto Bailout Isn't Over; GMAC May Get More Aid: If you hoped the auto bailout had ended when Chrysler and General Motors emerged from bankruptcy, you might want to stop reading.

Dollar, bonds rise as consumer confidence falls: Consumer confidence in the United States soured as the worst labor market in a quarter century increased concerns over the likely extent of an improvement

New jobless claims climb more than expected : The unemployment rate rose to 9.8 percent in September from 9.7 percent, the department said earlier this month, as employers cut 263,000 jobs. The recession has eliminated a net total of 7.2 million jobs.

New home sales take surprise tumble: Sales of new homes dropped unexpectedly last month as the effects of a temporary tax credit for first-time owners started to wane.

Consumer confidence slips unexpectedly: Americans' confidence about the U.S. economy fell unexpectedly in October as job prospects remained bleak, a private research group said Tuesday, fueling speculation that an already gloomy holiday shopping forecast could worsen.

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

News For October 28, 2009

US to Pay Taliban to Switch Sides


Although $1.3bn (£691m) has been authorised for the fund as a whole, no specific sum has been allocated to the re-integration programmes, our correspondent says. The Senate Armed Services Committee chairman, Senator Carl Levin, has said he envisages the money being used to pay former Taliban fighters to protect their communities. Continue

Extrajudicial Executions

‘US Drone Attacks May Break International Law’ UN Special Rapporteur


"You have the really problematic bottom line that the CIA is running a program that is killing significant numbers of people and there is absolutely no accountability in terms of the relevant international laws,’ Alston said.

No One Else Will Stop The Killing

Veterans' Group To Members: Multiply Resistance By Any Peaceful Means Possible

By Mike Ferner

The American Empire is a mighty machine. We will need to make common cause with all those living in the heart of Empire who are also its victims. We know who they are. We see them every day – on the streets, where we work, where we shop, where we pray, where we play.

US-Israeli Missile Defense War Game Signals Israeli Attack on Iran

By Paul Craig Roberts

If the US were opposed to an Israeli attack on Iran, the US would not provide Israel with protection against retaliation and would not engage in war games with Israel to test the system. The best way to prevent an Israeli attack on Iran is to leave Israel open to retaliation.

The Final Minutes

What A Nuclear War Would Look Like

7 Minute Video

Click to view

Obama Turns to the Financial Elite for Campaign Cash

By Bill Van Auken

Under conditions of growing unemployment and deepening social misery for working people throughout the US, President Barack Obama flew into New York City Tuesday to raise millions of dollars in campaign donations from America’s financial elite. Continue

Is Capitalism on the Ropes?:

Interview with Michael D. Yates and Fred Magdoff

By Mike Whitney

Corporate America began to wage what turned out to be a one-sided war against working people in the mid-to late-1970s, when it became apparent that the post-World War Two "Golden Age" of U.S. capitalism was over. Continue

Lieberman Twists the Knife

By Robert Scheer

Is there a more hypocritical figure in American politics than Joe Lieberman? The Connecticut senator declared Tuesday that he would support a filibuster of any health care reform bill that has a public option—even the version with the “trigger” compromise accepted by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe—because it might cost money. Continue

Pakistan: 93 killed in market explosion just after Clinton's arrival: A car bomb struck a busy market in northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing 93 people — mostly women and children — as visiting Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pledged U.S. support for Islamabad's campaign against "Islamic militants".

In pictures: Peshawar bombing :

25 "militants" killed in Pakistan's tribal area operation: The army said that about 30,000 soldiers are in place to take on an estimated 10,000 hard-core Taliban militants in the lawless area.

Pakistani army offensive devastates tribal communities: Villages and towns are literally being bombed into rubble and tens of thousands of people have been forced to flee for their lives.

USA buys Pakistan: Clinton Announces Aid for Pakistan's Power Sector: Mrs. Clinton, on the first of a three-day diplomatic mission to Pakistan, said that Washington will disburse $125 million to Islamabad for the upgrading of key power stations and transmission lines.

