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Birth Certificate just Jim Crow all Over Again | Informed Comment

Birth Certificate just Jim Crow all Over Again | Informed Comment

There isn’t actually any mystery about the phenomenon of birtherism, the denial that Barack Obama is a US citizen and has a right to vote and hold office, or why obnoxious billionaire Donald Trump is resorting to it in his farce of a presidential bid.

Birthers are concentrated in former slaver, former Jim Crow states, which were forced to stop legal discrimination against African-Americans by the intervention of the Federal government from the 1960s, but many of whom retain a commitment to race and caste hierarchies as a way of ordering their societies.

America and the Arabs: No freedom dividend | The Economist

America and the Arabs: No freedom dividend | The Economist: "THE Egyptian people's opinion of America has not changed for the worse. That, for now, is the only consolation America can derive from a fascinating opinion poll just published by the Pew Research Centre. This shows that although nearly two out of three Egyptians are happy with the way things are going in their own country, the end of the Mubarak regime, and the role some people say Barack Obama played in helping to ease out the dictator, have not made them any better disposed towards the United States. Only one in five Egyptians have a positive view of America and only 15% would like to see closer ties. A majority (54% to 36%) would like to annul the peace treaty with Israel. More Egyptians (82%) say that better economic conditions are important to them than say that about honest multi-party elections. The institution that has come out best from the upheaval is the army: 88% say it is having a positive impact on th…

Gaza civilians wounded in Israeli attack - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Gaza civilians wounded in Israeli attack - Middle East - Al Jazeera English: "At least four people, including children, have been injured in an Israeli tank fire in central Gaza, Israeli and Palestinian sources said.

Witnesses said the Israeli army fired at least three rounds at an area east of the Al-Bureij refugee camp, wounding several Palestinians.

Hamas officials said Israeli forces fired in the direction of a home after darkness fell on Thursday.

Medical workers said four people including a woman and two children had been taken to a hospital with slight injuries.

The Israeli military confirmed the incident, saying it targeted fighters 'identified as planting an explosive near a border security fence' and that 'uninvolved civilians were apparently injured in this incident'.

'Israeli tanks fired shells at terrorists and hit them as they were about to place explosive devices near the security barrier' between the Gaza Strip and Israeli territory, a military …

Fatah and Hamas agree to historic Palestinian reconciliation deal - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Fatah and Hamas agree to historic Palestinian reconciliation deal - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News: "Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement hammered an historic reconciliation deal with the rival Hamas group on Wednesday, agreeing to form an interim government and fix a date for general election within the year."

Leaked Docs: Osama Didn’t Flee to Pakistan After All -- News from Antiwar.com

Leaked Docs: Osama Didn’t Flee to Pakistan After All -- News from Antiwar.com

Despite a solid decade of US officials insisting that Osama bin Laden fled from Tora Bora to Pakistan and remains there to this day, new leaked document show that this is not the case. Rather, US officials collected considerable evidence that bin Laden did not flee to Pakistan, but deeper into Afghanistan.

SABCNews - Main Feature > Top Stories

SABCNews - Main Feature > Top Stories: "More than 500 people were killed in post-election violence last week in the mostly Muslim North, a Nigerian human rights group said yesterday and warned of further unrest during state elections. 

Youths launched protests in northern towns and cities after President Goodluck Jonathan, a Christian from the South, was declared the victor of an April 16 election, defeating former military ruler and northern Muslim Muhammadu Buhari. "

War in Libya: The Killing Fields of Misurata

War in Libya: The Killing Fields of Misurata: "Don't believe us? Well, have you seen any photos of civilians shot by 'Gaddafi's Army'? Of the so-called massacres? Have you? No, because they don't exist. If they did, you would see them day in and night out on CNN, BBC, Jazeera and Al-Arabiya.

But you have surely seen the massacres with all the live footage recorded and photographs in Bahrain right? No? Oh yes, you haven't, because the BBC etc refuses to show them. But thanks to Mathaba you can see those, in horrifying detail. But no call for the dictatorship of Bahrain supported by the Saudi dictatorship, to restrain themselves, let alone to face trial or be deposed, nor for democracy, nor is there any NATO bombing to 'protect' civilians there."

How the Taliban Pulled Off a Massive Prison Break - Yahoo! News

How the Taliban Pulled Off a Massive Prison Break - Yahoo! News: "At 11 pm on Sunday night, per the Taliban's account, three Taliban prisoners who'd been informed of the plan ahead of time went from one cell to another, rousing several inmates at a time and escorting them to the tunnel. Mohammad Abdullah, who claimed he helped organize the escape from within the prison, told the AP that he and his associates got copies of cell keys from 'friends'--suggesting that some prison guards may have acted as accomplices. The escape took place between 11 pm and 3:30 am, according to the Taliban, and one escapee told the BBC that it took him around 30 minutes to walk the full tunnel. When the prisoners emerged from the underground passageway, Taliban members greeted them and whisked them to waiting vehicles, which transported them to Taliban-controlled locations. As the prisoners boarded the vehicles, Taliban fighters and suicide bombers stood by in case security forces got …

The Guantanamo Files

The Guantanamo Files: "In its latest release of classified US documents, WikiLeaks is shining the light of truth on a notorious icon of the Bush administration's 'War on Terror' -- the prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, which opened on January 11, 2002, and remains open under President Obama, despite his promise to close the much-criticized facility within a year of taking office."

