Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2009

The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets

The Hell of War Comes Home: Newspaper Series Documents Murder, Suicide, Kidnappings by Iraq Vets: "A startling two-part series published in the Gazette newspaper of Colorado Springs titled “Casualties of War” examines a part of war seldom discussed by the media or government officials: the difficulty of returning to civilian life after being trained to be a killer. The story focuses on a single battalion based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, the 2nd Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment. Soldiers from the brigade have have been involved in brawls, beatings, rapes, drunk driving, drug deals, domestic violence, shootings, stabbings, kidnapping and suicides. The Army unit’s murder rate is 114 times the rate for Colorado Springs. We speak with the reporter who broke the story and get the Army’s response. [includes rush transcript]"

Christopher Pyle, Whistleblower Who Sparked Church Hearings of 1970s, on Military Spying of Olympia Peace Activists

Christopher Pyle, Whistleblower Who Sparked Church Hearings of 1970s, on Military Spying of Olympia Peace Activists: "The news of peace activists in Olympia, Washington exposing Army spying, infiltration and intelligence gathering on their groups may strengthen congressional demands for a full-scale investigation of US intelligence activities like those of the 1970s. We speak with law professor and former Army whistleblower Christopher Pyle, whose 1970 disclosure of the military’s widespread surveillance of civilian groups triggered scores of congressional probes, including the Church Committee hearings, where he served as an investigator. [includes rush transcript]"

ei: Why Obama's peace process is still going nowhere

ei: Why Obama's peace process is still going nowhere: "Much of the debate about US President Barack Obama's push for Middle East peace resembles the proverbial argument about whether the glass is half full or half empty. But even a full glass is not very useful if you need to fill an entire reservoir.

A common assumption is that earlier American administrations were insufficiently 'engaged.' Obama's early moves, including the appointment of former Northern Ireland mediator George Mitchell as his envoy, have therefore been widely welcomed.

The problem was never a lack of American engagement, but what kind. Indeed, the Bush administration took engagement to unprecedented lengths. It pushed for Palestinian elections, and then when Hamas defeated the US-backed Fatah faction, America attempted to overturn the result. The Bush administration helped arm and train Palestinian militias opposed to Hamas and vetoed a Palestinian 'national unity government.' It supp…

 Judge Orders Young Gitmo Detainee's Release    : Information Clearing House - ICH

Judge Orders Young Gitmo Detainee's Release : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Judge Orders Young Gitmo Detainee's Release

Mohammed Jawad Arrived At Guantanamo At About Age 12

Associated Press Writer

July 30, 2009 'The Guardian' -- -- A judge ruled today that one of the youngest detainees brought to Guantánamo Bay is being held illegally and must be released.

US district judge Ellen Huvelle's order does not end the case of Mohammed Jawad, however. Deputy assistant attorney general Ian Gershengorn told the judge that as the United States negotiates with the detainee's home country of Afghanistan for his return next month, the US justice department also is pursuing a criminal investigation.

Gershengorn said Eric Holder, the US attorney general, has not yet decided whether to indict Jawad, who allegedly threw a grenade that wounded two US soldiers and their interpreter in December 2002. That means it's possible he could be brought to the …

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Senior Islamist among Nigeria dead

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Senior Islamist among Nigeria dead: "The deputy leader of a Muslim group battling security forces in northern Nigeria was among dozens of people killed after troops shelled their base in the city of Maiduguri, military officials said.

Heavy fighting was reported overnight into Thursday as the army attacked a compound and mosque used by the Boko Haram group.

'The deputy leader of the Taliban by the name Abubakar Shekau was in the early hours of today killed along with 200 followers by Nigerian troops,' a police officer told the AFP news agency.

The Nigerian government had vowed to hunt down members of the group after hundreds of people were killed following a series of apparently co-ordinated attacks on police in four northern states."

US Blackwater-Xe mercenaries spreads fear in Pakistani town (Feature) - Monsters and Critics

US Blackwater-Xe mercenaries spreads fear in Pakistani town (Feature) - Monsters and Critics: "Peshawar - Fear is spreading across University Town, an upmarket residential area in Pakistan's north-western city of Peshawar, due to the overt presence of the controversial US private security contractor Blackwater.

