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Showing posts from September, 2009

Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) - News: ONLF Does not Collaborate with Al-Shabab

Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) - News: ONLF Does not Collaborate with Al-Shabab: "The assertion that ‘Residents said militiamen of the Ethiopian rebel group the Ogaden Liberation Front (OLF) helped al-Shaabab drive out government forces from Yeed town in the Bakool region, and 'Al Shabaab and OLF militias took Yeed town from us,' by Bakool region's governor , Abdi Mohamed, told to Reuters is baseless and outright lie. It is a plot hatched by Meles regime that is intended to link ONLF with Alshabab in a bid to make Ogaden National Liberation Front’s a subject of international censure. No ONLA units took part in any operation near Yeed."

Gen. McChrystal: Pakistani Govt Aiding Taliban -- News from Antiwar.com

Gen. McChrystal: Pakistani Govt Aiding Taliban -- News from Antiwar.com: When details about Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s heavily redacted assessment of the ongoing war in Afghanistan emerged yesterday, the fact that he accused Iran of having a “troubling” influence in the nation was hardly shocking. Pointing the finger at Iran in official US documents detailing foreign policy failures has become so commonplace as to be nearly cliche.
But Gen. McChrystal’s comments didn’t stop there. The Los Angeles Times is now reporting that Gen. McChrystal also accused the Pakistani government of working to undermine US interests and destablize the Afghan government.The comments were reportedly directly primarily at the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) Agency, one of Pakistan’s many spy agencies which the US has long accused of ties with militants.Though the comments were likely never intended for public consumption they are likely to fuel the growing US-Pakistani rift, widened dramatically a…

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Brown move to cut UK nuclear subs

BBC NEWS | UK | UK Politics | Brown move to cut UK nuclear subs: "The prime minister is to tell the United Nations that he is willing to cut the UK's fleet of Trident missile-carrying submarines from four to three.

Gordon Brown will make the offer at a meeting of the UN Security Council on halting the spread of nuclear weapons and reducing existing stockpiles.

The proposed cuts come as the government searches for ways to reduce the massive deficit in public finances.

However Number 10 said keeping the UK's nuclear missiles was 'non-negotiable'.

At the UN meeting, Mr Brown will call for all nations to come together to achieve the long-term ambition of a nuclear-free world."

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Oil firm 'settles' toxic waste case

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Oil firm 'settles' toxic waste case: "Oil-trading company Trafigura has said it has reached a settlement with 31,000 people in Ivory Coast who claimed they were made ill by toxic waste dumped around the capital, Abidjan.

Under the deal, which sees Trafigura pay the claimants nearly $50m, the alleged victims have accepted that there was no link between the deaths, injuries or miscarriages suffered and exposure to the waste, the company said."

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Honduras agrees to Zelaya talks

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Honduras agrees to Zelaya talks: "The de facto Honduran government has said that it is willing to talk to Manuel Zelaya if the ousted president recognises the legality of presidential elections scheduled for November.

'I will talk with anybody anywhere at any time, including with former President Manuel Zelaya,' Roberto Micheletti, the man who replaced Zelaya, said in a statement read out by a senior aide late on Tuesday.

The concession by the interim government comes amid rising tensions in the standoff between security forces and Zelaya outside the Brazilian embassy in the capital Tegucigalpa, where the ousted leader has taken refuge.

Micheletti had previously said he would not reopen negotiations and insisted that Brazil should hand over Zelaya to 'pay for the crimes he committed', which according to the interim government are corruption and violating the constitution."

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Police disperse pro-Zelaya protest

Al Jazeera English - Americas - Police disperse pro-Zelaya protest: "Honduran security forces have dispersed thousands of pro-Zelaya protesters outside the Brazilian embassy in Tegucigalpa, where Manuel Zelaya, the ousted president, has taken refuge.

Police fired tear gas at the demonstrations and chased them away from the embassy in the Honduran capital on Tuesday, a day after Zelaya sneaked back into the country."