Drug-Linked Karzai Brother Helps U.S. Intelligence: A key member of the House Intelligence Committee says the controversial brother of Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai regularly helps U.S. intelligence -- but should not be considered an American spy.

12 killed as militants storm UN guesthouse in Kabul : Twelve people, including one US national and five other UN workers, were killed Wednesday when an explosion rocked a guesthouse used by the United Nations in central Kabul and armed attackers burst in shooting, officials said.

In pictures: Kabul UN attacks

McCain to Obama: Make Afghan decision now: Sen. John McCain is exhorting President Barack Obama to make a decision quickly on sending additional troops to Afghanistan, saying U.S allies are nervous and military commanders are frustrated.

Troops already outnumber Taliban 12-1: There are already more than 100,000 international troops in Afghanistan working with 200,000 Afghan security forces and police. It adds up to a 12-1 numerical advantage over Taliban rebels, but it hasn't led to anything close to victory.

Schumer: True cost of Afghan stability could be too high for America: "It cost us $6 trillion and 4,500 lives, approximately, to bring stability to Iraq," Schumer told MSNBC's "Morning Joe." "Just in terms of the loss of life and treasure, do we want to do the same exercise in Afghanistan?"

Afghan president's brother on CIA payroll for 8 years: report: The CIA pays Karzai for a variety of services, including helping to recruit an Afghan paramilitary force that operates at the CIA's direction in and around Kandahar.

Afghan president's brother denies getting CIA pay: A congressional official told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the story is accurate and said that some members of Congress have known about the relationship between Karzai and the CIA "for some time.

House GOP turns to Oliver North on Afghanistan: “Col. North is someone who enjoys the very broad respect of the House Republican Conference,” Pence said.

Bomb kills 3 civilians, wounds 5 others in Mosul: A source in the Iraqi police in Mosul told KUNA that the bomb exploded today targeting an army patrol in Karaj north east of Mosul killing three civilians and wounding five others

Bomb kills 3 in Baghdad: A bomb attached to a minibus killed three women and wounded four men in eastern Baghdad, police said.

Atonement: A conscience-stricken member of the House Armed Services Committee is writing a book called "My Daddy's Not Dead Yet" in hopes it will atone for what he now considers his sinful vote to empower former President George W. Bush to invade Iraq in 2003.

5 Killed as mortars fired at Somali president: Witnesses said mortars were fired towards the capital's main airport on Wednesday around the time when Sharif Ahmed was landing after a trip to Yemen.

Iran to Declare View on IAEA Draft Thursday Iran will declare its response to a proposal by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) on the enrichment of uranium for a Tehran reactor tomorrow, a senior Iranian legislator announced on Wednesday.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: Livni to Russians: Talks with Iran Can’t Go on Forever: "The dialogue with Iran can not continue forever, especially when today, more than ever, it has become clear that Iran's goal is to obtain nuclear weapons," said Livni.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran: US making plans for Iran nuke strategy: The Obama administration is quietly laying the groundwork for long-range strategy that could be used to contain a nuclear-equipped Iran and deter its leaders from using atomic weapons.

Russia says has not delivered S-300 systems to Iran: The S-300PMU1 multi-channel mobile air defense system is designed to intercept modern and projected aircraft, strategic cruise missiles, and other targets flying at up to 2,800 meters per second.

U.S. House panel OKs Iranian fuel sanctions bill: Aim is to put pressure Iran by raising pump prices: Covers firms that provide ships and shipping services

Ehud Olmert could face war crimes arrest if he visits UK: "One day one of these people will make a mistake and go to the wrong country and face a criminal process — and then it'll be a matter for the courts of that country to give them a fair trial: that's what the Palestinian victims want."

Israel levels Palestinian homes: Israeli authorities have torn down several Palestinian houses in occupied east Jerusalem, defying international calls to halt the demolitions in the disputed city.

UN calls on Israel to halt demolition of Palestinian homes: The United Nations today called on Israel to immediately halt forced evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem, warning that as many as 60,000 people there may be at risk of forced evictions, demolitions and displacement.