Sporting the customary dark glasses and carrying assault rifles, the mercenaries zoom around the neighbourhood in their black-coloured armoured Chevy Suburbans, and shout at motorists when occasionally stranded in a traffic jam."

     : Information Clearing House - ICH

: Information Clearing House - ICH: "Casualties of War

The hell of war comes home

By Dave Phillips

July 28, 2009 'The Gazette' July 26, 2009 -- - Marquez's 3,500-soldier unit — now called the 4th Infantry Division’s 4th Brigade Combat Team — fought in some of the bloodiest places in Iraq, taking the most casualties of any Fort Carson unit by far. Back home, 10 of its infantrymen have been arrested and accused of murder, attempted murder or manslaughter since 2006. Others have committed suicide, or tried to.Before the murders started, Anthony Marquez’s mom dialed his sergeant at Fort Carson to warn that her son was poised to kill.

It was February 2006, and the 21-year-old soldier had not been the same since being wounded and coming home from Iraq eight months before. He had violent outbursts and thrashing nightmares. He was devouring pain pills and drinking too much. He always packed a gun.

(A word of caution about the language and content of this story: Please see Edi…

"One big, tall Caucasian American" | Salon News

"One big, tall Caucasian American" | Salon News: "July 22, 2009 | Allegations of a massacre near Dasht-e-Leili, Afghanistan, by Taliban forces soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan began to surface during U.S. law enforcement interviews with detainees at Guantánamo. Roughly 10 detainees described similar stories of the mass killing in late 2001 by asphyxiation in shipping containers. Some detainees also alleged that U.S. forces stood by but did nothing to stop the massacre, though the number and specificity of those claims remains unclear. The document reprinted below, heavily redacted, records an interview with one detainee who reported seeing a 'big, tall, caucasian [sic] American.' The Criminal Investigative Task Force, or 'CITF,' named below refers to an investigative task force drawing on such agencies as the FBI, CID and NCIS."

     : Information Clearing House - ICH

: Information Clearing House - ICH: "July 20. 2009 'The Guardian' -- For the winning punters chancing their luck at Hawaiian Gardens' charity bingo hall in the heart of one of California's poorest towns, the big prize is $500. The losers walk away with little more than an assurance that their dollars are destined for a good cause.

But the real winners and losers live many thousands of miles away, where the profits from the nightly ritual of numbers-calling fund what critics describe as a form of ethnic cleansing by extremist organisations.

Each dollar spent on bingo by the mostly Latino residents of Hawaiian Gardens, on the outskirts of Los Angeles, helps fund Jewish settlements on Palestinian land in some of the most sensitive areas of occupied East Jerusalem, particularly the Muslim quarter of the old city, and West Bank towns such as Hebron where the Israeli military has forced Arabs out of their properties in their thousands."

Beyond the Hype: Cronkite and the Vietnam War by Norman Solomon --

Beyond the Hype: Cronkite and the Vietnam War by Norman Solomon -- "Media eulogies for Walter Cronkite – including from progressive commentators – rarely talk about his coverage of the Vietnam War before 1968. This obit omit is essential to the myth of Cronkite as a courageous truth-teller.

But facts are facts, and history is history – including what Cronkite actually did as TV’s most influential journalist during the first years of the Vietnam War. Despite all the posthumous praise for Cronkite’s February 1968 telecast that dubbed the war 'a stalemate,' the facts of history show that the broadcast came only after Cronkite’s protracted support for the war.

In 1965, reporting from Vietnam, Cronkite dramatized the murderous war effort with enthusiasm. 'B-57s – the British call them Canberra jets – we’re using them very effectively here in this war in Vietnam to dive-bomb the Vietcong in these jungles beyond Da Nang here,' he reported, standing in front of…

Afghan Villagers Attack Taliban -

Afghan Villagers Attack Taliban - "Villagers attacked the Taliban in eastern Afghanistan, a rare instance of locals turning on insurgents after being promised aid money and security by the government.

Friday's confrontation was welcome news for Afghan and U.S. authorities, in what is shaping up to be one of the bloodiest months for the U.S-led coalition since the start of the war.

Tribesmen in Nangarhar, a province in the east, broke ties with the Taliban after being promised development money and security at a pair of meetings with Afghan officials in recent months, said tribal elders and a spokesman for the provincial government, Ahmad Zia Abdulzai."