As Baucus Unveils Health Plan Absent of Public Option, New Study Finds 45,000 Uninsured Die Every Year

As Baucus Unveils Health Plan Absent of Public Option, New Study Finds 45,000 Uninsured Die Every Year: "JUAN GONZALEZ: Nearly 45,000 Americans die every year—that’s 122 deaths a day—due to lack of health insurance. That’s the startling finding of a new study that appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The figure is about two-and-a-half times higher than an estimate from the Institute of Medicine in 2002. The Harvard-based researchers found that uninsured, working-age Americans have a 40 percent higher risk of death than their privately insured counterparts, up from a 25 percent excess death rate found in 1993. Deaths associated with lack of health insurance now exceed those caused by many common killers such as kidney disease.

News of the study comes as the drive for healthcare reform is entering a new phase on Capitol Hill. On Wednesday, Montana Senator Max Baucus, the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, released his long-awaited healthcare refo…

Making the Illegal Legal -- In These Times

Making the Illegal Legal -- In These Times: "On August 2, 2009, after cordoning off part of the Arab neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, Israeli police evicted two Palestinian families—more than 50 people—from their homes. Jewish settlers immediately moved into the emptied houses. Although Israeli police cited a ruling by the country’s Supreme Court to justify the evictions, the Arab families had been living there for more than 50 years. The event attracted the attention of the global media, but it is part of a larger and mostly ignored process."

Norman G. Finkelstein » More on Goldstone

Norman G. Finkelstein » More on Goldstone: "Nicole Goldstone, the daughter of Richard Goldstone, whose report on Operation Cast Lead alleged that Israel committed war crimes in Gaza, maintained on Wednesday that her father “is a Zionist and loves Israel.”

Speaking from Toronto, where she now lives, Nicole told Army Radio she had many conversations with her father after he was asked to head the UN inquiry.

“I know better than anyone else that he thought however hard it was to accept it, he was doing the best thing for everyone, including Israel,” she said. “He is honest, tells things how he sees them and wants to uncover the truth.”"

Tribal leader: 87 civilians killed in Yemen strike | Antiwar Newswire

Tribal leader: 87 civilians killed in Yemen strike | Antiwar Newswire: "Nearly 87 civilians were killed in a strike by government warplanes that hit a camp of people fleeing fighting in northern Yemen, a tribal leader said Thursday. It was a sign of increasing bloodiness in a remote war against Shiite rebels in this turmoil-ridden Arab nation.
The Yemeni government has said it is determined to stamp out the 5-year-old rebellion, despite U.S. pressure for it to do more against al-Qaida, which has been strengthening its presence in the country.Every day, warplanes screech over the ornate mud-brick skyline of San'a, the capital, to bomb the Shiite rebels in the northern region of Saada, on the border with Saudi Arabia. Some 150,000 Yemenis have fled their homes since 2004, cramming into camps, schools and barns as aid groups struggle to bring in supplies."

RebelReports - Blackwater Offers Training to 'Faith Based Organizations'

RebelReports - Blackwater Offers Training to 'Faith Based Organizations': "In its ever-evolving re-branding campaign, Blackwater has created a new alter-ego for part of the company’s business. Meet the “Personal Security Awareness” program, which appears to be an off-shoot of Erik Prince’s Greystone, Ltd., a classic mercenary operation registered offshore in Barbados. On its website, which was registered on February 20, 2009 and went live recently, the “program” is described as “a multi-phase course which is designed to assist Non-Government Organizations, Faith Based Organizations and Commercial Businesses by providing individual personal awareness and driver training for their personnel when deployed to unfamiliar environments.” It adds: “Greystone recognizes the importance of “preparation by doing” and looks forward to you joining us for this exciting training!”"

