Wednesday, 30 June 2010

News For June 30, 2010

Iraq War Legal Advice Published
Iraq inquiry publishes legal advice to Blair on war

BBC News

In a letter to the prime minister on 30 January, 2003, Lord Goldsmith said he "remained of the view that the correct legal interpretation of resolution 1441 is that it does not authorise the use of military force without a further determination by the Security Council". Continue

Sinking Ship
The attack on the Gaza relief flotilla jeopardizes Israel itself.

By John J. Mearsheimer

Israel’s botched raid against the Gaza-bound humanitarian flotilla on May 31 is the latest sign that Israel is on a disastrous course that it seems incapable of reversing. The attack also highlights the extent to which Israel has become a strategic liability for the United States. Continue

New Study Documents Media's Servitude to Government

By Glenn Greenwald

American newspapers are highly inclined to refer to waterboarding as "torture" when practiced by other nations, but will suddenly refuse to use the term when it's the U.S. employing that technique. Continue

Unmanned Drones - Targeted Killing vs. "Collateral Murder"

By Thalif Deen

Whether they needlessly kill civilians or not, the remote-controlled drones, being guided mostly by computers located at the far-away headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in Langley, Virginia, are the weapons of the future, say military analysts. Continue

Court's Dual Standards on Free Speech

By Nat Parry

A majority of justices on the U.S. Supreme Court seems to believe in free speech for corporations when it comes to influencing elections, but not so much for actual people trying to end wars. Continue

The GOP's Genetic Link to Big Oil

By Jim Hightower

If scientists were to compare the DNA of Republican congress-critters and of oil corporations, I'll bet they'd find that they match perfectly. After all, the two species have identical political instincts and seem to have a natural affinity for each other — so I'm pretty sure they sprang from the same genetic pool. Continue