RebelReports - Al Jazeera Journalist Imprisoned & Tortured at Gitmo to Sue Bush

RebelReports - Al Jazeera Journalist Imprisoned & Tortured at Gitmo to Sue Bush: "By Jeremy Scahill

Sami al-Haj, the al Jazeera journalist who spent seven years at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo is preparing to file a lawsuit against former president George W Bush and other top Bush administration officials. al-Haj was repeatedly interrogated by U.S. operatives attempting to falsely link al Jazeera to al Qaeda. al-Haj was also tortured. From The Guardian:"

  Afghanistan: Marines' Mission Doomed to Failure   : Information Clearing House - ICH

Afghanistan: Marines' Mission Doomed to Failure : Information Clearing House - ICH: "A BBC-ABC News poll conducted prior to the current ground offensive revealed that less than 50 percent of Afghans have a favorable opinion of the United States, down from 68 percent in 2005. (The poll also revealed an even greater dislike of the Taliban, meaning that Afghans tolerate the U.S. military only because they have no other options.

The likelihood of American success in Afghanistan is at best dim and, at worst, heading inevitably toward a lose-lose situation. Given the impossibility of surgically identifying and killing a moving and elusive target, there are only two possible outcomes: killing a lot of civilians, or pushing the insurgency to the rest of the country, or both. After the Iraq debacle, are Americans ready for yet another unpopular occupation, protracted war and thousands of U.S. casualties?"

  Afghanistan Villages Threatened By US Military Over Kidnapped Soldier   : Information Clearing House - ICH

Afghanistan Villages Threatened By US Military Over Kidnapped Soldier : Information Clearing House - ICH: "July 17, 2009 'Huffington Post' -- In the aftermath of a US soldier's abduction by Afghan Taliban forces, the US military is disbursing leaflets in two towns near particularly dangerous areas, which threaten villagers with the prospect of being 'targeted' or 'hunted' if they do not return the soldier safe and sound, CBS News reports. The leaflet has a picture of a languid looking US soldier hanging his head on one side, and reads 'If you do not free the American soldier, then...'; when the card is flipped over, there is a picture of soldiers breaking down the door of small stone hut and a caption that reads, '...then you will be targeted.'

The leaflet is one of two kinds that were scattered about the villages. The other is reported to be far less threatening and simply asks for any information anyone may have on the soldier'…

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Kadyrov denies murdering activist

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Kadyrov denies murdering activist: "Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's president, has denied claims he was responsible for the murder of Natalia Estemirova, a prominent Russian human rights activist.

The Kremlin-backed leader rejected accusations made by Oleg Orlov, the head of Memorial, the human rights group which Estemirova worked for, that he was 'guilty' of the killing.

'You are not a prosecutor or a judge therefore your claims about my guilt are not ethical, to put it mildly, and are insulting to me,' he told Orlov in a phone conversation transcribed on Kadyrov's website.

'I am sure that you have to think about my rights before declaring for everyone to hear that I am guilty of Estemirova's death.'

Estemirova's body was found on Wednesday in a wooded area in Ingushetia, the region neighbouring Chechnya, just hours after she was seized from her home in Grozny, the Chechen capital.

She had been shot twice in the head.&q…

Creative Resistance: The Nassar Family’s “Tent of Nations”

Creative Resistance: The Nassar Family’s “Tent of Nations”: "AMID THE OLIVE trees and rocks, in the stone amphitheaters and shaded groves, young residents of Bethlehem’s refugee camps working alongside European volunteers presented “Romeo and Juliet,” Shakespeare’s immortal drama of the warring Capulet and Montague families. Families and friends followed the cast around, enjoying the fruits of the children’s summer camp project. As the play came to a close, “Juliet” lay motionless on the sarcophagus; on the hillside behind her could be seen the red roofs of the Neve Daniel settlement.

In this small corner of Palestine, on land that is under direct threat of confiscation, the Tent of Nations project was doing what it does best: “connecting people to their land,” in the words of co-founder Daoud Nassar. Indeed, both project and play embody the decades-long conflict in all its injustice, frustration, and hope.