Report: Barak says Iran is not existential threat to Israel - Haaretz - Israel News

Report: Barak says Iran is not existential threat to Israel - Haaretz - Israel News: "Defense Minister Ehud Barak was quoted on Thursday as saying he does not view Iran as a threat to Israel's existence, a view that would seem to depart from Israeli statements of the recent past.

Israel's mass-circulation Yedioth Ahronoth daily quoted Barak, the head of Israel's centre-left Labour party, as saying 'Iran does not constitute an existential threat against Israel.'"

Is America Hooked on War? by Tom Engelhardt -- Antiwar.com

Is America Hooked on War? by Tom Engelhardt -- Antiwar.com: "Because the United States does not look like a militarized country, it’s hard for Americans to grasp that Washington is a war capital, that the United States is a war state, that it garrisons much of the planet, and that the norm for us is to be at war somewhere at any moment. Similarly, we’ve become used to the idea that, when various forms of force (or threats of force) don’t work, our response, as in Afghanistan, is to recalibrate and apply some alternate version of the same under a new or rebranded name — the hot one now being 'counterinsurgency' or COIN — in a marginally different manner. When it comes to war, as well as preparations for war, more is now generally the order of the day."

Insurance Premiums Still Rising Faster Than Inflation and Wages - Prescriptions Blog - NYTimes.com

Insurance Premiums Still Rising Faster Than Inflation and Wages - Prescriptions Blog - NYTimes.com: "President Obama may not have much trouble persuading the nearly 160 million people who have health insurance through their employers that the system needs to be fixed, if a new survey of employer health benefits is any indication.

Many working Americans may be experiencing something akin to sticker shock. The average cost of a family policy now exceeds $13,000 a year, having doubled over the last decade, according a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation."

Google News

Google News: "Former President Jimmy Carter's view that some of the recent protests against President Obama, including the “You Lie!” outburst by Representative Joe Wilson last week, are “based on racism,” has fueled a new war of words over this ..."

Breaking The Silence - Israeli soldiers talk about the occupied territories - Press - Op-ed: Why Is Israel Trying To Break Breaking the Silence?

Breaking The Silence - Israeli soldiers talk about the occupied territories - Press - Op-ed: Why Is Israel Trying To Break Breaking the Silence?: "Ever since Breaking the Silence published testimonies from Israeli soldiers who participated in Operation Cast Lead, various government bodies and public figures in Israel have waged an aggressive smear campaign against the organization. Rather than engaging in meaningful analysis and debate of the disturbing contents of these testimonies, Israeli officials have chosen to try to silence and discredit the messenger while completely ignoring the message."

In Iraq, freedom is marching backward - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com

In Iraq, freedom is marching backward - Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com: "So what was accomplished by the whole venture? Aside from the grotesque immorality, criminality, loss of innocent life and the disappearance of untold billions upon billions of dollars, the only real change seems to be that we replaced one brutal tyrant with another, although the one that used to be there at least was an enemy of and check against our Current Enemy (Iran, the nation against whom Tom Friedman assures us we are waging a new Cold War), while the one that is there now is a strong ally, perhaps even a client, of those Persian Hitlers. So -- other than finding an excellent way to prop up our National Security State -- the one thing we 'accomplished' with the invasion of Iraq was to provide the largest possible benefit to the country that is supposedly our Greatest Enemy.

We never learn the lesson, because we don't want to, that things don't work out well when we invade, bomb, occupy …

Freed From Prison, Shoe-Throwing Journalist Promptly Flees Iraq -- News from Antiwar.com

Freed From Prison, Shoe-Throwing Journalist Promptly Flees Iraq -- News from Antiwar.com: "Just over six months after the Iraqi government sentenced journalist Muntadar al-Zeidi to a three-year prison term the reporter turned international celebrity was released from an Iraqi prison today, and promptly fled the nation.
Zeidi, a relatively anonymous reporter who rose to fame in December when he pelted outgoing President George W. Bush with shoes, had his sentence eventually reduced to a single year, and then was released three months early on the basis of his failing health. The journalist delivered a brief statement before reporters regarding his mistreatment in Iraqi custody, then boarded a private flight to Syria, his first stop on the way to Greece where he will seek treatment for torture.Though his brother Uday had previously reported that Zeidi had been subjected to torture in government custody, including being forced to write an “apology” letter publicly delivered by Prime …

