"Rules of Engagement: Open fire also upon rescue," was handwritten in Hebrew on a sheet of paper found in one of the Palestinian homes the Israel Defense Forces took over during Operation Cast Lead. A reservist officer who did not take part in the Gaza offensive believes that the note is part of orders a low-level commander wrote before giving his soldiers their daily briefing. The People's Voice: '1000% rise in Jew attacks on Palestinians'. + Israel forced to open face-saving probe. HaAretz: Dead Palestinian babies and bombed mosques - IDF fashion 2009. SOTT: Gaza Slaughterhouse: Israeli military rabbis distributed booklets inciting violence against "gentiles": "That's the beauty of Gaza. You see a man walking, he doesn't have to have a weapon, and you can shoot him," one soldier told Danny Zamir, the head of the Rabin pre-military academy, who asked him why a company commander ordered an elderly woman to be shot. [...] "When we entered a house, we were supposed to bust down the door and start shooting inside and just go up storey by storey... I call that murder. Each storey, if we identify a person, we shoot them. I asked myself - how is this reasonable?" The Guardian: Guardian investigation uncovers evidence of alleged Israeli war crimes in Gaza. + GAZA WAR CRIMES INVESTIGATION: ATTACKS ON MEDICS (VIDEO).
A new report details the gory killing of a family by Israeli unmanned drones, which can allegedly differentiate civilians from combatants. While Tel Aviv claims that its unmanned aerial vehicles are able to clearly distinguish fighters from women and children and other civilians, more than 48 Palestinian civilians were killed in Israeli drone attacks in Gaza, a new report by the Guardian reveals. In one of the most heartbreaking cases, a Palestinian family of six was killed in Gaza City while sitting around and having tea in their courtyard.
A new UN report exposes a bit of misinformation peddled by the US and Israel and shatters the Zionist illusion that the Gaza war was legal. The report, prepared by human rights investigator Richard Falk, confirms that Tel Aviv was indeed the party that violated the Egyptian-brokered six-month truce in Gaza. Israel and the democratically elected Palestinian HAMAS government confined to the Gaza Strip agreed in mid June 2008 to a six-month truce.
This year, Arabs and Palestinians honored the city of Jerusalem as 2009's "Capital of Arab Culture." Each year, Arab cultural ministers name one Arab city as the "Cultural Capital," last year's designate being Damascus, Syria. The title came this year with a fanfare of activities throughout Palestinian cities, crowned off by a huge VIP event in Bethlehem where prominent artists and Arab cultural figures throughout the Arab world conveyed their sentiments of solidarity and support via video conference and Palestinian folkloric groups performed live.
So it would seem that the designation is not and should not be politicized. Naming an Arab city a cultural capital is about preserving its heritage and its Arab identity, passing on the torch of our culture to newer generations that may not be as well versed in it as others. It is a sort of revival, an honor bestowed upon the Arabs' most revered cities and homage paid to its rich history. MIFTAH: Israel Bans Palestinian Culture Festival in Jerusalem [March 15 – March 21]. You Tube: ذنوب الموت (قفي ساعة) - تميم البرغوثي + غناء فنانين مصر صابرين يسرا حكيم سميحة ايوب ايهاب توفيق حنان ترك هدى سلطان هشام عباس فاروق الفيشاوى مدحت صالح احمد السقا احمد حلمى اثار الحكيم محمد هنيدى منى زكى. The People's Voice: In Al-Quds “In Jerusalem” -تميم البرغوثي ... في القدس
At least 28 people have been wounded in fierce clashes with Israeli police forces in the northern Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm. The clashes erupted on Tuesday when a number of extremist Jews entered the town to stage a march and encountered Arab residents of the city who had called for a ban on the demonstration.
Eugene E. Elder Sr. figures police killed his teenage son unjustifiably with a Taser, and he plans to fire back with a lawsuit. "I'm going after the city. I don't care," said Elder, 55, of Bay City. "There's no reason for killing my boy. He didn't do nothing wrong." "The officers had calmed Brett down and he was sitting on a couch, and then one officer said something to him, and Brett stood up like he was maybe going to lunge at the police," Hernden said. "And right then and there is when they put the handcuffs on him. They knocked him on the ground and that's when they Tasered him."
Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in Alaska's Prince William Sound, oil persists in the region and, in some places, "is nearly as toxic as it was the first few weeks after the spill," according to the council overseeing restoration efforts.
