Saturday, 30 October 2010

News For October 30, 2010

Wikileaks Docs Underestimate Iraqi Dead

By John Tirman

For all their value, the newly leaked documents will, unfortunately, reinforce the lower estimates of Iraqi mortality. Continue

"Why Is Assange Still Alive?"
The Wretched Mind of the American Authoritarian

By Glenn Greenwald

The cavalier call for people's deaths, the demand for ultimate punishments without a shred of due process, the belief that the U.S. is entitled to do whatever it wants anywhere in the world without the slightest constraints, a wholesale rejection of basic Western liberties such as due process and a free press. Continue

Bring me the head of Silvino Herrera
"Us versus them" and other "modern" myths of war and civilization

By Daniel Patrick Welch

They behead – we do it with smart bombs. There is, of course, an ugly truth to this recently minted axiom: the horror of state terrorism is that the overwhelming machinery of death in the hands of all-powerful governments far outweighs individual atrocities by madmen, small groups and non-state entities. Continue

The Tariq Aziz Sentence
The Audacity, Bestiality and Venality of Victors

By Monish Chatterjee

Throughout my conscious years, I have witnessed with disbelief and increasing hopelessness the limitless human capacity for cruelty and barbarism- quite often comfortably cloaked in terms of righteousness and piety. Continue

Segregation of Jews and Arabs in 2010 Israel is Almost Absolute

By Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu

For those of us who live here, it is something we take for granted. But visitors from abroad cannot believe their eyes. Continue

About Those Packages
That "credible terrorist threat" — coming just before Election Day.
By Ann Althouse

I didn't know what to say as the story was unfolding yesterday. I had the thought — and I immediately censored myself — what does this have to do with Election Day? Continue

2010 Election:
Referendum on Reality, Racism, and Revisionist History

By Bill Noxid

Here is where we stand at the precipice of the 2010 midterm election. Further from reality, further from equality, and further from progress than we have ever been in my lifetime. While Obama keeps imagining the America he described in his Colonial Inaugural Address, the people are more in need a reality-based leader than ever. Continue

"C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy."

By Robert F. Kennedy, Jr

For decades in Washington, D.C., a secretive group known as The Family has been working behind the scenes to empower a few select politicians, and to influence the decisions that shape our country. Continue

Bernanke gets his "pink slip"

By Mike Whitney

Rather than push for more fiscal “pump priming” so households can continue to pay-down debts and rebuild their savings, the Fed chair is planning to flood emerging markets with hot money, increasing currency volatility and forcing trade partners to clamp down on capital controls so they don't drown in the surge of greenbacks fleeing the US. Continue