PressTV - Troops attack Saudi protesters

PressTV - Troops attack Saudi protesters

Anti-government protesters in Qatif are calling for human rights reforms, freedom of expression and the release of political prisoners.

They are also calling for the immediate withdrawal of Saudi troops from neighboring Bahrain.

After dispersing the protesters by force, Saudi troops attacked several homes in the city and arrested many people. They also destroyed vehicles parked in the streets.

Saudi Arabia's east has been the scene of anti-government protests over the past months.

Human Rights Watch says more than 160 dissidents have been arrested since February as part of the Saudi government's crackdown on anti-government protesters.

"Saudi authorities have arrested over 160 peaceful dissidents in violation of international human rights law since February 2011," HRW said in a statement last week.

HRW also criticized the European Union and the United States, Saudi Arabia's allies, for not taking a harder line over Riyadh&#…

Syria sends tanks onto streets - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Syria sends tanks onto streets - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

More deaths have been reported in Syria where thousands of troops backed by tanks and heavy armour have swept into the volatile town of Deraa in the south of the country and the large Damascus suburb of Douma.

Security forces also continued a crackdown in the coastal town of Jableh for a second day.

Al Jazeera's Rula Amin, reporting from Damascus, said the government's offensive on Monday was an "unprecedented" offensive against the wave of dissent that has swept the country since the uprising began on March 15.

Witnesses in Deraa told news agencies on Monday that at least five people had been killed when gunmen opened fire on a car.

Bahrain opposition says authorities demolished Shiite mosques as part of crackdown on dissent - The Washington Post

Bahrain opposition says authorities demolished Shiite mosques as part of crackdown on dissent - The Washington Post: "By Associated Press, Saturday, April 23, 12:36 PM

MANAMA, Bahrain — Bahrain’s main opposition party says authorities have demolished 16 mosques as part of crackdown on Shiite dissent in the Sunni-ruled Gulf kingdom over the past month.

Al Wefaq says 30 Shiite places of worship — including 16 mosques — have been destroyed since martial law was declared last month.

A statement Saturday said the government has no legal justification for attacks on Shiite holy places and suggests that the destruction is a punishment for weeks of anti-government protest by Bahrain’s Shiite majority against minority Sunni rulers.

The demolition is likely to further inflame sectarian tensions in the island kingdom, the home of the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet.

Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Gulf states sent troops to Bahrain to help the ruling dynasty contain the unrest.

Copyright 2011 The Associated P…

Shocking report reveals Israel's electronic war on the Arabs - Region - World - Ahram Online

Shocking report reveals Israel's electronic war on the Arabs - Region - World - Ahram Online

In the first revelation of its kind, Israeli intelligence disclosed some of its information technology war tactics against the Islamic world.

Israeli intelligence allowed Israel’s Channel Two to air a report on Friday shot in an air force base in the Naqb desert in south Israel. Hundreds of experts involved in this operation were gathered.

The report showed the accomplishments of the information technology experts affiliated with Israeli intelligence agencies, which include the internal intelligence agency, Shabak or Shin Bet, Mossad and military intelligence otherwise known as the Aman. Other experts work in individual military units in the Israeli army, like those reportedly specialised in orchestrating coups in Arab states.

Yemen’s Saleh to Resign in Exchange for Immunity, Official Says - Businessweek

Yemen’s Saleh to Resign in Exchange for Immunity, Official Says - Businessweek: "April 23 (Bloomberg) -- Yemen President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed to accept a Gulf Cooperation Council-brokered plan that allows him to cede power in exchange for immunity, a government official said.

Saleh agreed to transfer power to a deputy within 30 days and to elections 60 days after that, Tarik al-Shami, spokesman at the ruling General People’s Congress, said in a telephone interview today. The opposition must end protests and accept immunity for Saleh and his aides and all terms of the GCC plan, al-Shami said."

John McCain Back To Libya; Doesn’t Meet With Gaddafi This Time

John McCain Back To Libya; Doesn’t Meet With Gaddafi This Time: "According to the Obama administration, there are no American “boots” on the ground in Libya. But there are American orthopedic dress shows on the ground in Libya. John McCain latched onto one of our predator drones and parachuted down into the country Friday because he loves U.S. intervention in foreign wars so much he had to go see this one for himself. The last time he was there, Walnuts hung out with Muammar Gaddafi. But since a war started, McCain suddenly no longer likes this dictator, and spent his time meeting with the rebel troops instead. Yes, the rebel troops with whom the U.S. is supposed to have no coordination."

The US swallowed these cups of tea to justify its imperial aims | Comment is free | The Guardian

The US swallowed these cups of tea to justify its imperial aims | Comment is free | The Guardian: "In the mid-90s an American nurse, Greg Mortenson, was sleeping in his car to save rent so he could fulfil a promise he made to build a school in remote northern Pakistan. Fifteen years later, his book of his epic journey, Three Cups of Tea, has been in the US bestseller list for more than four years; thousands attend his speaker events; he has raised millions for his charity, and built hundreds of schools in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. His book was top of the reading list for US troops deploying to Afghanistan."

  Disincentives to Peace  : US Weapons Sales to Israel:      Information Clearing House: ICH

  Disincentives to Peace  : US Weapons Sales to Israel:      Information Clearing House: ICHApril 22, 2011 "Counterpunch" --- Israel may be forgiven for failing to realize the current fiscal woes of the United States. After all, U.S. military aid to Israel not only sailed unscathed through last week's passage of the 2011 budget, but reached the record level of $3 billion.