There have been rumors and announcements from China about a new reserve currency. And the IMF has said that it is considering printing hundreds of billions of dollars worth of its own currency. Today, the two stories came together in a dramatic development. Specifically, the head of China's central bank proposed making the IMF's currency the world's reserve currency, to replace the dollar. Moon-of-Alabama: The U.S. Is Losing Its Reserve Currency Privilege.
The banks' message: If you want our help to get credit flowing again to consumers and businesses, stop the rush to penalize our bonuses.
Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner asked Congress on Tuesday for broad new powers to regulate nonbank financial companies like troubled insurer American International Group whose collapse could jeopardize the economy.
Famed investigative reporter Seymour Hersh ruffled a few feathers last week with comments in Minnesota regarding an alleged "executive assassination ring" -- a squad of elite killers who have allegedly been infiltrating foreign countries and murdering ... well, officially, nobody knows who their victims have been, really, but if this story were officially acknowledged (whatever that means these days), we would no doubt be told that the alleged victims of the alleged murders were "the worst of the worst", without whom America will now be safer, huzzah huzzah.
Baghdad's water still undrinkable 6 years after invasion. The stench of human waste is enough to tell Falah abu Hasan that his drinking water is bad. His infant daughter Fatma's continuous illnesses and his own constant nausea confirm it. "We are the poor. No one cares if we get sick and die," he said. "But someone should do something about the water. It is dirty. It brings disease." [ URUKNET]
Wall Street erupted in a demonstration of euphoria and greed Monday as the Obama administration announced a plan to offload bankers' bad debts that amounts to an unprecedented looting of taxpayer funds to benefit the financial elite.
The chief official overseeing US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, arrived in Brussels Monday to brief NATO representatives on the Obama administration plans for the region, amid press reports that the US intends to push aside Afghan President Hamid Karzai and supplant him with an unelected "czar" to take charge of the vast new influx of military and economic aid for the US puppet regime. Lataan: SO MUCH FOR ‘DEMOCRACY’ IN AFGHANISTAN: After more than seven years of war in which thousands have died, including 1117 coalition troops, the US and their allies, by considering appointing a ‘prime minister’ to bypass the originally appointed and now totally corrupt President Hamid Karzai, have conceded that there has been nothing achieved over those seven years of bloody war. This is simply one puppet leader being replaced by another while all along the US and their allies have been trying to tell the world that they wanted to capture bin Laden, oust the Taliban and bring democracy to the region.
In an extraordinary move, the Charity Commission in Britain has issued a hostile briefing about the Gaza solidarity campaign inspired by Respect MP George Galloway, just before he arrived in North America for a speaking tour. The Guardian: Canada can't muzzle me. Calgary Herald: Denying British MP entry shows Canada 'frightened'.
On March 6, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) successfully launched the Kepler mission. Operated out of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics in Boulder, Colorado, it is the first mission, space-based or otherwise, designed to look for extrasolar planets en masse.
Looking for periodic drops in the brightness of the 100,000 stars it will be observing, Kepler's instruments are sensitive enough to detect the decrease in star brightness caused by a planet as small as Earth.
While humanity has long pondered the existence of planets outside of our solar system, the first discovery of an extrasolar planet around a living star, 51 Pegasi b, came only in 1995. Over the past 14 years, 342 extrasolar planets have been discovered. Most of these have been gas or ice giants, the size of Jupiter or bigger, and with short orbital periods. All these planets are significantly larger than Earth.
The Good Old Days lasted until about a year ago. That was when the world economy was a never-ending boomtown success. Ponzi schemes thrived. Wars blossomed. The derivatives market seemed steel-framed. All was well - as long as you overlooked hundreds of millions of near-starving people and other pesky distractions such as global environmental decline. And most folk, in the wealthiest nations on earth, did precisely that. They were the Good Old Days. Now it’s a Brave New World. Luck favours the brave – and there’s none braver than Lucky Larry Silverstein, the Lego-Man of New York City.
FIRE: Here’s a photograph of a raging fire at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Beijing earlier this year. [See Fatal fire destroys Beijing hotel]. That is what a major fire in a steel-framed concrete towerblock looks like. When the fire was eventually extinguished, the building was left wrecked - but standing. DEMOLITION: [Controlled Demolition of the WTC] This is a photograph of a tower at the World Trade Center on September 11th 2001. Can you spot the difference?
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