Friday, 25 June 2010

News For June 25, 2010

Obama Misses the Afghan Exit Ramp

By Ray McGovern

Is President Barack Obama so dense that he could not see why Gen. Stanley McChrystal might actually have wanted to be fired — and rescued from the current March of Folly in Afghanistan, a mess much of his own making? Continue

'Kill TV' and Dark Arts of Special Ops Led McChrystal to the Edge

By Kim Sengupta

From watching 'Kill TV' to leading undercover night raids, the two-star general was on a brutal, bleak journey. Continue

‘Let Them Eat Coriander!’
Blockade ‘eased’ as Gaza starves more slowly

By Jonathan Cook in Nazareth

For the overwhelming majority of Palestinians in Gaza, mired in poverty, the new list of permissible items – including coriander – will remain nothing more than an aspiration. Continue

The Gaza Blokade
Countering Israeli Propaganda

Must Watch Video Interview

Kenneth O'Keefe talks about the attack on the MV Mavi Marmara that was trying to run the blockade on Gaza. Continue

Beyond Stupidity: Another Of Israel's Useful Idiots
Congresswoman Raises Red Flag on Hezbollah-Cartel Nexus on U.S. Border

By Fox News

She said "Iranian agents and members of Hezbollah" are thought to be learning Spanish in Hugo Chavez-run Venezuela before trying to obtain false documents to enter the United States as purported Mexicans. She said Hezbollah, known for its tunnel-digging skill, could be receiving drug money from cartel operations in exchange for help forging better tunnels across the U.S. border for trafficking. Continue

"Learned Helplessness."
In Dire Straits, Americans Whimper Instead

By Ted Rall

Americans are running around aimlessly, veering between two parties that differ only in their degree of harm. Republicans are evil; Democrats enable it.

Top to Bottom
We Need a Real Populist Movement

By Jim Hightower

Right to left is political theory; top to bottom is the reality we actually experience in our lives every day--and the vast majority of Americans know that they're not even within shouting distance of the moneyed powers that rule from the top of both systems, whether those elites call themselves conservatives or liberals. Continue

It's Unstoppable?
Oil Well Blowout May Never End

By Washington's Blog

The likelihood of a complete collapse is difficult to assess, in part, engineers and legislators say, because BP hasn’t shared enough information to evaluate the situation. But a handful of clues suggest that the company is concerned. On Friday, BP spokesperson Toby Odone acknowledged that the 45-ton stack of the blowout preventer was tilting noticeably, but said the company could not attribute it to down-hole leaks. Continue

BP Welcomes You to the Apocalypse

By Mark Morford

Toxic rain and supersonic tsunamis, the end of North America as we know it. Done. Finished. Certainly, one of those two scenarios is guaranteed to come to pass, right? Maybe, if we're really lucky, even both? Continue

Man Indicted for Using Right to Free Speech

By Nat Hentoff

This is a story that should be a warning to Americans, regardless of political party, because it dramatically illustrates what pre-eminent civil liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate documents in his book, "Three Felonies A Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent" Continue