'Deadliest day' in Syria uprising - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

'Deadliest day' in Syria uprising - Middle East - Al Jazeera English: "At least 88 people are reported to have been killed in Syria in the bloodiest day since the uprising began, as security forces use live ammunition and tear gas to quell anti-government protests across the country, according to Amnesty International, the London-based rights group."

Feds to Supreme Court: Allow Warrantless GPS Monitoring | Threat Level | Wired.com

Feds to Supreme Court: Allow Warrantless GPS Monitoring | Threat Level | Wired.com: "The Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.

The Justice Department, saying “a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements (.pdf) from one place to another,” is demanding the justices undo a lower court decision that reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month without a court warrant.

The petition, if accepted by the justices, arguably would make it the biggest Fourth Amendment case in a decade — one weighing the collision of privacy, technology and the Constitution."

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops

Michigan: Police Search Cell Phones During Traffic Stops: "The Michigan State Police have a high-tech mobile forensics device that can be used to extract information from cell phones belonging to motorists stopped for minor traffic violations. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan last Wednesday demanded that state officials stop stonewalling freedom of information requests for information on the program.

ACLU learned that the police had acquired the cell phone scanning devices and in August 2008 filed an official request for records on the program, including logs of how the devices were used. The state police responded by saying they would provide the information only in return for a payment of $544,680. The ACLU found the charge outrageous.

'Law enforcement officers are known, on occasion, to encourage citizens to cooperate if they have nothing to hide,' ACLU staff attorney Mark P. Fancher wrote. 'No less should be expected of law enforcement, and the …

Haaretz WikiLeaks exclusive / Netanyahu agreed to join Olmert's government if Israel attacked Iran - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News

Haaretz WikiLeaks exclusive / Netanyahu agreed to join Olmert's government if Israel attacked Iran - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News: "Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed willingness to join Ehud Olmert's government in 2007 if Israel initiated an attack on Iran, a document from the Israeli WikiLeaks collection has revealed.

On July 20, 2007, Marc J. Sievers, the political counselor at the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, sent a telegram to the State Department in Washington on the matter. The telegram was classified 'Confidential,' the level between 'Unclassified' and 'Secret.'"

If you're a Bahraini, protesting in the UK can have 'grave consequences' | Suliman al-Bahraini | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

If you're a Bahraini, protesting in the UK can have 'grave consequences' | Suliman al-Bahraini | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk: "Last month I participated in a protest of solidarity with my people, family, and friends in Bahrain. It took place in front of the BBC building in Manchester. The protest was peaceful, and most of the demonstrators were holding Bahraini flags. We were supporting the call for democracy, equal rights and constitutional reform that promotes basic human rights and peaceful coexistence between all religious and ethnic communities in the kingdom."

Hezbollah Challenges Bahrain Govt - IPS ipsnews.net

Hezbollah Challenges Bahrain Govt - IPS ipsnews.net: "BEIRUT, Apr 21, 2011 (IPS) - Hezbollah’s hardening stance in the Bahraini crisis has sowed discord between Lebanon and the Gulf island, currently home to about 5,000 Lebanese expatriates. As the situation escalates, many fear that the status of other Lebanese in the rest of the Gulf could come under threat."

AGI News On - 7 LIBYAN CIVILIANS KILLED BY NATO RAID SOUTH OF TRIPOLI

AGI News On - 7 LIBYAN CIVILIANS KILLED BY NATO RAID SOUTH OF TRIPOLI: "(AGI) Tripoli - According to Libyan media, 7 civilians died and 18 were wounded by a NATO raid in a southwestern Tripoli suburb. The official Jana news agency reported the coalition warplanes bombed the Khellat Al-Ferjan suburb and that the victims include women and children. Bir Al-Ghanam, 50 km southwest of the Libyan capital, was also bombed. . ."

Sudan: President concedes blame for genocide - Africa, World - The Independent

Sudan: President concedes blame for genocide - Africa, World - The Independent: "The President of Sudan has conceded full responsibility for the genocide in Darfur in which around 300,000 people died.

In his first interview with the Western media, Omar Bashir said: 'I am the President, so I am responsible about everything happening in the country.'

But he accused the International Criminal Court of 'double standards' and a 'campaign of lies'.

He added that Britain and other Western countries were pursuing a politically-motivated vendetta against him with the ultimate aim of forcing regime change in Sudan as well as in neighbouring Libya."

   Libya offers “verifiable” ceasefire, elections  :      Information Clearing House: ICH

   Libya offers “verifiable” ceasefire, elections  :      Information Clearing House: ICH

April 20, 2011 "The Hindu" -- LONDON: Libya's Foreign Minister Abdul Ati al-Obeidi on Wednesday offered a “properly verifiable” ceasefire supervised by foreign observers to pave the way for talks which could cover “any issue” including, he implied, the future of Colonel Muammar Qadhafi.

Goldstone breathes new life into Gaza report - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Goldstone breathes new life into Gaza report - Opinion - Al Jazeera EnglishEver since it first struck the raw nerve of Israeli political consciousness, I thought it misleading to associate the Goldstone Report so exclusively with its chair, Judge Richard Goldstone. After all, despite his deserved prominence as an international jurist, he was the least substantively qualified of the four members of the mission.