Hamas 'bans' January polls in Gaza: "Any preparations, any committees, any collecting of names will be regarded as an illegal action that we will pursue," he said.

US removes import levy on Israeli milk products: Following diplomatic efforts, President Obama signs memo eliminating import subcharge on dairy products from Israel.

Dairy farmers tell lawmakers of crisis: Prices have fallen amid plunging consumer demand. At a Senate Agriculture Committee hearing, talk of a solution centers on shipping milk and other dairy products to developing countries.

UK: Government to break up the banks: Lloyds, Royal Bank of Scotland and Northern Rock will be broken up and parts of their businesses sold off to create three new banks, it emerged last night.

Worsening job picture fuels slide in confidence: On Tuesday, the figures showed that shoppers have a grim outlook for the future, The Conference Board said, expecting a worsening business climate, fewer jobs and lower salaries.

Mortgage applications slide: Mortgage Bankers Association says demand for home loans waned last week, even as 30-year rate eased closer to 5%.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

News For October 27, 2009

Honduras - 100 Days of Resistance

Video Report

Honduras is a country divided by economic disparity, and members of the tiny group of families that hold the country in their powerful grip speak to Fault Lines.

Russia's Hidden War

By SBS Dateline

A hidden war is escalating in the Caucasus Mountains along Russia's southern fringe. In response to an increasing number of suicide attacks, Moscow says it is battling militant Islam in the tiny republic of Ingushetia. But locals say hundreds of innocent civilians are being kidnapped, tortured and murdered at the hands of Russian security forces.

Nuke Gaza: A World Gone Mad

By Jeff Gates

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman may have tipped his Masada hand when he reportedly told Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan that Israel may use nuclear weapons against Gaza.

After all I am a Proper Zionist Jew

I am a Holocaust survivor

By Gilad Atzmon

I clearly resent those who deny the genocides that are taking place in the name of the Holocaust. Palestine is one example, Iraq is another and the one that is set for Iran, is probably too scary to contemplate. Continue

Black Tuesday and a Return to Big Government

By Mike Whitney

October 29, marks the 80th anniversary of the Stock Market Crash of 1929, the event which most historians point to as the beginning of the Great Depression. On Black Tuesday, traders dumped 16 million shares in one day sending the markets into freefall. In the months that followed, stocks rallied--sometimes for long periods at a time--but the underlying economy continued to deteriorate as consumers curtailed spending and cut back sharply on credit.

Rhetoric and Reality

By Ralph Nader

I just received a letter from President Obama. Right there on the outside envelope are the words “I need you.” After not answering several letters which I have mailed and faxed to him, I was, for the briefest of moments, curious about this personal plea for help.

Empire of Illusion
The Cult of Self

This is a must watch - By Chris Hedges

Click to view

Why We Migrate:

Stories of Mexico's Displaced

A Talk by Paola Gutierrez Galindo

Why do millions make the unlikely decision to leave their communities to live in a country with increasing anti-immigrant hostility? Why did the number of Mexicans who made this decision more than double after the implementation of NAFTA? Paola will untangle the complex factors that have pushed so many to abandon her community and come live among ours.

Pakistan Army Says 42 "Terrorists" Killed in South Waziristan : It has been impossible to obtain independent information from the battle field, which is sealed off to journalists and aid workers, and from which more than 200,000 civilians have fled -- a third of the estimated district population.

Militants Kill 11 Pakistani Soldiers in Attacks: Eleven members of the Pakistani security forces were killed in attacks by militants across the country’s tribal areas over the last 24 hours, the Pakistani military said Monday.

Military: 8 U.S. troops killed in Afghan blasts: The U.S. military said on Tuesday that eight American troops have been killed in bomb attacks in southern Afghanistan, making October the deadliest month for U.S. forces in the eight-year Afghan war.

Taliban ambush kills 5 Afghan police in south: Taliban militants laid ambush on police patrol in Zabul province south of Afghanistan, leaving five policemen dead, a senior police officer General Abdul Razeq said Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

14 Americans Killed in Helicopter "Crashes"in Afghanistan: "We have a shadow government of the Taliban," he said. "And I am afraid some people in Afghanistan are even talking about the return of the Taliban because they see the power of the Taliban.