The Nassars’ land, on which the Tent of Nations is based, has been in the f…

US Strike Kills at Least Six Civilians in Kandahar Province of Afghanistan -- News from

US Strike Kills at Least Six Civilians in Kandahar Province of Afghanistan -- News from "At least six Afghan civilians have been killed and 14 more wounded as US helicopters attacked them overnight in the Kandahar Province. The strikes came after a US patrol came under fire, though it remains unclear if any militants were actually killed in the strike."

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Why Africa depends on handouts

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Why Africa depends on handouts: "Barack Obama, the charismatic US president, whom I like and much respect, came to Africa bearing a message and a gift. Both spoke of Africa's need for self-determination.

This was part of his message: 'Governments that respect the will of their own people are more prosperous, more stable and more successful than governments that do not ... This is about more than holding elections - it's also about what happens between them.

'Repression takes many forms, and too many nations are plagued by problems that condemn their people to poverty. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery.

'That is not democracy, it is tyranny, and now is the time for it to end.'"
This touched a deep and profound nerve within me. I am a child of Africa. I saw my parents - both journalists and broadcasters - suffer repression at the hands of those in power, bec…

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Chechen president blamed for murder

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Chechen president blamed for murder: "A Russian human rights group has blamed Ramzan Kadyrov, Chechnya's Kremlin-backed president, for the kidnap and murder of an award winning activist.

Natalia Estemirova's body was found on Wednesday near the city of Nazran in Ingushetia, the region neighbouring Chechnya, just hours after she was seized from her home in Grozny, the Chechen capital.

'I know, I am sure of it, who is guilty for the murder of Natalya ... His name is Ramzan Kadyrov,' Oleg Orlov, the chairman of Memorial, said in a statement posted on the group's website late on Wednesday.

'Ramzan already threatened Natalya, insulted her, considered her a personal enemy.

'We do not know if he gave the order himself or his close associates did so to please their boss.'

Memorial and Human Rights Watch (HRW) had earlier this month issued a report accusing Chechen security forces of punishing families of alleged fighters by burning…

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russian activist found murdered

BBC NEWS | Europe | Russian activist found murdered: "A prominent Russian human rights activist, Natalia Estemirova, has been found dead in the North Caucasus.

She was bundled into a van and abducted as she left her home in Chechnya on Wednesday morning, a colleague said. Her body was found in Ingushetia.

The Russian President Dmitry Medvedev expressed 'outrage' at the murder, and ordered a top-level investigation.

Ms Estemirova had been investigating human rights abuses in Chechnya for the independent Memorial group.

Memorial is one of Russia's best known rights groups, working to document Soviet-era abuses and those taking place more recently, especially in Chechnya.

In recent months, she had been gathering evidence of a campaign of house-burnings by government-backed militias.

Forcefully taken

Ms Estemirova, who was 50 according to Russian prosecutors, had worked in the past with the activists Anna Politkovskaya, who was shot dead in 2006, and Stanislav Markelov, who was …

Viva Palestina US

Viva Palestina US
July 14, 2009, 11 pm, CairoThe Viva Palestina US caravan has received a permit to allow the group passage through the Rafah gate and into Gaza after spending 10 days in Cairo trying to overcome a series of bureaucratic delays.The American convoy is mobilizing to carry busloads of supplies to the people of Gaza on Wednesday, July 15, and expects no further delays to their humanitarian mission because the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had already confirmed that all 200 delegates have satisfied all technical requirements required for travel.Weeks ago, the Viva Palestina US convoy received assurances from Egyptian diplomats that they would expedite the delivery of a convoy of trucks, medical and relief supplies and American human rights volunteers into Gaza, but restrictions were then imposed on the initial Viva Palestina plan.“We are now on our way to complete our humanitarian mission, more determined than ever and stronger in heart than when we entered Egypt,” says George…

Gaza convoy stopped in Egypt |

Gaza convoy stopped in Egypt | "THE LARGEST-ever U.S. humanitarian aid convoy is now gathering in Egypt to head across the border into Gaza on Monday, July 13.

Vehicles are coming from Alexandria, the medical supplies from Cairo and the advanced party of nearly 100 U.S. citizens is heading for the staging post of Al Arish, just before the border with Gaza."