Part of the intensely hostile Israeli reaction undoubtedly had to do with the sense that Goldstone - a devoted Zionist - had been guilty of betrayal. Perhaps even the betrayal of 'a blood libel,' because he seemed to be elevating his fidelity to the 'law' above tribal loyalties; he should never have been mixed up with such a suspect entity as the UN Human Rights Council in the first place.

What should be observed - and what stands out over time - is the degree of importance that even the extremist Israeli leadership attaches to avoiding stains on its reputation as …

Judge: Mubarak Complicit in Protester Killings -- News from Antiwar.com

Judge: Mubarak Complicit in Protester Killings -- News from Antiwar.com: "The Egyptian junta has released a report detailing the violent crackdown against protesters in February, leading up to the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak and his replacement with the current interim military government. The report says 846 civilians were killed in the crackdowns.

The report said that snipers and police shot protesters with live ammunition, and a disproportionate number were shot in the eyes. Hundreds of protesters also survived but lost their sight in the attacks.

Egyptian Judge Omar Marwan said President Mubarak was definitely complicit in the attacks, explaining that the use of live fire on protesters would’ve required his direct permission. Either that permission was given or Mubarak simply chose not to hold anyone accountable, but the attacks continued for days.

Mubarak was arrested late last week as protesters continued to demand he be held accountable for his crimes. The president’s s…

Reports: Bahrain Raids Shi’ite Hospitals, Arrests Doctors -- News from Antiwar.com

Reports: Bahrain Raids Shi’ite Hospitals, Arrests Doctors -- News from Antiwar.com: "With the Bahraini government’s state of martial law continuing and 1,500+ foreign troops still operating in the country, the crackdown on Shi’ites is still escalating. A statement from the leading opposition party, al-Wefaq, reports that security forces attacked two hospitals today."

Bush's Pre-War Iraq Oil Deals Alarmed BP | Informed Comment

Bush's Pre-War Iraq Oil Deals Alarmed BP | Informed CommentGeorge W. Bush was quietly approaching US petroleum corporations and trying to do deals with the French and Russian governments and their energy companies regarding Iraqi petroleum fields in fall of 2002, according to British government documents. BP learned of these secret negotiations, and arranged for Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Trade Minister, Lady Elizabeth Symons, to lobby Bush on behalf of BP, which was afraid of being “locked out” of the Iraqi fields after the war.

Shock employment figures: Fewer than 46% of Americans have jobs | The Raw Story

Shock employment figures: Fewer than 46% of Americans have jobs | The Raw Story: "The percentage of Americans who have jobs has fallen to the lowest point in three decades and now hovers just above 45 percent of the total population, according to an analysis of labor data published by USA Today.

The report, based on figures provided by the Census and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed that at 36.7 percent, Mississippi had the lowest percentage of population working.

Employment rates were also low in California and Arizona, where just over 37 percent had jobs. At 55.8 percent, North Dakota had the highest rate of employed residents.

Overall, 45.4 percent of Americans were working, the lowest since 1983. Employment peaked at 49.3 percent in 2000.

'The bad economy, an aging population and a plateau in women working are contributing to changes that pose serious challenges for financing the nation's social programs,' the paper noted.

The news comes at a time when Republican…

Israeli Soldiers' Brutality at Prison Camp for Palestinians | Informed Comment

Israeli Soldiers' Brutality at Prison Camp for Palestinians | Informed Comment: "Israeli television has shown shocking cellphone video of the October, 2007, actions at Ketziot Prison, against unarmed Palestinian prisoners, by Israeli security forces. The thousand or so prisoners there revolted at a provocative search abruptly conducted by “Control and Restraint” units or Metzada. Far from being menacing, the Palestinian prisoners are shown cringing and obeying orders to come out of their tents with a promise that the shooting would stop. It did not. Israeli soldiers are caught laughing at the helpless Palestinian prisoners during the aggressive action."

    Three Myths of Israel's Insecurity: And Why They Must Be Debunked :      Information Clearing House: ICH

    Three Myths of Israel's Insecurity: And Why They Must Be Debunked :      Information Clearing House: ICH


April 18, 2011 "Tom Dispatch" -- Here are the Three Sacred Commandments for Americans who shape the public conversation on Israel:
1. For politicians, especially at the federal level: As soon as you say the word “Israel,” you must also say the word “security” and promise that the United States will always, always, always be committed to Israel’s security. If you occasionally label an action by the Israeli government “unhelpful,” you must immediately reaffirm the eternal U.S. commitment to Israel’s security.

2. For TV talking heads and op-ed pundits: If you criticize any policies or actions of the Israeli government, you must immediately add that Israel does, of course, have very real and serious security needs that have to be addressed.

3. For journalists covering the Israel-Palestine conflict for major American news outlets: You must live in Jewish Jerusalem or in T…

Death of fourth person in ten days in Bahrain detention centers | War Is A Crime .org

Death of fourth person in ten days in Bahrain detention centers | War Is A Crime .org
The fourth death in detention in 10 days yesterday, source: AlWefaq. Kareem Fakhrawi was a businessman who disappeared after he went to the police station to file a complaint. He was one of the founders of AlWasat Newspaper and was on the board of directors. You can see the footage of his body which shows torture marks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Z3hoDO_Lfg The only official statement was on the Bahrain News Agency twitter account he died from liver failure complications: https://twitter.com/#!/bna_ar/status/57938447310131200.