U.S. official resigns over Afghan war: Foreign Service officer and former Marine captain says he no longer knows why his nation is fighting

U.S. Official: Afghanistan Not Worth It: Video:

Runoff splits Afghanistan in three: The angry regard the runoff as a foreign conspiracy and are suspicious. The enthusiasts welcome it as a step towards greater democracy. The third camp – the disenchanted – couldn't care less. For this group, President Hamid Karzai and his opponent, Dr Abdullah Abdullah, are both discredited politicians and, as such, interchangeable.

Sixty children 'missing' after Baghdad bombing: The governor of Baghdad, Salah Abdel-Raziq, on Tuesday said that as many as 60 young children may still be buried under rubble from devastating twin bombings three days ago.

Largest Iraq bombing in two years may have been inside job: Sunday's twin suicide bombings in Baghdad that killed at least 155 people and wounded 500 others may have had help from within Iraq's security apparatus, MSNBC's Rachel Maddow reported Monday.

Robert Dreyfuss: The Iraqi Time Bomb: Iraq is an orphan. At times, it's like the White House has put Iraq in a box called "George Bush's blunders," and it doesn't plan on looking into the box

Iran to Answer IAEA Draft in 2 Days: Iran will declare its response to an International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) proposal on the enrichment of uranium for a Tehran reactor within the next 2 days, an informed source announced on Tuesday.

Iran says will not ship off uranium stockpile in one go: According to the diplomat, sending the entire enriched uranium stockpile abroad altogether is against Iran's national interests.

Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Iran Israeli military strike more likely after Iran "misses nuclear deadline": The deal put forward in Vienna would not have ended Iran's nuclear programme, even if Tehran had given a prompt "yes".

Gaddafi highlights nuclear 'double standards': "If the Israelis have the nuclear weapons and the nuclear capabilities, then it is the right of the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Saudis to have the same - even the Palestinians should have the same because their counterparts, or their opponents, have nuclear capabilities. Why not?

Iran Opens Int'l Hall for Oil Exchanges in Kish: Iran's oil and petrochemistry bourse would be an international market place for trading 40 kinds of oil products.

Yemenis intercept 'Iranian ship': A boat carrying Iranian weapons destined for Yemeni rebels has been intercepted in the Red Sea, local Yemeni officials have said.

Teheran denies shipment of arms seized off Yemen: A state-owned television channel quoted Iranian sources on Tuesday as denying a report from Yemen that a boatload of weapons from the Islamic republic had been seized in the Red Sea off the Yemeni coast.

Death sentences for Yemen fighters: A Yemini court has sentenced four al-Houthi rebel fighters to death for their role in clashes against the military.

Amnesty: Israel Denies Water to Palestinians: The human rights group Amnesty International has issued a critical report charging that Israel prevents Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip from receiving adequate water supplies.

Gaza: 'People are really bad off now': Operation Cast Lead – was launched in the Gaza Strip on December 27 2008. Ten months later, how has it affected civilians there? Dr. Akram Nafie, Médecins Sans Frontières mental health programme doctor in Gaza, provides an insight

UN General Assembly debates Israel war crimes: Richard Goldstone's UN report on the conflict in Gaza will be discussed at the Assembly on November 4th with the aim of passing a resolution approving the report and then requesting a formal debate at the Security Council, which has the power to open a war crimes prosecution against senior Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court.

EU lawyers draw up list of IDF officers suspected of Gaza war crimes: Human rights lawyers and pro-Palestinian activists in a number of European countries hold lists with names of Israel Defense Forces soldiers allegedly linked to war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip. Existing legislation enables arrest warrants to be issued against these officers if they enter those countries.

Meshal: Hamas ready to probe Goldstone report: Video: : Hamas chief says group doesn't aim to kill civilians, but 'rockets are inaccurate in targeting.'

