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Showing posts from May, 2010

Estimated Cost of Afghan, Iraq Wars Tops $1 Trillion -- News from Antiwar.com

Estimated Cost of Afghan, Iraq Wars Tops $1 Trillion -- News from Antiwar.com
Tonight it is the later, as Costofwar.com, the maker of a popular Javascript ticker that estimates the current costs of the war, has seen its estimate pass the $1 trillion mark earlier today. Costofwar’s estimate is based on the amount of money allocated to the war in the current and previous fiscal years, but other estimates suggest that the true cost runs into the several trillion dollar range.

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Israel attacks Gaza aid fleet - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Israeli forces have attacked a flotilla of aid-carrying ships aiming to break the country's siege on Gaza.At least 19 people were killed and dozens injured when troops intercepted the convoy of ships dubbed the Freedom Flotilla early on Monday, Israeli radio reported.The flotilla was attacked in international waters, 65km off the Gaza coast.Avital Leibovich, an Israeli military spokeswoman, confirmed that the attack took place in international waters, saying: "This happened in waters outside of Israeli territory, but we have the right to defend ourselves."Footage from the flotilla's lead vessel, the Mavi Marmara, showed armed Israeli soldiers boarding the ship and helicopters flying overhead.Al Jazeera's Jamal Elshayyal, on board the Mavi Marmara, said Israeli troops had used live ammunition during the operation.

All of Us Use Drugs, But Only Some of Us Go to Jail | Drugs | AlterNet

All of Us Use Drugs, But Only Some of Us Go to Jail | Drugs | AlterNet
Most people start using drugs before they even leave the house in the morning. Yes, that first cup of coffee is what many of us need to start the day. The next drug that millions of Americans use, sometimes up to 20 times a day, is our nicotine! And then, after a long day of work, many of us head to a local bar or to our refrigerator and pour ourselves a cocktail, ice cold beer or a nice glass of wine.And I'm just getting started. There are over 100 million Americans who have used marijuana. Thirty years after Nancy Reagan told us to "Just Say No," half of high-school seniors will try marijuana and 75% will try alcohol before they graduate. And what about the college students who use Ritalin to help them focus and put in long hours at the library? And how about all of the superstar athletes who use performance enhancing substances? What about all of the men (and women) who are deeply grate…

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons | World news | The Guardian

Revealed: how Israel offered to sell South Africa nuclear weapons | World news | The Guardian
Secret South African documents reveal that Israel offered to sell nuclear warheads to the apartheid regime, providing the first official documentary evidence of the state's possession of nuclear weapons.The "top secret" minutes of meetings between senior officials from the two countries in 1975 show that South Africa's defence minister, PW Botha, asked for the warheads and Shimon Peres, then Israel's defence minister and now its president, responded by offering them "in three sizes". The two men also signed a broad-ranging agreement governing military ties between the two countries that included a clause declaring that "the very existence of this agreement" was to remain secret.

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Ethiopia rejects Egypt Nile claims

Al Jazeera English - Africa - Ethiopia rejects Egypt Nile claims
Ethiopia's prime minister has rejected a threat by Egypt to prevent the building of dams and other water projects upstream on the Nile river.Meles Zenawi told Al Jazeera on Wednesday that Egypt will not be able to stop his country from building dams on the river.
His comments came nearly a week after Ethiopia joined Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania in signing a new treaty on the equitable sharing of the Nile, despite strong opposition from Egypt and Sudan who have the major share of the river waters.

Yellow Press § Elvis Costello

Yellow Press § Elvis Costello

It is after considerable contemplation that I have lately arrived at the decision that I must withdraw from the two performances scheduled in Israel on the 30th of June and the 1st of July.

One lives in hope that music is more than mere noise, filling up idle time, whether intending to elate or lament.

Then there are occasions when merely having your name added to a concert schedule may be interpreted as a political act that resonates more than anything that might be sung and it may be assumed that one has no mind for the suffering of the innocent.

I must believe that the audience for the coming concerts would have contained many people who question the policies of their government on settlement and deplore conditions that visit intimidation, humiliation or much worse on Palestinian civilians in the name of national security.

Noam Chomsky Barred From Entering Israel -- News from Antiwar.com

Iran’s Uranium Deal a Serious Blow to War Party -- News from Antiwar.com

Iran’s Uranium Deal a Serious Blow to War Party -- News from Antiwar.com
The deal was announced last night but details were only made available this morning. According to the announcement, Iran will ship 1,200 kg of its 3.5% enriched uranium to Turkey, exactly the amount sought in the P5+1 enrichment deal, and will receive fuel rods for its medical reactor one year later, again the amount of time given in the P5+1 deal.

Factbox: A look at costs of Afghan war to U.S. taxpayers | Reuters

Factbox: A look at costs of Afghan war to U.S. taxpayers | Reuters
About twice as much money -- $708 billion -- has gone to the war in Iraq so far, CBO says.But Afghanistan is becoming the more expensive battleground, as the pace of U.S. military operations slows in Iraq and quickens in Afghanistan.The current fiscal year, which ends September 30, is the first year that more money has been allocated to Afghanistan ($72.3 billion) than Iraq ($64.5 billion), according to the National Priorities Project, a nonpartisan budget research group that examines congressional appropriations.