US Sending 1,000 More Troops to Iraq -- News from Antiwar.com

US Sending 1,000 More Troops to Iraq -- News from Antiwar.com: "The latest report comes less than a week after it was revealed that the Pentagon has added thousands of additional contractors to Iraq, ostensibly to replace US troops during the drawdown.

But of course the drawdown isn’t actually happening. President Obama inherited a war with roughly 135,000 troops in Iraq, and today there are 131,000 and thousands of contractors. Officials have previously insisted there will be no meaningful troop level changes until at least 60 days after January’s parliamentary elections."

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israeli guards 'humiliated inmates'

Al Jazeera English - Middle East - Israeli guards 'humiliated inmates': "A group of female former Palestinian prisoners detained in Israeli jails have accused prison guards of carrying out 'humiliating' internal body searches in violation of Israel's prison code.

In an exclusive report, former detainee Sabreen Abu Amara told Al Jazeera's Nour Odeh that she spent six years living in fear of intrusive and degrading treatment at the hands of Israeli guards.

Abu Amara said the guards strip-searched female prisoners, sometimes forcing them to squat and undergo a thorough internal examination.

One lawyer is now collecting evidence from 10 female prisoners who say they were strip-searched in an effort to lodge an official complaint."

Al Jazeera English - Europe - UN inquiry finds Gaza war crimes

Al Jazeera English - Europe - UN inquiry finds Gaza war crimes: "A United Nations investigation into Israel's war on Gaza has found evidence that both sides committed war crimes during the three-week conflict.

Judge Richard Goldstone, who led the inquiry, said he found evidence of Israeli war crimes in the assault, which started on December 27, 2008, and killed more than 1,400 Palestinians."

Home / Headlines / More and more Jewish Voices opposing Israel-Promoted pre-emptive Attack on Iran - Media Monitors Network (MMN)

Home / Headlines / More and more Jewish Voices opposing Israel-Promoted pre-emptive Attack on Iran - Media Monitors Network (MMN): "Martin van Creveld, a professor of military history at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, is critical of those who urge a pre-emptive attack on Iran and who, in his view, overestimate its potential danger. “Though rich in oil,” he notes, “Iran is a Third World country with a population of 80 million and a per capita income of $2,440...Its annual defense budget stands at about $6.3 billion—a little more than half of Israel’s and a little less than 2 percent of America’s. Iran, in fact, spends a smaller percentage of its resources on defense than any of its neighbors except the United Arab Emirates.”

Columnist Leonard Fein of The Forward observed that “Podhoretz wants to use force now. Others, including a disturbing number of major Jewish organizations, endorse ‘merely’ the threat of force, loudly proclaiming that ‘all options’ must be on the table. Is…

Over 100,000 Displaced in Pakistan’s Khyber Offensive -- News from Antiwar.com

Over 100,000 Displaced in Pakistan’s Khyber Offensive -- News from Antiwar.com: "Though the Pakistani government has made it clear that they won’t actually keep track of how many civilians are displaced in their offensive in the Khyber Agency, a regional official says that at least 100,000 from Khyber have arrived in Peshawar since the beginning of the month."

Half of Gaza war dead 'were civilians' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Half of Gaza war dead 'were civilians' - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation): "The figures issued by the B'Tselem organisation were broadly in line with those in reports published by groups such as Amnesty International and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights after the 22-day Israeli offensive ended in January.

In a new report, B'Tselem said 1,387 Palestinians were killed in the war - 773 civilians, 330 combatants, 248 Hamas policemen and 36 people whom the group was unable to classify as combatants or non-combatants.