Israeli Soldiers Admit to Using Human Shields in Gaza -- News from

Israeli Soldiers Admit to Using Human Shields in Gaza -- News from "In a report published this week by Breaking the Silence, a human rights group that publishes testimonies from Israeli soldiers, a soldier involved in the January invasion of the Gaza Strip testified that his unit used Palestinian civilians as human shields while raiding houses. The revelation comes despite a 2005 ban on the practice by the Israeli High Court."

Garowe Online - Home

Garowe Online - Home: "NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Somali Islamist fighters on Friday beheaded seven prisoners accused of abandoning the Muslim faith and spying for the government in the largest mass execution since the Islamists were pushed from power two and a half years ago.

The public killings in the southwestern town of Baidoa followed weeks of fierce fighting as the Islamists try to seize Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, amid mounting concerns about the influx of hundreds of foreign fighters to the failed state.

The beheadings may be linked to the Islamists' failure to take Mogadishu after a 2-month-old offensive, said a senior analyst at global intelligence company Stratfor.

'Al-Shabab is reacting to a setback,' said Mark Schroeder.

The U.S. considers al-Shabab a terrorist group with links to al-Qaida, which al-Shabab denies. The group controls much of Somalia and its fighters operate openly in the capital."

Gaza's children struggle with memories of war - Yahoo! News

Gaza's children struggle with memories of war - Yahoo! News: "GAZA CITY (AFP) – Fourteen-year-old Ghasan Matar won't talk about the explosion that cost him his legs and killed his brother. In fact, six months after the end of the Israeli war on Gaza, he still barely talks at all.

He spends most of his time staring at the walls and a huge poster depicting his older brother against a bloody background of war featuring a Kalashnikov assault rifle and dead Israeli soldiers.

He says he never thinks about the day when the house was hit during heavy shelling of Gaza City's Zeitun neighbourhood. He insists he has no nightmares. 'I'm doing fine,' he says, and then clams up.

'He's very traumatised. He doesn't speak, tries to act like nothing happened,' says social worker Nisrin Ramadan during a visit to the boy's crumbling brick home.

'There are many cases like this of deep shock and loss of hope,' says Ramadan, who works with the Society for…

Judenrein! Israel adopts Nazi term to back settlers - Yahoo! News

Judenrein! Israel adopts Nazi term to back settlers - Yahoo! News: "JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Hosting the German foreign minister this week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used an especially tainted term to condemn the Palestinian demand that Israel's settlements in the occupied West Bank be removed.

'Judea and Samaria cannot be Judenrein,' a Netanyahu confidant quoted him as telling Frank-Walter Steinmeier.

Asked how Germany's top diplomat responded to hearing the Nazi Holocaust term for areas 'cleansed of Jews,' the confidant said, 'What could he do? He basically just nodded.'"

The Daily Star - Politics - Palestinians will need a year to clear tons of Gaza war rubble �� UN

The Daily Star - Politics - Palestinians will need a year to clear tons of Gaza war rubble �� UN: "GAZA: Palestinian workers will need one year to clear a half million tons of concrete rubble from Gaza Strip districts bombed and bulldozed by Israeli forces during their winter offensive, the United Nations said on Thursday. The United Nations Development Program was beginning its rubble removal project six months after the 3-week war ended on January 18, with still no idea of when organized reconstruction could begin, said the UNDP’s Jens-Anders Toyberg-Frandzen.

“At the moment we cannot rebuild. That is of course very sad. We don’t have access to cement, we don’t have access to construction material because of the borders being closed. So we cannot build houses,” he said.

Thousands of buildings were destroyed during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead, launched on December 27 with the declared aim of forcing Islamist Hamas fighters and other Palestinian groups to stop firing rockets and m…

Uighurs claim 400 killed in unrest in western China | The Australian

Uighurs claim 400 killed in unrest in western China | The Australian: "POLICE killed 400 Uighurs in the capital of China's Xinjiang region during ethnic unrest there, exiled Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer claimed yesterday.

Ms Kadeer said Uighur sources within 'East Turkestan', the separatist name for the northwest region, had told her 400 Uighurs had died 'as a result of police shootings and beatings' in Urumqi since violence erupted there on Sunday.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal Asia, the president of the World Uighur Congress said unrest was spreading across the region and unconfirmed reports indicated more than 100 Uighurs had been killed in Kashgar, another major city in Xinjiang.

