Thursday, 13 January 2011

A Nation of Laws? Or Assassins?

By Jim Cason

Remote control killings by unmanned drones in Pakistan aren't making our country more secure. Continue

Trumping Truth-Telling
Helen Thomas: Freedom of Speech and the Zionist Albatross


Ms. Thomas’ outcry embodies a half century of frustration and mental occupation that Arab Americans feel as their voices of historical truth is pilloried, discredited, and dismissed as either delusional or Anti-Semitic. Continue

Julian Assange on Murdoch, Manning and the threat from China

By John Pilger

Julian Assange talks to John Pilger about Bradley Manning, his "insurance" files on Rupert Murdoch and News Corp – and which country is the real enemy of WikiLeaks. Continue

A Clear Danger to Free Speech


THE so-called Shield bill, which was recently introduced in both houses of Congress in response to the WikiLeaks disclosures, would amend the Espionage Act of 1917 to make it a crime for any person knowingly and willfully to disseminate, “in any manner prejudicial to the safety or interest of the United States,” any classified information “concerning the human intelligence activities of the United States.” Continue

Detained American Says F.B.I. Pressed Him


An American teenager detained in Kuwait said he underwent a heated interrogation by F.B.I. agents for several hours on Wednesday, in a case that has renewed debate over the Obama administration’s expansion of the no-fly list. Continue

Government Spy Infiltrated Antiwar Groups Before FBI Raids

By Democracy Now

There are major new developments in the case of the peace activists targeted by FBI raids last September. Lawyers for the activists in Minnesota and St. Paul have learned a government agent infiltrated their group and conducted extensive spying. Continue

City Bankruptcies Will Increase, Dimon Warns

By William Alden

The JPMorgan CEO said he expects to see more U.S. municipalities declare bankruptcy. His concerns echo those of Meredith Whitney, the analyst who has said the next major financial crisis will come from a wave of local government defaults, and those of famed investor Warren Buffett, who has called the municipal debt situation a "terrible problem. Continue

US Banks 'Foreclosured On record 1m Homes in 2010'


Banks repossessed a record one million US homes in 2010, and could surpass that number this year, figures show. Continue

Darwin Was Right
We are descended from monkeys. There is no other explanation.

By Fred Reed

The US continues to buy things it can’t pay for, to play roles it can no longer maintain, because it pains the national vanity no longer to be the biggest kid on the block. The monkey can’t let go. Continue