19 Human Rights Organizations Severely Condemn The Continuous Crackdown on Human Rights Defenders in Bahrain:

As Congress Slashes EPA, Climate Funding, Author Mark Hertsgaard on "Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth"

As Congress Slashes EPA, Climate Funding, Author Mark Hertsgaard on "Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth"

The budget deal approved by Congress cuts $1.6 billion from the budget of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency—a 16 percent decrease; reduces funding for a planned climate desk within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; and eliminates the position of assistant to the president for energy and climate change. Ever since taking control of the House, Republican lawmakers have taken a number of steps to curtail the Obama administration’s efforts to deal with climate change. We speak with investigative reporter Mark Hertsgaard, author of the new book, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth.

Rebels warn of 'massacre' in Misurata - Africa - Al Jazeera English

Rebels warn of 'massacre' in Misurata - Africa - Al Jazeera English: "Rebels have warned of an impending 'massacre' by troops loyal to Muammar Gaddafi if NATO does not intensify its attacks on government forces in and around Misurata, which has been besieged for weeks.

Libyan government forces launched a heavy attack against the coastal city on Thursday, with dozens of Grad rockets, killing at least 23 people, a rebel spokesman said."

Tax Me, I'm Rich, Says Deep-Pocketed Group     :      Information Clearing House: ICH

Tax Me, I'm Rich, Says Deep-Pocketed Group     :      Information Clearing House: ICH: "April 13, 2011 'ABC' --    Patriotic Millionaires for Fiscal Strength--rich guys in favor of raising taxes on themselves and other wealthy people--say they are irritated over President Obama's failure to do just that.
Nor do they believe his latest announcement that he intends to try again, says Erica Payne, founder of the Agenda project and coordinator of the Patriotic Millionaires campaign.

The president, when a candidate in 2008, had recommended ending the Bush tax cuts for households earning over $250,000 a year. But he conceded that point when he signed into law in 2010 an agreement with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts two more years."

    Nobel Prize Winning Economist Slams US Dollar  :      Information Clearing House: ICH

    Nobel Prize Winning Economist Slams US Dollar  :      Information Clearing House: ICH: "Joseph Stiglitz is a Nobel Prize winning economist, Columbia University professor, and former Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank. In a one-on-one interview at INET's Bretton Woods conference in New Hampshire he told RT why he thinks the US dollar as the reserve currency is hurting the entire world, how Federal Reserve have failed, and why inequality in the US may be reaching a tipping point that hurts the economy and society, with policymakers sending the US further in the wrong direction."

  Recognising Palestine?   :      Information Clearing House: ICH

  Recognising Palestine?   :      Information Clearing House: ICH: "April 13, 2011 ----  What do you do if your decades-long campaign to bring about an independent Palestinian state on those fractions of historic Palestine known as the West Bank and Gaza Strip have resulted in total failure?
The answer seems to be, if you are the Western-sponsored Palestinian Authority (PA) in Israeli-occupied Ramallah, to pretend you have a Palestinian state anyway, and to get as many other countries to join in this charade as possible."

Nuclear Catastrophe in Japan “Not Equal to Chernobyl, But Way Worse”

Nuclear Catastrophe in Japan “Not Equal to Chernobyl, But Way Worse”: "Japan has raised the severity rating of its nuclear crisis from 5 to 7, the highest level, matching the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. We go to Tokyo for an update from Thomas Breuer, head of the Climate and Energy Unit for Greenpeace Germany and part of a field team of radiation monitors in Japan. He notes that unlike Chernobyl, the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant is in a densely populated area. “We warned the government that there are a lot of cities and villages outside the 20-kilometers evacuation zone where the radiation levels are so high that people need urgently to be evacuated, especially children and pregnant women, because they are the most vulnerable part of the population to radiation,” says Breuer. [includes rush transcript]"

"I Am Willing to Give My Life": Bahraini Human Rights Activists Risk Lives to Protest U.S./Saudi-Backed Repression

"I Am Willing to Give My Life": Bahraini Human Rights Activists Risk Lives to Protest U.S./Saudi-Backed Repression: "The Gulf nation of Bahrain is intensifying its crackdown on pro-democracy protesters. On Saturday, masked police offers broke into the home of Abdulhadi Alkhawaja, a prominent Bahraini human rights activist. He was beaten and detained. We speak to his daughter, Zainab Alkhawaja, who witnessed the attack and is now on a hunger strike. Her husband and brother-in-law were also beaten and arrested in the pre-dawn raid. We also speak to Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights. He is facing a possible military trial for publishing the photograph of Ali Sager, a protester who died while in Bahraini custody. [includes rush transcript]"

Egypt's Mubarak detained for investigation - Yahoo! News

Egypt's Mubarak detained for investigation - Yahoo! NewsCAIRO – Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak was put under detention in his hospital room Wednesday for investigation on accusations of corruption, abuse of power and killings of protesters in a dramatic step Wednesday that brought celebrations from the movement that drove him from office.
Mubarak's two sons, Gamal and Alaa, were also detained for questioning and taken to Cairo's Torah prison, where a string of former top regime figures — including the former prime minister, ruling party chief and Mubarak's chief of staff — are already languishing, facing similar investigations on corruption.
The move was brought by enormous public pressure on the ruling military, which was handed power when Mubarak stepped down on Feb. 11. Tens of thousands protested in Cairo's central Tahrir Square on Friday, the biggest rally in weeks, demanding Mubarak and his family be put on trial. Many in the crowd accused the milit…

AIPAC's newest strategy - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

AIPAC's newest strategy - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Prime minister Benyamin Netanyahu is being heavily criticised in Israel for his blatant exploitation of the murder of five members of one family (including three children) at the Itamar settlement near Nablus. Particularly egregious has been Netanyahu's demand that president Mahmoud Abbas personally appear on Palestinian radio and television to condemn the killings, although Abbas had issued an unusually strong statement as soon as he heard of the tragedy.