B'Tselem said among the civilian dead were 320 minors under the age of 18.

The Israeli military has said 1,166 Palestinians were killed during the offensive it dubbed Operation Cast Lead - 709 combatants, 295 civilians and 162 people whose status it was unable to clarify.

In a statement, B'Tselem said its researchers had visited Gaza homes to take witness testimony and collect documents to arrive at its casualty figures. It called …

The Raw Story » US actually increasing personnel in Iraq: More contractors, fewer troops

The Raw Story » US actually increasing personnel in Iraq: More contractors, fewer troops: "Well, its soldiers are. But not civilian contractors. Despite President Barack Obama's pledge to withdraw US troops from the war-torn country, the US is planning to award contracts to protect US installations at a cost to taxpayers that could near $1 billion.

In fact, the Multi-National Force-Iraq just awarded $485 million in contracts just last week, while Congress enjoyed its summer recess. Five firms will handle private security deals to provide security for US bases. It's a neat rhetorical loophole that will allow US officials to say that the country has withdrawn from Iraq, while its contractors remain."

Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House Progressives? Or the White House Itself? | Black Agenda Report

Who's Blocking Health Care Reform Now? Blue Dogs? Senate Dems? House Progressives? Or the White House Itself? | Black Agenda Report: "It made Democrats unable to present a health care reform package as a job creating economic stimulus more real than anything the president has yet proposed. Adopting a single payer system, as the National Nurses Organization pointed out at the beginning of the year, would create 3.3 million new jobs. Subtracting out the 550,000 in the insurance industry who would have to find other livelihoods, a single payer health care plan would create a net surplus of 2.6 million new jobs, as many as the economy lost in all of 2007, and provide tens of billions in taxes that support the budgets of local governments. So with millions unemployed and underemployed Democrats cannot argue that their health care bill will put Americans back to work, or help fund local and state governments.

Progressives in the House, many of whom supported single payer when Bush w…

From the People (And Sarah Palin!) Who Brought Us the Iraq War « Antiwar.com Blog

From the People (And Sarah Palin!) Who Brought Us the Iraq War « Antiwar.com Blog: "The same neo-conservatives (and some new ones like Sarah Palin(!), plus Amb. Ryan Crocker) who created the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) 12 years ago and subsequently campaigned ceaselessly for the ouster and invasion of Iraq have just called on Pres. Obama to “fully resource” the war in Afghanistan in their new guise as the more modest sounding Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). It’s remarkable that more liberal interventionists did not sign on to this, as the letter, according to Politico’s Ben Smith, has been circulating for some days, and PNAC had a history of reaching out to their political cousins on the liberal side of the political spectrum, as during the Iraq War when they, like some at Brookings and elsewhere, felt Rumsfeld wasn’t as committed to the war and remaking Iraq as he should have been."

From the People (And Sarah Palin!) Who Brought Us the Iraq War « Antiwar.com Blog

From the People (And Sarah Palin!) Who Brought Us the Iraq War « Antiwar.com Blog: "The same neo-conservatives (and some new ones like Sarah Palin(!), plus Amb. Ryan Crocker) who created the Project for the New American Century (PNAC) 12 years ago and subsequently campaigned ceaselessly for the ouster and invasion of Iraq have just called on Pres. Obama to “fully resource” the war in Afghanistan in their new guise as the more modest sounding Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI). It’s remarkable that more liberal interventionists did not sign on to this, as the letter, according to Politico’s Ben Smith, has been circulating for some days, and PNAC had a history of reaching out to their political cousins on the liberal side of the political spectrum, as during the Iraq War when they, like some at Brookings and elsewhere, felt Rumsfeld wasn’t as committed to the war and remaking Iraq as he should have been."

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Sudanese woman jailed over trousers

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Sudanese woman jailed over trousers: "A Sudanese woman arrested for wearing trousers has been found guilty of flouting Sudan's decency laws, but spared the expected punishment of 40 lashes.