Gold stones, glass houses: Israel's relationship with apartheid South Africa by Sasha Polakow-Suransky | The Middle East Channel

Gold stones, glass houses: Israel's relationship with apartheid South Africa by Sasha Polakow-Suransky | The Middle East Channel
More importantly, Ayalon's and Rivlin's moralism conveniently ignores Israel's history of arming the apartheid regime from the mid-1970s until the early 1990s. By serving as South Africa's primary and most reliable arms supplier during a period of violent internal repression and external aggression, Israel's government did far more to aid the apartheid regime than Goldstone ever did. The Israel-South Africa alliance began in earnest in April 1975 when then-Defense Minister Shimon Peres signed a secret security pact with his South African counterpart, P.W. Botha. Within months, the two countries were doing a brisk trade, closing arms deals totaling almost $200 million; Peres even offered to sell Pretoria nuclear-capable Jericho missiles. By 1979, South Africa had become the Israeli defense industry's single largest customer, …

GREED

Chicago rail boss commits suicide by train: reports | Reuters
Last week, Phil Pagano was put on paid leave by the board of directors of Metra, where he had been executive director for 20 years. A spokeswoman for the cash-strapped agency said Pagano's bonus on top of his $270,000 salary was improper.Metra's board canceled a scheduled meeting and issued a statement announcing Pagano's death. The sheriff in suburban McHenry County said a man had walked in front of an oncoming train in an apparent suicide.Pagano's death follows some recent high-profile suicides of Illinois political figures.Chicago Public Schools Chief Executive Michael Scott shot himself to death along the Chicago River in November; and Christopher Kelly, an aide to ousted former state governor Rod Blagojevich, committed suicide in September before he was due to begin a prison term.

CNSNews.com - Gallup Poll: 9 Out of 10 Americans Say Secure the Border This Year

CNSNews.com - Gallup Poll: 9 Out of 10 Americans Say Secure the Border This Year
(CNSNews.com) - A USA Today/Gallup poll conducted May 1-2 shows that 9 out of 10 Americans say it is moderately to extremely important to them for the federal government to take steps this year to secure the border against illegal immigration.

Similarly, 61 percent of Americans say they are very concerned that illegal immigrants are putting an unfair burden on U.S. schools, hospitals, and government services.

Gallup asked respondents whether it was extremely important, very important, moderately important, or not that important to them that the U.S. government take steps this year to control the border to stop the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. Only 10 percent said it was not that important. Eighty-nine percent said it was moderately to extremely important, with 42 percent saying it was extremely important, 26 percent saying it was very important, and 21 percent saying it was modera…

Why Was Cheney in Saudi Arabia? | Mother Jones

Why Was Cheney in Saudi Arabia? | Mother Jones

[UPDATED] Foreign Policy's David Kenner pointed out Monday that former vice president and ex-Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney just went on a junket to meet with Saudi Arabian leaders, a quiet pow-wow that's been discussed in the Saudi media but not so much over here. Cheney—who's been busy defending torture and complaining that Barack Obama lets world leaders "think they're dealing with a weak president"—weakened the president by visiting a leading torture regime and its caliph, King Abdullah.So, what was the ex-veep doing in Riyadh?

Joe Lieberman bill would strip suspects' citizenship - Kasie Hunt - POLITICO.com

Joe Lieberman bill would strip suspects' citizenship - Kasie Hunt - POLITICO.com

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) thinks he’s found a work-around on the whole Miranda rights debate for U.S. citizens accused of terrorism: Strip their citizenship and ship them to Guantanamo. Lieberman plans to introduce a bill that would amend a decades-old law aimed at yanking citizenship from U.S. citizens who fight for a foreign military. “I’m now putting together legislation to amend that to [specify that] any individual American citizen who is found to be involved in a foreign terrorist organization, as defined by the Department of State, would be deprived of their citizenship rights,” Lieberman said Tuesday.

Muslim leader says US enemies should leave - Yahoo! News

Muslim leader says US enemies should leave - Yahoo! News
WASHINGTON (AFP) – A leader of the Ahmadiya Islamic minority on Tuesday implored US Muslims who would attack the country to leave, after a Pakistani-American was charged in a car bomb plot. The Ahmadiya, who mostly hail from Pakistan and other South Asian nations, break with mainstream Islam by not believing Mohammed was the last prophet. They also advocate a separation of mosque and state. Naseem Mahdi, the US Ahmadiya community's missionary-in-charge, said that Muslims across the United States faced both economic and social ruin unless they spoke up more loudly against violent elements. "We have to stand up and say that this is nonsense, this is not acceptable to us. If our loyalties are somewhere else, why should we be here and enjoy the benefits of this beautiful country?" he told a news conference. He denounced US citizens who would attack the country as leading "hypocritical lives."

EXCLUSIVE...Secret Recording of Erik Prince Reveals Previously Undisclosed Blackwater Ops

EXCLUSIVE...Secret Recording of Erik Prince Reveals Previously Undisclosed Blackwater Ops
Investigative journalist and Democracy Now! correspondent Jeremy Scahill obtains a rare audio recording of a recent, private speech delivered by Erik Prince, the owner of Blackwater, to a friendly audience in January. The speech, which Prince attempted to keep from public consumption, provides a stunning glimpse into his views and future plans and reveals details of previously undisclosed activities of Blackwater. In a Democracy Now! exclusive broadcast we play excerpts of the recording and speak with Scahill about the revelations.