25 killed in suicide car blast in Bannu, Pakistan: According to the sources and local media reports, the blast has completely destroyed the police station and damaged a mosque and a primary school nearby. Many people were said to be near the site when the explosion went off.
Mortars fired from Afghanistan killed 8 people in NW Pakistan: Intelligence officials say mortars fired from Afghanistan killed 8 people in NW Pakistan.
Four police officers killed as militants target police vehicle: In the first attack, three policemen were killed when a remote-controlled bomb destroyed a vehicle carrying police and paramilitary forces in the Bannu district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province
Six NATO occupation force soldiers killed in attacks in Afghanistan: Three soldiers died following a roadside bomb in eastern Afghanistan, while a fourth was killed in an insurgent attack in the same region, ISAF statements said.
Four Afghans killed in Taliban bombings : Three intelligence agents and a civilian were killed in explosions in the Afghan capital Kabul and the eastern province of Kunar on Wednesday, officials said.
Mullen says violence in Afghanistan likely to rise: "We must prepare ourselves for more violence and more casualties in coming months," the chairman said.
Death toll climbs sharply in Tunisia riots: 10 more killed:- The death toll in a month of anti-government protests continued to climb Thursday, with witnesses and human rights groups reporting at least 10 more people had been killed in demonstrations countrywide over the past 24 hours.
Police shoot dead protester in Tunisa: witnesses: Police shot dead a demonstrator near the centre of the Tunisian capital Thursday, witnesses told AFP, in fresh anti-government protests in a wave of unrest rocking the country.
Tunisia dictator seriously challenged: President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, ruling Tunisia since 1987, for the first time faces a serious challenge to his authoritarian power as demonstrators defy the curfew and hit back at the police.
4 Killed in fierce clashes between the army and the separatists South of Yemen: Clashes broke out this morning in Al-Melah city Lehj province , South of Yemen between the army and the separatists, which killed four soldiers and wounding ten others.
2 killed by bombs in Iraq, as Biden visits: Iraqi officials say three explosions in the capital killed two people as Vice President Joe Biden meets with Iraqi leaders to discuss the US troop exit.
Contours of a large and lasting American presence in Iraq starting to take shape: The return to Iraq last week of fiery Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who opposes any U.S. military presence in the country, could jeopardize American plans.
Tony Blair to appear before Iraq war inquiry on 21 January: Blair to make second appearance at inquiry, a year after he first gave evidence, in light of revelations about advice he received on the legality of the war
Hamas deploys forces near Israel-Gaza border to enforce truce: Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh issued the order Thursday following a surge in violence between Palestinian militants and the Israeli military in recent weeks.
Turkey PM: Netanyahu has worst government in history of Israel: Erdogan tells Al-Jazeera that Lieberman is Israel's 'greatest problem' and urges the Israeli public to 'get rid' of him; he also denies Western definition of Hamas as a terrorist movement and declares peace impossible until they are brought into negotiations.
Social Affairs Minister: Israel today feels like Alabama in the 1940s: Isaac Herzog calls on President Shimon Peres to speak out and become a leader in the fight against increased incidents of racism and oppression.
Lebanon PM resignation accepted: Sleiman has asked Hariri to continue managing the country's day-to-day affairs in a caretaker capacity until a new cabinet is formed.
Lebanese government collapses: Government falls after Hezbollah and allies withdraw from coalition in row over UN probe into murder of Rafiq al-Hariri.
Obama backs Hariri as Lebanon plunges into turmoil: US President Barack Obama threw his full support behind embattled Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Wednesday as Hezbollah toppled his unity government during a White House visit.
The effective Iranian deterrent: To date Iran has managed to deter Israel against military action, but will that continue to hold true in 2011?
Fact or fiction? The WikiLeaks-Iran connection: Julian Assange spent two days in Geneva as a guest of an Iranian NGO, the International Institute for Peace, Justice and Human Rights.
WikiLeaks: Julian Assange claims to have Rupert Murdoch 'insurance files': Founder claims WikiLeaks has more than 500 US diplomatic cables on one broadcasting organisation
Lawyer for Assange Accusers Has Ties to CIA and Torture: A lawyer for the accusers in the case of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has ties to the CIA and torture in the post-9/11 period, according to a 2009 report in Europe.
WikiLeaks delivers contribution to Bradley Manning defence fund: Website honours pledge made last July to help pay legal fees of soldier accused of leaking US embassy cables
Wikileaks volunteer detained and searched (again) by US agents: Jacob Appelbaum, a volunteer with Wikileaks, was detained, searched, and questioned by the US Customs and Border Patrol agents at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport on January 10, upon re-entering the US after a vacation in Iceland.
FBI Arrests 32-year-old Man For Threatening Washington Democratic Congressman Jim McDermott: Habermann allegedly threatened to kill the congressman, his family and acquaintances. He also said he would hire someone to put the congressman "in the trash."
UK: Second undercover police officer who posed as activist: The controversy over a police surveillance network embedded in the environmental protest movement has deepened dramatically after the Guardian identified a second undercover officer who spent years living a double life as an activist.
Fearing tea party violence, four Arizona Republicans resign: District Republican chairman: 'I don't want to take a bullet for anyone'
At least 350 killed in Brazil flooding: In the mountain towns of Nova Friburgo, Teresopolis and Petropolis, the reported death tolls are at least 168, 158 and 36 respectively, media report. Thousands have been made homeless.
Mexico updates four years of drug war deaths to 34,612: Unveiling the database, President Felipe Calderon acknowledged that 2010, which saw 15,273 deaths, had been "a year of extreme violence".
UK: Default retirement age of 65 to end. ministers confirm: It means employers will no longer be allowed to dismiss staff just because they have reached the age of 65.
As Austerity Bites Greece, Police Get More Brutal: "This is what happens in countries ruled by authoritarian regimes, not in a European democracy."
China nudges U.S. on assets ahead of Hu trip: China would welcome assurances its financial assets in the United States are safe, a senior diplomat said Wednesday, ahead of President Hu Jintao’s visit next week, but played down rifts between the two powers.
Chinese bank launches yuan service in New York: A state-owned Chinese bank says its New York City branch has begun offering accounts denominated in China's tightly controlled yuan in a new move to expand the currency's global reach.
US Public Strongly Opposes Debt Level Increase: The U.S. public overwhelmingly opposes raising the country's debt limit even though failure to do so could hurt America's international standing and push up borrowing costs, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released Wednesday.
US Federal Reserve chief rules out loans to the states: “We have no expectation or intention to get involved in state and local finances,” Bernanke said, adding later that the states “should not expect loans from the Fed.”
N.Y. governor unveils emergency debt plan: The newly inaugurated governor of New York proposed a wave of belt-tightening measures Wednesday as part of what he called a fundamental realignment of the state.
US Banks Reporting Phantom Income on $1.4 Trillion Delinquent Mortgages: The giant US banks have been bailed out again from huge potential writeoffs by loosey-goosey accounting accepted by the accounting profession and the regulators.
US wholesale prices pushed up by higher energy costs: US wholesale prices saw their biggest increase in 11 months in December, led by higher energy and food costs, official figures have shown.
Detroit: An American Ghetto Where a House Costs Less Than a Car: Once our pride and joy, Detroit now reminds us of how far off track our economy has gone and how downtrodden the middle class is.

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