Sudanese officials on Monday instead ordered Lubna Ahmed al-Hussein to pay a fine of about $200 following a court hearing in Khartoum, the Sudanese capital.

But al-Hussein refused to pay the fine, saying she would 'rather go to prison'.

The court later jailed her for a month after she failed to pay, her lawyer Kamal Omar told reporters.

As al-Hussein made her way to the courtroom, scores of female supporters, some of them wearing trousers, had rallied around her, some shouting: 'Freedom, freedom!'

Police rounded many of them up and marched them away."

US Hypocrisy Astonishes the World by Paul Craig Roberts -- Antiwar.com

US Hypocrisy Astonishes the World by Paul Craig Roberts -- Antiwar.com:
Isn’t this passing the buck? The Marine lost his life not because of the Associated Press and a photographer, but because of the war criminals – Gates, Bush, Cheney, Obama, and the U.S. Congress that supports wars of naked aggression that serve no American purpose, but which keep campaign coffers filled with contributions from the armaments companies.Marine Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard is dead because the U.S. government and a significant percentage of the U.S. population believe that the U.S. has the right to invade, bomb, and occupy other peoples who have raised no hand against us but are demonized with lies and propaganda.For the American war secretary it is a photo that is insensitive, not America’s assertion of the right to determine the fate of Afghanistan with bombs and soldiers.The exceptional "virtuous nation" does not think it is insensitive for America’s bombs to b…

     Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed                      : Information Clearing House - ICH

Lockerbie: Megrahi Was Framed : Information Clearing House - ICH: "'The endgame came down to damage limitation,' said the former CIA officer Robert Baer, who took part in the original investigation, 'because the evidence amassed by [Megrahi's] appeal is explosive and extremely damning to the system of justice.' New witnesses would show that it was impossible for Megrahi to have bought clothes that were found in the wreckage of the Pan Am aircraft – he was convicted on the word of a Maltese shopowner who claimed to have sold him the clothes, then gave a false description of him in 19 separate statements and even failed to recognize him in the courtroom.

The new evidence would have shown that a fragment of a circuit board and bomb timer, 'discovered' in the Scottish countryside and said to have been in Megrahi’s suitcase, was probably a plant. A forensic scientist found no trace of an explosion on it. The new evidence would demon…

US killed Zia with Pak internal power help: Ex-spymaster - Pakistan - World - NEWS - The Times of India

US killed Zia with Pak internal power help: Ex-spymaster - Pakistan - World - NEWS - The Times of India: "Imtiaz Ahmed, a former chief of the Intelligence Bureau, said the US collaborated with 'internal powers' in Pakistan to assassinate Zia.

Ahmed, who also served in the ISI, has shaken up political parties with revelations of huge payments allegedly made by the Inter-Services Intelligence to strengthen the opposition to former premier Benazir Bhutto in 1990."

   Palestinians 'Seriously Considering' One-state:                         : Information Clearing House - ICH

Palestinians 'Seriously Considering' One-state: : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Late last month I traveled to the region with a group of 'Elders,' including Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil and Mary Robinson of Ireland, former prime minister Gro Brundtland of Norway and women's activist Ela Bhatt of India. Three of us had previously visited Gaza, which is now a walled-in ghetto inhabited by 1.6 million Palestinians, 1.1 million of whom are refugees from Israel and the West Bank and receive basic humanitarian assistance from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency. Israel prevents any cement, lumber, seeds, fertilizer and hundreds of other needed materials from entering through Gaza's gates. Some additional goods from Egypt reach Gaza through underground tunnels. Gazans cannot produce their own food nor repair schools, hospitals, business establishments or the 50,000 homes that…

GQ’s Article on Russia Will Be Hard to Find in Russia - NYTimes.com

GQ’s Article on Russia Will Be Hard to Find in Russia - NYTimes.com: "Vladimir V. Putin consolidated his power in Russia a decade ago, in part by taking a hard line against Chechen separatists, whom the government had blamed for a series of bombings. In a long investigative article in the current issue of GQ, the writer Scott Anderson explores the possibility that the bombers actually had been working for the Russian government."