Lebanon, Israel rocket fire exchanged: A Katyusha-type rocket fired from Lebanon hit northern Israel on Tuesday night without causing any casualties, prompting Israel to retaliate with a salvo of missiles, sources on both sides said.

Israelis unable to obtain Venezuelan visas: Since the Venezuelan Embassy in Israel was shut down in January, in response to the expulsion of Israeli diplomats by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, it has become nearly impossible for Israelis to obtain Venezuelan tourist visas.

Ex-guerrilla in run-off after winning 47.5% in Uruguayan presidential poll: The Frente Amplio (Broad Front) candidate, José Mujica, won 47.5 per cent of the vote, well ahead of the right-wing National Party’s Luis Alberto Lacalle on 28.5 per cent but still shy of the 50 per cent plus one vote necessary to avoid a second round.

Guantánamo torture: UK wants claims of complicity to be heard in secret: The government also wants its evidence kept secret from defence lawyers.

Lieberman to vote for a filibuster: Lieberman said he would vote with a potential Republican filibuster of Majority Leader Harry Reid's bill because it includes a public option.

In case you missed it: Lieberman pledged support for health reform: "I can do more for you and your families to get something done to make health care affordable, to get universal health insurance."

Iceland can't afford a Big Mac: Iceland to be McDonald's-free: operator: Iceland's two McDonald's restaurants will close on November 1 due to rising costs brought on by the country's economic collapse, the Icelandic operator of the US fast-food chain said on Monday.

UK financial system 'not able to support recovery': Britain's financial sector is not equipped to support recovery when it comes and could trigger a double-dip recession if not fixed, the newest recruit to the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) warned yesterday.

Wall Street's Naked Swindle: A scheme to flood the market with counterfeit stocks helped kill Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers — and the feds have yet to bust the culprits

Marc Faber, Dollar Will Eventually Go to Value of Zero: 4 Minute Video

Roubini Says Carry Trades Fueling ‘Huge’ Asset Bubble: Investors worldwide are borrowing dollars to buy assets including equities and commodities, fueling “huge” bubbles that may spark another financial crisis, said New York University professor Nouriel Roubini.

U.S. bank chargeoff rate exceeds Depression: Moody's: The rate of loan charge-offs by major U.S. banks has exceeded those seen in the early years of the Great Depression as the credit crisis continues to take a toll, Moody's Investors Service said on Monday.

Worsening job picture fuels slide in confidence: Consumer confidence slides in October as more Americans worry about jobs and salaries

Excess Hormone-Grown Meat? Don't Worry, the Kids Will Eat It: It's really no secret: the role of the USDA's Food Distribution Programs (FDPs) since the Great Depression has been to get rid of surplus agricultural commodities by passing them on to those who need nutritional foods the most.

Monday, 26 October 2009

News For October 26, 2009

Americans Pull Strings in Afghan Election

By Eric Margolis

Henry Kissinger once observed that being America's ally can be more dangerous than being its enemy.

Welcome to 2025

American Preeminence Is Disappearing Fifteen Years Early

By Michael T. Klare

It may take a decade or two (or three) before historians will be able to look back and say with assurance, "That was the moment when the United States ceased to be the planet's preeminent power and was forced to behave like another major player in a world of many competing great powers."

Are You Ready for the Next Crisis?

By Paul Craig Roberts

Evidence that the US is a failed state is piling up faster than I can record it.

After the Billionaires Plundered Alabama Town,
Troops Were Called in ... Illegally

By Mark Ames

One of this year's more disturbing stories that were ignored was the illegal Army occupation of Samson, Alab., in March following a shooting spree that raged across two towns by a disgruntled worker, leaving 11 people dead.

Detroit House Auction Flops For Urban Wasteland

By Kevin Krolicki

After five hours of calling out a drumbeat of "no bid" for properties listed in an auction book as thick as a city phone directory, the energy of the county auctioneer began to flag. "OK," he said. "We only have 300 more pages to go."

The US Military-Industrial-Congressional Complex

By Larry Wilkerson:

The beginning of the American "Imperial Rome" and Eisenhower's warning.