Chinese authorities have said 156 people died in Sunday's violence in Urumqi. They have not made clear how many of the victims were Han Chinese and how many were Uighur, or how they died.

'Uighurs have contacted me to report that the Chinese authorities are in the process …

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - 'Hundreds dying' in Sri Lanka camp

Al Jazeera English - CENTRAL/S. ASIA - 'Hundreds dying' in Sri Lanka camp: "About 1,400 people are dying every week in a camp set up in Sri Lanka to detain Tamil refugees from the country's civil war, a British newspaper reports.

Quoting senior international aid sources, The Times reported on Friday that the death toll at the Menik Farm would add to concerns that the Sri Lankan government had failed to halt a humanitarian catastrophe.

Most of the deaths are the result of waterborne diseases, particularly diarrhoea, the paper said, quoting a senior relief worker it said spoke on condition of anonymity.

Women, children and the elderly were shoved aside in the scramble for supplies, it said."

Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Uighurs defy Urumqi mosque closure

Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Uighurs defy Urumqi mosque closure: "Several mosques in the riot-hit Chinese city of Urumqi have opened for Friday prayers, countering earlier notices that all places of worship would be closed following clashes that left more than 150 people dead.

Mosques across the city, capital of China's far western Xinjiang region, had been ordered to close amid fears that large gatherings of ethnic Uighur Muslims could spark renewed unrest and clashes with the city's ethnic Han Chinese community.

Authorities had said the closures were for the sake of public safety and told Uighurs to pray at home.

However by midday on Friday large crowds had gathered at major mosques in the city."

Raw Story » Exclusive: Robert McNamara deceived LBJ on Gulf of Tonkin, documents show

Raw Story » Exclusive: Robert McNamara deceived LBJ on Gulf of Tonkin, documents show: "Official government documents reveal new side of defense secretary’s legacy

Robert S. McNamara, Secretary of Defense from 1961 to 1967, took many secrets with him when he died Monday at 93. But probably no secret was more sensitive politically than the one that would have changed fundamentally the public perception of his role in Vietnam policy had it been become widely known.

The secret was his deliberate deceit of President Lyndon B. Johnson on Aug. 4, 1964 regarding the alleged attack on US warships in the Gulf of Tonkin.

Documents which have been available for decades in the LBJ Library show clearly that McNamara failed to inform Johnson that the U.S. naval task group commander in the Tonkin Gulf, Captain John J. Herrick, had changed his mind about the alleged North Vietnamese torpedo attack on U.S. warships he had reported earlier that day.

By early afternoon Washington time, Herrick had repo…

Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Muslim states 'silent' on Uighurs

Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Muslim states 'silent' on Uighurs: "A leading Uighur rights activist has criticised Muslim-majority countries for not speaking out against decades of alleged repression and persecution from the Chinese government.

Speaking in Washington on Monday, Rebiya Kadeer, a businesswoman who was jailed for years in China before being released into exile in the US, hit out at what she said was decades of 'brutal suppression' of Muslims in China's western Xinjiang region.

Speaking after a day of unrest in Xinjiang left at least 150 people dead, Kadeer pointed to the lack of response from Muslim countries to the violence and the situation faced by the Uighurs.

'Muslim countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Syria and a number of other Muslim countries as well as the central Asian states like Kazakhstan Kurdistan and Uzbekistan - they all deported Uighurs who had fled Chinese persecution for peacefully opposing Chin…

ei: Hiyam, a Gaza teenager killed as she offered aid

Relatives of 17-year-old Hiyam Abu Ayish view her body in the morgue at Gaza's al-Aqsa hospital a day after she was killed in an Israeli attack, 3 July 2009. (Hatem Omar/MaanImages)

ei: Hiyam, a Gaza teenager killed as she offered aid: "Thursday was as normal and quiet an afternoon as you get in Johr al-Deek village in the central Gaza Strip. 'Prepare yourself for I will be taking you to the dentist in half an hour,' Salim Abu Ayish recalled telling his 17-year-old daughter Hiyam.

Moments later everything changed. 'At 5:30 PM
an Israeli shell landed on my brother's house,' the father told visitors who had come to offer condolences for his daughter at the family's home on Friday. The shell injured a nephew and Salim Abu Ayish rushed to render aid.