Chalabi aide: I went from White House to secret U.S. prisoner | McClatchy

Chalabi aide: I went from White House to secret U.S. prisoner | McClatchy: "In one early session, Lami said, interrogators who knew of his training as a mathematician wrote on a dry-erase board: 'Ali Feisal + Cooperation = Release.'

'They told me, 'You're good at math. When you solve this equation, you can go home,' ' Lami said.

Lami said he asked what kind of cooperation they had in mind, and they responded that they wanted the links between Chalabi and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Infuriated by his refusal to 'solve the equation,' Lami said, his American captors turned up the pressure. Lami said they kept him in a frigid cell with lights on 24 hours a day. He said he had no mattress, blanket or pillow, and bathroom breaks were so infrequent that he soiled himself. He couldn't wash himself as necessary before Muslim prayer. Without a toothbrush for so long, Lami said, his lower gums gradually separated from his teeth and he often wo…

Ex-soldier gets 5 life sentences Iraqi deaths - Yahoo! News

Ex-soldier gets 5 life sentences Iraqi deaths - Yahoo! News: "PADUCAH, Ky. – A former soldier received five consecutive life sentences Friday for his role in the rape and murder of an Iraqi teenager and the slaying of three of her family members.

'What the defendant did was horrifying and inexcusable,' U.S. District Judge Thomas Russell said in sentencing to Steven Dale Green, 24, of Midland, Texas. 'The court believes any lesser sentence would be insufficient.'

A civilian jury in western Kentucky convicted Green in May of raping Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, conspiracy and multiple counts of murder.

Green shot and killed the teen's mother, father and sister, then became the third soldier to rape her before shooting her in the face. Her body was set on fire March 12, 2006, at their rural home outside Mahmoudiya, Iraq, about 20 miles south of Baghdad."

Jack Straw admits Lockerbie bomber's release was linked to oil - Telegraph

Jack Straw admits Lockerbie bomber's release was linked to oil - Telegraph: "In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Straw also suggested that Kenny MacAskill, the Scottish justice minister, released the terminally-ill bomber on compassionate grounds earlier than the British Government would have done.

Mr Brown has been accused of putting Britain’s trade interests before justice for the Lockerbie victims.

Earlier this week, the outcry forced him to say: “There was no conspiracy, no cover-up, no double dealing, no deal on oil, no attempt to instruct Scottish ministers, no private assurances.”

Megrahi, who is suffering from prostate cancer, was freed last month by the Scottish Executive on compassionate grounds after it was said he was only months from death. Last night it emerged he has been moved out of intensive care.

In his interview today, Mr Straw admits that when he was considering in 2007 whether the bomber should be included in a prisoner transfer agreement (PTA) with…

Israelis Target Medical Teams by Mel Frykberg -- Antiwar.com

Israelis Target Medical Teams by Mel Frykberg -- Antiwar.com: "JELAZON, West Bank — Fourteen-year-old Muhammad Nayif’s mother broke down as she spoke to IPS. Nayif died after being shot three times in the chest by Israeli soldiers Monday night.

Palestinian medical personnel who tried to reach the critically injured boy near the Jelazon refugee camp north of Ramallah were threatened at gunpoint by Israeli soldiers and shot at.

'We were sure that the boy was seriously wounded and needed urgent medical attention,' said Sameh Barghouti a medic in the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulance which tried to evacuate the youngster."

Netanyahu Tests Obama, Approves Hundreds of New West Bank Units -- News from Antiwar.com

Netanyahu Tests Obama, Approves Hundreds of New West Bank Units -- News from Antiwar.com: "With several recent comments suggesting Israel may be just weeks from formally announcing a 6-9 month “freeze” in new construction in the West Bank, Israeli officials are confirming tonight that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is poised to authorize hundreds of new housing units across settlements in the West Bank, a serious test to the Obama Administration’s repeated demands to stop."