"Taliban" behead 11 Afghan civilians: police: The headless bodies of 11 Afghan civilians allegedly decapitated by Taliban insurgents have been found in central Afghanistan, police said Friday.
10 Taliban militants killed in clash': Ten Taliban fighters, including two Pakistanis, and a police commander of a check-post were killed in a gun battle that lasted several hours in southwestern Nimroz province, an official said on Friday, cited by Pajhwok Afghan News.
3 US Occupation Force Troops Killed: A U.S. service member was killed in an insurgent attack Friday in eastern Afghanistan and another American died following a roadside bombing in southern Afghanistan on Thursday. A third service member died in an explosion Friday in southern Afghanistan, NATO said.
Change... What change? Obama: No hasty Afghan exit: A day after replacing the top American general in Afghanistan, President Barack Obama said Thursday that U.S. troops could remain in significant numbers in the country well after his withdrawal timeline begins next summer.
Pakistan: At least 10 militants killed in fresh clash in NW Pakistan: At least 10 militants were killed Friday morning in retaliation of Pakistani security forces in troubled Lower Orakzai tribal area, northwest Pakistan, local media reported.
11 Killed as Yemen Forces Clash with "al-Qaeda" : Yemen's security forces have clashed with suspected members of al-Qaeda as they hunted fighters behind a deadly attack on a government intelligence compound in the southern city of Aden.
10 killed in attacks targeting Iraqi forces: A spate of attacks targeting Iraqi security forces and their allies killed at least 10 people yesterday, half in suicide bombings in the northern city of Mosul, officials said.
Iraq announces exceptional measures to improve electricity : 'We have decided to remove all emergency lines for officials and rich citizens, in cooperation with the security forces, and we have started from the Green Zone in central Baghdad,' al-Shahristani told reporters.
Somalia: 8 Killed in Mogadishu: At least eight people, mostly civilians caught in the crossfire, have been killed and over a dozen are wounded.
Israeli Attack Kills 2 In Gaza: Officials in Gaza have retrieved the bodies of two Palestinians killed in Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip, the Associated Press news agency has reported.
British trade union calls for boycott: One of UK's largest unions votes for boycott, expelling Israeli envoy.
Iran wimps out? Iran activists cancel Gaza aid flotilla 'due to Israeli threats': Separate Iranian ship heads to Gaza via Caspian Sea after Egypt denies Israel request to prevent vessels in Suez Canal.
IRAN: Attempt to break Israeli blockade of Gaza called off: According to a Persian-language report by Iran's official Islamic Republic News Agency, an Iranian foreign ministry official told reporters that an Iranian aid flotilla destined for Gaza this weekend has been called off.
Peres to Austrian chancellor: Terror groups overtook Gaza flotillas: "Israel will not allow entry to ships carrying missiles and armaments arriving directly from Iran, Syria, and Lebanon," said Peres to the chancellor.
US says Gaza flotillas 'irresponsible': State Department urges parties to avoid 'unnecessary confrontations', says, 'Mechanisms exist for transfer of aid to Gaza, delivery by sea neither appropriate, nor effective'
Likud votes on new settlements: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party approves a plan to continue illegal settlement expansion on occupied Palestinian lands.
Fact or fiction? Hamas says asked by US to keep silent on talks: Islamist group source says senior American officials request contacts remain secret 'so as not to rouse Jewish lobby'
New Australian PM supportive of Israel: Jewish leaders welcomed the appointment of Australia’s first female prime minister, who has been supportive of Israel. - But she “stood like a rock during the Gaza incursion [in 2009], reiterating again and again that Hamas began the conflict by rocketing Israel,” said Michael Danby, a Jewish lawmaker in the Labor government.
US Approves New Iran Sanctions: The United States Senate has voted 99-0 to approve new, tougher sanctions on Iran. The vote in the House of Representatives was 408-8. Like previous sanctions, the latest move aims to discourage Iran's nuclear program.
Jewish groups praise Iran sanctions passage: My email inbox today has been chock full of statements from Jewish organizations and Capitol Hill politicians lauding final passage of the new, tougher Iran sanctions bill, and groups like AIPAC deserve a pat on the back for getting the legislation through a largely gridlocked Congress.
Iran sanctions must not hit Russian business: envoy: Russia's cooperation with Europe in the Iranian nuclear standoff could be curbed if unilateral EU sanctions on Tehran hit Russian companies, a top envoy said Friday.
U.S. Military Surrounds Iran: Chances of Israeli Bombing Increase
Egyptians protest police abuse: Opposition leader ElBaradei says demonstrations 'clear-cut message to regime that Egyptian people are sick and tired of practices that are inhumane
Venezuela to nationalize U.S. firm's oil rigs: The 11 drilling rigs have been idled for months following a dispute over pending payments by the OPEC member's state oil company PDVSA. Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez said on Wednesday the rigs, the Oklahoma-based company's entire Venezuelan fleet, were being nationalized to bring them back into production.
BP Has Built An Artificial Island To Get Around Offshore Drilling Ban In Alaska: BP plans to begin drilling two miles under the sea just miles away from a delicate wildlife reserve in Alaska. The company will get around the deep-water moratorium by constructing an artificial island -- 31 acres of gravel -- and registering as an onshore rig. Not exactly the safest operation, reports Rolling Stone:
Vast amounts of methane in Gulf spill pose threat: Vast amounts of natural gas contained in crude escaping from the blown Gulf of Mexico oil well could pose a serious threat to marine life by creating "dead zones" where oxygen is so depleted that nothing lives.
Report: Toxins found in whales bode ill for humans: Sperm whales feeding even in the most remote reaches of Earth's oceans have built up stunningly high levels of toxic and heavy metals, according to American scientists who say the findings spell danger not only for marine life but for the millions of humans who depend on seafood.
Vatican anger over Belgium raids: Church "astonished" at searches, including of two bishop's graves, over child abuse claims.
ACLU: Consumers' privacy at risk in Internet tax case: The American Civil Liberties Union contends that North Carolina's efforts to collect sales taxes from online retailers could lead to government snooping on consumers' online shopping habits.
Homeland Security to use drones along border: The department said Wednesday it has obtained Federal Aviation Administration permission to operate unmanned planes along the Texas border and throughout the Gulf Coast region.
Canada: Police powers expanded for G20: Under the new regulations, anyone who comes within five metres of the security area is obliged to give police their name and state the purpose of their visit on request. Anyone who fails to provide identification or explain why they are near the security zone can be searched and arrested.
G20 split over global recovery plan: Leaders meeting in Canada divided on whether to cut or spend their way towards recovery.
Italians strike over austerity plan: Union stages action in latest string of protests across Europe over budget cuts.
Banks ‘Dodged a Bullet’ as Congress Dilutes Rules: Legislation to overhaul financial regulation will help curb risk-taking and boost capital buffers. What it won’t do is fundamentally reshape Wall Street’s biggest banks or prevent another crisis, analysts said.

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