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Showing posts from March, 2010

The Associated Press: Jerusalem approves contentious new building plan

The Associated Press: Jerusalem approves contentious new building plan: "JERUSALEM — The Jerusalem municipality has approved 20 new apartments for Jews in east Jerusalem, the city said Wednesday, in a move that could stir a new diplomatic crisis with the United States.

News of the approval came as Israel's prime minister was in Washington to try to calm a growing rift with the Obama administration over such construction plans.

The U.S. views Israeli building in east Jerusalem, the part of the city claimed by Palestinians as their future capital, as disruptive to Mideast peacemaking efforts. Israel insists that Jerusalem cannot be divided and reserves the right to build anywhere.

The new project is funded by American millionaire Irving Moskowitz. It calls for tearing down part of an old hotel, the Shepherd, and building 20 apartments and a three-level underground parking lot instead."

Back Then in Baghdad ... And Now? -- In These Times

Back Then in Baghdad ... And Now? -- In These Times: "Back then. Way before rape and kidnapping and sniping were commonplace. Back in 1977 and the world was full of disco and Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Amnesty International won the Nobel Peace Prize and Jimmy Carter pardoned draft evaders and Anwar Sadat visited Jerusalem. It was different. “Alluh Akbar” resounded through the city. This magical, mystical, musical plea called the faithful to prayer. It reminded the unfaithful that there was an order, a schedule that must be obeyed."

 My Name Is Ed. I’m a Racist   : Information Clearing House -  ICH

My Name Is Ed. I’m a Racist : Information Clearing House - ICH: "In my first 14 years of school I had only two black classmates; despite over 18 years of schooling I never had a black teacher. I was 19 before I had a personal conversation with a black person. My early college days were spent in a lovely ivy enclave set off by walls and rent-a-cops from the black and brown ghetto at its gate.

Demoralized by the irrelevance of my courses, I dropped out. Thanks not only to family connections, but also to the sixties building boom in my hometown, I could work construction. In Syracuse’s 15th Ward, “urban renewal” drove thousands of blacks out of what was becoming prime real estate. The forced relocation demolished a vibrant black ghetto.

Despite that boom, few blacks could break into the construction trades; there wasn’t a single black in our union local. None of us challenged the arrangement. Forty-five years later not much has changed here: few black contractors can bid on even m…

The Daily Star - Politics - Somali forces 'inefficient' and 'corrupt' - UN

The Daily Star - Politics - Somali forces 'inefficient' and 'corrupt' - UN
NAIROBI: Despite international assistance the Somali government’s military forces are ineffective and corrupt, and it remains dependent on foreign troops for survival, a UN group concluded in a report.
“Despite infusions of foreign training and assistance, government security forces remain ineffective, disorganized and corrupt,” the UN’s Monitoring Group on Somalia said in a report to be presented to the Security Council this week.
Somalia’s internationally backed Transitional Federal Government has been boxed into a tiny perimeter in the capital Mogadishu by an insurgency launched in May 2009 by the Al-Qaeda-inspired Al-Shabaab group and its more political Hizbul-Islam allies.

Women Miss Saddam by Dahr Jamail -- Antiwar.com

Women Miss Saddam by Dahr Jamail -- Antiwar.com: "BAGHDAD – Under Saddam Hussein, women in government got a year’s maternity leave; that is now cut to six months. Under the Personal Status Law in force since Jul. 14, 1958, when Iraqis overthrew the British-installed monarchy, Iraqi women had most of the rights that Western women do.

Now they have Article 2 of the Constitution: 'Islam is the official religion of the state and is a basic source of legislation.' Sub-head A says 'No law can be passed that contradicts the undisputed rules of Islam.' Under this Article the interpretation of women’s rights is left to religious leaders – and many of them are under Iranian influence."

Garowe Online - Home

Garowe Online - Home: "BOSASSO, 9 March 2010 (IRIN) - The number of people seeking mental health treatment has increased in Bosasso, the commercial capital of Somalia's autonomous region of Puntland, despite the existence of only one small health unit, officials said.