20 "militant" killed in northwest Pakistan: Fighter jets conducted strikes on alledged Taliban positions in the restive Orakzai tribal region in northwest Pakistan Wednesday, killing 20 "militants" and destroying six hideouts, officials said.
Blast targets security convoy in SW Pakistan; 5 feared killed: - More than five people were feared killed and about six rushed to hospitals in an explosion on Wednesday in a Southwestern Pakistani district, said police.
Four policemen, nine security guards killed in Afghanistan: Four policemen and nine private security guards were killed in roadside bombings and militant ambushes in southern and western Afghanistan, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday.
NATO says one soldier killed in eastern Afghanistan: A soldier of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was killed in an insurgent small-arms attack in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, the alliance said.
Taliban attacks Nato base: The Taliban have attacked a Nato base in Jalalabad, eastern Afghanistan to "send a message to David Petraeus," the general expected to take command of the US mission in the country.
Mullen: Omar could be part of Afghan settlement: The top U.S. military official said last night that Taliban leader Mullah Omar could conceivably be part of a political settlement in Afghanistan, which he called the only way to bring peace to the tortured central Asian nation, battered by three decades of war.
Petraeus And The Pashtuns: Minus the U.S., the Taliban are robbed of their legitimacy.
Iraq militants kill eight in attacks on police: Insurgents killed a police commander, his wife and a companion in western Iraq on Wednesday before claiming the lives of three policemen in a suicide bombing, and two more police died in a shooting in Baghdad, security officials said.
Six killed, two injured in clashes and suicide bombing in Iraq: A clash between police and gunmen in a crowded market in Heit, 130 kilometres west of Baghdad, left three policemen and two gunmen dead.
Suicide bomber blows himself up in Iraqi hospital: A suicide bomber who was wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a police patrol in western Iraq on Wednesday blew himself up in a hospital where he had been taken for treatment, wounding two people, police said.
Blair 'needed UN support' over Iraq: Jonathan Powell assured a meeting at 10 Downing Street three months before the war began that it was unlikely that America would proceed with the invasion alone.
Chilcot inquiry: Diplomat rejects Blair claim that France barred UN Iraq vote: Sir John Holmes, former ambassador to France, said France had wanted to give UN weapons inspectors more time
Ahmadinejad orders ban on Israeli goods: Iranian lawmakers agreed to task a committee with identifying Israeli companies and institutions to step up efforts for imposing a ban on Israeli products.
EU calls Israel 'obstacle to peace': Jewish "settlements and the demolition of homes are illegal under international law, constitute an obstacle to peace and threaten to make a two-state solution impossible", Ashton said.
West Bank poverty 'worse than Gaza': Children living in the poorest parts of the West Bank face significantly worse conditions than their counterparts in Gaza, a study conducted by an international youth charity has found.
Israel's useful idiot: Congresswoman Fears Hizbullah ‘Israel-Like Bombings’ in US: A Republican Congresswoman has warned that Hizbullah terrorists, hooked up with Mexican drug cartels, may be planning ”Israel-like bombings” against customs officials or National Guard units on the U.S. border.
You think the Congresswoman is crazy? Check this out! Is oil catastrophe fulfillment of Genesis prophecy?: Video suggests biblical tie with U.S. treatment of Israel, rig explosion
U.S. Supreme Court nominee Kagan explains Barak remarks: "The State of Israel has meant a lot to me and my family. And – and I admire Justice Barak for what he's done for the State of Israel and ensuring an independent judiciary."
Grassley Asks Kagan: Didn't God Give Us The Right To Bear Arms? (VIDEO): He wanted to know whether the right to carry man-made weapons actually came from a higher power.
Mexico state elections going ahead: Politicians in Mexico have said they will press ahead with state elections due on Sunday, despite the assassination of a leading candidate for governor of a northern border state.
Banks Financing Mexico Gangs Admitted in Wells Fargo Deal: This was no isolated incident. Wachovia, it turns out, had made a habit of helping move money for Mexican drug smugglers. Wells Fargo & Co., which bought Wachovia in 2008, has admitted in court that its unit failed to monitor and report suspected money laundering by narcotics traffickers -- including the cash used to buy four planes that shipped a total of 22 tons of cocaine.
Bangladesh garment protests spread to Dhaka streets: For four hours, a 15,000-strong crowd of garment workers, who sew clothes for top Western brands, blocked the city's main Rokeya highway, hurling rocks at riot police who responded with tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannon.
The High Cost of Cheap Fashion: What has been liberating for Western women is a system built literally on the backs of women in the developing world. How do Primark and its competitors in the West’s shopping malls and High Streets keep that cute frock so cheap? By starving and oppressing Bangladeshi, Chinese, Mexican, Haitian, and other women, that’s how.
Europe approves US mass data grab: Europe has signed a deal to hand over all bank transaction data to the US in order to help the ongoing war on terrorism.
ACLU mounts first legal challenge to no-fly list: The American Civil Liberties Union plans to sue the U.S. government Wednesday on behalf of 10 citizens or legal permanent residents who have been placed on a no-fly list and, in some cases, stranded abroad.
Exclusive: Congressman wants Attorney General to explain $12 million settlement for $100 million energy fraud: A proposed anti-trust settlement between the U.S. Justice Department and a subsidiary of energy giant National Grid is under fire for allegedly being too lenient to the power company -- and critics say it's just another sign of a dysfunctional regulatory climate.
‘Not enough money in world’ to pay every spill claim: oil fund czar: The prominent US lawyer managing BP's 20-billion-dollar oil disaster fund said Wednesday not all claimants will be paid, especially some of those seeking compensation for falling houses prices.
BP oil spill: Barack Obama and David Cameron agree BP must not collapse: BP must not be allowed to implode in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill disaster, Barack Obama and David Cameron have declared, as the company starts the week with its shares at a 14-year low.
Red tape keeps prized oil-fighting skimmers from Gulf, coastline: Just weeks after the oil spill crisis began to unfold in the Gulf of Mexico, the French foreign minister volunteered a fleet of oil skimming boats from a French company, Ecoceane. A month later, in early June, Ecoceane Chief Executive Eric Vial met with BP and Coast Guard officials to present the idea.
Ancient Fossils Show Arctic Now Near Climate Tipping Point: Current levels of Earth's atmospheric carbon dioxide may be high enough to bring about "irreversible" shifts in Arctic ecosystems, according to new research published today by scientists from the United States, Canada and The Netherlands.
Germany Warns US Not to Become 'Addicted to Borrowing': The US has heavily criticized German austerity measures in recent days. Now, Germany's finance minister has fired back, warning against becoming addicted to deficit spending and noting that history has made the country extremely wary of national debt and inflation.
Fannie-Freddie Bailout Could Cost Taxpayers $1 Trillion: According to the Congressional Budget Office, the losses could balloon to $400 billion. And if housing prices fall further, some experts caution, the cost to the taxpayer could hit as much as $1 trillion.
Top Republican: Raise Social Security's retirement age to 70: Boehner, the top Republican lawmaker in the House, said raising the retirement age by five years, indexing benefits to the rate of inflation and means-testing benefits would make the massive entitlement program more solvent.

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