"Will the Dollar Still be the World's Reserve Currency in 5 Years?"

Interview with Prof. Menzie D. Chinn

By Mike Whitney

The Fed's measures have probably weakened the dollar over the short term; but in staving off a worse recession in the US (and a collapse in the financial system), it has probably meant a stronger currency over the medium term.

Hosts and Parasites

The Consequences of Default

By Michael Hudson

What happens when a country goes broke?

Self-defence Stories from Gaza

By Paul J. Balles

The UN Human Rights Council’s Goldstone report called Israel’s military assault on Gaza “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorize a civilian population, radically diminish its local economic capacity both to work and to provide for itself, and to force upon it an ever-increasing sense of dependency and vulnerability”.

In case you missed it
The Invention of the Jewish People

Book review by Gilad Atzmon

“When And How the Jewish People Was Invented” is a very serious study written by Professor Shlomo Sand, an Israeli historian. It is the most serious study of Jewish nationalism and by far, the most courageous elaboration on the Jewish historical narrative.

War Is a Hate Crime

By Chris Hedges

The Democratic majority in Congress, under the cover of protecting some innocents, authorized massive acts of violence against other innocents.

Iraq steps up security after bombs kill 155: Iraqi security forces blocked streets around the capital Monday and conducted intense searches at checkpoints as authorities investigated the massive security failure that allowed two truck bombs to strike what was supposed to be one of the city's safest areas and kill 155 people.

25 killed in Pakistani tribal area operation: At least 19 militants were killed during military operation in Pakistan's South Waziristan tribal area in the last 24 hours, while six security men lost their lives and 20 were wounded, an army statement said Monday.

Around 200,000 Pakistanis flee heavy military losses: Pakistan's huge anti-Taliban offensive has displaced around 200,000 people as soldiers suffered their deadliest 24 hours since the assault began, the military said Monday.

14 Americans killed in separate helicopter "crashes" in Afghanistan: In the first crash, a helicopter went down in the west of the country after leaving the scene of a firefight with insurgents, killing 10 Americans — seven troops and three civilians working for the government. Eleven American troops, one U.S. civilian and 14 Afghans were also injured.

Afghan governor escapes assassination bid: The governor of Afghanistan's eastern Nangarhar province survived an assassination attempt on Monday which saw one of his attackers gunned down in a shoot-out, an official said.

Afghan police open fire at demonstration: Afghan police Monday opened fire and turned a water cannon on demonstrators angry about allegations that Western troops torched a Koran, wounding at least three people, officials and witnesses said.

Karzai questions US reliability as partner: Karzai said a partnership to him was "where the Afghan lives are respected, where Afghan property is respected, where the Afghan traditions are respected.

Afghan challenger considers runoff boycott: The challenger to President Hamid Karzai is considering boycotting the upcoming runoff if his demands are not met to remove the leaders of Afghanistan's election commission who he believes are biased against him, campaign officials said Sunday.

Cost of Afghanistan project soars, benefits exaggerated: Among Afghans, the power plant became known as "Karzai's winter coat" -- designed to keep him comfortably in power through the winter of 2009 -- and also a project that the Bush administration could hold up as a success before George W. Bush left office

12 mln Afghans live under poverty line: ministry: Afghan Minister for Public Health Syed Mohammad Amin Fatimi has revealed that 12 million out of the total 30 million Afghans, including 3 million children, live under poverty line in the war-torn country, a local newspaper reported Saturday.

Pakistan detains 11 Iranian Guards on its border: Pakistani security official said Iranian border officials had told them that the encroachment was accidental and happened after the Guards launched an operation against Jundollah militants near the border.

Iran hints at acceptance of nuclear deal with West : Mottaki said Iran could either send part of its low-enriched uranium (LEU) stockpile abroad for specialized processing into fuel for a Tehran nuclear medicine facility

France warns of risk of Israeli strike on Iran: He said the world's leading powers must break the deadlock before Israel ''reacts'' to Iran's military aims. Agreement must be reached with Iran over its nuclear program to remove the risk of an Israeli pre-emptive strike.