80 :Taliban" killed in failed attack: "Fresh information that we received from intelligence sources shows that 80 Taliban have been killed. The bodies of the militants were left on the battlefield," said Mukhlis Afghan, spokesman for the governor of eastern Paktika province.
Afghan president condemns US-Russia drugs operation : Afghanistan says US-Russia raid violated sovereignty
30 killed, 67 injured in suicide bombing attack on Iraqi cafe: The death toll from a suicide bombing that ripped through a crowded coffee shop in Iraq's Diyala province has reached 30, with more than 67 injured, police sources said Saturday.
Kurd bloc exits Iraq alliance: – A key Iraqi party with eight elected MPs said Saturday it has withdrawn from a Kurdish bloc, weakening an alliance whose support will decide who becomes the next prime minister.
Somalia: 10 Civilians Killed by Amisom Troops in Southern Somalia: At least 10 people were killed and more than 25 others wounded after pro-government forces fired mortars in two days fighting in Somali capital Mogadishu, Radio Garowe reports.
Girls killed by Islamist firing squad in Somalia: Victims reported to be 18 or younger were shot in front of hundreds of residents in Beledweyne, near border with Ethiopia
Somali forces sell weapons to Islamists: A former commander in the Somali military has admitted that government soldiers sell arms to insurgents seeking to topple western backed government. A former Chief of Staff of Somalia's Military, major general Yusuf Hussein Osman, says unpaid soldiers offered to sell their guns and ammunition to the enemy
Pakistan: Two soldiers killed in South Waziristan: Militants attacked a military check post on Saturday, killing two soldiers in the South Waziristan tribal region, a security official said.
12 "militants" killed in Pakistan attack : Since August 2008, approximately a thousand people have been killed in about 100 attacks by US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan. Over 90 percent of the victims have been civilians.
FBI asks how subway bomb defendant was radicalized : FBI agents who ensnared a suburban father in a terrorism sting involving a fictional subway bomb plot have turned their attention to figuring out what may have made the Pakistani-born U.S. citizen turn against his adopted country.
Foiled or Faked: FBI 'entrapment' tactics fuel home-grown terror? A U.S. counter-terrorism official said there's no indication Ahmed was ever in touch with real militants. And as RT's Marina Portnaya found out, critics say the FBI is increasingly using tactics that amount to entrapment.
US official overstepped bounds with private spy ring: probe: A senior Pentagon official broke government rules and lied to superiors when he set up an "unauthorized" network of private contractors to spy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, an internal probe has found.
Palestinians to declare statehood in 2011: Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said plans are under way to declare an independent Palestinian state next year.
Turkey policy paper: Israel's actions threaten Mideast: Ankara's National Security Council names Israel as central threat to Turkey's security for first time since 1949, fails to mention Iran, Syria
Iran says it is ready to restart nuclear talks: – Iran notified the European Union Friday that it is willing to restart international negotiations over its nuclear program after Nov. 10, potentially reviving talks that foundered a year ago.
Iran to sue over European refusal to refuel planes: Iran is taking legal action in The Hague against global oil majors who are refusing to refuel its Europe-bound flights under US pressure, a top aviation official said on Saturday.
Iran's exports to US more than double in 1st half: Iran state television on Friday reported that exports to the United States more than doubled to $77 million in the first half of the Iranian calendar year.
'Europe Iran oil imports twice as 2008': The report added that according to the International Energy Agency in Paris, “Europe imports about 1.2 million barrels of Iranian crude per day, which is double the amount in 2008.”
Iran to help Bolivia build peaceful nuclear power plant: Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Friday that Bolivia and Iran will work together to build a nuclear power plant in Bolivia.
Cambodians beaten, raped and killed at illegal detention camp funded by UN: UN funding is being used to run a brutal internment camp for the destitute in Cambodia where detainees are held for months without trial, raped and beaten, sometimes to death, former inmates have told the Guardian.
Yemen says UPS planes never take off or land in it: No UPS cargo planes left Yemen to other countries in the last days and there are no direct flights from Yemen to the United Kingdom or the United States, a Yemeni official said, after allegations that British and U.S. officials had found suspicious packages on planes that originated in Yemen
Suspicious Package to U.S. not from Yemen; Yemenia Air Cargo Director: Air Cargo Director for Yemenia Airways said to Yemen Post, "No UPS cargo plane left Yemeni lands over the land 48 hours. These accusations are false and baseless." He added, "No UPS or DHL cargo packages heading to Chicago through Yemen took place in the last 48 hours as well.