'We have only two rooms; one for males and one for females, with five beds each,' Abdulkadir Khalif Ali, the nurse who manages the Bosasso general hospital's mental health wing. 'The demand is rising; there are days when I have 20 or 30 patients, some requiring hospitalization, but I have to release them because there is no space.'"

Two IDF soldiers charged with using 9-year-old 'human shield' in Gaza war - Haaretz - Israel News

Two IDF soldiers charged with using 9-year-old 'human shield' in Gaza war - Haaretz - Israel News: "The Israel Defense Forces prosecution on Thursday filed an indictment against two combat soldiers suspected of inappropriate conduct during Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip in 2008.

The soldiers, who served as staff sergeants in the Givati Brigade during Operation Cast Lead, allegedly forced a 9-year-old Palestinian boy to open a number of bags they thought might contain explosive materials. The bags turned out to be harmless."

  Tea Partyers Are White Nationalists, Pure and Simple  : Information Clearing House -  ICH

Tea Partyers Are White Nationalists, Pure and Simple : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Corporate media go through all manner of contortions of logic and historical gymnastics to sanitize the Tea Party phenomenon – anything to avoid calling the people grouped under the Tea Party umbrella by their proper name: White nationalists. White nationalism is a taboo subject in most corporate circles – and even among some on the Left. The continued appeal of a loud and boisterous White Nationalism threatens the prevailing American mythology, shared by the likes of corporate Democrat Barack Obama and corporate Republican John McCain: the myth that racism is not endemic to American life and history."

  Tea Partyers Are White Nationalists, Pure and Simple  : Information Clearing House -  ICH

Tea Partyers Are White Nationalists, Pure and Simple : Information Clearing House - ICH: "Corporate media go through all manner of contortions of logic and historical gymnastics to sanitize the Tea Party phenomenon – anything to avoid calling the people grouped under the Tea Party umbrella by their proper name: White nationalists. White nationalism is a taboo subject in most corporate circles – and even among some on the Left. The continued appeal of a loud and boisterous White Nationalism threatens the prevailing American mythology, shared by the likes of corporate Democrat Barack Obama and corporate Republican John McCain: the myth that racism is not endemic to American life and history."

Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa    : Information Clearing House -  ICH

Billionaires and Mega-Corporations Behind Immense Land Grab in Africa : Information Clearing House - ICH: "The experience of Nyikaw Ochalla, an indigenous Anuak from the Gambella region of Ethiopia now living in Britain but who is in regular contact with farmers in his region, is typical. He said: 'All of the land in the Gambella region is utilised. Each community has and looks after its own territory and the rivers and farmlands within it. It is a myth propagated by the government and investors to say that there is waste land or land that is not utilised in Gambella.

'The foreign companies are arriving in large numbers, depriving people of land they have used for centuries. There is no consultation with the indigenous population. The deals are done secretly. The only thing the local people see is people coming with lots of tractors to invade their lands.

'All the land round my family village of Illia has been taken over and is being cleared. People now have to work…

 The Rogue Nation   : Information Clearing House -  ICH

The Rogue Nation : Information Clearing House - ICH: "In spite of the fact that the United States faces no enemy anywhere in the world capable of opposing it on a battlefield, the Defense budget for 2011 will go up 7.1 percent from current levels. A lot of the new spending will be on drones, America’s latest contribution to western civilization, capable of surveilling large areas on the ground and delivering death from the skies. It is a peculiarly American vision of warfare, with a 'pilot' sitting at a desk half a world away and pressing a button that can kill a target far below. Hygienic and mechanical, it is a bit like a video game with no messy cleanup afterwards. The recently released United States Quadrennial Defense Review reports how the Pentagon will be developing a new generation of super drones that can stay airborne for long periods of time and can strike anywhere in the world and at any time to kill America’s enemies. The super drones will include some th…