FM Downplays Israeli War Rhetoric against Iran: Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here on Monday dismissed the aggressive remarks uttered by Israeli officials against Tehran, and underlined that the Zionist regime does not dare to attack Iran as it lacks the required strength, capabilities and resources.

Turkey chastises the West on Iran: Turkey's prime minister has accused the West of treating Iran unfairly over its nuclear programme. Recep Tayyip Erdogan told Britain's Guardian newspaper Western fears Iran wanted to build the bomb were "gossip".

Report: Turkey PM says Lieberman threatened to nuke Gaza: Turkey's prime minister has further inflamed simmering Israel-Turkey tensions, claiming that Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to use nuclear weapons against Gaza, The Guardian reported Monday.

Erdogan: Use of Weapons of Mass Destruction by Israel in Gaza is a Fact: Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that the use of weapons of mass destruction by Israel is a fact, and that it is unfair to remain silent while civilians are targeted with white phosphorus bombs.

Survey: US support for Israel strong: The American people's strong support for Israel remains constant and their support for action to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power has substantially increased, according to a new nationwide survey released by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday.

Meshaal urges Arab action on Aqsa: "It is the first step towards dividing the mosque, a prelude to demolishing it and building a temple," Meshaal said in a speech in the Syrian capital Damascus, where he is based.

Somali fighters execute 'spies': Al-Shabab hold public execution of two teenagers accused of "spying" for government.

Uruguay heads for vote runoff: A former left-wing guerrilla appears set to take first place in Uruguay's president election, but narrowly missing the minimum 50 per cent of the vote needed to avoid a runoff.

Venezuela ups border security after 10 slayings: Ten men who belonged to the same soccer team were slain execution-style nearly two weeks after being abducted in a crime that Venezuela said Sunday could be the work of warring factions in neighboring Colombia.

UK: Police in £9m scheme to log 'domestic extremists': Police are gathering the personal details of thousands of activists who attend political meetings and protests, and storing their data on a network of nationwide intelligence databases.

The Cover-Up Continues: The Obama administration has clung for so long to the Bush administration’s expansive claims of national security and executive power that it is in danger of turning President George W. Bush’s cover-up of abuses committed in the name of fighting terrorism into President Barack Obama’s cover-up.

Capmark Files for Bankruptcy With $21 Billion in Debt : Capmark, based in Horsham, Pennsylvania, is one of the largest U.S. commercial real estate finance companies, with more than $10 billion in originations, according to Moody’s Investors Service.

A desert for jobs and no end in sight: While millions of workers are struggling to get by on inadequate unemployment benefits, millions more are cut off completely as joblessness rises, reports

October 25, 2009

Car bombs kill at least 136 in Baghdad: Black smoke could be seen billowing from the frantic scene, as emergency service vehicles sped to the area. Even civilian cars were being commandeered to transport the wounded to hospitals.

15 killed in Pakistan's S Waziristan operation: In last 24 hours, 15 militants have been killed during the Pakistani security forces operation in the country's tribal area of South Waziristan, according to an army press release Sunday.

Three soldiers die in Waziristan offensive: officials: Three Pakistani soldiers were killed and several wounded in the past 24 hours as troops pressed a major anti-Taliban offensive in the northwest.

Pakistan provincial minister killed: Armed attackers have shot and killed the education minister of Pakistan's Balochistan province, officials have said.

US soldier, several rebels killed in Afghan unrest: The US soldier was killed on Saturday, the third American to lose his life since Friday. A Danish soldier also attached to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed on Friday.

Protesters burn Obama's effigy in front of Afghan parliament: U.S. soldiers, according to locals, during operations against Taliban militants in Wardak province, 40 km west of Kabul, couple of days ago raided a mosque and burned Quran.

12 Million Afghans Live Under Poverty Line: Ministry: Afghan Minister for Public Health Syed Mohammad Amin Fatimi has revealed that 12 million out of the total 30 million Afghans, including 3 million children, live under poverty line in the war-torn country, a local newspaper reported Saturday.