'I asked Hiyam to bring me the car key from my bedroom,' Salim Abu Ayish said. As she went, he recalled, 'suddenly another shell struck my room, killing Hiyam instantly, as shrapnel rippled through her…

ei: Why Obama should fire General Dayton

ei: Why Obama should fire General Dayton: "The US-sponsored 'security coordination' program headed by Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, which was launched by the Bush Administration in 2005 to allegedly help the Palestinians reform their security services, has done more harm than good. US President Barack Obama would do well to fire Dayton and put an end to US intrusion into internal Palestinian affairs.

In his recent address at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, a pro-Israel think tank, Dayton said that his program has created a 'new' kind of Palestinian man. Three battalions of 500 men each have graduated from the program, and more are currently in training. These troops have been vetted by US, Israeli and Jordanian security services. Over the past year and a half, these forces have engaged in a series of offensives against members of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad across the West Bank. According to Dayton, senior Israeli commanders were so impressed with the Pales…

Cynthia McKinney Reported Released From Israeli Prison: Atlanta Journal Constitution Attributes Info to Mother | Black Agenda Report

Cynthia McKinney Reported Released From Israeli Prison: Atlanta Journal Constitution Attributes Info to Mother | Black Agenda Report: "According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, former Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney has been released from an Israeli prison. On Sunday evening, the paper quoted McKinney's mother, Leola McKinney as saying: '“We finally got word that she was released. We don’t know what time she is supposed to fly out. All we know is that they took her to the airport.'"

Al Jazeera English - Africa - 'More troops expected' in Somalia

Al Jazeera English - Africa - 'More troops expected' in Somalia: "Somalia's prime minister has said more African Union soldiers are expected to arrive in Mogadishu, the capital.

Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke did not say, however, where the troops will come from.

More than 4,000 African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi are stationed in Mogadishu but their mandated is limited to protecting government installations.

Sharmarke's announcement came after heavy shelling between Somali troops and anti-government fighters near the presidential palace left 12 people dead on Sunday.

Much of the fighting was concentrated in Mogadishu, witnesses said.

A day ealier, 23 people had been killed and 51 injured on Saturday in clashes between the two sides.

'It was a very gruesome scene,' a local resident said.

He saw dead bodies and wounded people running away from the scene on Sunday.

Serious injuries

Ali Adde, deputy-director of Madinah hospital in Mogadishu, said that they had rece…

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Israel 'has right to rein in Iran'

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Israel 'has right to rein in Iran': "Israel has a sovereign right to decide how to deal with Iran's nuclear ambitions whether the United States agrees or not, Joe Biden, the US vice-president, has said.

In an interview on ABC's 'This week' programme on Sunday, Biden said Israel can determine for itself how best to deal with the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran.

'We cannot dictate to another sovereign nation what they can and cannot do when they make a determination, if they make a determination, that they're existentially threatened,' Biden said.

Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, has signalled that he agrees with President Barack Obama's end-of-the-year deadline for progress in efforts to engage Iran diplomatically to resolve a dispute over its nuclear programme."

Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Scores dead in Xinjiang riot

Al Jazeera English - Asia-Pacific - Scores dead in Xinjiang riot: "China's government has blamed Uighur exiles for inciting a riot in the country's western Xinjiang region that it says left 140 people dead and more than 800 injured.

According to the official Xinhua news agency the deaths occurred in the city of Urumqi on Sunday after a protest against the government's handling of an industrial dispute turned violent.

The agency said rioters burned and smashed vehicles, and fought with police, while state broadcaster CCTV showed footage of people throwing rocks at police and overturning a police car.

Xinhua had reported earlier that three people died in the clashes, all of them ethnic Han Chinese, as well as one police officer."

BBC NEWS | Africa | 'Fighter influx' for Somali group

BBC NEWS | Africa | 'Fighter influx' for Somali group: "An Islamist commander in Somalia has told the BBC there has been an influx of fighters from overseas joining their battle against the interim government.

The al-Shabab militant leader, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said several hundred foreigners had joined their militia, many from Pakistan."

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Gaza girl killed in border clash

BBC NEWS | Middle East | Gaza girl killed in border clash: "A 17-year-old Palestinian girl has been killed in Gaza by Israeli fire.