Forget for a minute that no one knows who committed the crime and that certainly no one believes that the killer was associated with Abbas. Also, lay aside the fact that Netanyahu has never condemned or even expressed remorse over the killing of 300 plus Palestinian children by the IDF during the Gaza war. (In fact, one would be hard pressed to find any Israeli government that ever even criticised the killing of Palestinian children by the IDF, although many hundreds have …

Unveiling French hypocrisy - Opinion - Al Jazeera English

Unveiling French hypocrisy - Opinion - Al Jazeera English: "To quote again from my previous article: 'How often are the French wont to proclaim liberté, égalité, fraternité as their most fundamental values? As far as French policy in North Africa is concerned, we may add another: Fallacy.' As recent events have unfolded, however, I admit that I erred by overlooking one more very official French value: Hypocrisy."

BBC News - Ivory Coast: Gbagbo held after assault on residence

BBC News - Ivory Coast: Gbagbo held after assault on residence: "Ivory Coast politician Laurent Gbagbo has surrendered after a military assault on his residence in Abidjan and has been put under UN guard.

Forces of his UN-recognised successor, Alassane Ouattara, and French tanks advanced on his residence where he had been ensconced in a bunker.

Mr Gbagbo had been refusing to cede power, insisting he won November's presidential election.

There are conflicting accounts of how he finally surrendered.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the detention of Mr Gbagbo had brought to an end months of unnecessary conflict, and the UN would support the new government."

ADIDAS: DON’T RUN WITH ISRAELI APARTHEID | BDSmovement.net

ADIDAS: DON’T RUN WITH ISRAELI APARTHEID | BDSmovement.net: "On April 8, activists of the Rome Palestine Solidarity Network organized a boycott action in the Adidas store in Via del Corso in Rome’s historic center. On the same day as the Tel Aviv Marathon, and following shortly after the Jerusalem Marathon on March 25, both sponsored by Adidas, activists dressed as runners sprinted through the store denouncing the use of sporting events by the State of Israel in an attempt to re-brand its image and hide its policies of occupation, colonization and apartheid.

Since 1967, Israel has transferred nearly 500,000 settlers to the occupied Palestinian territories, in violation of international law and dozens of UN resolutions, forcing Palestinians off their land and reducing the West Bank to a few isolated patches of land separated by checkpoints, military bases, settlements and the “Apartheid Wall”."

BDSmovement.net | The Palestinian BDS National Committee website

BDSmovement.net | The Palestinian BDS National Committee website: "In 2005, Palestinian civil society issued a call for a campaign of boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS) against Israel until it complies with international law and Palestinian rights. A truly global movement against Israeli Apartheid is rapidly emerging in response to this call."

Heavy-handed Kashmir police take lessons in how not to kill - Asia, World - The Independent

Heavy-handed Kashmir police take lessons in how not to kill - Asia, World - The Independent: "On a large parade ground set beneath dry brown hills, the Kashmir police went about their business. On one side, officers dressed in normal clothes and waving banners, imitated a gang of protesters. On the other, their colleagues, kitted out in new riot gear, selected for its menacing look as much as its flexibility, jogged forwards, chanting. Quickly, the kitted-out officers lowered themselves into a kneeling position and as those in the centre raised their shields, the officers on the flanks set off after the 'demonstrators', waving their truncheons and hitting out. Afterwards, purple-coloured water was fired from a cannon."

Rockets Fired at Gbagbo's Ivory Coast Residence by Forces from UN, France - Bloomberg

Rockets Fired at Gbagbo's Ivory Coast Residence by Forces from UN, France - Bloomberg: "Human Rights Watch said forces loyal to Ouattara killed hundreds of civilians, burned at least 10 villages and raped women from an ethnic group perceived to be loyal to Gbagbo.

“Fighters often targeted people by ethnicity, and the attacks disproportionately affected those too old or feeble to flee,” said a report e-mailed April 8 by the New York-based group. “Dozens of women were also detained for a day or longer and repeatedly raped.”"

A Militarized Economy Cannot Balance the Budget   :      Information Clearing House: ICH

A Militarized Economy Cannot Balance the Budget   :      Information Clearing House: ICH

April 08, 2011 "Information Clearing House" -- While we send our love and support to those so horribly impacted by the earthquake and tsunami, we must not allow this shock to divert us from the tsunami headed our way. Our business and political leaders will try to use this terrible catastrophe as a diversion to hoodwink us into budgetary reductions that will fatten their wallets and leave us and our children devastated.

It does not matter on what side of the political fence you sit during the current budget debates. The fact is that if our leaders are not willing to take into account our over-dependence on a militarized economy and change it, we will never balance the budget. Our progeny will face an endless struggle to clean up the debris.

