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Showing posts from September 16, 2008

Israel's Gaza shelling may be war crime - Tutu

Israel's Gaza shelling may be war crime - Tutu: "GENEVA, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Israel's deadly shelling in the Gaza Strip in November 2006 may constitute a war crime, South Africa's Archbishop Desmond Tutu said in a report to the United Nations released on Monday.

Tutu, who serves as an independent U.N. human rights envoy, said Israel must be held accountable for its strike that hit two homes in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, killing 18 people.

'In the absence of a well-founded explanation from the Israeli military -- who is in sole possession of the relevant facts -- the mission must conclude that there is a possibility that the shelling of Beit Hanoun constituted a war crime,' he said in the report to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

The South African cleric said his mission had also made clear to leaders of the Palestinian faction Hamas that 'the firing of rockets on the civilian population in Israel must stop'.

The Israeli military has said it decided to fi…

So, the President May Kill Anybody He Pleases, Right? by Robert Higgs

So, the President May Kill Anybody He Pleases, Right? by Robert Higgs: "Among the many cock-and-bull stories set afoot by the Bush administration during the lead-up to its attack on Iraq was the one about the now-infamous drones of death. Later, it became sufficiently clear that this alleged threat had no more substance than the others the administration and the lapdog mainstream media had served up to a credulous public.

Although the ludicrously primitive Iraqi drones had no capacity whatsoever to harm the American public, the lethality of U.S. drones is another matter. Predator drones equipped with Hellfire missiles now provide the U.S. government with a means of flying over territory that U.S. ground troops dare not penetrate, observing activities on the ground, and killing people there with, shall we say, a minimum of due process.

In November 2002, for example, BBC News reported: 'America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) carried out an attack in Yemen that killed six sus…

Zimbabwe deal sees Mugabe cede some power

Zimbabwe deal sees Mugabe cede some power: "President Robert Mugabe relaxed his iron hold on Zimbabwe for the first time in nearly three decades of one-man rule on Monday, forced by escalating economic chaos into sharing power with his bitter political rivals.

Thousands of supporters of the rival parties threw stones at each other outside the convention center and several hundred broke through the gates into the sprawling grounds of the convention center where the signing ceremony took place. Police fired warning shots and set dogs on the crowd, which calmed after the initial clashes and cheered as their leaders left.

Mugabe, main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a faction that broke away from Tsvangirai's party, all pledged with passion to make the deal work. But long-simmering and bitter differences between the two sides and the nation's worsening economic collapse are expected to put the power-sharing deal under intense pressure."

Somali rebels drive back Ethiopia’s army of occupiers|20Sep08|Socialist Worker

Somali rebels drive back Ethiopia’s army of occupiers|20Sep08|Socialist Worker

Ethiopia’s US-backed occupation of Somalia is fast unravelling, threatening US control over the Horn of Africa.

In late August, Somali rebels seized the southern port city of Kismayo.

The US has made Somalia its “third front in the war on terror” following a popular rebellion that catapulted the Union of Islamic Courts (UIC) to power in June 2006.

The UIC emerged after years of anarchic rule by warlords and their militias. It grew in popularity after it began to intervene on behalf of people wronged by the militias.

After they were driven from power the warlords formed the Transitional Federal Government in exile and declared the UIC was the “Somali Taliban”.

They warned that the new government would turn the country into “a base for Al Qaida” in eastern Africa.

In December 2006 the US pressured Ethiopia to invade its neighbour in return for financial aid and economic development.

Ethiopian troops, backed by US fir…

Common plastics chemical linked to human diseases | Health | Reuters

Common plastics chemical linked to human diseases | Health | Reuters
A study has for the first time linked a common chemical used in everyday products such as plastic drink containers and baby bottles to health problems, specifically heart disease and diabetes.

Until now, environmental and consumer activists who have questioned the safety of bisphenol A, or BPA, have relied on studies showing harm from exposure in laboratory animals.

But British researchers, who published their findings on Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, analyzed urine and blood samples from 1,455 U.S. adults aged 18 to 74 who were representative of the general population.