  Paul Craig Roberts Owes Iraqi People Apology  : Information Clearing House -  ICH

Paul Craig Roberts Owes Iraqi People Apology : Information Clearing House - ICH: "March 06, 2010 'Dissident Voice' -- March 4th, 2010 -- As an Iraqi, I took serious offense to Paul Craig Roberts’ patronizing article, “Muslim Disunity: A Religion Divided Among Itself,” in Counterpunch, March 2, 2010. Roberts audaciously states that the “reason Americans are still in Iraq is because the Iraqis hate each other more than they hate the American invader.” Roberts blames the vast majority of the violence in the war on Iraqis themselves. It almost defies logic that, after the murder of 200,000 people in the 1991 war, the death of about 1.7 million under 12 year-long sanctions, the murder of more than 1.2 million under yet another war, brutal military occupation and the unrestrained use of white phosphorus and depleted uranium, Iraqis have caused more damage to themselves than the United States has. It is a claim as bizarre as Zionists’ complaints about Palestinian resistance …

Ethiopian opposition says candidate murdered - Yahoo! News

Ethiopian opposition says candidate murdered - Yahoo! News: "ADDIS ABABA (AFP) – An Ethiopian opposition candidate was 'butchered to death' for his political activities ahead of elections scheduled for May, an opposition official said Wednesday.

'Six men attacked Aregawi Gebrehannes at his bar in Shire (north Ethiopia) at around 3:00 am on Tuesday,' Gebru Asrat of the coalition Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia (Medrek, main opposition movement), told AFP.

The candidate, who had claimed repeated harassment this year, was vying for a place in parliament for a constituency in Tigray, a stronghold of the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition.

'They butchered him to death, his body was found cut into pieces,' added Gebru, who was an ally of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi before falling out with him in 2001.

He claimed the assailants were 'mercenaries' linked to the ruling party.

The group said another candidate …

BBC News - Ethiopia famine aid 'spent on weapons'

BBC News - Ethiopia famine aid 'spent on weapons': "Millions of dollars in Western aid for victims of the Ethiopian famine of 1984-85 was siphoned off by rebels to buy weapons, a BBC investigation finds.

Former rebel leaders told the BBC that they posed as merchants in meetings with charity workers to get aid money.

They used the cash to fund attempts to overthrow the government of the time.

One rebel leader estimated $95m (£63m) - from Western governments and charities including Band Aid - was channelled into the rebel fight."

The Corporate Takeover of U.S. Democracy -- In These Times

The Corporate Takeover of U.S. Democracy -- In These Times: "Jan. 21, 2010, will go down as a dark day in the history of U.S. democracy, and its decline.

On that day the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the government may not ban corporations from political spending on elections—a decision that profoundly affects government policy, both domestic and international.

The decision heralds even further corporate takeover of the U.S. political system."

Senate rejects $250 checks for elderly - Yahoo! News

Senate rejects $250 checks for elderly - Yahoo! News: "WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A measure to give some 57 million elderly people, veterans and persons with disabilities a $250 check was rejected by the Senate on Wednesday, a setback for the powerful seniors' lobby.

President Barack Obama has called for Congress to approve the payments to make up for their benefits not increasing this year, but the Senate defeated it 50 to 47.

The payments would have added $13 billion to a $108 billion job-creation package pending in the Senate."

BBC News - Birth defects 'have risen since US Falluja operation'

BBC News - Birth defects 'have risen since US Falluja operation': "A BBC investigation in Iraq has confirmed a disturbingly high number of birth defects among children in the town of Falluja.

Six years ago, in 2004, there were fierce battles as US forces subdued two uprisings in the town.

Now, one hospital doctor told the BBC that they see two or three cases of birth defects each day.

The US military says it is not aware of any official reports showing an increase in birth defects in the area.

It says it always takes public health concerns about any population now living in a combat theatre 'very seriously'."

Al Jazeera English - Europe - Karadzic calls war 'just and holy'