Each year the Department of Defense’s tidal wave grows more menacing. We witness countless billions allocated for weapons research and development; nuc…

Maan News Agency: Ashrawi: We will prosecute crimes against Palestinians

Maan News Agency: Ashrawi: We will prosecute crimes against PalestiniansRAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- PLO leader Hanan Ashrawi expressed concern Monday over Richard Goldstone's recent comments over his report on Israel's Operation Cast Lead offensive on the Gaza Strip .

In an opinion piece published Friday by The Washington Post, Goldstone reconsidered his report, which found evidence that Israel and Hamas committed war crimes and crimes against humanity during the 22-day attack.

"If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone Report would have been a different document," the retired judge wrote.

Budget Deal Would Give Pentagon Extra Funds In Exchange For Social Program Cuts    :      Information Clearing House: ICH

Budget Deal Would Give Pentagon Extra Funds In Exchange For Social Program Cuts    :      Information Clearing House: ICH

April 05, 2011 "Huffington Post" -- WASHINGTON -- While media attention focuses on the cuts to government spending demanded by House Republicans and broadly accepted by Democrats, the Pentagon is poised to reap billions more in federal funds, according to sources close to the discussions. The confines of the budget negotiations established by the two parties results in a system where every extra dollar going to military spending ends up being offset by a dollar reduction in spending on domestic social programs.

Last week, Senate Democrats came to the table with $10 billion in proposed cuts to the military budget but, a House GOP aide said, the offer was immediately rejected. Democratic sources confirmed that the party had proposed defense spending reductions but disputed the amount.

Democrats and Republicans are now moving toward an agreement that would inc…

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's Rulers Goose-Step to the Brink of the Abyss  :      Information Clearing House: ICH

Bahrain and Saudi Arabia's Rulers Goose-Step to the Brink of the Abyss  :      Information Clearing House: ICH
The repression has turned into an operation of conspicuous bigotry, brutality, and mendacity that does not bode well for the future of the emirate, political liberalization inside Saudi Arabia, or peaceful coexistence between Iran and the Gulf states.

In recent days, Bahrain has used live ammunition—shotguns—against demonstrators and blanketed Manama with checkpoints, some manned by personnel masked with sinister black balaclavas. After a group of Shia legislators resigned in protest, the government officially accepted their resignations—so they could strip the legislators of their immunity and render them liable to criminal charges. Main opposition newspaper—shut down. Only hospital in Manama—occupied by security forces so that wounded demonstrators can be apprehended, abused, and/or disappeared.

In classic doublespeak, the government declared that the hospital had been “li…

Greed is Not a Virtue   :      Information Clearing House: ICH

Greed is Not a Virtue   :      Information Clearing House: ICH

The following are some of the more visible elements of Wall Street’s global campaign of moral perversion.

It uses control of media outlets, advertising, and politicians to shape and spread a global culture of individualistic greed, material self-indulgence, ruthless competition, and moral irresponsibility.
Through the pursuit and celebration of financial gain at any cost, it provides role models for immoral behavior.
It undermines democracy and the legitimacy of government by buying politicians to do its bidding.
It uses student loan programs to get the best and brightest youth mired in debts they can repay only by selling themselves to jobs that serve Wall Street interests.
It buys up and monopolizes control of the world’s land and water resources in anticipation of extracting monopoly profits by charging what the market will bear as scarcity increases.
It uses its financial power and creative accounting skills to manipulate mar…

America's Costliest War     :      Information Clearing House: ICH

America's Costliest War     :      Information Clearing House: ICH
By William Hartung

April 06, 2011 "Huffington Post" -- Congress, the media, and the public are rightly asking whether America should be spending $1 billion or more on the intervention in Libya at a time of fiscal austerity. One member of Congress has even proposed that the mission be offset dollar for dollar by cuts in domestic programs (leaving the Pentagon and related security programs off limits).

While this newfound attention to the costs of U.S. global military operations is welcome, focusing on Libya alone misses the mark. The $1 billion in projected spending on Libya is just one tenth of one percent of the over $1 trillion the United States has spent so far on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Looked at another way, the likely costs of the Libyan mission are the equivalent of less than four days of spending on the war in Afghanistan.

ei: Interview with the late Juliano Mer-Khamis: "We are freedom fighters"

ei: Interview with the late Juliano Mer-Khamis: "We are freedom fighters"Actor-director Juliano Mer-Khamis was shot dead by a masked gunman yesterday outside the Freedom Theatre that he co-founded in the Israeli-occupied West Bank city of Jenin in 2006. Born in Nazareth in 1958 to Saliba Khamis, a Palestinian Christian leader of the Israeli Communist Party, and Arna Mer, an Israeli Jewish dramatist, Juliano memorably described himself as "100 percent Palestinian, and 100 percent Jewish."

More Black Men Now in Prison System than Were Enslaved

“More African American men are in prison or jail, on probation or parole than were enslaved in 1850, before the Civil War began,” Michelle Alexander told a standing room only house at the Pasadena Main Library this past Wednesday, the first of many jarring points she made in a riveting presentation.
Alexander, currently a law professor at Ohio State, had been brought in to discuss her year-old bestseller, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Interest ran so high beforehand that the organizers had to move the event to a location that could accommodate the eager attendees. That evening, more than 200 people braved the pouring rain and inevitable traffic jams to crowd into the library’s main room, with dozens more shuffled into an overflow room, and even more latecomers turned away altogether. Alexander and her topic had struck a nerve.