After initial denials, Israeli army officials said the girl was killed by Israeli troops during a clash with Palestinian militants on Thursday.

Reports say that two others were injured in the exchange in central Gaza near the Israeli border.

The Gaza-Israel border has been quiet, except for sporadic violence, since Israel launched a devastating three-week campaign in Gaza in late December.

Six months after the offensive, Gaza remains under blockade, a state of affairs Israel says will continue while its soldier Gilad Shalit remains in Hamas captivity.

Reports named the 17-year-old girl as Hyam Ayash, a resident of the Deir al-Balah refugee camp.

West Bank violence

Separately in the West Bank, a Palestinian woman carrying a toy gun was shot and wounded by Israel soldiers as she approached a checkpoint, the Israeli military says.

Reports suggest the woman was …

AFP: Amnesty accuses Israel of using human shields in Gaza

AFP: Amnesty accuses Israel of using human shields in Gaza: "JERUSALEM (AFP) — Amnesty International on Thursday accused Israeli forces of war crimes, saying they used children as human shields and conducted wanton attacks on civilians during their offensive in the Gaza Strip.

The London-based human rights group also accused Hamas of war crimes, but said it found no evidence that the Islamist rulers of Gaza used civilians as human shields during the 22-day offensive Israel launched on December 28.

It also reiterated its call for an international arms embargo against Israel.

'Much of the destruction was wanton and resulted from direct attacks on civilian objects,' Amnesty said in a study.

Israeli troops forced Palestinians to stay in one room of their home while turning the rest of the house into a base and sniper position, 'effectively using the families, both adults and children, as human shields and putting them at risk,' the group said.

'Intentionally using civi…

Housing Minister: Spread of Arab population must be stopped - Haaretz - Israel News

Housing Minister: Spread of Arab population must be stopped - Haaretz - Israel News: "Housing Minister Ariel Atias on Thursday warned against the spread of Arab population into various parts of Israel, saying that preventing this phenomenon was no less than a national responsibility.

'I see [it] as a national duty to prevent the spread of a population that, to say the least, does not love the state of Israel,' Atias told a conference of the Israel Bar Association, which focused on a reforming Israel's Land Administration.

The Shas minister referred to Harish, a housing project built for the Haredi community in northern Israel, saying that the Arab population from the nearby Wadi Ara was spreading into the Harish area."

Iraq a Failed Imperialist Venture      : Information Clearing House - ICH

Iraq a Failed Imperialist Venture : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Iraq a Failed Imperialist Venture

By Haroon Siddiqui

July 03, 2009 'The Star' -- American troops were not welcomed with flowers in Iraq but their departure from cities and towns has been.

Iraqis celebrated National Sovereignty Day Tuesday as U.S. troops were yanked out of populated centres and put into remote bases.

In time, even that hidden presence will begin to grate on the Iraqis, just as a U.S. military base in Saudi Arabia had spurred Osama bin Laden and others.

Yet this limited troop pullout is being hailed as a triumph. One is reminded of Richard Nixon's 1973 boast of 'peace with honour' in Vietnam. The 1973 Paris treaty that led to the U.S. troop withdrawal was a face-saving formula.

In Iraq, too, the U.S. has little choice but to get out.

Not only did the Iraqi invasion and occupation prove the limits of military power, it also exposed how incapable America has become at nation-buil…

McKinney: I'm in jail in Israel |

McKinney: I'm in jail in Israel |
Former Georgia congresswoman Cynthia McKinney revealed in a phone call posted online that she is in an Israeli prison with others who attempted to run a blockade to deliver supplies to Gaza.McKinney and about 18 other activists in Israeli custody for the past three days will likely be released by Sunday, according to the Israeli embassy in Washington, D.C.
Spokesman Jonathan Peled said preparations are being made to deport the activists. “It is taking slightly longer. Former congresswoman McKinney is not cooperating with the authorities” and refusing to sign a document acknowledging deportation, he said.“It’ll take a couple more days before she is put on a plane and flown out of Israel,” Peled said.A blog entry Thursday on a MySpace page for McKinney said the passengers refused to admit in writing to violating the blockade and trespassing Israeli territorial waters.The Greek-registered Arion with 21 passengers aboard was in the Mediterranean…