Yemen arrests woman over parcel bombs sent to U.S. synagogues: Yemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh said earlier that security forces had surrounded a house at an undisclosed location where a woman believed to be involved in the apparent plan to attack targets in the United States was taking refuge.
Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Yemen? Explosive package bore al-Qaida hallmarks, Dubai police say: A US-bound package intercepted on a plane in Dubai contained explosives and bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida, Dubai police said today as international security services continued to investigate the terrorist threat.
UK cargo plane device was bomb - British Government: "The target may have been an aircraft and, had it detonated, the aircraft could have been brought down," she said.
Manufacturing Consent For Attack On Yemen? Explosive packages reflect new Yemen terror threat: The discovery of two explosive-laden packages sent from Yemen and aimed at U.S. and Western interests represents a new escalation in the terror threat emanating from this violence-wracked, poverty-stricken Mideast country.
TSA to phase in new pat-down procedures at airports nationwide: According to Fitzpatrick, a female screener ran her hands around her breasts, over her stomach, buttocks and her inner thighs, and briefly touched her crotch.
New pat-downs in airport security lines drawing ire: The Transportation Security Administration rolled out a new pat-down technique Friday aimed at boosting security, but it is drawing criticism already for being too intrusive.
European airlines say U.S. security goes overboard: European air officials accused the United States of imposing useless and overly intrusive travel security measures, calling Wednesday for the Obama administration to re-examine policies ranging from online security checks to X-raying shoes.
Police discredited over secret plan to spy on Muslims: A secret police counter-terrorism operation surveillance in two areas of Birmingham wasimplemented with virtually no consultation, oversight or regard for the law, a damning internal report has found.
Torture Is Finally Mentioned on the Last Day of Omar Khadr’s Sentencing Hearing at Guantánamo: Everything about the last week’s events at Guantánamo has been deeply disturbing.
Mexico: America's Drug Habit Is Killing Us: "They [the Americans] have a clear responsibility in this because they are providing the market for the drug dealers and the criminals," he said. "They need to do a lot more in terms of reducing the consumption of drugs and to stop the flow of weapons towards Mexico."
Nouriel Roubini: U.S. On Track For A 'Fiscal Train Wreck': The U.S. economy is a "fiscal train wreck" waiting to happen that risks ushering in a period of stagnation featuring by minimal growth, high unemployment and deflationary pressure, U.S. economist Nouriel Roubini wrote on Friday
Unemployment Offices To Add Armed Guards: The agency is merely being cautious with the approach of an early-December deadline when thousands of Indiana residents could see their unemployment benefits end after exhausting the maximum 99 weeks provided through multiple federal extension periods.
Idaho officials poised to cut $8 million in Medicaid services to mentally ill and disabled: News of the cuts have angered advocacy groups and organizations that provide services for hundreds of mentally ill and developmentally disabled clients who will be affected by the rules.
Q3 foreclosures up in 65% of country: Cities in California, Florida, Nevada and Arizona once again accounted for all top 10 foreclosure rates in the third quarter among metropolitan areas with a population of 200,000 or more, according to a report from RealtyTrac Inc.
Sin City is still foreclosure central - RealtyTrac: One out of every 25 housing units -- more than 32,000 homes -- attracted some kind of foreclosure filing, including notices of default, auction notices and repossessions.
Foreclosures: More Evidence of Bogus Paperwork: America's foreclosure crisis is spreading far from the states like Florida and California where it began. In the Seattle area foreclosures are up 71 percent this year.
Wells Fargo Owns Up to Finding Errors in 55,000 Foreclosure Affidavits: Wells Fargo says it has identified instances where employees did not “strictly adhere” to the required legal procedures in conducting final reviews of the affidavits. The bank also says “some aspects of the notarization process” were not properly executed.
I was a robo-signer: It only took him a second to sign each foreclosure document. That's how good Tam Doan got at his job in Bank of America's pre-sale foreclosure department in Southern California.
With Millions of Foreclosures on Horizon, Should States Mandate Mods?: According to the Center for Responsible Lending, since the housing crisis took hold, 2.5 million homeowners have already lost their homes and another 5.7 million are at risk of foreclosure. It's projected that between 10 and 13 million foreclosures will have occurred by the time this crisis abate
Homeowners Get The Boot For Bad Paperwork While Banks Get Millions For Same: Mortgage companies enrolled in the Obama administration's signature foreclosure-prevention initiative may be receiving taxpayer funds despite not having a legal right to the home or to the mortgage, a top Treasury Department official revealed.