The Changing US Tune on Yemen  :      Information Clearing House: ICH

The Changing US Tune on Yemen  :      Information Clearing House: ICH


By Jeremy Scahill

April 04, 2011 "The Nation" -- Over the weekend of April 2–3 in Yemen, the death toll of anti-government protesters continued to rise as security forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh reportedly shot dead twelve people and injured hundreds of others in the southern city of Taiz. Amid the violence, news broke late Sunday night that the Obama administration has quietly begun to withdraw its support for Saleh’s regime. Over the past two months of violence in Yemen, the United States has continued to back Saleh despite his violent response to widespread nonviolent protests against his regime.
Citing US and Yemeni officials, the New York Times reports: “The United States, which long supported Yemen’s president, even in the face of recent widespread protests, has now quietly shifted positions and has concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of …

Exposed: The US-Saudi Libya Deal

April 04, 2011 "Asia Times" -- You invade Bahrain. We take out Muammar Gaddafi in Libya. This, in short, is the essence of a deal struck between the Barack Obama administration and the House of Saud. Two diplomatic sources at the United Nations independently confirmed that Washington, via Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave the go-ahead for Saudi Arabia to invade Bahrain and crush the pro-democracy movement in their neighbor in exchange for a "yes" vote by the Arab League for a no-fly zone over Libya - the main rationale that led to United Nations Security Council resolution 1973.

The revelation came from two different diplomats, a European and a member of the BRIC group, and was made separately to a US scholar and Asia Times Online. According to diplomatic protocol, their names cannot be disclosed. One of the diplomats said, "This is the reason why we could not support resolution 1973. We were arguing that Libya, Bahrain and Yemen were similar cases, and …

  Mounting evidence of CIA ties to Libyan rebels   :      Information Clearing House: ICH

  Mounting evidence of CIA ties to Libyan rebels   :      Information Clearing House: ICH
By Patrick Martin

April 04, 2011 "WSWS" - -Numerous press reports over the weekend add to the evidence that the Libyan rebels fighting the regime of Muammar Gaddafi are under the direction of American intelligence agencies. Despite the repeated claims by Obama administration officials that the rebels are a largely unknown quantity, it is becoming increasingly clear that key military leaders of the anti-Gaddafi campaign are well known to the US government and have longstanding relations with the CIA.
For better than two weeks there had been a virtual ban in the US media on reporting the name of Khalifa Haftar, the long-time CIA collaborator who was appointed chief rebel commander March 17, on the eve of the US-NATO bombing campaign against Libya. Only the regional McClatchy Newspapers chain reported Haftar’s appointment, and ABC News ran a brief interview with him on March 27. Otherwise, s…

ei: Goldstone's shameful U-turn

ei: Goldstone's shameful U-turn

"If I had known then what I know now, the Goldstone report would have been a different document." Thus opens Judge Richard Goldstone's much-discussed op-ed in The Washington Post. I have a strong feeling that the editor might have tampered with the text and that the original sentence ought to have read something like: "If I had known then that the report would turn me into a self-hating Jew in the eyes of my beloved Israel and my own Jewish community in South Africa, the Goldstone report would never have been written at all." And if that wasn't the original sentence, it is certainly the subtext of Goldstone's article.

Hundreds wounded in Yemen protests - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Hundreds wounded in Yemen protests - Middle East - Al Jazeera English

Hundreds of people have been injured in the Yemeni city of Taiz after police used tear gas to disperse pro-democracy protesters in the city's main square.

Medical officials said more than 600 people were wounded on Sunday in the square where a sit-in had been taking place as part of nationwide anti-government protests.

According to witnesses, police also opened fire above the heads of protesters, and used batons to disperse the crowds.

Medical sources said most of the injuries were from tear gas inhalation. However, there were also reports that some protesters may have been injured by live ammunition.

An interview with Noam Chomsky by Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert

Z Net March 31, 2011
An interview with Noam Chomsky by Stephen Shalom and Michael Albert

1. What are U.S. motives in international relations most broadly? That is, what are the over arching motives and themes one can pretty much always find informing U.S. policy choices, no matter where in the world we are discussing? What are the somewhat more specific but still over arching motives and themes for U.S. policy in Middle East and the Arab world? Finally, what do you think are the more proximate aims of U.S. policy in the current situation in Libya?
A useful way to approach the question is to ask what U.S. motives are NOT. There are some good ways to find out. One is to read the professional literature on international relations: quite commonly, its account of policy is what policy is not, an interesting topic that I won’t pursue.

Mocking the Law, Judges Rule that    :      Information Clearing House: ICH

Mocking the Law, Judges Rule that    :      Information Clearing House: ICHTreated as punchbags without rights when first picked up, mostly in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the wake of the 9/11 attacks and the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, the 172 men still held at Guantánamo are still treated with scorn by the administration of Barack Obama, the standard bearer of “hope” and “change,” who promised to close Guantánamo and to do away with “the dark halls of Abu Ghraib and the detention cells of Guantánamo, [where] we have compromised our most precious values.” Instead, however, Obama has revealed himself to be nothing more than a hollow man whose ability to read from an autocue made him look caring, clever and capable when that was exactly the antidote we needed to eight years of Bush and Cheney.