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Showing posts from June, 2010

Taliban extend sphere of influence, expert says - Monsters and Critics

Taliban extend sphere of influence, expert says - Monsters and Critics
Kabul - Afghanistan's Taliban militants are expanding their influence further into regions outside their traditional power base, the Afghanistan Analysts Network (AAN) said. 'Their intake from non-Pashtun ethnic groups is growing, from where the Taliban hardly recruited in the past,' AAN co-director Thomas Ruttig said. That trend was particularly obvious in Kunduz province in north-eastern Afghanistan, where German troops are based, he said. In a report released Tuesday, the AAN criticized a significant lack of understanding about the nature of the Taliban movement by the international community. The Taliban were no longer a tribal Pashtun movement, but have turned into a political Islamist movement in which ethnicity no longer plays a role, which opened the Taliban to non-Pashtuns, Ruttig said. An increasing number of Afghan Tajik and Uzbek commanders were joining the…

US soldier arrested over Iraq video - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

US soldier arrested over Iraq video - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
A US soldier serving in Iraq has been arrested for allegedly leaking a classified combat video to a whistleblower website, Wikileaks, last year.The video footage from a helicopter cockpit shows a deadly 2007 aerial strike in the Iraqi capital that killed 12 civilians including two journalists from the Reuters news agency.US Army Specialist Bradley Manning, 22, was arrested last month after he reportedly bragged online about having leaked the information, including the video and US diplomatic cables.The US military in a statement said Manning, who was deployed at a base near Baghdad, is in "pre-trial confinement for allegedly releasing classified information and is currently confined in Kuwait".Manning's alleged action of supplying classified video and diplomatic communications to Wikileaks was first reported by Wired.com, the website of technology magazine Wired.

Paul Blasts U.S. Support of Gaza Blockade « The Washington Independent

Paul Blasts U.S. Support of Gaza Blockade « The Washington Independent
The congressional reaction this week to Israel’s recent and deadly raid on an aid flotilla headed to Gaza has, for the most part, fit neatly into three camps: Most lawmakers have either (1) said nothing, (2) called cautiously for an investigation, or (3) staunchly defended Israel’s attack, despite the killing of a U.S. citizen.Increasingly, though, a fourth camp is emerging — one that’s criticizing Israel for attacking a Turkish-flagged vessel in international waters (and also questioning America’s support for the Israeli blockade of Gaza). Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) was the first to step into this thorny territory, circulating a letter to President Obama Wednesday arguing that Israel’s right to self defense “does not extend to shooting innocent civilians anywhere in the world, anytime it pleases.”

Gaza aid ship taken to Israeli port - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Gaza aid ship taken to Israeli port - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Israeli soldiers have boarded an aid ship bound for the Gaza Strip and forced it to head to the Israeli port of Ashdod instead.The Israeli military said in a statement that troops boarded MV Rachel Corrie on Saturday after the activists aboard the ship ignored warnings to divert to Ashdod."There was no violence or injuries amongst the soldiers or crew ... and no shots were fired," the statement said.Jacky Rowland, Al Jazeera's correspondent in Ashdod, said the Rachel Corrie arrived at the port, escorted all the way by Israeli military vessels."The aid will be taken off and inspected," she said."It is not clear how much of it will be taken to Gaza. We can expect the passengers to be deported fairly promptly."

Another aid ship on way to Gaza - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Another aid ship on way to Gaza - Middle East - Al Jazeera English
Malaysia's government has urged Israel not to take any action that could harm people aboard a Malaysian-funded Irish aid ship, now heading to Gaza.The MV Rachel Corrie is carrying 11 activists, including Mairead Corrigan, a Nobel Peace laureate, and eight crew members, just days after another aid vessel was boarded by Israeli soldiers who killed nine activists.

Democracy Now! | Headlines for June 01, 2010

Democracy Now! | Headlines for June 01, 2010
At Least 10 Activists Killed in Israeli Attack on Gaza-Bound Aid ShipAt least ten peace activists have been killed in an Israeli attack on a humanitarian aid ship making its away to the Gaza Strip in international waters. The Mavi Marmara was part of a flotilla organized by the Free Gaza Movement carrying nearly 700 international activists and over 10,000 tons of aid. On Monday, Israeli forces stormed the ship nearly forty miles off the Gaza coast. In the Occupied Territories, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack as a "massacre."

U.S. blocks Security Council criticism of Israeli raid - Salt Lake Tribune

U.S. blocks Security Council criticism of Israeli raid - Salt Lake Tribune
United Nations » Israel faced heavy criticism in an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council on Monday in response to its deadly attack on an aid flotilla trying to breach the Gaza blockade, but attempts to issue a formal statement stalled after the United States rejected the strong condemnation sought by Turkey. Turkey proposed a statement that would condemn Israel for violating international law, demand a U.N. investigation and demand that Israel prosecute those responsible for the raid and pay compensation to the victims. It also called for the end of the blockade.