American Democracy: Pro-Israel Tweedledum and Tweedledee

By Maidhc Ó Cathail

In a district which includes the affluent northern suburbs of Chicago along the shore of Lake Michigan, the central issue is not the two wars—or is it now three?—the country is fighting, nor is it the tanking economy, in great part caused by those debt-inducing wars. No, the burning issue here is… who cares more about Israel? Continue

Democracy's Price Tag: Only $4.2 Billion?

By Robert Reich

In this midterm election, campaign contributions have reached a record $4.2 billion, thanks largely to the Supreme Court's decision to lift many contribution restrictions. Continue

The Tea Party Movement:
Deluded and Inspired by Billionaires

By George Monbiot

By funding numerous rightwing organisations, the mega-rich Koch brothers have duped millions into supporting big business. Continue

American Job Loss Is Permanent

By Paul Craig Roberts

The major cause of the US trade deficit with China is “globalism” or the practice, enforced by Wall Street and Wal-Mart, of US corporations offshoring their production for US markets to China in order to improve the bottom line by lowering labor costs. Continue

17 "Taliban fighters" killed in Pak's tribal areas: Seventeen "Taliban fighters" were killed and 16 more injured in air strikes by helicopter gunships and a clash between militants and security forces in Pakistan's restive tribal belt near the Afghan border on Thursday, officials said.
US Kills 11 People In Pakistan: At least 11 "suspected militants" have been killed in drone strikes in north-west Pakistan in the past 24 hours, local officials say.
Pakistan: Four shia traders gunned down in Quetta: A gunman, on Thursday, shot dead four Shias in Balochistan, police said. The shooting took place in Quetta, the provincial capital.
Indian Author Arundhati Roy Faces Arrest for Questioning India’s Claim on Kashmir: Video and transcript: The award-winning Indian author Arundhati Roy is facing possible arrest in India on sedition charges after publicly advocating for Kashmir independence and challenging India’s claim that Kashmir is an "integral part of India."
Bomb attack in southern Afghanistan kills 3 police: A roadside bomb targeting the car of a district police chief killed three police officers Thursday in southern Afghanistan
Billions missing in US Afghan fund: The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has announced that nearly 18 billion dollars received by thousands of firms to rebuild Afghanistan remain unaccounted for.
Karzai delays shutdown of private security firms in Afghanistan: It took a series of high-level diplomatic meetings over the weekend and a personal call from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton to win an agreement from Karzai to delay by two months the implementation of his decree
Afghan warlord's private army trained in Australia : SENIOR militia fighters loyal to a notorious Afghan warlord have been flown to Australia to train with elite special forces as part of a covert strategy to strengthen military operations against the Taliban.
At Least 3 Killed in Iraq Bombings: Investigators say a suicide bombing outside of the federal police headquarters in the city of Mosul killed two police officers and left at least eight people wounded.
Netanyahu: Settlement building won't affect final status peace deal: PM comment comes as Palestinians consider UN Security Council vote on unilateral declaration of statehood if Israel does not cease its recently resumed settlement constructing.
Israeli lawmaker calls for arrest of US war criminals: An Israeli Knesset member on Monday sought to turn the tables on the US (and the wider Western world) by calling for an international investigation into American military activities in Iraq and the arrest of American “war criminals.”
E.U. rules let Iran import, export oil, creating possible split from U.S. policy: The United States and Europe have worked cooperatively on Iran policy since President Obama took office, but a small crack might have begun to open over sanctions that are beginning to pinch ordinary Iranians.
Hezbollah: STL spied for West, Israel: Hezbollah says the UN tribunal, investigating the former Lebanese premier's assassination, has been channeling data on the country to the West and Israel.
Hezbollah urges Hariri case boycott: "Any further co-operation with the tribunal is equal to an attack on the resistance," Nasrallah said, referring to his predominatly Shia Muslim movement.
Battle for Mogadishu escalates: It was a fairly typical Thursday in Mogadishu. By mid-morning, the fighting had already reached a fever pitch.
Obama waiver allows U.S. aid to 4 countries using child soldiers: President Obama has granted a waiver allowing four countries to continue receiving U.S. military aid even though they use child soldiers, officials said Wednesday.
Guantanamo inmate Khadr 'sorry': Canadian-born detainee apologises to widow of US soldier he killed in Afghanistan in his first remarks to trial.
Why ARE so many modern British career women converting to Islam?: Tony Blair’s sister-in-law announced her conversion to Islam last weekend.- She is just one of a growing number of modern British career women to do so. Here, writer EVE AHMED, who was raised as a Muslim before rejecting the faith, explores the reasons why.

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