Massive US Air Strike Damages Claim of ‘New’ Strategy -- News from Antiwar.com

Massive US Air Strike Damages Claim of ‘New’ Strategy -- News from Antiwar.com: "Despite General Stanley McChrystal’s claims that the military would stop emphasizing attacks on the Taliban in favor of improving the lives of the nation’s civilians and protecting them from harm, the temptation to lob a missile into a village, even knowing it would cause a massive fireball when it hit the fuel tankers, was too great to resist."

US Kills at Least 95 in Afghan Air Strike -- News from Antiwar.com

US Kills at Least 95 in Afghan Air Strike -- News from Antiwar.com: "At least 95 people were killed this morning, a large number of them civilians, in a US air strike in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. Though the US denied that any of the people killed were civilians, NATO acknowledged that there was “a possibility” that some civilians were killed."

Why Kansas Matters -- In These Times

Why Kansas Matters -- In These Times: "The new documentary What’s the Matter With Kansas? is a funny, smart and important look at the intersection of religion and politics in America today. Loosely based on the 2004 book by Thomas Frank, it tells the stories of several conservative Kansans who care deeply about hot-button cultural issues like abortion and gay marriage. According to Frank’s polemical thesis, Republicans succeeded in getting poor whites to vote against their own economic self-interest by focusing on these issues.

However, filmmakers Laura Cohen and Joe Winston devote little of the film’s 90 minutes to Frank and his argument, focusing instead on the lives and motives of their subjects. The documentary begins by following a Democratic canvasser who visits the home of a Republican who explains that he could never support the Democrats because they’re “pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, pro-gun control.” Then it shifts to a market where the Kansas Democrats booth can’t attra…

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Libyans await economic recovery

Al Jazeera English - Focus - Libyans await economic recovery: "Muammar Gaddafi, the Libyan leader, is in a celebratory mood as he marks his 40th year in power.

Not only has he fulfilled his promise to bring home Abdel Basset al-Megrahi, the former Libyan intelligence agent convicted of the 1988 Pan Am bombing over Lockerbie, but he is also strengthening trade ties with Europe and the US.

Since his 1969 coup which overthrew the monarchy, the former colonel in the military has applied his brand of socialism to Libya's economy in the 1970s, survived a number of military clashes – including the bombing of Tripoli, the capital – with the US in the 1980s, and endured two decades of crippling sanctions.

With Libyan oil now pumping into Western markets, however, Gaddafi is promising to focus his attention on combating corruption and improving the way the state bureaucracy operates.

But ordinary Libyans say they are yet to reap the benefits of their country's newly-restored internatio…

ei: Why Israel is after my son

ei: Why Israel is after my son: "The persecution of Palestinian citizens inside Israel is not a new phenomenon. Yet, for me, this time it hit home. The Israeli intelligence agency Shabak, also known as the Shin Bet, accuses my son Rawi Sultani of 'contact with a foreign agent' and 'delivering information to the enemy.' Both are grave security offenses in Israeli law. These and similar offenses were used against many Palestinian leaders and activists such as Azmi Bishara of the National Democratic Assembly (NDA), Raed Salah of the Islamic Movement and Muhammad Kanaaneh of Sons of the Land. At times, even Jewish political activists sympathetic to Palestinians like Tali Fahima are similarly accused.

Rawi, a 23-year-old law student and a political activist of the NDA, is being charged in the district court of Petach Tikva with having contact with Hizballah members in order to deliver information on the whereabouts of the Israeli army's chief of staff."

Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com

Contractors Outnumber U.S. Troops in Afghanistan - NYTimes.com: "Civilian contractors working for the Pentagon in Afghanistan not only outnumber the uniformed troops, according to a report by a Congressional research group, but also form the highest ratio of contractors to military personnel recorded in any war in the history of the United States."